Miraculous Meal Experience

1 02 2011

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In my first blog entry nearly  a year ago, I mused that a meal is more than just the food and that savoring the meal is not unlike making love – being present and relishing each delectable moment with all the senses…The recent dinner, prepared by Chef Edward Murphy in his home, created just such a rare magical experience.

For the silent auction benefitting Natalie and Cantina Habenaro, Ed and his wife Cheryl generously donated a five-course meal including wine pairings. Len Semeniuk purchased this event, and I am grateful to have been one of the eight to enjoy this exquisite culinary affair. When it comes to The Total Meal Experience, Ed and Cheryl are masters.

We were greeted by the scent of something wonderful sautéing in garlic and a table set with a cheery orange cloth and pink bougainvilleas among glistening candles. I’m juxtaposing Emeril Lagasse as Ed deftly dices and peels a mango, stirs one of several sauces, and checks the oven. Out his window, the sea’s whitecaps dance to a breeze-song. Cheryl pours champagne cocktails over berries and guides us to wicker chairs on the cozy patio.

This was a daydream-about Puerto Morelos evening – the soft caress of an ocean breeze — intense pinks and cerulean blues piercing the white cloud-puffs above the mangrove – friends enjoying each other’s company and crisp champagne….The evening soared upwards from here….

The sweet-spicy surprise of a mulatto salsa/habanero jelly on the eat-with-fingers lollypop lamb chop, melt-on-your-tongue puff pastry infused with prosciutto, shrimp with garlic aioli on a chickpea pancake….and this was only the first of five sumptuous courses, plus the cheese board….

The evening’s camaraderie flowed with easy conversation, joyful memories and toasts to Ed Hoffman and Cantina Habanero, laughter generously punctuating the silence of taste-buds-in-awe. It was one of those evenings that we didn’t want to end. Yet somewhere around midnight we could find no more excuses to linger just a bit longer and strolled to our cars and homes, more than satiated with wonderment and exquisite food prepared with love….

¡La vida es rica!

About our Hosts….

Cheryl writes:

Edward did his apprenticeship at the Hyatt Regency on Yorkville in Toronto and graduated from George Brown College, Chef Program. For the last 20 years, Edward was Executive Chef for the Canadian Auto Workers in Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada.  It was a very large property on Lake Huron with 130 rooms and convention facilities for 2000.

Yes, Edward and I did meet while he was a Consulting Chef and I was the Catering Supervisor — we fell madly in love, got married, moved to the country — Markdalem Ontario, Canada — and had a 120-seat restaurant called Mrs. Murphy’s Restaurant and Catering company.

We certainly have had fun working together for the past 28 years. We always made a good team — he was back of the house, and I was front.   In this case, it does really pay to sleep with the boss.

Menu – Ed Hoffman Memorial Dinner

Prepared by Chef Edward Murphy with his charming assistant Cheryl Murphy

Welcome Champagne Cocktails


Lamb Chops with Mulatto Salsa/ Habanero Jelly

Palmetto with prosciutto

Shrimp with garlic aioli on chickpea pancake


Thai bouillabaisse with grouper shrimp and scallops

wine: Covey Run Late Harvest Riesling 2007


Tuscan Bread Salad


Deconstructed Beef Wellington with Fois Gras and Creamed Mushrooms

Dauphinoisse Potato

Carrots and Asparagus in White Truffle Beurre Noisette

Creamed Spinach with Chaya Madeira Sauce

Penfolds Pino Noir


Papaya and Guava Crepes in Grand Marnier

with dulce de Leche Ice Cream

Italian Sweet Wine


Assorted cheese served with poached pears


Aged Manchego

Old Cheddar

Ile De France Camembert




One response

25 05 2012
IRS Attorney

Why should Joice attack CJ in public when she had no evidence? If what is coming out is true, then parliament should impeach her during the next parliament session. Mayiwa ayamba udyo!


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