A Dinner in Gairloch Gardens with Chef Mark McEwan

On Thursday, September 10th, 2015 Oakville Galleries & PCM – Project and Construction Management Inc. presented Botanica: A Dinner in Gairloch Gardens in support of Oakville Galleries. The evening featured a five-course meal prepared by our Chef Mark McEwan along with Executive Chef Andrew Ellerby, and ONE Restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine Darby Piquette & Pastry Chef Amy Tenn-Yuk. Dinner was paired with the exceptional wines from New Zealand’s Stoneleigh Vineyards.

Guests were served at a single communal table among the 15,000 blooms of Gairloch’s trellised rose garden, bringing together community members, artists and art enthusiasts under the open skies.

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Proceeds from the Dinner in Gairloch Gardens provided much-needed funds for accessible, high-quality educational and artistic programming in the Oakville community.

A special thank you to the following event partners Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, Forget Me Not FlowersThe Mermaid and the Oyster and more who helped make the dinner a success.

Scroll through the gallery below for a closer look at the enchanting evening.

 

[Photography credit: Corina V. Photography]

Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Inspires Top Talent

On Saturday, September 12th 2015 at Vancouver Community College‘s Downtown Campus the top eight young chefs from across the nation headed to Vancouver to compete in Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship competition.

Competitors were given identical ingredients and had three hours in the kitchen to wow the taste buds of the judges with the black box ingredients revealed moments before their start time.

Our Chef Mark McEwan joined the judging panel along with Chef Normand Laprise (Toqué!), Chef Anthony Walsh (Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants), Chef Scott Jaeger (Peartree Restaurant), Food Critic Jacob Richler, Maclean’s & Canada’s 100 Best, Food Critic Alexandra Gill (Globe & Mail), Food Critic Marie-Claude Lortie (La Presse) and Chef David Hawksworth & Chef de Cuisine Kristian Eligh (Hawksworth Restaurant).

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After a close battle, the $10,000 bursary went to Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship winner Ian MacDougall of Model Milk.

The competition concluded with a memorable evening of Canadian cuisine presented by TD, hosted at Hawksworth Restaurant. The dinner featured dishes prepared by chefs, Mark McEwan, Anthony Walsh, Normand Laprise, Scott Jaeger, Kristian Eligh and David Hawksworth.

[Photos courtesy of Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Foundation]

Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Chili Salsa

Bring the five star flavour experience to your dinner table in minutes. This Shrimp Pineapple Chili Salsa Tacos recipe is a 15-minute meal that packs a punch of flavour with fresh vibrant colours that give a deluxe seafood feel. Using McEwan’s Own Pineapple Chili Salsa you can add a sweet, tangy and sour finish to the tacos!

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1 cup of rainbow coleslaw (or any shredded slaw)
1 jar of McEwan’s Own Pineapple Chili Salsa
½ bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
2 lbs of fresh shrimps, peeled and deveined—any count you prefer (I used 21-26 count here)
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 bag of mini corn tortillas, toasted
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of fresh pineapple chunks (optional)
2 jalapeños, sliced (optional)
Lime quarters (optional)

Set the oven to broil and allow it to heat up for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, toss the coleslaw with 2 tablespoons of the McEwan’s Own Pineapple Chili Salsa and add 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro to the slaw mix. Set aside.

Toss the shrimps with salt, pepper, olive oil and spread on a single layer in a baking sheet. Place the shrimps on the top most rack of the oven to broil for 3-5 minutes (depending on the size).

Once the shrimps are ready, add 1/3 cup of the pineapple chili salsa to the shrimps and toss them very well to infuse the flavours.

Take a mini tortilla and top it with a couple tablespoons of coleslaw (more or less to taste), the pineapple chilli shrimps, scallions, fresh pineapple chunks, jalapeños, cilantro and a squeeze of lime (more or less of each topping according to your taste). Take a toothpick and secure the tortillas from side to side to hold in the filling.

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Mahy Elamin, Two Purple Figs
Recipe Developer, Food Stylist, Culinary Instructor, Photographer, Wife and Busy Mom
Twitter: @TwoPurpleFigs
Instagram: @TwoPurpleFigs

A Crowd Pleasing Cheesy Brunch with McEwan’s Premium Selection of Cheese

While most foods like candy vs caviar are favoured quite differently from childhood to adulthood, cheese has the amazing power to transcend the ages. We fall in love early on in life and never let go.

Thankfully, McEwan’s offers a wide range of local and imported cheeses to impress the pickiest kid and the most sophisticated adult palates. With the help of their staff, it’s easy to build a perfect cheese platter with selections like St. Agur Blue from France, 18 month aged Manchego from Spain, Grey Owl Goat from Quebec, and one of my personal favourites ~ the Upper Canada Cheese’s Niagara Gold from Ontario. McEwan’s staff can also help you select the right cheese for your recipe.

CHEESY SWISS CHARD PHYLLO MINI QUICHES 

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Serve with a colourful fruit salad, Greek yogurt and a homemade granola, and you’ve got a light yet impressive mid-morning meal.

1 TSP OLIVE OIL
1 CLOVE GARLIC, MINCED
10 CUPS OF SWISS CHARD LEAVES, RIBS REMOVED, FINELY CHOPPED
¾ CUP LOW FAT COTTAGE CHEESE
½ CUP FINELY SHREDDED ITALIAN PARMIGIANO REGGIANO CHEESE, PLUS MORE FOR GARNISH
3 TBSP SUNDRIED TOMATOES, REHYDRATED AND FINELY MINCED
1 TSP LEMON ZEST
¼ TSP SALT
¼ TSP PEPPER
2 LARGE EGGS, BEATEN
1 tbsp olive oil
3 sheets of frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
Parsley, for serving
Hot Sauce, for serving

Preheat oven to 400°F, lightly grease a muffin tin, and place in the oven while the oven warms up.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the Swiss Chard leaves and ¼ cup of water. Cook over medium heat until well wilted and significantly reduced in volume, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat to a medium bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small food processer, puree the cottage cheese with the Parimigiano Reggiano cheese until the cottage cheese loses its curd-like texture.

Add the cheese, rehydrated sundried tomatoes, lemon zest, and salt and pepper, to taste to the chard. Then add in the beaten eggs and mix until well combined.

Cut the three sheets of phyllo in half down the middle. Lightly brush a little olive oil onto each square, then fold it in half, brush a bit more on, then fold again to yield a slightly rectangular square. Press into the muffin tin and trim the excess. Repeat with all 6 pieces.

Fill the phyllo with the cheese and Swiss Chard mixture and top with a light sprinkling of extra Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the filling feels set, the phyllo edges are brown and the bottom of the phyllo is light brown.

Serve with finely chopped parsley and hot sauce, if desired. Serves 3-4.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN