Monday, June 6, 2011

The Drake Hotel, Toronto: Special Dinner for the Cookbook Store

A meal arranged by chef Anthony Rose for the staff of The Cookbook Store consisted of a succession of "surprise" courses.

Ricotta cheese with Olives, slow roasted cherry tomatoes with thyme, all drizzled with lovely olive oil, topped on country style grilled toast.

Warm oysters with ancho chile sauce (a great combo) and topped with chopped scallions, all on a warm bed of soybeans.

Grilled, tender chile seasoned squid, smoked sausage, rice and beans with green onion aioli. Can you visualize how these wonderful flavours and textures would come together? An amazing dish.

Sweet pea ravioli with grilled, early seasonal baby leeks, lobster, mushrooms and lobster mushroom butter. A sweet dish that just smacked of umami!

Pork belly fried rice, kernel peanuts, fire shrimp (butterflied and lightly breaded with maple syrup and spice), bok choy, hoisin sauce, all with fried egg noodles. The shrimp was crispy enough to eat tail and all (we did).

Crunchy broccoli with heirloom cherry tomatoes, pan seared garlic, chopped sweet red pepper and creme fraiche.

Cumbrae farms skirt steak had a lovely beefy flavour complexed by proper aging, was served with garlic chives butter. This tender, flavourful steak experience was a tribute to both the butcher, Steve Alexander and chef Rose.

And we just had to have the crispy fries and aioli.

Mile high “wacky cake” layered with nutella, chocolate ganache and crisps. Now this was wacky-good!

And this the result!!

Orange frito (caramelized corn chips) orange chiffon cake orange zest icing.

Another "wacky" dessert!

Anthony Rose is the king of comfort food, creative comfort food influenced by Asian and European traditions without any overbearing seasoning. The food flavours came through and never overwhelmed the palate despite the complexity of some of the dishes. What a meal!

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