Monday, June 01, 2015

EVENT | Brunch In The City with Canola Eat Well at Windsor Arms Hotel

Both Clara and I are big fans of brunches and we're not ones to ever pass up on an opportunity to do so. A week ago, I received an invitation for a "Brunch In The City"at the Windsor Arms Hotel, hosted by Abbey Sharp and Chef Christine Tizzard, so of course I said yes!  I went with an empty stomach and curiosity about what I'll be learning about Canola Oil.

The brunch was hosted inside the Living Room at the beautiful Windsor Arms Hotel (Yorkville).  I have been to the hotel a few times for afternoon tea, events as well as the launch of the Living Room couple of years ago (read about it here) and it's a fabulous experience everytime. The space has kept its charm even since then!

I arrived and was welcomed with a refreshing Fresita drink - it was definitely a "bubbly" start to my brunch!  

Unlike other events I've been to, we split up in two groups to discuss with a canola farmer that came all the way from Alberta to brunch with us and the ladies from Canola Eat Well.  I love hearing about the agricultural professions from farmers - they have so much to share about the food we eat! I didn't think about canola oil much even though it's something I use a lot on an everyday basis.

For example, did you know these fact about canola?

- Canola Oil was bred by Canadian scientists
- Canola oil adds $13.8 billion to the Canadian economy
- More than 52,000 Canadian farmers grow canola
- Canola oil is one of the healthier oils as it is low in saturated fat & has zero transfat and cholesterol
- Great source of omega-6
- High in omega-3 fats

Click here to learn more about Canola.

Shortly after chit-chatting, we moved into the dining area of The Living Room, where the table was set up for Canola oil tasting and our soon-to-come, brunch by Chef Maxim Roy.

Tasting three different canola oils (much like wine tasting with a bit of alternate tasting tips) was very interesting.  I, for one, did not know canola oil can be "fancy" like the Pristine Gourmet Virgin Canola Oil or the Maison Orphee Cold Press Canola Oil. Some were more buttery while the others had hints of peanuts and walnuts!

As if we're not having enough fun, the next activity was to create our own salad dressing using canola oil with other ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, variety of herbs, citrus fruits, and more. Can you guess what I used to create my DYI vinaigrette?

After we finished creating our "vinaigrette masterpieces," our first course was served, perfect to try out my freshly-made salad dressing. All the courses were prepared by the Windsor Arms Hotel's chef, Maxim Roy who worked together with the host, Chef Christine Tizzard for the canola oil-inspired menu.

Beet & Goat Cheese Canelloni, roasted root vegetables, rhubarb tuile & arugula

Black squid aioli & salmon tartare with canola oil crostini and avocado beignet

Tortiglioni Piperade with canola oil sautéed red, yellow & green peppers, onion, garlic & espelette

Canola Oil Roasted Chicken with green asparagus, corn bread, grilled corn and morels

Canadian Lobster with ginger canola oil, crispy scallops stuffed with king crab & tempura sweet potato allumette

Petit Fours

What a delightful brunch I had! We were totally spoiled and I couldn't stop eating that Lobster & Scallop entree. It was so much more than what I could wish for in a brunch!  It was also great to see all the different ways canola oil can be used (not just for frying) - my goal is to try to recreate that avocado beignet.

Try these easy & delicious recipes with your canola oil!

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Chan

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