This week I experienced something amazing, a unique collaboration between chefs and musicians. The event was called Culinary Symphony, a Multi-Sensory Dining experience and it was one of the signature events of Canmore Uncorked. I wish you could have been there but instead I will try and take you along the journey that was planned for us courtesy of Canmore Business and Tourism. The music was supplied by Quartetto Gelato while our dinner was prepared by Lead Chef James Holmes, Chef Mike Pigot, Chef Jason Meyer and Chef Oscar George Bayne.
At the appointed time we entered the theatre and it was like we were transported into the wilderness. The birds were chirping as Quartetto Gelato took the stage to start the first Act, “Spring Forest Floor”. After getting us warmed up we were served the first course representing dirt, snow and tree. The interesting thing is there were candy pop rocks on our plate. I of course was taking pictures so I didn’t taste them first but heard them. 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.
Assortment of Wild Greens, Marinated Mushrooms, “Dirt” (Granola, Ground Walnuts, Pistachios, Cocoa), “Snow” (White Chocolate, Rye Bread), “Tree” (Sticks, Verjus Dressing, Berries) They said nothing about pop rocks!
After a short break our lively walk continued with 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. And that was demonstrated through the bright consommé with beets and apples.
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”. To us, 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. Then, 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.
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.
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 are lucky it leads into contentment, where you can enjoy delights as your 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.
“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!
I was lucky enough to win tickets to this event from Canmore Kananaskis Tourism, but it must be said, all opinions are my own.