Slushy wet snow, smokey, wood-burning smells in the air and a warm packed room accented with aromas of cooking, scattered beer cans and people unravelling themselves layer by layer from their outdoor gear. Could have been an afternoon anywhere in Canadian cottage (or cabin) country. Aside from the iPhones filling up with photos of just-foraged plants being sliced, fresh sausages being filled and local trout being smoked.
Plus the fact that the whole feast was being prepared by some of the most talented chefs in Canada (and some outside of Canada). It was a fantasy Thanksgiving-doppelganger afternoon at Mad Maple Inn in Bruce County this past Tuesday, April 24.
The event was part of The Terroir Symposium 2012. The day before had been a full house at the newly renovated Acadian Court, now run by Oliver and Bonacini (more on the symposium in another post). I was fortunate enough to be invited on the following day’s tour of Grey Bruce Simcoe county–complete with bus ride, April flurries and a more moments of awesome than even the Book of Awesome could come up with (lunch featured wood-fired pizzas and was hosted by Michael Stadtländer at his Haisai Bakery and Restaurant.)
Check out Renée Suen’s photos for Toronto Life where she gives a preview of The Singhampton Project, Michael Stadtländer’s upcoming visual and edible feast at Eigensinn Farm.
We were hosted by Miriam Streiman who is opening Mad Maple Country Inn in this summer. Above is the side table which served as the appetizer hang-out (if you weren’t stealing nibbles from the main kitchen.) The yellow wax encased cheese is from Best Baa Dairy and the two cream cheeses came from newish producers Steacy and Scott den Haan of Primeridge Pure Dairy Products.
But let me get to the heart of it–the meal. The formidable menu was posted on the wall after dinner was served and I had to take it in three pictures to get it all, as it reached down to the floor. For more of the chefs and the food, check out Jessica Allen’s piece for Maclean’s.
THE CHEFS, THE FOOD AND THE LOCAL PRODUCERS
BRENT LEITCH, Two Kinds of Beer Bread, Creemore Springs and K2 Milling
CARL HEINRICH, RYAN DONOVAN, JULIA AYEARST, Trout on Kale with Mustard Vinaigrette, Kolapore Springs and The New Farm
CARL HEINRICH, RYAN DONOVAN, JULIA AYEARST, BBQ Pork belly and trotters on baked beans, Blue Haven and The New Farm
CONNIE DESOUSA, Lamb organ Kielbasa with Brassica mustard, Twin Creeks Organic Farm and Forbes Wild Food
CRAIG FLINN, Black chicken soup with Jerusalem artichokes and wild mushrooms, Blue Haven, Creemore Springs and Wylie Mycologicals
JEREMY CHARLES, Wild Newfoundland Rabbit with Red Tail Flour pappardelle, wild mushrooms, speck, wild mustard and fresh herbs, K2 Milling, Forbes Wild Foods, Michael Stadtlander
JEFF CRUMP, Spit-Roasted Lamb with sauce gribiche, Twin Peaks Organic farm
BEN SHEWRY, Grated Potatoes , The New Farm, Tama Mutsuoka Wong
JAMES ROBERTS, Potatoes gratin with wild garlic and shallot confit, The New Farm, Frobes Wild Food, Harmony Organic
PETER BURT, Fire-roasted beers and carrots and (and I can’t read the rest of the list, damn), The New Farm
CONNIE DESOUSA, Fresh Cheese Cheesecake with Rhubarb and almond Crumb, Harmony Organic
And finally my Cinderella…I never find out who she was, but man, was she a beauty!
And if you’re thinking–where was the bar? It was there, in a cozy back room, the wine provided by Georgian Hills Vineyards.
And if you’ve been waiting to see a picture of Ivy Knight, woman-of-all-trades (and a back of the bus fun person–I am a front of the bus read a book person, it makes me sad sometimes) here she is. Check out her awesome new website all about foodstuffs at swallowfood.com and ask for an I SWALLOW sticker for your iPhone.
See the glee, the fun that was had? She’s laughing because she just swore at me. But then, I did cut off most of her face in this picture. Even?
Fun was had, food was had, Tuesday’s will never be the same. Though I might start eating off birch plates (even sturdier than paper and disposable in the wood pile).