Would you like to sip wine, eat cheese, and have a chef on hand to teach you some finer aspects of chocolate cuisine? The Carrot has the answer.

On Feb. 11 during the Carrot by Moonlight event, organizers will transform the cafe into a little French bistro.

“We’ll be pairing wine and beer with different cheeses, as well as enjoying charcuterie platters,” said Karen McGale, arts administrator with Arts on the Ave. “We’ll learn how to create a chocolate ganache …and then we’ll create delectable chocolate tuxedo strawberries.”

Besides enjoying the food and wine, attendees will also be treated to the stirring vibrato of Fernando Munoz, a singer and guitarist from South America.  

The evening is under the direction of Red Seal chef Mary Ann Aquino. She graduated from NAIT’s culinary arts program in 2011, and her Red Seal certification represents the Canadian standard of excellence for skilled trades. Aquino is also operations manager at The Carrot and has taken over the reins as the festival food coordinator for the Deep Freeze and Kaleido festivals.

Now in its fourth year, Carrot by Moonlight has offered participants chocolate truffles in the past. This year organizers are shifting gears and bringing in Samantha Wall, culinary arts instructor at NAIT and a wine aficionado.

Wall is well-versed in the art of wine and spirits. She comes to Carrot by Moonlight with many years’ experience at Canadian Pacific Hotels throughout Canada.

“Samantha will share her expertise in wines, and with helping chef Mary Ann, they’ll pair wines with cheeses for the event,” explained McGale.

Attendees can sample wine and cheese. | Pixabay

And just because it’s around Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean non-couples are excluded. It’s not a couples-only event, stressed McGale.

 “The reason it was created was to give our community members a spot to gather and feel loved with friends and family. We get a good mix of couples and friends—it’s a great evening for socialization.”

The Carrot, opened in 2007, has become a comfortable hub for meeting and making friends, enjoying various art forms, and connecting people. Carrot by Moonlight is one of the more popular events. That popularity makes it important to get advance tickets.

“Last year we sold out and seating is limited. No tickets will be sold at the door,” explained McGale. “It’s first come, first served for the tickets.”

People can be seated from groups of two up to eight. Tickets are $50 per person, available only at The Carrot until Feb. 9.

“Or people can order tickets by phone. Just ask for Mary Ann,” said McGale. “It’s a great evening to socialize with old and new friends and dance to great live Latin music!”

Header image: Past participants enjoying an evening out. | Supplied

Carrot by Moonlight

The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse (9351 118 Ave)

Saturday, Feb. 11. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Event begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $50. Buy tickets at The Carrot until Feb. 9.