Mavor’s On a Roll

Since taking over as the Executive Chef for Mavor’s in 2016, Chef Miguel Cervantes and his team are on a roll, winning five top culinary accolades: Best of Sea Fan Choice award; The Great Island Grilled Cheese Competition (two years in a row); Winterdine; and most recently Best Appetizer for Veg PEI’s Veg It Up week.

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“I have a craft-based perspective when it comes to cooking,” Chef Cervantes reveals. “I don’t like to order things in, so we make a lot of our menu items in house.”

Chef Cervantes and his team have been taking chances with this approach for creating new dishes and it seems to be paying off. Sous Chef, Craig Doucette and Line Cook, Andre Boucher, who won the most recent The Great Island Grilled Cheese competition, thoroughly enjoyed the experience of competing.

“It was a great atmosphere,” describes Doucette. “It was nice to see so many people in one place that were all interested in the same thing.”

profeDoucette conjured up the winning “It’s Always Cheesy” grilled cheese sandwich. It consisted of provolone and mozzarella, roasted basil, and cured heirloom tomatoes on house-made focaccia bread, grilled in a garlic parmesan butter, and served with a Gouda cheese dipping sauce. Which is now official on the Mavor’s menu.

“In my mind a grilled cheese sandwich always goes good with tomato soup, so it was a must to add the tomatoes,” Doucette describes. He goes on to say, “I had an hour to come up with the idea, but I’ve been cooking long enough to know what flavours go together, so in the end I just had to believe in myself and hope it would all work out.”

 Boucher, Doucette’s partner in the competition, was amazed at the public feedback that they received, “One guy said that our sandwich gave him goose bumps, for me that was incredible to hear.”

 This is only the beginning, says Chef Cervantes, for he has big plans for the months ahead starting with the launch of a new menu in October.

 “We’re taking chances with different proteins and presenting them in different ways,” says Chef Cervantes. “All the things that you see on the new menu are dishes on my bucket list.”

 He encourages his team to create their own culinary bucket lists, so Doucette has incorporated hand-rolled pasta on the new menu. He calls it his Zen time while preparing it. “Watching a giant ball of dough form into noodles is just something special,” he reflects.

 Chef Cervantes says that’s what craft-based cooking is all about, “It’s something you feel proud of, it’s a different style of cooking, there is a lot more passion and creativity.”

 The team is most proud of the Arctic Char dish. Boucher describes it as something different, “It comes with a sweet potato hash that is paired with our seasonal vegetables, and that combination really makes the Arctic Char pop off the plate.”

 In addition to the new menu are theme nights: Fiesta Mondays; Flatbread Fridays; and Steak Saturdays. Chef Cervantes is most excited about Steak Saturdays. “I’ve partnered up with Atlantic Beef Products and we’re doing a different cut each week for eight weeks straight.” He goes on to add, “We’ll feature cuts that aren’t normally available on the Island like Tomahawk, or Oxtail – it’s going to be pretty upscale.”

 To sum up Mavor’s roll: five awards, a new menu, plus menu themed nights, but wait there’s more. Back by popular demand is the Mavor’s’ Traditional Holiday Turkey Buffet.

 “We’re going to take it to the next level with the quality by brining the turkey and roasting it nice and slow – class it up a bit,” explains Chef Cervantes.

 Boucher pipes in, “The Island is mostly comfort food where people want to get their money’s worth, so we want to provide that quality every day.”

 Get ready for theme nights every Monday, Friday, and Saturday all day. The Traditional Holiday Turkey Buffet starts December 1.

 For more information on Mavor’s, and to view the new menu, please visit: http://www.confederationcentre.com/en/dine-at-Mavor’s.php

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Support the Arts Win a Cruise

Confederation Centre is offering an exciting new way to support arts programming at the Centre this fall. The Viking Cruise for the Arts Lottery offers a major prize consisting of a trip for two on a European river cruise by Viking River Cruises Canada, and two return economy air tickets from Charlottetown Airport supplied by Stewart Travel Group.

viking-oceans-viking-star-exterior-galleryTickets may be purchased at a cost of $100 (or three for $250) between Friday, October 27 and Thursday, December 21, 2017 and to be entered to win the trip of a lifetime. Only 300 tickets will be sold.

“We’re proud to support Canadian cultural organizations such as Confederation Centre that align with our goal to create special connections between travellers and the cultures of the world,” says Viking’s Director of Business Development, Josephine Lynch. “Our river cruises feature many rich cultural experiences, so we saw this as a perfect fit.”

Travis Stewart of PEI-based Stewart Travel Group brought the opportunity to Confederation Centre along with the supplemental offer to provide airfare to the winner.

“We have always been impressed with Confederation Centre’s contribution to the Island community,” says Stewart, “and providing air means the trip will be accessible to any ticket holder.”

Lottery tickets may be purchased in person at the Confederation Centre of the Arts Box Office (corner of Queen and Grafton streets in Charlottetown), by telephone at 1-800-565-0278, and online at confederationcentre.com/lottery. Online purchasers must have a valid Prince Edward Island address.

The grand prize is an eight-day Danube or Rhine river cruise provided by Viking River Cruises Canada, and includes two return economy air tickets provided by Stewart Travel Group to a value of $1200 per person. Total prize value is approximately $12,000.

Funds raised will help support youth programming in visual and performing arts, development of new theatre works, and the enhancement of heritage programming – all vital activities for Canada’s national living monument to the Fathers of Confederation.

For more information visit www.confederationcentre.com/lottery or contact the Box Office at Confederation Centre at 1-800-565-0278.

Buffy Back on PEI

Renowned Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is an activist, educator, visual artist, and winner of countless awards – Oscar, Juno, and Golden Globe among them.

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Perhaps you know Sainte-Marie from her 1960s protest anthems (“Universal Soldier”), open-hearted love songs (“Until It’s Time for You to Go”), incendiary powwow rock (“Starwalker”), or the juggernaut pop hit “Up Where We Belong,” which Sainte-Marie co-wrote and Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes sang for the soundtrack to An Officer and a Gentleman. One of her earliest classics, “Cod’ine,” was covered by everyone from Janis Joplin to Donovan to Courtney Love. Or maybe you remember Sainte-Marie from her five years on the television show “Sesame Street” beginning in the mid-’70s.

Power in the Blood is a follow-up to 2008’s acclaimed Running for the Drum and only her fourth studio release in more than 20 years. Although just because you don’t hear from her for long stretches doesn’t mean she’s not playing. Quite the opposite. Sainte-Marie’s creativity is always in motion, and her passport’s always in hand, touring for lectures and performances around the world with her high-octane backing band. She records only when she feels like touring, and currently Sainte-Marie is taking center stage around the world, including North America, Europe and Australia.

Producer Chris Birkett (Sinéad O’Connor, Bob Geldof) has worked with Sainte-Marie on four albums, and recognized from the start that Sainte-Marie was a singular force.

“She pays a lot of attention to her lyrics,” Birkett says, “and when Buffy says something, she actually means something.”

“I love words, I love thinking, and I recognize and value the core of a universal idea simplified into a three-minute song,” she says. “What appealed to me in folk music were the songs that have lasted for generations, but I wasn’t trying to be one of those guys. I wanted to give people something original.”

Buffy Sainte-Marie is at the Harbourfront Theatre on Wednesday November 1st at 7:30 PM.

This tour is part of the Atlantic Presenters Association (APA) and RADARTS’ Canada 150 Performance Series. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada. 

Play With the Choir

Do you love to sing (even though you might not consider yourself “a singer” or only feel comfortable singing alone in the car)? Singing in a group has significant benefits whether you’re on key or not – science says it’s like “an infusion of the perfect tranquilizer, the kind that both soothes your nerves and elevates your spirits.”
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We’ve had a blast in our first term and our participants can attest to that (170 of them!)
PLAYING WITH CHOIR is an opportunity to come together in a large group to learn simple 3 part harmonies for popular songs of today and past decades and belt them out for the simple joy of singing. No auditions, no solos, no stars, just fun.
Playing With Choir is at the Guild on October 24th 7 PM to 9 PM.

Chow Down at the Harbourfront

Lunch At Allen’s is a musical powerhouse comprised of four remarkable Canadian talents: Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas.  As individuals, they have written for or sung on over 25,000,000 cds, penning hits for Josh Groban, Chicago, Bonnie Raitt, America, Santana, Cher and Rod Stewart, as well as Murray’s “Farmer’s Song,” Marc’s “Marina Del Rey” and Ian’s “Painted Ladies,” just to name a few.

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These artists have come together adding the incredible voice of Cindy Church (Quartette, Great Western Orchestra) to form Lunch At Allen’s. Their stage show is intimate and humourous, featuring many songs familiar to anyone who has turned on a radio in the past two decades.

“You would be hard pressed to find another Canadian ensemble with more collective depth of influence over Canada’s musical landscape than Lunch At Allen’s.” – The Beat Magazine

Lunch At Allen’s is at the Harbourfront Theatre on Sunday, October 29th at 7:30 PM.

Music Theatre School Kick Starts at the Guild

The Guild is excited to announce The Guild Music Theatre School, beginning September 18th! Led by Lori Linkletter, Artistic Director or Children’s theatre and community programming at the Guild, Theatre School at the Guild will focus on training young performers in music, theatre, dance and more!
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With a team of qualified instructors including Sarah MacPhee (theatre) and Lacey Koughan (dance), classes will be held every Monday from 5:30-8pm. On top of music, theatre and dance, each week will feature a different element of theatre such as lighting, stage makeup and improv, with some of the best guest instructors the Island has to offer!
Students will have the opportunity to put into practice everything they’ll learn with many performance opportunities on the Guild stage, including two Christmas shows -Elf and Fairytale Christmas Carol – and a Spring production of Into the Woods Jr and TBA. There will also be two summer productions of Aladdin and The Lion King!