What better way to promote an exciting culinary offering than to invite a group of individuals who love to write about food, drink and fun in the nation's capital? When the marketing team at the Shaw Centre (formerly the Ottawa Convention Centre) decided to promote their interactive culinary studio, also known as the create kitchen, they threw the kind of dinner party I wish I could attend every week.
The facility, located on the ground floor of the expansive Shaw Centre, offers interactive cooking and dining experiences ideal for everything from team building to private celebrations. Groups can don aprons and cook alongside the Shaw Centre's Executive Chef, Geoffrey Morden, or sit back and watch as Chef demonstrates using the latest techniques and freshest ingredients. "This is a very slick-looking place and it's a real pleasure to get to work in it," said Chef.
In addition to a lavishly-appointed private cooking and dining area, the create space also includes an adjacent private reception area, ideal for drinks, hors d'oeuvres and mingling before the main event. Each aspect of the create experience can be customized, including menus and wine selections from the Centre's extensive cellars.
Having a ringside seat to watch Chef and his capable team finish cooking and serve a multi-course gourmet meal was a delightful way to spend an evening. Our menu included a variety of delicious passed nibbles while we listened to a live musical performance by the talented vocalist Jerushah Wright, accompanied by guitarist Alex Lopez. Once seated in the studio, our six courses included oysters, short rib ravioli served with roasted veal marrow, the most tender and flavourful rack of lamb I have ever tasted, a micro-green salad, cheese course and delicious chocolate fondant and pineapple fritter for dessert. Adding to the experience was the kitchen's inventive plating - each dish was served in or on a unique vessel, from slate plates to wooden boards to shiny skillets and even tiny colanders for the salad.
It was easy to imagine either executives enjoying a session in the create studio as part of a conference, or a group of friends having an unforgettable bridal shower or engagement party there. It's the kind of place that as soon as you walk in, you just know you are going to have a great time. I can't wait to go back.