It’s always fun when you go to a restaurant and either you or someone you’re with knows the chef or someone important at the restaurant. There’s always great service, little surprises and generally a sense of feeling special. However, there are a few rare occasions when knowing someone at a restaurant can work against you, and it was none too obvious that it was a bad idea knowing the people who ran the restaurant at Charcut in Calgary. My friends T&A knew the good folk behind one of Calgary’s finest eateries and I wished that on this occasion they hadn’t for the simple reason that we pretty much ended up tasting 95% of the menu – the chef wanted us to taste everything! Dear god! I’ve never eaten so much meat in my life! It was all so incredibly tasty and well cooked and wonderful but there was no way in Christendom that the 3 of us could, would or should have eaten everything that came before us. Naturally, we did feast on the remains for a further 2 days! But what a feast, what a fantastic feast it was! A case of man vs food, and here, food won!
Some restaurants need no introductions. Having been fortunate to spend nearly two years in the kitchens under the tutelage of Bruce Poole and his long standing head chef, Matt Christmas, Chez Bruce, during my stint was probably the most educated kitchen in all of England, with almost every chef having a degree under their belt in literature, philosophy, geography or science! It definitely made for some of the more interesting conversations to be found in such an environment! Having dined their several times during my employment, the memory of each meal stayed remarkably fresh – not because the food was cooked any better for the staff who came to dine, but because it was just so very good and consistent. It’s no surprise Londoners voted it as their favourite restaurant for so many years. So when a good friend (and ex-colleague from here) suggested we go for lunch, I didn’t have to to think twice.