Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Estonian Gastronomy Awards, 2006

Late last Friday I had a chance to put on my prettiest frock and highest heels, adjust K's tie and sit in a cab that took us to the annual (the first for me) Silver Spoon gala dinner hosted by the Gastronomy Society of Estonia. The show began at 11pm and lasted until the wee hours of the morning. We enjoyed a lovely five course meal with matched wines (see the menu further down) and only left a little before 3am!!

Here's a list of winners and nominees - might come handy for those of you planning to visit this little country of mine in the near future:)

SilverSpoon 2006 winners

BEST GOURMET RESTAURANT
Egoist, Tallinn - nominee
Stenhus, Tallinn - winner
Pädaste, Muhu - nominee

BEST RESTAURANT
Bocca, Tallinn - nominee
Gloria, Tallinn - winner
House, Tallinn - nominee

BEST CAFE
Cafe Truffe, Tartu - winner
Müüriäärne kohvik, Haapsalu - nominee
Cafe Angel, Tallinn - nominee

BEST PUB
Amps3, Tallinn - nominee
Scotland Yard, Mere pst, Tallinn - winner
Madisson, Tallinn - nominee

BEST CHEF
Dimitri Demjanov, Egoist & Gloria, Tallinn

BEST WINE & FOOD MATCHING
Balthazar, Tallinn

FAMILY RESTAURANT
Lucca, Tallinn

BEST BEER SERVICE
Stereo Lounge, Tallinn

BEST BUSINESS LUNCH
Pegasus, Tallinn

MOST REPRESENTATIVE RESTAURANT OF MODERN TALLINN
Pegasus

Although I still think that the best cafe in Tallinn is the delicious Chocolats de Pierre (at least that's where I meet various visiting bloggers - I met Doughboy's Antti there in December and my reader and frequent commenter Pene last Sunday), then I agree with the choice of best gourmet restaurant. I had a pleasure of eating in all three nominated places during the last six months, and although the recent meals at Pädaste and Egoist were wonderful, my meal at Stenhus was most exciting and memorable of the three).

It is a tradition that the winner of the best chef's award will cater for the next year's gala dinner. So the winner of 2005, the British-born Michael Bhoola (Pegasus), cooked the delicious offerings in January 2006, and last year's winner Roman Zashtshersinski (restaurant Ö) prepared the feast this year.
Dimitri Demjanov, who is known as the grand old man of Estonian haute cuisine, was declared the winner of the best chef's award this time around. That means he will be in charge of the gala dinner in January 2008. I cannot wait what's he got in store (yep, he's the guy on the small photo - courtesy of Postimees - holding our 'national' fish, räim alias Baltic herring).

Silver Spoon Gala Dinner 26.1.2007

Amuse bouche
Kir Royal Torres Brut Nature
Creme de Cassis, De Kyper
Moet & Chandon, Rose

Jerusalem artichoke cream soup with vanilla oil
Bernard-Massard Auxerrois, Luxemburgh 2004

Tuna tartar with wasabi and miso sauce
Zweigelt Classic, Johann Strauss 2003

Foie gras baked in puff pastry with Tokay and raisin sauce
Tokay Pinot Gris 2005

Tournedos of salmon with mandarine and vermouth sauce
J. Drouhin Chablis 1er Cru 2004

Milk chocolate and praline cake with macerated raspberries
Pineau des Charantes Ch Montifaud

Petit fours
Saint Christeau XO, Vintage 1992

4 comments:

joey said...

That menu sounds divine! What a wonderful event! :) It's always great to toss on that great frock and high heels and dine on excellent food :)

Jennie said...

Yum, I 'll keep the winners in mind for my next trip to Tallinn. It'll be a tight squeeze, since I have to visit Olde Hansa as well, if just to visit their beautiful loo.

Ahem, getting to the point, I did promise you a recipe for gnocchi that I myself have been meaning to try for the six odd years I've had this recipe. Here goes:

Gnocchi with Yellow Peppers (8-10 people)

10 medium yellow bell peppers
5 egg yolks
olive oil
salt and pepper
300 gr. flour

Sauce:
50 gr. butter
1 spring onion sliced
olive oil
asparagus tips
freshly grated parmesan

Cut the peppers in long thin strips and fry them in the oil, salt and pepper until they are soft but not browned.

Let cool, then purée them to creamy consistency in food processor.

Add the egg yolks, and stir in the flour.

Cook gnocchi in boiling salted water like so:

Take a spoon and dip it in the water. Now, fill about half the spoon with the gnocchi dough and lower carefully into the boiling water. The dough should let go of the spoon. Cook the rest of the batch so.

When the gnocchi float to the surface, let them cook for two more minutes before taking out of the water. This makes it impossible to do them all at once, but many times.

For the sauce:

Fry the spring onion in butter and oil. Add asparagus until crispy.

Serve gnocchi with the asparagus and parmesan.

I'm having a party soon- wonder if these will do well in my buffet?

Pene said...

It was great to finally meet you, Pille, after exchanging e-mails for nearly a year. Now I'll have to visit Tallinn more often so that I can eat at some of these restaurants. Did you take any photos? The dessert sounds delicious!

Pille said...

Joey - it is indeed:) Too bad we don't have a chance to do that more often;)

Jennie - and while you're at Olde Hansa, make sure to order their mushroom soup that's served with homemade herb cheese and nut bread! Thanks for the gnocchi recipe!!

Pene - it was great to meet you, too! I didn't take any photos, though, as we were in a table with 8 strangers and I didn't feel like explaining to them why I'm photographing my Jerusalem artichoke soup!!