Here’s a lovely way to spend an evening. On Thursday, June 10, Didier Leroy is having a fundraiser at his restaurant, Didier, for the Toronto Wildlife Centre. The menu has been devised by Leroy, celebrity chef Christine Cushing and Master Chocolatier Sylvain Leroy who promise sparkling wine and canapés followed by “six sumptuous courses.” There will be seafood, but no meat or game on the menu, which makes sense given the nature of the cause. Château des Charmes has provided all the wines for the evening and the winery’s representative Chris Giuliani will join forces with sommelier Zoltan Szabo to guide diners through the pairings. The host will be none other than my friend Kevin Brauch, the thirsty traveller himself, who is an excellent fellow once you get past his unfortunate enthusiasm for Arsenal football club. The evening’s food and drinks, as well as everyone’s time, has been generously donated to maximize funds raised to pay for veterinary medical care for sick and injured wild animals. Tickets cost $375 (a portion of which is tax deductible) and numbers are limited to a mere 60 guests, which will enhance the pleasure for all concerned. For reservations, contact Tory Edwards at Didier Restaurant & Catering. Telephone: 416 925 8588.
Talking of Kevin Brauch, he’s also the host of a new tv show that debuts on the Food Network on Friday, June 4 at 8pm. It’s called CheF*OFF! and is best described as a cross between Iron Chef and Kenny versus Spenny. The premise pits two very talented chefs against each other in a series of cooking contests such as have never been seen on television, with sabotage and childish skullduggery all part of the game. The two chefs are Michael Lyon (a delightful guy who won Calgary’s Gold Medal Plates twice, currently executive chef of the Eldorado in Kelowna) and Michael Blackie (a wicked genius who won Ottawa’s Gold Medal Plates and is executive chef at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa). I turn up in each episode as one of the judges who has to taste the chefs’ dishes and decide which is the victor. This is important, as the losing chef is subjected to diabolical humiliations and public punishment. It was enormous fun making these unique shows, mixing extreme silliness with first class cooking. I think everyone will enjoy it.