What's In A Name: Backhouse | Ontario Culinary
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What’s In A Name: Backhouse

The Oxford English Dictionary says that names are but arbitrary labels – but we don’t agree. Sure, that which we call a wine, by any other name would taste as sweet, but we think knowing it’s story gives it legs.

With that, we’re digging through some of Ontario’s most oddly named edibles and sharing their stories with you!

BACKHOUSE n. ‘ 1. a building behind the main building, often serving a subsidiary purpose. 2. A locally focused restaurant run by Chef Ryan Crawford and Bev Hotchkiss in Niagara on the Lake with a continuously evolving commitment to enlightened hospitality and cool climate cuisine.

When asked why the name, Bev and Ryan have a few answers. The first is a personal one: Backhouse is Bev’s grandmother’s maiden name. It’s an ode to her, a fulfillment of her dreams and theirs.

The next is more conceptual. It’s because they’ve let go of any divide between the front and back of house. They don’t hide their cooks behind a wall, and don’t keep their servers stuck behind a bar. Everyone in the restaurant works together, in tandem — a process that has helped make them successful.

The couple searched for a long time, all across the province, for a place to open their spot. It wasn’t until they spent this time away that they realized how much they loved Niagara. So in a way, Bev says, it’s also because Chef Ryan is back in the house… and this house is his home.

Now you know.

To find out more about Backhouse, visit backhouse.xyz