Imagine a room filled with dining rooms and beautiful food to eat, but not a place to sit.
This might sound like a cruel joke, or a line from an Alanis Morissette song, but it’s actually a unique fundraiser that happened just last weekend.
Dine By Design East was created by East Coast Living magazine to support the Amber Harkins Memorial Scholarship Fund. Harkins was a long-time editor at the magazine who passed away in 2012, and this scholarship will help support design education at NASCAD.
10 designers and 10 chefs come together from all across Nova Scotia to create a magical event. The opening gala was held on Thursday October 30 and I was lucky enough to attend.
Dine By Design East is all about detail. Small touches in dining rooms, elegant plating of dishes, and creative decorating completely transformed the Olympic Community Centre.
For the gala, chefs prepared dishes to compliment the rooms they were paired with.
Henhouse created a lovely kitchen and dining room called ‘Fishshack.’
They were matched with chef Brad Wammes of Kitchen Door Catering who served up some delicious fish and chips.
Their gingerbread tree was the most whimsical thing I’ve ever eaten.
Jonathan Legate Interior Consultation was one of my favourite rooms. I want to move into this space. The white walls, gallery style artwork, and pops of colour are like what I have in my house, but way cooler.
The details in these rooms were impressive. Designers pay attention to little things, creating mood by adding things to the corner of a room. Legate’s touches, like the giant bottle of Moet in the corner of the room were things I fell in love with.
And of course, his match with Gio was perfect. Chef David Woodley’s lamb corn dogs were just amazing. Simple, elegant, comfortable.
Design360’s ‘Dining in the raw’ was a pleasure. The designers used sustainable and reusable materials to create their room, and all leftover produce is going to Hope Blooms.
Agricola Street Brasserie’s duck pairing was a perfect compliment, and was served in a pretty neat way!
Attica’s ‘Breaking Bread’ was definitely the crowd pleaser. Pop-art collided with pop-culture with a Pollock themed floor and Warhol’s soup cans featuring bologna soup and jigg’s dinner.
Their toast wall was the talk of the event. Miley Cyrus’ depiction was the most interesting piece of the evening.
Attica’s chef partner, Luis Clavel from Seasons by Atlantica, created an equal amount of buzz with his molecular gastronomy. There were powders and foams, and it was all freaking delicious.
EDNA was paired with Signature Design Ressource who created a lovely secret garden.
Chef Robert Reynold’s marinated shrimp cocktail was fresh and flavourful with tequila, citrus, and avocado mousse.
Up in the mezzanine there were local artists featured from galleries around the city, like Studio 21 and the Teichert Gallery (formally AGNS Art Sales and Rental).
Picaroons Tradtional Ale, Garrison Brewery, Ironworks Distillery, and Petite Riviere Winery were all in attendance with samples at the gala.
There was also a specially designed ‘Bubble Bar’ for those who wanted to enjoy a glass of Champagne.
Throughout the weekend there were events including a fashion show, a design seminar, and a culinary workshop: ‘Avant Garde Cuisine’ with Clavel.
This event is an amazing opportunity to showcase local design and local food; it embraces what Nova Scotia has to offer and serves it up in a unique way. Dine By Design East is only in its second year, but its continued success will see it go on for many years, and for a great cause to say the least.
Make sure you’re there next year.