Friday, August 15, 2014

Report from ... Six Barrels for Six Chefs 2014 - July 11, 2014

Can't believe we're in the 8th year of this must-attend event.  Since the very first back in 2007 the reputation of this event has grown and now it is something many look forward to each and every year (myself included).  I have missed only one "646" event (and it was the downpour year of 2009 - if there was one to miss ...).  This year you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful night, better weather or even a more exciting group of chefs to participate (but if anyone can top this I bet the folks at Huff could, and will).  Each and every year Six 4 Six continues to surpass expectations and deliver on the promise of good food, amazing 'unfinished' wines and the friendship and camaraderie that goes along with it (sit and/or stand in line beside anyone and you're instant friends).  This year I noticed the focus was more about food pairing than just best wine and best food ...

A Sneak Peak Before the Doors Open ...

Entering the tent for the 8th Annual 6 for 6 event ...
Can't wait to see what lies beyond
Set up continues to take place with
the chefs firing up their cooking requirements

All amongst the picturesque back-drop of the Huff Estates vineyard
Here chef Hiro Yoshida from Hiro Sushi prepares -
he has a somewhat more raw approach to his offering
Although his preparations are well underway
Hiro gave me a sneak peak at his offering:
Chirashi sushi rice on endive with anchovy gravlax salmon and smoked lobster

Chef Ryan Crawford, Gastro-Homestead, surveys his surrounding
while deciding what to do next
He's set himself up with a pretty scary looking table ...
 Let the Games Begin ...

But before any of that happens, Huff treats everyone to a glass of their
amazing 2013 Rose ... not since 2006 has Frederic Picard made one this good
The glasses are laid out by the entrance with care
Fill 'em up ... all of 'em
Starting off with chef Sebastien:
Pickerel with prickly ask berries on grape leaf

Then its the Hiro Sushi station where they finished serving food before anyone
(followed closely by Sebastien)
Ryan Crawford's unique serving style (on wooden planks)
showcased his cured meats and local produce
Home-grown Prosciutto with creme fraiche black walnut syrup
and Norm Hardie's foraged greens
Chef Marc Lepine, of Atelier, offered up a Duck rilette with sweet peas, carrots,
cauliflower, apricots, cherries, sour dough croutons, yellow beet puree and yuzu mist
This chef Chris McDonald toasted housemade cornbread foie gras, bbq gaspe smoked eel
glazed with birch syrup and black trumpet mushroom - a perfect pairing with the Closson
Chase Pinot Noir (almost a no-brainer pairing: mushroom and Pinot)
The boys from Mercer Hall (Sean Collins & Tim Larson) put forth:
Beef tongue pastrami, bacon pickled egg, soiled reputation snap peas,
pig's blood sour dough crouton, local cucumber and dill aioli -
a delightful pairing with another Closson Chase Pinot Noir
It'd be hard to forget about star chef, Top Chef Canada winner and
owner of Richmond Station in Toronto, Carl Heinrich
Who put on a pasta-rific show for the ...
line-up that was forming at his station.
His rather simple:  Mushroom Capellini with red wine and beef jus
and Monteforte Toscano cheese was a crowd pleaser
Another stellar dessert was plated up by chef Bryan Steele
Starting with artisanal bread and cheese
And then out of the portable freezer came these
Seabuckthorn, creme fraiche and strawberry popsicles ...
Holy Yum!!!
Selected Pics from the Event ...

Chef Sebastien and his 'cool dude' helper
Prep at Hiro Sushi's booth
Huff winemaker Frederic Picard (far right) and Chef Sebastien (left)
admire the back of Norm Hardie's shirt (blue checks of right)
The pickling lab at the Mercer Hall booth
Chef Steele and his bushy bearded assistant chats up a guest
Norman Hardie taste tests Carl's sauce
Carl Heinrich multitasks manning the fire while flipping the pan of pasta
The Good Things in Life:
bread, wine and cheese - what else is there?
The 'annual group grope' picture is cause for the cameras to come out

And here are the 2014, 8th Annual, 6 Barrel for 6 Chefs participants ...
another one in the books; another great night of food, wine and friendship
comes to an end.  See you next year.

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