December 17, 2011

Diner Amîcal,  Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel – December 17, 2011,

“Christmas at the Springs” is a fond tradition for the Calgary Chaine, dating back to earliest days.  Many members can remember attending with their families, collecting the menu plates and memories of wonderful events in the castle-like surroundings that are especially enchanting in the wintertime.  We were grateful to be there once again, hosted by Francisco Gomez and Marcus Trepnauer, to enjoy a memorable feast under the direction of Executive Chef Martin Luthi.

The evening began with recognition of long-time members, honoring those who had made special contributions, and Intronization of new members.
Sean Ellis
Executive Chef, Westin Hotel, Maitre Rotisseur

Robert Scott Fedosoff
Executive Chef, Il Sogno,Maitre Rotisseur

Andrew Hewson
Chef, SAIT, Chef Rotisseur

Toni-Marie Ion-Brown
Calgary Petroluem Club, Maitre  Restaurateur

Daniel Koyich
Chevalier

Oliver Reynaud
Owner, Rouge,Maitre Restaurateur

Joseph Scorgie
Chevalier

Michael Wiegele
Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, Maitre Hotelier

Patrica Koyich was promoted to Vice Echanson
Mark Wilson was promoted to Vice Chancelier
Mel Miners was promoted ot Vice Chancelier Argentier
Valli Arlette was installed as Charge de Presse

A champagne reception followed.  A fine Moet Chandon was enjoyed with hot hors d’oeuvres that included a mini Beef Wellington, a pesto pastry, and a phyllo roll filled with lobster, as well as an assortment of beautiful cold canapés.

The room was beautifully decorated in the Fairmont Banff Springs motif of rich red ornaments in evergreen garlands, accented with tiny white lights.  Stevens Hall was graced with the traditional Christmas tree, elegantly in proportion to the room.  The tables were set with sparkling silver and crystal, gold colored chargers, centerpieces of white flowers with Christmas greenery, and candles in pressed glass votives.

Dinner began with an amuse bouche of Rainbow Trout gravlax with sea greens and sea foam.  One tasty bite evoked an ocean of flavor, and set the stage for the meal.

A ravioli of Noble Farms duck, set on celeriac puree and duck bolognaise, accented with espresso and black truffle was a remarkable savory dish.  It was paired with David Bruce Pinot Noir, California, 2008 to good effect.

An interesting salad of pickled chanterelles, mandarin orange segments, thin shards of chestnut cracker and micro mizuna greens on cranberry honey was paired with Kruger-Rumpf “Kapellenberg” Reisling, Kabinett, Nache, Germany, 2009.

Mulled wine granite with candied orange and rose champagne cleansed the palate.

The main was a beautiful rare chop of Alberta Red Deer, set on a bed of baby rice beans and long-braised deer shank, accompanied by Charlotte potatoes and a hint of smoked maple syrup.  Cedar Creek Platinum Meritage, Okanagan Valley, Canada, 2006 paired well with the venison.

An attractive plate with Le Ripoelle de L’Isle, Brie De Maux, and Le Chevre Noir cheeses was accented with rich date jam, a hand-crafted rye cracker and house dried fruit.  Tess Parker Viognier, Santa Ynez Valley, USA, 2008 was an enjoyable companion to the cheeses.

Dessert featured a Pipers Port poached pear, perched on a square of chocolate, supported by a citrus cake filled with spiced custard, decorated with an elegant crisp pear chip.  Gingerbread ice cream finished the plate.  A Taylor 10 year Tawny Port was a special treat.

A beautiful display of pulled sugar in icy blue with sugar snowflakes supported truffles to complete the meal.

Bailli Cindy Findlay praised the excellent white-glove service that had made the evening seamless and presented plates.

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