Art + food + wine + friends = Rachelle's favourite place to be on a beautiful Thursday night in May.
This evening I had the honour of accompanying my friend Marysol to the re•fresh art auction at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Now, I could spend my entire evening going on about the beautiful artwork from over 60 renowned and emerging artists (including Marysol!) that were displayed and up for auction. Or the fact that these pieces were sold at a steal (many going for less than half their value), with all funds going to Public Educational Programs connecting children and families to modern and contemporary visual art. But this is a food blog, and I must stay focused. Actually, that won't be a problem.
Restaurants and caterers at this event were some of Ottawa's finest. Sixth Sense Catering, A Culinary Conspiracy, B. goods Bakery, Essence Catering, Epicuria, Farb's Kitchen and Wine Bar, J. Willy Krauch & Sons Ltd, Les Fougères, The Whalesbone Oyster House, The Mixing Bowl, The Urban Element and Thyme & Again. Given Marysol's “connections” in the food world, I was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes peak of the plates before the vultures landed. I swear none of them made it out more than 2 minutes before they were empty. And it's no wonder, here's just a sampling of what was offered.
Moist chocolate cupcakes with either cassis & blackberry, mint, orange and kumquat or coconut topping from the Urban Element. Sinful!
Yummy pork bites with chipotle from Essence Catering.
Warm pork quesadillas from Epicuria.
Mmmm, seared tuna on a crispy lotus root cracker.
Delicious mascarpone and fig crostini with kumquat from Sixth Sense.
Carrot and cardamon dark chocolate with Chai Tea frosting from Essence Catering.
Spoonfuls of fresh shrimp and scallop ceviche from Les Fougères.
Other items that missed the photo opp were Alberta beef crostinis with truffle oil from Thyme & Again, shrimp and chorizo skewers from a Culinary Conspiracy, and Trumpour's Mill Riesling or Cab Merlot.
And a lovely assortment of warm, fresh cookies from B. goods bakery. I had to save this one for last as it was the perfect end to my evening. As I left the building and bid farewell to Marysol and Simon, I was immediately taken aback by a cookie wagon exuding the smell of fresh baked goodies. My eyes grew wide when I noticed a gentleman leaving the truck with a plate full of cookies.
“What!? How come you guys are out here?” I asked.
“Because this is where the oven is!” Was the reply I got.
That's how fresh these puppies were! Literally straight from the oven. Turns out these guys supply cookies to shops and cafés all over Ottawa, and it all gets made right here in this truck. Fancy events get blessed with their presence on-site.
I left with a handful of a selection of cookies that I could not wait to devour. And just as I turned to leave the truck, there was Marysol, camera in hand to catch me in action! Yikes!! (Have I mentioned my soft spot for cookies!?)
Thank you so much Marysol!! I had a wonderful evening.