Last night I attended my first ever Cobra Ottawa dinner. All night I had planned to write about the amazing food we ate – including chipmunk and the most amazing duck testicles. About the tale of my adventure, all it’s strangeness and how it came to be. But I realized that the great joy of Cobra is the surprise, the not knowing. Also that both the first and second rules of Cobra is that you don’t talk about Cobra.

That said, the amazing thing about this group is the ability of these chefs to push the envelope. No experience is repeated and each one builds on the awesomeness of the last. So as a compromise, here is a very quick overview of my experience last night.

Like all participants it started with a visit to this website here – where I entered my email and was sent a quirky questionnaire comprised of three questions. Many moons later I received an email telling me that I had been selected for the next dinner and given the date and the general location. I had 24 hours to respond. Two days before the event I received this communication:


This led to many, many jokes about being murdered by the man wearing tin foil.

On the evening in question, I was so excited and nervous to meet my group. We were then led to a secret location, up some sketchy looking stairs and then told we would have to take a slide down to the party. Not just any slide. A pretty darn fast slide that seemed to combine with the material of my dress to turn me into a bullet that raced to the bottom. Luckily not many people were watching, so I could dust myself off and pretend I had more grace than I obviously did.

Then the party began.

Stations of amazing food by some of Ottawa’s culinary elite. Every dish featuring something rare, unusual, or normally unappetizing but made in such a way that was as delicious as it was inventive and fantastic. From lamb sweetbreads to pig’s blood, century eggs to beef tongue and everything in between. This is where I’ll let your imagination run. If you really want to hear about the food, get in touch, we’ll talk. But I urge you to keep it a surprise for yourself. It’s a delight, as long as you aren’t picky. There are no substitutions and adventure is the name of the game. But just remember, just because a cough drop and Flintstone’s vitamin cake sounds scary – in the hands of the right chef it can be phenomenal.

So go on – let this be the start of your Cobra adventure.