Thursday, December 18, 2008

Office holiday parties

There are all sorts of office holiday parties. Some are big and splashy and end in lawsuits, while others amount to a deli tray from the Pickle Barrel and some Vernor's ginger ale. 
And then there's the "office party" for the Gold Medal Plates that I attended last night in the Penthouse Suite of the SOHO Metropolitan hotel (la dee da). 
James Chatto, the Toronto writer who helms the foodie side of this Olympic fundraising event, had kindly invited me, with promises of Olympic athletes, Jim Cuddy, a Champagne tasting with David Lawrason and food by Patrick Lin, the chef at Senses in the SOHO and this year's Toronto winner of the Gold Medal Plates. He will go on to compete at the Grand Finale in Banff in February, against the five other chef finalists from Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver. I've long thought that Chef Lin serves up some of the best and fantastically underrated food in the city. And this small gathering of 30 or so, proved it. 
One-bite wonders included charred Wagyu beef, rare salmon hit with truffle butter, cubes of foie with candied nuts, juicy scallops and micro mocha creme brulees. The wine was flowing, the mood was generous, and Olympian Adam van Koeverden regaled the crowd with one of the filthiest jokes I've ever heard (a bottle of Barolo was up for grabs.)
Meanwhile, my office party is tonight. But as a freelance writer who works from her home office, that would mean just me. So each year I invite my friend Tamara, who gamely plays along, and tonight our friend Joanna is also joining in on the annual 'do (our numbers are waaay up!) Each December we choose a new restaurant to try (this year it's Loire) and then we go out and celebrate the year that was. 
I hope I don't embarrass myself in front of the boss again.

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