March 25, 2014

Amazebites at Taste of the Nation

Last night, I had the privilege of attending the Taste of the Nation event at the Fairmont Hotel as a guest of the Manitoba Canola Growers. To say that it was fun would be a ridiculous understatement.

We started out in the VIP room (I know!), with wine, salmon gravlax on buckwheat blinis, tempura shrimp, baked oysters, raw oysters, scallops. It was a great warm-up for the taste-buds and the intimate setting meant that we could all catch up with each other before being unleashed on the wonderful madness of the main room.

Once we were upstairs, chaos ensued. It's hard to describe - imagine table after table of beautifully presented one- two- and three-bite treats offered up by some of the city's coolest chefs. Ok, ALL of the city's coolest chefs. There was everything from cold-pressed fruit juice (delicious) to beef tartare (did not sample) and about a bazillion wines and spirits to wash it all down. And - breaking news - the big story of the night seemed to be fish, followed closely by beets.

 - Pizzeria Gusto's little eco-spoons - arctic char nestled in with little jewel-toned bits of yumminess (above)
 - Chew's lobster/shrimp tacos - in beet chip "shells"! (above)
 - Diversity's house-made ricotta and avocado on grilled bread with an anchovy on top (below) AND polenta with mushroom ragout and fingerling potato chips.
 - Green Carrot's cold-pressed apple/mint/pineapple juice - Obby Khan's new venture!
 - Shawarma Khan's hummous. I told Obby that I would probably never get kissed again, but Kiki G disproved that theory. :blushes:
- Red River College's pike burgers with red and golden beets on gluten-free buns. Yes. Gluten-free. And I loved them!
- Smoked tomato soup and little grilled cheese sammiches from the new place at Kildonan Park. (Opening soon!)
- Everything at Segovia. I don't even know what I had, but I loved it.

All in all, it was a fantastic evening. Besides all the tasting and sipping, and winning a pile of gift certificates in the silent auction (!!!), my favourite part of the night was getting to hang out, laugh and be silly with the gang.

It's true what Julia Child said - People who love to eat are always the best people!

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