October 5-7, 2012

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Thanksgiving Weekend, October 5, 6, and 7, 2012

Norman Mastalir, Managing Director of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, graciously hosted a Thanksgiving Weekend of camaraderie and dining excellence for the Calgary Bailliage.  Over the years, no matter where Norm was in the world, he has invited our Baillage to enjoy his hospitality, and we have been overjoyed to accept.  Thanksgiving at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge was a featured family event while he was there.   Easter in Bermuda introduced us to tropical delights at the Fairmont Southampton.  This year we enjoyed the bounty of British Columbia at Whistler, with an outstanding Diner Amîcal featuring the best of Canadian wines and the finest local delicacies.  No one throws a party like Norm!

Preceeding the Diner Amîcal, Bailli Délégué David Tetrault was pleased to present Norman with a pin honoring his 30 years as a Chaine member.  His continuous, outstanding dedication to the ideals of the Chaine, and the excellence in service he encourages in every establishment with which he has been involved, cannot be praised highly enough.  We are pleased to recognize his demonstration of the values of the fellowship of la Chaine des Rotisseurs world-wide.


Friday Evening Reception

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler is itself a beautiful venue, but for the Friday reception, our members were whisked to a nearby private home of breathtaking beauty.  We were greeted at this palatial log structure by our host, Norman Mastalir, and his family, and treated to an evening of varied and delicious small plates prepared by Executive Chef Vincent Stufano and his staff.  This was a wonderful, relaxing evening of visiting and catching up with old friends, nibbling, pool playing, and the very entertaining “shot-skis”.

Thanksgiving weekend in Whistler features the “Turkey Sale”, a ski equipment sale of blow-out proportions.  Coupled with a Farmer’s Market that filled the walkway with tasty treats, artwork and crafts, daily strolls were filled with things to see, do, and sample.  Bicycles were available at the hotel for those who wished to venture further.  Many took advantage of the gondolas in search of the perfect overview.  Mountain bikers, armour-protected to prevent injuries, were easily identified in the crowds, which were also peppered with skate-boarders, long-boarders, and tykes on scooters.  The weather was glorious, and everything was bustling.  Although the hotel’s spa and pool were under renovation, the lap pool and hot tubs were available, and those who needed pampering were able to have massages and esthetic services.  On Sunday, a shotgun-start golf tournament had been arranged, and foursomes enjoyed a beautiful day, with prizes awarded at the following Barbecue buffet.


Diner Amîcal

This event was the jewel of the weekend.  The ballroom was beautifully decorated, reflecting a garden at the height of late-summer beauty.  The piano stylings of Tim Moss were enjoyed throughout the evening.  The reception, with several choices of wine, featured two hors d’oeuvres:  a spoon-sized arancini on fresh tomato sauce, and tuna tartare with a zippy backnote.

A celebration of the best of the region, Executive Chef Vincent Stufano and Somellier Benjamin Bureau gave us an overview of the menu and wine pairings that reflected their enthusiasm and expertise, contributing to the pleasant anticipation of the diners.

Basil Fed Escargot Lollipop
garlic purée
Blue Mountain Brut, Stripe Label, Okanagan Falls, British Columbia

Licorice & Red Beet Cured Salmon, Northern Divine Caviar
pavé of pickled beets, Schramm vodka
2011 Tantalus Riesling, Kelowna, British Columbia

Qualicum Bay Scallop & Braised Berkshire Pork Belly
black lentils, pink champagne sauce
2011 Joie Farm Rosé, Naramata, British Columbia

Partridge Breast
roasted on a wood broiler with grilled spring onion, BC wild chanterelles,
sorrel salad, olive oil & kabosu juice vinaigrette
2010 Robin Ridge Gamay, Similkameen, British Columbia

Foie Gras Bar
brown sugar pumpkin purée, truffle & celery salad, spiced pumpkin seed cracker
2008 Poplar Grove Cabernet Franc, Naramata, British Columbia

Green Apple Sorbet, Apple Dust

Pemberton Lamb
loin of lamb, olive oil & rosemary biscuit-crusted croquet of lamb breast,
sage & niçoise olive lamb sausage, white bean & apricot sauce
2009 Painted Rock Red Icon, Penticton, British Columbia

Cherry Wood Smoked Montana Cheese
walnut crisp, cherry relish
2010 Quails Gate Optima, Kelowna, British Columbia

Quince Cannelloni
coffee ice cream, chocolate crumbs, yogurt foam
2009 Jackson-Triggs Riesling Ice wine, Oliver, British Columbia

Candy Tray
marshmallow, nougatine, caramel, cherry chocolate, financier, madelaine

Service throughout was professional, attentive and friendly.  The presentation of the courses in military style, including the wines, demonstrated the attention to detail and training that marks an outstanding establishment.  Bailli Cindy Findlay, with the assistance of Bailli Delegue David Tetrault, was pleased to present plates to Executive Chef Vincent Stufano, Director of Conference Services and Catering Kourtney McKercher, and Maitre d’ Jason Silvanis.


Sunday Barbeque

We gathered at the Golf Club for a final feast.  This event was open to all family members.  It was wonderful to see the parents, children and grandchildren of our members at this bountiful barbeque buffet, which included the Thanksgiving Turkey we were all craving.

The winners of the Sunday Golf Tournament were announced, and it was no surprise that many of the awards were garnered by the “Junior Chaine” members, whose youth and enthusiasm were their certain advantage.  The more distinguished (senior) members had to satisfy themselves with picture-perfect weather on a superb course – reward enough for most!

Longest Drive:  Mark James and Sarah Mastalir
Closest to the Pin:  Christophe Penalva and Alice Mastalir
Longest Putt:  Peter Findlay
Best Team Score:  Jason Mastalir, Mark James, Sarah Mastalir and Melissa Findlay

The Calgary Bailliage is very thankful that Norman Mastalir and his team were willing to host the Calgary Bailliage for a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend.  From the perfect weather to the last bite of pumpkin pie, we all had a lot to be grateful for.

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