BC Hospitality Fundraiser

Is it too obvious to state that people in the hospitality industry are – hospitable? Helping people – serving, directing, hosting – that’s what they do. But who takes care of the hospitality community? Most positions are part time, seasonal or shift work. The majority of staff don’t have benefit plans, pensions or nest eggs. And that’s where the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation comes in. Working together to help their own, this charitable organization raises funds to provide support for individuals in the hospitality community that are coping with costs arising from a serious health crisis. The Foundation also awards scholarships and bursaries to students to further education in this field.

So to see such a large crowd gathered at a BC Hospitality fundraising dinner at Aura a few nights ago was a delight. Proceeds from the Mission Hill Winery dinner benefitted the charity, and when you have a room full of industry professionals, you know they’ll be pouring and plating their premium products. Young Aura Chef Patrick Gaylor’s studied menu read beautifully.

Here’s a bird’s eye view:


Kusshi Oysters
Tarragon, grapefruit, gin pickled melon

-paired with Mission Hill Five Vineyards Pinot Grigio

Arriving guests were welcomed with fresh and lively live jazz, plus fresh and lively 5V PG (still one of BC’s amazing wine values). Though minglers did their best to snap up all the Kusshi oysters, the platters just kept coming.


Caramelized Qualicum Scallop, Dungeness crab and sweet corn congee, puffed rice, coriander lime essence

-paired with Mission Hill Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008

The sweet scallop was delish (best bite of the night), and along with the kiss of bright lime, worked well with the full-bodied Sauv Blanc.


Vanilla Cured Arctic Char, Orange pear coulis, cauliflower in hazelnut salt crust, grilled hazelnut puree

-paired with Mission Hill Perpetua Chardonnay 2008

My favourite pairing of the night – the buttery Arctic char was gone all too quickly – a stellar match with the rich vanillin Perpetua. And if my cauliflower always came crusted with hazelnuts? It would skyrocket to the top of the veggie list.


Fennel Scented Duck Leg, spaetzle carbonara, baby fennel, marinated tomato

-paired with Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir 2008

This pairing didn’t work for me. Duck and Pinot Noir – yes. Fennel – ok.  But for me, the egg yolk and the tomato didn’t marry with the earthy, juicy cherry and red currant Pinot Noir.


Organic Bison Rib Eye,
juniper baked sweet potato with compound marrow, wild mushrooms, and buttered beets

-paired with Mission Hill Select Lot Collection Syrah 2007

The rare bison was done to perfection, and the blackened crust, sweetness of the root veg and earthiness of the mushrooms worked well with the big, spicy Syrah.


Selection of dark chocolate, clove poached quince, aged parmesan with caramel

-paired with Oculus 2006 Magnum

First – the wine. One of BC’s priciest reds showed well this evening. Rich, full and complex, with big inky blackberry, spice, tobacco and vanilla. Though a baby, this wine was easily drinkable at present. It went very well with the truffled & salted dark chocolate square, but didn’t jive with the assertive parmesan.

The BC Hospitality Foundation’s motto is ‘working together to help our own’.  With a meal like this in a room like that, with friends like these, it’s not work at all. It’s an honour.




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