A unique dining experience
by Agnes Chung
November is upon us. Before you know it, the holiday season will be here. Dining choices are plentiful in Metro Vancouver, but not this epicurean experience that captivates your palate – explores connection between food, faith and the story of humanity. Theo’s Feast is the first of its kind in Canada.
On December 1, Theo’s Feast founder and chef, Gary Stevenson and his team will take diners on a culinary journey through the story of Christmas at the Cariboo Road Christian Fellowship in Burnaby. The fundraising dinner is organized by Mission Central and Missions Fest Vancouver.
For Stevenson, creating palate-pleasing cuisine is as much his passion as sharing the truth. Hence the birth of Theo’s Feast – a unique dining experience where gourmet dishes developed with an edible metaphor would convey the gospel truth from a visual and taste perspective.
No ordinary Christmas dishes
One thing that is striking about the five-course Christmas Chef’s Tasting Menu is an intriguing fusion of the old, with its biblical connections, blended with innovative modern recipes with surprising flavours.
Parson Brown, roasted chestnut and fennel soup. Fennel is a rich antioxidant herb used in biblical times. Mr. Grinch with its east and west mix will tickle your taste buds with sweet peas cooked in green curry and mint, garnished with wasabi peas and pork crackling.
Tasting the Shepherd’s Ragout will awaken one’s imagination of shepherds’ cooking in the open fields while tending their flocks on the night Christ was born. The rich and flavourful lamb and fig ragout is served over a bed of potato kugel with goat cheese topping. From ancient to modern, Clark Griswold’s Christmas Feast features Turkey Wellington with sweet potato and silky French-style mashed potatoes.
The meal ends with a delectable O Tannenbaum dessert, a Christmas tree crafted with white and dark chocolate and winter wassail (hot, spiced mulled cider often associated with Yuletide) with lemon on the side. Before nibbling on the tree, you get to savour a miracle berry experience, where your taste buds detect the sour lemon is actually sweet.
“The miracle berry,” says Stevenson, “is used to illustrate a taste of grace. People have a perception that the Christian faith is just a moralistic religion. Upon discovering the truth, their perceptions change. Grace is a transformation of the heart when you encounter Jesus,” explains Stevenson.
“The feast is designed to enliven your senses and inspire Gospel-centred conversations around the dinner table with your friends,” adds Stevenson. It’s an inspirational evening of hope, flavourful delights, music, movies and stories created for the adult palate.
Delicious and fun feast
On Theo’s Feast website, a diner is quoted saying “I really enjoyed the connection of food, science, and theology – very fun, thoughtful and delicious.”
Special dietary needs may be accommodated if sufficient notice is given. Theo’s Feast has hosted over 2,000 dinner guests in Canada and the United States since its inception in 2014.
Ticket price is $60 per person. Invite your friends. To help support Mission Central and Missions Fest Vancouver, whose passion is to help believers in Christ to be more missional, diners are encouraged to consider donating $50 or more per person above the ticket cost.
Donations are eligible for a tax receipt, but not the ticket cost. Reservations at www.missioncentral.ca/events/a-christmas-feast-fundraiser.
Theo’s Feast (theosfeast.com), a ministry of Power to Change, is looking for community groups to host small feasts – potluck style in their own homes – as a way to build community and reach out to their neighbours. They are also looking for volunteers for December 1 and other upcoming events.