A Sparkling Dinner Party With Chef Michael SmithTuesday, June 02, 2015
When you get an invitation to shuck oysters and enjoy a sparkling dinner party with Chef Michael Smith, it's very hard to find a reason not to go. Let me tell you, this guy knows how to throw a party. From a fancy venue and a delectable menu to sabering champagne and setting bananas on fire, what more could you ask for? The #SparklingClean event, hosted by Cascade, took place at The Chase Fish & Oyster in downtown Toronto. Upon arrival, guests were invited to join Food Network's Chef Michael Smith and learn how to properly shuck oysters. But not just any oysters. PEI oysters! Upon successful completion, we partook in the Oyster Society Oath that ended with a salty kiss. Figuratively speaking, of course.
Following this interactive activity, we gathered together to officially kick off the dinner party with a bang. We watched as Chef Michael coached a guest in the art of sabering a bottle of champagne. Can't say I've ever seen that done in person before. It sure wowed the crowd.
As we took our seats, I couldn't help but notice how everything sparkled. The drinking glasses and table décor definitely set the tone for the dinner party. Chef Michael also made sure to add a special touch by including fresh flowers and letter blocks arranged to spell words such as "sparkle" and "wine". I thought it was a creative idea to include the blocks. It wasn't long before it became clear that he had put much thought and effort into planning this party. He even took great care to write out his Sparkling Dinner Party Tips on the chalkboard using his excellent penmanship.
As an hors d'oeuvre, we were served a portion of his delicious Bacon Potato Casserole which was followed by the restaurant's rendition of Chef Michael's Sunny Southwest Salad. As an entrée, we enjoyed some Greek chicken stuffed with oregano and lemon butter, caramelized onion and creamer potatoes with herb roasted tomatoes. It was incredibly delicious! The only part I didn't eat was the skin. But it was crisped to perfection and so Chef Michael, who sat next to me, couldn't resist adding it to his plate. He convinced me, though, that it's one of the best parts so I'll be sure to give it a try next time.
As much as I'm always ready for dessert, nothing could prepare me for the grand finale. Chef Michael showed us how he makes his Flaming Bananas recipe by setting them literally on fire. Have no fear. A fire extinguisher was within reach just in case. Can you tell by the look on his face he was having fun? Like a kid in the candy store!
It was the same look on my face when they placed the dessert in front of me. Oh my word, was it ever amazing! A little piece of heaven topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Perfection!
Planning a dinner party chez toi? Chef Michael Smith shares the following tips to help make your party sparkle:
- Spend time to save time: Prep as much as you can in advance – from food to your table. Smart preparation will allow you to spend more time with your guests.
- Clean as you go: Get the mess out of the way, and load the dishwasher as you prepare dinner. With Cascade Platinum, you don’t need to worry about pre-rinsing – it will clean stuck-on food in one wash.
- Start with a bang! Do something collectively right away. A group activity subtly reminds everyone “We’re in this together!”
- Give your guests something fun to do: At some point, engage your guests in an interactive activity, something hands on, that’s not work.
- Make your guests feel special: Thoughtful details tell your guests they are special. Set the mood with music, place cards, flowers and sparkling dishes and glasses. I use Cascade Platinum in every cycle to make sure everything is ready for a big event.cascade
- Share the work: Many hands make light work. After the main meal and before dessert, encourage everybody to pitch in with clean up.dinner setting
- Grand finale: End the evening with something spectacular, something memorable, or my favourite—something flammable!
For more tips and recipes from Chef Michael Smith and Cascade Platinum, visit www.foodnetwork.cacascade.
As a bonus, Cascade wants to give one lucky reader a hefty supply of Cascade Platinum to help ensure you have sparkling clean dishes every day. You could win a #SparklingClean prize pack containing 3 tubs of Cascade Platinum, valued at approximately $57! Simply complete the Rafflecopter form below. Open to Canada only, excluding Quebec.
P&G has only provided me with the product that I am using as the prizes for this contest. The contest is not otherwise endorsed, designed and/or administered by or associated with P&G. By entering the following contest you are accepting that, if you win, your contact information will be shared with a P&G PR and shipping agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize.