5th Annual Northern Food Night: Country Food in the Big City

For those people who attended our 5th Northern Food Night, THANK YOU! If it was your first time, congratulations…you can now cross off “eating whale blubber and raw musk ox” from your culinary bucket list.

Whale Bacon and Eggs
 Char Carpaccio with Scotch Bonnet Dip
 Sea Cucumber on Cayenne Croquette
 
Deep-fried Whale Blubber (the surprise hit of the night!)
 Pangnirtung Turbot with caviar and Haida Gwaii Butter Poached Gho
 Flaming the foie gras
Grouse Jjigae with Foie Gras and Kimchi
 Piping the pie!
Klondike Apple Pie with Gold Pemmican Ice Cream
The Full Menu (click to enlarge)
When Steve and I travel throughout the Arctic, we regularly bring home musk ox, caribou, char and various dried meats–northern products that are routinely referred to as country food. On Saturday, we had country food in big city style–not something that happens routinely at all.
Putting together an event such as this takes a huge amount of teamwork, skill and manpower. Unending thanks goes to Chefs Louis Charest who created the menu and took time off from his demanding position as the Chef to the Governor General at Rideau Hall, as well as to Paul Finkelstein who flew to Edmonton straight from a speaking engagement in Toronto to be a part of our Northern Food Night. Also, we are greatly indebted to Chef Emmanuel David and the culinary team at Bistro La Persaud for their assistance in helping pull off an extraordinary event.
 Chefs Emmanuel David, Louis Charest and Paul Finkelstein prepping dishes at Bistro La Persaud.
Chef Charest with Chef Kunal at the Bistro.
Before the actual event, tons of prep was done at the culinary facility at NAIT.  We even put Mark Hills to work cleaning mussels. Mark’s company, Hills Foods from Coquitlam, BC, supplied the air-dried wild Arctic musk ox called Mipkuzola for the charcuterie plate. (Hills Foods also carries camel, kangaroo and other exotic meats.)
 Men with mussels.
Chef Charest prepares the Char at NAIT.
Chef Charest and me going over last minute details of the NFN menu.
The problem with having someone like Louis Charest stay with you is that he has an innate ability to ferret out sprouting things in your pantry…things that shouldn’t be sprouting.
And of course we have to thank those who attended the event and for letting us share foods from the North with with them–again. We really appreciated the enthusiasm and the response.
 Lee Ahlstrom of Ahlstrom Wright Oliver and Cooper and Chef Charest.
We enjoyed outstanding Okanagan wines selected by Satesh at Crestwood Fine Wines and Spirits. Satesh is a font of knowledge when it comes to pairing wine and he selected some real beauties for our meal.
Now, we start preparing for the James Beard Foundation in New York where we will showcase, again, the wonderful products from Canada’s Arctic at a dinner there May 14th.
Of course, events such as these could not be made possible without our generous friends and sponsors at: Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation
Nunavut Development Corporation
Thank you again, to everyone who ate, prepped and helped out. Steve and I really appreciate it.

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