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Pacific Northwest Culinary Arts Cruise

Floating Assemblage aboard the Silver Shadow
By Lois Ferrero Gogol, Hillsborough Bailli

On July 3, attendees gathered at Vancouver’s premier Shangri-La Hotel to begin their “Floating Assemblage” odyssey—twelve days of Chaîne camaraderie, superb cuisine, incredible sightseeing, and the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities as goodwill ambassadors. The assemblage was expertly planned by Pacific Northwest Bailli Provincial Michael Martello, with able assistance from Hillsborough Officier Frank Bagley and Dame de la Chaîne Carol Bagley. Bailli Provincial Martello and Hillsborough Bailli Lois Ferrero Gogol co-hosted the event. Every detail was seen to; all attendees needed to do was have a good time, and that they did. A more convivial group had never sailed the seas! Our first dinner was at the hot new restaurant Hawksworth, where we enjoyed some of Vancouver’s finest cuisine served with excellent wines from the Okanagan region of British Columbia.  A walking tour of Vancouver’s Chinatown—the third largest in the Americas—was on the agenda for the next day, which boasted sunny skies to showcase the lovely city. Wellknown food expert and cookbook author Stephanie Yuen led the tour, explaining the many intricacies in preparing Asian dishes. We then savored a dim sum feast at Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant. Vancouver Bailli Stephen Tredwell and his bailliage had arranged that evening’s “Sail Away Dinner” at EBO Restaurant in the Delta Burnaby Hotel. As it was July 4, U.S. Chaîne members were feeling a bit displaced—that is, until their own Bailli Délégué George Brown, Jr., hopped aboard the motor coach in red, white, and blue regalia as “Yankee Doodle” played in the background. We gave a great cheer and staged an impromptu Independence Day celebration with our own George—albeit Brown, not Washington! He and his wife, Seattle Officier Elizabeth Rockwell Brown, had driven up that morning to surprise us.  Among his many accolades, EBO Executive Chef Daniel Craig won the gold medal in the Chaîne’s International Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition in Australia in 2007. Having trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, he is a master of French cuisine. Our group was treated like royalty at the black-tie dinner. In addition to Bailli Délégué Brown, we were joined by Canada Bailli Délégué David Tétrault and Great Britain Bailli Commandeur Shelly Margolis and his wife, Harriet Margolis. They are great additions to any group, and we were so pleased they were part of ours!
From Ketchikan, we took a bus to George Inlet Lodge, where we devoured fresh-caught Dungeness crab. What a treat! On the trip back, we checked crab pots along the way. And, yes, there they were, ready for harvest! We continued along the Inland Passage to the ports of Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Wrangell, and the charming town of Prince Rupert in Canada. Our group enjoyed outings that included whale, bear, and bald eagle sightings as well as a train trip along the Yukon Trail. The locale of our final dinner must be among the most beautiful in the world. The Sooke Harbour House is a boutique hotel perched at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Vancouver Magazine named its restaurant the “Best Restaurant on Vancouver Island,” and presented Owners Sinclair and Frederique Philip with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The husband-and-wife team has had a long-standing association with the Chaîne, and Sinclair Philip is the Canadian representative to the International Slow Food Board. This special evening was planned by Victoria confrères Chevalier David Flaherty and Dame de la Chaîne Karen Jensen. At the reception in the oceanfront gardens, we nibbled delicious canapés while sipping Zanatta Glenora Fantasia Brut Cowichan Valley N.V.
The menu featured primarily locally sourced ingredients, including yearling elk and Haida Gwaii sablefish. Executive Chef Robin Jackson is a culinary master and a force with which to be reckoned! Among the evening’s libations were Venturi-Schulze Pinot Noir Rosato Cowichan Valley 2009; Starling Lane Ortega Saanich Peninsula 2011; and Tugwell Creek Solstice Metheglin 2009. Following the magical evening, we re-boarded the Silver Shadow and prepared for our final journey to our respective homes, having spent the past twelve days making new friends and deepening bonds with old friends. Many thanks to the very generous and gracious hosts we encountered during our voyage. We won’t forget you! Vive la Chaîne!
3 Foundation Chair Shelly Margolis, Great Britain Bailli Délégué Philip Evins, Hillsborough Bailli Lois Ferrero Gogol, Wessex Bailli Janet Evins, Canada Bailli Délégué David Tétrault, Vancouver Bailli Stephen Tredwell, PNW Bailli Provincial Michael Martello and Bailli Délégué National George Brown, Jr.