So very magical!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
So very magical!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’ll admit it, I am a bit of a foodie, although I do find the term slightly pretentious. Reality is I like good food, quality ingredients, and quite frankly I’m a good cook.
Most of what I do, however, is quite simple, using quality ingredients and intuitively knowing what will taste good together. I don’t spend hours over recipes, and often find the tastiest things I create are the simplest things.
As a result I have very little time for seemingly fancy cookbooks with obscure ingredients, and where everything needs to be measured out exactly and be perfectly presented on the plate. This is simply not enjoyable to me.
So when I was lead down to the kitchen of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, I was not quite sure what to expect. I do love a good kitchen party, but what would the chef be like? Would he be uptight and pretentious about his cooking? Quite the contrary! He was a delight, fun to flirt with (for whatever reason men that create tasty morsels tend to illicit my overly flirtatious side), and got it as far as I am concerned with food. Executive Chef Louis Simard‘s attitude towards creating culinary delights, as he informed us, was selecting choice fresh local ingredients (for which the Chateau Laurier is well situated, just steps away from Ottawa‘s Byward Market) and putting them together in simple ways that would tantalize the tastebuds. And that is exactly what he did with me! Flushing just thinking about it!
Here were a few of the ways Executive Chef Louis Simard teased and tantalized:
First Executive Chef Louis Simard prepared the basil infused watermelon by:
* This also works with vodka and watermelon, if you want to pack some tasty boozy snacks for that music festival next summer!
Meanwhile Executive Chef Louis Simard had whisked a pinch of espelette pepper in olive oil and was marinating hearty bite size chucks of heirloom tomatoes in the espelette pepper and olive oil.
Just prior to serving, he:
This simple hors d’oeuvres is all about using choice ingredients. To put it all together, simply:
Bite in and enjoy!
Fell in love with Executive Chef Louis Simard as I watched him prepare this:
This was bar none, my favourite, but then who wouldn’t be swooped off their feet by flaming hot cheese soaked in honey! And I had no idea that Balderson Cheddar came from the Ottawa area. Drooling just thinking about it! My only regret … that no one let me get my mitts on the blow torch, to take it for a spin.
Now while these were all the tasty tidbits that Executive Chef Louis Simard demonstrated his culinary prowess with, I did do a bit of culinary sleuthing and heard a few rumours on how the chefs at the Chateau Laurier make their drool worthy maple butter! It is quite simple from what I understand – an equal part maple syrup to butter, whipped together. It was served over their scrumptious crepes warm, so I suspect they heat up the maple syrup a bit and then whip in the butter. Will most definitely have to try my own experiment with this in the kitchen!
PS. In Full Disclosure: As always, the opinions and thoughts shared here are my own and honest ones. I am bought out by no one. In the spirit of disclosure, it should be noted that on this trip I was a guest of Ottawa Tourism.
I am really missing the good Samaritans of Canada. Unfortunately, here in the United States, people sue each other so much that the possible repercussions of helping out prevent people from lending a hand. Last night I suffered because of that.
I got a flat tire while driving on a busy road. With nowhere to pull over, I drove up the street a bit to a cultural center where I knew I’d be out of harms way. It was 5:30 pm, but the center was already closed. The security guard came running right over to find out what I was doing there. I told him I had a flat tire and he told me to call my roadside assistance. I very sweetly asked him if he would help me change the tire, but alas, he had rounds to do and there was only one other person inside working. I started to unload my truck to do it myself, then he yelled, “Stop!”, threw his arm in front of me and said, “You have to call your roadside assistance!
I spent half an hour on hold waiting for my service provider to answer. I then spent another half an hour while they tried to find a company with somebody available to come change my tire, with no success. At that point my phone died, but luckily my son had his phone on him so I had given them his number right before hand. Of course, during this whole time the 2 cultural center workers were just nice and cozy inside looking at us. We were parked right outside their front doors. They even ordered themselves a pizza!
Feeling totally fed up I just started changing the tire myself. This of course brought the security guard running back outside. He said he wanted to help me, but had to go get his supervisor’s permission. He came back with his supervisor who told me he was not allowed to help me! This whole thing came down to them not wanting to be liable for anything, and I couldn’t do it myself because they couldn’t have me hurting myself or messing up my car on their property!
It was 2 hours after getting the flat tire that my roadside assistance finally called back on my son’s phone and a truck arrived to help us. Of course, they changed the tire in under 2 minutes. When I told them my story they said people even try to sue them if there’s even any tiny thing wrong with their service. People try to blame scratches and dents in their car on them.
I seriously miss the giving without hesitation in Canada!
Who says adults can’t Trick or Treat!!! <she says stomping her feet, hands on hips, and pouting> Well, I say you can! Here at least. I have 5 pairs of theatre tickets to giveaway to 5 lucky adult Trick or Treaters to Moon Over Buffalo at Metro Theatre Vancouver!
If you have happen to have caught Lend Me A Tenor at Metro Theatre Vancouver last season (easily my favourite play of the Season), you’ll know that you are in for a treat, as this in another Ken Ludwig play. Translation: This is bound to be an evening filled with the laughter of romance meets a comedy of errors! Here’s a little as to the storyline, care of Metro Theatre:
Moon Over Buffalo centres on George and Charlotte Hay, fading stars of the 1950′s. At the moment, they’re playing Private Lives and Cyrano De Bergerac in rep in Buffalo, New York with only five actors. On the brink of a disastrous split-up caused by George’s alleged indiscretion with a young ingénue, they receive word that they might just have one last shot at stardom: Frank Capra is coming to town to see their matinée, and if he likes what he sees, he might cast them in his movie remake of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Unfortunately for George and Charlotte, everything that could go wrong does go wrong as confusion surrounds everyone who enters the theatre: the Hays’ stage manager, their lawyer, their visiting daughter and her clueless fiancé, and Charlotte’s aging, deaf mother who hates every bone in George’s body. The show must go on, of course, but at curtain time one question remains: exactly which play are they performing?
Now for the Trick or Treat!
If you are inclined to perform this sort of Trick for me …
… I am sure I can find you a treat!
As for entering the contest to win one of the five pairs of tickets, for my own amusement and a bit of seasonal surprise this is a reader’s choice commenting entry. You simply must:
For Twitter: Show @EmmeRogers a trick #Vancouver, to enter to win a treat … tickets to #MoonOverBuffalo at @MetroTheatre! http://ht.ly/qnMjh
For Facebook & Google+: Show Emme Rogers a trick #Vancouver, to enter to win a treat … tickets to #MoonOverBuffalo at Metro Theatre! http://emmerogers.com/win-tickets-to-moon-over-buffalo-at-metro-theatre-vancouver
For the winners of this laughter filled Treat, I will be giving away 5 pairs of tickets to Moon Over Buffalo at the Metro Theatre, starting with the first pair of tickets at 10 am Sunday November 3rd to one lucky winner. The next pair of tickets will be given away Monday November 4th at 10 am, and then again Tuesday November 5th at 10 am, Wednesday November 6th at 10 am, and the final pair on Thursday November 7th at 10 am. The tickets will be for one of the performances on the first full weekend of the Show with the winners choice of Thursday November 7th, Friday November 8th, or Saturday November 9th at 8 pm.
For those of you that don’t win, you should still be in for treat by purchasing tickets to Moon Over Buffalo from the Metro Theatre Vancouver Box Office. They have a special deal on their Thursday night Show. The Show runs now until November 30th, 2013, with performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm, and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm on November 17th and 24th.
I’ve met some pretty cool people and the road, and one of those people is Ross Neilsen! Two Autumns ago we passed each other, heading in opposite directions on the road – I eavesdropped on Ross and his band at lunch (or as I like to think of it, ‘conducted research’) and as my eavesdropping was abundantly obvious, Ross made fun of me – instantly worming his way into my heart. A few months later, when he and the band played just over an hour from where I was, I went and listened to him and his band. Love their sound! Love listening to Ross even more singing solo, as I discovered a few months later at the International Blues Competition in Memphis, Tennessee!
Here’s a little taste of Ross …
and his band (with a couple of extra friends on stage) …
So I have many old favourites of Ross’ that I love to listen to, but those aside, Ross has come out with one new solo CD (The Shack Up Sessions) and one new CD from the band (Resurrection), so I’m looking forward to relishing in some new to my ears tunes, like this one …
And might I add, shortly after publishing this post, it was announced that Ross won Blues Recording of the Year at the Music NB Awards tonight for The Shack Up Sessions! Way to go Ross!
Now if you are lucky enough to be in BC this week, here is where you can catch the Ross Neilsen Band (featuring Ross Neilsen on Guitar and Vocals, Karl Gans on the Drums, and Jim the Temp on Bass) as Ross Neilsen and the boys RAWK British Columbia:
The rest of the country will be able to catch Ross and the Band after that as they make their way back across country. Click here for tour dates and locations of the Resurrection Tour.