Dîner Amical, The Highwood

Thursday November 24, 2016

Juergen Bahr, Vice-Chancellier Argentier Honoraire

What is not to like and wonder at than our annual Dîner Amical at the Highwood Dining Room part the centre of all culinary evolution in Calgary, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, School of Hospitality and Tourism.  It is an honour for us to experience the passion and dedication of the staff and the students as they endeavour to create an outstanding dining experience for us.

A special dedication was given at this dinner to Paul Mastelir, one of the founders of this recognized outstanding program.

We assembled at the given hour in the Highwood Dining Room for a pre-dinner reception where we were served with wonderful appetizers and a welcome glass of bubbly.


Bailli Mark Wilson welcomed us to the dinner, introduced the guests and reminded us that there are certain rules and conventions to be followed at a Chaine Dîner Amical.  We then were seated and awaited this evening’s culinary experience.

Course 1
Scallop and Northern Divine Caviar
2012 Rosier Cuvee L Brut, Cremant de Limoux, Languedoc, France

Course 2
European Bass, Northern Bean “Cassoulet”, Roasted Mushrooms, Foie Grass Emulsion, Herb Crumble
2014 Bodegas Felix Callejo, el Lebrero, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon, Spain

Course 3
Pear and Beet

Course 4
Roasted Squab, Parsnips, Brioche Bread Pudding, Quince, Natural Jus
2013 Joseph Jewell, Pinot Noir, Russian River, California, USA

Course 5
Dry Aged Striploin, Mushroom Crust, Braised Oxtail, Sherry Jus
Brown Butter Pomme Puree, Carrot Terrine, Savoy Cabbage
2011 Agricola la Torre, Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

Course 6
Toffee Tart Tatin, Mini Crème Brulee and Citrus Ice Cream
2008 Weingut Wolf, Eckelsheimer Eseltreiber Scheurebe Eiswein, Rheinhessen, Germany

Twice Baked Comte Souffle
2003 Messias, Colheita Port, Douro, Portugal

And then this wonderful feast was done.  Bailli Wilson then asked for quiet to give the accolades.  He emphasized again the passion and desire to please of the Service Brigade made up of students in their third week of classes.  What a wonderful learning experience for them.

That the food was fresh, exciting and innovative was no easy feat as this is really a learning evening for the kitchen of young aspiring student chefs.  Bailli Wilson insisted that it was on par with any establishment we regularly experience and then went on to mention certain dishes and their special charms.  It was a great experience as always, it has never been disappointing and will point the young students into the right direction in the future career.

As it is the custom two plates were presented.  Patricia Koyich accepted the plates for the Service Brigade so expertly lead by Darwin Ens and Ross Robinson, Maître d’s.

Chef Steven Lepine accepted the plate for the Kitchen Brigade, which was supported by Chefs Simon Dunn, Andrew Springett and Victoria German.

It was as always a wonderful evening, full of company of the table, excellent service and just outstanding food.  Vive La Chaine.

Bailli Wilson then bid us a fond good bye, as always reminding us to find a safe way home.  And munching the served wonderful chocolates and our complimentary hot chocolate mix and marshmallows we left to brave the wonderful Calgary weather.


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