December 13, 2012

Diner Amîcal
The Highwood Dining Room

December 13, 2012

The Calgary Bailliage has strong ties with SAIT Polytechnic, the host site for the annual Jeunes Commis Rotisseurs competition.  Many members of our Bailliage are alumni of the programs of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism, having graduated from the Professional Cooking Program or the Hospitality Management Program.  Paul Mastalir, one of our longest-standing members, was integral in the establishment of these programs.  His daughter, Cindy Findlay, Academic Chair of Culinary Programs, graciously hosted our Christmas Diner Amîcal at the Highwood Dining Room as the final function in her official capacity as Bailli.  This was a special evening for the current students who prepared and served our fine dining experience:  many will have graduated before this report is posted.  Trading on alumnus status, the following behind-the-scenes peek was obtained.

Dinner at the Highwood is always notable for the details, and this occasion was no exception.  Greeted by cheerful young Chefs roasting chestnuts over coals at the front door, and enticed up the stairs by the voices of a caroling quintet to a beautifully decorated dining room, the scene was set for a festive evening.

As members and guests gathered, Champagne and Hors d’Oeuvres were passed.

Turkey pate en croute, Brassica Cran Mustard; Confit Pork Belly, Granny Smith Apple Tart;
Duck Liver Mousse, Smoked Duck, Cherry Gelee; Eggnog Custard, Gingerbread Crisp
Louis Roederer Champagne n/v

When the diners were seated, the evening began with the formalities of Intronization.  Herve Collett and Beat Hegnauer were honored with Commandeur pins for their long-standing membership.

 Incoming Bailli Mark Wilson was intronized, along with four new members.

Intronization into l’Ordre Mondial was also conducted.

The menu featured the most carefully chosen and beautifully prepared food we have ever enjoyed at The Highwood.  All the Chef-Instructors who participated in the creation of this menu deserve our admiration and grateful thanks for a meal that featured some of the best products available to us in Calgary, carefully prepared and creatively presented.  Throughout the evening, the students were a credit to their training, providing careful and attentive service.  Patricia Koyich skillfully oversaw the evening’s wine service, guiding a young service staff in professional attention to detail.

Milligan’s Wharf Cherry Stone Clams
Briased Burdock Root, Dashi Jelly, Venturi Schulze Vinegar
Granville Island Junmai Sparkling Sake

Port Simmons Spot Prawns
Seamless Ricotta Ravioli, Camelina Oil, Broxburn Tomatoes
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio, Italy, 2011

Northern Divine White Sturgeon
Saffron Beurre Blanc, Beluga Lentils, Leek Fondue, Schinkenspeck Powder
Joseph Faiveley, Borgogne, France, 2012

Carbonated Mandarin Orange
Mint Syrup

Potato Wrapped Squab Breast and Foie Gras
Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Mulled Cranberries, Pistachio Dust
Illuminatii “Riparosso”, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy 2010

Brown Butter Poached Venison Loin
Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Beets, Wild Huckleberries
M. Chapoutier Les Meysonniers, Crozes-Hermtage, France 2009

Poplar Grove Tiger blue Cheese
Pancetta Wrapped Quince, Spiced Nuts
Fonseca Late Bottle Vintage Port, Portugal, 2007

Pear Tart and Milk Chocolate Chestnut Cream
Chai Latte, Milk Jam Ice Cream


Incoming Bailli, Mark Wilson, expressed our collective praise for the excellence and enthusiasm shown by everyone involved in the evening.  Plates were presented by Bailli Regional Cindy Findlay and Bailli National David Tetrault to Maitre’d Alita Brown, and Chef Scott Pohorolic for their exceptional contributions.  We are so fortunate to have enjoyed the hospitality of SAIT Polytechnic for our Christmas celebration this year.

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