New records set — again — at 12th annual Lumiere sensation at Brookstreet

New records set — again — at 12th annual Lumiere sensation at Brookstreet

What began in 2003 as an opening celebration for Brookstreet hotel has since blossomed as a major gastronomic, festive and charity event. It just keeps getting better

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SEP 27 14 – 9:10 AM — You’ve got to wonder how they do it: Each year the festive fall Lumière gala, originally launched in 2003 to celebrate the opening of Brookstreet hotel in west-end Ottawa, grows more ambitious, the food and drink ever more inviting, the entertainment always superlative … complete with fireworks to cap the three-hour evening. Now, how great is that?

Small wonder organizers of the 12th annual event on Thursday, fondly billed as Ottawa’s best fall garden party, again reported impressive and record numbers raising a total $145,000 for charity (that’s $125,000 from the Lumière gala itself, and the rest from its partner Keltic Cup Charity Golf Classic at The Marshes next door).

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Last year the gala earned about $71,000. This is the third year Lumière has partnered with Wesley Clover Foundation to support the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Over the years, the event has distributed more than $462,000 to local charities and another $244,000 toward cancer research — not counting proceeds from this year.

Seven live auction items raised roughly $34,000 on Thursday, while a companion silent auction brought in another $13,000.

In all, 680 tickets were sold (about 650 people actually attended) at $150 a pop — same price as in 2013.

L-R, addressing well-wishers at Lumiere on Thursday Patrice Basille, executive v/pres Brookstreet hotel; Ottawa mayor Jim Watson; Sir Terry Matthews, philanthropist, high-tech entrepreneur, and owner of Celtic Manor and Brookstreet hotel.

Top L-R, addressing well-wishers at Lumiere on Thursday was Patrice Basille, executive v/pres Brookstreet hotel; Ottawa mayor Jim Watson; Sir Terry Matthews, philanthropist, high-tech entrepreneur, and owner of Celtic Manor and Brookstreet hotel. Bottom left, exec. chef John Morris from National Arts Centre plates brined capon and al dente wild mushroom risotto. Bottom right, Brookstreet executive chef Clifford Lyness says his annual Lumiere menu takes about a year to plan and organize.

“Our 12th annual Lumière Charity Gala was record-breaking in all aspects,” says Patrice Basille, Brookstreet executive vice-president.

“Not only did we raise an estimated $145,000 between the gala and the Celtic Cup, we also welcomed a record-breaking 650 guests. This would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors, donors, partners, staff and guests … Each year it grows; people enjoy the atmosphere and supporting the regional cancer foundation, the great food and wine — and the grand fireworks. Hey, it’s a great party.”

As always, superlative food dispensed at 10 stations distributed throughout the second-floor ballroom and foyer provided an eclectic mix of tastes and textures, completely reworked by executive chef Clifford Lyness who enlisted notable cheffy friends from other establishments to help plate for the evening.

“The theme this year is Lumière Rouge where all the food features cancer-fighting ingredients,” Lyness says.

“So every dish comes with a cancer-busting fact where, in one example, turmeric in the seared sea scallop dish has been used for centuries in Eastern medicine as it contains an antioxidant compound that lowers inflammation. The cancer factoids were provided to us by an expert with the cancer foundation, which was a new twist.

“Each year we try to change things up for our theme, and this one was very much a partnership with our charity,” Lyness says.

As for the food … feast for yourself:

Above L-R, Dixie Culzac, 1st commis at Brookstreet, with Amy Brown, 4th commis on loan for the night from Restaurant E18hteen, served my favourite dish of the evening: House-smoked candied salmon (bottom) with complementing tastes and textures of pumpernickel "sand" on the bottom, a nest of frisee, hard-cook quail egg, chevre sphere encrusted with white and dark sesame seeds, pickled onion, acidulated fennel, micro sprouts. Simple, lively and balanced.

Above L-R, Dixie Culzac, 1st commis at Brookstreet, with Amy Brown, 4th commis on loan for the night from Restaurant E18hteen, served my favourite dish of the evening: House-smoked candied salmon (bottom) with complementing tastes and textures of pumpernickel “sand” on the base, a nest of frisee, half hard-cooked quail egg, chevre sphere encrusted with white and dark sesame seeds, pickled onion, acidulated fennel, micro sprouts. Simple, lively and balanced.

Chef Christopher Marz, food + beverage director at Delta Ottawa City Centre (and guest at Lumiere on Thursday) especially enjoyed this "Po Tako" -- basically, a croquette of potato, green onion with a nugget of octopus tucked inside, then breaded and fried served with spicy mayo that provided a welcome kick.

Chef Christopher Marz, food + beverage director at Delta Ottawa City Centre (and guest at Lumiere on Thursday) especially enjoyed this “Po Tako” creation by Brookstreet chef Clifford Lyness — basically, a croquette of potato, green onion with a nugget of octopus tucked inside, then breaded and fried served with spicy mayo that provided a welcome kick.

Delta Ottawa chef Mark Steele, also a guest at Lumiere, selected this canellini bean and maple cassoulet with rich pork belly, bacon as one of his favourites. "The pork was well braised but crispy on the outside, while the cassoulet had nice flavour," Steele says.

Delta Ottawa chef Mark Steele, also a guest at Lumiere, selected this canellini bean and maple cassoulet with rich pork belly, bacon among one of his favourites. “The pork was well braised but crispy on the outside, while the cassoulet had nice flavour,” Steele says.

Denta chef Mark Steele also liked Brookstreet chef Clifford Lyness' sous vide lime and coriander brined capon with mushroom-enhanced risotto embellished with mustard sauce, plated by chef John Morris of the NAC. "With the smoked mustard

Delta Ottawa chef Mark Steele also liked Brookstreet chef Clifford Lyness’ creation of sous vide lime and coriander brined capon with mushroom-enhanced risotto embellished with mustard sauce. “With the smoked mustard sauce, it melted in your mouth and the texture was phenomenal. The flavours worked very well together,” Steele says.

Walnut and cracked mustard-crusted lamb loin, rack, with applewood cheddar creamed polenta, heirloom carrots, root beer sauce.

Walnut and cracked mustard-crusted lamb loin, rack, with applewood cheddar creamed polenta, heirloom carrots, root beer sauce.

Brookstreet chef Naohika Yasuda's ever-popular and colourful sushi bar with all the embellishments

Brookstreet chef Naohika Yasuda’s ever-popular and colourful sushi bar with all the embellishments

Top, perfectly seared plumb turmeric scallop on black sesame "paint" with roast pepper pulse, jicama, daikon and chervil toss, currioed granola and dressing; bottom left, rich carrot, dhal and ginger soup with maple-roasted sunflower dust, pumpkin seed oil, buckwheat honey coconut cream. Bottom right, bright beet salad served three ways: roasted, picked, and fried chips, with organic greens, crisp leek, walnut, tamarind and chili dressing.

Top, perfectly seared plump turmeric scallop on black sesame “paint” with roast pepper pulse, jicama, daikon and chervil toss, curried granola and dressing; bottom left, rich carrot, dhal and ginger soup with maple-roasted sunflower dust, pumpkin seed oil, buckwheat honey coconut cream. Bottom right, bright beet salad served three ways: roasted, picked, and fried chips, with organic greens, crisp leek, walnut, tamarind and chili dressing.

Dessert served just before the fireworks show: Chilled dark chocolate pot au creme with burnt orange caramel, candied pecans, chocolate and macaroon

Dessert served just before the fireworks show: Chilled dark chocolate pot au creme with burnt orange caramel, candied pecans, chocolate and macaroon

Live auction items that fetched impressive prices this year:

– $7,200 paid for an advertising credit worth $10,000 at the Ottawa Citizen;

– $6,100 paid for a luxury golf break for four people at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, including four nights, golf, food and other amenities;

– $5,000 paid for a full suite of 18 tickets 100-level Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 22; value $5,000;

– $5,000 paid for breakfast with Sir Terry Mathews in the Perspectives private dining room for up to 10 guests;

– $5,000 paid seven nights for two at SPA Retreat Negril, Jamaica (value: $5,500);

– $2,900 paid for two nights (three bedrooms) at Sofitel in New York City, with return airfare (value $3,700);

– $1,600 each (two sold) six-course chef’s table dinner for 10 at Perspectives with wines.

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