Monday, May 30, 2016

Inspired to Taste Canada featuring Derek Dammann & Chris Johns, and their cookbook "True North": A Recap

As promised from my previous post, here is a quick recap of my experience at Inspired to Taste Canada last Thursday, May 26th. The evening - which featured Derek Dammann and Chris Johns, authors of the cookbook, "True North" - was the last of three Inspired to Taste Canada (#HBxTasteCanada) events held at Hudson's Bay Queen Street.

Presented by Taste Canada (Twitter: @TasteCanada, Facebook: Taste Canada - The Food Writing Awards), in partnership with Hudson's Bay Company in Toronto, that night's Inspired to Taste Canada event began promptly at 5:30pm at the Hudson's Bay located at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Guests were invited to mingle, walk around and enjoy food & drink tastings before chef Dammann's scheduled cooking demo. Since I arrived early, I took the time to visit each booth...

Bellosound spinning beats with a live DJ.

Angels Gate Winery poured their 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay and 2013 Cabernet Merlot. I had a glass of their crisp and refreshing Chardonnay.

Healthy Crunch served samples of their organic local kale chips.

Bollywood Blast and Say Cheeze! were, by far, my two favourites out of the five flavours. I've never tasted kale chips as crunchy and flavourful as these.

Canadian Whisky tasting from Gooderham & Worts and Lot 40. Whisky is my jam so I was a very happy girl.

Flow Water kept everybody hydrated.

Godiva gave out chocolate bars,

AND chocolate covered strawberries.

Nespresso offered everyone freshly brewed coffee and espresso.

Before I knew it, the highlight of the night was about to begin. I secured my spot right in front of the kitchen counter :)

Chef Derek Dammann and food writer Chris Johns are authors of "True North", a cookbook published by HarperCollins which features Dammann's interpretation of Canadian Cuisine. With Jamie Oliver as an investor, chef Dammann runs Maison Publique (@maisonpublique) a hugely popular and highly regarded gastropub in Montreal. Chris Johns is a respected food writer and has written for enRoute, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Life and various international publications.

For the demo, Dammann showed us how to make Wild Garlic Pasta, one of many recipes found in his cookbook. Here is a very brief clip of Dammann talking about his book and him rolling out pasta:

It turns out that wild garlic is Dammann's favourite vegetable! In the chef's opinion, the best way to eat this green pasta is with wild garlic puree (recipe for the puree is also in the cookbook) topped with a few shavings of hard goat cheese.

After having a taste of the Wild Garlic Pasta (which was incredibly delicious) guests lined up to get their cookbook signed. I was, of course, among the first in line.


What a fun event! Thank you for having me, Taste Canada!