Nov 03

Dining With Mozart at Catch Dining Room

by Downtown Calgary · 0 comments

Classical Calgary – Mozart in the City started October 25th and runs until November 13th and this year it includes a dining component.  Get ready for a night of Mozart with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra by enjoying classic Austrian dishes re-imagined by some of our downtown restaurants.  Of course, one of the hardest parts of ‘Dining with Mozart’ is deciding where to go, so I’ve asked each chef a series of questions to help you choose.  Next up is Catch Dining Room and Executive Chef Kyle Groves.

What do you like about cooking in Calgary (Calgary Restaurant Scene)?

The thing I love about cooking in Calgary, is that the city is really moving away from the meat and potatoes image that we have had in the past.  It is unbelievably rewarding to introduce our customers to new foods and techniques that they are not familiar with.  It’s like watching a kid at Christmas; a person eating octopus for the first time; or when a person bites into something that changes texture once it hits their tongue.  It’s a very exciting time to be cooking in Calgary.

How did you incorporate the Austrian theme into your restaurant’s usual offering?

I decided that we would take Austrian dishes and try to elevate them for our guests.  Simple potato salad becomes something amazing when you shave beautiful truffles over it.  At Catch we always strive to give our guests a taste of the best ingredients, but it’s also fun to give them a more rustic presentation.

What is your “go-to” ingredient in the kitchen?

I love butter!  It is so versatile, you can use it with everything.  We slowly brown it and poach trout in it, or we clarify it for lobsters.  There are so many things that you can do with it to make food taste amazing!

What is the “must-have” item on your usual Fall menu that patrons should try and why?

The dishes change all the time and I have so many favorites that it is really hard to pick!  I love our slowly braised veal cheeks with a butter poached lobster tail, because it is rich and satisfying on those cool fall nights. I love our yellowfin tuna wrapped in bacon with walnut & apple agnolotti, because the textures and flavors intermingle so well.  Also, the colder the weather gets the better the oysters become.

How would you describe your cooking method?

I would describe my cooking method as modern European cuisine, with an emphasis on amazing seafood and local products.  I am obsessed with finding fresh seafood and am on my phone all the time with fishermen and oyster farmers across the country.  I love all kinds of techniques, from a classic braise to using hydrocolloids, to change food textures into something new.  I also love to use some humour in my cooking.  Chicken (of the sea) noodle soup is as fun to create as it is to eat!

Tell us about you:  training, handling of the current restaurant, length of time as a chef etc;

I am a born and raised Calgarian.  I started cooking when I was about 18 years old, and never looked back.  I worked at restaurants around Calgary before deciding to move to the UK to pursue my dream of working in some of the world’s finest restaurants and hotels.  A cooking apprenticeship is not an easy job, and we worked many 18 and 20 hour days in London and Edinburgh, but I always wanted to learn more and more.  On my day off I would read cook books so I could learn new dishes and techniques.  At Catch, I try and make it a teaching ground for young chefs and apprentices. I am strict when it comes to quality, but I also think that creativity is very important.

Finally, is there a funny kitchen/restaurant story that you would like to share with us and our readers?

I love practical jokes.  On one of our old chef’s last day, we snuck a bag full of fish heads into his backpack just before he left.  Apparently he didn’t unpack his bag as early as he should have, because about a week later I received an angry phone call from his girlfriend about the smell. He called me a day or so later to thank me, because he was upset we didn’t do anything special to him on his last day!

CANCELED – To add to your Mozart dining experience, on Friday November 5th from 7pm to 8pm, Catch Dining Room will have live classical music performed by Mount Royal University Conservatory of Music Students.

Are you going to go Dining with Mozart at Catch Dining Room or are you waiting to see what other chefs have to say?

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