Recently, I caught up with one of them: Andreana Hudson, is now enjoying a new gig at HECFI, and she had an interesting idea for Food for Thought. She then put me in touch with Paula Perri, her colleague and Convention Centre Entertainment Programmer who is running what sounds like a great series of events over the coming months.
To get to the point, “All Things Delicious” is a three-part event billed as a “Celebration of Culture, Community and Cuisine”. When I got the promotional materials from Paula, my eyes were drawn to the list of sponsors that include the Hamilton Farmer’s Market (celebrating its Dodransbicentennial this year – that is its 175th anniversary to you and me) and Peter Mielzynski Agencies, Canada’s leading Wine & Spirits Agency.
PMA represents some of my favourite tipples, including many fabulous varieties of Appleton Estate Jamaica
Rum (a brand that will be featured during the event), and others such as Calvados Boulard, Hendrick’s Gin and Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka (I feel another column coming on, but I digress). The point is Peter, a Flamborough resident, is known for his selective involvement in first class promotions.
Hosted by Hamilton Eat Local’s Karen Burson, All Things Delicious promises to be an interesting and informative event (HEL are the good folk behind the Hamilton Farm Map and Directory Project as well as the Hamilton Local Food Directory). The goal is to highlight and celebrate the diverse range of exceptional food we have in our own backyard. Three events will run between September and November at the Hamilton Convention Centre with a portion of ticket sales benefiting the local St. Matthew’s House Food Bank on Barton St.
The first of the series, this Friday evening, September 7th, is called “Etiquette Uncorked.” Participants will interactively learn about table etiquette and the formalities of throwing and attending a dinner party. Niagara College Conference Manager, Mr. Jorge Dominguez, will preside, and hor d’oeuvres will be served by local restaurants La Piazza and The Baltimore House.
The more informal second event (Friday, October 19th) is called “Mix and Mingle: How to host a terrific dinner party”. Hosted by well-known Toronto chef Ted Corrado (recently of the C5 Lounge at the ROM and now Corporate Chef for Compass Group, one of the event sponsors), guests will be able to sample local foods at stations around the room while learning about menu planning and thinking locally and seasonally. The evening will include a demo of canapé assembly, with take-away menu cards, a spirits pairing presentation, and conclude with a talk on how to incorporate entertainment and décor into the event that you are hosting.
Capping it all off on November 9th is a cooking demo and full-service meal hosted by Chef David Adjey, the on-camera personality in the Food Network’s ‘Restaurant Makeover’ and ‘The Opener’ programs. He’ll go through each course of a meal, explaining the ingredients and techniques used to prepare the dinner. After his demonstration, guests will be served the plates he has created (prepared by the HECFI in-house culinary team).
All Things Delicious is actually Paula’s baby. “It’s a HECFI initiative. I created it from scratch,” she told me proudly. “I’m such a foodie, and when I started here in January I was blown away by the quality of what our own Chefs produce at the Convention Centre and wanted to showcase it.”
When I asked her about the tie-in with the food bank, she told me she had volunteered there as a schoolgirl. “They are such wonderful people and do phenomenal work, so I saw an opportunity to give back, while showcasing how far Hamilton has come in terms of the availability of quality food.”
Tickets ($180 for the series of three events) are available at the Copps Coliseum Box Office, or (with a small service charge) viaTicketmaster.ca or call 1 855 872 5000. If you want to just catch the second or third evening tickets will be available later in September at $70 and $85 respectively. I hope to report back from one or more of them in a future column.