Inventive and eclectic event series, 3 Chefs 1 Dinner, closes out 2018 with blowout showcase
For the past three years, Michael Blackie, co-founder and executive chef at NeXT, has been spearheading an inventive and eclectic initiative; playing host to two guest chefs every month for a one-of-a-kind event series aptly named “3 Chefs 1 Dinner”. Wrapping up the 2018 season with a blowout event, Michael Blackie shuffled aside to share the spotlight with two guys bringing the south to the house; Spencer Gomez of Atlanta’s Holeman & Finch and Brent Weathers of Brent Weather Cuisine, who also doubles as a DJ, in Houston. After an interactive demo including cocktails and canapes, guests moved on to a 9-course sharing menu paired with 3 fights of wine, and it certainly showcased exactly why this interactive dining experience is a repeat success.
Wave One | Chef Blackie
Hom Sui Gok
candied X.O. pork belly + waterchestnut jicama + peanut slaw . pun chun mirror
Ricotta + green pea roast garlic ravioli
confit of burdock . demi-dasie
With past stints at The Brookstreet Hotel and National Arts Centre, as well as appearances on Iron Chef Canada and Chef Off!, Blackie premiered a brand new, original dish in Wave One of the night. Incorporating flavours I can only imagine he has had plenty of first-hand experience with during his pre-Ottawa life as executive sous chef at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, he spent hours painstakingly stuffing rice flour dough with candied X.O. pork belly to produce a Hom Sui Gok that was just the right amount of chewy in all its glutinous glory. He followed that up with an easy-to-make soft and savoury ricotta and green pea roast garlic ravioli that was as much a delight in your mouth as it was on the plate.
Wave Two | Chef Spencer
Smoked trout . herb salad
chili butter . grilled toast . trout roe
Braised beef short rib
crisp sweet potato . coffee . chow chow
Atlanta is a big city with a massive food scene, but Spencer Gomez clearly stands out amongst all of the competition. Executive chef at Holeman & Finch in Atlanta’s stylish Buckhead neighborhood, he was recently named a Rising Star by StarChefs.com, a website dedicated to celebrating up-and-coming chefs and culinary professionals. Bringing some of his Southern flavour to a terribly Canadian wintry night, Gomez started us off on Wave Two with a simple and lightly smoked trout bursting with spicy flavour from a generous drizzling of chili butter. His second dish introduced us to chow chow, a coveted relish like condiment native to the American South which was served as a refreshing twist to the classic topping on a tender braised beef short rib with a coffee glaze and crispy sweet potato.
Wave Three | Chef Weathers
Double smoked bacon jam
Idaho russet potato grits
Buttered prawns . celery root + n’duja crumble
bone marrow gnocchi . swiss chard flash
Born in Colorado Springs, but a true Texan at heart, Brent Weathers grew up a self professed military brat, with years of his childhood spent in Naples Italy as well as Izmir Turkey. He’s got a fresh take on the evolution of Southern Cuisine, which included, as part of Wave Three, Idaho russet potato grits served with double smoked bacon jam in which he shamelessly includes ketchup. He wasn’t done bringing us his best of the South either – his second dish of buttered prawns melted in your mouth and was served complete with bone marrow gnocchi and swiss chard flash.
Stay tuned for the 2019 season as Chef Blackie continues to host 2 chefs monthly, always on a Wednesday!