Sunday, May 15, 2011


The exterior of Saltlik in Banff

Tables are set for the intimate dining experience

The theme was moderate comfortable luxury

The wine pairings came from the Okanagan Valley in B.C.

A server offers guests curry chutney cheese pate - how lovely with our sparkling wine

Chris Mills shows his debt to international flavours with the curry chutney cheese pate

Lobster potato skins: silky new potatoes with sweet and luscious lobster

A server with sparkling wine fit for the occasion

Duck tacos - mini delights. A sweet and sour take on tacos - the receptacle resembling a wonton. The technique? Fold over and pop into your mouth.

Executive chef Chris Mills looking good as usual.

The menu reflecting Saltlik's new status as part of Joey Restaurant Group

Behind-the-scenes a cook prepares the beef carpaccio

Chef Mills and Chef Jennifer (resident at Saltlik) discuss plating

Chef Mills showing the rest of the cooking staff how to plate the dishes

Beef carpaccio seared tenderloin, extra virgin olive oil, Grana Padano rocket and mustard aioli paired with Prospect Winery Ogopogo's Lair Pinot Grigio

We enjoyed some special crab cakes which are a staple on the menu - crisp exterior with soft, interior with bright yellow marmalade

Chef Mills focuses on perfecting every plate

Spring Vegetable Panzanella: Escarole, spring peas, zucchini and mint with sherry currant vinaigrette. Delicately dressed with nice textural balance of toasted pine nuts and cranberries. The ‘cured’ zucchini was delicious in the summer salad paired with Sumac Ridge Gewurtztraminer 2009

The salad also came with calamari served family style

Chef Jennifer and her team work to ready the dishes

Detail is essential for plating

Seared scallop with lobster mashed potato: East coast lobster and a hint of tarragon butter, crispy and mashed potatoes paired with Cedar Creek Platinum Chardonnay 2008

Extremely sweet, perfectly cooked scallop. The mashed potatoes (more like a mousseline) with soft licorice notes from the tarragon (what a feat to have one CSL staffer actually like the taste of tarragon?!)

A young cook joins the team to learn more from the kitchen

Grilled skirt steak, blistered tomato vinaigrette: prized for flavour the skirt is marinated and grilled medium paired with Sandhill Sangiovese 2007

A special take on the same dish with fish: perfectly cooked fish with a spicy horseradish cream

The chefs work in tandem to realize the dessert

Each dish gets its attention

The orchestrated events - servers come to take plates for serving while the chefs continue plating

Dessert: tasting of chocolate ganache and classic carrot cake, two Saltlik standards. The soft ganache, with the berry coulis and the spiced carrot cake with ice cream were small but perfect little bites. Paired with Graham's Six Grapes Port.

To celebrate Saltlik joining JOEY Restaurant Group, Executive Chef Chris Mills and his team hosted a luncheon at Saltlik in Banff Alberta.

In conjunction with chef Jennifer from the Saltlik Banff, Chef Mills and his team impressed guests with his well balanced, perfectly seasoned and creative approach. "We wanted to showcase beef for lunch," said the chef who prepared the meat two ways. As the quintessential Alberta meat and preferred steakhouse indulgence, it was not surprising that Mills chose to showcase beef.

Based on the theme of moderate comfortable luxury the menu emphasized the pleasures of contrasts - lobster with potato skins, rich black chocolate with homespun carrot cake, comforting mashed potato with prized scallops, rarefied duck with plebeian tacos. As always, Chef Mills brings an international, balanced palate that draws upon his own foraging and fishing experiences to the menu.

With wine pairings from across the Okanagan and the clean, clear mountain air of Banff wafting through the upstairs dining room, the luncheon was a bright and relaxed affair.

1 comment:

BigBite157 said...

Wow, sorry I missed that event! My grandma used to make the best carrot cake. Oh and Sumac is one of my fave Canadian wines!! Good choice.

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