The Fairmont Winnipeg is one of Manitoba’s most elegant hotels. Located near the infamously windy corner of Portage and Main the hotel is situated inside the City’s newly designated Sports, Hospitality, and Entertainment District (SHED). Built by the Richardson family – famous Winnipeg grain merchants – the hotel has been welcoming guests to Winnipeg since opening in the early 1970s.
Since then the hotel has hosted many prominent travelers making their way through Winnipeg.“We have welcomed the world to our corner. For almost every member of the Royal Family, Rock Royalty, Prime Ministers, Presidents and Heads of State,” their website says.
But this is Friendly Manitoba, a place where the fanciest hotels can’t help but be down to earth and welcoming to everyone.
On July 6th the Fairmont Winnipeg welcomed my family and I, along with several other guests, to the Fairmont Cooks with Kids event. This event, organized by Pascale Rocher, and hosted by The Velvet Glove restaurant’s head chef Timothy Palmer, was like attending a culinary summer camp for one afternoon.
The afternoon began with the three husbands in attendance being whisked away to the #1 rated lounge in Winnipeg, Lounge at The Fairmont. There they spent the afternoon chatting and enjoyed a plate of wings. The rest of us, along with our children were brought down into the heart of the hotel’s restaurant – the kitchen. When we arrived, the kid’s were all greeted by Chef Tim, and got to pick a work station complete with rolling pins, aprons, cookie cutters, and candies.
Pieces of sugar-cookie dough (not gluten-free) were distributed to the kids and each child prepared their cookies for baking by cutting the dough to shape and topping them with a variety of candy toppings. While the cookies were baking they enjoyed a bowl of ice cream with candy toppings (who are we kidding – my kids ended up with a bowl of candy topped with ice cream).
As the aroma of fresh cookies filled the kitchen, I had a chance to talk to Chef Tim about the gluten-free options available at The Velvet Glove. He assured me that his restaurant, as well as all Fairmont hotels, take food allergies and sensitivities very seriously. Like all restaurants that offer to accommodate special diets, he advised that it is best to call ahead so the kitchen can be prepared to serve you.
After talking with Chef Tim and seeing how knowledgeable he was about the potential places gluten can be hidden, and cross contamination, I would happily take a seat in the Velvet Glove’s dining room. The Celiac Scene , a website dedicated to guiding consumers to safe gluten-free choices, list The Velvet Glove, Fairmont Hotel as being “celiac savvy” which is a really good rating and further assures me that this restaurant would be able to safely serve patrons eating gluten-free.
Next month my husband and I will be celebrating our fifteenth wedding anniversary. How can I get him to make a reservation for two to celebrate? Maybe, after seeing The Fairmont Winnipeg, and enjoying an afternoon in the Lounge it will only take a small hint or two.
Thank you very much to The Fairmont Winnipeg and Chef Tim Palmer for allowing my kids and I to join you in the kitchen for an afternoon.
Disclaimer: We were invited to the event, which was of no cost to us, with no obligation to blog about the event. I am sharing simply because I think it is great to see restaurants (which offer gluten-free food) invite the kids into their kitchen.