Chef eyeing P.E.I.
Damian Liengme is looking to grow his Quill Chef Services and Catering operation on Island.
A well-known Canadian chef is looking to add P.E.I. to his menu.
But exactly where is still unsure.
Damian Liengme, an Antigonish-based chef and owner of Quill Chef Services and Catering, was in the province last weekend to scope out possible locations to expand his business.
Liengme, who caters for big weddings as well as prepare private five course meals, was also featured during last week’s episode of Chopped Canada on the Food Network.
It was the fresh P.E.I. produce and seafood that drew the wellknown chef to the area.
“I like the vibe of Charlottetown. I like the fantastic fresh seafood and P.E.I. is a destination, it makes sense to me,” said Liengme during an interview with The Guardian. “That is what Quill is all about, showcasing local.”
Apart from scouting for a location and preparing for a 50th wedding anniversary at the Fairholm Inn in Charlottetown, Liengme also searched out local producers while in P.E.I.
Much of the morning was spent at the Charlottetown Farmers Market for fresh herbs and vegetables before picking up lobster and halibut at MR Seafood.
“As much as I could, it was bought on the Island,” said Liengme. “That’s the mission, to put locally sourced foods prepared with lots of love and a respect onto the plate for the client. No matter if it’s a catered event or in a restaurant, there’s a lot of integrity and a lot of passion.”
Liengme has a long history of working in the food industry.
He began as a dishwasher at the Banff Springs Hotel through the mid-80s, which is where he “got the bug” from watching chefs.
“I slowly moved up the line and it took a long time to get where I’m at and I’ve a lot further to go at this point,” said Liengme, who moved back to Antigonish last year. “But at this point I think I’ve put my time in and I think it’s time for my imagination and creation to hit the tables.”
Liengme had to showcase creativity and quick-thinking that when he competed on an episode of Chopped Canada that premiered this past weekend.
The show makes chefs compete by giving each a black basket with several mystery ingredients.
Chefs get 30 seconds after they see the items before they’re tasked with creating a three-course meal in a race against the clock.
Liengme came closing to winning the $10,000 prize after finishing second out of the four chefs.
“It was quite tough but on the flip side, you’ve got a fully stocked kitchen. It’s a chef ’s playground really. As long as you’ve got the imagination and know-how, you get along,” said Liengme.
“I’m no stranger to fast paced stress in fact I enjoy it... I’d do it again in a second.”
2 avocados 1 lime, squeezed 1 tbsp. chive blossoms salt and pepper to taste Cut up avocado flesh coarsely. Add lime juice, salt and pepper and chive blossoms. Flatten onto sheet pan and freeze it. Vinaigrette 1/2-cup apple cider vinegar ¼ apple juice 1/2 cup canola oil 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard Salt, pepper to taste Whisk together the vinegar, Dijon in a medium sized bowl. Slowly incorporate the oil, while whisking. Add the juice of half the lime and apple juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
2 P.E.I. lobsters, cooked Salt and pepper, to taste Chop up lobster and chill. Slaw
1 fennel blub 2 ¼ cup cilantro leaves Shave fennel bulb. Add cilantro leaves. Add 1/8 cup of vinaigrette to soften. Add a little apple juice, canola oil, salt and pepper and garlic. Toss with shaved fennel and cilantro. In plating, take out marble and rise to room temperature. Cut marble into shape. Add chilled lobster on top and finish with tossed slaw and cilantro. Add a splash of vinaigrette if desired and enjoy.
Chef Damian Liengme chops fresh halibut while preparing a dinner for a 50th wedding anniversary at the Fairholm National Historic Inn in Charlottetown recently. The Antigonish-based chef is looking to expand his business Quill Chef Services and Catering to P.E.I.