Now that’s an evening: talented chefs, tantalizing food and all for a worthy cause…

By on January 19, 2014

Walking through the labyrinth like maze at Ashbury College, I couldn’t help but to be a bit anxious as I was making my way towards the hall where the Red and White Gala was about to commence. Anxious with anticipation as to what the evening would have in store for me and my hungry and impatient appetite. Attendees of the Red and White Gala were all there for the same reason, to enjoy an evening of spectacular food showcased and demoed by two of Ottawa’s leading chefs: Norm Aitken of Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar and Michael Blackie of NEXT. This annual food fundraiser event was created to raise awareness and just as important, to raise funds for the women’s shelter Harmony House – Ottawa’s only second-stage women’s shelter that provides affordable transitional housing for women and children who are survivors of violence.

Prior to the main event commencing, guests could mingle and enjoy the various breweries and wineries that were in attendance (Barley Days Brewery, Kichesippi Beer, Beau’s All Natural Brewing  Big Rig BreweryRosehall Run, Domaine Perrault, Three Dog Wine, Smokey Ridge Vineyard, and The Grange. Now with all those options of poisons one had no choice but to indulge in the food samplings that were also on display…a tease of sorts before the main act was to take stage. Gourmet jams from michaelsdolce, various olive oils from Unrefined Olive and being completely biased since we all know how much I love my meat…a cornucopia of meats provided by Seed to Sausage.
Meat temptations from Seed to Sausage
And now to the main act…the cooking demo collaboration with Norm Aitken and Michael Blackie. Sharing the stage, the chefs had fun with the audience demonstrating how to recreate their 3 course meal that we were all about to enjoy. Humor and interesting food facts alongside with some more twisted kitchen humor were all part of their stage schtick…and the audience wolfed it all down just like they did to their food!
Michael Blackie from NEXT, Derick Fage host of Daytime Ottawa
and Norm Aitken from Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar
First Course: Lobster Bisque, Chèvre hush puppy
Chive and roast garlic butter bobber
Second Course: Hot flaked smoked salmon, spiced honey pecans
curled endive + red radish shredder, lemon horseradish splash
Third Course: Maple tellicherry peppercorn braised beef short rib
crispy kale | acidulated carrot, chickpea caper sage polenta

And for those that saved some room for dessert, guests could indulge in the cute and light as a feather mini cupcakes that were generously provided by Lynne Frappier from the The Twisted Chef. During this time guests and their very generous wallets took part in the live auction that truly demonstrated the generosity that the Ottawa people have when it comes to helping out a great cause.

Ending the evening on a sweet note, mini cupcakes were generously
supplied by Lynne Frappier 
Already looking forward to next year’s event!

Where's my rubber ducky 🐤😉?! 
A year ago this week, I was enjoying some bath time while in @discoverdominica 🏖🏝😍
Dominica's lush scenery is extraordinary, and I'm grateful to have been invited to visit their beautiful island😊😊
Visiting Wotten Waven Sulphur Springs was perfect to relax and rid of some unwanted stress. And the outdoor bath surrounded by all that green landscape was simply the BEST! An unforgettable experience! 🤩
Dominica's adventure activities - diving, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, swimming - are just some of the many ways to enjoy this tropical island.🤿🙂
Put Dominica on your travel list. You'll love it!!❤️❤️
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What goes better together than Champagne and lobster?! Nothing, except MORE Champagne...hence the magnum of Veuve!🍾🥂🦞
This is the definition of indulgence. 😉
Why wait for special occasions?! Enjoy what makes you happy whenever the mood strikes! 
Carpe diem!!🍾🥂😍
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Tapas, tapas, and more delicious tapas!!😍😋
When in Kingston, Ontario food lovers should make it a MUST to have some delicious and over-the-top tapas at Tango Neuvo. 
Everything from the tuna poke nachos, scallops, ceviche, potatoes, poke belly to their insanely tasty lamb tacos - EVERYTHING WAS A HIT!!
This is what summer indulgence is all about!! Check it out!!😋😍
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@discoverdominica was incredible, and I am happy to share with you some of my adventures in the latest issue of @ottawawedding.
Experience limitless adventures  unforgettable beauty, thanks to lush rainforests, breathtaking waterfalls, and volcanic peaks. 🏝 🏞 
In addition to other exciting activities, I had loads of fun snorkeling with @wanderlustcaribbean and with @mrweskayak from @soufriereoutdoorcentre 🤿🐠🪼🪸🐚 
And the pampering services in Dominica are beyond NEXT level!! 💆🏼‍♀️😍
Special thanks to @junglebaydominica
@wanderlustcaribbean and
@coulibri_ridge for their exceptional hospitality!!🥇🥇
Dominica, the Nature Island that leaves you wanting more, couldn't be more true.
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Who doesn't love fireworks?! 🎆 🎇 
With a view like this, im completely on board😍😍
Year after year, @grandsfeuxducasino puts on an incredible show, where various countries compete in the juried pyromusical show.
On this particular evening, I happen to be at the right place to watch Italy perform their magic!✨️🎆
What more could you ask for when you have breathtaking fireworks displayed in the backdrop of the stunning @natgallerycan as it illuminates the night sky? And let's not forget to mention Ottawa's famous spider sculpture, which adds that extra something to any photo. 🕷🕸
Here's to enjoying more summer evenings! 
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After several years (and many obstacles), I am happy to share that my East Asia adventure to Hong Kong and Taiwan was recently published in the @fwtmagazine
Special thanks to Discover Hong Kong Tour Taiwan - TTB America and Hong Kong Airlines 香港航空 for this incredible experience, filled with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and lasting memories.😊
I relished every moment: ✅️ Hong Kong's endless and impressive skyscrapers 
✅️ The majestical Tian Tian bronze Buddha in the mountains (walking up the endless stairs to see the Buddha upclose was worth it)
✅️ The famous Shilin Night Market, the largest and most famous night market in Taiwan 😋😋
✅️ Learning survival skills from their renowned Cidal Hunter School in the mountains
✅️ And so much more!!
= This adventure can only be described as EPIC‼️
I'm looking forward to the next chapter!!🌏✈️
#travelwriter #fwt #ifwtwa1 #taiwan #taiwanfood #nightmarket #hongkong #hongkongfood #hongkongairlines #epic #passportready #lovemyjob #foodwriter #thefoodteasetravel #tmac #asia #discoverasia #gratefulfortheopportunity

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