Saturday, July 28, 2012

Clandestine Dinner Kitchens of Distinction - Amazing!

Last night we attended a “Clandestine Dinner”.  To keep things a secret, we find out where to go at the last minute.  We meet the other guests when we get there, and the menu unfolds once we sit down at the table.  I grew up on meat and potatoes, so a secret menu is kind of scary. 
This dinner was hosted by Kitchens of Distinction Culinary Arts and owner and head chef Shirley Lang.  The dinners are small and intimate with around ten guests and are designed to give talented local chefs an opportunity to showcase their skills.  The real trick is getting invited to one of these events.   Well, that is really not too hard to do, apparently!  To get your name(s) in the pool, just email Shirley at and soon you will be receiving notifications of these exciting, delicious and mysterious “clandestine” events.
Our dinner turned out to be a “Journey to Morocco”.  Moroccan cuisine is considered one of the most influential cuisines in the world.  Located in North Africa, it influences date back in history of its many colonizers and immigrants.  The first inhabitants, the Berbers, left staple dishes of tagine and couscous.
The Arab invasion brought new spices, nuts, and dried fruits, as well as the sweet and sour combinations.  The Moors introduced olives and citrus while the Jewish-Moors left behind their sophisticated preserving techniques that we see in the frequent use of preserved lemons, pickles, etc.
The Ottoman Empire introduced kebabs and even the short-lived French Colony, left behind cafes, pastries, and even wine.  Over time, cooks in the kitchens of the four royal cities (Fez, Marrakesh, Meknes, and Rabat) have developed and perfected the dishes that blend each of these distinctive tastes.  Every Moroccan dish has its place in society and varies with the market, the season, and the region.
As we arrived at the table, we were provided with a menu.  Each course was unique and for me, surprisingly delicious.  Our pictorial will demonstrate the quality of the dinner.  To get into the tastes, you will have to sign up for one of Shirley’s Clandestine Dinner.  Till then, it will be a secret!
If you are a tourist coming to Victoria, then it is unlikely that you could tie into one of these dinners, but you can still try.  It certainly is worth more than a try.  If you are local my recommendation would be to move on this one as quickly as you can.  If you don’t you may get no closer than these pictures.
 For more pictures of the Clandestine Dinner, visit our Facebook Page.
It was that good!  Visit Shirley's Web Site

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