mariposa & oz kafe – a pretty beautiful thing

authors note:  I’d like to thank my dining companions for putting up with my picture taking obsession… I think the pictures were worth it though.

Monday night was the last Monday of the month… which means, I hit up Oz Kafe and enjoyed an industry night meal.  This time round it was Mariposa Farms.  You ever been?  I haven’t.  I’ve seen pictures (actually… quite a few pictures – it seems to be a popular destination amongst my friends), and I’ve heard it’s beautiful… but I haven’t made it out there yet (towards Hawkesbury… not really downtown Ottawa eh?).  Needless to say… I was anxious to see what they would come up with.

1.  It was seriously rich.  The meal included some confit goose neck.  And then foie gras mousse.  And then duck… oh yeah… and dessert was foie gras marshmallow.  Seriously rich, intense flavours. 

2.  Chefs Mark Currier nad Dave Coyne are pretty awesome.  Wanna know why?  They let me stand in the kitchen (which is super tiny) and take as many pictures as I like.  Seriously – these are probably my best Oz Kafe industry night pictures because I hung out with the Chefs.  (who fyi, didn’t know me from a hole in the wall until I invaded their kitchen).

see… here they are working away… and obviously there i was taking pictures… lots and lots of pictures

3.  If Mark would make me his seared duck breast every single day…I would eat duck every single day of my life.  It was… brilliant.  So tender and rich and delicious.

4.  If I could have Dave make me his pumpkin custard everyday – I would.  HOLY HECK.  AMAZING.

5.  I also had some pretty excellent company; Charlotte, Chloé, Merrill – all Whalesbones ladies – and all super patient with me… since I pretty much spent 1/3 of our meal in the kitchen sticking my camera lens in the food… amazing.

I hope that you’re all in the mood for pictures… because I um… have loads… and these are the ones I really really want to share with all of you :0)  So sit back… and enjoy seeing my meal, as well as my adventures in the kitchen with Mark and Dave.

roasted kobachi squash soup / with a pulled confit goose neck filo / nasturtium leaf & hempseed pesto

Our starter.  OMG.  First off… that’s a BIG bowl of soup.  Especially when you look at the rest of the meal.  However… I think this is one of the most intense soups EVER… seriously… it was thick, silky smooth, with a wonderful kick at the end.  Oh yeah… and it had a filled filo parcel right dab in the centre.  It kinda reminded me of french onion soup… you know how you break through the layer of bread and cheese to get to the soup?  Well it was kinda like that – only rather than cheese and bread it was goose meat and filo.  It was AMAZING.  Chloé and I were pretty much swooning in our seats.

Are you ready to see how Dave plated his chatcuterie dish?  It was highly entertaining.

step 1:  slicing the confit gizzard

the gizzard

step 2:  plating the wood sorrel salad – which is then topped with the confit gizzard

step 3: spooning on the yellow beet & thompson raisin compote

step 4: adding the foie gras mousse

step 5: placing the pickled foraged wild mushrooms onto the plate

charcuterie / sasparilla foie gras mousse / confit gizzard & wood sorrel salad / home-made Wellington Ale apple mustard /  yellow beet & thompson raisin compote /  pickled foraged wild mushrooms

Charlotte was pretty darn excited about the wood sorrel salad… crispy and fresh.  It was a nice addition to the plate since it cut the richness of the foie gras mousse.  Charlotte was also the first one to dig in… and highly recommended combining all the components together… which leads me to my one complaint (also echoed by Chloé and Merrill): there was a the lack of bread.  That piece of bread would have allowed us to pile all the different flavours and textures together… it would have been the perfect base for all that richness.  But I have to say – that yellow beet and thompson raisin compote was DELISH!  It was so unexpected… slightly sweet, and  a little tart.  I made sure that every bite of fois gras mousse included that little compote.  YUM.

Mark allowing the duck breast to rest

a spoonful of truffle & basil aoili starts off the plate

Mark then added the heirloom tomato and blue cheese salad

and then he added the duck crackling (so so good) and pickled malva buds (not really my cup of tea)

once the duck breast had rested – Mark quickly sliced it

seared duck breast / with heirloom tomato (some smoked) salad / blue cheese / duck crackling /  truffle & basil aoili / pickled malva buds

This is the dish that won me over.  I loved loved loved the roasted kobachi squash soup, but the seared duck breast was absoultely AMAZING.  I think I gobbled up the entire thing.  Everyone else mentioned how full they were… and so was I… however there was room in my stomach for this.  It was insanly delicious.  Just looking at the picture as I type makes me want to get to Mariposa Farms and have some more…

dave plating the dessert – a good drizzle of balsamic reduction

pumpkin custard (my new love)

candied lavender bacon and foie gras marshmallow

foie gras marshmallow / candied lavender bacon / pumpkin custard / cedar sugar coated champagne grapes

This marshmallow is porbably one of the strangest things I have ever eaten.  All four of us looked at each other and waited to see who would taste it first.  Charlotte bit right in.  It seems that the foie gras was reduced down to a syrup and was added to the eggs whites, etc. in order to incorporate the flavour.  It was… bizzare.  Yes.  Even 2 weeks later I’m still unsure about how I feel.  Chloé mentioned that it reminded her of a Japanese dessert – – which I completely agreed with her on… but I have to say, Japanese desserts aren’t exactly my favourite thing in the world.  I have a hard time with the texture / sweetness / savoury factors. 

Now the pumpkin custard… WOW.  Awesome flavour.  Nice and silky smooth.  Not too sweet.  I adored it.  I could have eaten an entire bowl of that and been very statisfied. 

I think you can tell that I had a great time tasting what Mariposa Farms had to offer – and hangning out with Mark and Dave.  My personal favourite picture is the one below.   Dave was busy platting 10 charcuterie plates and he kinda looks like superman when he’s getting changed in the phone booth… a real blur.  I heart it!

dave flying around getting those plates ready

My evenings at Oz Kafe just keep getting better and better.  I can hardly wait for the next one!  I wonder who’s going be feeding us… and whether they’ll let me hang with them in the kitchen :0)

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3 thoughts on “mariposa & oz kafe – a pretty beautiful thing

  1. awsome job with the pics! you sure they were not swearing under their breath??
    It’s amazing all the new mixes chefs comes up with, and worth testing, even if it’s a bit weird..
    even if I had the recipes, I don’t think I would use them at home. Would you?

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