Introducing The Northern Alliance, Uniting Mega Chefs from the US and Canada

The first of two major collaborative dinners will be happening at JM Curley on June 23.

By | Chowder |

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Here in the Northeast, we’re situated far closer to Montreal, physically, than we are to Atlanta. It’s interesting, then, the amount of southern-inspired cuisine that proliferates here, especially compared with the relative lack from our just-northerly neighbors.

If Farmstead’s Matt Jennings has any say in the matter, Canadian chefs will be getting more exposure here imminently courtesy of The Northern Alliance, a dinner series that pairs American bigwig chefs (like April Bloomfield of NYC’s The Spotted Pig ,The Breslin, and Salvation Taco; Zak Pelaccio, who opened NYC’s Fatty Crab and Fatty ‘Cue; and local favorites Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer) with their Canadian counterparts (Derek Dammann of Maison Publique in Montreal, Jeremy Charles of Raymonds in Newfoundland, Lee Cooper of L’Abattoir in Vancouver, Matty Mathison of Parts & Labour in Toronto, and Rob Gentile of Buca and Bar Buca in Toronto).

The idea for the dinner series—which will feature one at jm Curley in Downtown Crossing on June 23, and one this August in Montreal—came about after Jennings began visiting Canada more and more often to dine and pick the brains of his fellow chefs there. “It just came out of straight camaraderie and getting to know the crew [of chefs] there. Montreal is not much more than a stone’s throw away. I started to meet people and make yearly trips there,” Jennings explains. “[Canadian chefs] are crazy, and embody what I love about food—they are able to create these environments that are just fun, super hip, loud, raucous, and have great food. There’s no pretense.”

For the dinner on June 23—which will cost $250 a head inclusive of cocktail hour, wine pairings, and five courses of food, with all proceeds benefitting American Farmland Trust—American and Canadian chefs will be paired for dishes like “A Duck Tale of Two Countries” (Ontario duck leg with NY duck breast, spit-roasted over oak and cherry wood with maple and rhubarb). To see what your money will get you (a whole lot of food and booze!), we’ve got an exclusive look at the full menu below.

The main goal of The Northern Alliance is to foster connectivity and an open dialogue between American and Canadian chefs—and there’s a lot that American chefs can learn from the way that the Canadians operate, Jennings says. “This is the thing that’s so refreshing for me up there—it all comes down to making people feel good, and making yourself feel good,” he says. “In this country, we get so caught up with expansion and being bigger and better and winning awards. Up there, they are like, ‘Fuck it, who cares, let’s just have a good time.” And you will too, if you attend—to purchase a ticket, head here.

THE MENU

Cocktail Reception: specialty cocktails provided by Bols Genever & Fernet, & Sparkling wine for those who prefer it, provided by Westport Rivers

Passed Appetizers

Grilled cornbread, chicken liver, strawberry mostarda
-Matt Jennings, Farmstead, Inc. & Matty Matheson, Parts & Labour

Pickled then Fried Island Creek Oyster with Black Bean Sauce
-Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa & Toro, Derek Damann, Maison Publique

Lightly smoked pigeon
-April Bloomfield, The Breslin, John Dory, Spotted Pig & Salvation Taco, Lee Cooper, L’Abboitoir

Fermented lamb sausage, wrapped in sweet dough, lady jayne’s sweet & spicy mustard
-Zak Pellacio, Fish & Game, Rob Gentile, Buca & Bar Buca

Uni spoon with caviar, raw Quail egg yolk, Jamon Iberico, chive flowers and Meyer lemon
-Jeremy Charles, Raymonds Restaurant, Ken Oringer, Clio, Uni, La Verdad, Coppa, Toro, Earth,…….

Dinner

Summer fruits & vegetables prepared simply, buttermilk panna cotta, johnnycake crumb, maple brique
-Matt Jennings, Farmstead, Inc. & Matty Matheson, Parts & Labour
Pairing-Margerum, SYBARITE, Happy Canyon, Santa Barbara, Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 (out of Magnum)

Uni Campanelle, Whelks, Black Truffle, Uni Bottarga
-Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa & Toro, Derek Damann, Maison Publique
Pairing- Paul Hobbs, Cross Barn, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay, 2011

Pork Torchon, Roasted Stone Fruit, Pistachio, Brioche
-April Bloomfield, The Breslin, John Dory, Spotted Pig & Salvation Taco, Lee Cooper, L’Abboitoir
Cypher Winery, Loco, Paso Robles, Tempranillo, 2009

A Duck Tale of Two Countries:
Ontario Duck Leg & New York Duck Breast, spit roasted over oak and cherry, maple & rhubarb
-Zak Pellacio, Fish & Game, Rob Gentile, Buca & Bar Buca
Quivera, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel, 2009

Newfoundland Bakeapple pudding, Goat yogurt,Labrador Tea ice cream, Hazelnut crunch, Tonka Bean Marshmallow
-Jeremy Charles, Raymonds Restaurant, Ken Oringer, Clio, Uni, La Verdad, Coppa, Toro, Earth
“Ice-Off”:Inniskillin, Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario, Ice Wine, Vidal Blanc, 2006 VS. Newport Vineyards, Middletown, RI Ice Wine Vidal Blanc