“Feast of the Fathers” – A Signature PEI Fall Flavours Event to Celebrate the Creation of Canada

  •  
  •  
  • 3
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  Yum
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    3
    Shares

I thoroughly enjoy September on Prince Edward Island for many reasons but, topping the list, has to be the array of culinary events that form the Fall Flavours Festival, a month-long celebration of all things food on the Island.  If you are a regular follower of my blog, you will recall postings from 2012 and 2013 about previous Fall Flavours events I attended and one in August 2014 about the Fall Flavours Festival in general.   The 2014 Fall Flavours Festival kicked off on September 6, 2014, with an event to celebrate the creation of Canada. This signature event was held on the grounds of the Culinary Institute of Canada, in Charlottetown, PEI.

But, before I tell you about the evening, just a short lesson on Canadian history to help explain the significance of the grand Feast of the Fathers event.

This year (2014) marks the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference that set off a chain of events that eventually led to the forming of Canada.  Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick delegates were meeting in Charlottetown in early September, 1864, to discuss the possibility of a Maritime Union.  When political leaders from what, today, are the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, heard of the meeting, they asked to attend.  One of the delegates was Sir John A. Macdonald who would later go on to become Canada’s first prime minister. The delegates journeyed down the St. Lawrence to Charlottetown and discussions began about a much larger union than that of the three Maritime Provinces.

The delegates arriving at the foot of Great George Street and making their way up to Province House weren’t, however, the only show in town.  A circus had rolled into Charlottetown and, as a result, there were few on hand at the dock to greet the now-famous Fathers of Confederation who would be instrumental in forming a nation.

The delegates met for several days and amidst formal meetings, elegant balls, and banquets, approval for Confederation was achieved with plans made for further conferences to be held in Quebec and London.  Eventually, on July 1, 1867, the Dominion of Canada was formed with the proclamation of the British North America Act.

Now, you might wonder what this brief Canadian history lesson has to do with a food blog.  Well, this summer, there have been a tremendous number of events on PEI to commemorate and celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first meeting of the Fathers of Confederation who worked to form the nation.  The Feast of the Fathers culinary event set out to recreate an evening and menu much like the Fathers of Confederation might have experienced during their stay on PEI in 1864.  And, this event did not disappoint.  It was beautifully and artfully executed in every way.

Guests to the Feast of the Fathers dinner were met by the Fathers and Mothers of Confederation who, in period costume, stroll the streets of Charlottetown in the summer months.

The evening began at 6:00pm with a champagne and oyster bar reception.  Plans were for the reception to take place outside on the grounds of the Culinary Institute which overlooks the water.  However, winds were a little too strong so the event was moved inside to the lower level of the Culinary Institute.

DSC06363

Guests were greeted with a glass of champagne and then they made their way to one of two oyster bars.

Shucking Oysters
Shucking Oysters

Talented musicians provided beautiful music during the reception.

Circus performers from Atlantic Cirque entertained guests.

This gal could really navigate on stilts!

Waiters circulated with trays of tasty hors d’oeuvres – a bacon-wrapped scallop, anyone?

Hors d'oeuvres at reception
Hors d’oeuvres at reception

Is your mouth watering yet?

But, wait, there’s more – lobster salad in mini pitas.  Now, these were divine morsels!

Lobster Salad in Mini Pitas
Lobster Salad in Mini Pitas

Spring rolls, anyone?

Several people arrived in clothing representative of 1864 fashion.

Dinner was to be served in a huge tent on the Culinary Institute grounds.

I made my way into the tent before guests arrived so I could photograph the beautifully set tables.

The color theme was white and gold.  Well-set tables always take my eye.

Lovely late summer table centerpieces adorned each table.

Each place setting had the evening’s program and menu tucked inside the napkin fold.

Take a look at the evening’s program and menu…..

The PEI Symphony was setting up and tuning the strings.

The Prince Edward Island Symphony
The Prince Edward Island Symphony

The evening was co-hosted by local comedian Patrick Ledwell and celebrity chef, Lynn Crawford.

Patrick Ledwell, Co-host of Feast of the Fathers
Patrick Ledwell, Co-host of Feast of the Fathers
Chef Lynn Crawford
Chef Lynn Crawford

These two proved to be a great combo.

A pre-dinner performance by the Atlantic Cirque thrilled guests.

Performers from Atlantic Cirque
Performers from Atlantic Cirque

The event was also attended by PEI’s Lieutenant-Governor, The Honourable H. Frank Lewis, and Mrs. Dorothy Lewis.

The Honourable H. Frank Lewis, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, and Mrs. Lewis
The Honourable H. Frank Lewis, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, and Mrs. Dorothy Lewis

The Lieutenant Governor,  with Sir John A. MacDonald (on the far left of photo below) looking on, made the Official Toast and then the scrumptuous meal commenced.

Official Toast by The Honourable H. Frank Lewis
Official Toast by The Honourable H. Frank Lewis

Each course was accompanied by an element of entertainment reminiscent of events around the 1864 Conference.  At the beginning of each course, Chef Lynn described the meal to whet everyone’s appetite.

The PEI Symphony provided the musical accompaniment throughout the evening.

1st Course

Vanilla Infused Lobster with Citrus Crème Fraiche, Herbed Salad, “Tinys” Shaved Truffle Gouda.

First Course: Vanilla Infused Lobster with Citrus Crème Fraiche, Herbed Salad, "Tinys" Shaved Truffle Gouda
First Course: Vanilla Infused Lobster with Citrus Crème Fraiche, Herbed Salad, “Tinys” Shaved Truffle Gouda

This was so tastefully and artfully presented (and it tasted every bit as good as it looked!).  The Beaconsfield Assembly Scottish dance group danced the 5th and 3rd figures of the Caledonian Quadrilles.

5th and 3rd Figures of the Caledonian Quadrilles danced by the Beaconsfield Assembly
5th and 3rd Figures of the Caledonian Quadrilles danced by the Beaconsfield Assembly

2nd Course

Cedar Planked Maple Cured Salmon, Rock Crab Rissole, Mustard Pickle, and Roasted Oyster.  Absolutely divine.

Second Course: Cedar Planked Maple Cured Salmon, Rock Crab Rissole, Mustard Pickle, and Roasted Oyster
Second Course: Cedar Planked Maple Cured Salmon, Rock Crab Rissole, Mustard Pickle, and Roasted Oyster

The Beaconsfield Assembly danced the Monymusk and The Triumph during this course of the meal.

3rd Course

Sirloin “Pot Roast”, Potato Purée, Baby Vegetables, Natural Jus.  Beautiful presentation!

Third Course:  Sirloin "Pot Roast", Potato Purée, Baby Vegetables, Natural Jus
Third Course: Sirloin “Pot Roast”, Potato Purée, Baby Vegetables, Natural Jus

The Beaconsfield Assembly, joined by the Fathers and Mothers of Confederation, danced the Viennese Waltz and invited guests to join in.

Dessert

Apple Spice Cake, Caramel Whiskey Sauce, “COWS” Maple Walnut Ice Cream.  What’s not to love about this yummy combo?

Dessert:  Apple Spice Cake, Caramel Whiskey Sauce, "COWS" Maple Walnut Ice Cream
Dessert: Apple Spice Cake, Caramel Whiskey Sauce, “COWS” Maple Walnut Ice Cream

To top the evening off, a late evening concert was provided by the Barra MacNeils while Chef Lynn signed her cookbooks which were available for sale throughout the evening.

The Barra MacNeils
The Barra MacNeils

This was a full and entertaining evening – a sold out event.  The best way I can describe the experience is first class all the way, from the food to the service to the entertainment.  This event personified the “WOW” factor in every way.  It was a perfect way to celebrate the creation of our nation.  Hats off to the organizers, chefs, wait staff, and entertainers who wowed me yet again at a fine PEI Fall Flavours event.

If you have never been to a PEI Fall Flavours signature event, I highly recommend them.  They are well-done and feature Island foods in many different ways.

 

Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today. There are lots of ways to connect with “the Bistro” through social media:

Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook
Follow the Bistro’s tweets on twitter @PEIBistro
Find the Bistro on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen
Follow along on Instagram at “peibistro

Click on the links below to read stories I have written in the past about individual Fall Flavours events:

PEI Shellfish Festival (2012):
Farm Day in the City (2012):
Savour Victoria (2012):
Toes, Taps, and Taters (2013)
Lobster Party on the Beach (2013)
Applelicious (2013)
The Great Island Grilled Cheese Challenge (2013)

 

Share on LinkedIn1Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest3Share on Facebook72Email this to someone