2006 Menu for Gung Haggis Fat Choy™: Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner – Celebrating the Year of the Dog


2006 Menu for
Gung Haggis Fat Choy™:

Toddish McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner
– Celebrating the Year of the Dog

What:     Gung Haggis Fat Choy Dinner
When:    January 22, 2006 – Sunday
Time:     Doors open 5:15 pm – Dinner 6pm
Tickets:  Call Firehall Arts Centre
Advance Price:
$60 premium seating with wine
$50 regular seating
After January 7th – $70 Premium / $60 Regular


We had a lot of fun at
last year's dinners with a) Opera Soprano Heather Pawsey b) serving
Mayor Larry Campbell a haggis c) Joe MacDonald playing a Chinese flute
d) Todd Wong, Joy McPhail, Jenny Kwan, Mayor Campbell and Shelagh Rogers
reciting Burns poetry with e) Special guest co-host Shelagh Rogers joining Toddish McWong

This year's Gung Haggis Fat Choy™ media activities started off with an
Nov 28th interview with the BBC Radio Scotland program “Scotland
Licked!” with host Maggie Shiels. You can listen to Toddish McWong
describe the origins of Haggis Won Ton, the Gung Haggis Fat Choy
dinner, and the transformation of the Robbie Burns Poem “Address to a
Haggis” into a rap song.  Always fun, always provative. 
Toddish McWong continues to challenge notions of culture.

But how do you top Haggis Won Ton, and Haggis Lettuce Wrap? 
With Haggis stuffed tofu?  maybe not….   but how about
upping the ante with new performers?

Rick Scott and Harry Wong
join the Gung Haggis Fat Choy™ clan for 2006.  Rick is an
accomplished children's performer and folk musician with Pied
Pumkin.  Harry is an accomplished magician and children's
performer – seen globally on his Chinese language television show “Bean
Town”

Our selections are not a real “traditional” Chinese New Year
dinner menu – but a blending of favorites, and brand new
fusion-fare.  It is created to help introduce “real Chinese
banquet fare” to Scottish-Canadians and to help make “haggis” safe for
Chinese-Canadians.

Here is the menu for 2006, subject to change at my whimsy and the kitchen's demands:

1 –  Appetizer Plate with Haggis Won Ton and Haggis Spring Rolls
Haggis
Wun Tun was first created in September 2003 when I walked into New
Town Restaurant in Chinatown with a Haggis from Peter Black's and asked
them to make won tons for me to take to the CBC Radio reception to
welcome Shelagh Rogers and “Sounds Like Canada” to Vancouver. We have
featured Haggis Wun Tun and Haggis Spring Rolls on City Cooks with Simi
Sara on City TV.

2- Shredded Jelly Fish, and other things. 
Shredded
jelly fish – my farvorite!  Good balance of sea-rich nutrients and
iodine.  Accompanied by “other things” such as wheat gluten
imitation bbq pork and spicy tofu for the vegetarians.

3 – Hot & Sour Soup
Always
a favorite for everybody – and vegetarian to boot!  Warms up the
innards on a cold January night.  I am sure Burns would approve.

4 – Ginger Dungeness Crab
The
West Coast equivalent to Lobster – Maybe we should call this dish Gold
Mountain Lobster-equivalent…  Now the best way to eat crab is to
have somebody else crack it and de-shell it for you.  If your
husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend won't do this – invite somebody
else.

5 – Sticky Rice Taro
I
can hear the voices already saying… “What?”  As a kid attending
family dinners, my favorite dish was always my mother's special sticky
rice dish “noh-my-fan.”  This dish was recently served at my
grandmother's 95th birthday dinner and I LOVED it. Why the taro? 
Why the haggis?  It's icky and slimy and better than tofu… well
maybe it's worse.  But the Hawaiians love it.  And Hawaiian
culture is Soooo multi-cultural!  Taro is the main ingredient of
poi – their traditional starchy staple dish.  But the best way to
have Taro is as “taro chips” – just like potato chips – but starchier.

6 – Curried Potatoes and Beef
This
dish is for the Irish-Canadians in the crowd – the real meat and
potatoes type of Canadians.  This was one of my favorite
dishes growing up.  We always had it on Friday night dinners at
the Ho Ho Restaurant in Vancouver's Chinatown.  Potatoes are not a
traditional Chinese dish – but I think brought to BC by Irish and
Scottish immigrants who had learned to harvest them after the New World
colonists learned about them from the First Nations peoples. 
Definitely a fusion dish from the 1950's and 1960's Chinatown cuisines.


7 a) – Haggis
You
can't have a Robbie Burns Supper without Haggis… The first time I
tried haggis – I gagged.  It reminded me of poi – the Hawaiian
taro paste.  I put some haggis in with my rice… it wasn't
bad.  I added sweet & sour sauce.  Plum sauce was great
with it.  Then I learned that I didn't like the lard recipe haggis
and there were many other haggis recipes.  My favorite is from
Peter Black and Sons, found at Park Royal Shopping Centre in West
Vancouver.  It is savoury with Peter's unique and special
recipe. 

7 b)  Haggis Lettuce Wrap
Combine
Haggis with a lettuce wrap…. people will think we are crazy. 
Oops, we are crazy.  This is
Gung Haggis Fat Choy™ Crazy! 
Take a large spoonful of haggis, plunk it on a lettuce leaf, add the
vegetarian filling, smother it with Hoi-Sin Chinese plum sauce, and
voila – Another Toddish McWong culinary-fusion treat!  Actually we
taste-tested haggis lettuce wrap last year, at the Flamingo a week
before the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner – just to see what would
happen… and it was G-O-O-D! but we were already committed to
marketing the Haggis wun tun, so we saved it for 2005

8 – Buddha's Feast Mixed Vegetables 

So called because it is a favorite vegetarian dish for Buddist
Monks.  It is also a traditional New Year's fare to bring
enlightenment for the coming months.  The long fun-see rice
vermicelli noodles are like “angel hair” pasta.  Did you know that
it was
Buddha who first summoned the animals to come see him, and that he
would name the years of the Chinese Zodiac after them? The Rat arrived
first. I was born in the year of the Metal Rat.

9 – Special Vegetarian Chow Mein with Mushrooms and Onions (Always
a Chinese New Year traditional dish, as the long noodles represent long
life.  Sounds kind of superstitious to me.  Just remember the
origins of Italian pasta go back to Marco Polo's journeys to
China.  He was also probably the one who smuggled maps of Chinese naval voyages to Italy where they ended up with Christopher Columbus.  Every had the Chinese version of pizza?)

10 – Dessert  This
will be a mix of puddings and pastries We do recognize that not
everybody like to have red bean pudding after a banquet dinner. 
Mango pudding and almond jello are my favorites.  We will
definitely NOT have blood pudding – Go ye to a Scottish resturant for that stuff

Hope you enjoyed these delicious descriptions… 

Dinner
& show starts promptly at 6:00pm.  Now with 600+ attending our
dinner, the logistics of serving everybody at the same time are much
more challenging then past dinners when we only served 100, 60 or even 16.

After meeting numberous challenges at the 2005 dinner, we have resolved many problems. 

1- Tickets will be mailed out, along with seating plans – to avoid queue lineups at the door.


2 – Patrons will be assigned table numbers and tickets will have the buyer's name + table number on it


3 – There will be 2 to 3 bars – available immediately at 5:30 pm. 
There will also be 2 bottles of wine at the PREMIUM tables.  This
hopefully will avoid the line up at the bars and ensure that everybody
has drinks available.

The
2006 show will focus more on the performances and the food will be
enjoyed when it shows up.  We will try to serve the food in groups
of 2 or 3 courses at the same time.  This will avoid the lengthy
pauses between performances that we had last year.  It is always a
challenge working with a new restaurant, and getting our communication
right. 

And
of course… the entire program and menu is subject to change.  We
do our best to create a fabulous meal and evening of
entertainment.  And the best way is to be sensitive to the
audience, the performers, and meeting any challenges that come our way.

I
have brought together exciting new performers for 2006.  The
appearance of both Rick Scott and Harry Wong together will be
amazing!  Harry is like the “Raffi of Hong Kong” and he was
inspired to learn to play the dulcimer by listening to Rick Scott
records.  Rick, of course, is one-third of the celebrated folk
trio Pied Pumkin with Shari Ulrich and Joe Mok.  Rick learned lots
of stuff about half-Chinese issues from Joe, so Rick was prepared in
advance to work with Harry Wong when they created the Juno nominated
children's cd “The 5 Elements.”

I look forward to sharing the surprises and joys of Gung Haggis Fat Choy™ 2006 with you!

Toddish

Ó 2006 Todd Wong

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