On April 2nd, 2017, Canada’s 46th annual Juno Awards return to Ottawa for the 3rd time and will be televised on CTV, live from the Canadian Tire Centre. Ottawa At Home caught up with Alan Reid, President and CEO, CARAS, The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts, and Juno award winner Sam Roberts, at the Shaw Centre during a menu tasting event for a private, April 1st Juno Awards Gala dinner. Alan and Sam highlighted what it means to be a part of the music industry in Canada while we experienced a menu catered for Canadian music stars.
The hearty menu is the work of Shaw Centre Executive Sous Chef Jennifer Sands and her team. It included both Canadian and local influences and sets the tone for celebrating the country. The food leans on the side of comfort, “this menu honours our climate,” stated Jennifer.
The Juno Awards are one of the first major celebratory events with Ottawa 2017 for Canada 150 and its drawing big names in the industry. Alan shared the feelings of many when he said, “How lucky are we to live in Canada- it’s a proud time for Canadians and we’re so proud to bring this music.”
Feelings of Canadian pride run deep within several of this year’s nominees. Sam Roberts of the Juno award winning Sam Roberts Band, up for Rock Album of the year for TerraForm, spoke sensitively about the country’s music industry and how it embodies what it is to be Canadian. “In Canada, we are not so inclined to stomp on each other; the Canadian music family is indicative of that. We are a family. We keep people from falling; in Canada, we make sure the person next to us is looked after” said the compassionate rocker.
The award-winning singer showed his charismatic side at the tasting event. His fun-loving nature came through in a toast to his friend Del Rollo, Hospitality Director, Jackson-Triggs Estate Winery of which Sam is clearly a fan, although he joked that he has often been told that he drinks too fast to enjoy the wine!
The event started with smoked local duck breast, caramelized apple chutney on crostini, paired with a Steam Whistle Pilsner. A goat cheese and beet salad followed and was complimented with Jackson-Triggs Reserve, Sauvignon Blanc, 2015. The entrée was a rich beauty of slow braised Wellington County short rib with decadent creamy polenta, roasted butternut puree, young beans, heirloom carrots, roasted beets, grilled peppers and Canadian Club jus. Jennifer shared her secret for cooking short ribs, claiming that cooking “low and slow” was fundamental. The grand finale was an offering of tasteful decadence in the form of a hot chocolate cheesecake, crisp meringue marshmallows, berries and cream, served with Jackson-Triggs Reserve Cuvé Close 2015.
Guests attending the private function will be well fueled for the following night’s extravaganza where nervous jitters often get the best of appetites. Jennifer Sand’s well thought out menu is sure to carry Canada’s music industry through to the 46th annual Juno Awards ceremony.