The last time I was in Moncton, I had the pleasure of being a guest at the Delta Beauséjour in Moncton, New Brunswick. Double bonus was spending time with Chef Stefan Mueller. He and his culinary team feature a seasonal 100 Mile Menu in the Windjammer—an elegant four diamond restaurant.
Impressed with the food selection and quality available in the region, Mueller jumped on the local bandwagon two years ago and successfully introduced the 100 Mile Menu. It features everything from locally raised boar, buffalo and wild rice to award-winning cheeses. But last year he went a step further.
On the rooftop of the hotel there’s not only an herb garden, but a bee hive. “The bee population is declining,” says Chef. “This is one way we can help. And the bees are happy with all the wildflowers next to the river.” The honey is used in the Windjammer and is also offered as welcome gifts for special guests.
Another buzz wells up in the dining room when guests order White Chocolate Lobster as an appetizer. It’s a gob-smacking dish that raises lots of eyebrows and big grins. Check out the recipe below! (And for heavens sake, if you make it, send me a photo and I’ll add it here. I keep forgetting to do so!)
Slipping over to White Point Beach Resort on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Chef Alan Crosby focuses on comfort foods made with good, local ingredients. His passion really shines through when he slides out from behind the line and spends time with guests serving up his “Chef’s Magic” Culinary Classes. He has a knack for inspiring guests to rediscover what’s in our cupboards and learn how to gussy up simple things.
For example, who would think that French Toast could be sexy, let alone served as an appetizer or for lunch? (Recipe follows). “This recipe is one of my all time favorites and meets with rave reviews every time I wheel it out. One of the things that makes this recipe so tasty is the contrasts in flavour and texture: salty meets sweet and soft meets crunchy.”
Isn’t it time you walked on the wild side and tried these recipes? .
PS If you know a chef who has a story to tell and a recipe to share, let me know!
White Chocolate Lobster (Stefan Mueller)
6oz New Brunswick lobster meat, diced (frozen is fine if fresh is not available)
1 tbsp butter
4 tbsp fine diced shallot
2 tbsp fine diced celery
¼ C white wine
½ C 35% cream
1 oz white chocolate
Sauté shallots and celery in butter until translucent. Add finely diced lobster meat. Sauté for 1 minute. Deglaze with wine and bring to a boil, then simmer. Strain lobster meat and keep aside. Reduce the wine, add cream and reduce by one-half. Fold in lobster. Add white chocolate to taste. Serve in phyllo cups.
Smoked Salmon Maple French Toast (Alan Crosby)
1 baguette cut into 16 inch thick slices
1 C whipping cream
pinch of salt and pepper
4 tbsp butter
8 slices bacon, preferably double smoked, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 Spanish onion, very thin slices
1 tsp dry thyme
2/3 C maple syrup
1/3 C grainy Dijon mustard
16 slices good quality Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon
In a medium frying pan, cook the diced bacon until soft and almost cooked. Drain most of the fat, add the onions and thyme and continue to cook until tender; set aside.
Preheat a large frying pan. Whisk together the eggs and cream, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Immerse 6-8 slices of the baguette in the mixture. Add 2 tbsp of the butter to the pan to melt, when it begins to just brown, place half dipped slices of bread into the pan and cook until deep golden on both sides. Repeat with remaining butter and bread. Stir together the mustard and maple syrup. Place French toast on plates, drape each slice with a piece of smoked salmon. Sprinkle some of the cooked bacon-onion mix on top then drizzle with maple mustard sauce.
Chef Mueller: Sandra Phinney
Chef Crosby: White Point Beach Resort