Canada Day Dinner Party

Although he's only 32, Chef Michael Hunter has been cooking professionally for almost 20 years. Born and raised in the Caledon area northwest of Toronto, he was 13 when he started helping out at a local diner, slinging hash browns and toast on the breakfast shift.

In 2015, he opened his own restaurant, Antler Kitchen + Bar, on Toronto’s Dundas Street West, the name a reference to his passion for hunting and foraging wild Canadian foods. Venison is on the menu in many forms but while some of the dishes are decidedly sophisticated, Hunter is quick to point out that it’s not really a fine-dining place. “It’s very homey and casual,” he says. “We treat people like family here. You can have rack of deer or you can just have a burger or a sandwich and fries.” With antlers and photos of wild plants decorating the room, Antler Kitchen + Bar is almost a shrine to Canada’s wild bounty, so who better than Chef Hunter to provide us with a menu for a special Canada Day dinner party?

Morel Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Tarte Tatin with Sorrel Pesto

Most major grocery chains carry wild mushrooms; if morels are not available, use a mixture of hen of the woods, shiitake and oyster mushrooms. 

GET THE RECIPE

Warm Asparagus Salad with B.C. Scallops, Wild Leek Vinaigrette & Béarnaise Sauce

Buttery rich scallops find a natural counterpoint in asparagus dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. Thick stalks of asparagus are preferable for this recipe.

GET THE RECIPE

Spice-Ash-Crusted Rack of Venison with Stinging Nettle & Wild Mint-Scented Pea Purée

Spice-Ash-Crusted Rack of Venison with Stinging Nettle & Wild Mint-Scented Pea Purée

GET THE RECIPE

Maple Cream Tart with Chantilly Cream

This makes enough pastry for 2 tart bases. Freeze one for another use. The chantilly cream is a decadent final touch.

GET THE RECIPE

Rusty Antler

Try this Canadian take on the Rusty Nail. At Antler, they infuse the Drambuie with venison jerky. If that’s unavailable, simply garnish the drink with beef jerky.

GET THE RECIPE

Glen Breton Rare Canadian Single Malt Whisky

First sold in 2000, this Canadian single malt whisky has a definite Scottish heritage and character, making it the ideal component in our Rusty Antler cocktail. Notes of spiced orange, honey, maple and vanilla make this 10-year-old a most delectable dram.

BUY ONLINE