Sunday, November 28, 2010

Some things we are working with this week

I happened to be early for a cocktail party yesterday in Rockliffe Park. Not wanting to be ridicualously early, I stopped at a little food shop on Beechwood. Jacobsons was a really nice little shop. Tons of preserves, jams, chutneys and the like. They also had a decent cheese counter, with lots of nice products available. Not wanting to leave without something new to play with, I picked up some Wild blueberry syrup, Lime vinegar, and sloe and apple gin jelly. These should produce some fantastic new sauces, but we shall have to see what I can come up with.
I happen to be partial to Gin and tonics, and have been working on a gin and tonic bite for what seems like forever. Have had a few successes, but they were too similar to ones I had already seen. With the apple jelly, some new avenues of thought have been opened. I am now thinking and appple based bite with overtones of gin and tonic and an effervescent finish is now possible. Anyone have green apple pop rocks, or better yet, neutral flavoured ones I can mess with....
On the way home from the set up of the party. Yes I set up just about every party, and then leave the servers. I stopped at the LCBO for some ice wones and late harvest vidals. I turn these into our ice wine bite. In this case two different versions. Ice wine is not a cheap raw ingredient, and as such produces a fairly expensive little bite. But I am working on a way to extend the flavor profile without diluting the taste. Expensive experiments, but someones gotta try it.
IF you'd like to try an ice wine bite, why not attend Cycle Logiks, Rumour has it, art sale. Everyone purchasing a piece of art will receive an ice wine bite. Sorry if you don't buy one, but you can't have one. So don't ask. I will though have several other contemporary bites out to nosh while you drink.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nov. 26th Dinner

So with only a short time available to put this dinner party together, I decided that posting the menu here is probably the easiest way.


Kataifi wrapped shrimp with fermented black bean and tomato
Fois gras mousse profiterole
Pork belly confit with Maple BBQ sauce frosting

Roasted beet with blue cheese mosaic, candied walnuts, arrugula

Seared salmon with fois gras and black trumpets, braised leeks

Duck confit, pomme salardaise, swiss chard, cranberry

Beef tenderloin, smoked pomme puree, cepes, chipotle honey

Flourless chocolate cake, smoked oreo, vanilla custard ice cream, cherry

Ice wine bite with raspberry and mastic

$85.00 per person

We can do a wine pairing or allow you to bring suggested wines. This will be decided amongst those who reserve a seat.

Please email : or twitter to @chefjayl

Only 10 seats available. Booking needs to be completed by Friday Nov17 for this meal to go forward.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quick Moroccan Beef Stew

I get asked all the time for quick family friendly meals. Till now, I haven't really given much thought to it. But all things change given time. Today while doing all kinds of chores that needed attention, the boys and their friend demanded some food. Looking around, I realized I was going to need to make something. What am I to make?
Looking around the fridge I found some beef tenderloin scraps from jobs at work, black olives (the good one that are sun dried with orange zest), chickpeas, stock, basil, and some misc. veg.
Ok how fast can I take these ingredients and make something really tasty and healthy. Settled. Moroccan beef stew on cous cous. The prep is simple enough. Chop your veg into 1/2-3/4" pieces. Cut beef into 3/4" cubes. Measure out your dry and liquid measures for cous cous. Get it all together in one place. Biggest mistake people make is not to have all prep (or mise en place if you prefer) together before they start cooking. So you will need:

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 pounds beef tenderloin I use the "CHAINE" or the scrappy part running the length of the tenderloin
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
4 roasted garlic cloves, whole (from the tomato sauce)
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup basic tomato sauce (recipe follows)
1 1/2 cups beef or chicken broth
1/2 cup halved pitted sun dried black olives with orange zest
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
3 green onions sliced thinly
2 tbsp chiffonade of basil

Sear the beef in 2 tbsp olive oil till nicely browned on all sides. PLEASE, don't put it all in the pan at once. Divide it up so you never crowd the pan. If you crowd the pan the meat will reduce the temp of said pan, and you won't be searing, you'll be boiling.
Remove the meat to a plate and season with salt and pepper. Pour off the oil and replace with last tbsp of oil. Saute onions, peppers, celery, and garlic cloves over med heat. When it starts to brown add chickpeas and spices. Cook for another minute or so, till you smell the fragrance of the spices. Then add both the tomato sauce and the broth. Raise the heat a bit and cook till the pan is almost void of liquid. Pour back the meat into pan along with raisins and olives and green onions.
Place cous cous on plate. I am not going to tell you how to cook cous cous today. So let's assume you know. Or you purchased a box of it with a recipe. Spoon some of the stew over and put a pinch of basil on each.
Enjoy. My kids did, and most importantly, so did I. Really tasty.

Tomato sauce: (this is the basic sauce I have been making for 10yrs)

4 can whole tomatoes (pref. San Marzano)
1 head garlic peeled
About 2 cups good quality olive oil. (you can decide how much you like. I like it greasy)
Salt pepper and sugar.

In a pot crush tomatoes with your hands. NOt too much or too little. You'll figure out what you like best. Taste the tomatoes and adjust for their sweetness or lack there of. I use no less than4 tbsp and no more than 6 or so of sugar. Pinch (good pinch) salt and pepper.
Cook on low for about 2.5 hrs
In a small pot place garlic cloves and oil. Cook on low heat till garlic is soft and oil is infused. If the garlic is brown or God forbid darker. Throw it out and start again. This time use low heat. People always get this part wrong. And yet it is so easy. Oh well.
When the garlic has infused the oil, pour most of it in to the tomato sauce and continue cooking till done. I usually make more oil than I need, as I can now use this for dressing or cooking veg. Cloves of garlic should be kept aside for other recipes, like the one above. Keep in the oil covered in the fridge.

Enjoy, this tomato sauce is the basis for so many dishes we make. You will make it all the time. And really it is so easy and basically cooks itself.


Last week while doing some errands and popping in to Rainbow Foods, I cam across a nice looking dehydrator. I needed a new one, as my previous one was borrowed and no longer with me. To be honest I wasn't overly happy with the previous one, as it was one of the round ones with a big hole in the middle. It just wasn't suitable for the applications I wanted to use it for at the time. Mainly I wanted to make fruit and vegetable based sheets to roll up various ingredients. The hole in the middle proved too daunting to overcome.
So when I saw this flat tray style unit with 6 trays and under $200, I was sold. Right from opening the box we put it to use. I started with some grape tomato halves for a garnish to a bite for the following day. Worked perfect. What next? Well as part of my cravings yesterday, I really needed to make some beef jerky. I had cleaned up a tenderloin the day before for some of our bites, and had a bunch of trim and the "chaine" to use up. Why not slice up what I could and dehydrate it. Not wanting to just use salt and pepper, I rubbed half with our BBQ spice blend and the other got a marinading in soy, garlic, ginger, and chili sauce.
Into the dehydrator it went and about 6 hrs later the dry rubbed beef was done. It took another couple for hours for the marinaded beef to be ready.
Today I am going to raid my neighbors chili garden. They have been drying on the stem for a few weeks now, and if not picked will rot in short order. She has some great chilis to work with and drying them just let's us use them for the rest of the winter.
This unit has worked flawlessly so far. Coming up this week we are going to work funkier applications such as; green tea and yuzu sheet for wrapping up ginger spice cake. And perhaps some savoury vegetable sheets for a new take on Nori and sushi making. We shall see where it all goes. But new equipment usually inspires some new directions and ideas.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Saturday mornings usually start the same way. I go the supermarket to pick up the last remaining items for the nights party. This morning I found myself at Loblaws, and on entering I was hit with the smell of RIBS. I do so love ribs, but these were not smelling so great. Ribs are hard not to be good, but these only made me want to make some, not eat the ones on offer. So what to do? If you're me, you go home and make some ribs.
I have a pretty good smoker at work and a kettle style BBQ for smoking at home. These are my stand byes. I use them a lot. But today I wanted to recreate the ones I had smelled in the morning, only better. So today, baked ribs. Now now, I know we are wading into some pretty opinionated waters here. DO I bake them or braise them? Here is my simple take on that age old question. I want the taste of my pork, in my pork and not in the water in the pot. PERIOD. Now I have had some great tender ribs that were braised or cooked in a crock pot. But really, if you do them right in your oven, they win hands down.
So some basics to follow. Temperature, time and well, LOVE. The first two are pretty easy. An oven temp of 280-300 degrees will be satisfactory. Time, well, depends on your ribs and their size. Baby backs cook faster than say, side ribs. But it really doesn't make a difference. The ribs cook, until they are done. Simple. For the back ribs I had on hand, 3-3.5 hours is probably going to do it. Can't say for 100% certain as they are still in the oven. And killing me by the way, with their olfactory rhapsody. Soon. Soon.
Love. Now this is a bit more difficult. Everyone is different, so all types of love are going to be admissible here. For me, today, love is a rub with a mix of (in no particualr order)
Smoked paprika
Ground chipotles
Garlic powder
Ground cumin
Ground coriander
Ground yellow mustard
Brown sugar
But this mix is by no means the only suitable kind of love. Make sure to experiment, because you never know where love is going to come from.
One thing I find a lot of people forget when dealing with ribs, is the silver skin on the bottom side of the rib. If you bake or smoke with this on, you will end up with ribs that don't quite fall apart as they should. Or have a strange papery substance on the bottom. I have always wondered why the butchers don't automatically take this off. But they don't, so you need to. Easy enough. Take a knife and run it down the middle of your rib, tail to tip. Work your finger under the cut, and pull the silver skin off. Next take your rub and work it well into the ribs. Really massage the love in here. I usually let my ribs sit in the fridge over night with the rub on, but this is optional.
Get the oven going and wrap your ribs in foil tightly. This will help them not burn and slightly steam them at a certain point. At about the 2.5 hr mark, I usually take the foil off. I do this so I can see the ribs, and allow the heat at the end to be a dry heat. With back ribs, they are done when the meat start to pull away from the bones. Seeing white bones means they are done. I will usually take them out of the oven and cool them down. Only to cook them on the BBQ later with a slathering of secondary love, BBQ SAUCE. But today, they are going under the broiler to finish. Ofcourse they are going to get a bit of BBQ sauce just before.
I will post some pics as soon as they come out.
One craving out of the way.
Next up some beef jerky. Not sure why I am craving this today as well, but while the ribs worked, I made up some jerky. They will come out of the dehydrator much later tonight. But damn do I love some good jerky.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wow it's been a while

I never seem to be bale to stay on top of the blog. Like everyone else things come along in life that get in the way of things you want to do. I get told over and over, you have to pay mroe attention to your blog. It's true I do. But what do I give up to do it? Should I not develop that new menu/recipe? Not play with the boys? Maybe let things slide with my personal life? It's a hard balancing act. We all have our miss givings about the things we want to do, but can't. Alas I am no different.
With Christmas coming fast. And a new crop of cooks in the kitchen, I am hoping ot have some more time each day to photograph some of our experiments. Not all are good. and likewise not all are bad. But it is how we develop our new bites and plates. I have also started working on some new service pieces. This I do love to do. But find it is most time consuming.
WE also renovated our kitchen/office. This was in bad need of attention, and we are well underway to completion. Hopefully we will have some pics of the new office as it continues (albeit slowly) towards completion. I do look forward to the day when I will enjoy spending time in my office as much as the kitchen. Also having my office and computer beside the kitchen should make updating the blog and other social media easier, as it will all be right there.
We shall see....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Random food shots

This is what we've been up to lately. Sadly there isn't always time for pictures. Especially when the plating is intricate. But these are some of the plates that went put lately.

Fresh Ricotta

It would seem that I have been bitten by the cheese making bug. Not sure where it came from, but bitten none the less. My neighbor showed up the other day with a liter of raw milk from a friends farm. What to do with this windfall. Well you guessed it, cheese. In particular ricotta. Pretty easy to do and almost instant gratification.
Raw milk into a pot, some lemon juice, a strainer and some cheesecloth, done. I added a bit of salt and some lemon rind for a fresh ricotta that was almost perfect for my tastes.
The first dish I made with it was a free form lasagna with charred green tomato sauce, balsamic reduction, and some lovely wild mushrooms. This was super tasty and not too bad on the eyes either.
Now that I have the bug I have moved on to fresh mozzarella and it's sublime cousin Buratta. Stay tuned for more.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Franken Food Cocktail Party

October 31st. 8pm.
430 Parkdale Ave "The Engine Room"
Cost: $50.00 All inclusive

Come celebrate Halloween with Essence Catering. We will be holding a cocktail part reception featuring "Franken Food".
This may sound outrageous, and it probably will be. We will be creating bites with some serious wow and scare. It will surely be a cocktail party to remember.
Make sure to dress up. No costume, no food for you!

Direct message me on Twitter for your reservation @chefjayl

See you there.....

Monday, August 9, 2010


PIcs from "SMOKE"

Here are the pics from Thursdays dinner. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Smoke Dinner

Ok so here's the rundown of Thursday night's menu: SMOKE. This dinner will be performed by myself and Micheal Hay of the courtyard. We brainstormed last night over a few too many beers and came up with this menu. We do so wish you like it.
Remember this explores smoke as a flavour/aroma/ and a visual cue.


Black tea smoked salmon sashimi with carrot and daikon, lemon and soy

Smoking jacket a la tobacco blackberry


Smoked and seared diver scallop/ avocado mosaic/ margarita/ lime cells


Smoked corn chowder


Vanilla parsnip sorbet with smoked salmon roe


Brined and roasted pork belly/ edamame wonton/ smoked ham hock broth


Smoked and seared duck breast/ smoked fingerlings/ plum/ pistachio/ and scallion


Fruit salad/ many textures and flavours.

It will be held in the courtyard at 430 Parkdale ave. Being that there seems to be a bit if rain in our forecast, we will set up a tent for cover. OUr first dinner of this supper club will be free of charge. If you were lucky to get a seat, well count yourself as lucky. This should be a meal to remember. And a great one tog et the ball rolling on this new venue for myself and Essence Catering. We will not be hosting a bar this time around and will ask all patrons to bring something they would like to share with those attending. I will not be doing a pairing for this one. Rather I would like to see what shows up. Lets keep it light and fun. Also there will be another function on site this evening as some of the artists are part of the walking tour.
Also please keep in mind there is not parking enough for all on site. It would be better to park either on Wellington or at the Parkdale market and walk up. Less than a block. OUr sign will be out front, and you won't miss it.
Also please give Micheal a big thank you on twitter @michealthehay , he deserves it. This was fun to plan. I only hope the implementation is as fun.

See you there,

Friday, July 9, 2010

Blog out loud Ottawa

So the other day, I attended Blog out loud Ottawa, at Irene's pub on Bank St. An event I was attending because one of the "readers" was presenting an article he and his wife wrote for their Blog. To my astonishment the article was written about local chefs who give back to their communities. I had more than a passing byline in this article (or blog post). I was not surprised by the reading as I had been told before that they were going to read this particular piece. Still to hear it was a new experience for me. Let's say it's something you can get used to in a hurry.
We arrived early, to an empty room. It was more than just a little hot, where's the air conditioning? At least we got to choose a great set of seats near the front of the stage. Within about 15min. some bloggers started to show up. And pretty soon we were awash in a sea of bloggers of all types. Funny I didn't really know of anyone who blogged about anything other than food. Is it possible that people use this medium for anything other than food commentary? Well apparently there are those out there with diverse interests and most were not food related. The room was soon overflowing and getting hotter by the minute.
The schedule for the evening was distributed and the bios of each of the readers was scoured thoroughly. Funny, not only do I blog under a few different names (all food related at this time), but I also have become an addict to TWITTER. And to this end I met so many people from this social media venue. It was great to put faces to the avatars or handles. And can you believe it we all still conveyed our messages to each other in 140 characters or less. Ok I just couldn't resist that one.
Some highlights for me this evening were;
Pauline of Brightest blue. Her recounting of art class hell was truly entertaining.
Brie of Capital mom. Her short entitled "close your eyes" touched a spot in my heart and I thank her for that.
Nat from Nat's brain. Her telling of "waspagedon" was very very funny, F-bombs were levied with an alarming frequency, and I truly loved this one.
Foodie Print (Don and Jenn). Well they are the reason I was here. Their post "food and generosity" was a proud moment for me. It is especially nice when someone(s) take notice of what you are trying to help with. They too foster an ideal of community in their blog and twitter personalities, and should be lauded along with the rest of us in the food industry.

Thank you to all for opening my eyes to something so authentic. Everyone's voice was unique and interesting. I will certainly be back next year, and hope to be able to read something of my own. Though I would like to read something non food related, I will have to write some. Hopefully soon.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Random food shots of the week

Some random food shots from this past week. Have not had a lot of time to develop any new dishes lately. Hopefully this week we will be able to work on some new bites.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Keller's Quail in a Jar

Creativity ebbs and flows. And when I am in an ebb or down time, I will go to the bookshelf. From there I grab a book by either Keller, Trotter, Blumenthal, Adria, Achatz, Richards, Mina, and a bunch of others I have. Blindly open the book, and providing I haven't made it before, make it. I have found that this method usually works at breaking the log jam of creativity. When I am really lucky it involves methods or techniques I've never employed.
Such was the case today. Keller's sous vide book provided a new technique. Something I have never done, but have seen in some recipes. Just never thought of actually doing it. Cooking in a mason jar. Sure it's reminiscent of preserving. But oh so different. I started with a quail. Deboned it leaving just the wings and legs intact. Stuffed the cavity with foie gras. Wrapped in cheesecloth and into a mason jar. Filled with duck stock, and cooked at 147 degrees for one hour. I am somewhat worried in that it did cook at 156 degrees for a few minutes during the hour. We'll see the results in a few days. I still need to reduce the cooking stock with port. Add to that some gelatine and make a glaze. Then slice, and hopefully have a beautiful presentation for a cold appetizer.
This cooking method was fun and relatively simple. It also opens up some other avenues. LAtely I have been reading a lot from both Shola (Studio Kitchen) and Alex (ideas in food) as they have been doing lots of different things with mason jar cookery. We'll see if I go down some of their roads. But that's the point of this exercise. Breaking the rut by trying new things.
So once again it seems to have worked. But what will come of it.....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


How happy am I to have received this nice package from "King Of Caviar". Will have to make some fun bites for sure with this.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Nuked Foie Torchon!?!

This was a WTF moment for me. When I first decided to become a caterer and leave the restaurant kitchens, I had no idea how I would make my food "bite" friendly. I read every catering book I could get my hands on. One I really enjoyed was "Bite Sized" by Francois Payard (SP?). IN it he made food that was reminiscent of plated course in small scale. I loved it, and it remains a go to book for me.
In it there is a recipe for foie torchon made in a microwave. PURE BLASPHEMY. This went against my view of foie and how to treat it. But at the end of the day, everything I had made based on this book was great. SO why not try this one as well. Am I glad I did! This makes my life easier for small bites of foie without a lot of hassle. Which helps me bring the cost down.
I start with adeveined lobe of foie. You can marinate it with sauterne if you like. For my presentation on Vday. I chose Amaretto to go with the shortbread and pistachio crumble. Obviously you need some salt as well. This was left in the fridge for 2 hrs. It was then wrapped up in plastic wrap torchon style. Then vacuum sealed (I just used a ziplock emptied of as much air as possible). I allowed this to chill for another hour. Then 40 seconds in the microwave on high. Scariest 40 seconds of the last few weeks for me. And then right into an ice bath.
I can tell you at this moment I still did not know what to make of this recipe. I would not know until the following day, when I began to slice it. The smile on my face was obvious. Silky smooth and beautifully coloured. Phew. was worried.
Here is a repeat pic of the dish from last night. Well worth the trouble of 40seconds in the nuke.
Go on try it. Mess with it and send me a pic. I'll add it here.
I should mention here that a lot of the presentation of this dish was inspired by a dish I saw in the Keller sous vide book.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Scenes from Valentines Menu

These are a couple of the dishes featured in our take home Valentine's meal. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pics and Bites

Fennel and cumin chicken
Celery root and chayote pancake
Creme fraiche

Tasty bite

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Restocking the Pantry

I have always liked to have a fairly well stocked pantry. With it you can always come up with something to cook. And with the right pantry you can take ordinary dishes to the next level with very little effort. Today I restocked chutneys, preserves, jams, and pickles. By taking a little time and humble ingredients you can make condiments that really help to make your dinner shine.

On our list today:

Preserved mushrooms
Kumquat blood orange and long pepper marmalade
Red onion and cranberry jam
Fennel and port jam
Curried grapes
Cippolini jam
Mustard infused raisins
Marinated Lebanese Cukes
Pickled red onions
Preserved Meyer Lemons

All of these make their way onto our corporate and private dinner menus. Our cocktail menus also rely heavily on these condiments. In an easy work day, or at home, you can make decent quantities of these. Most are variations in one form or another from Keller, Chang, Trotter, and Boulud. They have served me well, as I am sure they will for you. I will post some recipes here in coming weeks. Maybe one per week, we'll see. I still have a few newer ones to complete first.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fun ideas to play with

Thes etwo bites are slight variations on two other dishes I saw recently. One being by Grant Achatz. Reen olive, kumquat and akquavit and carraway. Interesting bite. It inspired a similar bite we made with Kumqaut, vodka and Oj cream, limoncello pearls.
And the other is an ice wone gelee with raspberry, and mastic foam and long pepper. Inspired by C food. A cookbook I scanned at the local bookstore. I liked this one quite alot. But I would mess with the Hydrocolloid. My aim is to get mouthfeel but also cuttability. The gelatine based cube is best when left to come close to room temp. Just out of the fridge the gel is too rigid.
Anyhow inspiration continues....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Asparagus, quail egg, duck breast, miso butter

I was leafing through David Chang's book, Momofuku, and saw a recipe I just needed to make. Miso butter. What a great idea. I have been playing with miso and incorporating it into all kinds of different dishes. Right now I am loving Dens Miso, which is just miso mixed with saki, mirin, and sugar. It gets cooked down somewhat for our applications and cooled. I love this stuff. It is just the right mix of salty and sweet. So why not incorporate this into miso butter. Soft but still solid butter is mixed 50/50 with miso. Mixed well so there are no discernable chunks of either component.
For this dish, I wanted to work on an app for an upcoming dinner. I wanted to pair duck and asparagus. So I borrowed much of the concept from Chang's dish. Starting with broiled asparagus, topped with some of our aforementioned puny duck breasts. The miso butter in a quenelle, and the quail eggs just poached.
Very tasty, but for the final dish I think we will change: 1. Better duck breasts obviously. 2. I would change the three quail eggs to a single smallish duck egg. and 3. I would have a mix of white and green asparagus.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chocolate and chili pot de creme

For dessert the other night I prepared some pot de cremes. I make these from a recipe I found online a few years back, and then refined. It is full proof with a nice creamy consistency, with plenty of bite. We served it with chocolate pain perdue, cajeta sauce, and a cinammon bavarois (not seen because I ate it all at the dinner). For this one I have some cocoa nibs and pistachio brittle. What I really love about this bite is this. Each bite of it can be different. You can drag the pain perdu through the caramel with or without the chilis, and then dunk it in the pot de creme. Or any combination thereof. Anyhow seriously good eats.

2 cups whipping cream
1 cup half and half
1 Chipotle chili, seeded
1 Ancho chili, seeded

1/8 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp dark agave nectar
6 1/2 oz dark chocolate (preferably Mexican Ibarra mixed with dark chocolate 50/50)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

sprinkle of smoked paparika

Combine cream, 1/2 and 1/2 and chilis in a pot on med.
Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Let stand 15 min.
Beat eggs, salt and sugar to ribbon till pale and increased in volume.
Strain cream mixture into eggs add agave nectar and vanilla and cook over bain marie for 5 minutes.
Strain into container with chopped chocolate.
Use immersion blender to ensure good mixing and consistency.
Pour into espresso cups.
Pinch of paprika on top of each (but very little).
Makes about 10, based on my espresso cups.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Manhattan Project

Come out and visit us at Wallspace Gallery on January 30th. We will be serving food to compliment Andrew King's (my favourite local artist) newest collection...
Andrew King
The Manhattan Project

January 30 to February 22
Artist Reception: Saturday, January 30, 6-9 p.m.
Wall Space Gallery, Westboro Village

Wall Space Gallery is excited to launch this highly anticipated show, featuring new work by admired Ottawa artist, Andrew King.

"After a busy summer and fall, I needed to recharge the creative batteries and thought there was probably no better place to do that than New York City. Packing a suitcase and without much of a plan, I boarded the historic “Adirondack” train. Having never been to the Big Apple, I arrived at Penn Station on a Friday night with a sketchbook, a pen, and a desire to explore.

Traveling alone is a unique experience that allowed me to do and see things that brought me much inspiration and many ideas for artwork. After a week in Manhattan, I had a great collection of sketches, concepts and emotional connections to a city that changed my life.

The Manhattan Project is a culmination of these ideas and emotions. It is a unique glimpse into my travels to the Big Apple...”

Please join us in celebrating our first show of 2010.

We will be creating food that is inspired by some of his pieces. Be sure to not to miss it.

Jr. tasting menu

By junior I mean the staff. I was called upon by a great family of customers to provide the food for a 40th birthday dinner. The catch. It was important that the kids be a part of the service. Hmmm. That's a new one for em. Most people want to have all the bells and whistles when spending allot of money on dinner. But for this meal the kids were to shine as much as the food. To say I had my reservations would be an under statement, you know working with kids and animals and all that. But I can say it went off really well.
Most of our food is pretty time and temperature sensitive. Over time our service staff has figured out how to get the food to the guests in the most timely manner. That wasn't the case this evening. Food did have a tendency to sit while the wine service was handled. Thankfully this was not a concern to anyone. The show the kids put on for their parents was more important. The last course of the evening, usually our strongest dish, tonight was the weekest. Too much fussing with things not plate related, but still tasty. And really by this time I was caught up in the pageantry of the service and not the food.
The night would not have been the same were it not for one of the younger servers (yes I had a few), Alyssa (sp?). She was the one who anounced each dish. And she did it with flourish. She was also very interested in each of the dishes and how they were made.
Again a really fun meal was had with a group of family that I am really enjoying serving. I wonder what we will be doing next time. Whatever it is I am sure it will be lots of fun.