|Amuse Bouche - Lobster BELT on a buttery brioche bun|
Encore Catering has invited me to a host of blogger tasting events and for one reason or another, I am never able to go. In the spirit of full disclosure I am going to tell you that the fact that they are located at Dufferin and Steeles is usually a contributing factor and to get myself out there for an early evening tasting makes it impossible to manage if I am working in the city since I need to bring my passport and an overnight bag with me once I am going north of Lawrence and Yonge. Now, add the westerly climbs of Dufferin into the mix and you might as well invite me to come to Woodstock Ontario at that point.
Because I have been following the social media of all of the other bloggers and food writers who HAVE attended, I vowed to attend this latest tasting evening. From the Beaches, it's about an hour on TTC, which isn't all that bad but I will forewarn you:
If you are going to go and visit them in their catering facility, their address says Dufferin but the entrance is behind that building on Magnetic, something I did not know until after I had been wandering the parking lot, on foot, for a good 20 minutes which resulted in a very flustered and grumpy Carole. If you looked up the definition of HANGRY at that very moment, you would have seen a photo of me, stomping around in the industrial wilderness in cute shoes.
Executive Chef, Roasham Wanasingha, formerly of Hockley Valley Resort, the Burj Al Arab in Dubai and the Colombo Hilton in his native Sri Lanka, runs a tight ship. He and his kitchen staff worked tirelessly to churn out dish after dish to a group of bloggers who were constantly in their way, snapping pictures, chucking and jiving in order to get the perfect shot of the miracle of beautifully plating a chunk of pork belly and just generally annoying behaviour.
Plating was gorgeous, which is always impressive in a catering capacity due to the huge scale of work that needs to be done so that all dishes are done simultaneously. Often when catered food looks amazing, the taste can suffer but in this case, the food was delicious. From the Lobster BELT amuse bouche to the sexy Vanilla Semi Freddo with Strawberry Rose Consomme, the food was fresh and modern and felt more akin to fine dining restaurant fare than classic catering dishes.
It was a really interesting experience to be able to watch a catering team in action since we don't often get to see how much work goes into the beautiful food that we order when we eat out. I would not hesitate to hire these guys to cater an event as long as they promised to make me my own, giant serving of the Vanilla Semi Freddo with Strawberry Rose Consomme.
Obviously, my meal was free and opinions are very much my own.
So, without further ado, behold:
|Mango Chipotle Seared Ahi Tun, Shrimp and Jumbo Scallop|
|Smoking Beet Tian with Asparagus Boat|
|From top: Eurasion Inspired Pork Belly with Serrano, Fennel and Quail Egg Bruschetta, Chateaubriand Taco and a Duck Confit Beignet|
|Vanilla Demi Freddo with Strawberry Rose Consomme|
|Gorgonzoloa and Pear Pana Cotta|