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4th Annual Pen and Palettes Getaway

June 29, 2017

A Five-Day Event Celebrating Authors, Artists and Avid Gourmets!

The Haida House at Tllaal’s Pen and Palettes Gala dinner event proved to be another resounding success. Now in its 4th year, this annual June event unites the food enthusiast, the art world devotee and the aficionado of the literary expression for a 5-day experience on the magical Islands of Haida Gwaii.

On June 23rd, visitors and locals alike mingled in the Haida House at Tllaal’s Xaayda Gud Ad Is Naay (People’s Gathering Room) sampling a cornucopia of appetizers which included: House-Smoked Salmon Crostini topped with Smoked Sockeye eggs, Grilled Venison with Pernod-soaked local Cranberries, Sweet Pea Mousse with a Cauliflower Foam, Razor Clam Fritters, Chicken Liver Pâté and Spruce Tip Semi-gelée; Pâté de Campagne accompanied by a basket of Focaccia, Sun-dried Tomato Loaf and Native Fry Bread. Invited Guest Chef Brodie Swanson of Old Massett joined the Haida House culinary team led by Head-Chef Mickael Diabaye, and Sous Chef Adam Morris and Chef de Partie Noel White.

While noshing on these tasty morsels being passed around by the charming Haida House staff, Chelsey, Shawna and Delaney, patrons were also treated to getting up-close and personal with guest artists: Aay Aay Hans (textile and cedar weaver, Haida Language scholar), Patrick Wesley (argillite, wood, silver & gold carver, painter), Peter Sloan (casting artist, silversmith, jeweler) and Rhea Bell (multi-media print making, painter, etcher).

Dinner was later served in the dining room overlooking the serene Tlell River while local pianist Wendy Watts entertained melodiously. Guest authors Susan Musgrave (poet laureate, fiction and non-fiction writer) and Dolly Garza (writer, seaweed expert, accomplished weaver, marine policy scientist) held the attention of the crowd with anecdotal stories, traditional knowledge, and brief readings from their books between courses

The featured courses included a Grilled Cauliflower Salad with mixed greens, Radicchio and Pine nuts; Quenelles of Halibut & Smoked Sable Fish on a Prawn Bisque; Charbroiled Flat Iron Steak served on Roasted Portobello and a white Mushroom Duxelles drizzled with Truffle Oil; Herb Encrusted Lamb Rack served with Allumettes, a Mint-Pea Purée and mixed Julienne of Vegetables. The main course was followed by a tangy Pear and Rosemary Sorbet, which prepared the palette for the final ‘Pièce de Résistance’: the Dessert Buffet which comprised of Goat Cheese Panacotta with a Raspberry-Beet Curd; Blueberry-Lime Cheesecake; Coconut Crème Brûlée; Tiramisu and a Chocolate Duo Mousse, all served in bite size portions so one could sample them all of course!

Amidst all of this culinary inspiration and creativity, the Pen and Palettes 5-night package offers the Haida House at Tllaal guests a chance to enjoy the rest of the region as well. During their stay, a Zodiac excursion to K’uuna, the ancient village site at Louise Island; a traditional Haida Feast at Keenawaiis’ Kitchen; a privately guided tour of the Kay Llnagaay Heritage Centre; an interpretive pole tour of Old Massett and a picnic at Agate Beach and Tow Hill are all part of the experience. And to ensure authentic interpretation of the past and the present, all activities are led by Haida Interpreters and local Naturalists.

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