A Nightmare in Bragg Creek, Alberta…continues.

Bragg Creek, Alberta can be a really scary place. Given the great flooding back in June of this year it was a pretty scary little town. We were hit quite badly. Wiping out one or two homes and establishments and significantly damaging more, most of which thankfully, are up and running again. And we certainly won’t forget the infamous video of a house rolling down the Elbow river and smashing into the only bridge connecting West and East Bragg Creek.

Both homeowners and shopkeepers are still rebuilding both the community and community spirits. So the crafty merchants and residents have got together for some friendly competition by having its first ever Scarecrow Festival.

This Scarecrow Pumpkinhead overlooks the Elbow River after what was a devastating flood for Bragg Creek residents.  In the upper left the trees have been wiped out, this is probably where the house we saw floating down the river was located.  The highway to the upper left was wiped out as well but has now been rebuilt.

Pumpkinhead scarecrow in Bragg Creek

iPhoneography. Pumpkinhead overlooks the Elbow River. © Karen C Lee

An earlier photo below of the Elbow River as it makes its way around towards the bridge. A comparison of both photos shows you how mother nature has redesigned the river banks. Little did we know what we would later face in the Spring of 2013.

A view of the Elbow River from the bridge.

A 2012 view of the Elbow River from the bridge. © Karen C Lee

Bragg Creek Scarecrow on a bike.

A snow laden scarecrow appears to ride into West Bragg Creek. © Karen C Lee

Halloween is a few short days away, so “Come Hell or Highwater”, join in on the community spirit and a little bit of festivities for the fall, in the “little town that could”. The Bragg Creek Scarecrow Festival continues till November 3.

Guess What Was On Our Thanksgiving Dinner Menu?

“If you really want to make a good friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart.” ~ Cesar Chavez

Food is all about love and the experience of exceptional fine cuisine is something that must be shared with those we love and love to be around. An October Thanksgiving at home in Bragg Creek was a special evening that was shared with all: we had a 6 course meal catered by our well travelled and worldly top chef, Mr. Dominique Arsenious of Yano Catering Services. Joined by wonderful family and friends, we all shared in his delectable offerings for the evening.  And no, we did not have turkey….our once in a lifetime customized Thanksgiving dinner menu consisted of scallop, salmon, lobster, duck, sturgeon for dinner and appetizers plus dessert. Are your taste buds on edge yet?

One thing I learned from the evening, it certainly helps to have nice dishes too to serve the food on. Grandma’s old hand me down dinnerware isn’t always the best choice (p.s. we will always love you Grandma but this is Century No.21). For those of us who are not foodies or food stylists, white is probably the safest option for showing off all that colorful food. It also helps to get the wash gloves on as the cook is preparing your food in your home. You will need to keep the fancy dinnerware prepped and rolled out for the next course so be prepared to wash 6 rounds of dishes (for 6 courses) and cutlery if you don’t have extra dinner plates. I know what you are thinking, but paper plates just don’t make for fancy evenings folks, it is more work but a little bit of Martha Stewart style entertaining is much preferred for a glam evening atmosphere.

We managed to cover those who had allergies and special needs but we gave the chef one stipulation when cooking the meat: No ‘pink’ please! I am sure this master cook has never heard that before. Yes there was a moment of shock and silence but where most of these folks come from, if it isn’t leather hard it is not ‘cooked’.

The variety of Dominique’s food designs was not only wonderful to look at but was also FANTASTIC on the palate! Are you vegetable green with envy yet? I certainly hope so. And Anthony Bourdain, you just stepped down the ranks, just eat your heart out wherever you are!

Here are a few pictures of the evening’s delightful dishes.

Pan Sheared Scallops on a Bed of Mango Salsa. Copyright Karen C Lee

Pan Sheared Scallops on a Bed of Mango Salsa. © Karen C Lee

Medallion of Lobster Tail with Barley Risotto. Copyright Karen C Lee

Medallion of Lobster Tail with Barley Risotto. © Karen C Lee

Pan Sheared Duck Breast, Roasted Apples & Apple Cider Sauce. Copyright Karen C Lee

Pan Sheared Duck Breast, Roasted Apples & Apple Cider Sauce. © Karen C Lee

Turban of Sturgeon with Red Cabbage and Passion Fruit Sauce. Copyright Karen C Lee

Turban of Sturgeon with Red Cabbage and Passion Fruit Sauce. © Karen C Lee

Chocolate Cakes & Fruit make up a "Sweet fantasy Farandole". Copyright Karen C Lee

Chocolate Cakes & Fruit make up a “Sweet Fantasy Farandole”. © Karen C Lee

I am afraid I won’t be able to share his secret recipes with you but if you ever want to take a break from cooking large family dinners, Dominique would love to share his latest food creations with your family and friends. Knowing a little bit of French may charm the chef too, (Dominique was originally from Mauritius). You can reach him right here .  If you ever need your food event photographed, please give me a shout for more information.

What do you think of Chef Dominique’s creative concoctions? Be sure to leave your comments below.