I was lucky enough to attend this gala fundraiser for the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research (CFDR) at Steam Whistle Brewing Company on Friday evening.  The MC was Mairlyn Smith – what a great job of keeping everyone laughing and in great humor.  I got the chance to meet Anna Olson and Michael Olson, Stefano Faita and Brad Horen.  Anna and Michael, true Canadian Culinary royalty, Stefano who has been around for a while in Montreal but has only recently started shooting a show in Toronto and Brad Horen who with his team, represented and won a gold medal for Canada at the Bocuse D’or 2012 Competition.  What a great night.  Pictures below.

These Canadian Chefs created a wonderful 3 course meal paired with wine for us followed by a double whammy from the Queen of Pastry Chefs Anna Olson.  Michael’s Braised Halibut with Tarragon and Chives served on Lemon Risotto was a perfect starter, paired with a delicious Reisling was seasoned and cooked wonderfully well.  Just a big enough portion to get the taste of the fish and the Risotto – wow.  This was followed by a truly Canadian dish created by Stefano – Mac and Cheese – heavy on the cheese and flavor.  A nice sized portion, gooey but with a delightful crumbling on the top to add some crunch served with a delightful Chardonnay – just the way I like it – no oak (it’s a personal thing).  Brad had the third course – no wonder he and the team won Gold.  This West Coast native did Pork Cheeks with an Asian Twist and a Scallop that you would swear was just caught and cooked for you.  It was served with a wonderful Gamay.  Dessert – oh my goodness – Anna did this no-bake Cheesecake topped with Rhubarb – freshness and Spring at it’s best.  So light, so filled with taste.  I was told the recipe was on the CFDR site but couldn’t find it at the time of writing this.  I’ll post it when I find it.  Anna also treated us to a Butter Tart Station – Maple Nuts, Chocolate, Caramel toppings (and yes take out bags).  Truly the evening was a feast for all the senses.

The Executive Director Isla and her team did an awesome job of putting the event together from Chef selection to venue.  There were several large tables of wonderful silent auction items donated by sponsors and supporters of the CFDR.  So what does CFDR do?  In a nutshell (and please take a look at www.CFDR.ca for more information), they provide grants to support research to dietitians aimed at improving the nutritional health of all Canadians.  Their findings allows health professionals to provide guidance and intervention in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as -heart, cancer, kidney and neuromuscular illness.  Take a minute to visit their site.  It’s worth it.