10/17/2018 – Ottawa, ON – Ottawa’s biggest kitchen is now the city’s most festive as well. In a media exclusive new menu tasting event held today at the Shaw Centre, the convention centre’s culinary team, led by newly appointed Executive Chef Patrick, launched a bold and vibrant new menu that focusses on the use of fresh and local ingredients, while integrating globally-inspired cuisines and growing and diverse dietary needs.
The renewed and flavourful new menu is sure to delight event-goers from across Canada and around the world infused with Executive Chef Patrick Turcot’s signature style of French cuisine with a trendy, playful twist. The results of his collaborative reinterpretation are as delicious as they are inventive.
Chef Turcot was introduced to event attendees at the launch event through a cinematic mini-documentary that highlighted “a day in the life”, his culinary background, a visit to local honey supplier Lacelle Apiary Honey, and showcased the expertise he adds to elevate the Shaw Centre menu.
(:30s) Teaser Video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvw38oB7yTQ
Full Video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBD7jaF5_Js
“Chefs working in the meetings and conventions industry have added pressure to showcase creativity in their dishes – we want to change the perception that these types of venues only serve rubber chicken.” Notes Chef Turcot.
And indeed, the convention centre’s globally-themed 2018 menu offerings are the very antithesis of rubber chicken: a tuna poke salad featuring lemongrass honey, sesame seed rice noodles, edamame, diced yellow beets and ponzu orange vinaigrette; miso Pacific wild cod topped with lobster broth and lobster salsa partnered with buckwheat noodles and sesame seed braised daikon and carrots; a creamy butter chicken (“we kick up the spice a few levels,” said Turcot) accessorized with cinnamon-scented basmati rice; Salvadorean pupusas, one of the menu’s many gluten-free dishes, features thick corn tortillas stuffed, in this case, with St-Alberts cheese curds and a choice of zucchini or pulled pork, paired with traditional El Salvador-style cabbage slaw and a homemade, spicy tomato aioli.
Creative vegetarian options run to the likes of tempeh cumin-spiced chili served with cornbread; mushroom gnocchi featuring wild mushroom cream sauce, Glengarry Celtic blue cheese and grilled king oyster mushrooms; and a French cuisine-inspired white bean truffle cassoulet, substituting eggplant and lentil meatless meatballs for the traditional meats.
The creativity and spice continue in the centre’s Taco Time lunch offering — where homemade pulled pork, crispy fish or chili-fried quinoa and slaw are tucked into soft flour tortillas, served with corn and black bean salad, and complemented with churros, spicy chocolate dip, dulce de leche flan and sliced fresh fruit for dessert. Even a familiar dish like mac ’n’ cheese is updated courtesy of penne pasta, 1608 raw milk cheese from Quebec’s Laiterie Charlevoix, Brome Lake duck confit and Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs.
“After more than 25 years in this industry, my culinary philosophy has become refined towards the mantra of honest simplicity,” explains Chef. “It’s important not to forget that eating should be a joyful experience. We wanted to create a range of options that reimagine fine dining in fresh and even humorous ways, making the food as accessible and approachable as it is flavourful.”
Chef notes that Shaw Centre’s clientele is increasingly more knowledgeable about food, so they are looking for memorable dining experiences that also offer good value. “Instead of being intimidated by today’s heightened expectations, we looked at the opportunity to come up with new flavour profiles and elevated presentations as a fun challenge. I’m confident guests will love our new creations, whether they are enjoying a lunch buffet, a plated dinner or an evening reception with chefs at action stations. We’re ready to provide a feast for all the senses.”
Shaw Centre’s commitment to include fresh, seasonal, regional, organic and sustainable ingredients extends through preparation, plating and service. The carefully planned menu and exquisitely prepared dishes reflect growing trends toward eating global and dining local – appealing to increasingly varied international tastes, while responding to twin demands of healthy eating and responsible, sustainable business practices. The Shaw Centre works diligently to source many products from local suppliers including Lacelle Apiary Honey (Carleton Place, ON), Burnbrae Farms (Brockville, ON), St-Albert (St. Albert, ON), Mrs. McGarrigle’s – Mustard (Merrickville, ON), Glengarry Fine Cheese (Lancaster, ON), Laiterie Charlevoix (Baie-St- Paul, QC), Älska Farm Maple Syrup (Farrellton, QC), and Kettleman’s Bagels (Ottawa, ON).
In addition to the new food offerings is an expanded beer menu for the facility, featuring local Ottawa craft beer from Big Rig Brewery. Founders of the brewery were on hand at the menu launch event to celebrate the new two-year partnership that will provide conference attendees at the convention centre with a selection of local craft beer. The six-year old brewery was appointed earlier this month following a competitive tender process with the Centre. With this partnership Big Rig becomes the Official Craft Beer of the Shaw Centre, with a presence at over 400 annual conferences, conventions, meetings and events, in front of almost 700,000 annual attendees and facility visitors.
“We’re delighted to welcome Big Rig Brewery to the Shaw Centre team as an Official Partner and excited by the opportunity to offer our guests a unique selection of Ottawa-brewed, high-quality craft beer,” said Shaw Centre’s Director of Marketing and Partnerships, Julia Forbes. “Our ultimate goal is to help deliver an extraordinary event experience and Big Rig Brewery shares that commitment to excellence by connecting with consumers, engaging with the community, and delivering a variety of tastes and experiences.”
“Big Rig Brewery is proud to be awarded this contract. The exciting new partnership allows our brewery to share its passion for quality craft beer, ultimately engaging an even wider audience,” said Chris Phillips, Co-Founder at Big Rig Brewery. “We are very excited that the Shaw Centre is continuing to support Ottawa businesses.”
The new menu, designed by local Ottawa marketing agency Blackiron, portrays the dishes through beautiful top-down shots of chef prepared creations. A modern, unobstrusive layout allows the food content to life. The visuals provide a nod toward Centre’s focus on Farm to Table, the process, the kitchen, the team. The menu which offers over 50 vegan and dairy-free menu items, and over 150 gluten-free and vegetarian options provides the reader with a glimpse into Chef’s cooking philosophy and inspiration with quotes and team mantras interspersed throughout the pages.
About the Shaw Centre
Shaw Centre, previously known as the Ottawa Congress Centre was founded in 1983. The Centre was redeveloped into a new, larger facility with project funding from the Province of Ontario, the City of Ottawa and the Government of Canada which opened its doors in April 2011 as the Ottawa Convention Centre (OCC). In October 2014, the OCC entered into a 10-year partnership with Shaw Communications, rebranding the facility as the Shaw Centre. The state-of-the-art convention centre is a spectacular venue that induces economic impact by hosting conventions, conferences, meetings, and events. Recently named runner-up as the 2014 world’s best convention centre by the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC). The Shaw Centre welcomes over 700,000 guests annually to its facility and has hosted over 3,500 events since re-opening directly boosting Ottawa’s economy by over $500M in direct spending. The Centre is governed by a board of directors, managed by an expert team of professionals and operationally driven by inspired colleagues and selected suppliers whose main goal is to create extraordinary events. shaw-centre.com
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Director, Marketing and Partnerships