What to Expect at Teatro’s 25-Course Dinner This Month
The storied Calgary restaurant is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a huge dinner on June 16.
Photograph by Jared Sych
This year, Teatro is celebrating 25 years of serving elevated Italian-inspired cuisine and thoughtfully curated wines. The celebration kicks off this month with a special dinner on Saturday, June 16, which will feature a 25-course tasting menu — an ambitious feat to pull off, according to Teatro Group's corporate executive chef Matthew Batey.
When the idea came about in early 2018, “everybody got pretty jazzed about it right away,” says Batey. Before now, the largest meal he'd created was 13 courses.
“As we [get] closer, the nitty gritty of all the organizing is really coming together. It’s going to be a lot of work but the best restaurants in the world don’t do things the easy way. ‘Hard work bears great fruit.’”
Batey says that while the restaurant is used to catering to large functions like weddings, the logistics of 25 courses with beverage pairings takes a lot more foresight. "It will be a larger variety of a smaller quantity versus it being a larger volume of fewer things," he explains.
Menu planning and conversations with local producers has been happening since May, and he says that even now, some ingredients could still be switched out at the last minute depending on availability.
Batey started his cooking career in 1993 — the same year Teatro opened — and June 15 will mark his one-year employment anniversary with the restaurant group. Over the last 25 years, the restaurant has shaped the careers of many of the city’s most successful chefs who have come up through both front- and back-of-house positions, including Brendan Bankowski (The Beltliner), Scott Beaton (Two Penny Chinese) and Karen Kho (Empire Provisions).
More special anniversary events will be announced through the fall and will include a Teatro alumni dinner, a boozy brunch and a family-style dinner. Tickets for the 25-course dinner are $275 per person. To purchase tickets, email email@example.com.
Batey couldn't reveal the menu items or exactly how the evening will play out. But here are six things tidbits he shared with us
The theme of the evening looks back on Teatro’s last 25 years and ahead to the next 25
“It’s about paying our respects and being grateful for all the people that proceeded us through the restaurant’s hallowed halls. We know where we’re going because we know where we’ve come from.”
The dinner will last four hours but promises to keep you entertained and engaged
Expect the dinner courses to be served in creative ways. "We're making sure that there’s [as much] anticipation for the 25th course as there was for the fifth and the 17th."
While the menu is long, you shouldn't leave feeling like you overdid it
"Part of the consideration of the culinary team is to make sure that the guest feels like they got great value. The bites will be large enough that it feels like a course of food but not so much that you end up with palette fatigue."
The menu will be broken into four categories
The menu will begin with seafood (like oysters), followed by vegetable dishes (like wild, foraged mushrooms), "four-legged" dishes (like pork) and sweets.
The menu will focus on locally sourced ingredients as much as possible
Expect Alberta-grown ingredients such as root vegetables, meats and honey. Even micro-greens such as basil and tomatoes will come right from Teatro's on-site patio garden. "Our producers are some of the best in the business. We're really tapping into their knowledge and understanding of the season."
Beverage pairings will include wine, local craft beer and cocktails
“The menu will be written in a progressive way that allows our sommeliers and beverage team to showcase not only beautiful wines but also cocktails and of course, great local craft beer in Alberta. We’re paying homage not only to the great things that happen at Teatro but also to this beautiful province.”
So what does a 25-course dinner look like? Here are the numbers
The percentage of ingredients sourced from Alberta. 50 is also the number of pounds of butter that have been ordered.
The number of hours that will be spent prepping food for the evening.
The number of kitchen staff during the night of the dinner.
The number of plates each guests will use.
The number of forks each guest will use.
The minimum number of bottles of wine that will be poured.
The number of hours that will be spent prepping cocktails and decanting wine.