Food Reviews

Recap: Behind-the-scenes cooking experience at The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald!

Food bloggers/chef assemble!
Food bloggers/chef assemble!

This week I had the amazing opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald kitchens with a few fellow foodies! We were invited to come cook a three-course dinner (for ourselves) under the great guidance of Executive Chef Serge Jost and Executive Sous Chef Jiju Paul.

In the kitchens of the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald!
In the kitchens of the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald!

Six of us (Phil, Sharon, Karlynn, Gail and Rebecca) were broken into three teams and worked on appetizers, entrees, and desserts. It was a fantastic experience! Though we were not heavily cooking (ingredients were all set out and mostly prepared for us and we had a lot of help from Chefs Jost & Paul), it was still so neat to get to work right where these professional chefs work each and every day. We really got a chance to “shine” during plating of the dishes (I even used a cloth to wipe stray sauce on the plates, lol). We became #newfriends (inside joke) with Chef Jost, and learned more about his vision for the hotel’s food services.

Poached quail egg, foie gras, Gouda mousse vegetable tart cooked by Sharon & Gail!
Poached quail egg, foie gras, Gouda mousse vegetable tart cooked by Sharon & Gail!

Chef Jost says many people are under the impression that the hotel’s restaurant The Harvest Room is fine dining – too fine for your typical night out. That’s not the case. Jost and the rest of the Fairmont team want that perception to change. He wants Edmontonians to come eat at The Harvest Room all the time and think of it as an Edmonton restaurant – not an overly fancy or stuffy restaurant hidden inside a pricy, “untouchable” hotel.

Sous vide duck stuffed chicken, mushroom foam, pea puree, onion petals, golden beet, crispy chicken skin & gremolata cooked by me & Rebecca!
Sous vide duck stuffed chicken, mushroom foam, pea puree, onion petals, golden beet, crispy chicken skin & gremolata cooked by me & Rebecca!

He talked about how the Fairmont has always put a focus on local, fresh fare. He talked about the growing number of people with food allergies, and how the hotel always tries to think of a Plan A, B, and C, with the dishes it offers – so they are easily adaptable for those with special food requirements. He talked about the Fairmont’s terrific brunch and their fantastic patio overlooking the river valley.

The patio opens in May and that’s what I’m really excited about it. You can order off the regular Harvest Room menu but there will also be specific patio tapas items and grilling right outside. New this year as well is that The Harvest Room will actually open out into the patio whereas last year only their Confederation Lounge opened into it.

PINK! Strawberry mousse, sorbet, tuilles and more, by Karlynn & Phil!
PINK! Strawberry mousse, sorbet, tuilles and more, by Karlynn & Phil!

Our meal that night was fantastic! So many flavourful bites from the foie gras to Gouda mousse tarts, sous vide duck-stuffed chicken & pea puree to the refreshing strawberry sorbet. The fact that we all played a hand in the tasty end product made the experience even better. It was interesting to see how many different components go into each dish. Chef Jost had really wanted to let us experience the Fairmont behind-the-scenes, as opposed to just inviting us to come eat. It was a great opportunity and I am excited I got the chance to learn more about the hotel and meet the talent behind the food. It speaks volumes when a kitchen welcomes – even invites – people in and the chefs are eager to answer questions.

I’ve been impressed with how active the Fairmont has been on social media too – from its Twitter to Facebook to even hotel ambassador Smudge’s Facebook. They’re truly one of the most active local hotel Twitter accounts and I think that’s going to go a long way in helping them shed that perception that the hotel and its dining is too fancy or expensive for the average Edmontonian. I’m already planning my next visit for when the patio opens!

And of course no visit to the Fairmont is complete without a cuddle and photo op with hotel ambassador (and all around cutie) Smudge!

No trip to the Fairmont is complete without a visit with Smudge!
No trip to the Fairmont is complete without a visit with Smudge!

Check out the Fairmont’s photo album of the experience here!

Thanks to the Fairmont’s Katie for inviting me and Nicole, Chef Jost & Paul, and our table side servers for being gracious hosts! We were also warmly welcomed by the hotel’s management and marketing team – thank you! We all went away with full tummies, great memories and awesome custom chef jackets! :)

Awesome custom chef jacket!
Awesome custom chef jacket!

Linda

Harvest Room on Urbanspoon

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She's also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

Previous Post
April 26, 2014
Next Post
April 26, 2014

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Instagram

  • New on the blog: a Guide to Instagrammable Walls of Medicine Hat! ☺️ Lots of lovely #IGWallsofMedHat / photo spots in this city. 📸
.
.
.
.
.
#medicinehat #medhat #instagrammablewalls #instagrammablewallsofmedhat #igwall #igwalls #igwallsofalberta #alberta #travelalberta #explorealberta @tourismmedicinehat @tourismalberta #mural #muralwall #southernalberta #arts #yegtomedhat
  • 🐙 🐙 🐙Takoyaki Thursday. 🐙🐙🐙
Or any day, for 50 cents as part of @ikkiyeg's Happy Hour! Ikki will be part of this weekend's Edmonton Fall Home Show (@yeghomeshows) Cooking Stage along with a bunch of other great #yegfood restaurants/chefs. 🍽 Preview at the link in my bio AND if you want to win a pair of tickets to the show, leave a comment below and tagging a friend! Will pick a winner by 4 pm today. #EFHS17 🐙
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #edmonton #exploreedmonton #yegdt #takoyaki #octopus #japanesefood #edmontonfallhomeshow #downtownedmonton #yegdtfood #ikkiizakaya #izakaya #bonitoflakes
  • On a lifelong mission to take photos at all the colourful walls. 💙
.
.
.
.
.
#instagrammablewalls #igwalls #igwallsofyyc #capturecalgary #calgary #calgaryalberta #explorealberta #travelalberta #bluewall #colourfulwall #downtowncalgary #calgaryarts #reidson17th #17thave @tourismcalgary #yegtoyyc #yeg
  • New on the blog: a review of @AnChayYEG, Edmonton's first all-Vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant! 😍😋 I think with #AnChayYEG I could finally commit to #MeatlessMonday! 😉 Loved this Vegetarian version of one of my favourite Vietnamese soups: spicy lemongrass #bunbohue. Dad & I also tried their shredded tofu rolls & lotus salad. Click the link in my bio to read the full review! 💻📱
.
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #yegdt #jasperave #anchay #vegetarian #vietnamesefood #vietnamesevegetarian #bicuon #lotussalad #healthyeats #meatlessmondays #souperb
  • This weekend @mikethyking & I drove down to #MedicineHat to surprise our good friend Jack for his 30th birthday! He was thoroughly surprised. 😊 Then today we explored #MedHat #InstagrammableWalls! 📸 I'll be writing up an #IGWallsofMedHat guide, and sharing some food spots we visited, on the blog soon! 📱💻
.
.
.
.
.
.
#explorealberta #alberta #sunshinestateofmind #southernalberta #travelalberta #instagrammable #instagrammablewall #igwalls #graffitiwall #muralwall #romper #weekend #yeg #yegtomedhat #sunshinestate
  • This week we celebrated my mom & dad's birthdays with a feast at @chaforteapalace! 🎉 (Their birthdays are 4 days from each other). Dad doesn't like birthdays though so when we said "Happy birthday!" he replied with "You mean Unhappy Birthday. 👨🏻" lol. Sure dad. 😂
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #crab #crablegs #chafortea #chaforteapalace #chineserestaurant #birthdaydinner #happybirthday #asianfood #chinesefood #birthdayfeast #moustacheman👨🏻 #exploreedmonton #edmonton #10coursemeal
  • Looking forward to another weekend of adventures with this guy! 👫🌈
.
.
.
.
.
#mikeandlindork #rainbowbridge #yyc #summerside #calgary #capturecalgary #calgaryarts #calgarywalls #instagrammablewalls #IGWallsofYYC #yegtoyyc #explorealberta #explorecalgary #mikeandlinda #yeg #humpday #happyhumpday
  • Thankful for all the beautiful, delicious food in my life. 😌💕 (and the people I eat it with). Thanks @sugaredandspiced for this buttercream cake 🎂! Bringing to share with the extended family for #Thanksgiving. I requested "something pretty" and "Instagrammable." 😂✔️✔️
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #edmonton #exploreedmonton #buttercreamcake #instagrammablefood #instagrammable #beautifulcake #macarons #buttercream #pinkicing #sugaredandspiced #meringue #yegbakery #happythanksgiving #canadianthanksgiving
  • I don't know if anyone has noticed but I've been alternating food / people / food / people posts for over a month now and it's taken quite a bit of dedication to the grid but I'm doing it. It's fun too lol. 
This is the #instalife 😂
.
.
.
.
.
#alberta #explorealberta #travelalberta #yeg #edmonton #exploreedmonton #capturecalgary #calgary #aftertheflood @jameswyper #yycarts #instagrammablewalls #IGWallsofYYC #lavielente #weekend #sundayfunday #yyc #downtowncalgary #iglife #yegfashion #brightwalls #muralwall
  • Got to try the @fairmontmac's new "Beast Board" today with @letsomnom and oh my gah is it a delicious feast. 🤤 For $99, this board feeds two people and includes your choice of 3 proteins (and chef's choice of vegetables / sides). 🙌🏻 Not sure what to rave about first.. delicious beets, risotto and whipped potatoes. Even better duck, lamb, and salmon. Excellent pea purée. This is officially on the dinner menu as of Oct. 12 but you can order it off menu until then (just ask your server!) Don't forget the Fairmont also has a harvest farm to table dinner with @myprairiegardens next Friday Oct. 13! Check their page for more details @fairmontmac. And Happy Long Weekend Friday!!! 😍
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #macmemories #beastboard #macbeastboard #meatboard #fairmonthotels #yegdt #damngoodfood #longweekend #happyfriday
  • 4 years married to @mikethyking! #allthatimafterisalifefulloflaughter 💕
.
.
.
.
.
.
#mikeandlindork #yeg #edmonton #wedding #weddinganniversary #fouryearsmarried #exploreedmonton #oldtimerscabin  #weddingphotos #mikeandlinda
  • Isn't all we really need in life cheese and prosciutto?💕
.
.
.
.
.
#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #yegdt #uccellino #uccellinoyeg #proscuitto #parmesan #parmigiano #datenight #italianfood #anniversarydinner #foodblog

LINDORK