2.04.2013

The Tempered Beast (Winterlicious Culinary event)


01.29.13 

As I mentioned in my last post, Winterlicious is so much more than just prix fixe meals at restaurants. The Tempered Beast is but one of 14 culinary events happening this time around. For two nights last week, Chef Bertrand Alépée (@TheTemperedChef) and Chef Scott Vivian (@BeastRestaurant) teamed up for a couple amazing dinners. Here’s what we had…




If you don’t know already, both chefs are part of a culinary group called the Group of 7 Chefs. The chefs are united in their love of food. But not just food, we’re talking whipping up GREAT food using local and sustainable ingredients with guest chefs from all over! I’ve been fortunate to go to one of their events back in November where they featured a chef from Rhode Island, Matt Jennings (who’s also a cheesemaker). As soon as I saw that some of the Group of 7 Chefs were to be a part of several culinary events, I jumped on it! Luckily, Stella (@foodieyu) was so down to come as well. :D



Alright, time to get down to eating! :D To kick off the dinner (so hungry!), freshly baked mini ciabatta buns and pain au lait by Rachelle. How cute! And fluffy…I could snack on milk buns forever. 

  

Sweet potato and peanut soup – salsa verde, crème fraîche
This was a nice twist on a familiar soup. I loved the slight kick and the salsa verde just makes the soup! It's both comforting and gives you that bit of pep to wake you up. Alright, I'm awake and I'm ready for more food!



Haddock fume poché au beurre, poitrine de Berkshire – marmelade de fenouil au pamplemousse, émulsion à l’ail crèmeuse
Grapefruit and fennel marmalade?! That’s so unique! The pork belly wasn’t cooked the way most of us are used to. As you can see, there’s no caramelization or crispy skin. You’d think this would be less enjoyable but you’re so wrong! It was so pure and flavourful without being too heavy. The haddock was buttery smooth. :)



Braised beef brisket – parsnip purée, red fife, nora-cranberry sauce
Surprisingly, from the description in the menu, I was able to imagine what the dish would look likewhich only served to make me antsier for the brisket to arrive. It was perfect. So tender, meaty and FLAVOURFUL. The crunch of the red fife was a nice way to introduce a different texture.



Castel au praline – mousse de fromage de chèvre, confit d’abricot au thé Earl Grey, nougatine aux amandes
The castel au praline is sort of like a soft macaron. Dry apricots are a total turnoff because of their sulphuric taste. I shouldn't even compare that horrible variety to what was on this dish. This was a perfect dessert as the sweet was balanced so well with the savoury chèvre mousse and the different textures.
 
Verdict: I believe everyone at the dinner tonight can unanimously agree that this dinner, The Tempered Beast, was outstanding. This was a multi-course meal that was done very well in terms of how portion size (you weren't busting at the seams by the end), and the coherence of the flavours. No course was too heavy or light. As well, you can tell the contrast between Chef Bertrand's classic French training and Chef Scott's appreciation for seasonal and local ingredients! 

P.S. To all going to the Group of 7 Chefs' "Four Ways Dinner" tonight, hope you all have a blast!! 


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