Monthly Archives: December 2017

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Introducing Executive Chef Nick Caulford

Thank you to Nick Caulford for taking some time to answer our questions and share a recipe!

Q: Can you tell us about your background and training?

A: I moved to Vancouver from Toronto when I was 20 to attend Culinary Arts/Hotel & Restaurant Management school at Dubrulle Culinary Institute. I worked in restaurants in Vancouver and Toronto before moving to London England where I worked for a restauranteur group travelling from location to location throughout Europe training staff and performing Quality Assurance programs and initiatives. When I returned to Canada I moved to Banff where I began working for Brewster Hospitality, managing Food & Beverage Operations in their hotels.

Q: What led you to Chemainus Theatre Festival’s Playbill Dining Room?

A: My wife and I had always wanted to raise our children on the Island as the majority of her family lives in the Cowichan Valley, and I was always interested in getting back to my culinary roots where my initial training was, in Pacific Northwest cuisine. We moved to Chemainus in 2016. I have to admit that I was quite fortunate to become the executive chef at The Chemainus Theatre Festival, the timing just seemed right as our previous executive chef Steve Hewson was set for retirement. I had started as the part time evening sous chef of the theatre in March of 2017 working just 2 evenings a week. The theatre had such an impressive reputation amongst the locals and through word of mouth, I was excited to apply for employment.

Q: Farm to Table is important to you. Can you tell us about some of the partnerships you have formed with local farmers?

A: To me, Farm to Table is a wonderful concept. I have had the luxury of working for a Resort in Ontario on the shores of Rice Lake that had its own farm on location (Elmhirst’s Resort) that was doing a wonderful job with the Farm to Table concept. The farm would produce annual yields of vegetables from their own gardens of around 2 tonnes. They raised ducks and chickens for egg production as well as their own Beef Cattle on property. These items produced on the farm were exclusively used in supplying our dining rooms. It’s a special accomplishment not many can say they have the ability of bringing to market. To me, I am more focused on and passionate about fresh and local ingredients from the Island and the Lower Mainland. There are so many independent and micro farms, wineries, breweries and fisheries in our community. It’s really quite an exciting place to be. The Cowichan Valley is especially growing more of a food & wine culture. I have been reaching out to many of these local businesses to begin forging relationships hopefully for many years to come. We are all part of this community and supporting our neighbours will help showcase to locals and tourists what our region can do.

Q: Audiences love to see how the show is highlighted in the menu. Any shows for 2018 inspired you in particular?

A: They all have in some way. It is really fun creating menus that theme with a particular show or region of the world. I think I am most excited for Million Dollar Quartet and Glorious! Grease should be really fun as well. It’s difficult to not get carried away and want to over-theme every dish. We always try to have a good balance of dishes available to please everyone.

Q: Fridays in the Playbill Dining Room will have a new feature, the Table D’hôte. Can you tell us what Friday night audiences can expect with this wonderful new service?

A: The New Friday Night Table D’hôte experience will be a hybrid of a buffet and a plated dinner service. The Soup and Salad Buffet will still be in existence as well as the Dessert Buffet. The concept of the Table D’hôte portion of Friday nights will be a 3 choice plated main course menu that will feature and showcase items never before offered in the Playbill Dining Room. Offerings from Prime Rib to Lobster Tails depending on which shows you attend.

Q: The Scalloped Potatoes in the ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas are like something out of a dream. Could you please share your recipe if there are any patrons who would like to impress their dinner guests this season?

Thank you for the kind words. It would be my pleasure.

 

Potatoes Au Gratin (Scalloped Potatoes) Serves 4-6

2lbs Russet Potatoes

3 Cups Whipping Cream

1 tsp Kosher Salt

1/8 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

Pinch of Nutmeg

2 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled & Smashed

¾ Cup Gruyere Cheese Finely Grated

½ Boursin Herb & Garlic Cheese

  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Using a very sharp knife or a mandolin, carefully cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch slices (no thicker).
  • Put the potatoes in a large heavy-based saucepan and add the cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat until the cream is boiling, stirring occasionally (very gently with a rubber spatula so you don’t break up the slices).
  • When the cream boils, pour the mixture into a 2-1/2- or 3-qt. baking dish. Shake the dish a bit to let the slices settle and then sprinkle the surface with the cheese.
  • Bake in the hot oven until the top is deep golden brown, the cream has thickened, and the potatoes are extremely tender when pierced with a knife, about 40 minutes. Don’t worry if the dish looks too liquidy at this point; it will set up as it cools a bit. Before serving, let the potatoes cool until they’re very warm but not hot (at least 15 minutes) or serve them at room temperature.
  • Garnish with Fresh Parsley & Chives.

 

Come Together with the Cornwall Family

Christmas is a time for people to come together and Chemainus Theatre Festival is proud to be a part of this tradition for the past 25 years. It is the talented directors, musicians, actors, and designers who come together to create the shows that bring friends and families coming back, again and again, to settle in a darkened audience and share a special story. Theatre can bridge gaps between people from different places, cultures, generations, and backgrounds. The ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’ is a sweet way to mark the end of a great year for Chemainus Theatre Festival – a joyous tale of a family coming together, sharing traditions, starting something new, and making friends along the way.

Come spend an evening (or afternoon) at Chemainus Theatre Festival and enjoy the ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’. Time, budget, work, family won’t allow everyone to get away to Mexico this Christmas (it took Harry and Judy Cornwall 25 years to get there) but allow us to take you away on a musical journey to the mid-1980s with some of your favourite Christmas and retro tunes along with a whimsical story of a family doing their very best to create a memorable Christmas holiday vacation.

‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’ Director Barbara Tomasic has this message for audiences: “My wish for you is that our show offers you a good laugh and a reminder of what I think are the good parts of the Holiday season; joy, music, peace, and love. And may you embrace change as exuberantly as the Cornwalls!”

Come to laugh and leave with a song in your heart. ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’ runs until New Year’s Eve with a fabulous buffet to rival any Mexican all-inclusive resort. Tickets go fast for our Christmas shows so book yours today.