Chef’s Table, Wining, Dining

The last few days I’ve been working my way through my basket of Manitoba Holiday goodies. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them. However, much of it has been eaten on the go. It’s nice to be able to sit down at table once in a while. Thankfully, the Manitoba Chicken Producers were accommodating in that regard. Yesterday evening, they invited me to their Chef’s Table event in conjunction with De Luca’s Fine Wines

I’ve been to a couple of Manitoba Chicken Producers events before, so I knew I was in for both good food and a good time at this Chef’s Table event. The event was co-sponsored by De Luca’s Fine Wines and was held in the back of their wine shop. There is a small, but well equipped kitchen there, and there was seating for the 15-20 of us in attendance. This was a side of De Luca’s I wasn’t familiar with, although when we have our Sunday evening St. Margaret’s gatherings, the food for the evening often comes from De Luca’s.

On arrival, we were shown downstairs, where there was a place for us to leave our coats and we were offered a glass of sparkling wine.

After everyone had arrived, we headed upstairs to the back of the shop for the meal proper to begin.

Chef’s Table Meal:

Our meal and wine pairings were presented to us by two of De Luca’s employees. I had a good vantage point where I could also watch quite easily as the chef’s were finishing each menu item.

Our first pairing consisted of a  Canadian Riesling with a Chicken Foie Gras Torchon. The chicken in this dish was remarkable. It was very moist and tender. I hope I remember correctly, but I believe that the Riesling was 12.5% alcohol by volume meaning that it was a little on the drier side (I’m no wine expert).

Then came our soup course. This was a Mulligatawny paired with a Gewürztraminer by Linginfelder. This might be the best bowl, or in this case mug, of soup I’ve ever had. The toasted Spartan Apples on top added a nice little, tart, touch. This was also my favourite pairing of the night as I thought the wine and soup went very well together.

The third course was a boneless Jerk Chicken Thigh served with watermelon, cilantro, and bison queso fresco. The watermelon salad brought back memories of the late, lamented, On A Roll Sandwich Truck. I really liked the flavouring of the Jerk Chicken, but I prefer mine with a little bit more of the heat. The wine paired with this one was a Primitivo.

The final pairing of the evening was a Dancing Flame Pinot Noir with a Ginger Coriander Bone in Chicken Breast. Served on a bed of barley. Pinot Noir is known as the heartbreak grape as it is so easy for things to go wrong and fall apart. I decided I would adopt this as my personal grape since that pretty much sums up my entire romantic history. Also, Pinot Noir is a preferred wine. Again, the chicken in this dish was incredibly tender, and the Ginger Coriander Sauce was a wonder.

The last item on the menu was not paired with any wine. Nor did in contain any chicken. Instead it was a slice of Extreme Chocolate Cake. This cake was made for the evening by Chocalatier Constance Popp. Not only was it incredibly rich and delicious, but it is also gluten-free. At times like these I’m glad I have a healthy enough appetite that I always have room for dessert.

Of course it seems that no Manitoba Chicken Producers event is ever complete without some sort of goodie bag, and last night was no exception. Due to the hard work of Susie Parker and Karen Green Armstrong, each diner was sent home with a goodie bag with Fresh DARK Chocolate MARZIPAN-ORANGE chocolates from Constance Popp, Herbes de Provence Oil from Frescolio, a jar of Greetalia Honey Dill Sauce (A Manitoba Classic), and a copy of the Great Tastes of Manitoba Cookbook.

Thanks very much to Susie, Karen, the staff at De Luca’s Fine Wines, our chefs, and of course all the people who came out to enjoy the dinner giving me the chance to see old friends and get to know people as well. It was especially nice to connect with Nita Sharda of the Carrots and Cake blog. It’s always great when I get to make the acquaintance of another blogger at when of these meals.

Now, it’s time for me to run off and check on the pork shoulder roast that will be part of my next MB holiday post.


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