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Canmore Uncorked Culinary Symphony

April 20, 2015
By: Heather Mitchell
Photography: Heather Mitchell & Warren Mackie

This week I experienced something amazing—a unique collaboration between chefs and musicians. The event was called the Culinary Symphony, a Multi-Sensory Dining experience. It was a signature Canmore Uncorked event. The music was played by Quartetto Gelato, while our dinner was prepared by Lead Chef James Holmes, Chef Mike Pigot, Chef Jason Meyer and Chef Oscar George Bayne.

1

We entered the Cornerstone Theatre where the event was held, and it was like we were transported into the wilderness. Birds were chirping as Quartetto Gelato took the stage for the first act, Spring Forest Floor. The first course represented dirt, snow and a tree. The interesting thing was the candy pop rocks on our plates. With the lively music and the sound of candy popping in everyone’s mouth, I felt like I was being taken on a jaunty walk through the woods with twigs snapping under foot.

2

Photo: Assortment of Wild Greens, Marinated Mushrooms, “Dirt” (Granola, Ground Walnuts, Pistachios, Cocoa), “Snow” (White Chocolate, Rye Bread), “Tree” (Sticks, Verjus Dressing, Berries).

After a short break our lively walk continued in the second act, Morning Dew. The music was frisky, at one point drifting into AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. The food was a perfect match to the playful mood. Strains of an earthy aroma wafted from the bowl, almost like the heavy dew lying on the grass at the break of day. Then, like dew, the sun rose and the moisture melted away brightening the day; demonstrated through the bright consommé with beets and apples.

3

Photo: Reserve Angus Beef Carpaccio, Fennel Apple Golden Beet Consommé, Micro Greens, Dehydrated Apples, Apple Honey Mustard (Grainy Brassica), Cubed Raw Candy Cane Beets, Red Beet Coulis.

As can happen on a spring day in the mountains, the mood turned dark and stormy. This was to prepare us for act three, A Blind Walk Through the Mountains. This meant a blindfold and no utensils to eat our food. The plate was only described as salty/umami, citrus and savoury/sweet. This made for a fun game with our tablemates as we attempted to figure out what these three treats actually were. At the end of the course, when the blindfolds came off, the storm ended. The music guided us to a peaceful resolution from the mystery that began the act.

4

Following into the fourth act, Riverside, the lights warmed to mimic a sunny late afternoon. The music took a romantic turn welcoming us to the next plate. The albacore tuna sashimi was cut perfectly, and as it melted in my mouth I felt transported to a lazy ride down a river in a canoe. Like a day you never want to end, this is a course that I never wanted to end.

5

Photo: Albacore Tuna Sashimi, Charred Pepper Puree, Feta Aioli, Micro Mint, Compressed Watermelon, Fried Pickle Red Onion Strings.

But alas, the afternoon does come to an end, and if you’re lucky it leads into contentment, where you can reflect back on your day. The final act, The Orchid at Night, was decadent and sensual. The Nieport Late Bottle Vintage Port paired with our ice cream bar was the perfect finish.

6

Photo: “Ice Cream Bar” (Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate Gelato Center, White Chocolate & Vanilla Bean Coating), Oreo & Ginger Snap Crumble, Orange Marscapone Quinell, Bourbon Soaked Sour Cherries, Smoked Vanilla Syrup.

I can safely say I have never had a dining experience like this before. The evening was a triumph and I enjoyed the celebration of nature, a spring day and love. Thank you to the whole Canmore Uncorked team—I can’t wait to see what you come up with for next year!

7

About Heather Mitchell

Heather loves everything from a good cup of coffee to an eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings. She loves sharing this with her husband, son, family and friends. Nothing makes her happier than a good meal. You can read about her adventures at Heather’s EATS, Eating and Tasting Stories, heatherseats.wordpress.com.

Facebook: facebook.com/heatherseatingandtastingstories

Twitter: @heathers_eats

Instagram: @heathers_eats

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