Sunday, December 15, 2013
Anticipation of the hospitality of The Banff Centre, and the excellence of the table presented by our hosts Executive Chef Beat Hegnauer, Director of Food and Beverage Michael Langlois, and their outstanding staff, was the perfect antidote to the effects of winter, as we creep down the dark tunnel toward the Solstice. The snow was softly falling outside the wall of windows in the Husky Great Hall, but inside we were cozy and warm. The new buildings at The Banff Centre are cleanly modern in design, and fully showcase the beauty of their surroundings.
We began the evening by welcoming new members through the ceremony of Intronization, both to the Chaine, and to l’Ordre Mondial.
Bailli Delegue for Canada David Tetrault reminded us of the origins of our organization. He began the proceedings with two special awards. Carol Buchanan, Vice-Conseiller Gastronimique Honoraire, was awarded the Bronze Star in recognition of the strong contribution she has made to our local Council, and to the Bailliage as a whole. Ossie Treutler was awarded Officier Commandeur designation to mark 30 years of continuous membership.
New members rose to swear their oath, and be recognized individually.
Vice-Echanson Patricia Koyich administered the oath and intronization of new members to l’Ordre Mondial. Vive la Chaine! Vive l’Ordre!
We moved to the reception area to celebrate, make new friends and visit with old ones. The room was cheerily lit, with novel tables that changed color every time someone set down their glass.
We were offered a refreshing Gin and Tonic, flavored with rosemary, or festive Mulled Wine that scented the room with Christmas spices. Hors d’oeuvres included Scallop Ceviche, Parsnip “Bark”, and Brie “Lollipops”, all festively presented.
The Dining Room glittered with crystal, silver and candlelight. Elegant snowflakes were suspended from the ceiling, and as if on cue, elegant snowflakes began to fall outside the wall of windows.
On the off-chance that we might need a little something before, during or after, a bowl of candied almonds graced each table.
Through the evening, we enjoyed eleven courses of delicious dishes representing some of the best food that Canada has to offer. The culinary team sent out delight after delight, perfectly timed, perfectly hot or cold as required, a delight to the eye and to the palate. The youthful service brigade performed their duties with polish and professionalism, graciously attending to the diners needs. Wines had been chosen with care, and we enjoyed a variety of excellent selections.
Wild Mushroom Terrine,
Broxburn Red Pepper Coulis, Olive Cream,
Trimbach, Pinot Gris Réserve
Alsace, France, 2009
Bone Marrow Arancini, Black Truffle Sauce,
Chicken Liver Mousse
Red Beet Soup, Crème Fraiche Ravioli
Darjeeling Black Tea Marinated Sable Fish
Banff Centre Grown Micro Mizuna, Sweet Orange Jelly
La Frenz, Viognier
Naramata, BC, Canada, 2012
Wheat Grass Caesar and Pineapple
Duo of Creamed English Peas and Sun Chokes,
Butter Poached Lobster, Uni Emulsion, Tarragon Salt
Bourgogne, France, 2010
Crispy Local Duck, Foie Gras Glaze,
Sweet Potato Dauphine, Caramelized Romanesco
Côtes de Nuits-Villages, France, 2010
Ice of Tomato and Gordon’s Gin
Alberta Elk Tenderloin, Paradise Valley Pork Belly,
Sweet Mustard Pickle, Beans, Greens, and Legumes
Le Clos des Cazaux, Gigondas Reserve,
Prestige, France, 2009
Tête de Moine, Saint Honoré, Ermite
Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Tawny Port
Canella, Prosecco Superiore
As Bailli Régional Mark Wilson rose to commend everyone involved in the evening’s enjoyable events, praise was expressed for each and every course, as members tried to choose favorites from the lavish array. The beauty and delicacy of the terrine, the lusciousness of the arancini, the delight of the beet chip garnishing the soup and its tender raviolo, the perfectly prepared Sable Fish, the surprise of the wheat grass shooter and pineapple sphere, the perfection of the lobster, the deliciousness of the duck, the tenderness of the elk, the cleverness of the “Christmas Pudding”, and so many of the details of each plate … this was a dinner that would be remembered, reviewed and revered as one of the best of Chaine events. We admired elegant details, like the unusual tomato ice, and cheese served at the perfect temperature. The Banff Centre sets the bar very high for perfect presentation, precise timing and seamless service.
Echanson Honoraire Roger Baekeland added his congratulations to our hosts and their staff. Plates were awarded to Dining Room Supervisor Kyeokjin Kwon for exceptional service, and Sous Chef Santosh Sahoo.
Amid wishes to each other for holiday cheer, we were happy to recall a full year of excellent events and fellowship, and anticipate a new year filled with continued celebration of excellence of the table, and the camaraderie of la Chaine.