Alan Doyle’s All Chefs Holiday Concert: Eat what the locals serve

Written by B.C. Johnson, CNN Alan Doyle is back for his eighth annual All Chefs Holiday Concert, a holiday spectacular co-produced by Scranton (Pennsylvania) High School’s Fidler School of Music. What started as a…

Alan Doyle's All Chefs Holiday Concert: Eat what the locals serve

Written by B.C. Johnson, CNN

Alan Doyle is back for his eighth annual All Chefs Holiday Concert, a holiday spectacular co-produced by Scranton (Pennsylvania) High School’s Fidler School of Music. What started as a one-night stand in 2007 has expanded to two shows over a three-night run — as he further expands on the events’ reputation for catering to Newfoundland food lovers, Doyle has added a Christmas show to the roster.

“I don’t want to be the world’s biggest foodie,” says Doyle of the show, which will serve all of the region’s famed fare — from fish and chips to grits to mussels.

1 / 5 – Lighthouse Pier at sunset Sandy’s Pier at Super Pond in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Credit: Michael Irliger

“This is all about celebrating Newfoundland food,” he says. “So we’re keeping it pretty simple … We are partnering with a bunch of good local purveyors.”

From his native island, which he refers to as “a magical land,” Doyle has broken out and become one of Canada’s most beloved singer-songwriters, and garnered hits with songs such as “All Star,” “If You’re Gone,” and the Oscar-nominated “Amazing Grace.”

He explains that the idea for the show came about after a failed try at a charity event in 2007, which turned out to be a distant memory by 2012. “That was the show I did with my band for, like, $10 and there were like 900 people there,” Doyle says. “I said, if I ever do a concert that I didn’t actually do — that was it, I’m never going to do anything like that again.”

However, years later in Canada, “I was taking a cruise out with my family, and I was thinking, if I could just put together a Christmas show, I’d be happy. I’d call it ‘The Alan Doyle Christmas Show.’ “

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At his beloved Greenfield Lake Home (Fort Mercer, Newfoundland) in 2014, Doyle was inspired to capitalize on his Irish heritage for the show. “Part of the performance was… there were a couple of songs that included a singalong at the end,” he says. “I wanted to put this together again, that was actually part of the original concept, because I wanted to do the show but I just couldn’t find a place to do it.”

It took several months to put together the 2014 show, and for a few years, Doyle wasn’t certain that he would repeat the concept.

“Then we started thinking about doing the All Chefs Holiday Concert again, and in the course of that, this whole bit of entrepreneurship came up. I mean I’ve always been doing a show now for about five or six years, and it’s a lot of fun to do these [all musicians] shows because then everybody has an opportunity to be involved and part of the performance.”

If you’ve been hoping to get into the show, it’s not too late to attend: tickets for the show in Pennsylvania sell out quickly. But any one of us can hop on board via ticketmaster .com .

From fish and chips to grits and mussels

“I know they’re Italian, but I really like having a linguine with bell peppers on it, and I know they make it in New York,” Doyle says of the food served at the shows. “Can they make it in Newfoundland? I’m in for a surprise, because the season is just starting now. There’s seafood all through October, November, so I think that’s going to be a huge show. I’ll probably still be seeing purple mussels, my favorite mussels that no one has tasted before. I’m going to get the rest of the season. Probably by December.”

‘All chefs’ show’ highlights include:

Fish and chips, beef stroganoff, and clam stew

Mussels

Horseradish ice cream

Okra ravioli

Adoption fish crayfish

Glazed Virginia barbecued beef shoulder with horseradish butter

Maple cider dry-rub duck with venison ragout

Burgers

Apple shuck

Maple cheesecake with cinnamon crunch

Green light: If you’re worried about sampling all the eaters’ choice hors d’oeuvres, fear not, there’s no chafing dish, cocktail, or full-sized pie with up to 30 servings — and the pies are passed through the crowd

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