A little while back, I was invited to attend Grey Goose Canada’s Boulangerie Bleue pop-up event. I can safely say it was the event of the year! In fact, it wasn’t just an event, it was a whole experience.
Boulangerie Bleue is being held in many major cities around the world, including Paris, Ibiza, New York, London, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Milan, and Madrid, to name a few, on various dates between June and September. Just peruse the many photos with the #boulangeriebleue and #flybeyond hashtags on Instagram to get a flavour for what it’s all about. The Toronto edition was held at Spoke on the Water at the Island Yacht Club. Words really cannot describe the whole night and you just had to see it for yourself (if you were following me on Snapchat, you would have seen what I mean). We’re talking private water taxis transporting us to a whole set-up that made us feel like we were in the French Riviera! Grey Goose cocktails made with elderflower greeted us upon our arrival, and we were treated to lots more drinks, music, and food (including French bread made with the same wheat that is used in Grey Goose vodka and is harvested in France)! In addition, the world’s most intimate martini cocktail bar, the Grey Goose Camionnette, was on-site for private vodka martini consultations throughout the evening.
Before the event, I scored an exclusive invite to attend a private dinner in the middle of the French Boulangerie, which was designed and cooked by world renowned chef Jamie Kennedy. The concept was farm-to-table meets field-to-bottle, and with each course served, there was a carefully tailored Grey Goose cocktail paired with it (much like wine pairings on a traditional tasting menu). Julien LaFond, Grey Goose’s brand ambassador, was there to discuss the importance of matching cocktails with the flavours of the meal; and so, our intellects were stimulated at the same time as our palates! And since all those cocktails served throughout the meal would naturally make anyone pretty tipsy, there were generous helpings of French bread made by pastry chef Marc Thobor to help sober us up!
Here’s a brief rundown of the meal and cocktail pairings.
We began with an amuse bouche: Gensac caviar on crème fraîche and a potato gaufrette. Paired with a (very stiff) Grey Goose vodka martini, it was the perfect bite to whet our appetites!
Wild marinated smoked salmon with strawberry aigre-doux (sweet and sour) sauce was served as our first course. The presentation was delicate and beautiful, and the overall taste of the dish was well-balanced. This was served with a Grey Goose cocktail de vin rosé, created through a process where the alcohol by volume (ABV) of the vodka is decreased to make it taste more like a wine.
Our main course was hanger steak (cooked to perfection) with grilled vegetables, paired with a Grey Goose cocktail de vin rouge. This cocktail was one the most interesting, since it was made to mimic Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wine, using red beets for colouring. Finally, chocolate almond cake (not pictured) was served for dessert, paired with a Grey Goose espresso martini (which, according to Julien LaFond, was meant to “wake us up and f*** us up”!).
This dining experience was truly like none-other, and set the tone for all that was in store afterwards. Since I never got the chance to eat at any of the Jamie Kennedy restaurants in Toronto before they closed, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this special meal!
Many thanks to Pomp & Circumstance PR for the invite to Boulangerie Bleue and the chef Jamie Kennedy dinner!