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Les Petits Chefs make panna cotta at the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel with Chef Dave Arseneau

Berry compote and vanilla bean panna cotta Mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.comWhat does panna cotta have in common with baseball? This week’s Petits Chefs adventure will fill you in!

At Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel with Chef Dave Arseneau Mardi Michels www.eatlivetravelwrite.com

The generosity of the Toronto food community never ceases to amaze me. I am so so lucky that so many wonderful chefs and food enthusiasts are willing to work with Les Petits Chefs.  I know I get excited each week when we have a guest chef in or when we go on a field trip but when the boys found out where we were going this week, their excitement trumped mine, ten-fold!  We were heading to the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel where one of the boys’ uncles is the Sous Chef and we’ve been trying to make a date with Chef Dave Arseneau since the fall. Ok, so that’s great but what’s even more great is the location of this hotel. More specifically, the location of the restaurant we were visiting. As in, the restaurant that is “embedded in the Rogers Centre sports & entertainment complex.” As in, overlooking the baseball field.

Checking out the Rogers Centre from the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel Mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.com Cooking at the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel with Chef Dave Arseneau by Mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.comYeah, it’s a little difficult to concentrate on cooking when there’s a baseball field in full view. Thankfully there wasn’t a game on that day ;)

Chef Dave took the boys through the kitchen then led them to the restaurant overlooking the field…

Restaurant at the Rensissance Hotel Downtown Toronto by Mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.comThe boys were impressed with the swivel chairs and the cool lights ;)

And we got cooking. Dave had prepared the mise en place for making mini panna cottas…

Mini mason jars at Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel Mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.com

Even the boys were in love with the mason jars…

Chef Dave showed the boys how to make a simple berry compote to go with the panna cottas…

Chef Dave Arseneau at The Renaissance Downtown Hotel Toronto Mardi MIchels eatlivetravelwrite.com

Cutting strawberries cooking with kids Mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.com

Making fruit berry compote at Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel by Mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.comMaking berry compote at Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel with Chef Dave Arseneau by Mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.comMeanwhile, the other half of the boys took charge of the “milkshake pudding” as they dubbed it!

Making panna cotta at the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel with Chef Dave Arseneau by Mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd while their mason jars were cooling, they got to taste “the real deal”

Plated panna cotta at Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel by Dave Arseneau on eatlivetravelwrite.com Mardi MichelsYup, Chef Dave plated this up for them to see and taste.

And the result? An adorable panna cotta in a mason jar with a rich, sweet berry compote to go with it… Mr Neil got to enjoy this one.

Vanilla bean panna cotta by mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.com

This dish has the distinction of being the *only* dish in Petits Chefs history (that I can remember) that all of them agreed on – they LOVED it! I have suggested, as is the duty of a teacher, that the boys make these for their mums on Mothers’ Day. Right?

Thanks Chef Dave for taking time our of your buys schedule and hosting the boys. I know they’ll be begging me for a repeat visit come the Fall!

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9 Responses to Les Petits Chefs make panna cotta at the Renaissance Toronto Downtown Hotel with Chef Dave Arseneau

  1. yummychunklet May 8, 2013 at 23:53 #

    Looks creamy and delicious!

  2. s May 9, 2013 at 07:25 #

    So, so beautiful! Would love my son to be your student one day! x

  3. Mr. Neil May 9, 2013 at 09:02 #

    It says something about the state of affairs Chez Westminster, that such a glorious dessert didn’t – at first – garner much of a comment from Mr. Neil.

    Why is that, you say?

    Well, just that the standard of food being eaten in the home is so often so high, and so seldom involves processed food, that a freshly-made panna cotta with compote from LPC is well, not at all out of the ordinary! :-)

    Suffice to say, I loved this. Panna cotta is one of my favourite desserts, when done well. (It can be tricky re texture, or overwhelming flavours.) This one was a home run (get it, boys?) in both respects. And the compote topping was delightful. ;-)

    I paired with the tail end of a bright red Spanish garnacha (grenache), which was a nice match with the compote – purely by accident, as I opened before knowing I had this treat in store.

    As always, thanks LPC! Mr. Neil is most appreciative.

    • Mardi Michels June 19, 2013 at 09:42 #

      It definitely can be tricky but they got it right here!

  4. Colette @ JFF! May 13, 2013 at 16:29 #

    Panna cotta in mason jars travels well.
    Great idea!

  5. Meghan A May 15, 2013 at 10:24 #

    Would you be willing to share the recipe for the panna cotta’s Mardi? They look incredibly delicious, and your photos just temp us with the top part of the recipe visible!

    • Mardi Michels May 15, 2013 at 10:26 #

      Sorry Meghan it’s not my recipe to share – it’s the recipe they use in the restaurant.

      • Meghan A May 15, 2013 at 10:41 #

        Okay, thanks anyway :)

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