If you’ve ever hosted a dinner party that necessitated accommodating a variety of dietary preferences, then you know it can take more than a little planning and creativity to make things work. At Shaw Centre, however, the kitchen has embraced the challenge of making special dietary needs a priority and this is reflected in the newly-launched menu which is full of delicious, inclusive options.
“Food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances are a fact of life for commercial kitchens today,” notes Executive Chef Patrick Turcot. “Today’s guests are very conscious of what they should and should not be eating and it’s quite typical for us to prepare a meal for thousands which includes an ever-increasing list of preferences, including vegetarian, vegan, kosher and halal, as well as being free of dairy, gluten, egg and soy. Rather than tackling this aspect as an afterthought, we chose to incorporate these requirements into the heart of the menu creation, developing a wide variety of options that are delicious and appealing to all.”
Chef and his team have succeeded in providing an impressively diverse and accessible selection from light breakfasts to decadent brunches, energizing snack breaks to nutritious lunches and delightful cocktail snacks to gourmet plated dinners. Eggs Benedict is cleverly reimagined, gluten-free, as a quinoa crab cake with poached egg and Hollandaise, for example. A rainbow carrot salad boats a rich, creamy, dairy-free honey lemon and tahini dressing and a white bean truffle cassoulet with lentil ‘meatless’ meatballs is a stunningly delicious vegan plated dinner option.
Chef Turcot admits that the Centre’s focus on culinary excellence is one of the reasons for its high rate of repeat bookings. “Shaw Centre has earned its reputation as a sophisticated venue that offers exceptional food, thanks in large part to our commitment to working with local, seasonal ingredients,” he adds. “Our focus on preparing almost all menu elements in-house, rather than outsourcing them, makes it easier to uphold strict food handling standards to ensure top quality and safety.”