Champagne, Caviar and Maestro Fresh Wes
When Toronto Life announced it was putting together The Coolest Dinner Party Ever in partnership with Sonos the home sound system company, we knew that people would be excited. After all, the dinner was being prepared by Patrick Kriss and the team from Alo, the most coveted restaurant reservation in the city, Afrim Pristine from Cheese Boutique had signed up to do the cheese for the evening, and the whole event was being coordinated by Franco Stalteri of the CB Wine Program and the man behind Charlie’s Burgers, the legendary secret dinner party series.
Patrick Kriss and the team from Alo plating
What we didn’t expect was that hundreds of people would email us looking for a spot at the table. One pair of friends even put together a whole website about why they needed to be at the dinner. Along with that entry, winning submissions also came in from Jennifer Emilson, a recipe developer, cook and baker whose website The Lemon Apron shows how passionate she is about great food, and Sabrina Carr whose spicy sesame condiment The Spread has been popping up in the kitchens of chefs and gourmets across the city. They were joined by a hand-picked squad of legendary Toronto foodies and artists for an epic evening of food and music.
As guests arrived at Toronto Life publisher Ken Hunt’s home in The Beach, they were ushered into the living room where a bartender from the CB Service Team was serving cocktails, espresso from local roaster Barocco was being poured on demand, and a clawfoot tub had been installed and filled with ice and dozens of bottles of champagne.
Music was a centrepiece of the evening and guests added songs from Toronto artists to an ever-evolving playlist throughout the night using Spotify. Though Drake and The Weeknd were popular choices throughout the night, it was when Toronto’s original tuxedoed rap superstar Maestro Fresh Wes came over the speakers that the whole table let loose, throwing their arms into the air to that quintessential Canadian anthem, Let Your Backbone Slide.
Some of the chefs’ amazing thirteen courses included Alo’s Caviar Cauliflower, a silky smooth cauliflower puree served with a huge dollop of black sturgeon caviar and meyer lemon, a terrine of foie gras served with trumpet mushroom, pain au lait with Italian burrata, piquillo peppers and marcona almonds, and beef cap with winter black truffles.
Just before dessert was served, Afrim Pristine came out to explain that the evening’s cheese included a gooey Loire valley chevre that he’s been aging for months in his cheese cave, a Beemster cheese made to his exacting specifications, and an incredible blue cheese from Quebec that would be served with a table-side grating of maple sugar.