Friday, April 12, 2013

The Catalysts Presents an Evening with Curtis Stone

Globe and Mail, in partnership with the Lincoln Motor Company, has launched The Catalysts search for "individuals who, through their vision, leadership and action have measurably influenced culinary culture, the arts, style and design." As part of the related event series, my friend and I got a chance to spend an evening schmoozing with Curtis Stone, our favourite Aussie chef.

I didn't even know any of this was happening, but my friend's mom got an an email about it and passed it on to my friend, who wasted no time and managed to score us free VIP tickets to the event. The VIP ticket (valid for 2 people and non-transferable), came with complimentary parking, early admission to the event (where we got to hang out with Curtis over some food and drinks), a cooking demonstration (and more food) in the main event space with the other attendees, and a gift bag that included a signed copy of his new cookbook (which is beautiful!), a gift card to the Rosewater Supper Club, and an apron from the Curtis Stone line of cookware. And yes, all of this was 100% FREE. Needless to say, we were pretty excited.

Coming off the Casa Loma wine tasting event the previous night (write-up to come!), I wasn't my liveliest self, so kept a low profile and managed to stay away from stirring up some extra excitement in the form of silly photos and audience participation (a missed opportunity, but not to worry, things always even out!). I also largely stayed away from the bar. Still, their Caesars were delicious (what? I had to at least try it) and the food was fantastic. All the recipes were from Curtis's new book and really well done. There were about 6-7 different appetizers that were circulated, and the food stations set up after the cooking demonstration offered a generous taste of three of his mains. It was definitely enough to keep our bellies full and happy for the duration of the evening.
A romantic dinner for two?

A note must also be made about the service at Liberty Grand, which was fantastic and definitely helped make the evening even more enjoyable. The crowd itself was also pretty friendly - we were cracking jokes with some of the other attendees (particularly when some of the participants went up on stage for a cocktail competition, which was in and of itself hilarious). And of course, Curtis himself was ridiculously nice (and funny!) and spent most of the evening chilling with the crowd and talking to everyone. Love him to bits :)

WHAT: The Catalysts Event Series - An Evening with Curtis Stone

WHERE: Liberty Grand, 25 British Columbia Rd (Exhibition Place)

WHEN: April 11 - 6-9 pm

COST: Free

INSIDER TIPS: I'm not sure what mailing list you need to be on to hear about future events in this series (though trust me when I say that I intend to find out!), but I would highly recommend spreading the word among your friends. If you do happen to receive an invite, grab those tickets ASAP because they will get snatched up very quickly. And if you do get a chance to go, feel free to dress up! Many of the people in the crowd were quite fancy.

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