First ever virtual dinner for the Bailliage
" food, wine and camaraderie on-line in the comfort of their own home "
The Bailliage of North Alberta centred on Edmonton celebrated World Chaîne Day with an event unlike anything we had ever done before. Due to the provincial restrictions in place, gathering for a dinner was not a possibility. The Bailliage officers therefore came up with a plan to hold a virtual dinner meaning that members could share their common interest of good food, wine and camaraderie on-line in the comfort of their own home.
Ernest’s Dining Room at NAIT (North Alberta Institute of Technology), a student-run facility providing hands on training for aspiring chefs, served as the host venue for our virtual celebration of the Chaîne’s special day.
A four-course menu was created, paired with two bottles of wine, a white and a red. As April 24th was also “Sauvignon Blanc Day”, the obvious choice was a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (from New Zealand) which paired perfectly with the scallops. Matching the beef was an Argentinian Malbec/Cabernet blend.
spinach purée, corn velouté
crispy double smoked bacon, scallop powder
Red wine braised Alberta beef short rib
smoked Gouda and caramelised onion potato pave
parsnip purée, roasted root vegetables
red wine beef jus, Parmesan parsley tuile
Prima Donna, Manchego, Stilton
dried berries, rhubarb preserve, bread crisps
Dark chocolate mousse cake
salted caramel ganache, chocolate cake, cocoa sable
chocolate crémeux, chocolate sauce, powdered raspberry
Because of the nature of the event, all the food had to be cooked, cooled and packaged. Participating members had then to collect it from a designated parking stall outside the college. There was a time window of two hours for pickup. Members had to arrive, park and call the number provided. Masked service staff then delivered the food hamper to their vehicle for a contactless delivery.
Each member was provided with a printed menu, notes on the wine pairing along with instructions on how to reheat and plate every single component or every course. As if this was not enough, the Chef made a YouTube video explaining every dish, how to reheat and plate everything. That video link was also e-mailed to the members.
A Zoom meeting account was created. The link e-mailed to participating members so all could be logged on for our virtual dinner gathering.
While we all hope that the pandemic will abate and we all can get together soon, it was more than a good effort. It made us realize how we can adapt to a situation and make it work in our favour.
Harjeet Singh Mehdwan