Follow Me Foodie to the BMW Charity Long Table Dinner with Bearfoot Bistro!

Follow Me Foodie to the BMW Long Table Dinner with Bearfoot Bistro!

A recap of the BMW Long Table Dinner catered by the Bearfoot Bistro for Make-a-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.

♪”Oh, what a night, late December back in ’63″♪… well not really, but it was quite a night! Friday, November 16 was the BMW Long Table dinner at the BMW Langley dealership. It was a showcase of fine cars, fine wines and fine food catered by award-winning Executive Chef Melissa Craig and her team from the Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler. Best of all, was that ticket and auction proceeds went towards Make-a-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon, a charity granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The event raised $10, 000 and hopefully it will become an annual gala.

Classy. I didn’t expect anything less, but job well done with the atmosphere even though the dealership requires little “decoration”. Up until now the Araxi Long Table Series was the longest long table I’ve experienced, but this one outgrew it.

Champagne and hors d’oeuvres took place in the showroom before everyone made their way to the long tables. It was a sit down 5 course menu with wine pairings from some of BC’s top wineries including Painted Rock, Intersection and Popular Grove.

I was particularly excited about this dinner because it was being catered by Bearfoot Bistro. I dined there a few months ago during Follow Me Foodie to Whistler and I became an instant fan of Executive Chef Melissa Craig. To see my post for my experience at the Bearfoot Bistro see here.

Due to the nature of the event being charity focused I’m not going to comment too much on the food. It’s not that it wasn’t good either, but it’s just that it wasn’t necessarily representable of Bearfoot Bistro. Yes the style, flavours and presentation were beautiful and quite “Melissa”, but the execution was a bit hit and miss. BMW Langley ins’t exactly a catering facility so there were a lot of challenges, which is always the “fun” part when it comes to catering any event outside of a chef’s own kitchen. Anyway it was an enjoyable event for a great cause, but I do hold on to memories of my experience at the Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler. If you’re heading to Whistler, it’s worth visiting.

Pumpkin seed bread and baguettes.

Dungeness Crab, BC Caviar, Crème Fraîche

  • It was my second favourite course of the night.
  • The savoury, flaky and moist crab meat was topped with an egg yolk and I think it was made by spherification method.
  • The egg yolk had a smooth, thick, and creamy gel like consistency and it was so much better than traditional gloppy mayo or aioli.
  • It was an incredibly rich bite and there was a sweet poppy seed shortbread cookie like crust alongside.
  • Crème fraîche and egg yolks are classic garnishes for caviar, but here it was reversed with the caviar taking a back seat.
  • Northern Divine Caviar is perhaps my favourite caviar and I always like it on its own, but in this case it was used as a garnish.

Intersection Sauvignon Blanc/Viognier (British Columbia) – It was 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Viognier and it was a lovely wine to start off with. It was crisp and refreshing with flavours of apples and citrus and the hint of Viognier gave it that subtly floral characteristic.

Cured Albacore Tuna Carpaccio

  • Textures of cauliflower, brown butter, sunflower seeds, tapioca
  • This was my favourite course of the night and one I would order again if it was available at Bearfoot Bistro.
  • This was stunning. There was a nice play on textures which Melissa is great at.
  • It’s hard to work with a white ingredient, but she made the plate pop with colour while showcasing the cauliflower in so many ways.
  • The cauliflower and tuna combination was also new and different which I can always appreciate.
  • I predict cauliflower will be a “food trend” for 2013. I know, it’s always existed and it’s nothing “new”, but it’s going to be what kale is for 2012. It will be the “Year of the Cauliflower”.
  • Modern thinking chefs are playing around with cauliflower just like Melissa and I loved her interpretation of it.
  • There was cauliflower puree which was pretty much like melted silk in my mouth. It was almost like crème fraîche and there was a nice acidity to it. It was perhaps my favourite component here.
  • It was nutty from the sunflower seeds and sauteed cauliflower.
  • At the back there was a small tower of grated cauliflower which was almost like the horseradish or wasabi to the tuna.
  • The grated cauliflower tasted like grated radish though so I would have loved some wasabi in there or some seasoning in it.
  • The dish paid ode to the “cauliflower” with natural cauliflower flavours.
  • Even though the vegetable has so much water content, it was very flavourful and stood up to the tuna.
  • The tuna was almost the salt in this dish and everything about it was so natural and delicate. I loved it.
  • The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the fried tapioca garnish. I loved it for texture, but tapioca has no flavour and the chip had no flavour so it didn’t really add to the dish.

Sweet Walla Walla Onion Soup

  • Cave aged gruyere & potato croquette, crispy serrano, cippolini
  • I love velouté style soups and this one was rich, creamy and on the sweet side as expected for a “Sweet Walla Walla Onion Soup”.
  • The Cave aged gruyere & potato croquette was a bit strong though and I would have preferred a milder cheese in the croquette, perhaps a brie.
  • Wine paring: Black Hills Chardonnay (British Columbia) – I’m a fan of chardonnay and I liked this one. It was creamy and soft with a nice acidity that wasn’t sharp. The rich texture and flavour complemented the soup and the flavour of honey played with the caramelized onions.

Pemberton Heritage Angus Beef Prepared Two Ways:

Roasted Striploin

  • Squash Puree, Beets, Huckleberry Jus
  • The striploin didn’t take to the “catering for the masses” too well and it wasn’t quite tender.
  • Wine paring: Painted Rock Bordeaux Blend (British Columbia) – This was a medium full bodied Bordeaux-style blend with merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, petit sirah and syrah. It was aged 18 months in new French Oak. It was a beautiful blend with lots of aroma and spice and a nice dryness. There were flavours of prune and currants and bitter cocoa flavours and I would have like it even better with a nice rib eye steak or lamb. It was a stellar Bordeaux wine especially for BC.

Braised Shortrib

  • Wild Mushroom Heirloom Bean Ragout
  • The short rib was tender, but on the dry side so I could have used more demi-glace.
  • I liked the accompaniment of beans which I actually enjoyed more than the meats.
  • Beans are another ingredient being used more often in fine dining and no longer are they seen as “peasant food”, “camping food” or canned food.
  • Wine paring: Poplar Grove Legacy (British Columbia) – It was a blend of merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon and it was lighter than the Painted Rock blend. It was a bit smoother on the palate without that peppery after taste. I like velvety textures and merlot so I liked the texture of this wine, but the flavour was overwhelmed after the rich Painted Rock Boudeaux blend. I could appreciate this wine more if I had it before the Painted Rock, but nonetheless it was very good.

Neige Apple Ice Wine (Quebec) – It was the only non-BC wine and it was dominant with apple flavour – of course being an apple ice wine. It’s made from Autumn apples and pressed during Christmas. It was certainly sweet and sweeter than the dessert, which is always ideal. It’s a pristine apple ice wine and it’s certainly true to its name and extremely concentrated in flavour. There was no confusion that this was apple. There were no warm spices so it wasn’t cider like, but personally I prefer a bit more vanilla. This would have been good with cheddar cheese.

Interpretation Of A Classic Mont Blanc

  • Rum & chestnut cremeux, Tahitian vanilla bean & wild lingonberries
  • This certainly had “Christmas” all over it, but it was a bit sweet for my tastes.
  • My favourite part of this was the cinnamon foam which was really well executed and it had body and good cinnamon flavour.
  • The cake itself was very light, creamy and almost moussey and it sat on a shortbread like crust surrounded with crisp meringue.
  • The crisp meringue looked like snowy mountains or an iceberg.
  • I thought that was a creative way to interpret a Mont Blanc which is usually a round mountain top-like dessert.
  • I love chestnut and chestnut puree in desserts, but this one was more whipped cream than chestnut.
  • The lingonberries were better than cranberries yet it played a similar roll by giving tartness to the dessert.
  • The berries reminded me of holly and I loved the flavours, but I’ve enjoyed some of his other desserts more – see here.


  • Bow says:

    Wow ! Quite a unique venue…looked great. I sure that was the best food in Langley that day. Nice wine reviews.

  • Lundy says:

    I always find it funny that the food look awful or weird in real life but looks great in a picture!

  • Linda says:

    amazing event! and look at that table.. super impresseive! hope they raised alot of money!

  • Blazena Bogdan says:

    Thank you BMW and Sam for such a great event me and my husband enjoyed very much.

  • Louise says:

    Certainly looks like you had a wonderful evening, They certainly have the room for a big event and all the BWM representatives are super friendly which makes visiting the showroom and very positive experience.
    thanks for sharing

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