Wendy, the Yelp Manager in Calgary, organized a special Yelp Elite Event for Breakerhead’s Engineered Eats, which runs from September 11th to 14th, 2013. Muse Restaurant and Lounge hosted the event in their lounge. The chefs and mixologists in attendance hailed from: Muse; Raw Bar; Mango Shiva; Taste Restaurant; and Charcut Roast House.
Stealing verbatim from Wendy’s invitation: “Dining is a whole new experimental experience when chef and bartender become scientist! Explore special molecular cocktails and engineering temptations at Beakerhead and Yelp’s participating bars and restaurants. For a full list of participating Beakerhead restaurants and bars, check out: http://YELP.CA AND http://BEAKERHEAD.ORG”.
I was excited to see Raw Bar’s Executive Chef Duncan Ly and Sous Chef Jinhee Lee. I remembered Chef Ly from the Fish Sauce Fundraiser. I loved the seafood in Ly and Lee’s BC Spot Prawn and Westcoast clams with coconut pearls and tomato caviar.
We chatted about upcoming renovations at Raw Bar while I sampled an exquisite cocktail made by Raw Bar’s pretty mixologists Christina Mah and Savanna Beach. The Kaffir-Coconut cocktail ranks as one of the coolest drinks I’ve consumed – the ice sphere and spritz of Vietnamese cinnamon aromatic was pretty amazing.
My next stop was to see Muse’s Executive Chef JP Pedhirney and his crew. As usual, Chef Pedhirney was making food porn, using only three ingredients in multiple ways to represent the taste of a tomato and watermelon.
Muse’s Tequila Sunrise Push-Pop was another neat cocktail. The push-pop was made of grenadine, orange, tequila, and cayenne. The drink was created to represent the sun as it rises. Just as the air gets hotter closer to the sun, so too does the top level of the cocktail become warmer. Honestly, I don’t know how Chef Pedhirney dreams up these clever concepts.
I saw a crew of food engineers preparing foie gras two ways and I indulged in a luxurious bite. I wasn’t surprised to find out this was Team Charcut – the foie gras was stellar.
I think I spoke to mixologist Jason Wankel, who introduced me to my new favourite back to school drink – Autumn in Cognac. Strong and delicious, I gotta go back to Charcut’s bar to retry this cocktail.
I met Chef Shawn Greenwood from Taste and I had a chat about his tomato gazpacho on a stick (aka soup on a stick). It was a nice cool appetizer to eat on a warm September evening. I learned that Chef Greenwood was co-opening up a new restaurant, the Beltliner. As well, Taste is bringing out a best of the best menu. I’m going to have to check out that new menu with my friend Jaime, who is a huge fan of Taste Restaurant.
Last but definitely not least, I had to wait patiently for Mango Shiva’s engineered lobster with balsamic caviar and tender tandoori chicken with a creamy mint yogurt. Mango Shiva was a Yelp pleaser that night and the crowd was fierce. I really enjoyed the drink pairing: a vodka shot was mixed with a savoury herby concoction.
Thanks to Wendy and Yelp for their hard work, Muse Restaurant and Lounge for providing the lovely venue, and all the chefs and mixologists that treated us to some crazy cool cocktails and eats. I’m going to have to mosey over to participating restaurants to relive the engineered experience.