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Eatdrink #65 May/June 2017

The LOCAL food and drink magazine serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario since 2007

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Issue #65 | May/June 2017

eatdrink

The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

FREE

Trending Now: The Tea Lounge

is part of a Tea Renaissance

Tea Rituals

The Sommelier-Driven

Tea Experience

ALSO FEATURING

Al Fresco!

Dining & Drinking

in the Great Outdoors

John Szabo Interview

A Master Sommelier

Feast: Recipes and Stories

from a Canadian Road Trip

Serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario since 2007

www.eatdrink.ca


2 | May/June 2017

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

Celebrate

the art of life in in

STRATFORD

Spring is is bursting with with culinary culinary innovations, innovations, artistic artistic talent and talent and

musical pleasures. Come Come join join us for us these for these happenings happenings and more. and more

5-7 Country Weekend at The Hub

6 Young Adults Stratford Writers Festival

MAY

7 Bradshaws Open House – A Canadian

Marketplace

7 Spring Foraging, Puck’s Plenty (more dates)

19-21 Stratford Studio Tour

20 Revival House VQA Wine Festival

JUNE

16 50th Anniversary Picnic, Gallery Stratford

18 Father’s Day Craft Beer Festival,

Stratford Perth Museum

23-25 Stratford Blues & Ribfest

25 Revival House High Tea

Plan your Spring getaway at

visitstratford.ca

@StratfordON

@SavourStratford

StratfordON


SPRING EVENTS A T T H E IDLE WYL D

The Courtyard Opens in June!

.

BBQ

Buffet

Dinners

Wednesdays & Thursdays

Seatings start at 5:30–9pm

$36.95

per person + hst & gratuity

Mother’s Day Brunch

& Dinner Buffet

Sunday, May 14th

Brunch, Two Seatings: 11am & 2pm

$35.95 per person, Children 3–12 $18, + hst & gratuity

Dinner Buffet, Two Seatings: 5pm & 7:30pm

$39.95 per person, Children 3–12 $20, + hst & gratuity

$40

per person

+hst & gratuity

Our Famous Saturday Afternoon Tea

May 20th & June 24th | 2:00 – 4:00pm

Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea, featuring an assortment

of loose leaf teas, homemade scones, Devon cream and

preserves, cucumber sandwiches, savory mini quiches, and

mouth watering treats and sweets!

36 Grand Ave London, Ontario | 519.432.5554

www.idlewyldinn.com |

IdlewyldInnAndSpa


eatdrink


inc.

The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

eatdrinkmag

@eatdrinkmag

eatdrink.ca

Living

Energy!

Full of enzymes.

Packed with vitamins, minerals,

and cleansing chlorophyll.

Delicious!

Conveniently packaged,

living and ready to eat.

Just snip, rinse & serve!

Available at Wholesalers,

Fine Restaurants & Retailers,

and at our Farm Gate Retail

7496 Calvert Dr., Strathroy ON

519-245-1339

slegersgreenhouses@gmail.com

www.slegersgreens.com

Think Global. Read Local.

Publisher

Chris McDonell – chris@eatdrink.ca

Managing Editor Cecilia Buy – cbuy@eatdrink.ca

Food Editor Bryan Lavery – bryan@eatdrink.ca

Copy Editor Kym Wolfe

Social Media Editor Bryan Lavery – bryan@eatdrink.ca

Advertising Sales Chris McDonell – chris@eatdrink.ca

Stacey McDonald – stacey@eatdrink.ca

Finances

Ann Cormier – finance@eatdrink.ca

Graphics

Chris McDonell, Cecilia Buy

Writers

Jane Antoniak, Gerry Blackwell,

Renee Borg, Tanya Chopp, Darin Cook,

Nicole Laidler, Bryan Lavery,

Wayne Newton, Tracy Turlin

Photographers Bruce Fyfe, Steve Grimes

Telephone & Fax 519-434-8349

Mailing Address 525 Huron Street, London ON N5Y 4J6

Website

City Media

Printing

Impressions Printing

© 2017 Eatdrink Inc. and the writers. All rights reserved.

Reproduction or duplication of any material published in Eatdrink

or on Eatdrink.ca is strictly prohibited without the written permission

of the Publisher. Eatdrink has a printed circulation of 20,000

issues published six times annually. The views or opinions expressed

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Eatdrink or online are solely those of the author(s) and do not

necessarily represent those of the Publisher. The Publisher welcomes

submissions but accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material.

OUR COVER

The Tea Lounge, owned by

Yixing Tang and Michelle

Pierce Hamilton, manifests

the exuberant enthusiasm for all

things tea in 2017. Story page 20.

Photo by Spencer Drake


Every Saturday in May!

Come for mammoth meals, deals & experiences at

these stops:

Shop & Sample our award winning Cheddar & Asiago.

816503 Country Rd 22, Bright

brightcheeseandbutter.com | 519-454-8600

Tour, taste, & take home our award winning cheeses.

445172 Gunn’s Hill Rd., Woodstock

GunnsHillCheese.ca | 519-424-4024

Sample our handcrafted chocolates & world teas

38 King St W., Ingersoll

Chocolate.ca | 519-495-6020

Gourmet grilled cheese & cheese baked goods.

544212 Clarke Rd., Ingersoll

LeapingDeer.com | 519-485-4795

Find more stops & details at

www.oxfordcountycheesetrail.ca

866-801-7368 x3355

@TourismOxford


Contents

Issue #65 | May/June 2017

Food Writer at Large

To B&B or Not to B&B

A Diversity of Lodgings in Stratford

By BRYAN LAVERY

8

Restaurants

Al Fresco!

14

Dining & Drinking in the Great Outdoors

By BRYAN LAVERY

14

8

Spirits

Craft Distillery Cocktails

A Spring Visit to Wolfhead Distillery

By JANE ANTONIAK

46

Various Musical Notes

Celtic, Québecois, and Iconic

Upcoming Highlights on the Music Scene

By GERRY BLACKWELL

48

Culinary Retail

Tea Rituals

The Sommelier-Driven Tea Experience

By BRYAN LAVERY

20

20

The Classical Beat

Happy Birthday, Canada

It’s All About Us

By NICOLE LAIDLER

50

Road Trips

Destination: Nebraska

A “Drive-to” State

By WAYNE NEWTON?

26

The BUZZ

Culinary Community Notes

30

Beer

Last Castle Brewing Co.

Nano Brewing in Port Stanley

By WAYNE NEWTON

40

Wine

Master Sommelier John Szabo

A Taste for Excellence

By TANYA CHOPP

42

26

40

60

55

Theatre

Summer Theatre Is Back!

Celebrating Canada Onstage

By JANE ANTONIAK

53

Recipes

Feast: Recipes and Stories

from a Canadian Road Trip

Review & Recipe Selections by TRACY TURLIN

55

Books

The Trends that We Eat

Devoured by Sophie Egan

Review by DARIN COOK

60

The Lighter Side

The Newbie

By RENEE BORG

62

42

62


Alternate Grounds Dockside, Sarnia

©

There’s a new culinary scene making waves in Ontario.

Ontario’s Blue Coast is home to a rapidly expanding wine region and premium waterfront

dining, all inspired by the laidback lifestyles in Lambton County.

Sit back, relax, sip some craft beer and sink your teeth into some fresh-caught lake fish.

It’s what we like to call the après-jet ski on the coast.

GET A TASTE at tourismsarnialambton.com


8 | May/June 2017

Food Writer at Large

To B&B or Not to B&B

A Diversity of Lodgings in Stratford

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

By BRYAN LAVERY

If you’re thinking of visiting

Stratford before the summer

season heats up, or in the

thick of theatre season, you’ll

find a diversity of comfortable

hospitable lodgings no matter

what your taste. The region offers

a variety of hotels, boutique inns,

luxury suites, hotel-style home

and vacation rentals, farm-stays

and over 70 bed-and-breakfasts

(B&Bs). Be sure to book in

advance for the most optimal

experience.

The lion’s share of Stratford’s

lodgings is situated around

the downtown area with easy access to

theatres, restaurants, cafés and independent

retailers. The gradual transformation from

heritage homes to elegant guest houses and

B&B lodgings has played a large role in the

conservation of the heritage architecture and

charm of Stratford and surroundings. Dating

from 1953, Stratford’s B&B history harkens

back to the beginning of the Shakespeare

Festival, when residents opened their homes

to unanticipated throngs of theatre-goers.

Due to their smaller size, B&Bs and inns

usually offer a more intimate, personalized

Forest Motel and Woodland Resort

Stewart House Inn

guest experience, allowing visitors interaction

not only with the owner but also other guests.

Add the draw of staying in a unique property,

breakfasts to remember, and comforts that are

comparable, if not superior to, other lodgings,

and it’s not surprising that many travelers

prefer B&Bs and small inns.

Stratford and Area Bed & Breakfast

Association (SABBA) is the leading

representative of independent B&B owners

in Stratford and surrounding area. The

organization has helped build a cohesive

custom service experience for visitors looking

for B&B accommodations, from the

unassuming and cozy to the most lavish

and luxurious. SABBA participants

are committed to the Association’s

quality standards, often surpassing

local licensing requirements. SABBA

properties are regularly inspected to

ensure these standards are maintained,

which results in guests having a more

optimized and engaged customer

experience.

Be sure to check out the comprehensive

list of B&Bs on SABBA’s website

(www.bbstratford.ca). You’ll find

choices such as the elegantly appointed


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

One of Stratford’s

original fine dining

restaurants

FORBES TRAVEL GUIDE

Key’d Inn

Magnolia House, one of the newer properties

to open in Stratford, in a beautifully restored

Edwardian home. Perennial favourites also

abound. The elegant all-season Stewart

House Inn, a six-bedroom B&B, almost

always experiences full occupancy during

the Stratford Festival season. Frequently

receiving rave reviews and five-star ratings

on TripAdvisor Canada, the Inn was named

Unique Luxury Hotel of the Year in the North

American listings of the Luxury Travel Guide

year-end America’s Awards 2016. The awards

celebrate the very best accommodation

providers.

Cathy Rehberg, Marketing Manager,

Stratford Tourism Alliance says, “Stratford’s

boutique inns are small enough to offer

personal interaction, yet large enough to allow

for anonymity if that is what is preferred.

Mercer Hotel (a walk up), The Lofts at 99,

Bentley’s (a walk up) and The Parlour Inn,

a Vintage Inn property, are good examples of

this and situated in the downtown. They all

feature dining on location and free parking.”

Another highly recommended spot is Key’d

Inn, operated by Keystone Alley. The Inn

consists of two spacious suites located above

the restaurant. You can enjoy a cocktail on

the impressive rooftop patio or relax in front

of the gas fireplace in the shared communal

dining/sitting area.

Forest Motel and Woodland Resort

provides an unexpected surprise, with 19

rooms in a wooded location on private

McCarthy Lake. This is a popular location for

weddings and romantic getaways, with chalet

rooms separated from the main building.

They also offer upscale B&B rooms across the

road. The setting is well suited to families,

with canoes, bikes and inviting outdoor space

to explore and enjoy at the east entrance to

Stratford.

Featured in 15 of the

best restaurants

outside the GTA

TORONTO LIFE

Join us for a cocktail in

our cosmopolitan new bar

Visit our website and follow us on

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for

features and special events.

theprune.com

151 Albert Street in downtown Stratford

RESERVATIONS t. 519.271.5052

reservations@theprune.com


10 | May/June 2017

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

Here are a few more suggestions and recommendations

to highlight the variety of choices and styles

in the Stratford area.

Foster’s Inn

In the heart of Stratford’s uptown, Foster’s Inn’s nine

eclectic rooms offer comfort and strikingly unique

furnishings in a casual and calming environment. This

The Restaurant at The

Bruce Hotel (above) and

indoor swimming pool

turn-of-the-century brick building features soaring

14-foot ceilings, fully-accessible en suite bathrooms

with modern amenities, an elevator and an excellent

steakhouse with a street-level patio in a prime

location off Market Square, just steps to the Avon

Theatre. Friendly, personalized service and excellent

breakfasts are the Inn’s hallmark. You will be the guest

of the owner Craig Foster, who is passionate about

hospitality. Drop by the quaint bar or street-side patio

during cocktail hour or after theatre. Open seven days

a week, breakfast, lunch and dinner. fostersinn.com

Mercer Kitchen/Beer Hall/Hotel

Mercer Kitchen/Beer Hall/Hotel, a unique, smartlyrenovated

heritage walk-up located in the heart

of downtown Stratford, is a balance

between contemporary and traditional.

The 14 expansive and comfortable

rooms are among some of the most

desirable in the core. The street level

boasts Mercer Kitchen, a terroir-driven

restaurant under the guidance of Chef

Ryan McDonnell, with a delicious “from

scratch” menu. They also offer one of

Ontario’s largest craft beer selections.

mercerhall.ca


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine May/June 2017 | 11

The Bruce Hotel

The handsomely appointed, 25-room

Bruce Hotel features 21 spacious rooms

and four “petite suites” designed with a

Shakespearean character in mind. There

is a luxurious indoor pool and a stateof-the-art

gym. The Bruce is situated

on six and a half acres of property just

a short walk from the Festival Theatre.

The gazebo can be booked for special

dinners. The dining room is white linen,

chic with comfortable square-backed

upholstered chairs and settees. This is

the top end of dining in Stratford, with Chef

Arron Carley featuring cutting-edge Canadian

cuisine and wine pairings. thebruce.ca

The Festival Inn

The Festival Inn, offering affordable

accommodations in several low-rise buildings

and an annex adjoining the main hotel with

a covered walkway, has a retro ambience. The

hotel has been welcoming guests for over 50

years and is a six-minute drive from the Avon

Theatre. There’s an informal dining room and

a casual lounge with a large-screen TV and a

snack menu. A complimentary continental

breakfast is served in the Anne Hathaway

dining room, mornings between 7:30 am and

11 am. festivalinnstratford.com

Rundles Morris House

Rundles Morris House, designed by the

Canadian architectural firm Shim-Sutcliffe,

launched the first ever fractional vacation

home ownership opportunity in Stratford. As

the beginning phase in the re-development

of Rundles Restaurant, starting in the 2017

season of the Stratford Festival, Rundles

Morris House will be offered for sale in

one-week segments. The house functions

Rundles Morris House and kitchen (above)

WATSON’S CHELSEA BAZAAR

A fun place to shop!

as a deluxe two-bedroom suite, has a living

room, den, bedroom and en suite bathrooms.

Enjoy the wood-burning fireplace in the

living room, and views onto the Avon River

and parklands. The adjoining restaurant has

always been synonymous with innovative

culinary classicism and a refined level of wine

sophistication. rundlesrestaurant.com

BRYAN LAVERY is Eatdrink’s Food Editor and Writer

at Large.

Smeg small appliances ... A perfect fusion of practicality, technology and beauty!

84 Ontario St Stratford watsonsofstratford.com 519-273-1790


Stratford is more

than great theatre

visitstratford.ca

StratfordON

@StratfordON

Bard’s

“Buck A Shuck”

Fresh Oyster Bar

Every Friday & Saturday

starting at 5pm

Lunch & Dinner

Tuesday–Sunday

Limited Menu 3–5pm

After-Theatre Menu

Two Experiences, One Location

27 MARKETPLACE

Bard’s Steakhouse & The Hub

27-31 Marketplace, Stratford

519-508-BEER (2337)

27marketplace.com

Stratford’s ONLY Rooftop Patio!

Open Daily at 11am

Live Music

Daily Specials

54 Beers on Tap

Dining. Imbibing. Events.

Globally inspired menus using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients;

featuring familiar, homestyle comforts alongside new & interesting creations.


Hand-crafted cocktails; also featured on tap & in bottles.


Local craft beer on tap, bottles from around the world.


Refined selection of wines from Ontario & abroad

for reservations please call

(519) 273.5886

30 Ontario Street, Stratford, ON

www.themillstone.ca


Our Gelato is ready!

celebrating 122 years in stratford

And our new Ice Cream Bars!

hint: get them before they are gone!

Mon to Sat 9am to 6pm, Sun 10am to 5pm

dining + weddings + receptions

concerts + dinner shows

tour groups + private functions

REVIVAL … our inspired dining + events venue

BELFRY … a chill upstairs gastrolounge

CONFESSION … Stratford’s VIP hideaway

Special events

may alter hours

on Saturdays

70 Brunswick St.

Stratford

519.273.3424

www.revival.house

Outdoor

Garden Patio

NOW OPEN!


14 | May/June 2017

Restaurants

Al Fresco!

Dining & Drinking in the Great Outdoors

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

By BRYAN LAVERY

It is the launch of al fresco season and

we’ve gathered a selection of some of

the more interesting regional dining and

people-watching venues. Sip a coffee,

quaff a craft beer or enjoy a nosh or a full

meal at a sidewalk café, in a private garden or

secluded courtyard setting, under a pergola or

gazebo, on a roof-top patio, or on a charming

side-street terrace.

Here is my short list of recommendations

— not exclusive and in no particular order —

for refreshing al fresco dining and drinking

inspiration this season.

The Lake Huron Shore

In Sarnia, Alternate Grounds Dockside

affords the best view of the city and the only

water-top patio on the Canadian side of the St.

Clair River. Open seasonally, April 1–September

30, at Sarnia Bay Marina. agdockside.com

Smackwater Jack’s Taphouse features

a patio that literally hangs over the river

in Grand Bend, where it empties into Lake

Huron. Always a popular spot for boat

watching and sunset views, they recently

added a wood burning pizza oven to the multitiered

patio. smackwaterjacks.ca

Located between Grand Bend and Bayfield

outside the lakeside village of St. Joseph,

Hessenland Country Inn honours German

culinary traditions. The Ihrig family relaunches

their legendary al fresco Mongolian Grill nights

in the summer on their outdoor patio with its

great views of the bucolic grounds and fledgling

vineyard. hessenland.com

Alternate Grounds Dockside, Sarnia

Smackwater Jack’s, Grand Bend

London

Looking for something different? How about

trying a bistro-themed restaurant for plane

spotters and aeronautical aficionados with

its patio located next to the London airport

Idlewyld Inn, London

tarmac? Katana Kafe & Grill may be off the

beaten path, but it offers a spectacular view of

air traffic and Chef Chris Morrison’s cuisine

receives rave reviews. katanakafe.ca

The Early Bird, a diner with casual farmto-table

cooking, has a retro charm and a

26-seat seasonal patio placed across the

sidewalk for outdoor dining. theearlybird.ca

The close proximity to Budweiser Gardens

makes both Waldo’s On King (waldos.on.ca)

and Olive R Twists Food and Beverage

House (olivertwists.ca) at the Covent Garden

Market a desirable choice on event nights. Both

restaurants overlook King Street’s restaurant


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine May/June 2017 | 15

Black Trumpet, London

row and are perfectly placed

for relaxing and watching the

passing scene.

For vegan diners, Glassroots

(glassrootslondon.com)

has a 14-seat elevated patio

overlooking Richmond Row,

and Plant Matter Kitchen

(plantmatterkitchen.com) in

Wortley Village also has

street-side seating.

Wolfe of Wortley is a

compact 24-seat

restaurant

which is complemented

by

a 14-seat patio.

This is casual but

sophisticated dining focusing on curing, pickling,

fermenting, and preserving, featuring craft cocktails

and a compact wine list. wolfeofwortley.com

The Springs, at 310 Springbank Drive, is

one of London’s premier culinary hot spots.

A beautifully appointed raised patio seats 40.

Chef Geoff Tew features locally grown ingredients

from farms specializing in sustainable

agriculture, organic growing practices, and ethically

raised livestock. thespringsrestaurant.com

Idlewyld Inn & Spa is a grand Victorian

mansion nestled at 36 Grand Avenue in a quiet

Old South neighbourhood. Here the passion

for food translates into updated classic cuisine

showcasing local and seasonal products. The

manicured grounds and elegant ambiance of

the gracious front porch and hidden forty-seat

“Garden Courtyard” create a welcome retreat

for diners. idlewyldinn.com

Black Trumpet is a prestige spot for al

fresco dining in its beautifully appointed

British colonial Indonesian-style courtyard

garden. This secluded oasis on Richmond St.

The Church Key, London

Fresh flavours

everyday

Proud to celebrate our 1st Anniversary

serving only our finest dishes with

fresh, local ingredients.

Restaurant & Bar

226 658 0999

soloportstanley.com


16 | May/June 2017

seats 60 and features several levels amidst the

wild plantings and exotic foliage. Chef Scot

Wessling and the culinary team have a modern

take on iconic classics, with Mediterranean

and Asian influences. blacktrumpet.ca

The Church Key Bistro-Pub resides in

a prominent heritage building across from

the Grand Theatre and beside St. Paul’s

Cathedral. Chef Michael Anglestad specializes

in traditional food updated with gourmet

flair. The pub features an intimate outdoor

courtyard for casual cocktails or dinner

SUNDAY BRUNCH

11am−2pm

PATIO

Now

Open!

Sun–Tues 11am–11pm, Wed/Thurs 11am–midnight, Fri/Sat 11am–1am

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

pre- and post-theatre, and they also serve an

exceptional Sunday Brunch featuring different

entrée items every week. thechurchkey.ca

Bertoldi’s Trattoria has a well-appointed

rooftop patio that gives patrons a great view

of the denizens on Richmond Row. The patio,

with seating for 100, resembles an Italian

garden, with hanging baskets and colourful

umbrellas. On cooler evenings, an infrared

heating system lends the patio a warm glow.

On sunny days, a misting system helps cool

things down. bertoldis.ca

Marienbad Restaurant and Chaucer’s

Pub share a Carling St. sidewalk patio with a

smart black iron fence, pretty flower boxes,

and comfortable tables with festive umbrellas

that exude old-world charm. Chef Klaus

Campbell evokes the traditional Mittel-

European cooking styles of Central Europe.

There is excellent steak tartare, schnitzels and

a superior beer selection. marienbad.ca

Craft beer enthusiasts have made Milos’

Craft Beer Emporium a local landmark,

part of Ontario’s rich craft beer culture. Chef

Matt Reijnen prepares seasonally-curated

menus that reflect their farm-to-table

commitment and passion for everything

local. There are 23 micros on tap with

excellent style variation, and twin street-side

seasonal patios. pubmilos.com

The Morrissey House is a welcoming, warm

and cozy local. Chef Andrew Harris features

an innovative from-scratch menu. The 60-seat

patio, set back from the street at 359–361

Dundas St., is an industry and neighbourhood

hot spot, attracting a large crowd of regulars.

themorrisseyhouse.wordpress.com

Toboggan Brewing Company is the concept

of restaurateur Mike Smith, owner of the venerable

London landmark Joe Kool’s. Toboggan’s

craft beers are brewed below the floors of the


a step closer to Italy...

The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine May/June 2017 | 17

Family-owned & operated, siblings Tina and Len

are celebrating 10 years of bringing a genuine

taste of Italy to Chatham. In homage to their

mother Maria, they insist upon from-scratch

cooking using the best of local ingrendients.

The restaurant is sophisticated yet approachable.

A beautiful patio overlooks the Thames River.

Catering and well-appointed private function

rooms are available.

231 King Street West, Chatham

519-360-1600

Open for Dinner Daily / Lunch Monday-Saturday

www.mammamariasristorante.ca

Frendz is run by the creative team of Brenda

Boismier and Chef Marc King. The warm, cozy

Resto/Lounge is designed for friends to gather for

good food and good times. Weekend entertainment

features local talent. The upscale yet affordable

menu features international cuisine, prepared from

scratch, from Spanish tapas to steak and seafood.

Craft beer is on tap, an extensive drink menu is

on offer, and this may be the best patio in town.

216 King Street West, Chatham

519-436-1313

Open Tuesday–Saturday for Lunch & Dinner

a step closer

www.frendzlounge.com

to home...


18 | May/June 2017

Revival House, Stratford

Richmond St. brewpub. The 519 Kitchen features a

large wood-burning oven, a large BBQ smoker and an

enviable roof top patio overlooking Richmond Street.

Smith’s other restaurants, Fellini Koolini’s and The

Runt Club, feature charming twin patios with plenty

of shade from mature trees at 155 Albert Street, just off

Richmond Row. tobogganbrewing.com

Stratford

There is no shortage of great patios in Stratford. If

you enjoy people watching, pull up a chair at Mercer

Kitchen, Bentleys Inn, Fellini’s Italian Cucina,

Downie Street Burger or Stratford Thai Cuisine.

Other favourite spots include Anne Campion’s Revel

on Market Square. This is a great place to grab a

barista-prepared beverage and some homemade smallbatch

baking and soak up the sun on one Stratford’s

most striking patios. revelstratford.ca

The relaxed osteria-style restaurant Monforte

on Wellington — known for its small plates, each

inspired by a Monforte cheese — has a charming

35-seat courtyard with umbrellaed tables for al

fresco dining. (fb.com/MonforteOnWellington) Another

notable patio is located at The Parlour Inn by

Vintage Hotels, just one block from the Avon

Theatre and Studio Theatres in downtown Stratford.

(theparlour.ca) Foster’s Inn (fostersinn.com) also

offers a smart street-side patio, as does The Mill

Stone (themillstone.ca). The HUB, at 27 Marketplace

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

above Bard’s Steakhouse, is the only

three-season roof-top patio in Stratford.

(27marketplace.com)

Chef Aaron Carley, at The

Restaurant at The Bruce at 89

Parkview Dr., describes his cuisine as

“New Canadiana,” using traditional

techniques and global influences applied

to the good things of this province. The

luxe restaurant features a stunning

36-seat terrace and a gazebo that can

be booked for private dinners. Open for

breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as

pre- and post-theatre. thebruce.ca

Revival House offers great local,

seasonal food in the warm atmosphere

of Stratford’s former Church Restaurant.

Keystone Alley, Stratford

Tucked along the Brunswick St. (south)

side of the heritage church building, a

new 40-seat garden patio is the perfect

spot to enjoy anytime nosh, craft

cocktails and local beer. revival.house

Keystone Alley’s unique outdoor

40-seat alley terrace is a hidden gem

on Brunswick St. The patio features an

Mamma Maria’s Ristorante, Chatham

Chatham

Tucked in the back of the Italian-inspired

Mamma Maria’s Ristorante is a beautiful

private dining area perfect for special

events or parties. There are streetside

tables and a stunning 50-seat patio off the

private room overlooks the Thames River.

mammamariasristorante.ca


SoLo On Main, Port Stanley

“edible wall” of herbs used in their seasonal

dishes. A great spot to enjoy the Ploughman’s

Platter and some wine or a menu full of fresh

seasonal and local foods. keystonealley.com

Oxford County

In Woodstock, we like to enjoy Eric

Boyar’s delicious farm-to-table cuisine at

Sixthirtynine and dine al fresco on the small

and intimate patio surrounded by attractive

raised flower beds. sixthirtynine.com

In Ingersoll, maple and pine trees share

space with bubbling cherub fountains along

Elm Hurst Inn & Spa’s 33 landscaped acres.

Inspired by the seasons, menus change to

reflect the local harvest. The gingerbreadtrimmed

mansion features a large outdoor

patio in a bucolic setting. elmhurstinn.com

Port Stanley

Kettle Creek Inn’s dining options include a

gazebo and a stunning garden terrace. Owner

Jean Vedova says, “Guests can prop up their

feet on their porch or balcony, sip a libation

and amble down for dinner under the gazebo.

It doesn’t get much better.” kettlecreekinn.com

At SoLo On Main, Chef Lauren Van

Dixhoorn’s cooking is refined and the

presentation modern and thoughtful. There

is a stunning patio and inviting front porch

overlooking the harbour. soloportstanley.com

The Windjammer Inn, at Smith and

William, has comfortable seating on the newly

rebuilt wraparound veranda. Owner and

accomplished chef Kim Saunders sources her

ingredients from the large farm network in

Elgin County. thewindjammerinn.com

Outdoor Farmers’ Market

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20 | May/June 2017

Culinary Retail

Tea Rituals

The Sommelier-Driven Tea Experience

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

By BRYAN LAVERY

London may be part of the explosion

of indie cafés serving small-batch

coffee roasts, which are part grab-andgo

café and part bakery, but we’re a

community of dedicated tea enthusiasts too.

And now, with the rise of the wellness tea

market, we are seeing several innovative teainspired

concepts. These indie hot spots are

about tea craft and accessibility and offer us

a well-curated selection of ethically-sourced

single-origin teas, blends, tisanes and infusions.

The upswing in the popularity of tea

translates to enhanced flavour profiles, and

blends that add fruits, flowers and spices for a

richer experience. Pairings of tea with herbs,

spices and fruits for beverages, tea-infused

jams, condiments, and desserts, cocktails, cold

brews and ferments are all on-trend.

In traditional tea growing countries like

China, Japan, India and Sri Lanka (formerly

Ceylon) the term tea specifically refers to

beverages made from steeping the leaves

of cultivars that have been developed for

thousands of years.

White, black, blue, yellow and green teas all

originate from one of two tea plant varieties:

the Camellia sinensis — a small-leaf tea plant

that flourishes in cool, mountain regions of

central China and Japan — and the Camellia

The Tea Haus

assamica — a broad-leaf variety of sinensis,

growing optimally in the moist, tropical

climates of China and North-east India. Like

wines, teas are a reflection of their terroir.

Processing after harvesting determines the

type of tea produced. Tea leaves can be roasted,

steamed and semi- or fully- fermented.

The purpose of blending tea is to create a

well-balanced flavour using different origins

and characters. Tea cultivars have been

developed for thousands of years, whereas

the international commercial tea industry has

only existed for a little over a century and a

half. Tisanes, infusions and herbal blends are

prepared like tea, but are made with herbs,

flowers, roots, bark, fruit, seeds and spices.

We love The Tea Haus, located on the

second floor of Covent Garden Market. The

hospitable proprietors have created a little

oasis, which is the perfect place to unwind and

escape the hustle and bustle. This premium

loose-leaf teashop features black, green, white,

herbal chai, Fairtrade, oolong, organic and

fruit teas. The attractive kiosk boasts a solid

inventory of teaware, pots and accessories.

Long-time local tea purveyors, Gary and

Martha McAlister of Everything Tea, located

at the Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market at Western

A guided tasting of four oolong teas at The Tea Lounge


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

Fair on Saturdays, have transferred their boutique shop

to their son Hadleigh. Called The Canadian Magpie

Merchant, it specializes in organic and fair trade tea

and accessories.

The Tea Lounge

Certified tea sommelier and nutritionist Michelle

Pierce Hamilton and her business partner Yixing Tang

opened The Tea Lounge in a small and charming house

on Piccadilly Street east of Richmond Row last fall.

Millwork shelving showcases an interesting selection

of unique and traditional teaware. The focal point is a

10-foot “Wall of Tea,” featuring over 100 hand-selected

teas from around the world.

The café has many seating options, including a

rustic conference table with over-sized hand-carved

dining chairs for groups and classes. A long crimson

sofa accents the Indo-Asian decorative features of the

eclectic central lounge. There is additional seating on

the front porch in the warm weather.

Tang and Pierce Hamilton offer a premium tea

service experience, serving ethically-sourced singleorigin

teas and tisanes from around the world, as

well as retailing striking teaware. The pair offers

traditional Chinese, Japanese and English teas, each

with its own teaware and serving style. Chinese

“grandpa style” is another option on offer. Or you can

Business partners Michelle Pierce

Hamilton and Yixing Tang

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simply get a quick cup to go. Guests

can sip meticulously-sourced teas

while experiencing their choice of

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Whether you’re in the mood for a

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22 | May/June 2017

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

or have food sensitivities, delicious baked good

and healthful snacks from Petit Paris Crêperie

& Pâtisserie, Boombox Bakeshop and Bliss

Specialty Foods add to the tea experience.

A menu of light and nourishing food offers

a daily wholesome made-from-scratch soup

prepared by the culinary team at The Spruce on

Wellington just around the corner. Other items

include organic Mason jar layered-salads with

names like Plant Protein, Fruitoxidant, Kitchen

Sink, Greek Out and Sexy Mexi.

There is an “All ’Bout Cheese Board”

featuring a selection of local Ontario artisanal

cheeses like Gunn’s Hill Cheese, served with

condiments, nuts and other accompaniments

that they switch up, to keep things interesting.

Wisdom: Café,Teashop and Japanese Crêperie

Wisdom Teashop, founded by David and Vicky Chandler

nine years ago, sold tea and tea accessories in London’s

Old East Village. In 2016, their son Aaron took over

and rebranded as Wisdom: Cafe, Teashop and Japanese

Crêperie. A strong background grounding his knowledge

of tea, Aaron has a foothold in the blossoming “tea

wellness” market. Yet the business remains one of

London’s best keep secrets. The small but sophisticated

café is housed in a long narrow shop with a clean

modernist sensibility and aesthetic.

Aaron Chandler lived in Japan for three years and

was impressed by how small cafés and restaurants

there flourish through their ability to focus on each

individual customer’s enjoyment. He liked that

they did only a few things, but that they were done

exceptionally well. He wanted to bring this experience

and ambience to London.

As well as 145 teas and a large selection of teapots

and accessories, the café features sweet and savoury

Japanese crêpes, gelato, tea drinks and Propeller coffee

(brewed on a state-of-the-art Nuova Simonelli coffee

maker). Chandler prepares tea-based gelatos in small

batches, such as matcha ( a finelyground

powder of specially grown

green tea) and white chocolate,

cookies and cream with Earl Grey, and

more traditional flavours like vanilla

bean and triple chocolate. Everything

is made by hand in the café to ensure

freshness and quality.

Chandler prepares the crêpes

to order in the small open kitchen

at the back of the café. Compared

to their French brethren, these

Japanese-inspired, thin, savoury

crêpes are less sweet and are served

in a cone shape for easy eating. Try

the crispy Applewood smoked ham

For the plant-based crowd, the “Nuts for

Cheese Board” features a selection of artisanal,

handcrafted, and vegan cheeses made from

cultured organic cashews.

What makes great tea? Pierce Hamilton

believes, “It starts with excellent quality leaf,

with permission to naturally unfurl and fully

reveal its flavours and aromas. Not crushed

or crammed into a little bag or a ball.” The

tea lounge owners create blends that don’t

diminish tea’s nutrients, antioxidants and

essential oils. They do the legwork, sourcing

and selecting teas and tisanes from around the

globe. An informative and exciting schedule

of classes and events is also part of The Tea

Lounge experience. www.tealoungelondon.com

crêpe with melted cheddar, or the

smoked salmon, dill and goat cheese

— they are both excellent. We have

also sampled his outstanding matcha

ice cream crêpe with

fresh strawberries and

chocolate syrup.

The menu is continually

expanding to accommodate

customer sensitivities,

and now includes

a gluten-free crêpe and a

dairy-free vegan gelato.

www.wisdomcafe.ca

Matcha Ice Cream, Chocolate

& Strawberry Crêpes (left) and

an array of teaware (above).


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24 | May/June 2017

Distinctly Tea

High Tea at Revival House

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

Stratford

Stratford offers several terrific ways to learn

about and savour superior tea. Meet certified

tea sommelier Karen Hartwick at Tea Leaves

Tea Tasting Bar to experience the simplicity

and intimacy of brewing, presenting, pairing

and savouring tea. Tea Leaves is open

Wednesday to Saturday, or by appointment.

Distinctly Tea is nestled on York Street

beside the river. Certified tea sommelier Dianne

Krampien offers a broad selection of teas and tea

brewing accessories. For the tea connoisseur, she offers sencha,

tikuanyin, and many other Chinese teas of excellent grade.

For over a century now, iconic hotels like the Toronto’s

Royal York have honoured the ritual of afternoon tea, a

remnant of India’s colonial British rule. Now, there is a

renaissance and renewed interest by restaurateurs in the

custom. Reserve your space at Revival House for High Tea

and enjoy a special selection of Sloane tea and a custom

menu of sandwiches, scones, petits fours and chocolates.

Visit The Restaurant at The Bruce Hotel for its monthly

afternoon tea, a relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Choose from twenty carefully curated teas — all of which

are complements to the traditional (with a twist) nibbles.

BRYAN LAVERY is Eatdrink’s Food Editor and Writer at Large.

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eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

Destination: Nebraska

A "Drive-To" Rather Than "Drive-Through" State

Story and Photos by WAYNE NEWTON

If you’re thinking of Nebraska as a drivethrough

state while you’re en route to

the Rocky Mountains or lush Pacific

Coast, think again. This state, highlighted

by its capital Lincoln and trendy Omaha, is a

destination unto itself.

It’s good enough for billionaire investor

Warren Buffett, after all.

My exploration starts at Omaha’s Henry

Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, home to Lied

(pronounced lead as in leader), Jungle, which

is one of the largest indoor rainforest exhibits

in the world. The zoo is also home to the

world’s largest geodesic dome which houses a

fascinating indoor desert exhibit.

Underneath the dome, there is the world’s

largest nocturnal animal exhibit, Kingdoms of

the Night. In this enclosure, day-night cycles are

reversed so visitors can observe animals such as

the cat-like fossa of Madagascar, naked mole rats

and aardvarks. The exhibit’s 600,000-litre indoor

swamp is the largest in the world.

As a bonus, the zoo has stellar dining options

overlooking exhibits. These include the Omaha

Steaks Grill and Patio nestled between the

Lied Jungle and the cafeteria-style TreeTops

Restaurant.

In downtown Omaha, visitors are greeted by

a beautiful sculpture of a Sioux warrior outside

the Joslyn Art Museum.

The museum’s collection features

the expected and unexpected. There’s

impressive 20th century American

paintings and sculptures, but the most

storied is a recently restored and altered

Rembrandt from the 17th century.

The painting Portrait of Dirck van Os

was purchased in the 1940s in the belief it

was authentic, but doubt was cast and the

painting was displayed as being from the

Rembrandt school before eventually being

tucked away in storage for 10 years.

In 2012, it was retrieved and sent to

Amsterdam for analysis, where it was

discovered to be a true, albeit altered,

Rembrandt. Restoration work included

removing embellishments believed to have

been added after Rembrandt painted it,

including a cross and chain and lace collar.

Today, the restored painting is displayed as

The state legislative building dominates

the skyline in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The lobby of the

Durham Museum in

Omaha recalls its

railway days as a hub

for troop movement.


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28 | May/June 2017

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

Hedy Lamarr’s 1958 Cadillac at the Museum

of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Crescent Moon Ale House in Milton, Nebraska.

(Photo courtesy the restaurant)

the Joslyn’s marquis piece.

Equally impressive is the Durham Museum,

as much for its building as its collection.

The Durham is inside the former Union

Station, an spectacular 1931 art deco

passenger rail station saved from demolition.

In its heyday, the building served seven

different railways, including Union Pacific,

peaking during the Second World War when

over 10,000 passengers a day passed through.

The last train left in 1971 and the building

was donated to the city two years later to

become a museum focusing on Omaha’s

history as the Gateway to the West.

Visitors enter through the Great Hall, which

once served as the main passenger lounge, Most

exhibits are downstairs at track level, including

those highlighting the story of the Mormon

movement west and explorers Lewis and Clark.

There’s a nod to Omaha’s railway heritage

with a hands-on steam locomotive exhibit

and a row of restored rail cars to step inside,

including a luxurious Pullman and caboose.

Upstairs, there’s an authentic 1931 soda

fountain serving sundaes, malts, and oldfashioned

phosphate sodas.

The Omaha craft beer scene is served by

the likes of Benson Brewery, where instead

of flagship beers there’s a constant rotation

of recipes and styles, and Infusion Brewing,

both in the city’s northwest. The owner of

Infusion also owns Crescent Moon Ale House in

Midtown, home of the 100-beer draft taps and

the Blackstone reuben, chosen best in the city by

the Omaha World Herald newspaper. (Locals will

tell you the stack of corned beef, Swiss cheese,

and sauerkraut on rye bread was invented in

Omaha in the 1920s by Jewish grocer Reuben

Kulakofsky, who was looking to feed hungry

poker players at the Blackstone Hotel.)

An hour away in Lincoln, the focus is on the

University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football

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and basketball teams, the latter of which play

at the new 15,500-seat Pinnacle Bank Arena in

the historic Haymarket District.

As you might expect, the thousands of

hungry fans arriving in Lincoln help feed an

excellent and diverse food and beverage scene.

Lazlo’s Brewery and Grill in the eight-block

Haymarket District was the first brew pub in

the state. Outside the district and a 20-minute

drive from downtown, MoMo Pizzeria and

Ristorante puts a little bit of Italy into the

Midwest. Pasta and pizza ingredients are

either imported from Italy or sourced locally.

ALWAYS

a 3-course prix fixe

menu option

LUNCH Wed to Fri 11:30–2:30

DINNER from 5pm daily

Blue Orchid in Lincoln, Nebraska.

(Photo courtesy the restaurant)

Reserve Now

HOLIDAY PARTIES

One of Lincoln’s favourite restaurants

is Blue Orchid, a Thai restaurant owned by

university professor Witawas Srisa-an and

wife Malinee Kiatachikow.

Lincoln’s most testosterone-friendly

attraction is the out-of-the-way Museum of

American Speed.

Located in an industrial park, the three-floor

museum is diverse but focused on racing and

hot rodding. There are hundreds of racecars,

dating from the 1920s to more modern Indy

cars. Collectible production cars include actress

Hedy Lamaar’s seductive 1958 Cadillac.

But there’s also an eclectic side to the

150,000-square-foot museum with a wall of

racing-related LP album covers, rooms full of

children’s pedal cars, and a collection of Buck

Rogers toys.

As destinations go, there’s a bonus to

visiting both Omaha and Lincoln. Each has

a population of less than 500,000, making

them big enough for fun, yet small enough to

get around without feeling intimidated. It all

helps make Nebraska a drive-to, not a drivethrough,

state.

WAYNE NEWTON is a London-based freelance

journalist and photographer.

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eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

The BUZZ

Culinary Community Notes

Opening Day for Covent Garden Market

Outdoor Farmers’ Market is Saturday

May 6. The outdoor market is held every

Thursday (8–2) and Saturday (8–1).

The market has partnered with the expert cooks

at Jill’s Table for a weekly cooking class featuring

market ingredients (Thursdays, 11:45–1:15). Get great

suggestions, try the food, pick up a recipe.

The Squire Pub and Grill is an American-style pub and

grill operated by General Manager Chris Cleary and Chef

Joel Silva. The dining room has a casual atmosphere,

with daily drink and dining specials. Located at the

corner of Dundas and Talbot, it’s perfect for before and

after events at Budweiser Gardens. Open for lunch,

dinner and late nights daily. www.squirepubandgrill.ca

The Early Bird recently expanded into the area formerly

occupied by Rock au Taco and owners Justin and Gregg

Wolfe will open a Mexican restaurant called Los Lobos

in the former Talbot St. Whisky House space early this

summer. The menu will share their love for tacos and

take on classics and Mexican entrées, with the focus at

the bar being on tequila, mezcal and bourbon.

Jess Jazey-Spoelstra and Chef Andrew Wolwowicz’s

new venture, Craft Farmacy, is opening in May, at 449

Wharncliffe Road South. It will feature local craft beer,

an oyster bar, rustic-style food, lots of sharing plates

and great wines and fabulous house cocktails.

Windermere Manor’s Restaurant Ninety One is

celebrating its first anniversary. The menu pays

homage to Modern Canadian cuisine. Chef Angela

Murphy tells us that the Saturday Afternoon Teas have

been popular. Murphy will release a new spring edition

on May 6 and launch a new spring Sunday Brunch

menu at the same time. www.restaurantninetyone.ca

Karri Egan returned last month from 20 years in

Alberta with a fresh idea — to bring Thai-inspired ice

cream trend to Downtown London. Roli Poli – Hand

Rolled Ice Cream will open in May, at 484 Richmond

St. Not only will it offer premium ice cream, but also

vegan-friendly, non-fat yogurt and coconut milk ice

cream. The Roli Poli Food Truck will also be serving

hand-rolled ice cream and artisan shaved ice. You’ll

see it on the streets of London, in the parks and at

festivals this summer. www.rolipoliicecream.com

Chef Alana Coughlin’s Haven’s Creamery is coming to

226 Piccadilly St. at Richmond. Look for from- scratch,

batch-by-batch, high-integrity ice cream made with

simple, local ingredients and fresh cream and milk from

Hagerville’s Hewitt’s Dairy. www.havensicecream.com

The former home of the Mongolian Grill on Richmond

Row has been sold to the Warehouse Group of Vancouver,

which plans a popular bar-restaurant concept that bills

itself as a “premium dive” serving inexpensive meals.

Wellington Market is opening in the space formerly

occupied by the Organic Works Bakery and Revive

Kitchen, bringing wholesome food to the SOHO

community. Vegetarian, vegan, omnivore and glutenfree,

dine-in or “grab-and-go”... everyone will find a

favourite here.

Visit the Organic Works Bakery new pop-up shop

at Eldon House, offering a selection of breads, bars,

cookies and treats. www.organicworksbakery.com

Eldon House Summer Tea Program features tea,

scones and jams with fruit and cream served on the

beautiful lawns of the property, overlooking the

Thames River. June 28–August 28, Tuesday through

Sunday, 2–4pm. Cost includes a self-guided tour of

Eldon House. Reservations recommended.

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The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

The Tea Lounge is launching Afternoon Tea Service on

one Sunday per month. The first will be on Mother’s Day

(two seatings available: 12pm & 2:15pm). Book a sitting

at the recently launched monthly Tea Flight Nights to

experience a comparative tasting. A cheese pairing tops

off the experience. www.tealoungelondon.com

Plant Matter Kitchen is an all-encompassing eatery

offering chilled organic brews, daily specials and a

smoothie and juice bar in Wortley Village. Look for a

new expanded outdoor patio this summer. A second

exciting iteration of PMK is expected to open downtown

in the former Braywick Bistro premises in midsummer.

www.plantmatterkitchen.ca

Idlewyld Inn& Spa is featuring a Mother’s Day brunch

and a dinner buffet. Reserve for one of two seatings:

11am & 2pm for brunch, and 5pm & 7:30pm for dinner.

The Courtyard opens in June. Savour a fantastic BBQ

buffet dinner every Wednesday and Thursday. Enjoy

Idlewyld’s Saturday Afternoon Tea on May 20 & June

24, 2–4pm. www.idlewyld.com

Rebel Remedy Health Bar recently opened to rave

reviews at 242 Dundas St. The downtown take-away

features plant-based breakfast and lunch options,

“bulletproof”coffee made with Pilot Coffee, cold-press

juices, salads, and a kombucha brewery that is in full

swing. www.rebelremedy.com

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32 | May/June 2017

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine May/June 2017 | 33

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34 | May/June 2017

Globally Local has announced the launch of the

“World’s First” 24-hour Vegan Drive-Thru — located

at a former Harvey’s at Highbury & Cheapside. “The

revolution starts June 2017.” If you haven’t tried their

food yet, you can visit them in downtown London at 252

Dundas St. Open daily 8am–10pm. globallylocal.ca

Fresno’s: The Italian Table will open in the space

previously occupied by Union Burger on Richmond

Row. Kirk Anastasiadis, a partner in Burger Burger

and The Barking Frog, anticipates a mid-May opening.

Fresno’s will offer a signature hand-cut veal

sandwich, fresh pastas, gelato etc.

142 fullarton at richmond

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

Aroma of India has opened in the space previously

occupied by Amici Ristorante at 350 Dundas St. The best

of traditional Indian cookery will be complemented with

new Indian dishes to add innovation for those who love

fine dining. The menu offers vegetarian, lamb, chicken,

and seafood dishes at different levels of spicing. Open

for lunch and dinner daily. www.aromaofIndia.ca

Zen’Za, formerly Rico’s Pizzeria Downtown, is known

for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free thin-crust

pizzas. The organic farmer’s sausage pizza and a

prosciutto-filled Hawaiian “Magnum Pi” are designed

for carnivores. 71 King St. www.ricosDT.ca

If you love cold beer and sizzling grilled foods, the

London Beer & BBQ Show presented by White Oaks Mall

is the place to be June 16–18. Quench your thirsts with

Canada’s top breweries and Ontario’s craft breweries and

a selection of wines, coolers, ciders and spirits all served

ice cold and perfectly sized for finding your signature

drink of the summer. You’ll find outstanding barbecue

too, prepared by local grill masters. The fun continues

with backyard games, live bands, bubble soccer, beer

tours, cooking demonstrations, cook-offs, taste-offs and

more! www.westernfairdistrict.com/beer-bbq-show

Masonville Farmers’ Market will open on May 19 and

run until the second week in October. The Market will

be located behind London Audio at Masonville Mall

this year, across from the bus depot.

Stratford

The new Market Square, opening July 1, welcomes

people into a pedestrian-friendly space with trees,

places to sit and relax with a good book, meet friends,

enjoy lunch from a nearby eatery or while away

the day. Just a short walk through Queen’s Park to

Confederation Park brings you to a new butterflyshaped

pollinator garden that offers a welcoming

home for bees. www.visitstratford.ca

Marc Chartrand joins corporate executive chef Ryan

O’Donnell as chef de cuisine at Mercer Kitchen and

will be handling the reins of the kitchen. A new menu

continues the playful, quality-driven approach to

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The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

a hybrid Japanese izakaya/locavore Perth County

pub menu that was so well received last year. Alex

Kastner has left Mercer Hall. Myron Hussey is the

new Restaurant Manager and Shazelle Beach the new

Hotel Manager. Mercer presents a Father’s Day Picnic

at the Stratford Perth Museum on June 18 with outdoor

stalls, food and live music in a beautiful treed setting

on the museum grounds. www.mercerhall.ca

The Prune, a long-time Stratford favourite, is launching

a new concept featuring a lounge and custom-built bar.

Bar One Fifty One has a relaxed and elegant vibe, the

perfect backdrop for signature cocktails and a varied

wine list and tailored bar menu. Open for lunch, dinner

and late night. Bryan Steele remains Executive Chef

at The Prune. Inspired in part by the bounty of local

producers and growers, with touches of world cuisines

alongside the classics, the result is an experience that is

uplifting and memorable. www.theprune.com

Summer season at The Red Rabbit means the return of

the pre-theatre menu (fixed price) and to being open 7

days a week. Reade Haslam is the new restaurant manager,

while Jessie Votary is across the square starting

up Okazu, a new cocktail bar in the former Canadian

Grub to Go premises. Okazu, a Japanese word meaning

“side dish,” will be Stratford’s new late-night hot spot

for grown-ups who want a little of everything, followed

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martini. Not just a Japanese snack bar, food from around

the globe will be featured, clarified through a Japanese

palate. Chef Justin Dafoe’s menu will feature dumplings,

noodle bowls, and not-so-noodle bowls. Open 6pm-2am,

Thursday-Sunday. www.OkazuSnackBar.com

This season, The Mill Stone features a small seasonallyinspired

all-day menu with small plates, bolstered by a

rotating selection of feature dishes that focus on lighter

and healthier fare. This high-energy bistro is looking

to create a niche as the cocktail bar in town. Look for

cocktails on tap and in bottles, homemade bitters, and

fluidity between the kitchen and the bar with globallyinspired

flavours and locally-sourced ingredients.

Locally-brewed beer on tap and a varied bottle list, with

a focus on Canadian wines and a refined international

selection. www.themillstone.ca

Chef Arron Carley of The Bruce recently staged at

Swedish chef Fredrik Berselius’ two-Michelin-starred

restaurant Aska in New York. Chef Kris Schlotzhauer

and Tim Larsen have joined the culinary team, and

Mark Craft and Rob Beavus from the former The

Church Restaurant are now heading up The Bruce

dining room. www.thebruce.ca

For many years, the culinary opus at Bijou has been a

front-runner in Stratford for inspired, locally-sourced

cuisine. Mark and Linda Simone purchased the legacy

restaurant and added a new entrance on Wellington

St. and a small bar in the front area. They have now

expanded into the yarn shop next door. Chef Roddy

Eastman is launching “Food Flight Platters” as well as

continuing to feature small plates for the second seating.

Open now for lunch Wed–Sat and on Sunday evenings,

commencing in June. www.bijourestaurant.com

Bard’s Steakhouse is open Tuesday–Saturday, 11am–

12 midnight. Stratford’s only modern steakhouse,

Bard’s is located at 27 Marketplace, just steps away

from the Avon Theatre, and offers casual fine dining in

one of Stratford’s oldest buildings. There is a weekend

oyster bar, triple-A Canadian beef and ethically

sourced, ocean-wise certified seafood. 54 beers are on

tap and a beer market features over 100 varieties.

On July 1, The Hub, on the second floor of 27 Marketplace,

celebrates its first anniversary. Offering a funky,

industrial atmosphere and Stratford’s only rooftop patio,

additions this year included an elevator for accessibility,

patio heaters for chilly nights, and a 120-inch drop-down

TV screen. Coinciding with Canada’s 150th birthday, The

Hub will throw a weekend party to celebrate and thank

customers. www.27marketplace.com

Bradshaw’s Kitchen Detail presents a “Spring Grande

High Tea” event to celebrate Mother’s Day, served in

the lovely setting of Revival House. A selection of three

loose-leaf teas from Canadian tea company Sloane

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The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine May/June 2017 | 37

Fine Tea will be served with Revival’s custom menu of

sandwiches, scones, petits fours and chocolates. Each

guest will receive a special gift. Tickets and info at

www.bradshaws.worldsecuresystems.com

Keystone Alley has completely renovated the interior

space, including the installation of sound-dampening

panels in the restaurant for a quieter guest experience.

Now open until 10pm Friday and Saturday nights and

featuring a late night menu with some exciting “to share”

items and live music on certain days of the month (on the

patio if weather permits). www.keystonealley.com

The Slow Food Market has secured an interim space,

pending full completion of Stratford Market Square.

Visit your favourite Slow Food vendors on Wellington

Street, between Market Place and Soup Surreal at the

corner of St. Patrick St.

Revival House launches the spring menu with new

hours and the patio is now open. Serving bistro lunches,

a new terrace menu, and à la carte dinners Wednesday–

Saturday (11–10pm) and Sunday brunch 11–3. After

Victoria Day weekend, Revival House will open Tuesdays

through Sundays for the Stratford season (11am–10pm).

Upcoming dinner concerts at Revival House include

London’s Sarah Smith Band (May 5), Juno Awardwinners

Digging Roots (May 19), and Toronto acapella

group Eh440 (June 9). On May 7, Stratford Symphony

Orchestra presents Classical Brunch with performances

by local Kiwanis Music Festival winners. revival.house

On Saturday May 20, Revival House presents its First

Annual VQA Wine & Food Festival —a Victoria Day long

weekend wine sampling and food pairing experience. Sip

and sample with some favourite Ontario wineries and

hors d’oeuvres prepared by Revival House chefs. 1–5pm,

$40 advance tickets available via www.visitstratford.ca

SAV Eatery and Smokehouse welcomes chef Angie

Mohr to the southern Low country-inspired smokehouse

and diner, opening in May on Wellington Street.

www.saveatery.com

On June 18, celebrate at the Father’s Day Craft Beer

and Cider Picnic. There will be over 20 breweries and

cideries represented as well as food by Mercer, live

music all afternoon and lots of activities for the kids.

Tickets include a branded glass for tasting, admission

to the event and to the Stratford Perth Museum.

Pavilion Coffee and Crepes on Marketplace is a great

place for a family breakfast and fresh made lunch.

Look forward to sitting on the patio with the roller

door open this summer. www.pavillioncoffee.com

New owner of The Annex Restaurant Chef Cameron

Jariott and his parents have revitalized the menu,

making each dish from scratch, using fresh, local

ingredients. www.annexrestaurant.com

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eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

Junction 56 Distillery has added three new flavoured

moonshine products, Sugar Shack (maple), Fireshine

(cinnamon) and Eclipse (anise and fennel) to the existing

line-up of gin, vodka and moonshine. www.junction56.ca

Tallgrass Mead is making Honey Pops, a refreshing

beverage made with honey, and a variety of other wines.

Order it at Monforte on Wellington or when you visit the

Stratford Festival. www.tallgrassmead.com/products

Stratford Blues and Rib Fest, June 23–25, is an outdoor

family-friendly gathering over slow-cooked BBQ and

all types of blues music in support of The Huron-Perth

Centre for Children and Youth, The Stratford Kinsmen

Club, and area Girl Guides/Boy Scouts. Activities include

free live music, pro rib trucks and food vendors, licensed

beverages, professional roller derby bouts, low and

full contact games, Blues Cruises on the Avon River,

a Weekend Warrior Amateur Open BBQ Competition,

horse-drawn downtown carriage rides, artisans and

crafters, a musician’s workshop tent, motorcycle &

vintage tractor display, Classic Car Meet and Park and

many other activities. www.stratfordbluesandribfest.ca

Around Our Region

Kitchen Smidgen is a small bakery — a smidgen of a

spot along the beautiful Thames in St. Marys operated

by Cindy Taylor. Stop by for sweet and savoury treats,

perhaps pick up some C’est bon cheese or Transvaal

Farm preserves. www.kitchensmidgen.com

Sixthirtynine in Woodstock continues to evolve

as one of Ontario’s best destination farm-to-table

restaurants. Chef Eric Boyar recently finished staging

at Vancouver’s ingredient-driven, award-winning

Hawksworth Restaurant, with a few additional days

at Nightingale, which also features modern Canadian

cuisine. www.sixthirtynine.com

Calling all curd nerds! Every Saturday in May, hit the

open road to Canada’s Dairy Capital in Oxford County

and enjoy the day celebrating all things cheese. The

Oxford County Cheese Trail is stepping up its game

with amazing culinary experiences, games, delicious

local cheese menus, artisan workshops and of course,

all the cheese you can get your hands on. www.

tourismoxford.ca/blog/detail/articleid/7225

The Donut Diner is a fun, funky and charmingly retro

mini-donut trailer operating at the Pinery Market in

Grand Bend May through Thanksgiving. Get fresh, hot,

made-on-the-spot mini-donuts by the dozen. Watch the

“donut robot” crank out 50 dozen donuts per hour and

say hello to The Donut Lady! www.fb.com/DonutDiner

Located at the Sarnia Bay Marina, Sarnia’s only

water-top restaurant, Brian and Tammy Vickery’s

Alternate Grounds Dockside, is open April–October.

Stratford Chef School graduate Andrew McNaughton

executes unique weekly à la carte menus, including a

creative breakfast menu. www.agdockside.com


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

Brian and Tammy Vickery, with Scott Dargie (co-owner

of Paddy Flaherty’s Irish Pub) and manager Mike

Pettigrew have opened Mixx Lounge, specializing in

hand-crafted cocktails. Food is limited to charcuterie

boards featuring cured meats, specialty cheeses or

chocolate. For private events, they work with local

caterers and restaurants, and can host up to 60 people.

www.fb.com/180Front

Point Edward Moonlight Farmers’ Market is producerbased

with a vendor mix that evolves through the

season. You’ll find it on the service road in Waterfront

Park right under the beautiful Bluewater Bridge. Open

Thursdays, 4–8 pm, May 25–October 5.

Streamliners Espresso Bar will celebrate its grand

opening May 6. Streamliners serves Las Chicas del

Cafe premium beans, roasted and packaged inside the

CASO Station, located across the street at 767 Talbot

St. Owners Maria Fiallos of Las Chicas and Stacey

Hayhoe are focusing on brewing the best cup of coffee

in St. Thomas, one customer at a time.

We want your BUZZ! Do you have culinary news that

you’d like us to share? Every issue, Eatdrink reaches

more than 50,000 readers in print, and thousands

more online. Get in touch at editor@eatdrink.ca

and/or with our Social Media Editor Bryan Lavery at

bryan@eatdrink.ca

Whatever your taste,

experience it all in

UPCOMING 2016 EVENTS EVENTS IN GODERICH

IN May 6-8

Goderich Home July 29 12th Annual Don Johnston

May 5–7

Goderich Home & Cottage Show

& Cottage Show to Aug 1 Memorial Slo Pitch Tourney

May 9

The Sound of Goderich

May 10 The Sound of Goderich July 31

21st Annual Goderich

May 14

Run Around the Square

May 15 Run Around the Square

Firefighters Breakfast

May 21

May 20–Oct Goderich 7 Farmers’ Goderich Market

Farmers’ Aug 1-5

Market (every Saturday) Celtic College

to Oct May 8

21–Oct 8 (every Goderich Saturday)

Flea Aug Market 5-7

(every Sunday) Celtic Roots Festival

May 22

May 24–Sept Goderich 13

Circle Flea Market

City Cruize Aug 5-7

Nights (every 2nd Goderich Wednesday) Art Club

to Oct June 9

1–Aug 31 (every Downtown Sunday)

Concerts (every Thursday) Annual Art Show

May 25

June 2 & Circle 3 City Cruize Mocha Nights

Shriners Aug Spring 13-14

Ceremonial RC Model Air Show

to Sept 14 (every 2nd Wednesday)

June 16

Relay for LifeAug 19-21 Goderich Salt Festival

May 26

Downtown Concerts

June 18–Sept 3

Sunday Concerts Aug 21

Goderich Triathlon

to Aug 25

(every Thursday)

June 24

Children’s Festival Sept 2-3 West Coast Bluesfest

June 18 Huron’s Multicultural Festival

June 25

Huron’s Multicultural Sept 2-5

Festival Labour Day Fast Ball Tourney

June 19

Sunday Concerts by

June 28

Circle City Beach Sept Cruize 18

Terry Fox Run

to Sept 4 Goderich Laketown Band

Oct 31

Halloween Activities

June 25

June Goderich 30 Children’s Canada Festival

Day Fireworks Display

Nov 5 Country Christmas Craft Show

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Day Picnic & Parade

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July 2 Canada Day Lions Fireworks

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Down the Sun (every Friday) Show & Sale

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July 12 to 15 Lions Beef Kinsmen Barbecue

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Remembrance Day

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Dates are subject to change.

For locations and more info, be sure to visit goderich.ca.

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40 | May/June 2017

Beer

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

Nano Brewing in Port Stanley

Last Castle Brewing Co.

By WAYNE NEWTON

Craft beer is making waves in Port

Stanley. The Lake Erie village, known

for its beaches, summer stock

theatre, and railway nostalgia, may

soon be equally famous for an innovative

brew pub which opened last year.

Last Castle Brewing Co., which focuses

on rustic farmhouse ales featuring local

ingredients, is tucked inside the New New

Age general store near Port Stanley’s main

intersection at Bridge and Colborne streets.

“We have strong family ties to the area and

were drawn to Port for its relaxed and fun

summer atmosphere,” said brewmaster Aidan

Norton. “Many make the trip to Port for its

charms, beaches and food scene and we are

excited to contribute to the beer landscape on

Lake Erie’s north shore.”

Last Castle’s flagship beer is Field Magic,

a Belgian-style saison brewed with spelt and

chamomile, made with an eye to quenching

thirsts on hot summer days. It has aromas of

spice, bubblegum and pear. If that seems like

a stretch from the light lagers often favoured

by the summer crowd, it isn’t.

“Port Stanley sees an influx of people in

the summer,” said Norton, who does double

duty by also working at a large craft brewery.

“Its seasonal ebb and flow aligns well with the

Belgian farmhouse

tradition of producing

refreshing summer

ales.”

“I take inspiration

from my

grandmother, who

immigrated to southwestern

Ontario from

Belgium. Her family

brought some of the

old world treats such

as gouda cheese, and

operated a general

store. Farmhouse ales,

being fermented with

house yeast cultures,

are not too far off.”

Last Castle draws

from medieval beermaking

practices,

thus its name, and a

passion for all things

local.

“Our team is

inspired by our native

Carolinian forest,

which provides a

backdrop and is a

Selected in

TOP 10

Beer Bars

in Canada


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine May/June 2017 | 41

last bastion of its kind here in Canada,” Norton

said. “We aim to bring in a mix of seasonal

ingredients wildcrafted or produced in the

region. In terms of brewing tradition, we draw

on some medieval approaches to ingredients,

such as the use of herbs and teas. The brewpub

has the fortune of operating in a store that

specializes in custom herbal tea blends. We’re

also fans of storytelling and want our customers

to discover the story behind the beer.”

Among ingredients used are chamomile

from the New New Age farm in Elgin County,

spruce tips from Three Ridges Ecological Farm

near Aylmer, and hops from Common Ground

Farm in Southwold Township.

Norton uses a nano brewing system, producing

about 100 litres per batch. The selection

is constantly rotating, but Norton’s favourite

recipe so far is Hex Breaker, a tart juniper gose.

Amaranth Wild Pale Ale, which was available in

late winter, featured its namesake ancient grain.

“We love to use adjunct grains in our beers,

as they can make unique contributions to

finished beer,” Norton said. “Amaranth is an

ancient grain that we use in this brew. It’s

high in protein, like wheat, making for a fluffy

presentation. It’s an American-style wild ale

because it’s fermented 100 per cent with a

yeast known as brettanomyces that provides a

fruity character.”

While exciting experimentation will

rightfully attract the brewcationers and

brewheads to Last Castle, beachgoers, theatre

patrons, and train buffs are the core patrons.

“For beachgoers, if they’ve been out in the

sun all day, we likely recommend something

like a Kombucha Beer, made in collaboration

with London’s Booch Organic Kombucha,

which is low in ABV and similar to a shandy

or radler. As for the theatre patrons and train

buffs, we’d encourage them to explore our

ASK for ANDERSON

latest seasonal and hope that it’s a memorable

part of their visit to Port Stanley.”

Last Castle beers are currently available

only for in-house consumption.

Last Castle Brewing Co.

286 Bridge St., Port Stanley

(inside the New New Age General Store)

www.lastcastlebrewing.com

WAYNE NEWTON is a freelance journalist in London

who enjoys writing about beer and travel.

MADE RIGHT. HERE.

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Tours and tastings are always free.

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42 | May/June 2017

Wine

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

A Taste for Excellence

How John Szabo became Canada’s first Master Sommelier

By TANYA CHOPP

It’s no wonder that when John Szabo speaks,

people feel compelled to listen. His voice

contains a well-deserved confidence. As he

talks about wine, he jumps passionately

between time periods, soil qualities, geographic

zones and a whole catalogue of first-hand and

textbook experiences that have led him to

become a master of what it is to truly eat and

drink well.

Of course, his claim to fame — as Canada’s

first Master Sommelier — is a title that he

admits carries weight in his industry. But it’s the

passion for lifelong learning, and an insatiable

curiosity for "taste" that has led him to prestige.

And even Szabo will tell you that the path to

his current status was far from clear-cut.

“I’m a serial academic,” he admits. After he

earned a double major in Spanish and Italian

from the University of Toronto, the idea of

turning from student to teacher didn’t seem

ideal. Though spending more time in academia

would have been a traditional route, Szabo

decided to go a different way.

While he had been still entrenched in his

studies, he had two experiences that proved to be

turning points. “During my undergraduate, I lived

in Spain for a year and Italy for a summer. While I

Master Sommelier John Szabo,

at Tastings

was there, I was exposed to lots of great food and

wine and I was fascinated with flavours,” he says.

“I really just enjoyed eating, more than anything

else.” So fascinated by flavours, in fact, that he

decided to make a career of it.

“After I graduated, I started working in

restaurants, in the kitchen, and apprenticed

with a nice collection of chefs in Toronto and

Collingwood, including Michael Stadtländer,

who was one of the first farm-to-table chefs in

the country, in the early ’80s. I did everything in

the kitchen,” he says, adding, “At Stadtländer’s

farm, I would feed the animals in the morning,

be chopping them up in the afternoon, and then

serving them in the evening.”

As he moved through different work

experiences, at a range of establishments, wine

began to take over as an area of interest. “I worked

in Niagara, at Highland Estates, in the kitchen.

When I could, I would wander to the winery and

chat with the winemaker because I was curious,”

he says. “I later worked in France, in Paris and

then in the south. When I moved to Paris, I took

a wine course, because I thought ‘If I’m going to

eat well, then I’m going to learn how to drink well

too’.” Szabo took a six-month course at a Michelinstarred

restaurant, which exposed him to French

wines from all over the country.

“When I returned to

Canada, I opened up a catering

business with my partner, who

is now my wife,” says Szabo.

And even though he was back

home, he decided to bring part

of his international experience

with him — he entered into

the wine importing business.

“I was put in touch with a

wine importing agent, focused

on French wine, mostly

Burgundy and champagne.

[The agent] wanted to get into

the restaurant side with more

reasonably priced bottles. So

we had samples sent over and

held a portfolio tasting with


May/June 2017 | 43

John Szabo in Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands

the community, which was well received.”

Afterwards, Szabo became an importer with

Vinifera, and that’s when his work in the wine

business, and path to becoming a Master Sommelier,

truly opened up. He began to write about

wines, and acted as a consultant for a few wineries

in Hungary. He then embarked upon obtaining his

Canadian Sommelier Guild Diploma, through the

Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

Never one to stop after each certification, when

a friend suggested that Szabo also take the Master

Sommelier exam through the Court of Master

Sommeliers, he says “I just decided to do it.”

Perhaps thanks to the passage of time — and

popular documentaries such as Somm — many

people are now familiar with the sweat-inducing

intensity of the test, which encompasses tasting,

theory, service, spirits, beer and global wine

knowledge.

However, the reward for those who pass is

receiving the “highest distinction a professional

can attain in fine wine and beverage service.” In

2004, John Szabo became the first in Canada to

receive the designation, after passing on his first

try. To date only 236 professionals have earned

the diploma, and only three in Canada.

“It’s quite intense, and even more intense now,”

he says. “You show up prepared and pass or fail.

I felt confident, having already completed the

course in France and having studied a full twoyear

program through WSET. I like to take tests

to see how much I know. I thought I might get

some use out of it and it’s been more useful than

I intended. It’s instant credibility, the title sounds

grandiose enough.”

So exactly what point of view does someone with

such extensive experience hold, when it comes to

making wine more accessible for the masses?

“Half of me says ‘don’t make it more simple,

because it’s not,’” he says of the tasting process.

“Why try to candy-coat it when it’s a beautiful

complex subject? The reason why a glass of wine

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of things that isn’t fully understood. That will

always be the case, just to reduce it down to the

most basic element is to destroy it.”

“The other half is that I like to share the love

and passion you can get out of it,” he admits. “And

is one of London’s premier

fundraising events, supported

by the best of the region’s chefs and wineries from around

the world — and Londoners who enjoy good food and wine for a

good cause.

May 4, 2017 Participating Restaurants & Chefs

Black Trumpet: Chef Scott Wesseling

Blu Duby: Chef Graham Stewart & Chef Cynthia Beaudoin

The Church Key Bistro-Pub: Chef Cliff Briden

Craft Farmacy: Chef Andrew Wolwowicz

F.I.N.E. A Restaurant: Chef Erryn Shephard & Chef Ben Sandwith

The Little Inn of Bayfield: Chef Michael Potters

London Hunt and Country Club: Chef Michael Stark

Restaurant Ninety One: Chef Angela Murphy & Chef Kris Simmons

Sixthirtynine: Chef Eric Boyar

All ’Bout Cheese: Rick Peori

Petit Paris Crêperie & Pâtisserie: Chef Nicole Arroyas & Chef Nathan Russell

O-Joe Coffee: Joe Ornato

The Tea Lounge: Michelle Pierce Hamilton

Tastings benefits the

London Health Sciences

Foundation Impact Fund,

ensuring leading-edge care

and research continues.

These photos are from the

2016 event at the London

Hunt & County Club.

All ’Bout Cheese

The Springs

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for that, there has to be a relatively simple starting

point. If I were selling wine at the table or talking

about a wine to a fresh audience, then I’d start of

with just the basics: red or white, dry or sweet. And

from there, you enter into other discussions.”

“A great way to divide

David’s Bistro

styles is into fruity or

savoury; cleave it into two

basic camps. Most are either

fruity or predominantly

savoury, mushroom type

flavours. People can generally

grasp that. For instance, they

know if they prefer their

coffee with lots of sugar and

milk, or mostly bitter. If they

prefer bitter, then they’re

more of a savoury person.”

And as for how to pair

food and wine together? Well

that, Szabo says, takes some

practice. “It requires lots of

eating and drinking, which is

not such a hardship. Although,

specifically, I mean you have

to be eating and drinking and

paying attention.”

Normally, once someone

has taken their first sip, their

attention has already shifted,

and that can be the same with

food too.

“We don’t focus all that

much on texture and nuances

of flavour. If you want to

get the most out of it, you

have to stop and think and

contemplate it, to assess

how your body is reacting.

You’ll sooner or later start to

pick up on basic interactions

between food and wine.”

According to Szabo, the

dance that takes place on

your palate is not between an

equally matched pair. The key

is anticipating how the flavours

will play off one another.

“It’s context,” he

says. “Most wines don’t

dramatically affect the taste

of food, but the taste of food

does profoundly change the

taste of wine. For instance,

a dish with a lot of sugar in

it — and I’m not talking about

dessert, but let’s say a basic

southeast Asian cuisine — a

sweet substance will make


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

everything in your mouth afterwards taste that

much more bitter, sour and astringent. On the

other hand, if you put something really sour into

your mouth, then everything after that seems

sweeter, softer, rounder and more mellow.”

But if you’re the kind of person who has the

basics down pat, and is more focused on what’s

emerging in the world of wine, Szabo has some

insight there as well.

“I would say that cool climates are hot, and

that’s true, certainly within the trade. And now

it’s trickled down to the consumer. It’s not

quite mainstream but getting there. Countries

like Canada are positioned for success, as are

producers who are way out on the far coasts

where it’s chilly, or in higher elevation sites like

Argentina. And it all comes down to lower alcohol,

fresher wines as opposed to high alcohol ‘jammy’

wines. The wines are better balanced naturally.”

However, what really has Szabo’s interest is

volcanic wines. After all, he recently published a

book on the subject, called Volcanic Wines: Salt,

Grit and Power.

“Volcanic wines, generally speaking, tend to

be on the savoury side of the spectrum — and I

take my coffee black and bitter,” he says jovially.

“I’m attracted to them for the taste profile, but

also for a number of other reasons. In volcanic

regions around the world, there are indigenous

grapes that have been preserved because of

the soil. Many are positioned on steep inclines,

which is not good for viticulture, so they were

semi-abandoned

Come sail

which

to Pelee

preserved

Island!

grapes

Explore

from

centuries Pelee past. Island There are by hundreds taking an of Island indigenous

varieties Motor that have Tour, survived cycle dirt … it roads offers and

amazing through world of the things vineyards to discover.” on a Biking

It’s not surprising, given his journey, that

Szabo still and possesses Wine Tour, the same walk insatiable up to the curiosity

and drive. Lighthouse; Not “just” a catch Master a Sommelier glimpse any of the

longer, Old Szabo Vin also Villa now Ruins, owns a stop winery at in the Hungary, local

and he bakery, continues grab to consult a glass and of write. wine at the

And perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of all

is that Pelee Szabo visits Island London, Winery Ontario while regularly. listening to

For the some past decade live music; he has been learn a a quasi-guest little history of

honour and at London enjoy Health the limestone Sciences Foundation’s and sandy

prestigious culinary fundraiser, Tastings, where

beaches of Canada's Most Southern

he holds a special pre-tasting event.

This Inhabited year’s beneficiary Island. is the Stay Impact for Fund, a weekend which

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“It’s one of my favourite events of the year,”

back the time and enjoy island life at

Szabo says. “Not only is it a good charitable cause,

but my a mother slower is also pace. from London. I’ve been going

there all my life and it’s like going home.”

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46 | May/June 2017

Spirits

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

Craft Distillery Cocktails

A Spring Visit to Wolfhead Distillery

By JANE ANTONIAK | Photographs by BRUCE FYFE

Time to bring out

the patio glasses

and refresh your

cocktail list for

the new season! It’s fun to

set aside the single malts of colder days past

and to reach for the lighter splashes of spirits

such as grapefruit vodka, banana caramel

vodka and apple caramel whisky, all of which

we recently found at Wolfhead Distillery in

Amherstburg, near Windsor. Nick Connoy,

front of house manager and bartender, shared

some tips on making refreshing seasonal

cocktails at home.

Celebrities such as Madonna

and Sarah Jessica Parker, portraying

Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in

the City, helped to bring the pink Cosmopolitan

to every bar menu in North America in the

1990s. Served in a martini glass, this vodka,

cranberry and citrus mix was a stylish and

often sweet concoction that carried a sparkle

and Hollywood-to-New-York panache. The

Cosmo is still a mainstay today. Connoy has

made it “less of a sugar bomb” by using not

The Howler

Add:

1 oz Wolfhead Banana Caramel Vodka

1 oz Wolfhead Coffee Whisky Liqueur

2½ oz milk

Shake with ice until metal part of mixer starts to frost.

Strain into low ball martini glass.

Garnish with grated Belgian chocolate.

Wolfhead Old Fashioned

Stir:

1 orange slice muddled with angostura bitters

Splash of cherry simple syrup

1½ oz ginger ale

2 oz Wolfhead Premium Whisky

Pour into rocks glass. Top with ice and orange slice.

only grapefruit vodka but

also muddled grapefruit for

an added texture and zing.

The sweetness in this drink

is citrus driven.

Connoy warns new mixologists not to mask

the flavours when making cocktails with small

batch infused spirits. “Adding fresh citrus

makes the flavour of the vodka pop,” he says.

For example, he likes to use banana caramel

vodka in a daiquiri, and fresh orange in his version

of the very popular Old Fashioned. Wolfhead’s

Banana Caramel Vodka carries a lot of

sweetness, making it a good mix

in a cocktail, needing a minimal

touch. The Coffee Whisky

Liquor has less sweetness, as it

is steeped in Costa Rican espresso. These two

make for a natural pairing for those who like

banana flavours countered with strong coffee,

without the sickly sweetness of some coffeebased

cocktails. The Apple Caramel Whisky

is more on the sweet side, but with a burn. It

could go well with ginger ale and ice.

JANE ANTONIAK and BRUCE FYFE are regular

Eatdrink contributors. Jane is also Manager, Communications

& Media Relations at King’s University College. Bruce

is also Librarian, Weldon Library, Western University.

The Howler

Wolfhead Old Fashioned


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

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48 | May/June 2017

Various Musical Notes

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

Celtic, Québecois, and Iconic

Upcoming Highlights on the Music Scene

By GERRY BLACKWELL

John McDermott

Oh, to be in Ontario now that spring

is here! Unless of course we skip

spring this year and go straight to

summer, always a possibility. Either

way, it’s a good time for music fans. Bob Dylan

is coming, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt. And a

bunch of much younger folk.

If you’ve got Celtic blood in your veins, the

next couple of months will be particularly

good. It starts Friday, May 12 at the Grand

Theatre with John McDermott — Mr.

“Danny Boy” himself — and his Raised on

Songs and Stories show (7:30 p.m., $47.50).

The self-trained balladeer and former member

of the Irish Tenors is in fact Scottish by birth,

but no matter. The man has over 25 albums

to his credit. He’s big. If you miss him at the

Grand, he’s at the Capitol Theatre in Chatham

the next

night

(7:30

p.m.,

$47.50).

From

big and

experienced

to

young

and

fresh. Up the street at the London Music Hall,

a trio of local freshman folkies play the LMH’s

Rosewood Room that same Saturday night:

Karen Emeny and Ian Raeburn from London,

and Justine Chantale of Stratford (8:00pm,

$10). If you want to know what the next generation

of singer-songwriters sounds like, come

listen. (FYI, you can hear previews of all three at

music-sharing site soundcloud.com.)

With Home County only a couple of months

away, folk music, Celtic and otherwise, is very

big this season. The Cuckoo’s Nest Folk Club

continues its series of concerts at Chaucer’s

Pub on Sunday, May 14 with dueling fiddlers

Maja &

David

(7:30pm,

$20/$25).

David is

David

Boulanger

of La

Bottine

Souriante,

the

Quebecois folk band. Maja is Maja Kjær Jacobsen

from the Danish fiddle trio Fru Skagerrak.

Holy catgut, Batman!

Revival House in Stratford has another of

its dinner-and-show concerts on Friday, May

19, this time featuring the Juno-winning

Digging Roots ($25 concert only, $35 with

prix fixe dinner). It’s a return engagement for

the indigenous blues ‘n’ roots outfit. Last time

they “blew the roof off,” receiving a standing

ovation in the middle of their set. Digging

Roots is Barrie-based husband and wife Raven

Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish.

The London

Music Club,

coincidentally, has

another Raven

the same night.

Folk-rockers The

Wilderness

of Manitoba,

Maja & David

Digging Roots

with singer

Raven Shields,


Raven Shields and

Will Whitwham of The

Wilderness of Manitoba

are playing the club

(7:30pm/8:30pm,

$10/$12). Front-liners

Shields and Will

Whitwham are in duet

mode for this show. The

full band meanwhile

has a new album due

any day.

There’s more Quebecois

folk music — which,

let’s face it, isn’t so different

from Celtic folk music

— at Aeolian Hall on Friday, May 26. Sunfest is

bringing in Bon Débarras (7:00pm/8:00pm,

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50 | May/June 2017

Sean McCann

but in a traditional

style

— lots of

fiddle, guitar,

step dancing,

body percussion.

The title

of the new

album may

be an apt

description of

the evening

in store — En

panne de silence (a shortage of silence.) Special

guest this night: Juno-nominated pop-folkster

Andrew McPherson.

On Sunday May 28, there’s a choice of Celtic

fare. Bud Gardens has Irish balladeer Daniel

O’Donnell, the wildly popular star of a string

of PBS specials, and the only artist to have a

new album on the UK charts every year since

1988 (7:30pm, $61.50-$127.) A few blocks away,

The Cuckoo’s Nest Folk Club at Chaucer’s Pub

is bringing in Caim, a vocal-instrumental duo,

“direct from Scotland”: Heather Innes, vocals

and bodhrán (the big drum-tambourine

thing) and Pauline Vallance, harp, flute

and vocals (May 28, 7:30pm, $20/$25.)

On Saturday, June 3 we get a short

break from non-stop Celtic. Blues troubadour

Bonnie Raitt comes to Centennial

Hall (8:00pm, $79.50–$95.50+.) Raitt is

best known for the 1991 hit, “Something

to Talk About.” She’s currently touring her

2016 album — her 17th — Dig in Deep.

Canadian favourite Royal Wood opens.

If you miss them in London, Kitchener’s

Centre In The Square has the same show

Buddy Guy

Wednesday, June 7 ($72.50–$118.)

Meanwhile, back in Celtic town,

Bayfield Town Hall has Sean McCann —

okay, not strictly or exclusively Celtic, but

close enough — on Sunday, June

4 (7pm.) The ex-Great Big Sea

Neema Children’s Choir (Photo: Ian Davies)

frontman, always

an engaging

performer, has

been touring solo

for awhile. On

Friday, June 16

at Aeolian Hall,

Home County

is bringing in

Irish Mythen

(7:00pm/8:00pm,

$25/$30.) Don’t

know Mythen?

The Irish-born Canadian performer, now

based in PEI, plays her own compositions:

contemporary folk meets traditional Celtic.

Irish Mythen

She’s played with greats (Rod Stewart, Gordon

Lightfoot, Lucinda Williams), graced festival

bills the world over, and wows audiences

everywhere.

Then we get seriously un-Celtic with a pair of

music legends to herald the coming of summer.

Budweiser Gardens has ageless bluesman

Buddy Guy on Wednesday, June 21 (7:30pm,

$64.50–$109.50.) What can you say about

Buddy Guy? He is a giant. Guy, 80, didn’t

invent the blues, but he surely helped

define it. Two weeks later, on Thursday,

July 6, the Bud follows up with

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan

(8pm,

$59.50–

$89.50.)

Dylan, 75,

helped define

an era. Legends

don’t last forever

folks: catch ’em while

you can.

GERRY BLACKWELL is a

London-based freelance writer.

TD Sunfest celebrates 23 years

of transfiguring Downtown

London’s Victoria Park into

a culturally diverse jewel

for 220,000+ devoted visitors. More than 35 stellar

world music & jazz ensembles from around the planet

will perform on five stages, while 225 exhibitors whet

festivalgoers’ appetites for scrumptious global cuisine

and one-of-a-kind crafts & visual art. Acts include iconic

bands like Kiev’s DakhaBrakha and Brazil’s Bixiga 70 and

returning favourites like Ontario’s Samba Squad and BC’s

Five Alarm Funk. July 6-9, Victoria Park, free admission.


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine May/June 2017 | 51

The Classical Beat

Happy Birthday, Canada!

It’s All About Us

By NICOLE LAIDLER

A

party just isn’t a party without

some great tunes. And with

Canada’s 150 th birthday celebration

in full swing, music groups across

our region are pulling out all the stops to mark

the occasion.

Stratford Symphony Orchestra

Stratford Symphony Orchestra celebrates

Canada’s 150th on May 13 with a concert that

showcases Canadian composers and shines

a spotlight on local talent. The program is a

mix of light Canadian classics and Canadian

folk, and features special guest artists from

nearby St. Marys performing together as

Trent Severn.

This acclaimed trio, comprised of singerssongwriters

Dayna Manning, Emm Gryner

and Lindsay Schindler, performs original,

contemporary folk songs with a distinctly

Canadian flavour. “This is the first time Trent

Severn has performed with an orchestra,”

says SSO’s David Murray. In addition to

Trent Severn

debuting orchestrations of current hits and

new songs, the three will step out on their

own to present a set of new songs from their

latest recording, Portage.

SSO’s final event of the season will be the

annual Cows and Classics concert, to be held

June 25 at a farm just west of Stratford. A

hayshed, lawn chairs, refreshments, and music.

It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that.

The London Concert Band

The London Concert Band wants to pack the

house at the historic Beal Auditorium, June

18, for a free musical birthday bash. CBC news

anchor Heather Hiscox will act as emcee.

The London Concert Band

“Expanding the availability of music to

young and old alike is very important to us,”

says LCB conductor, Robert Kennedy. “So

we embarked on developing a concert that

would be available to all — equally — and

then set out to find a venue that could hold

many people.”

“With Glowing Hearts: Canada 150 features a

program that celebrates our country’s music

and diversity,” says Kennedy.

“Highlights for me would be the performances

of our many guests. The riveting clarity and fun

provided by the Percussion Trio, the colour of

our visiting Bhutanese dancers, the poignant

honesty of the folk-singing couple The Married,

and the historical significance of Ojibway

Storyteller, Aaron Bell, speaking on the history

of the drums in their Nation.”

The matinee concert also features The

London Concert Band’s premier of a medley

of music by Guy and Carmen Lombardo and

their Royal Canadians.


eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

World

Premiere

June 28 to August 19

MR. NEW YEAR’S EVE:

A night with

Guy Lombardo

Written by David Scott

Directed by Gil Garratt

His father opposed Guy’s love of Jazz;

Canadian radio stations showed

active disinterest; but no obstacle

could block Guy’s path to stardom.

For tickets call 1.877.862.5984

or visit blythfestival.com

Amabile

London’s Amabile choirs also ends the season

on a Canadian note. True North

is a joint presentation by the

Junior Amabile Singers and

Amabile Da Capo Choir, June 3

at New St. James Presbyterian

Church, while Strong and Free

features the Amabile Youth

Singers and Prima: Amabile

Women’s Choir, June 11 at St.

John the Divine Parish.

Bach Festival of Canada

Exeter’s bi-annual Bach Festival of Canada is

back for its fourth installment, with a slightly

new format

and a decidedly

Canadian

focus. This

year’s festival

will be held

over two long

weekends,

explains

festival

manager Jean Jacobe, with concerts offered

July 6–9 and July 14–16. “We wanted to

make it easier for people from out of town to

attend,” says Jacobe, adding that she’s already

fielding inquiries from as far away as Toronto.

The line-up includes local talent like

Marlene Fagan and John Avery (July 6),

cellist Cameron Crozman (July 8) and

fiddlers Shane Cook and Gerry Smith

(July 14), as well as international stars like

Spanish pianist Leopoldo Erice (July 7) and

London-born, New York-based violinist Lara

St. John (July 9).

This year’s festival wraps up July 16 with

a traditional gala performance. To honour

Canada’s birthday, the 170 choristers,

orchestral players, and soloists, will be

performing an all-Canadian program that

includes the debuts of four new works

commissioned especially for the occasion.

Jeffery Concerts

On a completely different note, The Jeffery

Concerts wrap up a two-year cycle of

presenting the complete Beethoven String

Quartets with a performance by Pacifica

Quartet, May 13 at Wolf Performance Hall.

“It’s a great privilege to hear any Beethoven

quartets well-played at any time, but a

particular privilege to hear them played in a

series, so I felt very lucky to have been able

to hear them here in London,” comments

Pacifica Quartet

audience member Ernest Redekop. “One live

performance is not enough for anyone who

loves Beethoven’s music,” he adds, “but it is

one significant step to a deeper emotional

and intellectual understanding of some of the

greatest works of music ever written.”

As a feature writer, story-based copywriter, and content

consultant, NICOLE LAIDLER helps people find the

right words to share their stories with the world. Visit her

at www.spilledink.ca


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine May/June 2017 | 53

Theatre

Summer Theatre is Back!

Celebrating Canada Onstage

By JANE ANTONIAK

It’s a sign that summer is coming when

the season begins for regional theatre

companies. Theatre-goers can look with

anticipation to Stratford, Blyth, Grand

Bend, Port Stanley and Petrolia for a change of

dramatic scenery.

Stratford Festival

The grand dame of Ontario theatre is coming

off a successful season, both financially

and artistically. Stratford experienced

a very strong 2016 season with posted

revenues of more than $62 million (providing

a surplus of nearly $700,000)

and attendance of more than half a

million people. Of note was a 25%

increase in attendance for Shakespeare

productions, led by Macbeth, directed

by Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director

of the Festival. As well, there was an increase

in people under 18 attending shows. Possibly

these statistics went hand in hand with the

fact that more school groups attended Shakespearean

productions tied to curriculum. Still,

it bodes well for Stratford that it is building

a future audience. And what’s good for the

Festival is good for the municipality. There is

now a twice-daily bus service from Toronto to

Stratford, which generated almost $14 million

in spin-off economic benefits for the region.

Stratford Festival also sees benefits in

adding food to the program. This year there

will be Treasure Hunt Lunches. Families can

pick up a bagged lunch and go on a scavengerstyle

search of downtown Stratford before

seeing Treasure Island. In July, a series called

Table Talk, with buffets and lectures, will be

offered before certain performances.

In 2017, to mark Canada’s 150th, the

Festival is centered on exploring questions

of identity. “In this sesquicentennial year, it

is important that we not only celebrate but

also reflect on what it means to be Canadian,

says Cimolino. “I think the 14 beautiful and

powerful plays of the 2017 season will help

us to re-examine our identity as a nation,

and us as individuals. We will look at how we

prepare our face to the world, deal with our

hidden desires, or balance our self-interests

with the environment around us — ideas that

we will delve further into through the events

of the Forum. We have also commissioned

The Breathing Hole, by Colleen Murphy —

an epic allegory that is one of the most

ambitious and unique pieces of writing I

have seen in years. Each of the three acts

breathtakingly captures a snapshot of this

country’s development, from the moment of

First Contact, through a startling encounter

with the Franklin Expedition, to a profoundly

moving conclusion in a future ravaged by

climate change.”

Previews for the 65th season are underway

at Stratford.

Blyth Festival

Heading up towards Lake Huron, about an

hour and half north of London, is the uber-

Canadian theatre company —Blyth Festival.

Situated in the recently renovated former

town hall, Blyth prides itself on superior

Canadian productions. So it is natural to

expect something special from Blyth for the

150th. Those who remember the Stork Club

of Port Stanley, or watching the ball drop on

New Year’s Eve to the twang of Auld Lang

Syne, are in for a treat. Blyth opens its season

with previews on June 28 and 29 and officially

opens on June 30 with the world premiere of


eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

followed by an Elvis tribute musical All

Shook Up. A new comedy by Ontario

playwright Norm Foster opens on June 28

in Playhouse II. Jonas & Barry in the Home

is about two seniors looking for love in a

nursing home. As with all Foster plays there

is certain to be light-hearted relationship

and sexual humour.

Mr. New Year’s Eve; A Night with Guy Lombardo

by David Scott, directed by Gil Garratt,

Artistic Director. Garratt says they don’t have

to do something special for the 150th because

Canada has been celebrated with every show

for 43 seasons.

“With more than 130 world premieres

to date, The Blyth Festival has been the

foundation many of the country’s hottest

playwrights have built their careers on. The

Blyth Festival is the place to see the country’s

finest new works, all written by Canadians,

directed by Canadians, and performed by

Canadians, for the most adventurous audience

in the land,” says Garratt.

Huron Country Playhouse

Drayton Entertainment operates theatres

across Southern Ontario including the

Huron Country Playhouse and Playhouse

II, a few kilometers into the farmland from

the lakeside village of Grand Bend on Lake

Huron. Hugely popular with school and bus

groups, tourists and day trippers, Huron

Country Playhouses provide a lot of toetapping

entertainment for cross-generation

summertime fun. Almost 60,000 people

attended shows at Huron Country last

summer.

“There’s a lot of variety on stage this season

in Grand Bend,” says Alex Mustakas, Artistic

Director of Drayton Entertainment. “There

are grand scale musicals with familiar stories

loved by everyone,

rare gems with

incredible music

and fun characters

that make audiences

laugh and

sing, larger-than-life

comedies with outrageous

plots and even

more outrageous

characters and so much more. I know audiences

are in for a real treat this season.”

The season begins on June 3 with Joseph

and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,

Port Stanley Festival Theatre

On the shores of Lake Erie is the recently

renovated Port Stanley Festival Theatre.

PSFT opens on May

23 with the very

patriotic Oh Canada,

We Sing for Thee! starring

Leisa Way and the

Wayward Wind Band.

This production,

along with a gallery

style showcase of

Canadian musicians,

has been sponsored by Celebrate Ontario

under the Ontario 150 Community Capital

Program Grant.

Port Stanley Festival Theatre produces

a number of Norm Foster plays, and 2017

is no exception. On June 7 the PSFT presents

Foster’s production of On a First Name

Basis which will be performed by two of the

theatre’s favourite actors, Susan Johnston-

Collins and Terry Barna. This production will

run until Canada Day.

Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia

You can’t get anything much more

stereotypical Canadian than a show called

Fiddler on the Moose! This “musical ride

across Canada” runs May 2-19 at the Victoria

Playhouse in Petrolia, deep in Southwestern

Ontario. Promising cover versions of songs

from The Tragically Hip, Stompin’ Tom

Connors, The Guess Who, Bareknaked Ladies

and more, this will be a fun ride for devotees

of Canadian content.

Canadian playwright Mark Crawford’s

new comedy, The Birds and the Bees, will be

staged from May 30 to June 17. A hit at both

Blyth and Port Stanley last summer, the show

intertwines beekeeping with romance — with

plenty of hilarious twists. Oh Canada!

JANE ANTONIAK is a regular contributor to Eatdrink

magazine. She is also Manager, Communications & Media

Relations, at King’s University College in London.


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine May/June 2017 | 55

Recipes

Feast

Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip

By Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller

Review and Recipe Selections by TRACY TURLIN

What do you get

if you take two

friends, add a

37,000-kilometre

road trip, and five months

of camping? For most of us

this could equal a recipe for

disaster. For two Canadian

authors, it adds up to a lot

of fun.

Lindsay Anderson

and Dana VanVeller

describe themselves as

“Vancouver-based writers,

adventurers, wanderlusts

and co-creators of Feast: Recipes

and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip. The two

women spent half of 2013 travelling across

Canada collecting recipes and stories, and

exploring the country’s sense of national

identity as it relates to food. They chronicled

the trip on their blog, edibleroadtrip.com.

Back at home, they compiled their notes and

photos to create the book. It’s a beautiful

collection gleaned from chefs, food writers

and educators, friends, family and a few

Canadian food icons.

Lindsay Anderson is from northern BC,

while Dana VanVeller is originally from

Sarnia. Both have worked

and studied across the

country as well as across

the ocean. Check out

their blog for more tales

of their adventures, from

Sarnia to Sri Lanka.

Along with the recipes

in Feast are stories

from each province and

territory that the authors

visited. Photos are mostly

their own and include

some haunting images

that capture of the beauty

of our country, as well

as some that bring

memories of childhood

visits to grandma’s

kitchen, wherever that

might have been.

I received this book very

early in the spring and was

leafing through it when I

noticed that the rhubarb

in my garden was already

trying to peek through the

snow. A few years ago, in a

fit of nostalgia for childhood

memories of rhubarb stalks

dipped in sugar, I transplanted

a bit of the stuff from my mom’s garden. That

small cutting became firmly entrenched in

my tiny herb garden and now threatens to

take over the entire thing. A sensible person

would probably just dig it up. But I discovered

that I love rhubarb — stewed, baked or added

to homemade applesauce. It has become my

first taste of spring. So I was delighted to

find a recipe in Feast from Canadian Living’s

Elizabeth Baird for “Lunar Rhubarb Cake”.

This is not the prettiest dessert you’ll ever

make but, like so many messy things, it is

well worth it. It gets its

name from the crumbly

topping of brown sugar

and butter that makes it

look like the surface of

the moon (and taste like

a slice of heaven).

While I was watching

my poor, optimistic

snow-dressed rhubarb

I noticed that the poor,

Authors Lindsay Anderson

and Dana VanVeller


56 | May/June 2017

neglected barbecue had icicles dripping from

its cover. Suddenly, Elk Burgers with Blue

Cheese and Balsamic Roasted Red Onions

were all I could think of making. I’m not sure

I can wait until the snow melts. I might try

these on the grill pan in the kitchen, using

lean beef, until I can find elk meat and get the

BBQ ready. In fact, by the time you’re reading

this, I may already have the BBQ up and

running. I hear that we have a local supplier

for elk. I’m heading down the farmer’s market

to see if I can find it.

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

The recipes in Feast are as eclectic as the

people who contributed them. Whether you

are looking for a new cocktail or a lesson

on a classic Canadian dinner, you will find

something delightful every time you open this

book. Maybe it will even inspire you to dust

off the camping gear and take a road trip of

your own.

TRACY TURLIN is a freelance writer and dog groomer in

London. Reach her at tracyturlin@gmail.com

Excerpted from Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Road Trip by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller.

Copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of

Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Elk Burgers

with blue cheese & balsamic roasted red onions

Serves 4 to 6

When we arrived at his ranch in Kanata, Ontario,

Thom van Eeghen handed us a pair of helmets,

loaded us into the trailer of an ATV, and drove us

out to his herd of elk. We first visited the cows and

calves in the field, then made our way over to the

woods, where an impressively antlered bull was

hanging out on his own. The photo below remains

one of our favourites from the trip — what a

goofball.

Elk meat is a great alternative to beef. It’s lean,

a good source of vitamin B, and ever-so-slightly

sweet, rather than gamey. If you don’t have any

elk producers nearby, you can easily substitute

beef or bison.

ROASTED ONIONS

1 large red onion (about 220 grams), sliced into

½-inch-thick (1 cm) rings

1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil

⅛ tsp salt

BURGERS

½ medium red onion (about 80 g), finely chopped

1 egg, beaten

⅓ cup (80 mL) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbsp (15 mL) grainy or Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce

¾ tsp (3 mL) salt

½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper

1½ pounds (680 g) ground elk, bison, or lean beef

¾ cup (185 mL) crumbled blue cheese (see note)

FOR SERVING

4 to 6 buns, toasted

Tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, and any other

desired burger toppings

NOTE: You can use any blue cheese you prefer,

as long as it’s firm enough to hold its shape

when you’re mixing the burgers. Some great

Canadian options include Ciel de Charlevoix,

Bleu Bénédictin, and Dragon’s Breath Blue.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

For the roasted onions, add the sliced onion rings to a

large bowl and toss with the balsamic vinegar, olive

oil, and salt. Spread out evenly on a large baking

sheet. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, turn the slices

over, and roast again until soft and caramelized,

another 10 to 15 minutes.


May/June 2017 | 57

Preheat the barbeque

on medium-high (about

450°F/230°C).

To make the patties, mix the

onion, egg, parsley, mustard,

Worcestershire sauce, salt,

and pepper. Add the ground

meat and gently mix with your

hands until just combined (over

mixing will make the burgers

tough).

Add the crumbled cheese and

mix again until just combined.

Divide the meat mixture into six

even portions (or four, if you’d

prefer larger burgers) and

shape each portion into a patty.

Grill on the barbeque, flipping

once, until their internal

temperature reaches 160°F

(71°C) or they’re no longer pink

inside, 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve the burgers on buns with

the roasted onions, lettuce,

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58 | May/June 2017

Lunar Rhubarb Cake

Serves 12

This cake, by Canadian food icon Elizabeth Baird,

is ridiculously simple and tasty. Because she’s the

pro, here’s Elizabeth’s take on it:

Rhubarb is the universal Canadian fruit,

growing as it does in Canada’s north, south,

east, and west. And yes, it is a vegetable, but in

most Canadian kitchens, it’s treated like a fruit.

Many years ago I was working on an article for

Canadian Living magazine with home economist

Sandy Hall. Wyn Hall, her mother-in-law, gave

us her recipe for Rhubarb Cake to include in the

article. It was a winner — a no-fail butter cake,

with chopped rhubarb in the batter and a sugarcinnamon

crumble topping that baked into a

crusty crater-like surface. As soon as Sandy and I

took it out of the oven, its moonscape top inspired

us to rename the cake “Lunar Rhubarb Cake.”

A number of these ingredients need to be at

room temperature when you make the cake, so

take them out of the refrigerator well before you

start baking.

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

CAKE

½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1½ cups (300 g) white sugar

1 egg, room temperature

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour

1 tsp (6 g) baking soda

½ tsp (1.5 g) salt

2 cups (500 mL) rhubarb, cut in ½-inch (1 cm)

pieces (about 4 large stalks; see note)

1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk, room temperature

TOPPING

1 cup (213 g) lightly packed brown sugar

2 tsp (4 g) ground cinnamon

¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, cubed and at room

temperature

FOR SERVING

Vanilla ice cream

NOTE: You can increase the rhubarb by another

½ cup (about 70 g) if you like. The cake will work

with other fruits — apricots, plums, raspberries,

and wild blueberries — but rhubarb is the

best. If using frozen rhubarb, measure it while

still frozen and let thaw completely. Drain in a

colander, but do not press liquid out.


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

Line the bottom and sides of a 9 × 13 inch (23 × 33 cm) cake

pan with parchment paper, or use soft butter to grease the

pan; set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a large bo w l, beat together the butter and white sugar

until smooth, light, and creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape

down the bowl once or twice during this process. Beat in

the egg and vanilla and make sure all the ingredients are

combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour,

baking soda, and salt. Scoop out 2 Tbsp of this mixture and

toss with the rhubarb, then set the rhubarb aside.

Mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in three

parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts.

Sprinkle the rhubarb mixture over the batter and fold in.

Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

For the topping, add the brown sugar and cinnamon to

a medium bowl and mash together using a fork. Add the

butter and blend together until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly

over the batter.

Bake in the centre of the oven until the fragrance from

the oven overwhelms hangers-on in the kitchen and the

surface is crusty and golden brown with pink lumps here

and there. A toothpick inserted into the centre should

come out clean. This takes about 45 minutes.

Let cool slightly. Enjoy warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

If making ahead, let cool completely. Double wrap in

plastic food wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks.

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60 | May/June 2017

Books

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

The Trends that We Eat

Devoured: From Chicken Wings to Kale Smoothies

— How What We Eat Defines Who We Are

Review by DARIN COOK


Tell

me what you eat,

and I will tell you

what you are” is a

maxim attributed

to the nineteenth-century food

philosopher Jean Anthelme

Brillat-Savarin. Culinary

Institute of America program

director Sophie Egan has put a

modern twist on this wisdom

in her book, Devoured: From

Chicken Wings to Kale Smoothies

— How What We Eat Defines

Who We Are (William Morrow,

2016, $35.99). The book is divided into ten

themes that deal with a multitude of topics

about how our lifestyles can drive what we

eat given the bombardment of food choices.

Even with all its traditions and habits, food

selection is a very individual choice based on

what we love to eat, what is convenient, what

we crave, what fits into our current diet, what

is in season on the farm, or what menu items

chain restaurants are promoting.

The book is rich in research details that

statistically portray the human relationship

with food: only 26 percent of Americans

eat breakfast every day; Starbucks has

87,000 drink combinations; 66 percent of

Americans eat more types

of global cuisine than five

years ago; 20,000 new items

are introduced to the food

market each year; pancakes

and French toast recipes have

the highest number of online

searches. Where there are

statistics, there are trends,

and Egan writes about how

these numbers translate

into our food culture, from

eating the free samples at

Costco, to the astronomical

number of chicken wings

eaten during the Super Bowl,

to the explosion of on-the-go

protein bars that have

replaced breakfast.

Egan’s book is a look into

the food psyche of the United

States, but given its heavyhanded

emphasis on statistics,

she throws in plenty of comparisons

with Canada and other

countries, such as how countries

rank in alcohol consumption.

Although mainly a journey

through the American food world, the “mainstreaming

of global cuisines” has given foods

from many other countries a home outside

their places of origin. Italian food, in particular,

made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to

find a permanent place in American meals. In

a fascinating chapter called “The Story of Spaghetti”

Egan explains what it is about Italian

food that makes it, along with Chinese and

Mexican, one of the top takeout choices.

Aside from survival, one of eating’s other

main draws is that it has historically been a

communal activity. In the modern world it is

becoming less so, and one of Egan’s contentions

is that office life has not been

good for eating habits. Eating

alone at our desks (one

of every five workers takes a

lunch break), constant snacking,

and a workaholic mentality

have messed up the

three allotted times that we

customarily consume food.

On the other hand, brunch,

or “secular church” as Egan

Author Sophie Egan


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

calls it, could be the saving grace for communal

eating, even though it is one big extravagant

meal replacing two separate ones.

Egan also writes about “the democratization

of wine” that started with the boom in

cheap vino at Trader Joe’s in 1967. Since then,

marketing ploys have succeeded in spreading

wine’s appeal outside of its clichéd cliques,

with tactics such as using cute animals on

wine labels that have nothing to do with

the product (critter labelling), using artistic

Americans love the Super

“ Bowl because some of them

like football, most of them

like day drinking, and all of

them like feasting.


— Sophie Egan

license in the naming of wines (Bad-Ass Cabernet),

and using unconventional containers

(tin cans and Tetra Paks).

Fast food chains are expert in drawing in

crowds by developing “stunt foods.” These

stunt foods, such as Taco Bell’s tremendously

popular Doritos Loco Taco, provide shock

value even though they are “nutritional train

wrecks” — an unhealthy backlash compared

to the diet trends Egan discusses in chapters

entitled “Diet Evangelism” and “The Selling of

Absence” (i.e., low-fat, gluten-free, non-GMO,

reduced calories). Egan writes: “As a people,

we are health seeking on the one hand, while

indulgence seeking on the other” and she finds

no answers to the juxtaposition of fad diets

with expanding fast food menus. Nothing

defines these contradictions more than the

feeding frenzy that is Super Bowl Sunday,

as crowds gather around “snackadiums”

before, during, and after the big game. Egan’s

perspective is that “Americans love the Super

Bowl because some of them like football, most

of them like day drinking, and all of them like

feasting.” And because we all like feasting, this

book is a very interesting look at how trends,

marketing, and modern life influence our

tastes and eating habits.

DARIN COOK is a freelance writer based in Chatham

who keeps himself well-read and well-fed by visiting the

bookstores and restaurants of London.

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arturo PEREZ TORRES eva CROCKER


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photo by: Janet Hull ah


62 | May/June 2017

The Lighter Side

The Newbie

eatdrink.ca |@eatdrinkmag

By RENEE BORG

Fresh out of culinary school, early one

morning I found myself standing

before one of the most prestigious

hotels in town. I had scored a position

as a prep cook, hand-picked from a bevy of

eager graduates. Riding an incredible high,

I felt I was embarking on a glorious career

filled with future restaurant openings,

TV appearances and cookbooks

with my face on the cover.

Anxious to make a good

impression, I had splurged and

kitted myself out in spanking

new chef’s duds (my student

uniform relegated to the back

of the closet): gleaming white

jacket with snappy black

buttons, fresh new apron,

crisp checked pants, and a

saucy black cap that read ‘Chef’! I

had also sprung for a very expensive

leather knife case. Bristling with

hardware, it held everything I felt necessary

for my new role: assorted chef’s knives, fruit

knife, vegetable peeler and all kinds of nifty

gadgets including a melon-baller and cherrypitter.

Beaming, I rode up the back elevators

to the floor where the kitchens were. When

the elevator doors whooshed open, I stood

and surveyed the exciting panorama of

culinary activity before me. I’d made it!

After Chef welcomed me to the brigade, I

was handed over to the sous chef and given

a tour. Then he led me through the busy prep

kitchen to a lonely back counter. Stacked

next to it, standing in a puddle of water, was

a towering pile of cardboard crates. The sous

chef cracked open the top box to reveal jumbo

tiger shrimp, packed in ice. “We need all

these shelled and deveined by 5 o’clock for a

function,” my new boss said.

“Yes, chef!” I barked out to his retreating

back, as we had been taught in school. I then

forlornly turned to the tower of shrimp.

For the next several hours I shucked, peeled

and deveined at a ripping pace, using my bare

hands, which quickly became wet and frozen.

Back then, latex gloves weren’t worn, and no

fancy gadget in my new case would make my

task any easier.

After a couple of hours, one of the other

cooks came by to see how I was doing. “Just

great!” I smiled through clenched teeth. At

noon the sous chef reappeared. I had

now been standing for over four

hours, increasingly covered with

shrimp detritus that turned my

pristine white jacket and apron

into reeking, purplish-stained

rags. The sous chef wordlessly

pulled up a stool for me to

sit on and walked away again.

By then my wet fingers were

covered in slippery bandages

from peeling back the sharp shells.

I no longer thought of cookbooks

and restaurant openings but just

kept smiling and shelling, smiling

and shelling in my little shrimp hell corner.

I finally finished the last shrimp at 5:30.

Filthy and soaking wet, I watched as the trays

of prepared shrimp were whisked away by the

garde manger staff. The cook who’d checked

up on me earlier sidled over. “You passed,”

he said. “They always give the newbies the

worst job on day one, to see if they whine and

complain. You did well.” Suddenly I felt a glow

of triumph which sustained me all the way

home on the bus (as fellow passengers dove

for the windows).

The next day, I humbly put on my old

school uniform and presented myself wearing

a plain white cap. The Sous chef led me into

the kitchen again and pointed at an empty

space on a bench beside another cook. “Today,

you mince parsley,” he said. The cook beside

me smiled. “Welcome to the Hilton.”

RENEE BORG is a newbie freelance writer based in

London who enjoys travel and food adventures but avoids

shrimp at all costs.


The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine

2017/18 season

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64 | May/June 2017

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UPSTAIRS IN THE MARKET KITCHEN

Local chefs demonstrate quick and tasty

meals made with market-fresh ingredients!

Market Hours:

Mon. to Thurs. • 8am – 6pm

Friday • 8am – 7:30pm

Sat. • 8am – 6pm

Sun. • 11am – 4pm

Every Saturday:

(Starting May 6)

8am ~ 1pm

Every Thursday:

(Starting May 11)

8am ~ 2pm

coventmarket.com

/coventgardenmarket

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