Chefs from Ottawa’s unique and world-class culinary scene recently collaborated with chefs from across Canada to serve up an unprecedented culinary experience for 1,000 hungry guests at Canada’s Table.
In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, this epic Ottawa 2017 dinner party featured a single 1,000-person open-air table, set up on Wellington Street, just steps from Canada’s iconic Parliament buildings.
Presented in collaboration with Ottawa Restaurateur Stephen Beckta and Chef Mike Moffatt of Beckta, Play and Gezellig restaurants, along with Sheila Whyte of Thyme & Again Catering, Canada’s Table showcased 20 top chefs from across Canada.
Ten of these tops chefs, who run some of the best kitchens throughout Canada’s Capital, cooked up culinary delights which provided a glimpse into Ottawa’s culinary scene:
- Chris Deraiche | Wellington Gastropub
- Joe Thottungal | Coconut Lagoon
- Jordan Holley | Riviera
- Jon Svazas | Fauna & Bar Laurel
- Marc Doiron | Town & Citizen
- Marc Lepine | Atelier
- Michael Blackie | NeXT
- Ross Fraser | Fraser Cafe & The Rowan
- Tim Stock | Play food & wine
- Yannick Anton | Le Cordon Bleu
Guests pulled up a chair at the beautifully-set table and savoured a mouth-watering, surprise four-course menu featuring all-Canadian products, along with wine pairings. Depending upon where they were seated, diners were served dishes that represented 1 of 5 featured regions in Canada.
It was evident during this event that Ottawa is a happening culinary destination, and that this was Ottawa’s night to shine.
Ontario Shrimp, corn panna cotta, nasturtium pistou, heirloom tomato, and brioche, highlighted the talents of Chris Deraiche, chef at Ottawa’s Wellington Gastropub.
For the many guests that, thanks to Chef Deraiche, were delightfully surprised to discover Ontario shrimp for the first time, here’s some good news. Chef Deraiche features the fresh and delicate-tasting crustacean as a regular menu item at the popular Wellington Gastropub in the trendy Wellington Village neighbourhood.
It’s no surprise to Ottawa foodies that many of Ottawa’s top chefs produce exemplary cuisine with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients.
Chef Tim Stock’s ravishing dessert, Grilled Ontario peach, haskap berry syrup, cracked pepper blondie, maple scented sheep’s milk ricotta, mint arugula “pistou”, served to a selection of guests at Canada’s Table, is a fine example of Ontario’s late summer bounty.
Touted by some as Canada’s next superfood, haskap is a cold-weather loving berry, perfect for topping Chef Stock’s dessert – and for tantalizing tastebuds.
Ottawa’s reputation for having a thriving food scene keeps gaining momentum. This may be due to the fact that many Ottawa chefs – including numerous ones mentioned above, such as Coconut Lagoon’s Joe Thottungal – run their own restaurants.
After all, there’s a reason top celebrity chefs are at the helm of their own successful restaurants.
From the look of the clean plates, after an evening at Canada’s Table, there’s no doubt that these top Ottawa chefs have found a recipe for success.
Canada’s Table, a non-profit event, was made possible in part by the generosity of many partners, chefs, and volunteers who donated their time and skills. Proceeds from this once-in-a-lifetime event will be used to assist local, and national food security projects.
For instance, several of the chefs participating in Canada’s Table made a social contribution by sharing their skills with local charity organizations. The chefs offered culinary demonstrations and sessions about food production and health to some of our community’s most at-risk members:
- The Shepherds of Good Hope
- The Ottawa Mission
- Ottawa-Carleton Lifeskills
- The Parkdale Food Centre
- Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa
As the saying goes, the fondest memories are made gathered around the table. Canada’s Table is a memory sure to be cherished by 1,000 lucky diners for years to come. Fortunately, memories can be made anytime at Ottawa’s exceptional restaurants!