Sherman's Food Adventures: Private Dinner with Chef Kristian Leidig

Private Dinner with Chef Kristian Leidig

Awhile back, I had visited the now-closed Ham & Eggmans with a few others for a delicious brunch.  Owner operator Chef Kristian Leidig created a menu that was both familiar and unique that satisfied many different palates and dietary needs.  Unfortunately, Covid-19 came on full force and his restaurant (like many others) was forced to close.  However, he is still cooking, holding private dinners in Squamish.  We were recently invited out to try his 5-course French-inspired dinner out on a gorgeous rooftop (regularly $69.00).  Definitely a nice way to finish a day out in Squamish, where there are not many choices left for fine-dining ever since Covid-19 helped close restaurants there as well.

To kick things off, we had an Amuse Bouche consisting of a Prawn-stuffed Tomato with smoked paprika, mirepoix and garlic panko.  A little more than one-bite, the tender tomato still retained its shape.  Inside, the buttery shrimp had a light meaty snap while the veggies were well-seasoned and naturally sweet.  As much as the base of garlic panko served as a stability device, it also added aromatic crunch to the dish.

At first, I thought the Rillette de Carnard was going to be shared between Jacqueline and myself, but alas, we were served ONE EACH!  Very generous portion of tender and delicious tasting duck with rosemary potatoes, cherry gastrique as well as crostini and almonds.  There was actually more duck than crostinis on the plate.  Naturally, the tangy and sweet gastrique went well with the rillette where the crunch of the nuts and crostinis added another texture.

From this, we headed off to something much lighter in the Carrot and Fennel Salad with Summer greens, pears, walnuts, and comté dressed in orange & ginger vinaigrette.  As Maggi mentioned, this was a good transition from the heavy rillette as we progressed towards the main protein.  Really enjoyed the comté as the saltiness with a touch of sweetness complimented the veggies and crunch from the walnuts.  The salad was lightly dressed where it allowed us to taste the individual components.

Our main dish was Roasted Sablefish atop saffron hominy grits and haricot verts with a bouillabaisse sauce.  As described in the previous passage, the progression made sense from the salad to the buttery fish.  The best part was the sauce as it had a rich aroma from the shellfish and depth from the reduction.  It was more than enough to flavour the dish in terms of taste and smell.  Loved the extra hit of aroma in the saffron with the nicely textured grits.  Beans were perfect being vibrant and crunchy.

We ended off with the perfect Summer dessert in the Peach & Berry Dacqoise with hazelnut meringue and Chantilly cream.  Other than the fresh fruit, the best part of the dessert was the meringue as it was airy, crispy and light.  Not too sweet either and of course a bit nutty.  The cream wasn't too sweet as well, instead letting the fruit do the heavy-lifting.  Overall, I really enjoyed the meal as it was not fussy while well-prepared.  I went away full and satisfied.  Chef Kristian is planning to bring this back into Vancouver and of course, he can be booked for catering dinners too.

*Dinner was complimentary*

The Good:

- Well-prepared

- Well-portioned

- Lovely setting

The Bad:

- Well, it is in Squamish, but make a day of it



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