Thursday, May 3, 2012



A sign welcoming guests to the Visa Infinite Exclusive Dinner with New Zealand Winemakers


The menu for the evening from Executive Chef Dave Bohati

Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Rose NV  Hawke's Bay is poured for arriving guests

A bottle of Yealands Estate Pinot Noir 2010 Marlborough, one of the four reception wines

A waitress with Quail Egg quiche, white anchovy parsley coulis

A closer look at the canape


 A waiter with beef tartare, sesame cone, chive

Oysters, Champagne Caviar

A look in the kitchen with the team anticipating the evening's beginning service


Daniel Ramon in the kitchen prepares for the amuse bouche

The amuse bouche: Rabbit rillette with ice wine gelee

Robert Ketchin, of New Zealand Winegrowers Canada


The first course: Scallop and Yellow Fin Tun, uni vinaigrette, yuzu, smoked aioli, and celery

 James McDonald of Yealands Estate.
Wine Pairing: Yealands Estate Gruner Veltliner 2011 Marlborough paired with the first course

 A closer look inside the kitchen as the team prepare for the second course


The Second Course: Sous Vide Steelhead Trout, white miso beurre blanc, ginger, BC fiddleheads


Claire Allan owner of Huia Vineyards
Wine Pairing: Huia Pinot Gris 2010, Marlborough

Executive Chef Dave Bohati meticulously plating up with his team


 The Third Course: Pork Belly, Dashi Jelly, Granny smith celeriac puree, fava bean


 Peter Sheehan of Mud House Wines
Wine Pairing: Mud House Estate Terraces Pinot Noir 2010, Central Otago

The palate cleanser: wasabi and yuzu sorbet with watermelon radish

In the midst of plating


Fourth Course: New Zealand Lamb Trio, olive polenta, truffle jus, ramps


Tom Hutchinson owner Rock Ferry Wines
Wine Pairing: Rock Ferry Tempranillo 2009, Central Otago

The Cheese Course: Dairy Farmers of Canada: Le Trappeur brie triple creme, Damafro  Saint - Damase Quebec, Amsterdammer Natural Pastures Cheese Company, Courtenay BC, Ermite Abbaye St.- Benoit, St. Benoit du Lac, Quebec

A last peek inside the kitchen

The  Dessert: Ivoire Chocolate Mousse, cassis core, lavender anglaise

From the Oyster Bay sparkling Cuvee Rose served to guests upon arrival to the variety of reception wines available to guests for tasting, to the array of canapes the Visa Infinite New Zealand Winemakers' Dinner at Rush restaurant in Calgary was an exercise in consummate details.

Uber talented Executive Chef Dave Bohati delighted guests with a menu that riffed well known New Zealand and Pacific Rim flavours.  The amuse of rabbit introduced diners to the clever flavour that were to characterize every dish.  There was an audible hubbub as guests tasted Bohati's sous vide steelhead trout - considered by many as one of the many highlights of the dinner.  The silky trout melted in the mouth, the  miso and ginger adding a tinge of Japanese flavour to the beurre blanc, while the crunchy, bright orange roe  juxtaposed earthy black lentils.  The quintessential New Zealand dish, was however, the trio of lamb - stuffed into pasta, made into a sausage and served as a rack. The merguez style sausage has a caramelized exterior and moist richness that was expertly executed, while the black polenta and green pasta were luscious.  Every course was meticulously crafted by Bohati and his team, who put toghether a cohesive and succinct menu.

To accompany the dinner winemakers from Marlborough and Central Otago featured their respective wines- with some surprises like the Rock Ferry Tempranillo (in New Zealand, who knew?).   CSL had the pleasure of dining with James McDonald, from Yealands, who delighted the table with photographs from the vineyard including a very cute picture of miniature sheep, who live on grounds.  The winery is committed to sustainability, even using crushed shells as fertilizer.  "Peter's a real idea's guy, he's full of great innovative ways that Yealands can make a mark globally," said McDonald. 

Lovely wine, sexy food, and a beautiful gathering.  

Kia ora!

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