Dîner Amical – Calgary Golf and Country Club
March 15, 2009
Mel Miners, Vice-Chargé de Presse
During a brief respite from the seemingly never-ending winter, Vince Parkinson, Chancelier Bailliage du Canada, managed to find the exact moment to hold our first event of 2009.
The evening started as we entered the CG&CC property. A slow, winding drive through the club grounds, covered in a blanket of pure white snow. A few rabbits with their fur starting to turn brown hopped lazily across the fairway. And then, as we approached the edge of the hill, we could see the club house nestled in the valley below. The sun was still shining and it made a picture post card setting.
The reception was held in the Evergreen Room. It has a beautiful view of the golf course, overlooking the first hole. We were greeted at the top of the entry staircase by a pair of gentlemen holding trays of glasses filled with Duval-Leroy brut. A table of canapés was laid out in front of the picture window. Large martini glasses were filled with house-cured Alberta trout with micro greens and caviar. Accompanying them on the table were biscuits topped with Rabbit Rillette with Wild Rose Jelly. As well, servers passed around the hors d’oeuvres. These consisted of:
- Truffle, bacon and crème fraiche pierogi
- Rohess speck wrapped rabbit loin
- Fresh scallops with bacon fat, maple and mustard vinaigrette
- Quail Egg Benedict with duck proscuitto and sauce maltase
- Smoked malpeque oyster cappuccino
Promptly at 6:30, we were requested to move to the Centennial Dining Room where we were to enjoy another of Vince’s finely hand-crafted theme dinners. This time, the Moon and the Planets were featured as it was the 40th Anniversary of Man Landing on the Moon and as well this is the International Year of Astronomy. The tables were laid with charcoal grey table cloths. The glasses were arranged like spokes on a wheel – or perhaps the sun’s rays, radiating outwards from the striking flower centerpiece.
The first course was a very tasty and elaborately arranged terrine inspired by the moons of Jupiter. Central to the offering was the Terrine complete with a red spot consisting of a round of salmon. The dots of sauce and haricot vert salad represented the moons. The course was accompanied by a glass of Moon Mountain Vineyard’s sauvignon blanc.
Next came the LobSTAR Mousse served on bouillabaisse veloute and accompanied by chateau blagny meursault-mlagny. The mousse was so light, it was almost like the Milky Way. A few edible stars highlighted the sauce.
Perhaps the most visually creative culinary masterpiece was the “Project Y” foie gras ravioli with “Memories of Roswell” on duck confit. We were forced to sip this down with a bit of Merryvale Pinot Noir Carneros. Such a task!
After a short break, the lights dimmed and went out. Obviously, Vince had something special planned for the fourth course. The wait-staff then emerged each carrying a crescent ice moon ingeniously lit from below with a tiny LED. This contained the salad “In the Shadow of the Moon”. It was a salted cone stuffed with petite greens which sat on top of a scoop of sorbet made with peach Vinaigrette, rohess speck and pineapple – absolutely delightful – both visually and tasty. The empty crescent then made an interesting spoon holder once the ice had melted a bit.
The main course was entitled “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon”. A central Sun of Pine Terra Farms organic beef striploin was surrounded by the fresh vegetables and potato representing the planets. Obviously, Vince was on the forefront of the planet size controversy, as Pluto seemed to be missing. However, a large comet blazed across a large portion of the “sky”. Cleverly accompanying this course was the StarLane ‘Astral’ Cabernet Sauvignon from Santa Ynez Valley.
The dessert was the Northern Lights cookies and a Cappuccino and white chocolate-orange mousse served on the white Canadian Tundra – a most difficult course to capture with a camera. This was paired with Symington’s 1997 Quinta do Vesuvi vintage port.
To complete the wind-down of the meal, a lovely tray of petite fours appeared on the tables. However, your Vice Chargé de Presse started to become lax at this point in the evening as most of the delights disappeared before they could be captured on ‘film’.
And then most unfortunately, when the cheese dish arrived, it evaporated before anything could be done. It was the Four Phases of Moonstruck Cheese – White Moon, Ash-ripened Camembert, Blue Moon and White Grace.
My thanks to Vince as Executive Chef; Jim Sherlock, Executive Manager; Steven Lepine and James Wang Sous Chefs; Mikyung Lee, Pastry Chef; Krys Galaszkievicz, Dining Room Manager and Josie Siemak, Assistant Dining Room Manager and all the staff for making this such a memorable evening. The plate recipient this evening was Pastry Chef Mikyung Lee. In all, it was a perfect way to start our 2009 events. I should like to add, as a bit of a postscript, that among the guests were Terry and Bonnie Lepine – Steven’s parents.