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Vancouver Art Gallery’s Surrealism Gala Menu

The most comprehensive exhibition of Surrealist art ever to be shown in Canada  recently opened at the Vancouver Art Gallery on May 28, 2011.  The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art features 350 extraordinary works by leading Surrealist artists, including André Breton, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso and many others from prestigious private and public collections around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum and the Tate Gallery.

On Friday, May 27th, 380 guests celebrated the official opening at a gala event that took place in a grand marquee tent on the Art Gallery’s Georgia Plaza.  Fittingly for such an event, Debra Lykkemark created a French influenced five-course menu inspired from the Surrealist art.  The couture-like menu was full of unusual surprises of unique textures and flavours.

A highlight was the colourful Surreal Salad which featured a savoury carrot marshmallow, chèvre orb, beet jewels, compressed cucumber and sous vide pineapple.

First Course – Prelude to a Dream
Surreal Salad – Textures and flavours inspired by André Masson
miniature organic greens, passion fruit gastrique, compressed cucumber, sous vide pineapple, carrot marshmallow, chèvre orb, beet jewels, edible flowers, spritzed with tangerine tincture

Second Course – The Illusion
French Onion Soup Soufflé
flavoured with Cognac demi-glace and Swiss Gruyère served with a savoury stir stick

Palate Cleanser – Dragon’s Breath
Lemon sorbet with thyme and anise wafers

Entrée – The Revolution
Sablefish and Duck Entrée
organic black and red lentil crusted sablefish, braised duck and wild mushroom roulade, tomato-garlic confit and jade sauce

Dessert – A Cumulus Conclusion
Meringue Cloud
floating on a trio of mango, blueberry and raspberry sauces

Here’s a recipe for the spiced lentil crusted sablefish that Executive Chef Margaret Chisholm reworked for the home cook.

Spiced Lentil Crusted Sablefish with Jade Sauce
Serves 4

4 X 120 g sablefish fillet
4 Tbsp organic black beluga lentils
4 Tbsp red lentils
1 tsp star anise powder
1 tsp Korean chili powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 tsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp water

In a spice grinder, blitz the red lentils into a fine powder. Mix with the Korean chili and half the salt. Repeat the process with the black lentils and the star anise. Combine the water and mustard. Lightly paint the top of the sablefish with the mustard mixture. Sprinkle the red lentil powder over ½ of the fish and the black lentil powder over the other half. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 350 F for 8-10 minutes.

Jade Sauce
½ cup shallots
½ cup spring peas
¼ cup white wine
1 cup water + ¼ cup
¼ cup young spinach, blanched and squeezed dry
2 Tbsp fingerling potatoes, peeled and diced small
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp chives
1 Tbsp mint
1 Tbsp cilantro
1 Tbsp tarragon
1 tsp sliced garlic

Sauté the shallots in olive oil until translucent.  Add the garlic and white wine and reduce to a glaze. Add the potatoes and 1 cup of water and gently cook until the potatoes are very soft.  Pour the potato, shallot reduction into a blender and add the peas. Working quickly, blitz the mixture together with the remaining ingredients, using the remaining water to thin down the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Strain and serve hot.

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