The Stratford Chefs School’s Long Table Dinner held in September is their annual, signature, fundraising event. 2019 marks the School’s thirty-sixth year. The dinner was held at Revival House, formerly known as the Church Restaurant. The Church was one of Stratford Chefs School’s original training facilities. The long table gourmet occasion was originally held outdoors however unpredictable weather has brought the culinary event inside. Following tradition attendees dressed in white.
Photographer Terry Manzo on the job.
Christopher Cantlon, of Bradshaws & Kitchen Detail, greeted guests, directing us to enjoy canapes on the outdoor patio or upstairs in the Belfry.
Stratford Chefs School’s Kathy Bell and Jennifer Otter-Leaney welcomed us inside.
A view of the Stratford Chefs School’s Long Table Dinner from the Revival House Belftry with Eleanor Kane, one of the three founders of the Stratford Chefs School, taking in the scene.
Chef Neil Baxter created the menu. Chef Eli Silverthorne, Chef Randi Rudner, Chef Mike Booth and Stratford Chefs School Summer Program students worked as a team to bring it all together.
Rose Karlinski assisted Stratford Chefs School’s Chef Eli Silverthorne in the Revival House kitchen.
Cave Spring’s NV Blanc DeBlanc, 2017 Chardonnay Dolomite and 2017 Pinot Noir Dolomite paired with the canapes, salad, and entrée.
This photogenic Late Summer Golden and Striped Beetroot Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette and Smoked Monforte Cheddar offered up incredible flavours. After enjoying it, a guest at our table announced she was going to change her mind about beets. Perfect praise for a chef!
The meal was served family-style with platters of sliced, tender, roast duck breast, potatoes pavé, green beans and a grilled peach relish condiment. Potatoes Pavé are a refined version of scalloped potatoes. The preparation is extensive with the potatoes thinly sliced, layered, baked, then chilled, cut into squares and browned in oil and herbs before serving. Pavé in French makes reference to “paving stones” and is used by chefs like Thomas Keller to describe food that is served in a rectangular or square shape. We were so busy passing platters that we neglected to take photos.
Revel coffee accompanied The Apple and Blackcurrant Crumble Tart with Ice Wine Ice Cream and Buttermilk Sauce that followed a cheese board with water buffalo cheddar and camembert.
Brent Shackleton kept the bidding fast and furious on the auction items. Not surprisingly, the evening’s nine Live Auction items, designed for groups of 4 to 8 or 12 people to share, included food-themed packages: A Taste of Tuscany welcoming guests to a wine tasting in a private home; Food For Thought with a tour of regional food producers’ facilities followed by a farm-to-table dinner; tickets to a performance in the Stratford Festival’s 2020 season with pre-show dinner and wine pairings as well as coffee and pastries the next morning at Revel; a home concert celebrating Dayna Manning, a local musician, with hors d’oeuvres and wine pairings; Pamper Your Palate in Elora with a spa getaway, dinner and accommodation; Itadakimasu, a Japanese-inspired dinner in a private home; A restaurant cellar dinner with Stratford Chef School alumni; An Historic Evening with dinner and tour of the former Annie Macpherson Home for Children; Private Lessons at the Stratford Chefs School. One package was so popular it sold twice!