Saturday, September 24, 2016

Feastival of Fine Chefs 2016 - AFPA


Program for FEASTival and a bottle of win on the table
Last week, I was invited once again by Michelle (the tiffin box) on behalf of the Alberta Food Processors Association (AFPA) to partake in the FEASTival of Fine Chefs. I was excited to not only meet the chefs from the participating establishments and experience a multi-course dining experience but to also bring my husband Dan along. This was the 28th event for the FEASTival of Fine Chefs with tickets being $125. Like last year, there were a variety of establishments that participated in the event. All establishments do not receive their ingredients until 24 hours before the event.

Upon checking in, all participants were asked to choose a number packet. The number that you pick helps guide you towards having a four course meal where each course comes from a different establishment. All menus reflect food that is grown and/or processed in Alberta.

Sample Menu from Ernest's at Nail
Example of one of the many menus at the 2016 FEASTival of Fine Chefs. 
Before the dinner started, everyone had the chance to walk around, check out the different establishments, view their menus for the night including a preview of the dishes, or bid on the silent auction items. This was helpful, because it was easier to find where your course was being served from as each course came from a different place.

Here are some photos of the appetizer course from our table. We made all attempts to ensure that everyone got a different number so that there were almost no repeat dishes at our table. That way we could have a bite of each dish if we wanted. 

Crispy Pork Belly on a rectangular plate from River Cree Marriott
Brittney's Pork Belly from River Cree Marriott
Roasted Bison Short Ribs, Chanterelles mushrooms in a bag from the Shaw Conference Centre
My appetizer from the Shaw Conference Centre - Roasted Bison Short Ribs, Potato Confit, Chanterelles in a Bison Reduction.
Smoked Beef on a puff pastry and salad from Hotel Selkirk (FEASTival of Fine Chefs)
Dan's appetizer from the Hotel Selkirk - Smoked Beef outside skirt on puff pastry, salad with a champagne dressing.
Next came the soup course. Dan's soup was a thai curry from the River Cree Marriott. Once again, Brittney's soup which came from the Shaw Conference Centre was the most interesting and had a pear and sage fritter accompanying the soup. Mine was a roasted butternut squash soup with smoked pimento pepper and root vegetable chips (not pictured) from Stages - Double Tree Hilton (West Edmonton).
soup course from FEASTival of fine chefs

Roasted Pear and Rubarb Soup and Barley Sprout Infused Oil from FEASTival of Fine Chefs
Roasted Pear and Rhubarb Soup and Barley Sprout Infused Oil. 
For the main course, mine came from the Renaissance (Edmonton Airport Hotel) and was a birch syrup and mushroom pork loin with black currant jus and smoked pomme puree. I really enjoyed the black currant and the meat was certainly a sizeable portion. In fact, everyone at our table had a decent size of meat for their main. Jacquie's main (Parkallen Home Kitchen) was a lamb shank from The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. 

Birch Syrup and Mushroom Pork Loin from Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel
Birch Syrup and Mushroom Pork Loin
Dan's main course from the Ramada

Last course was dessert! We saw a range of different styles for this course. Most interesting to note was the Hotel Fairmont Macdonald's dessert as they incorporated the honey that they have harvested from their bee hotel.
Honey Walnut Raisin Sponge - honeycomb, honey lemon gel, cognac caramel sauce and lemon verbena cream
Bottomless Pear Tart from Shaw Conference Centre
Dan's dessert from Shaw Conference Centre  - bottomless pear tart, cardamom whipped ganache, grapefruit gel, mandarin jelly and honey ginger poached pear 
Spinach and Beetroot cake layered with Mascarpone cheese mousse from Hotel Selkirk
Spinach and Beetroot cake layered with Mascarpone cheese mousse, ginger crumble, and mini mousse filled, maple wood smoked chocolate sauce from Hotel Selkirk.
Dessert from Graze Edmonton Feastival of Fine chefs - chocolate fondant, cardamom saffron cheese cake mousse
Brittney's dessert from Graze Edmonton - spiced bitter chocolate fondant, cardamom saffron cheese cake mousse, lavender honey cream, raspberry paper and cocoa crumbs.

FEASTival shows that there is a lot of creativity happening in all places around Edmonton. You should certainly come out to experience FEASTival for yourself next year. Hopefully the dishes from this year's event will inspire you to go out and try some of these establishments in the coming months!

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