uFeast x Beast Presents: Garçon! An Evening of Refined French Cuisine

U-Feast are a food focused community that offers all members "exclusive off-menu dining experiences". The company first launched in April of this year, and has since thrown a few dinner events. I'd say that they have been pretty successful in building a strong local food network, as the events has allowed people to enjoy a series of one-of-a-kind dining experiences, and interact with other food lovers. Earlier this month, I was invited to an U-Feast's event that was held at Beast in downtown Toronto. The dinner was hosted by Scott Vivian (owner and head chef of Beast), and he invited two other chefs to collaborate with him; Chef Ned Elliott of Foreign & Domestic from Austin, and Chef Mathew Gaudet of West Bridge from Boston.



 Each of U-Feast's events are designed to be unique, as the company aims to provide memorable dining experiences that are curated by Toronto’s chefs. The dinner that I attended was all about "Classic French Cuisine". Needless to say, I was highly anticipating the event, as I don't get to indulge in French cuisine as often as I'd like in Toronto.

Sab Stories - Wasabi-infused Dillon's vodka, raspberry syrup, lime, angostura, citric acid
 The night started off with the amuse bouche, which was prepared by the sous-chef of Beast, Jason Poon. The creamy Sea Urchin Mousse - leeks, champagne vinegar, and beurre blanc, was a good start to the dinner. On hand was the sommelière for the evening, Rebecca Meir-Liebman, who paired each course with their respective wines which were courtesy of Chateau des Charmes. She was responsible for the development of the wine lists for the evening, and did an excellent job. Rebecaa paired the amuse bouche with a glass of NV Brut Sparkling Wine, Méthode Traditionnelle.

NV Brut Sparkling Wine, Méthode Traditionnelle
 The next course was a traditional torchon that centered on the burrata, which was prepared by Mathew Gaudet. Overall, I thought that his Grilled Spicy Duck Heart Salad - cured foie gras, burrata, Little Neck clam vinaigrette, was wonderfully done. I really enjoyed the shaved foie gras torchon, and the Little Neck clam vinaigrette clearly demonstrated his Boston roots in his cooking. 

2013 "Old Vines' riesling
I was also impressed by the presentation of Scott Vivian's take on the classic Smoked Trout Tart - spinach, dill, caviar, hollandaise. He was inspired by a classic dish that was done by a famous French chef, Michel Roux. However, Scott Vivian did put his own spin on the dish by making his own tart shell, and filling it with trout that he smoked with applewood, and then made into a mousse. The smoked trout had a nice smoky flavor that wasn't too potent. Lastly, the tart was topped off with some fresh Swiss chard that was locally sourced, and then blanch. 

2013 Gamay Noir "Droit"
The next dish was the work of Colin Moise, who was the Chef de Cuisine at Beast. He was inspired by one of Pierre Gagnaire's recipes, and did a take on a pastry with sweetbreads, and came up with the Pamericelli of Sweetbreads & Foie Gras - wild mushrooms, Treviso. The flaky puff pastry was generously filled with foie gras, and wild mushrooms. Additionally, the cherry vinegar added a little bit of saltiness to the glaze, so the pairing of the sweet 2008 Late Harvest Riesling was perfect for many. 


The last savory dish before dessert was Ned Elliott's Omelet of Whelks & Truffles - tomato confit, crispy brains, crème. I was a slightly taken aback once I realized that I was chewing pieces of brains, but the overall omelet was delectable. Just a note that although the menu stated whelks, they didn't have it at their disposal in the kitchen. So, Ned Elliott used another delicacy, gooseneck barnacles, in the dish instead.

 

I have a major sweetooth, so I always look forward to the dessert after a meal. The dessert served at the dinner was by  Rachelle Cadwell, who also competed on the Canadian show, Donut Showdown. Her Chocolate Tart - hazelnut ice cream, raspberry, daquoise, coffee, was beautifully plated with three different kinds of chocolate. The chocolate was also encrusted with tiny bits of coffee on the inside. Lastly, the raspberry juice definitely did add a fruity tartness, which helped to balance the dark chocolate pieces. Overall, I had a wonderful, memorable, and well-balanced dinner at the Beast & Friends - An Evening of Refined French Cuisine (U-Feast) event.

Digestif // New Schmidt// Fernet Branca // Carpano Antica// Absinthe //sugar
The next U-Feast event will take place at Mata Petisco Bar on September 22, 2015. The event costs $70, and will consists of a five-course fiesta. Check the menu, or book the ticket(s) at https://www.ufeast.com/event/Made%20in%20Brazil.

Address: 96 Tecumseth St, Toronto, ON M6J 2H1

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Disclaimer: The food, and alcohol provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

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