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Chef Allan Rogalsky at The Dam Pub (Posted On: Wednesday, November 22, 2006)

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Saying NO to dessert at the Dam Pub is unthinkable. That’s because Chef Allan Rogalsky has a passion for baking and conjures up five or six magical sweet-tooth tantalizers every day in the Pub kitchen. You won’t find desserts on the menu; instead, your server fills you in on the day’s inspirations – perhaps a rich, smooth chocolate pâté drizzled with caramel sauce (see recipe below), a seasonal fruit pastry like pear, apple and peach strudel, or a Bailey’s cheesecake.

Chef Allan is an experienced and well-rounded culinary artist who trained and apprenticed at the Maid of the Mist Campus at Niagara College, well-known for its Tourism Industry Development Centre. Once accredited, Allan headed west and worked at the famous Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for six years. He came to Collingwood in 1999, where he enriched the kitchens of area ski venues such as the Toronto Ski Club and Talisman. Allan took command of the Dam Pub kitchen in April, 2006, and quickly established the pub’s reputation for excellent dining.

The chef’s pub menu includes Scottish favourites, such as cullen skink (a tasteful creamy chowder of smoked haddock and yellow potato), ground-lamb shepherd’s pie, and of course haggis*, a dish best appreciated by Scottish visitors who understand its tradition, flavour and content. Pub patrons have told Allan the Pub’s fish and chips are the best around – he uses a recipe handed down through generations of Sandy’s Scottish family.

The dining room menu fluctuates constantly and is posted on the website daily. Dishes reflect Allan’s passion for the flavours of the world. You might find prime rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding topped with rich gravy alongside dishes such as Bombay curried chicken or blackened tilapia with mango and papaya salsa.

Allan’s culinary technique is straightforward and adheres to the fundamentals of classic French cooking. “Keep it simple,” he advises. “Complement and heighten flavours, but never overcome the basic goodness of fresh food.”

A few notes from Sandy and Gordon Price about fun:

“We don’t look at the pub as a business at all. It's our home—a home that welcomes guests with warmth and geniality.

"We don’t want people to come here just for a meal or a drink. We want our visitors to have an old-fashioned, general good time in a casual, cheerful place.

"Sometimes a guest will grab one of our musical instruments and play something. Before you know it, people are singing along, and we’ll jump into the jam with our fiddles. When it’s fun for us, it’s fun for everybody.” Gord and Sandy Price

Who’s in the Dam Dining Room?

Sue Carr has hosted Dam Pubbers since we opened last November. Pre-Dam Pub, Sue worked for Loblaws as an employee relations manager, and ran the store’s coffee café. Sue devotes her time-off to her border collies and poodles (4 dogs), and her 2 horses. She’s passionate about gardening, home decorating and the outdoors. As if she doesn’t run around enough at the Pub, she’s a regular at the Women’s Health and Fitness Club. Sue, her husband Brian, and their teenage daughters Stephanie and Lindsey have lived in Clarksburg for 11 years. Ask Sue what she loves most about working at the Pub, and she’ll tell you: “I love the interaction with people.”

Sandy and Gordon, Sue and Allan all look forward to your Dam visit.

Visit the Dam Pub website at www.thedampub.ca

Submitted by Julie Card

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