Since July I’ve been looking forward to The Mile End Community Mission dinner. I couldn’t wait to be part of an extraordinary evening showcasing the talented collaboration of Montreal’s finest chefs and restaurants. Chefs joining forces to raise funds and awareness for The Mile End Community Mission. I knew this fundraising event was going to be one for the books…and it was!
Driving from Ottawa to Montreal during a work day in peak traffic was going to play on my nerves, but my salvation was knowing that I was soon going to ravage…I mean, gracefully taste the creative and original dishes presented before me.
Upon arrival to the beautiful Rialto Theatre (a theatre I must admit, I have never had the opportunity to visit before) had an outdoor sign promoting the event like many theatres do…but this one felt different. It felt as though I was about to immerse myself in an evening like those we now, only see in classical movies. Movies that depict elegant and sophisticated soirées, where going out for dinner was actually the TRUE highlight of the evening. A time where one placed emphasis on what to wear…if anything, to add to the ambiance and feel of that occasion. An evening where the theatre was just as opulent as the guests donning their finest attire…Welcome to the Rialto!
The stunning Rialto Theatre complimented perfectly the evening’s ambiance of great food & drink for a worthwhile cause.
In true form, the evening started to take life of its own as guests made their way into the theatre. The Barr Brothers played their tunes as guests (including myself) headed towards the ever-so inviting oyster bar that Choice Harbour provided, as Cascumpec PEI oysters were waiting to be shucked and slurped by many!
Cascumpec PEI oysters provided by Choice Harbour
The Barr Brothers provided some of the evening’s entertainment.
Listening to the music, guests indulged in a variety of libations at their disposal. Suds from Ghost Farm and Joe Beef were on hand as well as some Prosecco and Cava to imbibe, while the sweet, sweet sounds of the harp was being played. How can you go wrong when you have a good drink, amazing entertainment and what else…Ah yes, the ‘teasers’, to set the tone for the evening and they were about to come out!
(Back) Endive confit with ham & Dijon, poached celery with chicken liver, curry and almonds. (Front) Nordic shrimp with tomatoes, crème fraiche and chives and Inverted Poutine.
The hors d’oeuvres were a hit and did what they accomplished to do…tease our tummies to be ready for the EPIC dinner we were about to be treated too!
First Course provided by: Hôtel Herman
Bourgots (type of sea snail) dill and fennel.
Second Course provided by: Ice House
Fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese and ham vinaigrette.
Third Course provided by: Joe Beef
Pork sausages and clams casino.
Fourth course provided by: Nora Grey
Corn cavatelli, chanterelles and Guanciale (Italian cured meat)
After those delicious courses, a break was needed…so I snuck to the kitchen to get a picture of the man of the hour, Marc Cohen: lead organizer of The Mission Possible Dinner and owner/chef of Lawrence restaurant in action as he was getting ready to plate his dish with his brigade.
Fifth course provided by: Lawrence
Stewed hare, dumplings, turnips and a red wine vinaigrette.
Sweet course provided by: Pâtisserie Rhubarbe
Tarte aux fruits…mascarpone cheese, prunes and cornflakes in caramelized white chocolate
Chocolates provided by: Les Chocolats de Chloe
It must be noted that with every course, it was wonderfully paired by a beautiful wine that accentuated the dish. Guests were truly spoiled by the riches put before them.
And if that wasn’t enough, the desserts were accompanied by a 30year old Armagnac and an iced coffee…both were decadently well paired for the dessert course.
(left to right) The Food Tease with owner/chef David McMillan of Joe Beef and The Food Tease with owner/chef Marc Cohen of Lawrence restaurant.
You can imagine how splendid this affair was, how posh the evening turned out to be and believe me it was…but it goes without saying that the main reason why guests were there, was to support and raise funds for The Mile End Community Mission. AND Mission accomplished!! Donations raised over $30,000 for the Mission, which will help support those members of the community that need it.
Hats off to everyone involved!