April 14, 2013

Diner Amîcal
Organ Recital, Opus 9
by Vincent Parkinson

Calgary Golf and Country Club

Sunday, April 14, 2013

When Echanson Vincent Parkinson, Executive Chef at the Calgary Golf and Country Club, offers to host a Diner Amical for our Bailliage, members cross their fingers that there will be room to accommodate guests.  This was his ninth opportunity to execute a Diner Amical (hence “Opus 9”), and he and his staff never fail to display the excellence of food, wine and service we celebrate.  It was a pleasure to enjoy the fellowship of the Chaine in the elegant and welcoming atmosphere of the Club.

Chef likes to develop a theme, and on this occasion he chose to focus on some of the products that, while delicious, don’t necessarily make it to our elegant plates very often.  While we eagerly anticipated freshly shucked oysters, in this case Village Bay Oysters, we rarely have had the opportunity to enjoy roasted bone marrow, delicately presented à la minute.  Hors d’Oeuvres including tiny perfect kidney tarts, seared scallops, prawns with peas, and smoked trout were passed by gracious white-gloved servers, while guests enjoyed “Lois” sparkling Malbec Rose from Mendoza, Argentina.


Pork Rillettes, Pig Trotter and Head Cheese
ORGANised with Gribiche Sauce
Underraga Brut from Chile

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Mussel, Saffron and Brie Soup
2009 Alkoomi Vinery Dry Riesling
Frankland River, Western Australia

A platform of sautéed spinach supported the Brie, positioning it above the soup for elegant presentation.  Aromatic, flavorful, excellent.

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Butter Poached Cobia
with Lobster Sauce, Crispy Cod Tongue  and Asetra Caviar
2010 Trefethen Family Chardonnay
Oak Knoll, Napa Valley, California

Cobia is a firm and meaty fish, delicate in flavor.  We were fortunate Chef was able to obtain it for our dining pleasure.

  The caviar and crispy cod tongue were excellent accents, the sunchoke puree smooth and rich, and the lobster sauce a paragon of virtue.

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Escargot Charlotte
with Chanterelles and Lettuce Sauce
2005 Luis Pato Baga ‘vinhas velhas’
Bairrada Portugal

Thin, buttery bread encased tender snails.  Very fitting to pair them with lettuce sauce.

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Seared Foie Gras with Verjus Sauce
2007 Chateau de Malle Sauternes
Bordeaux, France

Perfectly prepared foie gras on creamy polenta, an homage to Paul Bocuse.
Accompaniments of apple and crispy potato shards 

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Lemon-Rosemary Sorbet
Olive Oil Powder added a note of interest

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Beef Oxtail Braised in Big Rock Black Amber
Alberta Beef Tenderloin with Marrow Crust
Ramps and Fiddleheads
2007 Pago Aylés ‘tres de 3.000’
Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet
Carinena, Spain

The potato croquette was stuffed with morelles.  This was a rich and satisfying dish, without pushing the diner over the brink of satiation.

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An Salad of ORGANic Greens and Hearts

The “hearts” were artichoke.    Garnish included crispy chicken skin (the largest organ of any body), tomato dust and tomato sponge.

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Pistachio Gelato with Morello Cherry Sorbet
And Vanilla Semifreddo
Luis Pato Maria Gomes Sparkling White
Bairrada, Portugal
Beautifully presented, delicious, just the right, light touch

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Cheese Sideboard
2000 Quinta de Ventozelo Porto
Douro, Portugal

The generous sideboard of wonderful cheese provided the perfect opportunity for Members to socialize after this wonderful dinner.

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Just before rising from the table to enjoy the bounty of the Cheese Sideboard, Bailli Regional Mark Wilson was pleased to give accolades to all involved.  Plates were presented to Sous Chef Darren Mitchell, and Dining Room Supervisor William Wong.  The Calgary Bailliage is grateful to Chef Vincent Parkinson, not only for the wonderful events he plans and executes, but for his continuing contributions to our organization as a National Council member and active, enthusiastic participant.

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