Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sausage League 2011

Sausage seems to be gaining popularity lately in Toronto with Wvrst Beer Hall that just opened recently and Marben's Sausage League (I like to call it "Sausage Fest" hehe). Sausage League takes place at Marben Restaurant where chefs from some of Toronto's hottest restaurants compete for the title of "Sausage Champion"

How Sausage League works is that on various Wednesdays through out May to September, two chefs compete to determine whose hand-made sausages reigns supreme that night. Guests dining at Marben can order from the $25 Sausage League menu which includes the sausages from that night's competitors as well as a bottle of Steam Whistle (they have the option to order from Marben's regular menu as well). When the guests are done, they each cast a vote on which sausage they like better and the winner will advance to the next round. The final 3 chefs remaining will battle it out during the championship match on September 28. I went on May 25 when the competition was between Marron Bistro and c5

We knew we were all gonna order from the Sausage League menu. However, I was thinking about ordering Marben's burger too but was advised by my friends that maybe it was better to wait and see if we would be too full from the sausages. FINE.

We sat at the Chef's table with a clear view of the action in the kitchen.

I'm a sucker for bread but guess what, I did not even eat one piece! I was determined not to stuff myself and save room for the sausages :)

c5 - Calabrese sausages on soft polenta, bacon tomato sauce, parmigiano-reggiano, and basil.

Chef Teddy Corrado from c5 chatting with us.

Marron Bistro - Saucisson Lyonnaise. 

Duck fat was used instead of butter for the brioche. Sausage was made from lamb and chicken.

Sauces (from left to right): eggplant puree, fig espresso jam, sauerkraut mustard.

Marron Bistro's sous chef doing the plating.

We still had room for the burger after the sausages *YESSS*. We all took our share (1/4) of this delicious burger, one of the best burgers in Toronto in my opinion (I voted for Marben at Burger Wars).

John's Burger - Branston pickle, braised ribs, aged cheddar, coleslaw ($17)

It turns out that I also still had room for dessert *surprise surprise*. This also happens to be the most delicious apple pudding I've had in Toronto so far~

Evan's Warm Apple Pudding - Whiskey caramel, dolce di mascarpone, maldon sea salt ($7)

After all the deliciousness, it was time to cast my ballot.

Chef Carl Heinrich from Marben came over to count the votes. There's Chef Eran Marom from Marron Bistro on the right.

c5 defeated Marron BistroChef Marom making sure the votes were counted correctly lol~

My friends and I all voted for c5Marron Bistro's brioche was actually very delicious as it was so buttery and rich (I'm thinking the the duck fat had something to do with it haha) but personally, I thought the chicken and lamb sausage was packed too tight so the texture became too firm (the flavour of the sausage was fabulous though). c5's overall dish was so tasty with the polenta, the sauce and cheese; the pork sausages were done perfectly.

The whole night was full of fun because we got to watch the chefs prepare, cook, and plate all of our dishes. The chefs also looked like they were having a blast~ 

I didn't time this post on purpose but it just so happens that tonight is another Sausage League night! Tonight's competition will be between Table 17 and The Stop Community Food Centre. Too bad I have a prior engagement and can't make it to cheer on Chef John from Table 17 =( 

Sausage League dinners start at 5pm at Marben Restaurant. Reservations are recommended.