CHAR­CU­TERIE BOARDS

A trendy, in­ter­ac­tive way to share a meal.

Where Canadian Rockies - - CONTENTS - By Ash­ley Ma­teri

Grapes Wine Bar at the Fair­mont Banff Springs (p 80) is an ex­cel­lent choice for char­cu­terie. The for­mer ‘Cas­tle in the Rock­ies’ li­brary now of­fers an el­e­gant-yet-re­laxed din­ing at­mos­phere. It’s per­fect for a date night or in­ti­mate evening with friends.

“Every­thing is cut fresh for the board,” says chef Tyler Thomp­son. “We make our own pick­les, jams, chut­neys and pâtés, and some of our own char­cu­terie, in­clud­ing lam­bchetta.” Of course, no char­cu­terie is com­plete with­out freshly baked bread. Grapes’ menu is in­flu­enced by the Fair­mont’s ‘snout-to-tail’ con­cept—sourc­ing and us­ing whole an­i­mals. “Some­times we take a part of the an­i­mal that peo­ple don’t usu­ally eat and make some­thing spe­cial,” Thomp­son says.

For those who en­joy a sur­prise, the chef’s se­lected board of­fers a va­ri­ety of art­fully pre­sented char­cu­terie cu­rated by Thomp­son. Din­ers who pre­fer to cus­tom­ize their own meals can choose from à la carte op­tions.

As its name sug­gests, Grapes boasts a fan­tas­tic wine list. Thomp­son of­ten sug­gests a dry white chenin blanc from Quail’s Gate win­ery in BC’s Okana­gan Val­ley.

At Ta­ble Food + Drink (p 95), the pro­fes­sion­als take care of the guess­work. The menu in­cludes three spe­cialty char­cu­terie boards (pork, chicken or fish), a chef’s board and build-your-own selections. This hid­den gem in­side Can­more’s Coast Ho­tel & Con­fer­ence Cen­tre of­fers soft seats by the fire­place, counter seats at the bar and ta­bles be­side large win­dows with court­yard and moun­tain views.

“Char­cu­terie is mak­ing its way back be­cause of its sim­ple pre­sen­ta­tions and end­less flavour com­bi­na­tions,” says Ta­ble ex­ec­u­tive chef Luke Grif­fin. “It takes the pre­ten­tion out of din­ing, pro­motes con­ver­sa­tion and gives clients the chance to in­ter­act with our chefs.”

Ta­ble’s pork board in­cludes ril­lettes (sim­i­lar to pâté), pro­sciutto (dry-cured ham), semisoft cheese and pick­led veg­eta­bles. Ex­ec­u­tive sous chef Michael Ooms sug­gests a pair­ing of Château Cam­plazens gre­nache, a full­bod­ied red wine from south­ern France.

On the fish board, smoked wild salmon, tuna tataki and goat cheese are high­lighted, while the chicken op­tion fea­tures sliced French ter­rine, cheese and cherry pre­serves. Ooms says a crisp white wine like Red Rooster pinot gris from the Okana­gan goes best with seafood. The dark fruit flavours and smoky fin­ish of Mon­te­quito mal­bec from Ar­gentina pair well with the chicken char­cu­terie, he adds.

Orso Trat­to­ria at the Fair­mont Jasper Park Lodge (p 119) of­fers char­cu­terie in a rus­ticel­e­gant re­gal room with a stun­ning view of Lac Beau­vert and Mount Edith Cavell.

Orso means bear in Ital­ian— this con­nects the restau­rant with the an­i­mals that of­ten fre­quent the lodge’s golf course. Ex­ec­u­tive sous chef Paul Shewchuk ex­plains that Orso’s con­cept is rem­i­nis­cent of a north­ern Ital­ian restau­rant full of fam­ily and friends. “It’s about com­ing to­gether at the ta­ble.” Orso’s an­tipasti board fea­tures cured meats like pro­sciutto, and cheeses in­clud­ing hard and flavour­ful pi­ave. Many items are im­ported from north­ern Italy; oth­ers are from lo­cal pro­duc­ers. Ex­ec­u­tive chef Christo­pher Chafe says acidic wines pair well with the ro­bust tastes on the an­tipasti board. He rec­om­mends Jo­rio Mon­tepul­ciano d’Abruzzo, a bold red from Italy. Cana­dian Rock­ies chefs put their own marks on char­cu­terie boards—with de­li­cious re­sults. Share a board with your loved ones; don’t for­get the wine!

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