fine dinning

I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again
there are topics, subject, love affair one can’t shut up about
the Wild Caraway is one of them

if you don’t know yet, the Wild Caraway is a restaurant
nestled in the heart of Advocate Harbour
it’s off the beaten path
a must if you are touring Cumberland County
and a do not miss if you are a food lover
in my book it’s one of Nova Scotia’s gem

this past Wednesday Eric and I went to their annual foraging dinner

for this special dinner I was lucky enough to be welcome in the kitchen
I have an interest in wild edibles and was curious to see what chef Andrew would come up with this year
I made myself as little as could be and clicked away at all the marvels happening before my eyes
it’s something to be served a beautiful plate
it’s fascinating to see it being created
it’s exceptional to have a chef
who’s barely slept in days
who’s beyond busy with close to 60 people to serve that night
take the time to tell you about what type of meringue is on the baked Alaska
or how these yolks used in the Pasta Flora have to be cooked at the lowest temperature for hours to obtain this unique texture

the time it takes to create any of the plates we were served that night has to be counted in days
from foraging, to pickling, smoking, blanching, infusing, roasting, frying, you name it
it’s a labor of passion
it’s more then love
it’s going beyond the usual
being constantly searching for new texture, pairings, ways to present
it’s knowing the chemistry of ingredients
and playing with it

the other beautiful thing in that kitchen
was to witness an ongoing ballet of hands
the chef showing
the helpers prepping
the plates adding, waiting to be served
the stress of serving many never affecting the attention to detail
with constant words of encouragement being exchanged

I won’t describe the food
photos will tell
I’ll just say
don’t feel left out
exceptional food and service is always on the menu

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every now and then a little event makes your day
something unexpected, totally free, genuine, fresh
here’s one

I go to the local fish store up the road
it’s right across from a general store
it’s near by
I won’t need to go to town
I’m looking for mussels and something else to barbecue

I park at the general store, cross the road, enter the fish store
It’s mainly lobsters here but there are bags of mussels, some fresh fish, and some frozen sea goods

the woman being served, pondering about which lobsters to select, is with two boys
one of the boy may be 7, his brother no more then 5
the little one is eating those stick candy that you lick and dip into double pouch pack filled with sweet and sour flavoured powder
the double pack is now down to 1/3 of a pouch and the stick is half gone
The boy and I are both in front of the lobster / mussel display

I don’t know who started first but next thing you know the boy and I are having a conversation about the candy he is eating

me: these use to be my favourite, I love the sweet candy and the sour powder mix
the boy agrees
me: (about the mussels) this bag is too small and this one too large
the boy: when I eat lobster I eat the small ones (he points to the smallest lobster in the bunch)
the boy: you know you can eat the stick
me: yeah, isn’t great to make a stick that you can eat
he agrees

I go to a different display and look at the frozen goods
he follows me
we discuss the frozen goods

I move back to the mussel display thinking I’m getting the big bag

the boy: you know I have some straw filled with sweet juice in the car. You know those candies?
me: yeah, I like those too, I love it being in a straw
he agrees

His mom is now at the checkout paying for the lobsters, her two boys behind her.
I’m waiting in line.
All of a sudden the little boy turns around and gives me a great big hug.

me: wow! bonus!
the boy: that’s because we like the same candies!
and then again another great big hug

I’m almost embarrassed (I hope mom is ok with this spur of affection) but very thankful.
Neither her or her oldest son seem surprised.

Mom and boys exit, I pay for my mussels, I go out of the store ready to cross the street to get something at the general store.
On my way I see the boy sitting in the back seat attacking most likely that straw candy we were talking about. I wave to him and prepare to cross the street when I see his door open.
He shouts: You want one!

I smile, thank him and give him a thumbs up
You just made my day buddy
Have a good one too

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