Recap: 2nd Annual Food Blogger Dinner at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to participate in the 2nd annual food blogger dinner at the Harvest Room of The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, an interactive cooking experience and a chance in a lifetime to cook with Executive Chef Serge Jost. Don’t worry, I was being supervised, had a ton of help, only served to other food bloggers and enthusiasts, and nobody got food poisoning. Success.

The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

Last year’s interactive dinner looked amazing and I was excited to have been invited to this year’s event! We donned our swank monogrammed Chef jackets (I’m so badass now when I cook instant noodles!) and met our teammates. I was joined by Linda of, Lindsay of Edible Woman, Lillian of Beyond Umami, and Brittany from Harvest Microgreens and Nicole was our gracious host representing The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.

Fairmont Macdonald: Linda of, super excited!

Linda of, super excited!

We didn’t diddle-daddle for long, Chef Serge Jost put us to work right away! We were put into teams of two and put in charge of either appetizer, entree, or dessert. The whole kitchen was our playground but we had a tremendous amount of support and help by the chefs and staff of the kitchen. I was so focused, I didn’t take a lot of pictures of our prep work!

Fairmont Macdonald: Linda (@lindork) & Lillian (@beyondumami) & Chef Jost

Linda (@lindork) & Lillian (@beyondumami) & Chef Jost

Fairmont Macdonald: Peeling Quail Eggs

Peeling Quail Eggs

Linda and Lillian were in charge of the appetizer for the night, “Beets & Goat Cheese”. Lots of prepwork involved and as Linda put it, “we’re doing a lot of cubing!” The challenges of peeling dainty quail eggs didn’t hamper their spirits, as Chef Jost was the opposite of any Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen episode might portray. “Smile! Smile!” was shouted at us throughout the night, a concept important to the kitchens of The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald. The chefs and staff around were always smiling, an indication that teamwork in the kitchen is key to a successful service.

Fairmont Macdonald: Nicole (@NicOutLoud) & Brittany (@Harvest_Chef) making gnocchi

Nicole (@NicOutLoud) & Brittany (@Harvest_Chef) making gnocchi

Nicole and Brittany took on the entrée, “Panseared Sea Bass”. They had no problems getting their hands dirty making the saffron seven herb gnocchi.

Fairmont Macdonald: Dessert partner, Lindsay of

Dessert partner, Lindsay of

Thank God my partner was Lindsay, because I knew she had a lot of experience with dessert! We were in charge of the “Sweet Green Salad & Pink Grapefruit”, a dish that had seven components! We started with making the crème catalane, a Spanish comparison of crème caramel to make sure it had enough time to set in our glasses. We then made the pink grapefruit sorbet and segmented fresh grapefruit. Lucky for us, we were able to eat our appetizer and entrée before going back into the kitchens to plate!

Fairmont Macdonald: Amuse Bouche

Amuse Bouche

The amuse bouche was refreshing, a passion fruit and watercress pesto with toasted pine nuts.

Fairmont Macdonald: Bread


Fresh bread with herb butter to tide us over while Linda and Lillian plated their appetizer.

Fairmont Macdonald: Beets & Goat Cheese

Beets & Goat Cheese

The Beets & Goat Cheese was absolutely delicious! The plate was composed with a brush of beet gastrique, quail eggs, spiced hazelnut, apple cider vinaigrette, celeriac mousse, and a mix of watercress and arugula. The celeriac mousse was firmed up with agar agar and cubed (shown in the back) and was a super creative way of using celeriac! The goat cheese was a stand out for me, hints of caramelized pistachios and dried apricot coming through. Linda and Lillian also practiced their creative freedom, each plate playful and bright!

Fairmont Macdonald: Panseared Sea Bass

Panseared Sea Bass

Nicole and Brittany’s Panseared Sea Bass was cooked perfectly and served on top of a bed of saffron seven herb gnocchi, summer vegetables, wilted greens and a warm rhubarb vinaigrette. Beautifully done and the gnocchi had a nice crisp exterior!

Fairmont Macdonald: Sweet Green Salad & Pink Grapefruit

Sweet Green Salad & Pink Grapefruit

I’m totally biased, but I thought dessert was a pretty standout! Who puts a salad in dessert? We do. Or rather, The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald does! A vanilla olive oil dressing was generally tossed with sweet mescliun and topped with a brown sugar mixture. Nestled in between the salad and our créme catalane was our pink grapefruit sorbet, an orange marmalade and our fresh grapefruit segments. Sooooo good and perfect for patio season!

Chef Serge Jost not only cooked with us in the kitchen but also dined with us as well. The interactive dinner was a great way for us to ask the chef questions and about his philosophy on food. Chef Jost hopes to use fresh ingredients and present a healthy, affordable meal at the Harvest Room. A lot of people are intimidated by “The Chateau on the River” or “The Castle”, thinking that the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is only for special occasions. Think Mother’s Day brunch, birthdays, anniversaries, and need I mention, weddings! That’s exactly what I think. What this dinner made me realize was that The Harvest Room at the hotel is a lot more approachable that I had thought. For example, how about their express lunch? Your choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert, for $24, and all under 45 minutes. And a few months ago, I had a delicious three-course dinner for $65, again your choice of dishes from their full menu. The Castle isn’t as scary after all!

2nd Annual Food Blogger Tweet Up & Dinner - Photo Taken by Lindsay (

2nd Annual Food Blogger Tweet Up & Dinner – Photo Taken by Lindsay (

Thanks to The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Executive Chef Serge Jost, the chefs and staff of the Harvest Room and to my wonderful tablemates for a wonderful evening! I won’t be forgetting this one for awhile! Make sure you give the Harvest Room at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald a try! You can also follow them on Twitter (@FairmontMac & @Chef_Jost)


Fairmont Hotel Macdonald
Harvest Room
10065 100th Street
Edmonton, AB
(780) 429-6424

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