The Chef’s Table Star Christmas Dinner

When you hear you are going to a Chef’s table dinner, you know you are in for a treat.

Usually reserved for VIPs and special guests, with usually a very high premium attached, it is a truly special event. You can expect top notch ingredients, top notch service, and to sample some of that chef’s specialties – things he or she creates to perfection. Sometimes it can change every night, depending on the ingredients available, or what the chef feels inspired to create.

In short, it’s special.

So when you combine a special thing like this with a terrific venue, two talented local chefs and two talented local bakers, you know you already have the makings of a great night. But when the focus of all this talent comes together to serve the community, you have the makings of an exceptional night.

Chef Cameron MacDonald and his team partner, local PR Manager Juliana Bellante, came up with the idea of this Chef’s Table as a way to give back to the community this Christmas. They wanted to create a truly memorable evening for people who might not have the opportunity to experience something like this on their own. So they teamed up with Niagara’s Project Share, to provide this special Christmas feast for families who use their services. Chef Cameron also paired up with his mentor, Chef Colin Goodine to create this gourmet meal. Delicious desserts were provided by Stacie Reade and Kit Coppolino of Scratch Bakery.

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But this special event consisted of more than delicious food. The meal participants were to be whisked away via limo to the Sanctuary Centre for the Arts in Ridgeway, who kindly donated the space for the event. I had never been there before, and it is a great facility, with so much going on. Music for the evening was also provided by Melissa-Marie Shriner

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We hung out in the background, getting pictures of the chefs, volunteers, and of course, the food!

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Deliciousness donated from Scratch Bakery

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Chef Cameron

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Melissa-Marie and Juliana

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And the food….Butter is the perfect match for vegetables, in my book.

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I love food close-ups. I love to see the texture of something as tiny as grains of salt.

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Serving up the scrumptious potato leek soup.

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The beautiful Coq au Vin, with creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables. I made my sweetie-pie photographer get another close-up. I love how the gravy glistens on the plate.

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Melissa-Marie kept us entertained with Christmas music throughout the main course. People introduced themselves and chatted. You could hear children laughing, eager to get to the dessert table. At the table I was at, parents were extremely happy as the children ate all their vegetables. Yes, the trick for getting kids to eat vegetables. I’m telling you, it’s gotta be the butter.

It was a great night, and they hope to expand it for next year.

There are lots of super, community oriented people in this world. But I have to say that the Niagara region does it really well from what I’ve seen so far. And really, isn’t that what the spirit of Christmas is all about?

To learn about some of the ways you can help, please visit Project Share’s website.