Special Event
Michael Pataran
Michael Pataran

Canada Day Celebration

Michael Pataran
Wildfire at the Taboo Golf Resort, Hotel and Conference Centre | Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.
Members $90, guests $115

A first-class golf course can bring guests from all over the world, and put a somewhat unknown area on the map. That’s what resort owners and brothers Norm and Elly Reisman were counting on when they started work on Taboo, an adjunct to the resort hotel they own on the shores of the spectacular Lake Muskoka, in Ontario’s cottage country. But once you make a play to be among the world’s greatest resorts, you need the cuisine off the course to be up to par. That’s where Wildfire and chef Michael Pataran come in.

Located in the resort’s lakeside hotel, which first opened in 1926 as the Muskoka Beach Inn, Wildfire offers gorgeous views of the lake, accented by the lodge’s rustic wood paneling and classic decor. However, Pataran’s menu goes far beyond typically stodgy lodge fare. His cooking brings a worldly perspective to local ingredients, the result of an international résumé and a curiosity about new flavors and ingredients. As the Examiner-Banner put it, Pataran challenges “traditional culinary boundaries by skillfully adopting innovative fusion techniques using indigenous local ingredients.” The result? Dishes such as birch-syrup-and-beet-cured squab breast with caramelized onions, apple chips, and Mutsu-maple glaze, or drunken Blue Mountain venison rack with blackberry-togarashi glaze, sautéed chanterelles, root mash summer mousse, and pak choi.

After graduating from the University of Toronto, Pataran traveled to Mexico, Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, and places in between, imprinting his palate with the flavors of the world. In Australia he attended culinary school for the first time, and upon graduation he worked in restaurants around Sydney. Back in Toronto, he worked at Blues on Bellair, Rain, and Monsoon (nominated for a Beard Restaurant Design Award), before Pataran and chef de cuisine Jay Scaife, who will also be coming to the Beard House, took on the challenge of running Wildfire. The Muskokan critic Andrew Wagner-Chazalon loved Pataran’s signature dish of maple-miso cod on a Muskoka stone with cha soba and lotus chips, writing, “Like all of the food at Wildfire… it is both delicious and beautiful.” Wagner-Chazalon continued, “Every plate that comes out of the kitchen here is culinary artistry, designed to appeal to the eye as well as the nose and palate.”

Pacific Bluefin Tuna, Diver Scallop, and Shiso Tartare with St. Lawrence Sturgeon Caviar and Yuzu Crème Fraîche in Soba-Sesame Cone

Cool Spinach, Shiitake, and Avocado Maki Rolls with Edamame Drizzle

Peking Duck and Pickled Vegetable Lumpia Summer Rolls with Sweet-and-Sour Umeboshi Plum Sauce

Chinese Red Pork Shoulder Steamer Buns with Sweet Soy, Lemongrass, and Ginger Dipping Sauce

    Vineland Estate Sparkling Riesling NV


Truffled Aux Champs Foie Gras Dumpling with Carrot-Cardamom Reduction, Black Mission Figs, Toasted Pine Nuts, and Organic Daikon Sprouts

    Pillitteri Estate Gewürztraminer/Riesling 2000

Seared Grandview Farms Buffalo Salad with Peanuts, Red Onion, Coriander, Fish Sauce, Soy, and Thai Chile–Palm Sugar Dressing

    Henry of Pelham Unoaked Chardonnay 2000

Maple-Miso Black Cod on Muskoka Stone with Crispy Cha Soba–Shimeji Mushroom Salad and Lotus Chips

    Vineland Estates Chenin Blanc 2001

Roasted Rack of Blue Mountain Venison with Xiaoxing Rice Wine–Hoisin Glaze, Candy Cane Beets, Baby Radishes, and Organic Amaranth Sprouts

    Mission Hill Winery Estate Oculus 2000

Midori Liqueur–Summer Fruit Gelatin with Raspberry Coulis and Juniper Chantilly Crème

    Pillitteri Select Late Harvest Riesling NV

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