>> Friday, March 4, 2011
Me and my girlfriend even lucked out this year because we were planning our get together his past Wednesday and found out that it also happened to be the Big Taste Calgary kickoff event! I knew that Big Taste was just around the corner (starting Mar 4th-14th) but didn’t realize that this year they were introducing a new kickoff event held at Hotel Arts, called Chef Meets Grape. It was the first time this event has been held and when we found out, being the winos and foodies that we are, we really couldn’t miss it. So after a very last minute change of plans, we found ourselves pulling up to Hotel Arts at little past 6:30 pm on Wednesday to prep ourselves mentally for the amazing food and wine that evening.
Chef Meets Grape is sponsored by Wines of British Columbia and showcased 25 different unique wines from local BC wineries paired with different local restaurant favourites. Guests got to sample a special dish from each participating restaurant paired with a specially chosen BC wine, then at the end of the night everyone got to vote for their favourite (or stare at me, the crazy one who pulled out her camera and took photos of everything even though I was salivating, but still had to try and get a shot in). This year the restaurants that were involved included (in no particular order): River Café, Home Tasting Room, Ric’s Grill, Saint Germain, Raw Bar, Olives, The District and Catch. Each featured amazing dishes which ranged from succulent Braised short ribs (Home Tasting Room), Herbed profiterole with steel headed trout (River Café) to the people’s choice of Red currants and spice rubbed smoked beef (Olives).
All in all it definitely set the tone for the upcoming 10 days, which officially starts today! If you feel like you’ve missed out on the Chef Meets Grape event, there are additional Big Taste Calgary feature events held throughout the next week or so and that information can be found on the Downtown Calgary website along with all participating Calgary restaurants. Now the only difficult part is picking and choosing which restaurants to try before the event ends (then putting on my running shoes and pounding out a couple of miles before the next planned dinner date)!