Wednesday, May 4, 2011


The dining series is presented by Visa Infinite

Alloy's bold red signage

Alloy emblazoned on a glass door

The wine dinner also featured New Zealand Wine

Uri Heilik, owner of Alloy

Cheese expert Reg Hendrickson of the Dairy Farmers of Canada

At a reception before the dinner guests sampled a selection of Canadian cheese

A lovely blue cheese

Tomato and cucumber yogurt chilli tomato concasse served as appetizers

A server from Alloy with mussels

A closer look at the baked New Zealand Mussels proscuitto bearnaise

Guests gathered at tables to await the Visa Infinite dining experience

Guests chatted with winemakers, many of whom had come directly from New Zealand

Guests enjoying the reception hour where a wine tasting of seven New Zealand wines was on offer

The crowd at Alloy

The decor at Alloy is fresh and reminiscent of spring time

Rogelio Herrera owner and chef at Alloy in the kitchen

The menu for the evening

Sheep's cheese mousse and oven dried kiwi salad sauvignon blanc vinaigrette served with Jackson Estate Stich Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Oven roasted New Zealand Blue nose sea bass "All Blacks" risotto lobster crema sauteed rapini served with Marisco Kings Thorn Pinot Gris 2010

Grilled New Zealand lamb chop "colonial goose" souffle tomato and spinach avocado oil served with Babich Reserve Syrah 2007

Roasted New Zealand venison striploin grilled yam puree karaka black berry glaze double smoked bacon crisp served with Waitiri Creek Pinot Noir 2008

Chocolate and strawberry pavlova vanilla cream mint syrup served Te Kairanga Runholder Chardonnay

Another look at the dessert

Representatives from the several New Zealand wineries were present. Pictured here with chef Herrera

The exclusive Visa Infinite dinner (where the pitch in the room got increasingly loud as the night progressed), took place at Alloy Dining room in Southwest Calgary. New Zealand wine producers joined the eager crowd in a 5 course menu that focused on New Zealand produce (Karaka blackberries; who knew?).

Cheese and Oyster Bay sparkling wine greeted guests, as they entered the room. An exceptionally delicious array of Canadian cheese from the Dairy Farmers of Canada was on display to taste (our favourite was the blue cheese).

Chef Herrera and his team prepared an outstanding, well seasoned, well thought out, and well balanced menu. The use of signature New Zealand ingredients was well integrated throughout the meal. The innovative use of Japanese black rice, (instead of arborio or carnaroli) to make the risotto, paired with an ultra light lobster crema was innovative and bright. While, the sheeps cheese mousse salad was perfectly dressed, and not to acidic, pairing with the Jackson Estate sauvignon blanc beautifully.

Every dish was, as noted above, well seasoned (this simple skill is easy to take for granted but difficult to perfect), allowing the New Zealand wine portfolio to shine through.

The finale to the meal, a light and refreshing pavlova with sweet strawberries was an excellent salute to New Zealand.

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