Eighteen members donned their aprons on May 13 to prepare dinner with Chef Michael Hunter of Antler Kitchen and Bar. Cooking a menu of Duck Breast with Confit Duck Cassoulet and Risotto, Chef Michael lead his virtual group of home-cooks through the recipes using ingredients from their Antler meal kit or pantry, sharing some tips along the way.
- Pre-heat your pan and oil to prevent sticking
- Toast dry risotto first to avoid a soggy risotto
- Crosshatch duck skin before cooking for a crispy texture
- Add herbs to pan then meat to cook in flavour
- Rest meat to improve tenderness before cutting
- Pair duck with a medium-bodied red or acidic white
While writing his cookbook, The Hunter Chef
and hosting game dinners, Chef Michael and his business partner were inspired to open Antler to showcase their game menu and brand, bringing the Canadian outdoors into the city.
Antler's menu offers only game – venison, bison, wild boar, duck, rabbit, fish – with sides, all locally sourced. Desserts like Sticky Toffee Pudding, feature iconic (Maple) and less common (Paw Paw
) Canadian ingedients. When seasons permit, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms and more are foraged bringing authentic regional flavours to urban palates.
When COVID-19 hit causing Antler to close, Chef Michael revised his business model to offer take-out, meal kits (including the dine-around menu) and butcher boxes of select game meat and cuts. This required a website update to receive online orders and pricing adjusted for take-out. This quick reinvention is helping sustain Antler until in-person dining can resume.
After the cooking demonstration, dine-around members and their families enjoyed their meals in good company with relaxed conversation virtually using Zoom. For Lucas, a dine-around family member, the best part of the evening was the Sticky Toffee Pudding, or as Lucas calls it, Paradise on a Plate!