Sunshine, Bighorn Sheep, snow-kissed mountains, and a fun road-trip partner made for a pleasant four hour drive up to the iconic Jasper Park Lodge. Christmas in November is an event I have wanted to check off my culinary bucket list for quite some time, and saying I was excited to attend this year is a bit of an understatement.
At Christmas in November there are three packages you can choose from. The first runs from Friday evening to Monday morning, the mid-week package spans Monday evening to Thursday morning, and the final package runs Thursday evening to Sunday morning. My boyfriend and I attended the mid-week package, which we felt was perfect for our introduction to this extravagant event.
When you register for Christmas in November you are given the opportunity to attend seven sessions. There is also the choice to take a break from sessions to enjoy the amenities on the property (spa, hot tub, etc.) or take the time to explore Jasper and the surrounding area. As I wanted to learn as much as I could, I spent all my sessions with guest presenters, and my first day started with Giselle Courteau, co-owner of Duchess Bake Shop.
- If you prefer to grind your own almond flour, allow it to dry after grinding as it will be quite oily
- There is no difference between using room temperature and cold egg whites if you’re using egg albumen
- Use powdered food colouring or a paste to colour the macaron shells, as you do not want to add additional moisture to the batter. If using powder, add it in with the sugar. If using paste, add it after the meringue has been whipped
- Even if you have a perfect oven without hot spots, always turn your tray partway through baking the macaron shells
- When using chilis – smell them first. If they smell hot, they will be spicy, so use accordingly
- The best way to peel ginger? With a spoon! There’s very minimal waste using this method
- Soy sauce will vary dramatically in flavour and salinity between brands – start with smaller amounts and adjust according to your tastes
- And, don’t forget to use your beef goggles when cooking steak! It’s the best way to figure out if the steak is ready
From the moment we stepped foot on the property, to the time that we departed, we were treated like VIPs. If there’s a place that you can expect amazing hospitality and staff that go out of their way to make your stay more enjoyable, it’s at the Fairmont. The days you spend on the property are perfect for a mini-getaway with friends or loved ones, and after this experience I can see why attendees return year after year. I’ve been asked whether Christmas in November is worth the price tag, and I can confidently say yes. Your only task is to relax and enjoy the food, presenters, and the beautiful scenery – everything else is taken care of. My boyfriend and I are already looking forward to attending next year. After all, one of our favourite chefs - Vikram Vij - will be there, and we hope to see you there too.
*Disclosure: My boyfriend and I were invited to attend Christmas in November as guests of Gastropost/Postmedia. Views expressed in this post are solely mine. This post is 100% my opinion, and as always, my priority is to you, the reader, to present an unbiased, thorough review.