Any good chef knows his clientele, and Top Chef Canada winner Dale MacKay is no different as he gets set to play host to QMUNITY’s Stack the Rack fundraiser at his Vancouver restaurant ensemble.
“We have received a good amount of support from the local gay community for our restaurant and this was a really good fit for us,” MacKay explained as the reasons why he chose to team up with local wine purveyor Marquis Wines to host the fundraiser for QMUNITY.
While wanting to make sure the evening is fun, he acknowledges it really is all about great food and great wine.
“Guests will definitely see things that are on our regular menu but some new things as well. The wine is a big reason why people are coming to the event so we want to make sure the food compliments the wines”.
As for his now famous pulled pork sandwich? You can bet that will be on the menu; on buns made by Chef MacKay himself.
With his refined comfort food bringing him the win in the inaugural year of Top Chef Canada, it is isn’t surprising that MacKay continues to do in his Vancouver restaurant what he showed Canada he does best. But what may be surprising to some is when he says running his restaurant is a whole lot easier than being a contestant on Top Chef Canada.
“Running my restaurant is definitely easier,” said MacKay. “I have a really great team that makes it easy, with all of us aiming for the same goal. With Top Chef you’re all alone and don’t have anyone there to help.”
Super-competitive by nature, MacKay says participating on Top Chef Canada came from his love to compete and his confidence in going up against any chef.
“I’m not scared of anyone,” said MacKay. “I wanted to be able to show what I’ve been doing for the last 10 to 12 years, pull no punches and just be myself.”
For anyone that has seen a Food Network restaurant makeover show, it doesn’t take much of a guess to find out a good chunk of his $100,000 Top Chef Canada prize went into ensemble, but he did confess some of the cash has been earmarked for a couple other things as well.
“I’m working on another project, another restaurant,” said MacKay. “I can’t really talk a lot about it right now, but it is going to be more casual than ensemble. More comfort food but refined. I’m also taking my son on a big splurge trip across Europe by train next year.”
As for the next crop of Top Chef Canada wannabes? MacKay says don’t worry about the cameras: “You can’t worry about how you look, you just need to cook. Forget about being a star and just be a chef.”
Easy for a star chef like Dale MacKay to say.
Stack the Rack: a QMUNITY Fundraiser
Monday, October 3, 2011
ensemble restaurant, 850 Thurlow Street
Amuse Consulting + Vancity present the 1st Annual Stack the Rack benefit for QMUNITY in partnership with Marquis Wine Cellars & ensemble Restaurant & Bar.
Gather with other food and wine aficionados at the esteemed ensemble restaurant and sample food sensations created by Top Chef Canada winner Chef Dale MacKay paired with the exquisite wines selected by Marquis Wine Cellars.
Only 100 tickets are available for this exquisite evening at $125 each (before Sept. 21st) or $165 after. Your ticket includes a gift bag stuffed with treats from Masc & a $50 gift certificate to Marquis Wine Cellars; a $75 charitable tax receipt from QMUNITY; plus 13 amazing auction packages & experiences that you won’t find anywhere else to bid on and, of course, unique food & wine pairings throughout the evening.
Proceeds go to support QMUNITY, BC’s queer resource centre. Visit http://www.qmunity.ca for tickets and information.