Winnipeg Free Press Cafe-Special Event

September19

In my profession as a Media Planner, I often get invited out to special events that are being put on by the media suppliers that I do business with on a regular basis.  We were invited to one such event recently at The Winnipeg Free Press Cafe.  There had a been an enter to win opportunity in the paper and at Manitoba Liquor Marts and the evening was a pairing of BC wines and complimenting tastes.  Now I am no wine connoisseur and leave those observations to ones more educated than I for example,  Ben McPhee Sigurdson  who is the wine guru for The Winnipeg Free Press and presided as one of the hosts that evening.

 

The food offerings started with a BC Salmon Riette.  Riette being a coarser style of pate-think “country” style. 

Next came my second favourite offering of the evening-Latkas topped with smoked goldeye.  Potatoes-that is what I am afficiando of and these lacy latkes were fried to a perfect crispness and were a crunchy contrast to the smoky fish that I absolutely love. 

When we vacationed in Sicily at exactly this time of year, D picked fresh figs for our breakfast.  Ironically, I only rarely get to enjoy figs and had lapped them at a lunch earlier that day when they were stewed with a chirizo sausage.   These figs were classically wrapped in prosciutto and totally satisfied my sweet and salty taste buds.

Speaking of Chorizo, the peppery sausage was balanced with carmelized sweet onions on baguette.  In my mind, chorizo was native to Mexico or even Italy but no-it originates from the Iberian peninsula which includes the country of Portugal and Spain.    

Next up was the highlight of the evening (from a culinary persepctive at least).  The most enormous sea scallops were wrapped in bacon and baked.  Perhaps they had been seared first because the face of the scallop was slightly crusted but the meat was plump and firm and sparkled on the tongue.  Now we grill scallops in bacon quite often at home and it sounds simple enough, but there is a real knack in cooking the bacon so that the fat has rendered away while not overcooking the scallop-these were perfection.

 

Carpaccio with parmesan shards and a empanada made with ground beef and ancho chili were served to contrast some of the more robust wines.  Ancho chili spice is made when both the seeds and pods of the plant are ground together, producing the brick-red powder that is most commonly associated with Mexican cooking.

I have been crazy for Portobello mushrooms this season and these meaty ones were coupled with Gorgonzola  cheese in a balsamic reduction.

BC peaches tartlets in phyllo pastry were the sweet crown of the evening.

I do know that the Cafe is available for special evening events such as this one.  The room is cozy even with its glass walls that make you feel right in the heart of the life in the Exchange.  Domenic Amatuzio is the skilled chef of the Cafe and put on a brilliant display of his talents.

News Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”-Ernest Hemingway


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