Here it is, Black Tomato’s guest-list for the ultimate Canadian dinner party. From arctic adventurer to award-winning mixologist – we’ve covered the cosmopolitan, the cultured and the wilderness with these personalities. If anyone can convince you to travel to Canada, this lot can…
For Foodie Trends and Local Flavours: Jeremy Charles
Who: Jeremy is one of Canada’s best chefs, and is co-owner of Newfoundland’s renowned Raymonds Restaurant. A man that’ll be able to let you in on any number of culinary secrets; he’ll also expertly bring to light the immense bounty of fresh produce that Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer. Located in St. Johns, Raymonds just to happens to be perfectly situated for a huge number of exciting activities too. Lobster fishing, whale watching, iceberg hunting and so much more awaits on the most easterly point of North America…
Why: He’ll regale with tales of life on St Johns, inspire with his freshly-foraged recipes and have you dreaming of a trip to his remote and charming homeland.
Talking Points: The beauty of Newfoundland and the simplicity of good, fresh food.
For Epic Adventure Stories: Tessum Weber
Who: Tessum Weber is the sort of person that’ll inspire you to push yourself to your limits on an adventure into Canada’s wilderness. In 2010, for example, he became the youngest person to ever trek the North Pole, and now he’s considered one of the Arctic’s most revered guides. Spend some time with Weber Arctic, the family business he now guides for, and you could be doing anything from northernmost heli-skiing and trekking to polar bear watching and dog-sledding with some local Inuits. If you’re looking for enthralling stories, nab a seat next to this one, and then book a trip to Nunavut with Black Tomato.
Why: Tessum is your go-to dinner party guest for all things adventurous. He’ll bring to life Canada’s wildest lands and explain how best to conquer them, and will no doubt have you signed up to an arctic escapade before dessert has been served.
Talking Points: Arctic explorations and Canada’s most epic landscapes.
Claim to Fame: Tessum broke world records in 2010 when he became the youngest person to complete the overland trek to the North Pole.
For Canada’s Coastal Highlights: Sandra Gauthier
Who: Sandra Gauthier works at Exploramer, a marine museum located in Gaspésie. A lady who has dedicated her life to the research and protection of the rich waters surrounding Quebec, Sandra is also responsible for the well-being of the marine life currently residing in the Exploramer Aquarium. Canada lays claim to some of the world’s most stunning array of wildlife, and the waters of Quebec in particular are home to sharks, whales, dolphins and lobsters to name but a few, so Sandra will no doubt provide you with all the first-hand inspiration you need to get out there and see it.
Why: An expert on all things underwater, Sandra will be able to educate you on conservation in-between fascinating stories of wildlife encounters and the unique species to be found in the waters of Quebec.
Talking Points: Canada’s marine life, the beauty of Quebec and the importance of conservation.
Quote: We’re so incredibly lucky that Quebec is brimming with diverse coastal wildlife. 13 different species of whales inhabit the Saint-Lawrence during summer, and we’ve an abundance of sharks, molluscs, sea birds, seals…It’s a haven for wildlife lovers.
For an insight into Cosmopolitan Canada: Lauren Mote
Who: Lauren is an accomplished mixologist with experience working in the thriving hubs of Toronto and Vancouver. Out of all our locals, we feel Lauren can really showcase Canada’s young and vibrant aspects. Awash with trendy neighbourhoods, creative start-ups and unique bars and restaurants, Vancouver in particular is the ideal place for those seeking ‘the edge’ we all know Canada has. Oh, and she’ll be able to knock up some killer cocktails for afters, too.
Why: Currently settled in Vancouver, Lauren is the one to sit next to if you’re wanting the low-down on night spots and trending neighbourhoods.
Talking Points: Nightlife, cocktails and trends in Canada.
Claim to Fame: She was the winner of ‘2015 Canadian Bartender of the Year’ at Diageo World Class Canada.
For Authentic Canadian Culture: Quinton Crowshoe.
Who: Allow us to introduce you to Quinton Crowshoe, member of the Piikani First Nation whose roots stem back to South-Western Alberta. A living, breathing example of Canadian history; Quinton now works on the promotion and protection of Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump National Park, a stunning area of huge cultural significance. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a place where Quinton’s ancestors have been herding buffalo for over 6000 years; so if you’re into your history, this often-overlooked slice of Alberta is well worth going off the beaten path for…
Why: No one knows Canada like the people of the First Nation’s tribes, which is why Quinton was at the top of the list when it came to invites. He’ll be able to tell you all you need to know about South-Western Alberta, as well as the fascinating traditions of his people that he holds dear to his heart.
Talking Points: The history of the first nations and the wilderness of Alberta.
Quote: I am entrenched in the way of my ancestors and guided by the elders today. It is this that holds magic through the stories, guidance and their wisdom. To share this unique experience with visitors from around the world is spectacular.
Who: Liloo Alim is Chief Concierge at the Four Seasons Toronto, and is the person in the know when it comes to Toronto’s most luxurious and undiscovered experiences. Constantly under pressure from VIP’s – Liloo knows exactly how to pull out all the stops when it comes to luxury travel.
Why: An expert at making dreams come true (no matter the request), Liloo will bring to life an exquisite side to Canada, and no doubt go into detail about one of the country’s most iconic home-grown hotel brands.
Talking Points: Liloo is known for her creative approach to even the most bizarre requests from her luxury-loving patrons, so there’ll be plenty of unique stories about how best to explore and enjoy Toronto.
Claim to Fame: She’s worked for the Four Seasons for 30 years, and in that time has fulfilled many a request. Her most memorable? When she arranged the purchase of a $2 million condo for a valued guest. Hers is no ordinary job description.