July 13, 2010

l’Ordre Mondial Event – The Ranchmen’s Club, Calgary – July 13, 2010

Our summer l’Ordre Mondial event was held on Tuesday, July 13 at the Ranchmen’s Club – half-way through the annual Calgary Stampede and Exhibition.  This is a 10-day celebration during which time, Calgary returns to its Western Heritage roots.  Traditionally, this time of the year features blue skies and temperatures abound 30°C.  So we had planned on an outdoor reception, barbeque buffet at the Ranchmen’s, followed by a bus trip to the Stampede grounds to watch the chuck wagon races, the Grandstand show and the fireworks display.  Unfortunately, the prelude to our event occurred the previous afternoon.  A storm, featuring golf ball-sized hail, accompanied by high winds and much rain swept across the city.

The ensuing aftermath saw severe damage to property.  Then, all day Tuesday, rain continued to inundate the city.  The temperature reached a high of 26°C.  First, our outdoor venue was switched to indoors and then we found that for the first time in the history of the Stampede (actually, the second time – the last one being in 1927), the evening entertainment was called off, due to flooding of the track and safety issues regarding the fireworks.

And so, we held our event in the Bennett Salon.  The reception was done in proper Western tradition for the beverages, with a twist for the hours d’oeuvres.  Our beer was Okanagan Springs Pale Ale – reputed to be British Columbia’s most popular craft beer, while a second, and perhaps more popular choice, were Margaritas made with Cazadores Reposado tequila.  Patrick Dyck, the amiable man-of-many-duties at the Ranchmen’s Club was in charge of the bar for the reception.

Hours d’Oeuvres from Kenneth which consisted of:

  • Willy Krauch Smoked Salmon on Dill & Lemon Cream Cheese and Danish Pumpernickel garnished with Red Onion and Capers
  • St. Simon Fresh Shucked Oysters from New Brunswick in Grey Goose Vodka Shots
  • Spicy Spanish Gazpacho with Yogurt Cucumber & Dill Granite
  • House Made Porcini Mushroom and Spinach Ravioli on a Tomato & Herb Jus

Entertainment in the western theme was provided by guitarist Bobby Wills.

The educational component of the evening was the proper nosing and tasting of Tequila.  Mark’s special tasting notes for Anejo grade tequila are found by clicking here.

There was a short pause in the rain and so the members dashed outside for a group YAHOO!!! in front of the Indian Tee-Pee.  A few members paused briefly as they passed the Bar BQ grill to admire the signature veal chops being grilled to Chef’s perfection – tender, juicy and ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!

Dinner was served buffet-style from the Cochrane Lounge.  The main table held an unbelievable array of goodies:

  • The vegetable selection was enhanced Stampede fare:
    • Lyonnaise Potatoes
    • BBQ Kidney Beans
    • Corn on the Cob
  • Then a few “treats”
    • Prairie Oysters (Sweetbreads, as non-Prairie-ites might call them)
    • Ranchmen’s Club Curry Scented Lamb Burgers (OMG – how great can a “burger” be)
    • Grilled Lemon, Garlic & Oregano Chicken (melt-in-your mouth)
    • Herb Grilled Black Tiger Prawns on Brochette with Francisco’s Salsa (absolutely delicious)
  • The “meats”
    • Grilled Rib Eye Steak (you had to be there)
    • Whole Roast Pork Loin (freshly sliced – to die for)
    • Grilled Veal Chops (The absolute hit of the table – my personal fave – see above).

Now, if you managed to survive this table, especially, if it was the first one you hit, then you were in for even more great food.

Four serving stations held numerous salads, tid-bits and vegetable dishes.  The cheese table was a special delight with a multitude of cheeses.  It included, but was not limited to, Blue Stilton, Guinness Cheddar and the renowned Ranchmen’s Aged Club White Cheddar.  Each serving table was graced with a bronze statue in a western theme – some whimsical, some serious.

But Kenneth was not finished – when we returned to the table while doing our first pass at the buffet stations, we found a platter of Nova Scotia lobsters gracing our tables.  They also were absolutely wonderful – tasty, juicy and a hint of sweetness befitting perfect lobster.

Finally, for the sweet teeth in the crowd, there was a magnificent dessert table.  Cakes, pies, cheesecakes, strawberry short cake and candy foams competed for the attention of the guests.  A special tequila (Cazadores Anejo) made a surprisingly good liquid accompaniment to the dessert.  Mark’s special tasting notes for Anejo grade tequila are found by clicking here.

Among the guests at our event, were a few special guests from regions away from Calgary.  Rick and Gail Williams and their three boys of Windsor, Ontario were the guests of David Houghton while John and Pauline Tse of New York were guests of Fong & Norma Seto.  Joe Killeen came over from Malahide, County Dublin of Ireland, “just to attend this event”.  He was the guest of Neil Rooney, the GM & COO of the Glencoe Golf & Country Club.

To round out the evening and to express our appreciation to hosts General Manager David Houghton, Maître Restauranteur and Executive Chef Kenneth Titcomb, Chef Rotisseur, the l’Ordre Mondial choir assembled and sang a rousing rendition of the l’Ordre Mondial song with specially crafted verses for our Ranchmen’s event.  The verses may be read here, while a video clip of the song may be “enjoyed” here.

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