Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Favourite Event Of The Year


The Summer Harvest Garden Party is my favourite event—not just at the OHS, but my favourite event period. It's not just the food, which is always amazing, but atmosphere is warm and inviting, people are friendly and relaxed, and there always is some good wine to be tasted. This year I'm looking forward to trying  wines from Crush and Coyote's Run Estate Winery. 

Chef Kurt Waldele
The chefs always go all-out to make it memorable and delicious because the event is in honour of Chef Kurt Waldele. Not only did Kurt train half the chefs in the city, but for many years he did so much for Ottawa's animals through organizing and hosting the garden party, with his wife Dr.Suzanne Beauchemin and some very committed friends and volunteers. The garden party has grown with the OHS to be the very special occasion that it is now. It is such an honour to continue to share in this legacy to this great man.

There was so much about Kurt I didn't know until he passed away. I knew him as a tremendously kind supporter of the OHS. It was only at his funeral that I learned how much he had brought to Ottawa's culinary community. The chef "guard of honour" at his funeral was among the most amazing and moving tributes I have ever seen.

You can also expect sweet treats!
This year's party promises to be the biggest and best garden party ever. Twenty-one chefs have signed up to date, among them, Chefs Tim Wasylko from the Prime Minister’s residence, Louis Charest  from the Governor General's residence, and Cory Haskins. All three were mentored in Kurt's kitchens and have gone on to great things. Cory will be preparing shrimp in a pernot sauce—a classic taught to him by Kurt. Cory wanted his dish to honour Kurt by reflecting what he'd learned from him.

This year's National Arts Centre location means our poor dogs won't be licking the glass of their kennels with the hope of tasting what they can smell! Of course, there will be visits from our furry friends, to remind everyone why they support the OHS and this great event.

You won't want to miss this year's Summer Harvest Garden Party. See you on August 25th! 

Bruce Roney, 
Executive Director

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