With the holidays just around the corner, The Joseph Richard Group held a ‘media mingler’ to celebrate the new feature menu items. The event included stops at three different restaurants, all with totally different atmospheres, tasting menus and drinks. Throughout the night, guests were able to listen to how the dishes were inspired and created by Sean Cousins, Director of Culinary, David Jorge, Corporate Chef (and season two winner of MasterChef), and Andy Slinn, Executive Chef.
First stop: The Italian Osteria & Cheese Bar
When we arrived at The Italian, the set up was to be seated to mingle and try everything family style. As you walked in you were greeted with a glass of wine to start off the night. The tables all had info cards and name placements specific to each guest. Before the food came out, JRG Director of Marketing, Karen Renaud, made a little speech about the event, before introducing the three talented chefs. All spoke before introducing co-founder and CEO Ryan Moreno.
After laughing along with, and listening to the hosts, food was brought out. Guests were able to try five different dishes family style. First was the Charcuterie Platter with meats, cheeses, crackers and eggplant. Second, Mushrooms on Toast. The exotic mushrooms, creamy burrata, truffle tapenade and brown butter all together were a perfect mix. After we tried the appetizers, we tried the new entrées. Truffle Risotto with Scallops, followed by Rose Rigatoni finishing with Boar Ragu. All the dishes were cooked perfectly and full of flavour.
Second Stop: Oak & Thorne
We boarded a shuttle that took us to Oak & Thorne, just down the street from The Italian. This venue had more of a pub vibe. The three levels were filled with TVs, bars and arcade games. On a normal night, the arcade games are pay to play, but for the event they were all unlocked so guests could enjoy the full experience. As this was more of a mingling event rather than a sit down dinner, there were staff walking around with drinks and canapes to try the menu items here.
One really cool thing that JRG did at each location was provide light boxes with the full presented meals so media, bloggers and influencers alike could get the perfect shot. I found it was super beneficial at this location.
Here they were serving Mac and Cheese Cubes (my favourite), Hand Pies (which consisted of curry chicken, braised pork, Guinness Mustard and sweet and sour tomato relish), Cottage Pie spoons, Beef Dip Sliders and for dessert the Peanut Butter Stack. While there are all technically pub food items, they tasted way above that!
Third Stop: S+L South Surrey
To finish off the night, guests were shuttled from the second location to S+L in South Surrey. Here guests were seated again to enjoy the menu family style. After we settled in, we were greeted by table side cocktails that were shaken and made in front of us. To continue on the impressive evening, we were able to watch Chef David Jorge flaunt the pieces of Tomahawk steak, cook them and then serve them. Sean Cousins then ended the night by making Nitro Ice-cream in front of guests.
The full menu consisted of Sushi Cubes, Lamb Popsicles, Carrot Ravioli, the Chicken Platter (which included the Master Chicken, which helped David Jorge win the show), the Steak Platter which consisted of three different types of steak, Lobster Mash (to die for), Brussel Sprouts and then ice-cream and baked cookies for dessert.
The night continued to impress more and more as we moved from each location. The food was top notch, and I couldn’t stop saying enough good things. I also couldn’t stop trying absolutely everything that was put in front of me, even though I was so full! If you haven’t visited one of JRG’s many establishments, you need to!