The fight to stop the construction of a limestone mega quarry that The Highland Companies wants to build in Melancthon Township continues this October. Last year, MIchael Stadtländer and the Canadian Chefs' Congress joined with local activists to bring thousands of guests to Foodstock across the highway from the proposed quarry site. For 2012 the event has moved to Woodbine Park in Toronto and Chef Stadtländer has been joined by the David Suzuki Foundation.
Media reporters, organisers, and participating chefs gathered this week at Toronto's Beer Academy for a preview of Soupstock. The different name suggests the other big change for this year: All of the 160 (Editor's note: As of October 18th there are now 200 chefs from Canada and the U.S. that will be participating in this event) or so participating chefs will be serving soup on October 21 from 11 AM to 4 PM.
Speeches from Jeremy Taggart, the MC of Foodstock; Dr. Faisal Moola, the Suzuki Foundation's Director-General for Ontario and Northern Canada; and Chef Michael Stadtländer–among others–underlined how critically important they consider this cause. Prompted by a note his wife, Nobuyo was holding up, Stadtländer summed up the movement's driving energy by saying "people are the power, and we are going to share the people power."
Guests were treated to a glimpse of the extraordinarily high quality food from participating chefs. George Brown Chefs' School John Higgins brought his take on a Scotch egg; Chef Anthony Walsh joked that he was Chef Amanda Ray's sous for the evening (both are from Oliver & Bonacini) as they served a tourtiere pocket with house-made plum sauce; Donna Dooher's team from Mildred's Temple Kitchen had a deep-fried corn fritter; and the guys from the Magna Golf Club had a merquez sausage and a mini pulled pork sandwich. The Eigensinn Farm table stuck to the theme with a potato soup served in halved squashes and garnish with a leek salad and head cheese; and Chef Caesar Guinto of Creemore Kitchen brought dessert in the form of a beer and beet cake with a beet chip garnish.
The venue is the headquarters for the Six Pints division of Molson-Coors that owns Creemore Springs Brewery and that is an apt connection given that the water used to brew Creemore comes from the systems that will be affected if the quarry goes ahead.
On the wine side, Niagara's Ravine Vineyard has created two special wines to support Soupstock and the anti-mega-quarry cause. The white is a sauvignon blanc that is available at the winery for $24.95 and is now making it on to licensees' wine lists. Paul Harber, the winery's Chef Proprietor was at the preview event and says he hopes the red (a blend of cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot) will be in bottle by the end of October. The red will retail for $24.95 and two dollars from the sale of each bottle will go to the protest fund.
Admission to the event is free and tickets that each get three servings of soup will be on sale for $10. Those planning to attend Soupstock are encouraged to bring their own soupbowl, spoon, and napkin to keep waste at a minimum. More information on the upcoming event can be found at the Soupstock web site, or through our coverage of last year's preview and main event.
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.