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Saturday, April 7, 2012

March 29/12: RAW: Toronto tartares in action....

7. The Date and Time:   Thursday, March 29, 2012  6PM to 8:30PM
The Event: RAW: The Great Toronto Tartare-Off, in support of Grapes for
The Venue: Imperial Room, Fairmont Royal York
The Target Audience: food lovers
The Availability/Catalogue: wines are available in a variety of
distribution channels, but mostly from agents or wineries.
The Quote/Background: This was a fundraiser for building a high school
in Basico, Guatemala.
The Wines: Wines came from some wine agents (Winery Direct, Profile
Wine Group) and Ontario wineries such as Rosewood, Stratus, Staff,
Tawse, Malivoire, Hidden Bench. I did not taste every wine. But
sommeliers Zoltan Szabo and Jamie Drummond tasted all the donated wines
with the tartares: their best match was Rosewood Estate Pinot Noir 2010
with La Palette Chef Brook Kavanagh's venison tartare.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Signorello Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
-Rosewood Semillon 2010 Niagara
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price
Rating terms):
-Crios Torrontes 2011 Argentina
-Santinori 2010 Greece
-Black Stallion Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
-Rosewood Pinot Noir 2010 Niagara
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Robert Block Riesling 2011
-Tollgate 2008 Niagara (red and white versions)
-Malivoire Gamay Alive 2010
-Tawse Growers Blend Cabernet Franc 2009
-Aveleda Vinho Verde
The Food: it was all raw, except for the platforms and the Humber
College options. A panel of judges, consisting of John Higgins, Amy
Rosen, Josh Josephson, Corey Mintz and Geddy Lee, crowned one chef the
King of Tartare. Those chefs included Jamie Kennedy (Gilead; beef),
Didier Leroy (Didier; beef), Lorenzo Loseto (George; cobia), Tim Palmer
(Fairmont Royal York; venison and bannock), Mark Cutrara (Cowbell;
venison), Brook Kavanagh (La Palette; venison), Albert Ponzo (Le
Sélect; bison), Patrick McMurray (Starfish and Ceili Cottage; beef with
oyster from one restaurant, ostrich and quail egg from the other) and
Luke Wood (Thornton's Wine and Tapas Room; musk-ox and beef) who flew
in from Yellowknife for the function. Each tartare was paired with a
wine. After tasting everything blind, the judges announced the winners
in two categories: professional and amateur. Of the four amateur chefs
present, Paul Pender of Tawse Winery got top spot for his beef tartare
flavoured with capers, anchovies and leeks, with a horseradish finish.
Lorenzo Loseto got the professional crown for the cobia tartare. The
oily whitefish was served with roasted fennel, shallots and black
trumpet mushrooms, and topped with a stack of tiny potato chips that
had been fried on the skewer. For those who preferred a "cooked"
alternative, there were Asian hors d'oeuvres prepared by students of
Humber College, french fries, and a sweet table.
The Downside: there was no veggie tartare, sadly a missed opportunity
for sauvignon blanc wine lovers.
The Upside: great attendance at this fundraiser, over 170.
The Contact Person:
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93

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