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A Taste for Life 2014: Supporting Our Community

A Taste for Life A Taste for Life
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Jane Addams, an American social and political activist, author, community organizer, and leader in women’s suffrage, once wrote, “Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.” She brought attention to issues such as public health. Though her message was to women in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it remains relevant to this day. We are all responsible to make our communities a better place to live.

On Wednesday, April 23rd, over 40 Ottawa restaurants and caterers will be participating in A Taste for Life. What started as an Ottawa campaign to support Bruce House and the Snowy Owl AIDS Foundation back in 1999, spread across the country. This year, businesses in over 20 cities and regions will be joining Ottawa by donating 25% of their evening’s sales to AIDS service organizations to support men, women, and children in their communities.

To date, over $750,000 has been raised. Last year, over 4200 people participated in Ottawa alone. Raising over $90,000 annually for Bruce House and The Snowy Owl Foundation, organizers are hoping for a bigger turnout this year upping their fundraising goal to $100,000.

Here at foodiePrints, we find the mission of Bruce House inspiring. Bruce House, which was founded in 1988, is a community-based organization providing housing, compassionate care, and support for people living with HIV and AIDS. The organization believes everyone has the right to live and die with dignity. In a conversation with Jill Woodley, fund development and community engagement officer of Bruce House, she explained that the house is a transitional seven-bedroom home. Clients stay anywhere from six months to a year. 24-hour care is provided along with access to supportive counseling. Woodley emphasized the importance of encouraging personal growth, a better quality of life, and hope. Her passion is genuine.

At the media event last week, Ottawa’s Mayor Jim Watson helped launch the campaign, mingling with guests and enjoying the delicious offerings from five of the participating restaurants and caterers. Playing on the slogan, “Hope made delicious,” Watson offered some insight on both the local restaurant industry and the generosity of Ottawans. Linking the changes and revival seen in the local food scene since A Taste for Life started, he described the event as “combining our love of food with helping those in our community.”

He joked, “People like to give and eat at great restaurants.”

However, on a more serious note, he added, “This event combines what people like to do in this community. The lead up to A Taste for Life is caring about our family, friends, and neighbours.”

Guadalajara-inspired mini pork sandwich from Winchelsea

Guadalajara-inspired mini pork sandwich from Winchelsea

Berry & Passion Fruit Mousse Parfaits from Thyme & Again Catering

Berry & Passion Fruit Mousse Parfaits from Thyme & Again Catering

Chicken fat fried pancake topped with yellow fin tuna tartare dressed in yuzu mayo and topped with puffed wild rice and ponzu sauce (honey & tamari) from OZ Kafe

Chicken fat fried pancake topped with yellow fin tuna tartare dressed in yuzu mayo and topped with puffed wild rice and ponzu sauce (honey & tamari) from OZ Kafe

A Taste for Life

A Taste for Life

Unfortunately, Don and I are unable to participate this year due to a scheduling conflict. However, we made time to visit one of the participating restaurants on Good Friday and made a donation to Bruce House directly.

If you haven’t visited East India Company (210 Somerset Street W.), I highly recommend it. Beautiful flavours, spices, a calming atmosphere and attentive service, diners have the option of the buffet or ordering à la cart. We chose the dinner buffet.

East India Company Restaurant

East India Company Restaurant

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Palou Rice, Chana Masala, Punjabi Kadi, Lamb Curry, Palak Paneer, Machi Curry

Palou Rice, Chana Masala, Punjabi Kadi, Lamb Curry, Palak Paneer, Machi Curry

Dal Makhani (Black Lentil Soup)

Dal Makhani (Black Lentil Soup)


[Vegetable fried rice, chickpea curry, Punjabi Kadi, Lamb Curry, Spinach with Housemade Cheese, Fish Curry]

Plain Naan (Indian Flat Bread)

Plain Naan (Indian Flat Bread)

Scallop Curry, Murg Bahar, Mussels Korma

Scallop Curry, Murg Bahar, Mussels Korma


[Scallop Curry, Boneless Butter Chicken, Mussels in Cumin Cream Sauce]

Palou Rice, Lamb Curry, Murg Bahar, Navratan

Palou Rice, Lamb Curry, Murg Bahar, Navratan


[Vegetable fried rice, Lamb Curry, Boneless Butter Chicken, Vegetable Korma]

Every bite was absolutely delicious. Don and I will definitely be back.

It’s still not too late to make reservations. Simply visit here for a full list of participating restaurants and contact a restaurant to reserve your seats.

To help cap off the eve of A Taste for Life, Watson concluded his speech with these final words, “Hopefully one day we won’t have to raise funds for people living with HIV/AIDS, but that day is not yet upon us.”

Will you participate?

Particulars:
A Taste for Life
When: April 23, 2014
Where: Click here for a complete list of participating restuarants
Reservations: Contact the restaurant directly to make your reservation

Teacher by day and blogger by night, I have always been passionate about food. I grew up watching my mother cook and bake as I sat at the kitchen table doing my homework. In the summers, I happily played in the backyard garden, picking strawberries as my parents tended their crops. A city girl with a love for the outdoors, my goal is to capture the ever-changing Ottawa food scene. When I’m not running, you can find me shopping for ingredients or in the kitchen cooking for my family and friends. Whether you’ve been cooking for a long time or are learning to cook for the first time, I hope you will find something delicious here to inspire you.