24 RiverBend residents were thrilled to share another of Kirk Weiss’ culinary offerings. Unfortunately it is also his last here at RiverBend. Of course we regret the loss of future events but we wish Kirk the best in his future exploits and in his retirement.
Chef started the event off with a little retrospective. He has been at RiverBend for 13 years so expressed 13 years of thank you to Sifton, to the community. He said that this 13-year stint has been the favourite of his experiences so far in the culinary industry. And it gave him the wherewithal to support his family, kids (and now grandkids – 2 of them).
He said that he was given freedom from day one to experiment, to explore. He didn’t take credit for all the successes. He shared that ideas come from all sorts of places. The front of the house servers, the whole kitchen team participate. The have been a well-oiled machine for regular events but Chef reiterated that it is a treat to be invited and be able to create special dishes for special events.
To see how fortunate the regulars of Chef’s events have been, browse the previous postings.
First Course – Fish
Moroccan seabass. Chef described the texture as dense, part way between snapper and pickerel. The bass was pressed into ground pistachio and pine nuts with a little batter. Curried coconut milk was underneath the skewered fish.
The dish had a little heat and lots of crunch.
It was paired with Sandhill Pinot Gris.
Second Course – Asian Flavour
Chef pointed out that this dish looks like a cabbage roll. It is cabbage but rolled around a ginger chicken stuffing and finished with a citrus glaze.
He noted that it was “Tangy to spark up taste buds…”
This dish was paired with warm Sake.
Third Course – Phyllo Pastry/Veal
Now this dish Chef said was kind of special – smiling the whole time he was making it. Veal tenderloin, forest funghi (chanterelles, oyster, shiitake, batwing (denser, black colour), wrapped in phyllo pastry and finished with fresh peppercorn.
It was presented on a truffle demi reduction.
We were encouraged to smell the truffle!
Asked, Chef described the process of creating the phyllo pastry wrap – butter on the layers, prep the filling, chill and straight into a hot oven.
This dish was paired with a red wine, Luigi Righetti Valpolicella
Fourth Course – Shredded Duck, Cranberry, Smoked Cheddar
Chef admitted he had never done this dish before. The kitchen braised duckling for 2 ½ days. then shredded it. The drippings were reduced to a sauce, fused with sautéed cranberry and leek and then smoked cheddar cheese on top. The cheese takes away from the tartness of the cranberry.
Melts in the mouth!
Paired with Wolf Blass Chardonnay
Fifth Course – Dessert
Chef created a mocha chocolate mousse sitting on Kahlua praline sauce.
The pairing with this was really unique – a chocolate coffee martini.
Chef emphasized again that the environment created in the kitchen encourages creativity, support, and partnership.
Edgar – long time with RiverBend, preceded Chef.
Eric – a returnee to the team
Andrew – new, from the west coast
Nathan – recently assumed the sous chef position that Chanel had
The front of the house group are an essential part of the team. Chef emphasized that everyone helps wherever needed to keep things operating smoothly.
And it should be noted that the front of the house team did a great job making this event run smoothly – serving and resetting through all the courses and managing the wine pairings.
Finally, it was touching when Edgar gave Kirk a warm hug and expressed his appreciation for the friendship and support Kirk had given him. It was clear that the emotion was shared.
A lovely way to end the event and to send Chef on his way.