SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Kevin Gregan is revelling in the bounty that P.E.I. farms have to offer, if this revamped menu for the Feast Dinner Theatre is any indication. It’s a feast for the mouth and senses alike.
Seated dinner guests will have the choice between two main entrées, plus a vegetarian option upon request, preceded by freshly baked bread, an artfully arranged salad, soup and succulent steamed mussels.
“We’re having fresh haddock, a local groundfish that is readily available. We’re not importing it,” stressed Gregan, executive chef of the Rodd Charlottetown hotel, who revamped the menu for the summer show, “Up in Smoke,” which kicks off the 40th season of the dinner theatre.
A second meat option is a tasty chicken Florentine with a creamy white sauce.
“We buy local vegetables whenever we can,” added Gregan, who has served guests for 29 years at the Charlottetown dinner theatre location on 75 Kent Street. He designed the same menu for the Summerside show at Brothers 2 Restaurant at 618 Water Street.
“In the past, we’ve done lobster, beef, prime ribs, we’ve used mussels, we had salmon, but we’ve always used local,” he said. “The cast will always throw something in related to the food, whether it’s a joke or a way to tie the food in with the show.”
Serving up an irresistible feast is strongly rooted in the show experience, and a great way to savour part of the P.E.I. culture.
“I tell staff that it’s a dinner and theatre experience,” noted Gregan. “The food better be good on day one – or else everyone will know about it.”
He says it all boils down to experience when it comes to impressing the guests.
“I’ve been doing dinner theatre since 1981, before I came to Charlottetown. The only difference is before I came here I worked with professional stage people that performed in Toronto, New York… I’ve been around,” shared the veteran Red Seal chef.
“My one grandfather was a fish buyer, who bought salmon, lobster, and he had kegs and kegs of oysters. I had another grandfather who was a beef farmer. He raised prized black-angus beef, so I’ve been around food my whole life.
“I have family that are in the chef industry, cousins that run restaurants, so when you get into it this far, you don’t get out of it, and there’s never a dull moment.”
Once the main has settled, up next is both a familiar and unique indulgent dessert that’s guaranteed to delight everyone.
“It’s a triple fudge brownie, with a very rich double chocolate sauce made from scratch with semi-sweet and bitter chocolate, including cream – no fat at all!” laughed Gregan.
For those who prefer a lighter way to end a meal, a fresh fruit option is available.
Gregan says he prides his staff on crafting delicious fresh local food for everyone to enjoy.
“We put our best food out every day,” he concluded.
The dinner theatre show “Up in Smoke” will run five nights a week on Tuesday to Saturday. The Rodd Charlottetown hotel kicks off the show on Saturday, June 23, and Brothers 2 Restaurant in Summerside follows on Friday, June 29.
For more information about the dinner theatres or to book seats, go to www.feastdinnertheatres.com.