For my second year tasting through the offerings of the chef-farmer pairs in the culinary expanse that is the Savour Stratford Grand Tasting tent I had two resolutions: 1) try more vegetables and 2) try more desserts.
The first is not really a healthy thing, as may be assumed initially, but more a there-are-some-delicious-looking-foraged-mushrooms thing. The latter is more practical: saving stomach space for dessert.
I ate my dessert first at the Savour Stratford Grand Tasting so I’ll do the same when writing about it, covering the sweet before the savoury. One bite that really stood out for me–and other Spotlight staff, I think–was the beignets that Jonathan Gushue of Langdon Hall filled with jam and cheese from Montforte Dairy. Sweet, rich and satisfying.
One of the best-executed bites were Chef Rene Delafranier’s (Rene’s Bistro) panna cotta made with C’est Bon chevre.
On the mushroom front I have to admit to indulging in more than one of the delicious shiitake mushroom caps with smoked red pepper and tomato salsa from Chef Bryan Steele (The Prune) and Northern Woods Mushrooms.
Choices for meat-centred dishes were rich and diverse. The arancini that featured braised pork from Church Hill Farms and created by the team from Pazzo were perfectly suited to this sort of walking-between-stations event.
Judging by my impressions and reactions on Twitter, the Shaved Pork Loin from Molly Bloom’s and The Best Little Pork Shoppe and the slow-roasted pork belly on crostini that was a collaboration of Foster’s Inn and Lassdale Farms were both crowd pleasers.
And what would the main event at Savour Stratford be without a twenty-person line for the offering featuring Perth Pork Products? This year they were teamed with Nick Benninger of Nick & Nat’s Uptown 21 and had a “Porkapolooza” for sampling.
The success of events held in late September balance on that knife edge that is the season’s weather. This year with warm, sunny skies patrons were shedding sweaters and actually heading under the canopies to avoid the heat.
As part of our 30 days of local wine coverage Mike Di Caro also has a full summary of the wine that was on offer at Savour Stratford’s Grand Tasting.
Written by David Ort
As one of Spotlight’s contributing editors, David enjoys turning his mind (and keyboard) to a wide variety of topics ranging from recipes to restaurants to craft beer. When he’s not writing for Spotlight Toronto, David shares his thoughts on new restaurants and beer at PostCity.com and all things food and drink on his own site, Food With Legs. He is the author of the soon-to-be-released Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook (Whitecap).