Events outside of Toronto are always fun in their own way. This time around, it was a lovely fall drive through Prince Edward County; changing leaves, deep colours, the open air. This followed us all the way to the site of the Taste event, which itself was a serene and very green area of the Picton Fairgrounds. Our mission: to taste what the PEC region has to offer from both a wine and food perspective.
Taste! A Celebration of Regional Cuisine had its 8th run this September and is a way for tourists (both local and foreign) to discover the multitude of world-class wine and food which can be found in our own backyard. The set up was much the same as other food and wine shows: entrance fee was $25 with each food/wine ticket being $1 and is used to purchase the culinary selections stationed around the grounds. Most of the stations were asking for 1 to 5 tickets per pour or serving.
A previous trip to PEC introduced me to some of the foodie finds, though Taste exponentially increased my awareness of just how good local food there is. Buddha Dog was the first food stop – how can you miss the orange Buddha? – with their sausages and flavourful baked bean sauce. At 3 tickets, although very tasty, seemed a little steep considering $2 is what you pay per dog in their Toronto store. Fifth Town Cheese Co was also there with a mouthwatering selection of artisanal cheeses. They were paired flawlessly with By Chadsey’s Cairn’s wines.
Angeline’s Restaurant did a wonderful mini thyme muffin stuffed with lamb confit. It was gone in mere seconds. Picton’s famous, Harvest Restaurant, delighted guests with a prime assortment of charcuterie and terrines. Another lamb favourite, was Currah’s Café and Catering’s lamb burger topped with a heirloom tomato chili sauce. It was a little messy but very tasty. Jamie Kennedy was on hand as well for his oh-so-famous Oxtail poutine. The line-up to his stand proved just how popular (and addictive) these things can be.
From the wineries, all the PEC favourites were well represented. From Closson Chase, to Rosehall Run, to Norm Hardie to Black Prince quality wines quenched the thirst of attendees. Many who went back for more than one serving of their favourite local wines. The headlining wine event was Jamie Kennedy’s launch of his own line of wines. With the help of Rosehall Run’s Dan Sullivan as the wine maker, Jamie Kennedy ventured into the business of making his own PEC wine. The duo held a much anticipated seminar and took to the time to inform the attendees of their journey from grape to bottle.
Photos by Suresh, Nina
For dessert, nothing beats Copper Kettle Chocolate’s selection of the most scrumptious chocolates around. They left such a big impact that we had to make a stop in town to bring back some of their lovely chocolate truffles and barks back to Toronto.
The farmer’s market was stationed at the entrance of the event and was supplied by a number of local farms. The goal was to provide, affordable and delicious foods with the proceeds going to the Picton Foodbank. It definitely did not disappoint as we took a large bag back home with a few goodies.
Taste is the quintessential fall event. Harvest foods, fall foliage, great weather, and amazing wines – all within a 2 hour drive from Toronto. Spotlight Toronto highly recommends you attend next year. A suggestion to make this event even better is to book a room in one of PEC’s many cozy B&Bs and Inns. That way you can enjoy this serene goodness for two whole days.