Everyone knows that the best parties always end in the kitchen. With our series, Kitchen Party, we’re sitting down with Feast On Chefs, brewers and restaurateurs to get to know them and the local foods that inspire them, a little better.
Hannah Harradine & Joel Gray
Sumac + Salt
What’s your favourite seasonal ingredient?
It’s hard to choose one favourite seasonal ingredient; however, hands down, Spring offers a range of our favourite ingredients. It’s an amazing experience to see the forest come alive with fiddle heads, spruce tips, morels and much much more. A meal simply tastes better when you have gone out to collect and search for the ingredients.
What’s your drink of choice?
As I’m sure most people would agree our palates change seasonally. With the abundance of Spring ingredients, we love being able to incorporate those ingredients and put a twist on a classic cocktail. This year Joel brought in Hot House ONT Rhubarb and poached it in a simple syrup. We both enjoy the freshness and mouthfeel of a classic sour, but adding a twist is great, too! This year Hannah put a twist on a Pisco Sour, incorporating poached rhubarb pieces and the rhubarb syrup, topped with a fresh basil leaf.
Most underrated ingredient?
While everyone is busy hunting down morels it can be easy to miss the humble pheasant back mushroom. We love this mushrooms as it is easily identifiable, it has notes of watermelon and cucumber, and can be found in abundance almost everywhere in the Spring.
It’s not often we head out for a meal but we easily hit up our local coffee spot the most. Gibson and Company is a coffee, wine, whiskey and beer bar offering small plates and freshly baked goods. They make a mean cappuccino and offer the Collingwood Bread Company’s ham and cheese croissants which are simply to die for. Living in Collingwood it can be hard to find the gems from Toronto yet they bring in an abundance, such as Joel’s favourite brewery, Left Field . . . and we exclusively use Pilot Coffee.
What’s the best part of working with Ontario food and drink?
Working within Grey and Bruce County we strive to create relationships with our local purveyors and to experience the passion each farmer holds for their specific crop. It is completely inspiring to go out and learn about new ingredients and techniques all within our region. There is an abundance of old and new ventures starting up, each with a unique story. It is our pleasure to showcase their products and tell their story through food.
Why is Feast On important to you and your restaurant?
For us, Feast On is an amazing platform that opens us up to connections within our community and province. It allows us to start a conversation with our guests about why we should be utilizing all of the incredible things Ontario has to offer.
Fill in the blank:”If I entered a competitive eating contest, I’d definitely win if the item was _______”.
We both said Pizza at the same time.