This spring, I was invited to experience a complimentary Chef’s Dinner at the Shaw Conference Centre (officially titled: Dinner with Canada’s Top Chefs). This is a special night that takes place just a few times a year (including an upcoming one this summer!), where the Shaw Conference Centre showcases the talent and creativity of its award-winning culinary team including Executive Chef Serge Belair!
Did you know: The Shaw Conference Centre employs 11 Red Seal chefs in their kitchen who serve nearly 250,000 meals per year?!
That’s a lot of talent and a lot of great food being dished out. The Chefs Dinners are small, intimate events that allow these chefs to push their limits and create a fine dining experience for guests. I love hearing perspectives from chefs, seeing them talk so passionately about their creations, so this dinner is perfect for that—you get to meet and hear chefs explain inspiration and ingredients in each course (of which, there are many!)
I had such a lovely experience at my first Shaw Conference Centre Dinner with Canada’s Top Chefs back in May, I’ll share a few highlights from the evening below, but first wanted to tell you about their upcoming dinner you can get tickets to now!
This dinner is a summer harvest theme, where Executive Chef Serge Belair, Executive Pastry Chef Jason Wang, Sous Chef Lalit Upadhyaya, Junior Sous Chef Myles Fedun, and the rest of the Shaw Conference Centre’s award-winning team of 11 Red Seal chefs will prepare a family-style barbecue dinner for 50 guests, using fresh produce from their own garden along with produce from local community growers. This dinner will include grilled appetizers and an interactive main course. They’re also partnering with Strathcona Spirits to provide barrel aged Gin cured beef on the menu! The courses are paired with a signature drink and fine wines. It’s also dinner with a view— overlooking Edmonton’s beautiful river valley!
There’s only 50 spots available and they always sell out, so if you love supporting local food, local chefs, and having a delicious dinner in a beautiful setting, you better scoop up a spot before it’s too late.
Now let’s look back at the last Dinner with Canada’s Top Chefs event:
Oh hey, that’s me, looking my happiest surrounded by good food. :D
The dish above was a spring lamb wellington with beef bacon, mini ricotta stuffed morels, asparagus, scallion gel, and a lamb reduction. It was the main course at the spring Chef’s Dinner, and came after a cured foei gras and delicious lobster press with tarragon green pea agnolotti, which are pictured below:
As you can see, the dishes at these dinners are BEAUTIFUL!
And they taste as good as they look.
That night, chefs told us that each plate is lovingly prepared for guests, and you can tell.
The team also uses as much local products as possible.
In fact, the Shaw Conference Centre sources 60% of all their produce from local suppliers. From carrots and beets to Alberta beef! (See some of their local suppliers here). For such a convention centre/event venue of their size, that more than half of their produce supply is from local suppliers is impressive and important.
For dinner, I was seated across from Tanner Stewart and Stephanie Bach of a local company called Nutraponics.
They are one of the Shaw Conference Centre’s suppliers, and are an indoor vertical aquaponic farm that grows pure, pesticide free produce. They grow vegetables and also have fish! Learn about how they do it on their website.
The Shaw Conference Centre has been one of Nutraponic’s clients since the farm started three years ago!
It was really interesting learning about the business, and cool to see their products being used in the night’s dishes.
The setting of this particular dinner was especially lovely.
It was originally going to take place in the Shaw Conference Centre kitchens, which would have been cool to see all the chefs working around us, but they ended up moving the dinner to one of their gorgeous event rooms that open up right onto the patio overlooking the river valley. It was truly a perfect setting, right down to the actual table setting—like a wedding!
These are multiple course dinners, and after our main / before our dessert, we were treated to a “Cheese Course!”
Any dinner that features a “Cheese Course” is going to be a good dinner, amirite?
Each dish during the Dinner with Canada’s Top Chefs included drink pairings too (so you’re getting great value for your ticket price, as long as you drink! lol) I wasn’t drinking that night, so I was appreciative of the mocktails!
(And again, the view!!)
The Dinner with Canada’s Top Chefs at the Shaw Conference Centre was delicious. This event highlighted local products, featured talented chefs, and was set in one of the prettiest locations in the city.
The Shaw Conference Centre hopes Edmontonians walk away from these dinners with a better understanding and appreciation for the talented culinary team at the centre. I certainly did!
I also walked away fully stuffed, and cheeks hurting—after laughing most of the night with some lovely people. We were strangers, but but were great company, and quickly dubbed ourselves the “Fun Table” (even though there were only two tables, lol so it was really more the “Fun Little Section Of One Of The Tables” lol).
The key things we all had in common: a love and appreciation for food!
Each Dinner with Canada’s Top Chefs has a different theme so this August 31 summer BBQ will obviously have a different feel and menu than the one I attended, but regardless of theme and menu, you’re guaranteed great food, a wicked view, and good times.
Thank you to the Shaw Conference Centre for inviting me to experience their Dinner with Canada’s Top Chefs!
It was a lovely event to attend and I can completely understand why they sell out each time.
Disclaimer: I will always provide my 100% honest opinion on this blog. The Shaw Conference Centre invited me as a guest to their May Dinner with Canada’s Top Chefs. My meal was complimentary. This does not impact the opinions stated in this post. I am always happy to highlight great local organizations who support other local businesses, talented chefs, and delicious food. Plus, I don’t think anyone can deny the beauty setting of the Shaw Conference Centre.