A Fabulous Fungus Feast

The success of New Years Eve’s delicious seafood dinner party encouraged another recent feast.  Our dinner group decided we couldn’t wait another year for such a fabulous meal, so we organized a party for Sunday January 16th.

There are some guidelines we follow to ensure plenty of good eats, sufficient wine and a smashing good time.
1. Choose a ingredient theme.
2. Each dinner party attendee must bring an appetizer sized course and the appropriate wine the match.
3. Dress up – it’s a special occasion.

Mike and Chris hosted the Fabulous Fungus Feast.  Here’s a look at the evening’s six courses.

Chris artfully prepared menu cards for each guest’s setting at the dinning room table.

Course One
Mike’s Mushroom Toast
2008 Chateau Ligny Chablis, France
Chef Michael Izzo

Mike was the first one to serve.  We didn’t realize until the next day, but we missed the opportunity to take a photo of Mike’s dish.  It was a combination of it being so tasty, and us that hungry that we just forgot to take a photo.  We were also that thirsty because between the first a second course a bottle of Pinot Grigio was consumed.  Mike’s Mushroom Toast was an artisinal loaf of bread halved and stuffed with creminis, mozzarella, scallions and garlic.  It was then baked and served warm and gooey.

Course Two
Cremini & Goat Cheese Tart
2010 Man Vitners Chenin Blanc, South Africa
Chef Kristina Vidug

Kristina’s tart was filled with a lemon, goat cheese and ricotta mixture.  Finished with lots of creminis and garnished with dill.  The puff pastry had great crunch and texture to the dish.  The winning combination was the tie of citrus flavours in the wine with the lemon in the tart and the acidity of the wine that cut through the thickness of the cheese.

Course Three
Crab and Spinach Stuffed Portobello Caps
2007 Talbotts Chardonnay, Monteray County, US
Chef Nathan Gauld

It was a rich dish well paired with a rich wine.  The wine was a real treat, with layers of toasty, spicy, buttery flavours.  These matched well the robust, meaty flavour of the portobello, the creamy texture of the crab filling and the sharpness of the Parmesan cheese.

Course Four
Shitake, Oyster and Cremini Soup
2009 Acacia Pinot Noir, California, US
Chef Chris Shillington

This soup was loaded with flavour.  The combination of mushrooms, (beech mushrooms garnished the soup) and the aroma of truffle oil was amazing.  The soups secret ingredient was French tarragon, giving the course a little “je ne sais quoi”. The overall warm woodsy flavours and the beef stock worked well with the soft Pinot Noir.

Course Five
Handmade Gnocchi with Wild Mushroom Gorgonzola Cream
2009 Baron Philippe de Rothchild Pinot Noir, France
Chef Alex Richardson

Alex was up util 4am the previous day making hand made gnocchi.  Well worth the time put in, they were perfect little potato pillows.  She put just as much effort into the presentation, finishing the dish with toasted pine nuts, a balsamic drizzle and an edible flower.  So precious.

Course Six
Truffle & Meringue Toadstools on Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
2004 M. Chapoutier Banyuls, France
Chef Allison Vidug

Once the mushroom theme was chosen, we all assumed there would be no dessert.  I googled “mushroom dessert” and found the cutest little mushroom meringues.  I knew I had to make them.  Once that was decided, I took a look in my cellar for a dessert wine.  I saw the Banyuls.   Then course started to come together in my mind.  Chocolate molten lava cakes are easy to prepare ahead of time and the dark flavour matched with the wine.  My vision was to create a mushroom patch growing out of the chocolate cake.  The mint garnish added to the forest floor look.  The raspberry coulis below the cake tied in the dish to the wine.  The Banyuls was a special wine.  The aromas had distinct fruit character of blueberry, strawberry and raspberry.

After six mushroom courses, six wine pairings and six cheers, we all retired to the living room for a game of charades.   It seems like we have the making of a dinner party club in order.  There is a plan for another party already.  I can’t wait to see what the next theme is.


About allisonvidug

Allison has been professionally passionate about wine and food for eight years. In that short time, Allison has traveled across Canada to work at some of the finest establishments focussed on premium wine, food and service. Her travels and education has allowed Allison the pleasure to live in some of Canada’s most beautiful locations such as the Okanagan Valley, Niagara Peninsula, the Southern Gulf Islands, Toronto, Lake Louise and Muskoka. Some of Allison's favourite things include; wine, gin, whisky, cheese, mushrooms, cooking, hosting, growing vegetables, cottaging and dogs. Allison has seriously invested in her education of food and drink. She is a graduate of the Food and Beverage Management Diploma Program at George Brown College. She also holds a Diploma in Viticulture and Winery Management from Niagara College. Allison has fine tuned her wine and spirit sensory skills by completing certificates with the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Allison is currently completing here WSET Diploma, one of the highest levels of wine education.
This entry was posted in Dinner Parties, Mushrooms. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s