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).

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  • My good doggos @OliveAndArtie are always up for an adventure. πŸ• I love exploring this beautiful country with them! πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
For #Canada150, @PurinaCanada is celebrating Canadian pet people! Post a #Canadiana pet photo tagging Purina and #PetPeopleCA for a chance to win a trip ✈️ ANYWHERE in Canada (valued at $5,000πŸ’°) + #Purina pet food for a year! 🐢🐱 Full contest details at the link in my bio! 🍁
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#yeg #yegpets #yegdogs #dogs #dogsofig #dogsofinstagram #edmonton #explorealberta #alberta  #mountains #doggo #explore #adventure #purinapetpeople #rockymountains #letslivebig
  • Congratulations to my beautiful friend, stunning bride @razannea and her husband @eyadkamis!! ❀️ What a gorgeous wedding. The first dance on clouds ☁️ was incredible. πŸ’•
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#eyadandrazanne #wedding #yegwedding #yeg #clouds #firstdance #radissonhotel #bride #beautifulbride #weddinginspo
  • Poke for days. 🐠🐟🐠
Alternate caption: Patio poke.🐠🐟🐠
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#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmontonfood #edmonton #poke #pokebowl #pokeinyeg #onopokecoyeg #sashimi #fish #patioseason #tunapoke #hawaiianfood #OhSoONO
  • Cheers to the best time of year! β˜€οΈπŸΉ
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#patioseason #summer #yeg #yegwx #yegdt #edmonton #exploreedmonton #patio #yegpatio #yegrivervalley #views #bluesky #mojito #albertasummer #CBsummerparty #courtyardbymarriott #marriotthotel
  • I haven't had a really good, loaded potato skin in a long time. So comforting. πŸ™πŸ» This dish is part of @yourAGA's #ZincTapasTuesday - they're offering new menu items to coincide with their new free admission Tuesday (and Wednesday). I got to try some of the dishes tonight with some #foodfriends! My other favourites of the night was the duck breast and a killer pulled pork sandwich that's just $4! πŸ”Thanks @chefdaveomar. πŸ‘ŒπŸ»
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#yeg #yegfood #exploreedmonton #edmonton #exploreedmonton #artgalleryofalberta #potatoes #potatoskins #yegdt #foodblog #foodlover #tapas #tapastuesday
  • Banh xeo, shrimp chips and pho on the patio at @phoboyvk with @kathytrinhle today! β€οΈβ˜€οΈ Banh xeo is a Vietnamese fried pancake with pork, shrimp and beansprout filling. It's delish. πŸ™ŒπŸ» While in the area I also scouted out some more #IGWallsofYEG, planning the next #photowalk for #WhyteAve @oldstrathcona for early July! Stay tuned for details. πŸ“Έβ˜ΊοΈ
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #oldstrathcona #vietnamesefood #banhxeo #patio #saturyay #food #foodblog #edmonton #asianfood
  • Heading home to my furbabies (🐢🐢🐱🐱) after a jam-packed #SocialWest #socialmedia conference! πŸ“± I had such a great time speaking (THANK YOU to everyone who came to my session πŸ™πŸ») and loved soaking up all the great info from the other sessions. πŸ€“ Congrats on a successful second year, @mikesbloggity & team! πŸ‘πŸ» And thanks to  @neil_zee for this photo! πŸ“Έ
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#conference #yyc #yeg #yegtoyyc #calgary #speaker #presenter #socialmediastrategist #yegcomms #yegagency #agencylife #edmonton
  • THIS CHAR SIU PORK BELLY FOIE GRAS BAO. πŸ˜β€οΈπŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ€€ Had such a great meal at @eatforeign tonight in Calgary with @kathytrinhle & @bonafidemediapr. Lots of good food. Lots of good conversation. I love #yycfood. πŸ˜‹
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#yyc #capturecalgary #calgary #calgaryfood #porkbelly #pork #charsiu #bao #steamedbun #yeg #yegtoyyc #asianfood #foreignconcept
  • On my way to Calgary for a few days of @socialwest and *had* to stop at @petersdrivein for a πŸ” 🍟 and 🍌πŸ₯›. πŸ‘ŒπŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ»
#SocialWest is the largest digital/social media marketing conference in the Prairies. I can't wait to learn from industry experts + present too! I'm delivering a session tomorrow on Instagram + Snapchat Stories! I call it, #StoriesTelling. πŸ€“πŸ™Š
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#yegtoyyc #yeg #yyc #reddeer #petersdrivein #burgers #milkshakes #roadtrip #explorealberta #socialmedia #socialmediaconference #lunch #thedriveinyoucantdriveby
  • I feel like poke has been allllll over my feed lately! Pronounced "po-kay," this traditional Hawaiian raw fish 🐠 salad, typically served with sauce over rice 🍚, has finally hit the Prairies. 🌾 Over on the blog (www.linda-hoang.com, link in bio), I review the new @OnoPokeCoYEG, which literally translates to "delicious poke." 😊  Delicious poke indeed. Pictured here πŸ“Έ is Ono's Original Ahi tuna poke bowl. Have you tried poke? Are you as thrilled as I am that we finally have great poke options in Edmonton?! πŸ™ŒπŸ»
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#OhSoONO #onopokecoyeg #yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood #edmonton #exploreedmonton #poke #pokebowl #ahituna #rawfish #sashimi #hawaiianfood  #foodblog #yegdt
  • This weekend @mikethyking & I had a great #staycation at the @deltaedmsouth! We love how this hotel is #petfriendly so @OliveAndArtie were able to spend the weekend with us too. 🐢❀️ We also had a great dinner at their 4404 restaurant. Looking forward to coming back here tmrw night for #IndulgenceYEG, a #yegfood & wine festival 🍷 taking place at the Delta. Tickets support the Junior League of Edmonton & I believe some are still available on their website if you want to spice up your Monday with basically unlimited food & wine! ✨
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#yeg #exploreedmonton #edmonton #petfriendlyhotel #dogsofinstgram #beagles #huskycross #weekend #deltahotel #marriott #furmom
  • I had so much fun guest judging @porkapaloozayeg's "Chop it Like it's Hot" mystery box challenge today with @divaqbbq & #TasteAlberta! πŸ·πŸ”πŸ³πŸ˜ @ChefPaulShufelt & @ChefCowan came up with some really tasty dishes using bacon, chicken, asparagus and lentils. πŸ‘ŒπŸ» In the end, Chef Cowan took the title πŸ†, but it was a really close race!! Pictured here is Chef Cowan's fried chicken, lentils, and carrots dish topped with a fried egg. 🍳 Be sure to see these two in action again for Bacon Day - a charity event they put on each September. Follow them for details! 🐷 πŸ₯“
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#yeg #yegfood #edmonton #edmontonfood #exploreedmonton #putaneggonit #foodblog #tasteab #lentils #friedchicken

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