March 2004 Edition
Flavour of Canada

Tony Panacci, Managing Partner

Premiere Ballroom & Convention Centre

Located in Richmond Hill, a thriving business community with numerous hotels, offices and retail complexes nearby, the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre is a state-of-the-art venue that provides flexible facilities for exhibitions, conferences of all sizes, banquets and special events.

Established in 1994, the facility has quickly become a venue of choice for weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, corporate meetings, trade shows and luncheons. With a reputation for beautiful and functional meeting space the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre is ideal for business or personal needs.

With seating for up to 1,500 banquet style and space for eighty exhibition booths when they host conventions, this 27,500 square foot facility is elegantly decorated with beautiful chandeliers that provide soft lighting; granite, wood and mirror finishes; and cascading waterfalls that capture the romance of the old world.

"Making customers welcome from the moment they come into our facility is a priority" says Tony Panacci, managing partner. "We've received numerous compliments and letters of gratitude praising the quality of our food, service and décor." And, it’s no surprise, because the staff at the Premiere ballroom focus on service and are happy to accommodate the special needs of their customers.

Executive Chef Bruno Loeb oversees the large kitchen facilities and presides over a menu that can best be described as Italian Continental. Favourite dishes include combination entrées including stuffed Breast of Capon and Salmon Filet along with their very popular antipasto bar which includes a variety of grilled and pickled vegetables, seafood, and gourmet pizzas; or guests may choose to dine on their specialty - Sacchetti pasta filled with ricotta cheese and spinach.

Sysco has been a service partner to the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre for two years and during that time Panacci notes that he has had the opportunity to interact with Sysco's office staff and drivers, as well as having regular contact with his Sysco marketing associate, Sam Sisto. Says Panacci, "I feel very comfortable that my needs are being met, and that our needs are a priority for the staff at Sysco. And, besides service, Sysco also has unlimited products to choose from."

In an increasingly competitive market, the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre is poised to succeed due to the dedication of the staff, their commitment to service and their uncompromising food quality.

Says Panacci, "We aim to give our guests the attention they deserve, the chance to enjoy fine cuisine in an elegant décor, and superb service." ¨


Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Hot House Salsa

Serves 1


Sea Bass one filet

Extra virgin olive oil 20 mL or 1 1/2 Tbsp

Red pepper 30 mL or 2 Tbsp

Green onion 30 mL or 2 Tbsp

Chopped hothouse tomatoes 125 mL or 1/2 cup

Lemon, for garnish


  • In a hot frying pan, brown Sea Bass in extra virgin olive oil. One minute per side. Remove sea bass from pan and place in hot oven for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop red pepper, green onion, and hothouse tomatoes. Add to olive oil and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Remove sea bass from oven and top with hot house tomato mix. Garnish with lemon.

Sam Sisto

Marketing Associate

Sysco Food Services of Toronto

2-year service partner to the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre

With a proven track record in winning and keeping accounts, Sam Sisto, Marketing Associate with Sysco Food Services of Toronto knows his business inside and out.

Serving fine dining establishments is something that Sam does every day, and the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre is no exception.

"The Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre is a very high-end banquet, ballroom and convention centre, with distinctive cooking that includes an in-house bake shop." Sam says.

"They serve up Beef Tenderloin, Veal Tenderloin, French Veal Chops, and seafood, as well as pasta. They host a variety of different functions and they need a wide variety of products to meet their needs."

When it comes to providing the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre with products that best match their needs, Sysco Brand products, such as the Butcher's Block Beef Program and the Citavo Coffee program have proven beneficial.

"It's all about ensuring the success of my customers. I want them to be happy with the service that I provide on behalf of Sysco. I find it’s the most rewarding aspect of my job - knowing that my customers are satisfied."

For Sam, helping the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre succeed is a pleasure. "The staff are true professionals and leaders in the foodservice industry. They understand their business, and this makes them successful when hosting a function or event."

And says Sam, "Food service trends, in my opinion are moving towards 'Authentic cooking' as I believe the consumer values quality - something that the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre is already focused on."


The Flavour of Canada

Patrick Tréard

Executive Chef, Purchasing Director

Hôtel de la Montagne – Thursday’s Restaurant & Bar

by Louis-Martin Bedard

Located in the heart of Montreal near the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadians hockey club, the Hôtel de la Montagne – Thursday’s Restaurant & Bar has been welcoming a diversified clientele in a relaxed ambience for more than 30 years.

The neighbourhood clientele include businessmen, busy politicians, artists searching for inspiration, movie stars, sport celebrities and families on holiday - all of who may stop in at the Hôtel de la Montagne.

The Hôtel de la Montagne is the smallest of Montreal's Grand hotels providing all the amenities you would expect of a luxury hotel. It offers a five-star gourmet restaurant - Le Lutetia, a terrace with a downtown view, a brasserie with a warm Parisian atmosphere - Les Beaux Jeudis, an intimate cabaret, a legendary disco, banquet rooms, and the lively Thursday’s Restaurant & Bar - known for its fabulous brunch.

Executive Chef and Purchasing Director, Patrick Tréard, has been with The Hôtel de la Montagne for more than 20 years.

"When we first opened we discovered that the ventilation system had been installed the wrong way, and the heat, vapours and smoke were blowing back into the kitchen. We've certainly come along way since then." Tréard says.

Chef Tréard trained in France, receiving a diploma from the École Hôtelière de Paris - though you could say that Tréard came by his culinary expertise naturally. His father was a maitre d’hôtel and many of his family members have worked in the foodservice industry.

Tréard came to Canada in 1968 and has worked in Quebec at St-Sauveur, in Montreal, Edmonton, and Miami before finding a home at The Hôtel de la Montagne.

Tréard participates in different associations with either a mandate to encourage new chefs or to unite the most famous chefs. He is president of the Amis d’Escoffier, and vice-president of the Gérard Delage Association. He is also a member of: The Société des Chefs de Cuisine, The Amis de l’Art Culinaire Foundation, The Cordon Bleu Association and The Académie Culinaire de France.

Says Tréard "I am inspired by meals that I have tasted and I seek to refine each menu item by choosing appropriate seasonings - when I discover a dish that might be promising I use it as a base to develop my own creations."

For example, Les Beaux Jeudis brasserie serves traditional French cuisine that has been adapted to reflect culinary trends, new products, and changing customer tastes. Favourites include delicious Pepper Steak, Lamb Rack "à la Provençale", Bercy Veal Rib, Sole Meunière and their speciality, Lamb Shanks with Beans.

"Twenty or twenty-five years ago we were already buying our products from the company that is now called Sysco Québec." Tréard says. "So it is a long time relationship that we have with the company. We use Sysco Butcher’s Block and Block & Barrel brands. They are high quality products with good standards!"

The future of The Hôtel de la Montagne will soon be in the hands of the current owner's son who has just completed his studies. By following market trends and serving up a variety of delicious food, combined with warm and friendly service, he will continue to ensure that the hotel maintains its reputation for being one of Montreal's Grand hotels.¨

For more information, visit



Serves 8


White dried beans 2 kg

Bouquet garni (thyme, laurel, and parsley) 1

Onion, whole 1

Clove 2

Carrot, peeled 1

Garlic 3

Lamb shanks 8

Slices of Morteau sausage 16

Salt and pepper to taste



  • The day before, soak beans in cold water for 8 hours.
  • Drain beans and place in a large pot with the bouquet garni, the onion pierced with the cloves, the carrot, and garlic. Cover with cold water and gently cook for 20 minutes. Do not salt.
  • Meanwhile, brown the lamb shanks in a frying pan until a light golden colour. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add salt to the beans then add the lamb shanks. Deglaze the pan with some liquid from the beans. Pour it on the beans. Gently cook until done.

Remove the aromatic garnish from the beans and place the beans, Morteau sausage, lamb shanks and the cooking juices in a cooking pot. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes at low heat. Serve in the cooking pot.