The secretive Charlie’s Burgers, a members-only supper club that first popped up in 2009 billing itself as the “anti-restaurant”, hosted a sold-out 100-course tasting dinner (no typo, there really were a hundred courses) at The Gabardine Sunday night for just over 50 guests. Each of them shelled out $300 for the marathon dinner, prepared by guest chef Marc Lepine of the experimental Atelier restaurant in Ottawa.
“It started as a joke,” said Lepine about how the 100-course idea came about. He originally wanted to do a bear roast for the supper club but that notion was quickly scrapped. “My staff and I were brainstorming ideas and one of them said to do a 100-course dinner. The four of us split the menu so each of us had 25 dishes to come up with. We then sat down and in half an hour, we put all the dishes in order from one to 100.”
The bites included avant-garde courses like aloe-vera snow and edible flowers strewn on strawberries made to look like dirt, as well as more straight-forward dishes like beef tartare and peking duck. To keep things flowing and mouths moving, the kitchen was staffed with Lepine, his sous-chefs, as well as chefs Charlotte Langley (Cafe Belong) and Matt Blondin, who recently announced he will be leaving Acadia at the end of the month. It took about five hours for all 100 courses to be served, though Lepine and his chefs were in the kitchen since 10 a.m. prepping (since it’s not exactly practical to do a practice run for a dinner of this scale). There was wine to go with the dinner, but it was wisely kept at 12 glasses rather than 100.
About 3,000 tasting spoons were rented that night; 4,000 pieces were used altogether, including plates. (Fortunately, the rental company takes care of the washing.) To attend a future Charlie’s Burger dinner, prospective members must fill out a questionnaire to be considered for free membership. But for now, launch the gallery below to enjoy photos of the all 100 dishes from the dinner that will surely go down in supper club history.