We were recently taken behind-the-scenes of a what dining with Aeroplan is like for Diamond Status cardholders. As part of an appreciation dinner, cardholders were treated with a special dining experience hosted at the Vancouver Club. The food was prepared by chefs and sustainable seafood advocates Rick Moonen, Barton Seaver and Ned Bell, and wine pairings by DJ Kearney.
This Vancouver event was the first of three appreciation dinners with the next two being in Montreal and Toronto.
The night started with cocktails and appetizers. We were soon whisked away to the dining area, where we enjoyed a beautiful four-course meal made with sustainability and our ocean’s offering in mind.
All three chefs and the sommelier of the night were on hand to entertain us and tell the story of how the dishes came to be and why the specific wine was chosen.
The first course by Chef Rick Moonen was a crudo of Hawaiian Kanpachi with ginger, turmeric, chili, lime caviar, and tangerine oil – paired with a Tantalus Old Vine Riesling 2015. The dish was fresh and the flavours worked extremely well together. Although the ingredients may sound strong, the tastes were harmonious and refreshing.
The old vine riesling was our favourite wine of the night – a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.
The second course by Chef Barton Seaver was dungeness crab salad with Windsett Bibbs lettus, heirloom tomatoes, eggs, and sauce louis – paired with a Coolshanagh Chardonnay 2016. Another delicious dish and fantastic wine pairing. The chardonnay was lighter bodied and was a perfect match for the crab.
The third course by Chef Ned Bell was West Creek Coho Salmon with Chilliwack corn, late summer squash succotash, cashew cream & crumble, and a spicy peach vinaigrette – paired with the Unsworth Pinot Noir 2016.
The succotash, cashew cream, and vinaigrette made this dish playful and each bite just slightly different. The ingredients were seasonal and you could tell how the dish told the story of the near end-of-summer season in B.C.
The lighter-bodied, fruity, slightly earthy and smoother pinot noir was a perfect match for this lightly seared salmon.
And the fourth course, dessert, was one of our favourites! It was an organic milk chocolate and kelp mousse with smoked sea salt caramel, salmon berries, and tonka bean foam – paired with the Quails’ Gate Totally Botrytis Affected Optima 2017 dessert wine.
The mousse wasn’t overly sweet and allowed you to really taste how the chocolate interacted with the other flavours on the dish. The dessert wine was also delicious – not overly sweet and well balanced, with flavours of apricot, peach, and floral notes.
Overall, we had a fantastic time dining #withaeroplan! We also learned lots about how to pair seafood with wine and the importance of making sustainable choices in our eating habits.
If you’re not an Aeroplan member, you can sign up free online. You can earn sufficient eligible miles to reach Aeroplan status and enjoy the benefits like this the following year, so be sure to keep an eye on your earnings. We personally use our miles to redeem for travel perks like flights and hotels.