Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summerlicious Fun in the Sun

I have been Blogging for about 3 years now and sometimes I think nobody is reading my blogs and then I get an invite to something fun like a Summerlicious lunch event and realize all those photo taking moments are all worth it.

I got invited by the very lovely Mary Tang @TheMary_Tang
(  who I met at a Mark McEwan special event recently to join her and a bunch of fellow food bloggers and foodies for a lovely friday afternoon Summerlicious tasting menu sampling at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on King Street.  I have been to the King Street Social room for Film Festival parties before but have never seen so much food presented to me ever before.

We arrived at noon and were greeted with a French Martini beverage.  So lovely even if I am not a drinker I can appreciate the beauty of this and so much lovely food prepared by Chef Wesley.

I was happy to see another blogger that I had met at the McEwan event there as well but other than her and Mary these were all new foodies to me.  But the one thing that all foodies, bloggers and writers have in common is the love of good food.  It didn't take long for all of us to mingle and chat about restaurants and events around town.  It was lovely to spend the afternoon with a bunch of people that totally understood why I do this.  Most of my friends aren't foodies and just know to wait for me to take a photo before we eat but they really don't appreciate food and food photography the way I do.  My food love and photography comes from an early age when i got my first camera in my teens and took photos of everything I could.  Mostly my friends then but I am sure there were food photos in there somewhere.   Anyway back to the event at hand before I start rambling on about other things.

We were seated in a private dining area with a massive sunlight.  It was an extremely sunny day after a week of rocky weather.  I don't know if it was the best for food photos as it was noon on a clear day.  Think direct sunlight and hot.  I was wearing black.   Not such a good idea.  If you understand photography you will understand that food on white plates on top of black table cloths in direct sunlight is a bit of a challenge then you will understand why my photos look like they do.  I used my compact camera so no sunglasses filters on these pics.

First we had about 45 minutes to sample some of the Summerlicious Summer menu items:


Chilled Casaba Melon Soup 
with fresh mint, 10 year old balsamic vinegar

Apple and Watercress Salad
Soft Ontario's goat's cheese,
grape tomatoes, toasted walnuts and pomegranate petals

Toasted Portabello and Brie
Grilled fungi, toasted brie, asparagus, cold pressed Olive Oil

Polenta and Short Ribs
Soft creamy polenta, shaved asiago, grilled forest mushrooms, rosemary reduction

Captain Jack's Classic Fish and Chips
Fresh halibut, home style fries, signature tartar sauce

Pan Roasted Rock Snapper
Fresh snapper filet, watermelon radish salad, galette potatoes, martini aioli

Fire Charred Rib Eye Steak
Red chili and tarragon butter, roasted fingerlings, crimini mushrooms and arugula salad

From the Garden
Coconut sweet potato mash, summer grilled garden veg, red pepper and parsley oil

I am not a big mushroom fan so there were a few things that weren't on my radar.  My 2 favourite dishes were the Captain Jack's Fish and Chips and the Coconut sweet potato mash with vegetables.   The fish was lightly battered and crispy, flavourful and not at all greasy.   The vegetable stack was beautiful to look at and was cooked to bring out the peak of flavours of the vegetables.  Yes I love me some grilled vegetables and the addition of the coconut to the sweet potato mash was delicious but be prepared for the sweetness.

After all of these plates of food came all kinds of desserts from cupcakes, macaron's to tarts and cakes.  We were all stuffed and there was so much food left over that we could have had a few more bloggers join us.

After all of this food we were then brought up to the Rooftop Pool Bar where there were glasses of Sangria waiting for us and a whole array of their new Summer poolside menu of lighter fare dishes.  Although I am not sure the cakes would be a big hit for women in bikinis lounging by the pool.  Most of us didn't have enough room to sample the food so a few lucky girls in bikinis that were poolside were invited to dive in to the lovely spread of food.  They were very happy girls.

It was the most beautiful sunny friday afternoon and everyone was wishing they could just stay and enjoy the lounge by the pool, especially after a very rainy week, but unfortunately everyone had things they had to do so we parted with full bellies and some new friends.

As it turns out it was the lovely Mary's birthday the next day so I think this little get together was a nice little pre birthday gift for her and we all enjoyed being her guest.

I look forward to seeing Mary and the other fellow bloggers again soon.

This was a nice reward after working the past 6 months in an office on a contract job and not having the time to be available for events like this.  I hope to enjoy more summer food events like this before I get back on the working schedule again.

If you want to do a bit of Pool Lounging you can spend the day there whether you are a guest of the hotel or not with their NEW Pool Program.

Here is some information about Hyatt's pool deck program: 

The pool program runs from Thursday to Sunday. For anyone staying at the Hyatt Regency on King, the pool program is complimentary. For outside guest, the pass is $39/person per day. The price includes a complimentary glass of Hyatt's Signature Sangria, towels and locker for the day. 
It is best to make reservations due to the capacity. 

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