For the past year I have dedicated my time to growth in both the garden and the kitchen. From experimenting with new flavours to trying new vegetable varieties and growing techniques. The end goal has always been to serve the community as a catering and personal chef service. This past weekend, that dream became a reality.
The Elmwood Community asked me to cook for them to kick off their community garden initiatives. It was a true honour to say the least. 36 people graced the entrance eager to taste my Tapa creations. Ashley Shillabeer brought her sommelier skills to the event pairing an amazing wine selection with the flavours profiles I put forth.
It began with some Honey, Lavender, Fig, and Brie crostini along with a Smoked Salmon, Goat Cheese, capers and scallions. Served with this welcome appetizer was a lovely Bernard Massard Cuvee Ecusson Brut.
The first round of tapas presented a zucchini fritter with tomato relish and creme fresh. A caprese salad with basil pesto, toasted pistachios, and a balsamic reduction. And finally, a mixed green salad with fresh radish, parmesan cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. Pairing beautifully with a Marotti Campi Verdicchio Dei Castelli Di Jesi.
Tapas round two delivered a beet and blue cheese ravioli with walnuts and a beurre noisette sauce. Herbed gnocchi with wild mushrooms and parmesan and arancini with fresh mozzarella, marinara sauce and fresh herbs. These earthy and rich tastes were enhanced by a Michele Chiarlo Le Orme Barbera D’Asti.
Dessert is always the most anticipated part of the meal and my partner in crime; Jesse Bailey; helped me create and plate the carrot cake with white chocolate and cream cheese frosting. We also served apple blossom pastries with homemade vanilla and lavender ice cream. You will notice the small bite of blue cheese on the plate as well. This was included to enhance the Messias Colheita Tawny 10 years Port as the preferred pairing along with a lovely Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato D’Asti.
The event was a huge success and the feedback has been great. We have some fantastic local distributors contribute to our success as well. River City Event Rentals provided all of the amazing table settings and Aligra Wine and Spirits provided a nice discount for all of our guests. Not to mention, Williams and Sonoma at West Edmonton Mall donated a lovely door prize.
Any fear of serving large groups has now been removed. Not only am I not afraid, I cannot wait to do this again.