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No, I put THIS shit on everything! – TABASCO Canada Group of 7 Chefs Collaboration

July 10, 2015

After seeing that TABASCO Canada sent an incredibly talented group of Toronto chefs to Avery Island, LA, the birthplace of TABASCO sauce, I knew that a tasty and spicy collaboration dinner was in the works (watch the video here!). When I received my invitation to this event, in a gorgeous package I might add, I was excited, instantly hungry, and ready for a spicy adventure that would literally ignite my taste buds and set my palate on fire (excuse the heat based puns)! I keep a small bottle in my desk to ensure that my food is always full of flavour and that no one else in my office will get their hands on it! The Group of 7 Chefs or band of brothers as they call themselves; Nick Liu (Dailo), Scott Vivian (Beast), Dustin Gallagher (People’s Eatery), Bertrand Alépée (The Tempered Room), Steve Gonzalez (Valdez), Anthony Walsh (Canoe), and Chris Brown (Citizen Catering) are all huge talents in the Toronto restaurant scene, and I have had the pleasure of dining at many of their restaurants. I couldn’t wait to taste their TABASCO inspired dishes anticipating a ton of creativity and a load of heat!


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The event was hosted at Propeller Coffee (50 Wade Ave), which is a beautiful event space! The space was decorated to display the true feel of Avery Island, the Louisiana birthplace of TABASCO. There was such attention to detail including photographs, barrels, and the largest collection of TABASCO I have ever seen!

The Drinks:

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The drinks were definitely flowing! There was a range of different cocktails utilizing TABASCO in very unique ways including a caesar, mojito, and daiquiri that were delicious and packed a punch. The jalapeno mojito was my favourite, which was a mix of Bacardi Superior, lime, mint, TABASCO green sauce, and garnished with cane sugar. It was boozy and fresh with a kick of spice. The caesar was also a crowd favourite utilizing the TABASCO chipotle sauce. I loved the garnish of shrimp, corn, and pepperoni!

The Food:

Steve Gonzalez (Valdez):

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This edible caesar really reminded me of the drink! The combination of clam, crab, pickled vegetables, tomato, horseradish and TABASCO was a nice lighter dish to start off my evening of gluttony!

Chef Nick Liu (Dailo):

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As soon as I ventured over to Nick’s booth, I could smell the fragrant TABASCO dashi and my mouth began to water. Once I saw lobster, I was sold! Lobster with shrimp and scallop, even better! The flavour of the dashi was well developed with just a subtle hint of spice. The wasabi peas and mushrooms added a nice freshness to the dish, and you could really taste the sweet lobster in that boudin sausage. This was my favourite part of the dish!

Chef Scott Vivian (Beast):

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The boudin sausage ball had the perfect amount of spice, and was perfectly fried creating a nice crispy exterior. The potlicker aioli was outstanding. I would definitely lick up every last bit of this sauce if a spare pot was lying around. I soaked it all up with the tender collard greens and spicy pickled celery.

Chef Chris Brown (Citizen Catering):

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Hands down one of my favourite dishes of the night! This dish was so rich and full of flavour. The salt crusted wild boar was tender, juicy and melted in your mouth. The biscuit was flaky and buttery and that white gravy was so creamy. This was definitely a representation of the South on a plate. I wish I had brought tupperware to steal some of those biscuits!

Chef Anthony Walsh (Canoe):

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Another favourite for me! This dish was OMG delicious. I have never been to Louisiana or had gumbo, but I can imagine this is as authentic as it gets! My friend Katy (my eating companion for the night) who recently came back from New Orleans said it was perfectly authentic with just a hint of Canada. Watching Chef Walsh torch the crab and piece together this dish was a sight to behold. It had everything I love in a warm hearty smoky stew. Duck, crab, pork belly, okra, cornbread, gooooooood! Every ingredient was cooked to perfection. I would love a container full of this to eat everyday!

Chef Bertrand Alépée (The Tempered Room):

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I know it sounds redundant that so many things were my favourite, but this was another dish at the top of my list. This croissant was the best I have ever had! Rich, perfectly flaky, and full of butter! The pulled chicken was tender and really took in the flavour of the TABASCO chipotle sauce. The apple rémoulade provided a nice burst of acidity and freshness to balance the richness of the pastry. After speaking with Bertrand, we decided that we need less pressed juice and more pressed butter!

Chef Dustin Gallagher (People’s Eatery):

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This was the perfect sweet and savoury ending to the culinary adventure that took place. The corn flavour was so intense and prevalent through every element of the dish. Sorry Kernels, but this salted TABASCO caramel corn was out of this world with the perfect amount of spice! The olive oil corn cake was so moist and the corn sorbet the perfect element to cool down the burning sensation in my mouth.

The Mash:

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If you were brave enough you could taste the three year aged TABASCO pepper mash and earn your silver spoon (technically the not so ancient order of the not so silver spoon). I took a taste and at first didn’t feel so bad, but slowly the heat crept in and consumed my entire mouth and lips with the fiery pepper heat. The TABASCO sweats began and after receiving my spoon, I found my saviour in Augie’s Ice Pops! The belgian chocolate and chipotle and cucumber lime and tabasco had a nice kick but definitely cooled my burnt palate.

The Golden Scale: 10 out of 10 on the heat and tastiness scale!

The Golden Rule: All of this delicious food inspired me to write a haiku:

Chefs cook with passion.

Spice and heat, TABASCO treat.

Lips and tongue still numb.

This was an incredible event! The organizers did an amazing job putting everything together and the chefs really pulled out all the stops on their dishes! My favourite parts of the night revolved mainly around baked goods (corn cake, corn bread, biscuits, and croissants) as well as spicy cocktails! I cannot wait for TABASCO to invite me to Avery Island 😉 I am also looking forward to trying the rest of the chef’s restaurants that I have yet to visit or better yet I want to invite all of you chefs to come cook in my kitchen (seriously though)! I will host the crawfish boil! Thank you Angela and team, and TABASCO for making this a night I won’t forget.

It’s been a spice 🙂

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Follow @tabascocanada on Instagram to see more behind the scenes photos of the event and hundreds of photos from the trip to Avery Island. After the event, TABASCO® Canada is launching an Instagram and Facebook contest.  Show them how you feed your original with TABASCO® Sauce by posting photos with the hashtag #feedyouroriginal.  They’ll be giving away prizes every week and a fantastic grand prize trip at the end of the contest!

Twitter:

Bertrand Alépée

Nick Liu

Scott Vivian

Anthony Walsh

Dustin Gallagher

Steve Gonzalez

Chris Brown

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