Earlier this week locals along with ferry and floatplane travellers gathered at Hastings House on the beautiful gulf island known as Salt Spring. The second event in the Chefs Across the Water dining series featured the culinary creations of Chef Lee Parsons of Vancouver’s Wedgewood Hotel and Spa. Chef Parsons along with Sous Chef Nathan Eades and Hasting House’s own Executive Chef Marcel Kauer put together a five course meal prepared with Salt Spring Island ingredients paired with BC wines.
John and I always enjoy visiting Salt Spring and you’ll often hear me referring to it as our “Happy Place”. From rolling meadows and rocky shores to mountain hikes and twisted Arbutus trees spotting the landscape, it’s a magnificent retreat. The island’s bounty was brought to our table as we sat in the solarium overlooking Ganges Harbour at sunset.
First Course: Gazpacho
Lightly spiced chilled soup of Heirloom Tomatoes, cucumber, red peppers, and basil. Garnished with fresh Dungeness Crab and paired with Cassini Cellars Viognier (2010). I am a big fan of gazpacho and this was a great start to the meal ahead.
Second Course: Garden Salad
Garden leaves, fresh Salt Spring Island goat cheese, poached pears, walnut oil and apply cider dressing. Paired with Clos du Soleil Pinot Blanc (2011). Goat cheese, let along Salt Spring goat cheese, is always a favourite as well. A nice crunchy follow-up to the soup.
Third Course: Ling Cod
Pan-seared then baked with a herb crust, fresh mussels, served in a white wine cream broth. Paired with Mission Hill Perpetua (2009). The wine pairing was fantastic with this fragrant dish.
Fourth Course: Lamb
Roasted rack and braised shoulder served with crushed peas, sweet shallot, garlic, celery root, and potato pave with a rosemary scented lamb jus. Paired with Burrowing Owl Vineyards Syrah (2007). John is always partial to lamb and this received his stamp of approval — and mine too. It was so tender and juicy and lacked that ‘gamey’ taste some might normally use to describe lamb. This ‘meat and potatoes’ entree really hit the spot.
Dessert: Milk Risotto/Rice Pudding
Butter roasted peaches finished with lavender. Paired with Chapoutier Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (2009). After the lamb we thought we couldn’t eat another bite but the peach was so citrusy and crisp that it landed on our palettes and begged to be devoured.
There are still tickets available to the final Chefs Across the Water dinner at Hastings House which will be orchestrated by Chef Terry Pichor of Sonora Resort on October 16th. The dinner is $100 and $40 to opt-in for the wine pairings. Follow Hastings House on Twitter and Facebook for more information.