Diner en Noir

chef4 (Diner En Noir Chefs including centre left, Rick Moonen, and centre right, Sam Glass)

Galen Weston Jr., considered the tastemaker of tastemakers, has put sex appeal on grocery shelves and called it PC Black Label. Without debate or soapbox rhetoric, a revolution took place and we were coaxed into a total new regime in the way we buy our daily bread and Thai purple rice, or Nero de Sepia pasta. Raw materials took a half turn forward, and shopping for groceries, once considered a chore, became akin to shopping from a cool restaurant menu.

At the recent Diner en Noir for 150 foodie know-it-alls, the real star of the night was the sponsor, PC Black Label Collection in conjunction with the Toronto Food and Wine Show, held this year at the Evergreen Brick Works, five top chefs each presented a dish of their choice, utilizing the run of the PC Black Label Collection.

Managing and assisting at the open kitchen with aplomb, Chef Samuel Glass, M.Ed, CEC CCE ACE AAC, Chef/Professor at Centennial College. Dazzling presentations and brilliant flavors were coaxed into each dish by the imaginative and enthusiastic chef3 participants.

Chef Michael Steh, Chase Hospitality Group
Ontario Heirloom Beet Salad Pulse vinaigrette, Ontario goats cheese, shaved empire apple.

Steh’s secret weapon was cooking the beets with a little star anise, balsamic and Herbs de Provence. Crumbled goat cheese mellowed out the dish and apple added texture and sweetness.

Churchill Cellars paired wines with each dish, and even though beets are a wine-slayer, they came up with a lovely pairing.

Craig Harding, Campagnolo
60 Day Aged Beef Carpaccio and BC Dungeness Crab with mushroom conserva and salsify.

Harding aged the beef for 60 days and garnished with marinated mushrooms, crispy salsify and added a luxurious dash of white truffle oil.

Elia Herrera, Los Colibris
Chile en Nogada
A recipe created in 1821 along with the Mexican flag of independence, Herrera used about fifteen ingredients in this dish, seasoning the ground pork, adding texture with chef2 fruits, nuts and olives and other savories.

Rick Moonen, Exec. Chef at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, respresented the True North Salmon Company
Salmon and Shrimp Stew, Caribbean-style
Sustainability has been one of Moonen’s core values for thirty years. He used Bay of Fundy salmon, and seasoned with pistou of cilantro, garlic and lemon infused olive oil, and a hint of hot pepper. This dish was my personal favorite of the night.

chef1 Nuit Regular, Pai
Roasted Coconut Ice Cream Sundae
Taro fritter dipped in sesame seeds, sticky Thai rice two ways, served in coconut shell. Fresh mango, coconut ice cream, and some mysterious flavors that added to this tropical confection.

Good food, good wine in the company of good eaters. Who could ask for anything more?

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