Ottawa Humane Society and in memory of the late Chef Kurt Waldele, was a beautiful afternoon celebrating great food and a love for animals. The fundraising event, organized by Robin Duetta, featured 20 local talented chefs, restaurants and food shops from Ottawa.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted and welcomed with Champagne. Everyone was free to mingle and sample food from the indoor and outdoor food stations. The event ended with a live auction to raise money for the Ottawa Humane Society, followed by ending remarks from Ron Eade, Kurt's wife, and The Ottawa Humane Society's director.
Here's a tour of some of the awesome food that was served:
K.W. Catering & Events served a wonderfully tender 'deconstructed sushi'. It was a salmon confit served with pickled ginger 'caviar', sesame rice crisp, yuzu 'air', wasabi mayo and sesame 'snow'. This was definitely one of my favorites!
Chef Michael Blackie from Le Cafe served a warm pineapple sticky sting licker with a mallow torch, peanut crumble, drunk summer cherries and caramel squeeze. Most of the food stations were salty meat dishes, so it was nice to see someone doing something different.
Tim Wasylko from the Prime Minister's Residence served a fun chipotle pulled pork taco with corn salsa.
The Urban Pear served a light lemongrass infused grilled flank steak wrapped around pickled daikon, peashoots, fresh herbs and topped with a fermented black bean and corn emulsion.
Marc Lepine never ceases to amaze me. I love how he surprises with every one of his dishes. No two dish is ever the same, or remotely similar. For the party, Marc served smoked duck tongues with spicy mayo, Kentucky fried quail legs with prune sauce and coleslaw chips. I had never tried duck tongues until today...it had a fatty texture, like all things duck.
The Algonquin College Culinary Arts Program featured two dishes. One was port marinated strawberries in a chocolate phyllo cup with ginger foam and the other was a sesame crusted chicken mousseline with Asian Slaw and beet & fennel relish.
You haven't tried chicken wings until you've tried the wings from the Real Sports Bar & Grill. They were massive, juicy and full of flavor. The event featured their salt lime wings and double smoked bacon, maple and mustard wings. They were awesome!
Westin Hotel showcased a couple of dishes: smoked chicken, potato and peach salad, and mini prosciutto scone sandwiches.
Backlane cafe served a spicy Catalina gazpacho that was fresh and delicious.
Grounded served empanadas with roasted corn and black bean.
One of my favorites was Whalesbone's PEI Pickle Point oysters.
The oysters were simple, salty and fresh. An assortment of sauces were available with the oysters.
Cake Shop really impressed me with their cupcakes and shortbread. There are so many cupcake places now that I glossed over this stand when I first walked in. Their cakes are really something else and I'll definitely be back for more. I brought some goodies back for my sister Freebs, and she said the exact same thing. My favorites were the strawberry cupcake and the chocolate banana cupcake.
Stubbe Chocolates had an assortment of cocoa products. The lemongrass chocolate was cool to try.
Chef Robin Bowen from Shallows Restaurant at the Southway Inn served a nice cracked fennel seed & Madagascar peppercorn hickory smoked Atlantic salmon with yellow corn pancake, mango & serrano chilli and creme fraiche.
Other food stations included Brookstreet Hotel with a roast sweet corn and chorizo chowder and a shrimp & pork dumpling, Big Easy's New Orleans style food, The Pine Restaurant at the Monterey Inn, and sweets from Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana.
The auction featured a lot of 'foodie' prizes which included brunch/dinner for 8 at Gay Cook's home, Cocktail-Dinatoire for 12 with Margaret Dickenson, weekend for 4 in Prince Edward County, and a Chefs at Home package where Ottawa's most talented chefs like Marc Lepine and Matthew Carmichael will come to your home and entertain 10-12 guests.
The event was extremely well organized, and the length of the event was just right. Not too long and not too short. And to top it off, one couldn't have asked for more perfect weather.