One of the perks of working for MTL Blog is being invited to fun events around town in the name of publicity! On my most recent outing, I was invited by IÖGO to experience a moment for myself. This "iögo moment" included a soiree that involved a giant bus, free cocktails, a professional cooking lesson, a timed cook-off, and a sit-down 3-course meal. For a longtime foodie like myself, any event that involves the cooking and eating of food is alright in my books.
Hosted by IÖGO yogurt, the event was to promote their IÖGO Moment experience, but more on that later.
Gathered outside on a sunny afternoon on St-Catherine Street, a few dozen of us waited to board the giant IÖGO Moment bus which would be taking us to the Guilde Culinaire cooking school boutique in Rosemont, where the "moments" would be happening.
Once arrived, we were greeted with flutes of Tequila Sunrise cocktails and delectable hors-d'oeuvre (my favorite being the deep-fried cheeseballs) while we settled in around the handsome kitchen island.We were then given a mini-cooking lesson by a jovial Chef Jonathan Garnier on basic knife skills and veggie prep, which as a trained chef myself I can say was on point. Even picked up a couple of new tricks!
By far, the highlight for me was the older gentleman with one of the snazziest suits I have ever seen.
The easy part over, the crowd was split up into five teams and each given a different ingredient to transform into a unique and tasty nibble, one for every person in the room. A challenge to say the least, as we had to quickly figure out what we were going to make, select our secondary ingredients from the pantry, and realize some 50 bite-size appetizers in 45 minutes.
We eventually got our act together and presented our best and prettiest sample for the Chef to evaluate.
After tasting them all one by one and giving us constructive criticism on each, we'd have to wait until after our meal to find out the winner. At this point, we were escorted downstairs to the dining room, where we got to try each teams' nibble for ourselves and then dig into the main course! A fall-off-the-bone Osso Bucco served with pilaf rice and spinach flan. Dessert was a dark chocolate ball, with an IÖGO Moments apple-cinnamon yogurt center mixed with roasted nuts and cookie crumble, which was stupid good. Best part was, the losers of the cook-off had to help dress and serve all the plates.
The meal completed, our bellies stuffed, the Chef explained how the dishes were prepared and told us more about the what IÖGO Moment actually is. The gourmet, all-natural yogurt is made from rich Quebec cream, layered on a bed of tasty combinations such as apple-cinnamon and orange-cranberry, as well as more classic flavours like strawberry, raspberry, lemon, and vanilla, all made with real fruit. Full disclosure - I'm not a big fan of yogurt, but straight-up - delicious.
We eventually shuffled our way out of the Guilde Culinaire and piled back onto the IÖGO Moment bus, patiently waiting for us outside, to return to our point of origin. But there was one last surprise left in store. The friendly IÖGO reps revealed that they had a trip for two for an all-inclusive resort in Mexico to give a way. It would come in the form of the "thought of the day" detachable tabs found on the side of IÖGO Moment cups. They handed them out and indeed a trip to Mexico was eventually won by one of the guests. Needless to say, the winner was quite excited about it.
All in all, it was an enjoyable evening where I got to meet some friendly folk, eat some good food and learned that I don't completely hate yogurt, at least not anymore. Oh, and my team totally won the cook-off by the way.