Sooke charities get an Appetite for Art

Art and appetizers on the menu for March 8 event at the Prestige

One of the appetizers (Tuna Poke) from the Mix by Ric's.

Maybe you’ve heard of wine pairings. This is when a wine is matched with a food, specifically chosen to bring out a certain je ne c’est quoi in the food. Or a beer pairing (growing in popularity).

Leave it to the people of Sooke to pioneer a new genre in the art of pairing. In the name of good taste and good art, and in the spirit of good charity, The Mix by Ric’s introduces a feast for all of the senses in a unique food-and-art pairing charity evening on March 8. The evening is designed to bring together local visual and culinary artists, and is hosted in conjunction with the Sooke Fine Arts Society.

Named Appetite for Art, this show allows diners to appreciate work by local artists in a gallery style setting at the same time as enjoying the artisan canapés that will be created to accompany the artwork.

According to the Sooke Fine Arts Facebook page (facebook.com/SookeFineArts/), “Accepted artwork will serve as the basis for a series of complimentary appetizers created by Chef Siebert, to be displayed alongside the companion piece.”

The idea of this unique pairing came from Dan Houle, assistant manager at The Mix by Rics and the event coordinator, and it will hopefully be the first in a new annual tradition for Sooke.

The event was inspired  by the the talents of Executive Chef Ryan Siebert, who began as the banquet chef about a year ago and put on the executive hat in August.

“Our new executive chef is very talented and creative,” said Houle. “We wanted to find a way to showcase his talents. We also wanted to gibe back to the community.”

Recognizing the rich art culture of Sooke made it an easy marriage, welding together food and art in this fundraising event.

“Appetite for Art is a great way to showcase the fantastic talent that we have right here in Sooke and all for a worthy cause,” detailed Houle. “The town is building a reputation for fine dining as well as fine art, so this seemed like a great way to bring the two together. Our executive chef at The Mix, Ryan Siebert and Sous Chef Adam Guther are both very talented and innovative; I know Ryan and his team are really looking forward to the challenge and we can’t wait to see the results.”

According to the Sooke Fine Arts Facebook page, “20 per cent commission on all sales will be shared between the Sooke Food Bank and the SFAS Youth Scholarship Fund.”

Appetite for Art has been designed to be as interactive as possible with many artists and the chefs on hand to talk show-goers through their work as well as sommeliers from select B.C. wineries, which will be pairing fine wines with some of the art.

“The response from Sooke’s artists for this intriguing event was outstanding,” said Catherine Keogan, Executive Director of the Sooke Fine Arts Society. “The calibre of work submitted really speaks to the wealth of talent in our community, and I do believe the artists are quite excited to see their work echoed in Chef Siebert’s culinary creations. With entry by donation, we are delighted this community collaboration is so accessible to the public, and we invite everyone to join us for this unique experience.”

Appetite for Art will be open to the general public on March 8 from 7-9 p.m. in the grand ballroom at the Best Western Premier Prestige Oceanfront Resort. Entry is by voluntary donation to the Sooke Food Bank and the Sooke Fine Arts Youth Scholarship fund.  Appetizers (or, as they are known in higher society, “canapés”) are included in the admission, and will accompany the art pieces. The artwork on display at the event will also be on sale with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the charities involved.

The Mix by Ric’s will be hosting a VIP gala dinner on the evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m., which will include a three-course dinner as well as a preview of the show itself. For dinner reservations call The Mix by Ric’s on 778-425-2529 and ask for Dan, Val or Nicky.

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