You know what I always thought to be one of the coolest jobs out there? To be one of the judges on a cooking show where professional chef’s sole purpose is to cook the most delicious food just to impress you, and you get to taste it all! I can now say that I’ve been fortunate enough to experience something very similar to it thanks to my latest food event hosted by Top Chef Canada’s Vittorio Colacitti at his new restaurant The Good Son.
This Tasting TwEAT up program was designed to integrate the exclusive food-pairing beer Estrella Damm to this event where myself and 5 other lucky guests including Fashion, Food & Flair and EatnMingle had a night to remember. Although we were not judges of Vittorio’s culinary creations by any means, we were surely all very impressed. But before I go into the details, why don’t we delve in a little bit deeper on the two main stars of the night, Estrella Damm and Vittorio Colacitti’s The Good Son Restaurant.
Estrella Damm is a beer company hailing from Barcelona, Spain and has been recognized on numerous occasions with prestigious prizes such as Vienna 1904, London 1905, Munich 1906, Paris 1964, The World Beer Championship 1998 – Australia and The World Beer Championship 2004 – Chicago. The beer is brewed according to its original recipe back in 1876 where 100% of its ingredients are natural including malta, hops, and pearl rice, a very Mediterranean ingredient that characterizes Estrella’s flavour. They are actually one of the few breweries in the world that still produces all of its malt barley in its own malthouse.
On the other hand, Vittorio Colacitti appeared in the most recent season of Top Chef Canada (season 4) on the Food Network finishing fourth. Born in Toronto and with an Italian heritage he was always surrounded by food growing up. His grandfather on his dad’s side was a chef and a butcher and his grandparents on his mom’s side owned a farm just north of Burlington. His dad even today still owns a house in Italy that makes and sells their own olive oil. As you can imagine, his whole up bringing on both sides of the family was based on good food and naturally has developed in him a passion for cooking earning a culinary diploma in Thailand and having worked at restaurants across Canada and Italy. Vittorio’s mother always called him “A Good Son” and little that he know being a good son would be the catalyst of him opening up his very own restaurant in downtown Toronto and the location of this Tasting TwEATup event.
When I first walked in to The Good Son I was just in awe at how beautiful it was inside. There is this very large chandelier hanging from the ceiling that adds a great sense of prestige to the atmosphere, but another big trait of this restaurant is that you just feel like you’re at home. It has a very intimate and cozy vibe, pictures, clocks, and paintings hanging on the walls decorated almost exactly how any one of our grand parent’s house would look like. It is a very charming restaurant. You get a clear sense of where Vittorio comes from, his family and his Italian roots.
Now about 45 minutes into the night we finally settled at our table where a six course gourmet meal would await. The restaurant was actually closed so it was literally just us six foodies, a photographer, Vittorio and his sous chef for the entire night. It was a private affair! We were surely treated like honoured guests that evening and with hungry stomachs we were all eagerly waiting for what was to come.
Just like Top Chef, Vittorio would prepare each dish one by one throughout the night and as he brought it out to each one of us at the table he would then explain exactly what we would be eating. Here is how it all went down!
Tomato Consomme with Heirloom Tomatoes from Ontario, Olive Oil, Shallot, Basil
Poached Lobster and Yam Soup (Yam Purée with Thai Curry Paste, Apple, Cilantro, Coconut Milk, Lobster)
Organic East Coast Salmon with Red & White Quinoa, Pea Tendrils, and Miso Gochujang Sauce.
Strawberry Sorbet as the palette cleanser
Quebec Seared Foie Gras with Red Lentil, Pea Puree, and Poached Plum Apple
Dark Chocolate Brownie with Peanut Butter Gelato and Slated Caramel
I thoroughly enjoyed all six courses that Chef Colacitti cooked for us. Some of these dishes are not on The Good Son menu such as the foie gras which was specially prepared for us that night and the Salmon (although a Halibut variation is served at the restaurant instead). My favourite dish of the night that was also just recently added to The Good Son menu last week was the Yam and Poached Lobster soup. Vittorio actually made this soup for the Top Chef judges but instead of yam he used corn. The soup was so good then that it won the best dish of the night in that episode so believe me when I say this Yam and Poached Lobster Soup is heavenly! Do yourself all a favour and order this when you visit.
The Good Son was the first restaurant in Toronto to actually offer Estrella Damm on tap. With a light and refreshing taste to quench anyone’s thirst, its aroma of sweet malt really stands out. To me this beer was best paired with the East Coast Salmon on the menu as it complimented the texture of the crispy skin and soft undertones very well.
It was an incredible night filled with great company, beer, and food. Many thanks goes out to Vittorio Colacitti for being such a gracious host and taking time on his day off to cook for all of us at his restaurant. Thanks to Estrella Damm for being the official beverage of the night and giving us unlimited amounts of liquid gold and to Branding and Buzzing for organizing this event and making this all possible!