Will make an attempt to dissect the menu 
Professor Jalen, cheese expert gave a lecture on cheese for the first 20 minutes in witch 6 cheeses were tasted,( as per the photo on the previous post) we did not cook with any of these
The next course was the soup

Roasted Roma tomato and blue cheese cream
The combination of the two plus a few cheese crumbs in the little baguette basket, was simply pure pleasure , the  sharpness of the blue cheese  was outstanding
For the soup the following ingredients where used:
Roma tomatoes quartered,tossed in olive oil ,garlic and roasted
Leeks and onions where sauted in olive oil till translucent, a couple of chopped carrots where added then the roasted tomatoes 
Chicken stock made the day of was then added to  the pot with a couple of bay leaves and brought to simmer for a few hours
The broth was then pureed and beurre manie was added (equal parts of butter at room temperature and flour kneaded together ) to the soup to thicken, we then seasoning was adjusted  . A little ketchup was added a last minute, just to bring out the zing in the cheese, it was absolutely outstanding
Note to self <a foam would be even nicer.......next time >
As for the crostini baskets, frozen unbaked baked was thin slice and sprayed with garlic infused olive oil then inserted in mini muffin pans and finished in the oven till golden
Up next :Bison Carpaccio
Photos from the Wine and Cheese Dinner Extravaganza at the Derrick Club
I am happy to report that Shane Chartrand from L2 Grill at Fantasy Land hotel will represent Alberta at the Canadian Culinary Federation  Convention in Vancouver June 10-16 http://www.nationalchefschallenge.eventbrite.com in a national competition for Canadian Chef of the year honors where he will compete with chefs from other provinces
At the Alberta challenge, unfortunately one candidate had to drop out at the last minute, both remaining candidates for sure took their best shot with Sane coming out on top by a slight margin.
Scroll down for the winning presentation
Congratulations Shane!

Here I go again,my second cod dish in a week...oh my you might say,does this guy love cod or what?
Truth be told, cod is it pour moi. As much as I love Alberta beef (Spring Creek beef  in particular) I just can not get away from my childhood cravings .
Growing up in an island with abundant fresh fish available some times twice a day, one of our staples specially in the Winter, was salt cod and dried preserved sardines and mackerel ( how I miss that) As much as I love salt cod it wasn't until I came to Canada that I started to cook with fresh cod. 
This is a very flavour full recipe for todays supper. Fresh cod fillets with a simple risotto with an Azorean twist.

1- fresh cod fillet about a pound cut in 4 oz portions 
3oz- of olive oil and canola oil ,1.5 oz each
,5oz- fresh squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season

Crumb mixture
3oz-panko bread crumbs
1.5oz-regular breadcrumbs
2 tbsp- chopped parsley, i used frozen chopped from the yard
.25 tsp-salt
fresh ground pepper

Mix it all up in a bowl, coat the cod fillets with it,pat down on the cod, I do not use eggs or milk for bidding,pan sear both sides on a hot frying pan with the oil mixture, remove to a pan lined up with parchment paper, top each cod portion with a tbsp of the remaining crumbs,finish in the oven that has previously been heated to 400 F for about 8 minutes

Tomato, onion and olive stew
1-medium onion sliced
3- medium ripe tomatoes
12- Kalamata olives pitted
1tsp- pimenta moida (pepper paste, I use homemade, can be found on any Portuguese store or bakery in Edmonton)
2oz-extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onions in the olive oil till translucent,add tomatoes ,olives and pepper let simmer for about 15 minutes season with salt and pepper

1-cup of Arborio rice
1/2-small onion finely chopped
1oz-butter, can be subbed with extra virgin olive oil
2-cups of hot chicken stock, I use home made
3/4 cup of heated 10% cream, you can use a heavier cream if you wish,10% does the trick for me with less calories,or you can fore go the cream altogether and sub with more stock
2-oz- freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
This is a simple risotto,one can and should be able to add different ingredients to it
Saute the onion with the butter till translucent,do not burn the onion,add the rice mix well till nicely coated, add 1/3 of the stock mixing well till it dries and then do the same for the rest on the stock (stock is added 3 time while stirring), by this time the rice should be almost cooked,add the hot cream an finish cooking, then add the cheese and mix well, season with salt and pepper

Assemble as per photograph 

Photos taken with speedlight TTL wireless to the left side 

As a members of the Feastival comity, some of us  chefs  prepare up a meal that was auctioned during the event, usually at Characters http://characters.ca
As usual this year/s event was a blast. Jasmine (Appetizer of braised cabbage and stuffed rabitt loin ), myself  Main course, roasted bison tenderloin,grilled elk tenderloin and vanilla infused poached lobster tail )and Shonn ( Dessert , duo of passion fruit soufle and passion fruit ice cream,its official! Shonn is the soufle king ) prepared an outstanding meal for 6 couples
Here are some of the photos with more to come
Wow what flavours ...Can't say I have used walnuts and beef,turned out that pulling some beef out of the freezer a bag of chopped walnuts the wife uses for her amazing banana bred, fell on the floor,I picked up and figured ,hey why not. Turned out to be a fantastic combination very simple top prepare

Here is whats needed
2-top sirloin steaks,or any other steaks about 6 oz each
3oz- chopped walnuts 
2oz- butter
Cracked black pepper
1 frying pan 
.5oz-veg oil

Heat up a frying pan that can go into the oven, add the veg oil, once heated add the steaks that have been previously seasoned with salt and patted down with cracked black pepper on both sides, pan sear on both sides to seal all the juices in,once complete place in the oven that has previously heated to 400 F. Depending on the thickness of the meat it should not take more than 10 minutes for medium rare,remove from the oven and set the steaks aside on a plate covered with a cloth . 
While the meat rests ,place the pan on top of  a burner on medium heat (remember that the pan is very hot from the oven) add the butter ans the walnuts, stirring until the butter turns a little brown, here you might want to add a little slash of  freshly squeezed lemon juice and the drippings from the beef 
The beef used was a couple of  top sirloin steaks from Spring Creek Ranch,possible the best beef anywhere,here is a link to their site http://www.springcreek.ca/index.php?area_id=1009


Here are a couple of photos of Bentley, our Pomeranian puppy http://www.pbase.com/tgdusty/puppy  taken a few weeks ago, he will be 2 years old in May, we picked him up at 8 weeks old, he weighted 10 oz ,he now weighs 5.5 lbs, he is a joy to have around but some times can be a pain in the you know what (just kidding)
I was in a conference out of town at the beginning of February and met Roy Timm  http://www.roytimmphotography.com a professional photographer hired to shoot the conference, as we where exchanging info I noticed he was shooting with an older flash (a Vivitar i think) attached to his Nikon D3  http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond3. Well lo and behold, I do have a Sunpack 4205G, that I had thought was absolute. Due to the nature of the power output and thanks to Roy ,I did follow up with Nikon and Sunpak and was told that it was safe to use it providing TTL was not used.
So here are a couple of the first photos taken with the Sunpak bouncing off the ceiling
Here are a few more photos of the cod dish. All photos were photographed in Raw mode and edited in Cs3.
Levels and Curves adjustment ,Saturation and Unsharp mask. As you can see different effects on each photograph with a little adjustment here and there .
Hope you enjoy
The end result
Dried  cod is one of those Portuguese staples no home can live without. Here is a simple recipe for a quick and easy Cod dish for 2.
12-oz of boneless salt cod, that has been soaking in water for two days changing the water 3 to 4 times a day,this will reconstitute the cod and will wash away all the  salt
3 medium Yukon gold potatoes
1-medium onion peeled and sliced
4-garlic cloves chopped
6 oz of olive oil
1 oz pimenta moida (pepper paste,found in any portuguese grocery store,we make our own at home)

1-bunch of collard greens
1/4-teaspoon of chili flakes

Step 1
Cut the cod in four portions and set aside two ,the other two place in a pot with cold water and bring to boil ,reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes ,remove and set aside to cool
In the mean time place the potatoes in an other pot ,cover with water, bring to boil and simmer until fork tender,let cool a room temperature ,peel and slice thin
Step 2
In a frying pan sautee the onion with 2 oz of the olive oil till translucent,add 1/2 of the garlic and the pepper paste stirring well, add cod that has been previously simmered and flaked and mix well .The cod needs to asorb the flavours for a couple of minutes then add the potatoes and mix in well,season with salt and pepper,add alitle more olive oil or pepper paste if necessary .Keep in mind that the potatoes will absorb some of the olive oil,you might need to add a little more .
Step 3
The 2 portions of cod left are to be dredged in flour  that has previously been seasoned with salt and pepper and pan seared  in olive oil and finished in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. At this point you can also put the cod and potato mixture in the oven for about 10 minutes
Step 4
On another frying pan sautee the other 2 oz of olive oil, the rest of the garlic and the chili flakes and the collard greens that have previously been washed and dried ( they will splash if not dried ),stir well till they are limp, you might need to add a couple of ounces of water and cover the pan if they seem tough to chew, season with salt and pepper 
Step 5
Once the collard greens are ready ,place then in the bottom of two plates,add the cod and potato mixture and the cod portions on top, as per the photograph .Itossed some baby arugula with olive oil and a slash of white balsamic vinegar and  placed it on top of the cod, then drizzled some more olive oil around the plate and garnished it with kalamata olives that can also be added to the cod and potato mixture if you like hot olives. And i like it!  Enjoy
I hope you try the recipe and let me know how it turned out