Whitehaven Wines + Ocean Wise Seafood Dinner

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Pairing seafood with wine is one of my favourite combinations, so I was very excited to attend a Whitehaven Wines event featuring Chef Matt Dean Pettit creating an Ocean Wise sustainable menu.

Whitehaven Wines is the official wine partner for Ocean Wise, Canada’s largest sustainable seafood certification program. The partnership signifies two companies passionate about sustainable practices and coming together to combat over-fishing which is the biggest threat to our oceans.  Whitehaven is accredited by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SQNZ) for embracing the industry standards of water and energy conservation, recycling and biodiversity in their vineyards.

Although the small boutique winery is located in Marlborough, a region of New Zealand, their full flavoured, medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc is available here in Ontario for only $19.15 at the LCBO.

The Whitehaven Wines + Ocean Wise event was held at Paintbox Bistro and Chef Matt Dean Pettit created some incredible dishes for us to indulge in. Matt has over 20 years of experience in the food industry and is best-known for Rock Lobster Food Co, Matty's Seafood Product Line and critically acclaimed best-selling cookbook, The Great Lobster Cookbook.

Chef Pettit didn't just cook for us, he also brought us into the kitchen to teach us how to make Whitehaven Wine-inspired dishes such as Matty’s Moules Frites and Snow Crab Fondue.  Now this wasn't any regular dreary cooking demo, Matt brought spunk, skill and FUN to the kitchen and even let us sip on Whitehaven Wine while we cooked….which seemed to really enhance my cooking confidence haha.

Matt helping us get in touch with our inner chef

Rey Pan getting ready to cook mussels

Everyone paired up with one another to start cooking the mussels.  This was my first time cooking mussels and I am not sure why I waited this long.  Cooking mussels is SUPER easy, and the more wine added, the tastier.

For the fondue we got into groups and had to come up with team names. My team came up with the name the SB's or the Sauvignon Blanc's. We worked together to make a delicious wine-heavy fondue and prepared a platter full of bread, crab, pickles and scallops to dip into the gooey cheese.

Hubert securing the snow crab

Team SB may have had a messy kitchen space but look at that wonderful display of food

Snow Crab, Bacon Wrapped Scallops, McClure's Pickles and Blackbird Baking Co Bread (yay local)

After our kitchen cookout,  it was time for the FEAST.  Chef Matt prepared such a wonderful meal for us featuring Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc Fondue, Pan-roasted Arctic Char, Fresh Green Salad with Sauvignon Blanc Vinaigrette and Moules-Frites. Everything was incredibly tasty, wine-infused and Matt only used Ocean Wise approved sustainable seafood and local produce.

Lovely table set-up

Pan Roasted Arctic Char & Fingerling Potatoes (middle)

Snow Crab Toast, BC Side Stripe Shrimp Ceviche, Fresh Green Salad with Sauvignon Blanc Dressing, Moules Frites

 A big thank you to Whitehaven Wines, Ocean Wise, Chef Matt Dean Pettit, Paintbox Bistro (great staff), Riley, and my fellow foodie friends for the incredible evening!

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