A woman in a long dress standing in front of a white car.

Hellenic Community’s 31st Gold Plate Dinner: An Evening Of Dazzling Proportions!

By on June 20, 2016

It isn’t every day that one has the chance to win a brand new 2016 Mercedes-Benz or a cash prize of $30,000 all the while supporting a great cause. Drinks were flowing, oysters were being shucked and food was a plenty as 500 guests wined and dined at the beautiful Hellenic Community Center for its 31st anniversary of The Gold Plate Dinner.

The Ottawa Hellenic Community Center was transformed into a ritzy soiree! Nothing was left to chance. Guests were treated as royalty as soon as they entered the big top tent where the pre-party celebrations were taking place.

Executive Chef Jason Duquette spoiled the guest’s taste buds as they nibbled and in some cases overindulged (and who could blame them as they were very addictive) on the tasty and diverse appetizers that were presented.

Guests were delighted to indulge in the numerous ‘teaser’ offerings at The Gold Plate Dinner cocktail reception. Malpeque oysters in abundance catered to everyone’s love of the sea and appetizer cones filled with duck confit with mandarin orange spread, smoke salmon with maple cream cheese and taramasalata (Greek carp roe) left guests wanting more! I personally could have eaten these all night!

Seafood inspired canapés delighted the guests as they ate mussels with black pepper spread, smoke salmon wheels with caper cream cheese, scallops with curry cream cheese and sliced crab with dill spread to just mention a few.

The cocktail reception and all its tasteful nibbles at The Gold Plate Dinner.

While guests enjoyed the pre-party libations and networked with some of Ottawa’s most successful business owners and professionals, live entertainment played as Greek-like goddesses danced near the desired Mercedes-Benz vehicle. All of which made the perfect ambiance to the cocktail portion of the evening.

Live entertainment and tasty libations were enjoyed during The Gold Plate Dinner.


Greek-like goddess entertaining in front of the prized 2016 Mercedes-Benz that guests could win during the Reverse Elimination Draw.

Eleni Dellis, General Manager of the Hellenic Community of Ottawa & Hellenic Meeting & Reception Centre explained what the event means to her and to the Greek community, “The Gold Plate Dinner event is about supporting our Greek community and the many worthy charities in this city. This could not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors and every loyal guest that attends each year.  They are the true gems of this event.”

The Food Tease with Eleni Dellis, General Manager of the Hellenic Community of Ottawa & Hellenic Meeting & Reception Centre at The Gold Plate Dinner

This amazing event is truly a testament about bringing people together and giving them the opportunity to network with leaders from every industry in our community while at the same time raising funds for charities in the Ottawa region – Eleni Dellis, General Manager of the Hellenic Community of Ottawa & Hellenic Meeting & Reception Centre

Benefactors of the Gold Plate Dinner are The Hellenic Community of Ottawa and The Queensway Carleton Hospital ACUTE Care for the Elderly Unita new partnership for the next 5 years.  The last 7 years the Gold Plate Dinner fundraising event partnered up with The University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Throughout the years, this community oriented fundraiser has raised over $2 million! Impressive figures to say the least.

The cocktail portion of the evening was an opportunity to network amongst some very reputable companies and contributors in our beautiful city. It was time to enjoy the evening’s main draw: the three-course gourmet feast and see who would have Lady Luck on their side for the draw!


As guest entered the formal dining hall, Executive Chef Jason Duquette continued to wow the guests with his three-course dinner that accentuated the love of both land and sea.

(Left to Right) The behind the scenes work during The Gold Plate Dinner service, a beautiful table adorned with the first course of the evening, Executive Chef Jason Duquette and The Food Tease.

First Course

First course: grilled romaine salad with bacon crisps, grated quail egg, accompanied by an onion toast with a compote, goat cheese & figs with balsamic reduction.

First course: grilled romaine salad with bacon crisps, grated quail egg, accompanied by an onion toast with a compote, goat cheese & figs with balsamic reduction.

Second Course

Second course: filet mignon with grilled portobello mushroom au gratin served with a port reduction demi glaze. Accompanied with lobster tail, Gruyere duchesse potato and seasonal vegetables.

Third Course

Third course: chocolate caramel served with a strawberry coulis.

The Reverse Elimination Draw

During the dinner service, all eyes were glued to the big projected boards on the wall displaying the ticket numbers from each and every guest from the evening. As the dinner service started, ticket numbers would start to disappear one by one to the dismay of unfortunate ticket holders. And for those that still saw their ticket number on the board, that meant they were still in the running for the famous Reverse Elimination Draw for $30,000 or a 2016 Mercedes-Benz car from Star Motors, till they dwindled the number down to twenty lucky contestants.

Lawrence Greenspon, the energetic MC for the evening entertained guests during the live auction that saw amazing prizes being sold to the highest bidder.

Lawrence Greenspon, The Gold Plate Dinner MC kept guests entertained during the event.

Greenspon called upon the twenty fortunate contestants to the centre stage to start the heart pounding elimination. From there the contestants would decide collaboratively whether or not to share the purse money of thirty thousand dollars or try to win a bigger share of the pot. All the while risking having their names being read as their ticket was pulled from the lottery drum. The elimination process finishes when all remaining contestants unanimously agree to stop.


(Back to Front) MC Lawrence Greenspon and the final 20 contestants during the Reverse Elimination Draw; Lawrence Greenspon and event chair Dean Karakasis as they pull the tickets from the drum; winners of the evening: friends and colleagues Mike Arsenault and Michael Ruspic from CBM Elevator Company are the final two contestants of the $30,000 Reverse Elimination Draw and decide to share the money and donate back half their winnings.

As the contestants were being eliminated, two colleagues who also happen to be friends found themselves at the end. Mike Arsenault and Michael Ruspic from CBM Elevator Company decided that they would both share the winnings. And if that wasn’t enough, they also donated half of their winnings back to the community. Now that’s giving!

What an evening! The Gold Plate Dinner was spectacular and for myself, who has never attended this event before, it was something else!

The food, décor and ambiance were red carpet worthy! And let’s not forget the nail-biting Reverse Elimination Draw that guests looked forward to and talked about afterwards. With such events, it’s a bonus knowing that others in the community will benefit from them.

 To my new Greek friends: μέχρι το επόμενο έτος ! (Till next year!)


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And the pièce de résistance, triple-cream Brie with @artisinbakery baguette - the perfect match for such a meal. 

At this rate, indulgence should be my nickname 😉

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