Last night I was at the Winnipeg Convention Centre for a tasting event sponsored by Winnipeg Mardi Gras. I had received the invitation because of the fact that I blog about food, so you might wish to keep that in mind as you read further. Having said all that I also find myself in an awkward position. I hadn’t checked the dates for Winnipeg Mardi Gras before accepting the invitation, only to realize after the event, that it falls on February 15 and 16. Ash Wednesday falls on February 13, meaning that Winnipeg Mardi Gras falls during the season of Lent itself. So, while I can recommend many of the foods that I sampled last night, I myself won’t be participating in Winnipeg Mardi Gras.
Upon arriving at the Convention Centre I headed into the Millennium Suite where the event was being held. The suite was decked out in Mardi Gras fashion with a centre table holding a collection of masks one might find at a fancy ball. We were also handed a set of Mardi Gras beads.
Most of the food that was featured last night, was prepared by the culinary staff of the Convention Centre itself, but the first item I tried, New Orleans Shrimp Creole, was prepared by one of the staff at the new Metropolitan Restaurant in the revamped Met theatre, right next to my home church Holy Trinity. This was one of the two highlight dishes for me. I’m a fan of spicy food and this dish had a little bit of zip to it.
*I apparently had misheard something as this chef and all the chefs were from the Convention Centre. My apologies to any who may have been confused.
My other favourite dish was at the station right next to it.
This dish combined lots of garlic and plenty of bacon. Two of my go to ingredients in one dish. Here’s what it looked like in the bowl.
In addition to these favourites, the evening also included Deep-fried Oyster Po Boys, Crawfish Etouffe, Deep Fried Pickles, Yam Fries and Louisiana crab cakes. There are pictures of some of these or their ingredients below. If deep-fried oysters aren’t to your taste, the actual event will have an oyster bar as part of the festivities.
Of course the WInnipeg Mardi Gras won’t only be about the food. For one thing there will be beverages to go along with the food. Last night there was Fireball Whiskey, a blend of cinnamon and whiskey. There was a variety of different Jack Daniels available, and of course no N’Awlins inspired event would be complete without a hurricane, a drink that has become associated with the indomitable spirit of the people of Louisiana.
On top of that there will be masks and beads, and of course music. Whether it’s music of the Preservation Hall style band, or “The Crown Prince of Zydeco,” C. J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band, there promises to be a lot of good time music.
If you want to find out more about Winnipeg Mardi Gras you can visit the site here. While it is a time of fund and games it also operates in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Laissez le bon Temps Roullez.