How to Get Access to One-of-a-kind Dinners in Cool Locations with Food by a Top Chef

How to Get Access to One-of-a-kind Dinners in Cool Locations with Food by a Top Chef

It’s no Biggie. Especially for Amex Platinum Cardmembers.

Travel and dining go hand in hand. But when it comes to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, the newly revamped American Express Platinum Card makes it even easier to access a world of experiences.

Just ask Canadian Supermodel Coco Rocha.

An Amex Cardmember since her eighteenth birthday, Rocha’s most memorable experience was sitting front row center for a showing of Hamilton in New York, a perk she enjoyed with other Platinum Cardmembers.

“Seeing Hamilton was really special and it was thanks to [Amex],” shares Toronto-born Rocha. “Amex doesn’t have to [reward members] – we need cards [chuckle] – yet they realize that they want to do more for their clients. It’s about having great experiences, and we’re lucky these moments came about.”

Upgraded to meet current lifestyle needs, the Platinum Card offers increased focus on rewards to elevate the Cardmembers’ experience, including the debut of new travel and dining earn rates (3x on dining, 2x on travel, 1x on everything else).

Platinum Cardmembers also have full access to the Global Dining Collection, where they can easily score some of the most sought after reservations to the world’s top tables including El Celler de Can Roca and Osteria Francescana. In addition to reservations, some of the participating restaurants are known to offer customized experiences with the world-renowned chefs, or simply added amenities like a complimentary dessert.

Earlier this week, lucky guests and influencers experienced first-hand how bucket-lists can be checked off as an Amex Platinum Cardmember. Celebrating the official launch of Amex Canada’s sleek new metal Platinum Card and its upgraded benefits, the iconic card partnered with Dinner With A View for an intimate preview dinner with Rocha acting as host.

Held at The Bentway, the city’s cool new public space under the Gardiner Expressway, attendees had plenty of opportunities to create memories from the moment they entered the mysterious complex. Mingling under heat lamps set up by the entrance bar with a live DJ spinning tunes high above the open-air courtyard, guests sipped on cocktails like a Ginger Honey Sidecar using Remy Martin VSOP/Aviation using Botanist Gin/Paloma featuring Blanco Tequila and snacked on canapes.

Described by David Barnes, Vice President of Advertising and Communications at Amex Canada, as “bringing to life the unique dining benefits that Cardmembers s enjoy both at home and abroad” guests were ushered to their seats after a warm welcome by Rocha.

Led to a field of clear frameless geodesic domes, attendees found their places around the shielded dining tables that were outfitted with heaters, cushions, plush blankets, and platinum-brushed table chargers. With different plants inside, the cozy weather protected Garden Domes were essentially life-sized terrariums each representing distinct terrains: tundra, tropics, grasslands, arid and boreal forest. The Insta-perfect set-up saw many guests brave the cold snow-dusted terrain to snap pictures with the glowing living rooms and Toronto’s urban skyline as the background.

For dinner a special blind tasting menu was curated by 2014 Top Chef Canada winner and Iron Chef Canada Challenger René Rodriguez. Staying in line with the terroir-driven theme of the evening, the three-course meal featuring locally-sourced ingredients prepared with the same care that the French and Italian cuisine trained Mexican chef is known for.

Besides starting with a wedge of slow roasted organic eggplant drizzled with ratatouille mousseline, guests were also served batched Negroni that was poured tableside from single serving bottles.

Rocha dropped by each dome to check in on guests as they dined on their main courses which either featured a silky Alaskan black cod filet that was served with peas blanketed in a chanterelle butter sauce or a vegetarian course that was paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Chardonnay. For meat eaters, the tamarind jus dressed beef short rib dish – which was praised by Rocha, and paired with Cabernet Sauvignon by Beringer Knights Valley – was garnished with pickled papaya, wild garlic confit, layered Anna potatoes and caramelized baby onions in organic honey.

“I really appreciate what they do,” Rocha tells us, “and the reason we are partnered up is because I am an actual believer of the company and what they represent.”

A fan of American Express’ premium benefits including Front of The Line access, concierge service for travel, dining and entertainment, and Priority Pass access to airport lounges, the jet setting mother of two adds, “Now with kids, having perks like [access into] airport lounges has really helped with travel.”

More than that, for frequent diners like Rocha and her husband, James Conran, the enhanced program also makes it easier to earn more points on eligible dining and travel purchases, including:

– 3 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining in Canada
– 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible travel
– 1 point for every $1 in all other Card purchases

For the last course, Nespresso martinis were served with a multi-component dessert that topped a disk of caramelized chocolate with balsam fir vanilla crème brûlée, blood orange sphere, shards of walnut streusel, as well as sea buckthorn puree and squiggles of Ecuador chocolate crèmeux. Even though the ruffles of espelette pepper tuiles induced the most glee, it was the edible platinum leaf-gilded finish that was the biggest nod to the evening’s theme and celebration.

The preview event was just a taste of The Dinner With A View dining series that returns to Toronto in March (March 28-May 2) and will hit Montreal in April (April 16- May 18).

Amex Cardmembers will receive access to exclusive presale tickets and pricing to reserve the family-friendly dome and dinner starting February 14 with tickets opening to the public on February 19 at