And to add to my excitement, I was finally going to meet Rene Lavelle, The Feisty Chef. I have followed her blog and tweets for awhile now and have mad respect for her culinary skills and approach to food. And let me tell you, she's even cooler in person. OK she may get brownie points for being a shortie like I but it was awesome to see her with her hands all up in that pig, pulling away for our eating pleasure.
The amuse bouche to start was an ol' fashioned deviled egg with smoked paprika and Tabasco atop salsa verde which I could have licked off the plate. So minty and fresh. There was also watermelon and, although it sounds crazy, pickled watermelon rind. Sweet and tart and a wonderful way to use something we all normally throw out.
And way to go TIBS, filling us up on cheesy croissant sticks before the meal. Like we could resist.
The appetizer course was a cold cucumber soup with avocado, like huge awesome chunks of avocado. It was smooth and tangy and refreshing. Exactly what us sweaty diners needed. It was literally over 30 outside and with the sun shining in, I bet even hotter inside. I didn't grab a pic, but big ups to Zane for making some killer BBQ lemonade to cool us off. And lemonade with coffee in it? Awesome.
If the pic is any indication, this dinner was incredible. The stuff dreams are made of. And, be still my beating heart (ha!), there was pork in almost everything! Pork belly in the beans and bacon in the corn casserole. That Renee knows how to bring it. The baked beans, pork, crackling (crispy fatty pork skin oh my!), and the tamarind sauce were among my favs but, honestly, everything was absolutely delicious.
We were well on our way to a food baby at this point and there was still a course to go. But how can you say no to Zane's cappuccino and anything Tara bakes up? You can't so you might as well just loosen that belt.
As you can see, another perfect cappuccino and one awesome traditional strawberry shortcake a la TIBS. Please forgive me stomach but it had to be done. We were so very full, we even walked home to Halifax. In fact, I could do nothing but lay on the couch for the rest of the night rubbing my food baby. So, was it worth it? Hells yes. And I'd do it again in a second.
Mad props to the whole team at TIBS, Zane, Tara, Alexis, Adam, Renee, and Doug. They really do a fab job at these dinners and you'd be crazy not to get in on at least one. And no matter who you go with, it really does feel like a big ol' family dinner. I even met two bloggers I follow. How bout that.
And, last but certainly not least, a big thank you to Terrance for being so freaking delicious. Oink.