Monday, April 15, 2013

Meet Your Local Spring Gala & Fundraiser

You've seen the magazines around. You've most likely given it a read. It is, after all, a free local lovin' publication. But did you know Local Connections is organizing a Meet Your Local Spring Gala and Fundraiser of pure awesomeness at the Halifax Club Thursday, May 9? You didn't? Well, here's what Alex Henden, the enthusiast behind Local Connections has to say: "We're bringing together the best that local has to offer, putting them in one place, and letting our imaginations run wild. With over 30 quality local beer, wine, spirits, food, and entertainment partners contributing to seven theme rooms that will celebrate quality and community, we'll transform the Halifax Club into an epic experience. Those who missed it will pretend they were there." You're in the process of securing those tickets right now aren't ya? Well, in case you need a tad more convincing, keep on reading.

The Meet Your Local events began this Winter as a chance to get up close and personal with several of the cities local producers and restaurnants. There was, to name a few, a Ratinaud pairing with Avondale Sky wine, a Nomad Gourmet food truck party with Propeller, and a north end fantasy food tour with Ace Burger Co, DeeDee's and JavaBlend. Amazing right? Oh, it get's better. Being mad busy as of late, I was only able to attend the very last Meet Your Local event, a four course small plates pairing with Ratinaud French Cuisine and Propeller Brewing. Little did I know that since this was the last event, Ratinaud was pulling together the best dishes of all events in one no holds barred epic pairing. And let me tell you, epic barely describes it. I hope you've eaten.

First up, Propellor Pilsner paired with tartiflette, a French dish of potatoes, lardons, reblochon cheese, and onions. Pilsner and creamy, cheesy potatoes? Uh, yes please. But obviously lardons are simply not enough for my pork loving friend so Frederic used both panchetta AND guanciale. We're off to a delicious start indeed.

Next up, Propeller Bitter with some good ol' fish n' chips. Obviously, the haddock was battered using Bitter and fried up with some crispy potato chips. I love me some Bitter and these were the perfect accompaniment.

Now here's where things really got crazy. Frederic brought out these bad boys. And I gotta say, while my heart still belongs to Ace, this was easily The Best Burger to ever grace my lips. No joke. And this was no million topping so-called 'gourmet' burger either. Rather a patty of local beef, shallots, salt and pepper topped simply with blue cheese in a house made brioche bun. A perfect example that sometimes simple is so much better. Paired with my favourite Propeller, the IPA, this course stole my heart. I wanted to devour them all. In fact, I totally went havesies with another guest. How could I not.

Sadly, I was beyond full by the time these succulent ribs came out. Both glazed and paired with Russian Imperial Stout, these were some amazing ribs. But my stomach just wasnt having it. The meat sweats, oh they happened. I may even have had to sit down. Well played Ratinaud and Propeller.

Incredible right? So, if this is what happens when but two of the local partners get together, what do you think will happen when 30 of them pack into the Halifax Club? Perhaps I'll give you a preview. At present three of the seven rooms have been revealed. You best sit down.

Room 1: The Sweet Room
DeeDee's Ice Cream, Java Blend, Scanway, Ironworks Distillery, and pianist Willem Blois

Room 2: The Craft Brewers Party Room
Propeller, Garrison, and Bridge Brewing, Shipbuilder's Cider, Ratinaud, Nomad Gourmet, Halifax Club's Chef Nelson Francis plus 1 more surprise!

Room 3: The Wine Experience Room
Luckett Vineyard, Avondale Sky Winery, Jost Vineyards, Gaspereau Vineyards, Domain de Grand Pre, Saege Bistro, Front & Central, Highland Drive Storehouse, and Quartet La Corde

New rooms and partners are being revealed weekly so stay glued to the Local Connections facebook or Spring Gala event page. Plus, yes there's more, $10 from every ticket purchased and up to $5000 if all tickets are sold is being donated to Shubie Park. So you can eat and drink and be merry AND feel good about it. Damn, it doesn't get any better than that. Early bird tickets have already sold out and, with only a month to go, I doubt it won't be long before the entire event is sold out too. If you don't want to be left pretending you were there, you'll know just what to do.