A Taste of Atikokan produced $9,550 for the Atikokan General Hospital Foundation, and sent 123 people home happy and satisfied a week ago Saturday.
“It was definitely a success,” said Foundation chair Cheryl Fairbairn.
Fifteen Atikokan restaurants and food suppliers donated to the event, and celebrity chef Garry McKinnon, the ladies of the Atikokan Legion, and a group of Foundation volunteers turned those donations into a ten-course gourmet feast.
The centrepiece was a dual entrée: carved rib eye of beef (choice of medium rare or medium well done), and mustard cream chicken breast. The latter in particular was something of a revelation (and “ridiculously easy” to prepare, although McKinnon declined to share the recipe), and the last few chicken breasts were snapped up as take home fare at $20 a pair. (The meat came courtesy of Atikokan Foodland.)
Almost as tasty were the cranberry turkey meatballs, one of two dishes contributed by the hospital kitchen (the other was a hearty chicken cheddar broccoli soup).
The evening got started with veggie trays from Warren’s Lone Pine Market. They were well-received, as the diners sorted themselves through 15 tables. Seating was assigned, and the organizers did a wonderful job; the only thing better than the food was the company.
Quetico North provided Wild rice soup; Calm Lake Bakery’s Rustic Italian and Sesame sourdough tempted many, as did the Bannock made by Phylis Barr of the Native Friendship Centre.
There were three salads: coleslaw from Triple T Lunch Bar, Broccoli from Community Living Atikokan, and Caesar from Sapawe Corner Diner.
The vegetables with the entrées included the Legion ladies’ garlic mashed potatoes, and a broccoli-cauliflower-carrot medley in a light Hollandaise sauce. PJ’s Italian sausage pepper penne was a hit, as was a Cantnoese noodle dish contributed by the Nite Club.
Tramin contributed the wine (a red and a white at each table).
Don’t forget dessert; Little Darlings, Sweet Stella Z’s, and Robins made that memorable, with a nice assortment of tarts, fudges, and Robins’ eggs. The coffee was from robins, too.
Emcee Michael McKinnon kept things moving (at least when he wasn’t eating), inviting tables to the serving centre in manageable groups, and keeping everyone posted on the progress of the silent auction.
Oh, yes, the silent auction. Over two dozen Atikokan artisans contributed a dazzling array of handmade items, from fine art works to intricate quilts, to gorgeous decorated leather mitts. there was stained glass, woodwork, metalwork, a slate painting, a decorated gourd, knitted slippers, and more.
The 30 or so silent auctions closed at rather irregular intervals, and so there was no made crush at the end of the evening.
The money raised will be used to help equip the new acute care wing at AGH, which is slated to open on October 28.