Saturday, October 22, 2011


(Left to right) Chefs Connie De Sousa (CHARCUT), Chef Dale MacKay (ENSEMBLE), Chef John Jackson (CHARCUT), and Chef Rob Rossi (BESTELLEN)

MC and Event Organizer extraordinaire Don House

The menu for the evening

Chicken liver mousse with Highwood Crossing organic grain crackers

Chef Dale MacKay is thoroughly focused on plating for the event

The Grapefruit cured hamachi with finger limes and caviar paired with Champagne Aubry Premier Cru Brut (NV)

Scallop Crudo, Arugula puree, meyer lemon, smoked maldon and bottarga. The dish prepared by Chef Rossi was so well balanced, with the saltiness from the bottarga shaved on top, the sweetness of the scallop and the mild acidity of the lemon. The toasted garlic chips added a nice crunchy texture to the dish.

Smoked rabbit rillette with spiced prunes. CSL chatted with Chef Rossi (view our 'BLAST FROM THE PAST' POST HERE) as he plated this appetizer. He talked to us about his time in YYC, his new restaurant Bestellen, which will open later this year all with Rossi's signature charismatic humor.

The assembly line, with Chef MacKay working intently on the black cod with pork thai broth, bok choy, smoked maitake, coriander and chili oil

A gorgeous dish. The silky, buttery fish was bathed in a comforting and mild broth vibrant with the fragrance with kaffir lime, lemongrass, five spice. The earthy mushrooms and crunchy pea shoots were also lovely.

Chef De Sousa's fire grilled High Country Bison heart kielbasa with brassica musturd and fennel kraut. This was thoroughly enjoyed by our table.

Chef De Sousa in the kitchen at Charcut

40 oz. Bone in Spring Creek Ribeye with marrow and taber corn polenta.

The amazing cheese course (all Canadian Cheeses from the Dairy Farmers of Canada): Boerenkaas, Natural Pastures Cheese Company, BC; Comox Camembert, natural pastures cheese company, BC; Grizzly Aged Gouda, Sylvan Star Cheese, AB; Avonlea Clothbound cheddar, Cows Inc, PEI. Our table couldn't get over the apricot compote, and poached apricot (cooked in fall spices). From mild, creamy brie to the sharp sweet gouda these were all stars.

Late Harvest O'Henry Peach cobbler with spiced creme fraiche. A filling, but nice end to the evening.

Family photo: The team
Photos K&S Media

Three Chefs, Three City Tour

“Now that the battles are over, it’s exciting to be able to work with, instead of against, my former competitors”, said Top Chef Canada Season 1 winner, Dale MacKay. “It’s rare to have three passionate and demanding chefs in charge of one evening’s menu – but it’s a creative challenge we’re up for, and we’re excited to be collaborating on this unique culinary event for Visa Infinite cardholders.”

The evening drew a lively crowd of guests (tickets were sold out well in advance) to Charcut to celebrate the Top 3 Top Chef Canada contestants. The dinner progressed with lots of laughter, vigor and enthusiasm and great food. After the Visa Infinite event, the trio was headed to Banff for the Fairmont Banff Springs Wine and Food Festival. Chef Rossi confided that the tour across Canada was exhausting but enjoyed the challenge.

It was great to see the chefs interacting with diners, including young fans requesting autographs and photo's with the Top Chefs who obliged with big smiles. The trio were warm, welcoming and eager to share their experience on Top Chef.

All the best to all of the Top Chef's in their ventures, and CSL hopes to visit Bestellen and Ensemble soon!

For more from City Style and Living magazine, including the Fall 2011 issue, click here:

1 comment:

Jeremy Fokkens said...

I wish I was there, both to eat and photograph

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