This year, Canada is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Confederation. The country is celebrating this milestone with many amazing events, and Ottawa, the nation’s capital has provided a summer full of exciting activities. One very unique and epic event was held on Sunday, August 27th in front of the iconic Parliament Buildings. A 305 meter (1,000 foot) continuous table donned with white table cloth was setup on Saturday evening in preparation for the “Canada’s Table” culinary experience.
The event presented in collaboration with Stephen Beckta, Chef Mike Moffatt of Beckta, Play and Gezellig restaurants and Sheila Whyte of Thyme & Again Catering took more than 2 years of planning and preparation. Ten top chefs from 5 Canadian regions paired off with ten top local chefs to regale the guests with a four-course dinner with wine pairings, featuring all-Canadian products.
Luck was not on my side when I attempted to get tickets to this event, but I did attend as a photographer. I wandered around earlier in the afternoon and met many of the chefs and sous-chefs as they continued their preparations for the gastronomical meals. I am a big fan of the cooking shows and I was mesmerized by the processes that until now I had only seen as a television spectator. Chefs and their teams huddled together and discussed their next steps. The aromas that wafted through the air gave subtle hints of the upcoming delicious courses. I chanced upon Melanie Pitre who was ever-so-gently cutting the basil sprouts with finesse. She explained to me how each sprout needed to be perfect to be selected for the meal.
I had the opportunity to speak to many chefs and sous-chefs and observe their actions. Ir made me realize so much goes into a beautiful and delicious meal!
Once the guests were seated, champagne was served and at 6:15 pm, all 1,000 guests raised their glasses for a toast! What an epic event! And, what does it take to put on such an event? Thousands of hours of work, preparation, and dedication.
Stay tuned for my next blog where I will share with you, my readers, the beneficiaries of the funds raised by this amazing event!