TABASCO® Canada: #FeedYourOriginal

Tabasco Canada | Food Event | Feed Your Original

In 1868, Edmund McIlhenny mixed up his own personal pepper sauce recipe with three natural ingredients: fully aged red peppers, salt from Avery Island, Louisiana, and high-quality, distilled vinegar. Decades of competing recipes have only confirmed that the flavor of McIlhenny’s recipe could not be surpassed, and today TABASCO® Original Red Sauce is still made in essentially the same way.

Just over a month ago, the Group of 7 Chefs ventured into the land of Tabasco (aka Avery Island) to immerse in an original experience that will forever linger in their taste buds. Fast forward to July 7, 2015, and yours truly is reaping off all the benefits of their trip. From getting a money shot with 5 of the 7 chefs, to indulging in succulent dishes that the chefs prepared for a crowd of food aficionados with la pièce de résistance – Tabasco!

From left to right: Steve Gonzalez (Valdez), Chris Brown (Citizen Catering), Scott Vivian (Beast Restaurant), Viviana Machado (Foodies Inked), Nick Liu (DaiLo) and Bertrand Alépée (The Tempered Room). MIA Chef Anthony Walsh (O&B) and Dustin Gallagher (People’s Eatery).

Tabasco Canada | Food Event | Feed Your Original

To kick things off, the lovely team at Tabasco put our taste buds to the spiciest test: trying the famous aged pepper mash. The ultimate test for all things Tabasco-loving. The aging process of the juicy peppers creates subtle flavor notes that are unique to the signature Original Red Sauce flavor. The aged mash is tasted and inspected for quality and flavor by the McIlhenny family. Then it’s blended with high-quality, distilled vinegar and strained to create the finished sauce.

Tabasco Canada | Food Event | Feed Your Original

Many Mojitos and a few glasses of water later, this foodie was ready to immerse in the full flavour of Tabasco with delicately crafted master-pieces by the Group of 7 Chefs. This was a night we were all going to remember. I mean, where else an ensemble of foodies, chefs and Tabasco flavours get together for a hot night like this?

My Tabasco experience initiated with Chef Bertrand Alépée’s Croissant Po’Boy. A fluffy and buttery pastry stuffed with pulled chicken in a Tabasco chipotle sauce with apple remoulade. The tangy and spicy taste of the sauce mixed with the sweetness of the apple in the buttery croissant encased my taste buds in what was about to become my best Tabasco experience.

Tabasco Canada | Food Event | Feed Your Original

Up next was Chef’ Anthony Walsh’s Fogo Island Gumbo. A crab and duck stew with salted Tabasco sauce and corn bits. This dish was at the top of my list as it had intricate layers of flavour that meshed really well together and just blew our taste buds off. The stew was hot and spicy, yet sweet and smokey. It had two of my favourite meats, duck and crab. Like wine, gumbo is a highly personal thing, tuned to an individual’s palate and preferences, and to me this Gumbo was just done so damn right. What an incredible and mouth-watering experience Chef Walsh created.

Tabasco Canada | Food Event | Feed Your Original

Another favourite from the group was Chef Nick Liu’s Lobster Boudin with Avery Island salt-cured smoked pickerel in tomato and Tabasco dashi with pickled honey mushrooms and wasabi garden peas. A beautiful plated dish with an even more impactful burst of flavour. The dashi broth exploded in my mouth with different notes of sesame seed oil, fish sauce…and a pleasant savory taste, or as Chef Liu would put it, Umami.

Tabasco Canada | Food Event | Feed Your Original

Chef Chris Brown decided to bring a full cooked boar to the table (literally). Chopping and assembling his dish, Avery Island Salted Crusted Wild Boar, on the spot, Chef Brown intercepted our palates with yummy shreds of the meat that sat on a biscuit and were topped with white gravy and slaw. Though I found the dish to be simple, it was more complex than the eye meets. The boar had to be cooked just right because unlike domestic meat, wild boar is extremely low in fat, which means it can dry out easily when fully cooked. But not this boar, this was one was packed with smokey and salty notes and the right amount of moist. The trick was in the cooking method used on the boar and Chef Brown just nailed it.

Tabasco Canada | Food Event | Feed Your Original

And what will be a spicy Tabasco event with no balls? Well, Chef Scott Vivian decided to bring his balls to the table, serving up Boudin Balls with, of course, Tabasco sauce. The balls were accompanied by pickled celery, chilled collard greens and potlicker aioli. The panko-crusted meat balls are known as the king of Cajun food, so it serves right that Chef Vivian would bring his B-game to the event.

Tabasco Canada | Food Event | Feed Your Original

The last chef’s concoction I was able to sink my already exercised and burning taste buds into, was fellow compadre, Chef Steve Gonzalez, Un Cesar con Garnitur. He brought Spanish flare to the mix and indulged us all with a Snow Crab bathed in Tabasco sauce with clams, horseradish, guacamole, pickled veggies, corn chips and of course his Latino 5 Spice.

Tabasco Canada | Food Event | Feed Your Original

Watch the chefs full trip to Avery Island and see them try the pepper mash for the first time while learning all about Tabasco and what makes it the original. #FeedYourOriginal

 

Special thanks to Tabasco Canada, Angela Aiello and the Bridge Digital Group for inviting us foodies to such an amazing and hot event.

Buen Provecho,
Foodies Inked.

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