Story and Photos by Betty Carpick


What do friends do when they want to cook together? If they’re from Thunder Bay and working in the industry, they hold the first Superior North Chef Collective Dinner at The Sovereign Room, with chefs Joe Sposato (The Sovereign Room), Hayden Johnston (Richmond Station, Toronto), Steve Simpson (Tomlin Restaurant), Franco Masdea (Victoria Inn), and Allan Rebelo (Bight Restaurant + Bar).

Loving The Sov means looking forward to the weekly menu posting on Facebook and looking forward to lunch every week. And so you know that the things you’re going to enjoy at The Sov’s spring dinner are going to be even greater than the number of beards you count when you walk into the event with your bearded son.

For the 60 guests, the Easter Sunday evening began with a pastel sky and a Sovereign Shot. Then came the five-course dinner, which included crispy sweetbreads with cauliflower (made by Sposato), soba slaw with fried duck tongues (made by Rebelo), Central American trout brandade (made by Simpson), and two-way Black Angus beef with au jus and pommes Kennedy (made by Johnston). Franco Masdea’s dessert was a semifreddo with lemon, honey, and tuile that looked like the vessel sculpture by Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew at Prince Arthur’s Landing.

I’m not sure if the chefs tasted the Peep scones I baked. It doesn’t matter. I enjoyed their delicious cooking, sense of adventure, and discipline. The collective approach to strengthening the food culture network in Thunder Bay works.