celebrity chefs of canada

It’s that time of the year again.

March 25th, 2012 is going to be a super fun, food filled day.

celebrity chefs of canada is coming to the NAC.

And YOU too can be part of it.

Remember how I blogged about Marc Lepine last year?  And about the amazing time I had?  Well I’ve been asked to participate as a blogger again this year.

I’m over-the-moon kind of excited!

I loved working with Marc (I heart that man) … but this year I’ve been paired with Patricia Larkin of the Black Cat Bistro & Ned Bell of the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver.

Cool?

HECK YAY … SUPER COOL!

Not only will I be blogging about Trish and Ned prior to the 25th … but I’ll also be there the day of … hanging out with all the participating chefs (and other bloggers), enjoying the demos and then (best of all) EATING!

I’m one lucky gal.

The concept is the same as last year.  8 local chefs host 8 chefs from around the country.  They’ve been paired as follows …

Michael Blackie, Le Café, NAC and Lynn Crawford, Ruby Watchco

Michael Carmichael, Eighteen and Susur Lee, Lee Restaurant Toronto (my heart totally fluttered when it was announced that Susur was coming ...)

Clifford Lyness, Brookstreet and Jason Parsons, Peller Estates

Cesare Santaguida, Vittoria Trattoria and Vikram Vij, Vijs

Patricia Larkin, The Black Cat Bistro and Ned Bell, The Four Seasons Hotel

Jonathon Korecki, Side Door and Jeremy Charles, Raymond’s (I’m super excited about our Newfie chef!)

Jason Duffy, ARC Hotel and Jason Bangerter, O&B Canteen & LUMA

Marc Lepine, Atelier and Quang Dang, West Restaurant

I bet there is going to be some pretty darn interesting dishes created for us.  You should come and hang out.  It’ll be fun :0)

Tickets are available here.


 

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little cakes … big punch

Mother of pearl!

I have fallen in love with a cupcake.

No lies.  It’s true.

After cupcake crawls in New York City and San Francisco – I found my favourite right here, in Ottawa.

Seriously.

Thank you Little cakes cupcakes for making the best darn cupcake I’ve ever tasted.

And thank you the lemon kitchen for organizing one of the best food events I’ve ever attended.  I kid you not … it was an absolute BLAST (the Red & White fundraising event for Harmony House).

I have to admit Wednesday night was full of best food moments for me.  For example … Chef Lora Kirk from Ruby Watchco Toronto made the ABSOLUTE BEST POTATO SALAD I HAVE EVER HAD.

I loved the potato salad so much that when Lora offered to send me home with some … I shamelessly took her up on her offer.

This potato salad made me completely shameless.  Ask Chef Blackie … he laughed at me as I stood in front of him and Lora, fork in hand, ready to dig into the potato salad from the demo plate.

I have no shame.

And it didn’t stop with the potato salad.  Nope … these cupcakes had a very similar effect on me.

A couple of things you should know about eating a Little cakes cupcake.

Shakira and Colleen make them fresh for each and every event.  They don’t have a store front … you contact them and place your order.  Trust me … you can taste the difference … you can taste the freshness.

When eating said cupcakes – take a bite of the entire thing.  That’s right.  This isn’t one of those cupcakes where you want to lick off the frosting and forget about the cake.  The cake is good.  And when combined with the frosting … the combo rocks.

After trying the 4 cupcakes on hand (on site … and then (again) shamelessly asking to bring 4 home with me to sample for this blog post), I decided to rank them in order of preference.

Here they are, ranked in reverse order (I do need to build up the anticipation right?):

The pina colada cupcake.  It was my 4th favourite.  Pina colada’s aren’t my favourite drinks to begin with … and although I enjoyed this cupcake (if you are a pina colada fan – you’ll really love this) it was a little sweeter than what I normally like.

My 3rd favourite was the brownie “cupcake” … fudgy and chewey … and topped with a thick chocolate buttercream.  It made me very happy.  2nd favourite … and I honestly thought this was going to be my favourite one … was the maple french toast.  The cake itself was a nice light spice cake … and then the maple glaze on top of the frosting … it really and truly tasted like a bite of french toast.  This was no imitation of the real thing … the flavours were completely spot on.

Oh how I heart french toast …

And the number one BEST CUPCAKE EVER.

Well … my choice just might surprise you.

No chocolate.

No lemon.

No peanuts.

Nothing that normally tops my best of list …  nope.  None of those things.

This one was all about the banana rama.  The absolute perfect cupcake … it was so light.  It was so moist.  It tasted of fresh bananas.  No fake stuff here.  It was pure goodness. I swear I spent most of the evening telling everyone they should go over and try one.  It made me smile and a little green with envy … my banana cupcakes NEVER turn out this well … they usually are slightly heavier, more like a muffin than a cupcake.

Ab-so-lute wonderfulness.  Sigh.  How I heart this cupcake.

I wish every day was like last Wednesday … killer potato salad and banana rama cupcakes.

Loves.