Patricia Larkin is … pretty darn awesome.
I’d like to be completely honest with you …
I heart Trish.
I think she’s super talented.
She creates thoughtful, beautiful and delicious dishes.
Plus … she’s hilarious and witty (and has awesome hair).
And I’m thrilled that we’re friends.
There. Now you know. Trish and I are friends.
We’ve also been paired up for the upcoming celebrity chefs of canada event.
I’m over-the-moon excited.
Can’t you tell?
Trish graciously invited me over to the Black Cat Bistro last Wednesday to chat about the last six months, changing the Black Cat’s menu, and collaborating with Ned Bell (of The Fours Seasons Hotel in Vancouver) for celebrity chefs of canada.
Trish seems to have erupted onto the Ottawa food scene in the last six months (although … talk to anyone who knows her and she’s been a force to be reckoned with for quite some time).
First she participated in Ottawa’s gold medal plates. If you’ve ever been to gold medal plates you know that it’s mass food production at its finest. Trish decided to take the opportunity to stretch herself by including a hot component to the dish; something that caused her slight heart palpitations … but paid off with a beautiful small plate of food: scallop with a corn puree, accented with pancetta, green apples, pickled ramps, seedy mustard and a sweet littleturnip.
Then Anne DeBrisay’s reviewed the Black Cat and Trish in the Ottawa Citizen. That review was … pretty spectacular. In Trish’s words “it was such a glowing review … I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Shawna Wagman then listed the Black Cat Bistro as number one of the 10 best restaurants in the city for 2011 in Ottawa Magazine.
That’s a pretty awesome way to ring in the year.
With Tuesday Burgers more popular than ever (if you haven’t been … I highly recommend going for a burger – 8 oz of love … serious love); Trish and the Black Cat crew (she includes both kitchen and front of house as her crew) have discussed new, fun ways of mixing things up in the restaurant … lunch out the back door anyone?
Trish has also started to change the menu … unapologetic about taking certain dishes off, she reminded me that her job is to bring new ideas and plates to the table. And although she sometimes feels a little guilty about taking a much-loved dish off the menu (smoked and charred octopus), she still feels strongly about continuing to grow and explore new ideas and flavour combos.
When I asked her about the upcoming celebrity chefs of canada event, Trish coyly told me about her dish:
– I know that the protein is fish since they are sourcing it from organic ocean.
– I’m expecting bright flavours and raw things … both components Ned and Trish seem to favour.
– I’m expecting a tongue in cheek, visually stunning plate.
Are you intrigued? I sure as heck am!
Having talked food with Trish … I couldn’t wait to return for dinner that night (much more fun to take pictures of food and then eat it all).
I sat down and basically told my server (Chris … always excellent service) that Trish could make me whatever she wanted.
I recommend you do this.
Mother of pearl.
It was a food experience.
It started with maple glazed pork belly confit & a seared scallop with parsnip purée, beet greens, pickled ramps and truffle oil.
The meal could have ended there. I don’t know which I liked better … the pork belly or the scallop? Actually the parsnip purée was a contender for best thing on the plate. I basically licked it clean. No lies.
Then Trish sent out the second course.
A dish of pan seared halibut with organic red quinoa, king eringii mushrooms, swiss chard, leeks, creme fraiche, meyer lemons and dehydrated capers. It was a prefect bite … complete and balanced … and … so bloody good.
Then I ordered the rocky road dessert (yeah … I saw that on the menu and knew I couldn’t go home without trying it).
dark chocolate, marshallow, oreo soil, caramel & banana almond ice cream.
That ice cream is ridiculous. I have to admit … I was sharing the plate … and didn’t share equally (here’s my trick … I get the person talking … and my spoon swoops in and cleans the plate). I’ve asked for the recipe because I MUST make this.
I can’t wait to see what Trish and Ned demo and plate for us on the 25th … because … if it’s anything like what I ate at the Black Cat Bistro … Ottawa, you are in for a real treat.
Tickets are still available … so don’t forget to get yours today.