Food, Wine and Generosity: Red and White for Harmony House, Pasta 101 for Parkdale Food Centre, and Giveaway

Donations to Parkdale Food Centre Donations to Parkdale Food Centre
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Were I to write a book about the Ottawa food scene, I would dedicate a chapter to how the restaurants, caterers, and local producers embrace and support the community, oftentimes with astounding generosity.

Last Wednesday, I sat at my workstation shocked at what resulted from a morning Twitter exchange with the chef/owner of Absinthe Cafe (1208 Wellington Street W.).

But, more on Patrick Garland and the pasta class he will be holding this Sunday (January 19, 2014) later.

The Red and White for Harmony House Women’s Shelter

Firstly, there are approximately 30 tickets remaining for this Wednesday’s The Red and White event, the annual food fundraiser for Ottawa’s only second-stage women’s shelter. For over 25 years, Harmony House has provided affordable transitional housing for women and children who are survivors of violence.

The Red and White 2011

The Red and White 2011

This year, the participating chefs will be Norm Aitken of Juniper Kitchen & Wine Bar (245 Richmond Road) and returning Michael Blackie of Next Food (6400 Hazeldean Road, Stittsville) and MB Cuisine. Unlike years before, they will collaborate, demoing appetizers to serve attendees.

The menu:

Lobster Bisque
Chèvre hush puppy
Chive and roast garlic butter bobber

Hot flaked smoked salmon
spiced honey pecans
curled endive + red radish shredder
lemon horseradish splash

Maple tellicherry peppercorn
braised beef short rib
crispy kale | acidulated carrot
chickpea caper sage polenta

Organizer Tracey Lafleche-Gainforth provided us the list of breweries and wineries donating beverages to pair with the food.

Beer-wise, there will be reps and suds from Barley Days Brewery, Kichesippi Beer, Beau’s All Natural Brewing (who just went international!), Big Rig Brewery, and Hogsback Brewing.

Wine-wise, there will be reps and glasses from Rosehall Run, Domaine Perrault, Three Dog Wine, Smokey Ridge Vineyard, and The Grange.

Kichesippi’s Paul Meek will also be serving Harvey and Vern’s soda for anyone driving.

Five other food entrepreneurs will be on hand, Michael Sunderland of michaelsdolce, Mike Mckenzie of Seed to Sausage, Elizabeth Kilvert of Unrefined Olive, Jodie Samis of soon-to-open Cardamom and Cloves, and Bradley Campeau of Brew Donkey.

Everyone, brewer, vintner, and food entrepreneur, has donated something to the live and silent auction.

Thai Red Curry Seared Chicken with Cheddar and Chutney and a Glass of Dog House White 2011

Thai Red Curry Seared Chicken with Cheddar and Chutney and a Glass of Dog House White 2011

Said John Squair of Three Dog Wine,

We at Three Dog believe in supporting communities and especially those most vulnerable. By supporting each other we make our communities and our lives stronger and richer. The Red and White event allows us to have our wines paired with fabulous food, prepared by amazing chefs.

In donating our wine to great event we feel that we are giving some of ourselves to this great cause

Click here to read more about Three Dog Winery. Our wine blogger, Claire, actually helped plant the vineyard!

Said Samis of Cardamom and Cloves, one-time blogger behind Simply Fresh Ottawa and present spice-shop-keeper-to-be,

When I first learned the depths that Harmony House staff go to help improve the lives of the women who use the shelter’s services, I was so impressed. It went beyond simply providing services and help to women and their children when they are most vulnerable. They really care and I wanted to support that.

Until recently, Samis taught cooking classes to residents of Harmony House on Monday nights.

Said Campeau of innovative fine food and beer delivery operation, Brew Donkey,

Being part of Community events is an important part of building a new business. Harmony House’s mandate is one that we support wholeheartedly and we are happy to support an organization that provides support and resources to those in need.

Some of you may recognize Campeau also as the man behind the B.Goods a bakery food truck.

Great food and good drinks, tickets to the Red and the White are $65/person and are available from Eventbrite ($4.89 service fee). Corporate discounts are also available for groups of 8 or more.

What: The Red and White
Where: Ashbury College (362 Mariposa Avenue)
When:Wednesday, January 15, 2012 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Cost: $65 per person (call (613)853-3250 for tickets or email fundraising@harmonyhousews.com)

Pasta 101 for the Parkdale Food Centre

When you tweet the @absinthecafe twitter handle, Chef Garland himself responds.

Answering an open tweet from someone in Ottawa, who had just discovered Absinthe Cafe, I pointed out Garland volunteered to teach March’s upcoming monthly cooking class for clients of the innovative food bank that is the Parkdale Food Centre (105-89 Stonehurst Avenue). For context, I included a link to the class Jenn and I taught last fall.

Garland saw the exchange, read the post, and left a comment.

Great article Don. I hope that the donation shortfall has corrected itself. Social media is a powerful thing and I’m wondering if there is a professional out there who would donate their time in teaching the good people at the Parkdale Centre how to use it to their best advantage. If so I would match that donation by taking on a Sunday morning/afternoon pasta making class here at the restaurant. Three course lunch included.

Having approved the comment, I approached the social media luminaries in Ottawa that I turn to for expertise, professional communicators one and all: Kelly Rusk of Banfield Agency; Susan Murphy of Jester Creative (who will be featured on Global Television’s evening news tonight); Stacey Diffin-Lafleur of United Way Ottawa; Dennis Van Staalduinen of Brandvelope; and Bob LeDrew of Translucid Communications. Murphy, Van Staalduinen, and LeDrew teach courses at Algonquin College that culminate in the social media certificate.

Seeing that conversation, Garland took action and put together his side of the bargain.

“Three Courses of Food That You’ve Made and Wine That You Haven’t”

First Course – Premier Service
Squid Ink Tortellini Stuffed with Smoked Trout, Seared Scallop, Sauce Américaine
Chardonnay, Waterstone, Carneros, California, 2012

Second Course – Deuxième Service
Ricotta Cavatelli – Cavatelli au Ricotta
Braised Rabbit, Cavalo Nero, Peas, Red Wine Braising Jus
Nebbiolo ‘Cascina Sciulum’, Franco Conterno, Langhe, Italy, 2011

Third Course – Troisième Service
Nonna’s Tiramisu – Tiramisu de Nonna
Alvear Amontillado

My proposal is as follows: on Sunday January 19 at 11 am I will open my door to 15 people willing to donate $100 to the Parkdale Food Centre. For this they will receive: a 3 course lunch with wine pairings and the opportunity to learn how to make several different kinds of pasta from a culinary professional with top notch equipment and in a professional environment using some high end ingredients. My belief is that for those that can afford it $100 bucks is a deal: $45 for the food, $33 for the wine and $22 for the opportunity to learn how to make pasta. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Parkdale Food Centre, which I hope to be around $1500.

Garland aims to donate an unheard of 100% of proceeds from his event to the Parkdale Food Centre.

When I dropped by Absinthe Cafe that evening, not 2 hours after his menu went online, 5 tickets had already been sold. All tickets would sell out the next day.

Being one of the instigators, I bought two tickets, spending essentially a month of foodiePrints’ budget for dining out to gather content. Yes, we pay for much of what we write about. There are no expense accounts here.

Here’s the deal: You notice how there’s an “Intentionally Blank” section to the top of this post? I want someone to fill it.

I know money is tight around new year. I know there are people who would love the opportunity to take the class offered by Garland, but who simply can’t afford tickets.

So, donate to the Parkdale Food Centre. Donate online or any number of items matching those listed on their website’s Good Food List. The centre (105-89 Stonehurst Avenue) is open between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays for donations of food, toiletries, and other essentials.

Take a picture of what you donate and tweet it to @foodieprints with the hashtag “#becauseAbsintheCares.” Leave a comment at the bottom of this post with a link to your tweet. Then, you will be entered in a draw for two tickets to Sunday’s Pasta 101 at 11 am.

Whatever tweeted pics sent will fill the blank in this post.

One entry per person. Leave an e-mail address we can contact you with when you comment.

To Parkdale’s coordinator Karen Secord, please tell your tireless volunteers to comment on this post. They are eligible as well. They already donate their time.

At 6:00 pm (EST) on Friday, January 17, 2014, we will use Random.org to choose one winner. He or she will receive a pair of tickets to Garland’s Pasta 101.

The contest is now closed. In total, we received 6 viable entries.

  1. Shanley
  2. Mimi
  3. Jenn Goldie
  4. HollyStar
  5. Clara
  6. Justin

Here is the number Random.org chose:



Congratulations to our winner, Jenn Goldie! Email will be dispatched to you shortly!

Thank you to everyone who entered.

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.