Remembering The Terroir Rural Retreat | Ontario Culinary
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Remembering The Terroir Rural Retreat

Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the Terroir Symposium � where dreamers, disruptors and luminaries in our industry gathered together to learn about innovative issues and trends in hospitality. More than 1000 chefs, experts, business leaders and writers took over every nook and cranny of the AGO for Monday�s conference. It was the day after though, when 250 of those fine folks made the trek to Ocala Orchard Winery in Durham Region for the annual Rural Retreat that we were most inspired.


14 Feast On Chefs from across Ontario — some coming from as far as Windsor — came together in the rain, hail and snow to cook for the hungry crowd. At best, it was cold and grey, but the palette of food and wonderful company made up for it in spades. The camaraderie was palpable. 

The whole day is an example of community development at it’s finest. Food was provided by Lavender-Blu,  Our Valley View BnB,  Wilmot Blueberries, Trillium Lamb,  Carpe Diem Farm,  Detour CoffeeGallery on the Farm, Sapsucker,  Seacore Seafood Inc.,  Vicki’s Veggies,   Calvin’s Peas,   Stirling Creamery,   Sheldon Creek Diary,   100KM Foods, Brock Street Brewing Company,  Old Flame Brewing Co.,   Archibald’s Cidery,  The Second Wedge Brewing Co.,  Ocala Winery,   Muskoka Brewery and of course, Wine Country Ontario to name a few.

There was coal roasted whole pickerel, charred and peeled pumpkins with last years pickled green strawberries, and gallons of ramp hollandaise. There was a whole grilled lamb saddle, cooked low and slow and earthy stew bubbling over in a cast iron cauldron. There was a sourdough mountain with whey butter and big pails of sticky honey paired with salty, crumbly sheep’s milk cheese. It was all just amazing.

It was the perfect way to celebrate Terroir’s 10th birthday. A big ‘ol delicious field party… and you can�t have a birthday without cake. Lucky for us, Toronto�s Yummy Stuff Bakery made a two-tiered (one white, one carrot), polka-dotted show stopper featuring lavender from Durham Region for everyone to enjoy.

For a glimpse into how local food can bring people together, take a look at some of Ash Nayler’s beautiful images from the day below:

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 A huge Feast On thank you to the chefs and staff who made the event possible. Participating chefs included:

  • Albert Ponzo, Le Select Bistro, Toronto
  • Ryan Crawford, Backhouse, Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Travis Barron, Northwinds Brewhouse, Collingwood
  • Shaun Edmonstone, Bruce Wine Bar, Thornbury
  • Benjamin Leblanc, Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast, Comber
  • Ricky Casipe, Hawthorne Food & Drink, Toronto
  • Owen Steinberg, Harvest Kitchen, Toronto
  • Peter Shambrook, Detour Cafe, Dundas
  • Ryan O’Donnell, Mercer Hall, Stratford
  • Nick Benniger, Nick & Nat’s/Taco Farm, Waterloo
  • Jason Bangerter, Langdon Hall, Cambridge
  • Jesse Vallins, Maple Leaf Tavern, Toronto
  • Binh An, PORT, Pickering