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PEC’s The Grange Visits NYC for Cool Chardonnay

By Rebecca Mackenzie on March 11th, 2011

Here’s a copy of the latest blog post from The Grange Winery, about their experience going to New York City for the 2011 Cool Chardonnay Tasting:

Getting on the plane to New York was such an exciting feeling. Seriously Cool Chardonnay NYC had been on the schedule for months and as it approach the hype around it continued to grow. New York is arguably the coolest resto city in the world. They are absolutely doing the best local food: urban farming, Brooklyn flea, preserving, curing, brewing, cooking and ultimately eating. Our wines in this context would shine!

My flight lands mid-morning on a beautiful spring day in New York City. It�s sunny and warm and the streets are full. Though, I suppose the streets are always full in that city. Arriving at 1220 6th Ave was impressive. Across the street from Radio City Music Hall, Magnolia Bakery, and around the corner from Le Bernadin; this is just what I could figure in the cab over. Getting up to the 50th floor and looking out of the windows at the view of the city (including the statue of liberty in the distance), the excitement was building�.

So highlights of the event itself. There we wine buyers from big restaurants, wine merchants, and writers and bloggers; it was really cool to meet all the different characters that make New York so dynamic like Mr. Goldberg from The New York Times and Decanter and bloggers Andrea and Jeff from High/Low Food/Drink. And the best part of the day was? That everyone was blown away by the wine! It was cool to let people taste wines from a region they hadn�t even discovered yet and really impress them. Already we are hearing about more opportunities to visit and pour our wine! Thanks New York!

Read the original posting here: http://grangeofprinceedward.com/2011/03/11/cool-city-cool-chard-highlights-from-nyc/

2011 Brewers Plate – Get Your Tickets Now!

By Rebecca Mackenzie on March 11th, 2011

Brewer�s Plate

April 6th @ 6:15pm
Wychwood Barns
(St Clair & Christie)

Purchase your tickets Now

Master chefs and brewers come together with musicians and artists to bring you an extraordinary locavore Spring feast, an unforgettable evening�s entertainment and a deep appreciation of the food we eat every day.

Unlimited tastings of a wide selection of Ontario�s distinctive craft beers, cider and mead wedded to inventive dishes from several of Toronto�s most celebrated chefs and local food artisans are on the menu at the Brewers Plate 2011. A�Local food and beer lovers will enjoy live music and entertainment, dancing, auctions and libations flowing to suit every taste, including wine.

The proceeds from this extraordinary evening will support the work of Not Far From the Tree, an organization whose volunteers pick fruit from Toronto�s urban gardens and then share the free harvest with food banks and shelters. A�With your support they will expand their highly-successful programming to a low-income neighbourhood outside of the downtown core and engage a new community in gathering and sharing fruit.

Celebrated Chefs, so far��

Jamie KennedyA�A�A�|A�A�A�A�A�Michael StehA�A�|A�A�A�A�Brad Long
Mark CutraraA�A�A�|A�A�A�A�A�Marc BretonA�A�A�|A�A�A�A�A�Lora Kirk

Other local food artisans include��

ChocosolA�A�|A�A�A�A�Ninutik Maple SugarA�A�A�|A�A�A�Oyster Boy
Maple Dale CheeseA�A�A�|A�A�A� and On the Side Chutney

And our Ontario Craft Breweries are��

Barley DaysA�A�|A�A�A�A�Beau�sA�A�A�|A�A�A�Black OakA�A�A�|A�A�A�Cameron’s
Denison�sA�A�|A�A�A�A� Flying MonkeysA�A�|A�A�A�A�Great Lakes
Mill StreetA�|A�A�A�A�Nickel BrookA�A�|A�A�A�A� Steam Whistle
Scotch and IrishA�A�A�|A�A�A�StoneHammer and Wellington�s

Wines ….

from Ontario�s first biodynamic Winery Southbrook
and Applewood Farm Wines who create fruit wines
from their Stouffeville fields

Where: Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street Toronto (at St Clair)
When: Wednesday April 6th 2011
Time: Doors open 6:15pm
Ticket price: $125.00 + TAX + service charge
Purchase tickets HERE

Ontario Tourism Wants You to Star in Its Latest Campaign

By Rebecca Mackenzie on March 10th, 2011

By Craig Pearson, The Windsor Star

WINDSOR, Ont. — Ontario Tourism wants people to star in their own mini-reality shows.

The government agency has issued a casting call for Ontarians to provide stories surrounding their favourite part of the province, to be featured in television ads and through social media, all including the tag line, ?This is my Ontario.?

And the sprawling Town of Lakeshore hopes to share some of the billing.

?We posted the casting call on our website because we thought it was a nice campaign and would be great to get the word out,? Rita Arsenault, manager of special projects for Lakeshore and its 34,000 residents, said Monday. ?Our boating, our fishing, our festivals, our parks, our sports teams, are all things that would be great to bring people�s attention to. And it seems from the campaign that they�re looking for things that are just a little bit different.?

Read more at: http://www.windsorstar.com/travel/Ontario+Tourism+wants+star+campaign+videos/4398999/story.html

Picky For Real Food: GE Caf Chefs Series

By Agatha Podgorski on March 9th, 2011

I imagine having children, let alone feeding them, is very difficult. For someone who loves food, the idea of giving up ‘adult meals’ can be terribly daunting. This is the problem Chef Anthony Walsh of Oliver & Bonacini and Marina Queirolo, EBW Food Program Manager and creator of SA�rkl Empanadas, tackled during last nights GE CafA� Chefs Series, the fifth of ten happening at the Evergreen Brick Works.

The truth is, you don’t need to have children to have problems with picky eaters. Picky children turn into adults who lack basic food knowledge, are unable to cook healthy meals, read food labels correctly, and even to feed themselves. There are differing opinions on how to raise future foodies, but all agree that exposure and nurturing the community eating creates are key. Engage your children, husbands, brothers, sisters, mothers who don’t share your passion. Let them get their hands dirty as we did last night. To quote Chef Walsh, ‘there is nothing, aside from maybe sex, more intimate than cooking for someone’. They won’t be able to resist trying�and ultimately loving, the food they create.

Start small by making meatballs. They’re simple, delicious, and easier to make with multiple hands. ‘It’s about soaking the meat with moisture’ said Chef Walsh as we dug our hands deeper into the wet mass of Cumbrae meat, milk and Ontario eggs. Make the kitchen your playground.A� What child wouldn’t love playing like this?

Our menu was small, seasonally inspired, both child-friendly and adult-approved. We started with a treat for the adults: trout tartare with capers and dill, delicate arancini (a Sicilian speciality: fried risotto balls) topped generously with Chef Walsh’s basil tomato sauce, and Marina’s empanadas stuffed to the gills with hand-cut sirloin and Monforte cheeses. We quickly moved on to rolling out pasta dough for parpadelle, making seasonal empanadas with roasted root veggies, and mucking about in moist meat for meatballs. This kind of hands on cooking is better than any theme park you could take your kids too. If you’re worried about the nutritional value of the food you are creating together, you can always fall back on hiding extra vitamins in their favourite foods. Chef Walsh’s honey crisp crumble did just that by incorporating cooked quinoa and ground flax into the sweet and spicy crumble topping. A generous scoop of Soma’s cinnamon ice cream will hide any offending flavours that may lurk underneath.

The lesson of the night was ENGAGE. Whether your picky eater is six or 62, getting involved and invested in your food is necessary, even therapeutic. To quote Chef Walsh (a father of three) again, ‘There is nothing like butchering a whole fish to make a man relax’.

There are five more Chef Series like this happening at the Evergreen Brickworks. Anyone passionate about food, in all its incarnations, is encouraged to attend. There is no better-valued meal in this city.

For more information and registration for the GE CafA� Chefs Series, visit: http://ontarioculinary.com///?p=5258

Spending Your March Break in Canada

By Rebecca Mackenzie on March 9th, 2011

This text appears courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission and was authored by Valerie Howes:

School�s out, but do you really want to head south with the frat pack? Whether you�re into architecture or Arctic adventure, Canada has just the March break package for you.

Northern delights
It�s an experience in itself to arrive at Yukon�s Tagish Wilderness Lodge � the final stretch across a vast frozen lake can only be completed by snowmobile, dogsled or ski plane. The Yukon Winter Sampler is a five-day action-filled package, available throughout March, with cozy log-cabin accommodation for when it�s time to zonk out. After a mushing lesson on day two, you�ll race confidently through the forest, pulled by your own effervescent huskies. You�ll also learn to get about like a local on a powerful Ski-Doo. The reward for making it to a nearby mountaintop? A campfire cookout � think smoky homemade beans and lightly charred organic steaks. And when you feel like slowing down, you can pad around so quietly, in snowshoes you made yourself, that you won�t even startle the snowshoe hares. Or maybe you�d rather ice-fish through a sawed-out hole in the frozen lake? At the end of the day, there�s nothing more relaxing than hitting the hot tub to bask in the alien-green glow of the northern lights.

Highbrow holidays
Aesthetes can plan smart by booking the OPUS Design Package between March 17 and 27, when the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) is running in MontrA�al. The OPUS MontrA�al boutique hotel is as striking for its 1914 main building � the first poured-concrete residential structure in North America � as for its recent slick black addition, designed by Dan Hanganu. The Design Package includes a self-guided walking tour of the city�s architectural highlights, tickets to the Canadian Centre for Architecture and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as well as martinis in the chandeliered Grand Salon of Koko bar, where you�ll get a kick out of the larger-than-life Moooi horse sculpture and electric-green runway. And at FIFA, you can chow down on popcorn at one of nine cinema and museum venues and catch movies and discussions on a fascinating array of topics from the world of art.

County fare
From March 23 to April 16, you can take a break in Ontario�s Prince Edward County and work your way around the select restaurants participating in Countylicious � a celebration of the local bounty with three-course, prix-fixe dinners for a friendly $30 or $35 rate. Claramount Inn and Spa offers an all-inclusive package of room, breakfast and a meal from their Countylicious menu showcasing the county�s tasty heirloom and organic veggies, as well as local cheeses and wines � be sure to sample more than one of the crisp, steely Rieslings, which have helped to forge the local wine industry�s reputation. A walk around Claramount�s sprawling grounds by Picton Bay will help you work off dessert before you retire to one of 10 uniquely styled rooms. Tip: Between dinners, follow the ?Taste Trail? and stock up on gourmet souvenirs like Sandbanks Estate Winery�s award-winning Baco Noir Reserve or Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Company�s strangely delicious Goat Cheese Chocolate Truffles.

Getting here

Tagish Wilderness Lodge, Box 17, Tagish, YT, 867-332-2113, tagishwildernesslodge.com
Opus MontrA�al Hotel, 10 Sherbrooke St. W., MontrA�al, QC, 1-866-744-6346, opushotel.com
Claramount Inn and Spa, 97 Bridge St., Picton, ON, 1-800-679-7756, claramountinn.com
Yukon Tourism, 1-800-661-0494, www.travelyukon.com
Ontario Tourism, 1-800-ONTARIO (1-800-668-2746), www.ontariotravel.net
Tourisme QuA�bec, 1-877-BONJOUR (1-877-266-5687), www.bonjourquebec.com

Sustain Ontario to Develop Ontario Food Act

By Rebecca Mackenzie on March 9th, 2011

A message from Sustain Ontario…

Join Sustain Ontario in developing the Ontario Food Act. The Ontario Food Act will position Ontario as a leader in food and farming policy and program development that integrates health, sustainability and the economy. Sustain Ontario is developing the act to help guide the future action of Ontario�s politicians and bureaucrats and to make sure that food is on the agenda in the upcoming provincial elections.

We would love to hear your ideas and thoughts on the act.

Read More at: http://sustainontario.com/initiatives/ontario-food-act

Toronto Celeb Chefs Help Out in Sistering Kitchens

By Rebecca Mackenzie on March 8th, 2011

By Toronto journalist Carly Maga, from Torontoist.com

Today’s menu: vegetable soup, scalloped potatoes, and a choice of ham or a vegetable medley of red kidney beans, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, and carrots. Bread and apples are optional, yet popular, snacks. And for an extra special treat: Black Forest cake with chocolate shavings and a cherry on top.

It was a donation. “When you have it, you give it,” says Mary, a volunteer in the kitchen. And it goes fast.

Hot breakfasts and lunches are a key service that Sistering�an agency serving Toronto’s vulnerable, abused, low-income, and homeless women�provides on a daily basis. Besides the nourishment, the food also offers comfort and company. And as the ladies’ chatter grows on a Sunday afternoon among the tables in the cafeteria, one table gossiping about their day, another playing cards and chatting in Chinese, the family atmosphere makes Sistering live up to its name. But this family consists of up to two hundred members on any given day�about double the number that the Sistering kitchen ever planned to feed.

Recent reports indicate that hunger is on the rise in Canada; Sistering is seeing it first hand. Since starting in the early ’80s, Sistering has seen a staggering increase in women seeking out their services: up 489 per cent from 1987 to 1999, with another forty per cent increase in food demand since moving to their current location at Bloor and Dovercourt four years ago.

“What we have is too small…the whole kitchen needs to be entirely renovated,” says drop-in services manager Carol Allain. And that’s more than just a personal desire or another “to do” on their list: Toronto Public Health issued the centre a directive last year that Sistering must expand its kitchen and storage areas or stop cooking.

“Footloose” plays on an old black Panasonic stereo at the back of the kitchen, barely heard over the chatter from the diners enjoying their lunch, and the mood is light among the five volunteers on the line. While keeping up with the prep, cooking, and clean-up that lunch for two hundred requires, they make sure no one waits long to be greeted with a plate and a smile. But there is a lot of movement in this cramped space, barely two armspans wide, while stove-tops burn, pots boil, and cupboard doors hang open nearby. “Storage” is even narrower, basically a hallway off the kitchen with only a wall a few feet high separating piles of apples, oranges, squash, and loaves of bread from a sleeping area and the rest of the cafeteria. Not only would a renovation help the centre’s staff and volunteers serve even more of the community, but they could do it more efficiently and more comfortably.

“It’s tight. Everyone is manoeuvring around each other trying to make everything go smooth. We need new fridges, bigger stoves, more ovens, but our main issue is spaceaZ?more counter space, more storage space, more sink space,” Allain says.

But as a non-profit organization, with plans for an upcoming renovation comes the inevitable lack of funding to make it happen. And Sistering needs $350,000 of it. Fortunately, their savoury sisters in Toronto’s foodie community have their back, including celebrity chef Lynn Crawford of the Food Network’s Pitchin’ In and co-owner of Leslieville’s Ruby Watchco, and journalist/author/”food sleuth” Marion Kane. To celebrate today’s one hundredth annual International Women’s Day, Crawford and Kane will be joined by some of the city’s top female chefs (like Donna Dooher from Mildred’s Temple Kitchen and Anne Yarymowich of Frank at the AGO), as well as Sistering’s own chefs, Trish Beard and Maureen Watson, for Kitchen Sisters: An Exquisite Dining Experience. It’s an evening of wine tastings and a four-course meal fit for a queen, with an equally royal ticket price of either $500 or $1000 (a portion of which is tax-deductable).

Allain says about ninety tickets have already been sold, but that has only raised about $45,000 so far; there’s still a long road ahead to keep Sistering’s mission to provide healthy meals alive.

Sitting alone at a long table, a grey-haired woman in a bright red Christmas sweater and puffy knit cap packs away extra bread and apples in a tupperware container. “Some women bag their lunches, and we know their lunch will be their dinner as well,” says Lori Johnstone, a weekend volunteer at Sistering. “Some have said to me, ‘Thank God for Sistering, or else I wouldn’t be eating today.'”

The familiar faces at Sistering may never enjoy cedar-planked maple-spiced Ontario rainbow trout with flageolet puree, or brown butter pistachio cake with citrus cream and pistachio meringue, both of which will be enjoyed by the attendees of tonight’s fundraiser, but the simple meal of ham and veggies and a slice of black forest cake with a cherry on top, most likely tastes just as good.

To view the post, complete with photos, please visit: http://torontoist.com/2011/03/todays_menu_vegetable_soup_scalloped.php

The Stop Community Food Centre takes its innovative model to Stratford and Perth

By Rebecca Mackenzie on March 8th, 2011

Toronto, March 8, 2011 � The Stop Community Food Centre today announced that it has selected two Ontario towns, Perth and Stratford, as the first pilot sites to replicate The Stop�s innovative community food centre model, where food is used to build health, skills, and community. This unique and unprecedented collaboration is the first phase of a process that The Stop hopes will eventually bring the CFC model to every community in the country.

The Stop began life in the 1970s as one of Canada�s first food banks, and has been on the frontlines of confronting hunger ever since. Over the years, in order to confront the root causes of poverty, poor nutrition and social isolation, the non-profit organization has evolved into a thriving, holistic community centre offering a wide range of services and initiatives, including several community gardens and kitchens; after school cooking and gardening programs; a farmers� market; community advocacy training; a nutritional support program for new and expectant mothers; and a sustainable food systems education centre. On a recent visit to Toronto, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver said of The Stop:A� ?I�ve travelled all around the world, and I�ve never seen anything like The Stop. Every city should have one.?

?The Stop is a grassroots approach to tackling some of the really big problems we have in our food system:A�A� diet-related illness, disappearing farmland, deepening poverty,? says Nick Saul, The Stop�s Executive Director.A� ?There�s so much interest in food at the moment, and what good food can do for people and communities. We get calls and visits almost every day from other organizations interested in our approach.?A� Saul says the pilot process will be geared toward measuring the impact that multifaceted food centres can have on individual and community health to make the case that society needs to invest in more community food centres. ?Traditionally, food programs have been run out of basements on a shoestring.A� We�re going to try to change that, to aim higher and to build a vibrant funding program that brings public and private money together to support these programs at the level they deserve.?

In the fall of 2010, a committee from The Stop, with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion�s Healthy Communities Fund and The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, set out to locate other communities who could most effectively adapt The Stop�s model for their own needs. After considering several locations, Perth and Stratford were chosen because of the combination of need and local infrastructure, as well as the strong and diverse set of local partners who share The Stop�s philosophy and are prepared to drive the project forward.

In Perth, The Stop will be partnering with the Perth and District Food Bank, a food bank whose staff and volunteers have decided to re-invent their organization. The food bank has recently purchased a 1960s-era stucco church which, once it is retrofitted with a kitchen and garden, will house their CFC.

?We are excited about the opportunity to work with The Stop to create a version of a community food centre that re-creates the powerful, and exciting programs that we see at The Stop, but that is also relevant to our community,? says Nancy Wildgoose, a local resident who has been one of the driving forces behind the CFC initiative in Perth. Wildgoose envisions dining programs for seniors, healthy cooking programs for young parents and kids living on low incomes, community gardening programs open to the whole community and social enterprise initiatives as some of the options that hold promise for Perth.

In Stratford, the United Way of Perth-Huron is the lead partner and will incubate the project. ?Our Food Security Coalition has been working on re-imagining the approach to food security in our community. This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance the range of programs that we can offer and develop other partnerships within the county,? says Ellen Balmain the Executive Director of the United Way of Perth- Huron. ?We are thrilled that Stratford was chosen as one of the locations for The Stop�s project.? A location is currently being sought for the new project. Balmain points to the richness of the local food landscape, with the many successful restaurants, chef�s school and Slow Food movement as potentially powerful allies in this project. As with the Town of Perth, the rural environment will present new opportunities to address issues related to local farming and farm families.

Braise Food and Wine – A Seminal, Seasonal and from Scratch, Farm-to-Table Dining Experience

By Rebecca Mackenzie on March 7th, 2011

Here’s a great article by Bryan Lavery about London’s emerging culinary tourism scene – in particular, the local endeavors of chefs at Braise Food and Wine.
Rob Taylor’s Braise Food and Wine was recently recommended by enRoute magazine’s 2010 food issue as a destination to enjoy this year’s hottest food trends. Braise has a particular glamour with its chic, ultra-sophisticated decor combined with deliciously intelligent and artful cuisine. Executive chef Kristian Crossen (formerly at Langdon Hall,) crafts a seminal, seasonal and from scratch, farm-to-table dining experience that is among the top tier in the province.

Braise which opened in late December 2009, in the revitalized interior of a former downtown warehouse and adjacent to the new swanky boutique hotel project, Metro, in downtown London, has access off both Covent Market Lane and Dundas Street.

Braise maybe positioned at the top end of the dining scene but don’t let that detour you. Step inside, and you will see that the menus appeal to both discriminating grazers (culinary hipsters) and serious foodies, and diners (read gastronomes). Minutes from the John Labatt Centre, Braise is also a preferred hot-spot for smart late-night drinks and appetizers or a nice glass of wine at the bar and a simple plate of sustainable fish and chips (in this case, beer battered wild lake bass, creamy coleslaw, french fries and lemon aioli, $15).

You can relax, this is not a “special occasion only? restaurant, and Owner Rob Taylor has gone to great pains not to be pigeon-holed by callow observers. The kitchen offers a brasserie-style menu that is both accessible and affordable. You will not find staff members putting on airs – just because the food is garnering raves or that the restaurant is just a bit more luxe, the service a bit more welcoming, and the atmosphere a bit more professional than most.

The eco-friendly restaurant design incorporates organic materials mixed with contemporary surfaces for a crisp eclectic urban sensibility. Restaurant tabletops are Douglas fir that Rob’s father-in-law, Glen Brockington reclaimed through renovations to the hotel�s atrium. A solid-walnut-topped bar top is one of the focal points in the 126-seat room, which includes a 30-seat bar and comfortable lounge. Brockington also crafted the cabinetry and the stunning floor-to-ceiling wine cellar from repurposed wooden beams and tempered glass.

Wine is a large part of the restaurants credo and prestige. The sommelier, Jonny Kirwin, selects wines that focus on regional specific styles and small lot vineyards, at times featuring many of Canada’s best wineries. Kirwin offers a constantly updated list offering four house wines and sixteen premium wines by the glass, at a variety of price points, as well as a full list of upscale international bottles.

Taylor also focuses on the corporate and private dining sector of the business. Three separate areas have the ability to transform into private dining rooms that are able to accommodate parties of 10 to 36 guests. The restaurant is also able to seat from 44 to 65 people in the banquet facility of Metro�s indoor courtyard, which features a stunning 35-foot-high sky-lit atrium.

Taylor and Crossen share an ethical and sustainable culinary philosophy, thoughtfully caring about the provenance of their food and how it was grown or raised. They are patriotic proponents of the local terroir and quality ingredients. Suppliers are given star billing with a detailed listing on the back of the dinner menu.

In addition to the regular menus there are two tasting menus, one which is vegetarian, both are offered with or without wine pairings. This allows Crossen and his culinary brigade to showcase a selection of in-house specialties, signature flavours and taste experiences that change to take advantage of the seasons. The menus are not only cultural journeys into the local terroir but much, much more.

One evening, the Creamed Jerusalem Artichoke Soup juxtaposed flavours perfectly with spiced wine poached egg, black pepper oil and chantrelle mousseline. The bread is heavenly and the butter house made. White bean soup is a delicious silky concoction of legumes with an electric-looking parsley jus. “Please, sir, can I have some more?”

The house charcuterie (yes, this is the new tapas) is a delicious rustic appetizer with vanilla bean scented vegetables. Yorkshire pork terrine, lusciously smooth buttery pate and house cured chorizo that dissolves into a rich pleasantly piquant taste on the tongue. At lunch, the tenderest morsels of flavourful beef brisket melt in-your-mouth.

On several occasions, perfectly chilled Canadian Malpeque Oysters on the half shell had the clarity and purity of flavour that make them a connoisseur’s best friend. Roast Duck Breast, sweet spices and honey, heirloom beets, creamed black walnut, toasted amaranth, currants and duck jus make a perfect dinner. On another occasion, our waiter suggests the lean bison strip loin, served with wild mushroom crust, spiced squash puree, quinoa, roasted baby onions, trumpet mushrooms, port jus and bitter chocolate.

One afternoon, pastry chef, Rob Howland proffers a platter of four house-made doughnuts which were comprised of old fashioned plum, chocolate glazed, buttermilk, apple fritter and served with a trio of dipping sauces. Each sauce richer and more sinful than the other. Another late-night occasion, we order the brown butter roasted pear, dulce de leche mousse and truffle caramel ice cream.

Braise Food and Wine is the platinum standard for gracious dining in London. Taylor and Crossen are faithful proponents of local provenance and quality ingredients from producers, foragers, growers and artisans primarily from Middlesex, Perth and Elgin counties. Crossen and Taylor embody the tenets of ethical sourcing from the local terroir and provide an outstanding gastronomic farm-to-table dining experience or a simple . gourmet grilled chicken sandwich and a glass of wine. You are treated very well at Braise, and it isn’t rocket science, that this is one of the chief reasons we go out to dine.

125 Dundas Street: London, Ontario
N6A 1E8: Phone: 519-433-1414
Website: http://www.braise.ca

Local Chef Discovers the Up and Coming World of Ontario Cider

By Rebecca Mackenzie on March 7th, 2011

By: Michelle Gatien from Burlington.net

Spencer�s at the Waterfront played host to a unique food experience on February 27th as Chef Chris Haworth prepared a Cider Tasting Menu to a crowd of over 130 local food and beverage enthusiasts.

Haworth designed a seven-course menu featuring Ontario meat and produce that showcased ciders selected from four Ontario cideries. ?I think the cider industry in Ontario now is similar to how the wine industry was about 15 years ago,? Haworth explains as he describes the inspiration for the menu.

Chef Chris Haworth has been the Executive Chef at Spencer�s on the Waterfront since 2006, after a stint as Chef de Cuisine at the Ancaster Old Mill Restaurant. Haworth�s experience also includes working in some of Europe�s finest kitchens, including the kitchens of renowned chef Marc Pierre White, who has trained other notable chefs include Gordon Ramsey.

Haworth�s inspiration for the Spencer�s at the Waterfront menu comes from the local and seasonal foods available from Ontario farmers and producers.
When asked why he wanted to showcase local ciders, Haworth explains that ciders are very popular around the world but not as much here in Canada. ?I�m British and I had been looking for local ciders because I can�t find the British ciders I�m used to.? His exploration of Ontario ciders uncovered an up and coming industry, with a wide variety of ciders produced by a growing number of cideries. ?The more I looked for that amazing cider, the more and more I uncovered,? Haworth explains as he describes the research he put into this menu starting last November.

Haworth was delighted to find at least three more up and coming cideries that no one knows about that plan to be functional in the next year. ?You can see that there�s something brewing in the industry, that these guys are on to something.?

Spencer�s at the Waterfront played host to Chef Chris Haworth�s Cider Tasting on Sunday, February 27th.

Delightful evening

The seven course menu began with a winter salad paired with Country Premium Cider from Prince Edward County and went on to include a surf and turf course of scallop, foie gras and chicken wing paired with a cider from Twin Pines ciderie in Thedford.

The meat course of veal loin and pork belly was paired with Caledon�s Spirit Tree cider and the dessert of prune and calvados cake was paired with an ice cider from County Cider Co from Picton, Ontario.

Four styles of ciders were featured on the menu: a chardonnay still style cider, a rose cider, a champagne style cider and an ice wine style cider. Each type of cider was paired with one of the seven courses, using many of the same principles used to pair wine with food.

?We�ve had such a great response to this event� maybe it will become an annual process.?

Spencer�s at the Waterfront is open for both lunch and dinner service and is a participant in the current Taste of Burlington, which runs from now until March 13. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.spencers.ca.

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