Thursday, June 9, 2011


The bar at Olives where guests gathered for cocktails before the dinner

Chef Johnathan Canning of Olives Restaurant and Chef Peter Luu of Tai Pan Restaurant. Each chef took turns preparing a dish for the five course dinner.

Garth Brown, General Manager of the establishment pours JE10 Prosecco Brut, Valdobbiadene DOGC, from Italy

At the open kitchen Chef Johnathan Canning prepares to serve shrimp wantons

The wantons were crispy with plump shrimp inside (Chef Luu told us the secret to their unbelievable texture, which we will not divulge). Steaming hot, crunchy and flavorsome, all in one tiny bite.

Franz Swinton bartender at Olives

The kitchen is busy preparing for the first course

Chef Canning plating the first course

Bouillabaisse halibut cheek, spot prawn, mussel and clam. The broth was poured tableside.

As Brown noted, "this was a dish never meant for groups of less than 10 people." This course was prepared by Chef Canning. "Make sure that you mix up that rouille, it adds a nice earthiness to the broth, and also thickens it," Brown tells us. Bright fennel, delicate saffron and sweet clams make this warm soup delicious.

The chefs from Tai Pan Restaurant prepare Chef Luu's specialty peking duck.

The two chefs discuss the sauce

Chefs from Tai Pan busy in the kitchen

The second course of Peking Duck, green onion, cucumber, crepe, hoisin. Silky crepes with crispy duck skin, were offset by the freshness of the cucumber and onion. "The Peking duck is our signature at the restaurant. We are proud of the crispiness of the skin," noted Luu. Brown paired this course with Zorzal, Malbec Rose, Mendoza Argentina 2009. This course was prepared by Chef Luu.

Lending a hand with the third course, Garth Brown.

A chef putting the lotus leaf into a bamboo steamer

The third course: Dragon Lobster, steamed Atlantic lobster, fried rice, flying fish roe. The texture of the fish roe popping against the rice and richness of the sweet lobster was sublime. Paired with Cakebread, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California 2008. This course prepared by Chef Luu.

The chef discuss plating

The chefs putting the final touches on the fourth course

Jimmy Nguyen of Olives Restaurant

The fourth course: Broek Pork Farms Braised Pork Belly "Coc au Vin" veal sweetbreads, chanterelle mushrooms, nave. Paired with Chateau Vieux Brandard "Bel Air" Saint-Emilion, France 2009. What an amazing, smooth oaky wine that lent itself beautifully to the richness of this dish. This course prepared by Chef Canning

The chefs from both restaurants

Dessert of Ginger Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Five spice brittle, lemongrass ice cream, cherry sake coulis. Paired with Torbreck "The Bothie" Muscat Blanc, Barossa Valley, Australia 2010. This course from Pastry chef Rachel Bergen of Olives.

The chefs oversee plating

A final treat - black sesame and lemon curd macaroons

Olives Restaurant hosted an innovative collaborative dinner titled East Meets West on Tuesday June 07th 2011. The dinner featured the talents of Tai Pan's Chef Peter Luu, and Chef Jonathan Canning of Olives. The idea came about quite naturally as Tai Pan is a restaurant both Chef Jonahtan Canning and Genergal Manager of Olives Garth Brown frequent often.

Luu's Cantonese style cuisine was complemented by Olive's Chef Jonathan Canning’s West Coast flare. Brown half-jokingly described Canning. "I think Jonathan was born Asian in another lifetime, because his use of Asian ingredients (Schechuan peppers, kaffir lime leaves) in his cuisine."

The dinner featured wine pairings from General manager Garth Brown, a signature Asian inflected cocktail, “Dim Sum” Hors d’oeuvres, a 5 course dinner (two from each chef), and a combined dessert. "I always like to start off an evening like this with bubbly," said Brown, "I want everyone to feel like family comfortable and taken care of." While the chefs alternated in preparing courses, bustling around the kitchen, guests were invited to take front row seats to the action.

"For us, we like things to come full circle so you end where you began," noted Brown. This was evident in the leitmotif of lemongrass which first appeared in a unique East West cocktail (with gin, lychee, lemongrass and basil) which started off the evening. The lemongrass reappeared in dessert as ice cream, served with an upside down pineapple cake with five spice brittle and cherry sake coulis. The Torbreck "The Bothie" Muscat a pale lemon colour, was fragrant with honesuckle and honey and a great wine to end the evening.

1 comment:

Dreams of cakes said...

What a restaurant!! I was impressed!! Thank you for sharing!

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