By Myriah Saulnier
Restaurant International held its first annual wine v.s. beer dinner Feb. 27 where 40 guests tried five dishes prepared to suit five carefully selected wines and beers.
The event, held by second-year culinary and hospitality management students, had kitchen staff prepare the food and dining room staff serving and bartending.
The chef of the day, second-year culinary student Sebastien Pernot planned the menu as part of his final project of the year. It featured grilled portebello, Portuguese potato and spicy sausage soup, blackened tuna, braised venison and profiteroles for dessert.
“I had to do a lot of homework to make the menu work with the pairings,” Pernot said. “After that, it’s pretty easy because this is a great team with great people.”
Pernot had to work with the in-house sommelier and beer expert, Geoffrey Skeggs, to come up with a menu to best fit the pairings. Pernot said it was a combined effort to come up with the best experience for the participants of the dinner and tasting.
“I needed to find the dominant flavor in each dish and tweak recipes to work for both wine and beer,” said Skeggs. “Traditionally, beer is for before dinner and wine is served with food. Tonight we will see how the beer stands up to the wine.”
Overall, the majority of participants agreed on what won their taste buds with each course. The wine seemed to beat beer pairings in most of the rounds, but the beer cocktail which combined both strawberry and chocolate flavours for dessert appeared to win most over.
Culinary professor Mario Ramsay said he is very proud of his students.
“The end of the year project is very difficult,” said Ramsay. “The students try to be creative within certain limits and boundaries. They’ve done a great job.”
First-year culinary student Mandy DeGeit attended the evening with her new fiancé. She looks forward to gaining more work experience by catering events like this held by the school, next year.
“Food and wine is our passion,” said DeGeit. “We love going to these events and I love to support my school.”
The next event held by Restaurant International is a fundraising bursary dinner which takes place on March 27.