October 2, 2010

l’Ordre Mondial – The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – October 2, 2010

Today, we did a noon-hour tasting of sake, followed by a demonstration of the construction of sushi and sashimi.  The event started with Bryce Koates of Willow Park who did a review of four very different sakes.

We started with a sparkling sake – Indigo Wind’s Junmai.  It is a nice aperitif.  Should be consumed cold and relatively quickly, as the sparkles are provided by the addition of sparkling water to the rice”wine”.  The result is a 6% alcoholic beverage.

his was followed by another Junmai, this one a still sake from Sho Chiku Bai.  “Junmai” means that the alcohol only came from the brewing process, with no added alcohol spirit to make up the alcohol content.  This was a very good entry level sake, simple and easy drinking.

The third sake was an unfiltered beverage.  It also came from Sho Chiku Bai and called “Nigori”.  Because of the lack of filtration, it was very cloudy.  It was also much sweeter and more viscous than the previous two.  Apparently, because of the yeast, it is able to mitigate the heat of wasabi or other very hot spices.

Finally, we tasted a draft sake from Hakutsuru.  This beverage is meant to be consumed cool rather than warm.  It is a very refined drink which is reflected from the 70% polishing of the rice grains.

From here we wandered into another part of the Tom Wilson Dining Room to experience the sushi demonstration.  At this point, our Bailli decided to take over camera duties for a short while to ensure that yours truly showed up in at least a couple of shots.

From here, Chef Felix Pfister and Chef Duncan Ly proceeded to show us the fine art of Sushi preparation along with a bit of sashimi for good measure.  They carefully explained the intricacies of the preparation methods.

First, there was the preparation of the rice and its desired consistency or stickiness.  Then, they discussed the slicing of the fish and sometimes meats that are used with the rice.  Two types of fish were used for the demonstration – salmon and tuna.

Finally, they demonstrated the correct methods of rolling the dish into the correct size.  As the demonstration continued, we were treated to their artistry and also to the dishes that they prepared.

At one point, Chef Felix prepared some deep fried lightly tempura-battered shrimp which were absolutely done to perfection.  At the end, Chef Duncan prepared sashimi (thin sliced fish accompanied by wasabi).  It was such a wonderful way to have lunch.

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