The pairing of farms and food producers with restaurants and chefs inspires them to create culinary magic; toss in a side of simply wonderful local beverages, wines and beers and you have an occasion. The geniality is palpable, this event not only tastes good but I am convinced it is good for the soul. A warm mood prevails, food offerings are generously sized, conversations occur spontaneously between strangers, as we share suggestions of what one simply must try next.
Darling daughter, who was celebrating her 19th birthday, was happy to join me for the afternoon and we sipped and nibbled our way through all the booths, with shared agreement that everything was wonderful. The addition of plates, with a handy spot for attaching ones wine glass was genius. Some of our personal favourites, both sweet and savory, to tease and tempt your palate:
Holly’s Sweets and Eats paired with Ficklewood, their family run farm, offered us Korean pork bulgogi and green tea shortbreads. These little bundles of fresh flavour were amazing.
Carpe Diem Orchard with Cravings Fine Food sampling apple fritters served with honey crème fraiche, dulce de leche, and a sprinkle of bee pollen. To sip, a pear infused thyme and lavender Muskoka Ginger ale.
Valley Farms served éclair pastry filled with vanilla cream, topped with mixed berry compote and real whip cream, courtesy of the amazing Sheldon Creek Dairy cows!
John Williams of Williams Farms supplied the maple motivation to Michael and Marion’s; they presented us with multiple courses including maple roasted smoked ham with peach butter chutney, on homemade corn and maple biscuits, a fresh medley of beet salad with Asian pickled ginger vinaigrette, and french fried new potatoes with maple sriracha mayo.
Ciboulette et Cie, Chef Andre Sanche and Bruce Wood not only fed us pickerel and wild salmon rillette over potato and carrot salad, with heirloom tomato salsa, but also entertained us with an amusing anecdote of Salt Spring Island zucchini races.
I missed out on Local Foods Mart’s Chef Vince Galati’s cantaloupe soup with orange and ginger, but nibbled the mozzarella roulade and loaded potato with wild boar and corn salsa.
The cucumber cups with fresh gazpacho from feel good do good The Karma Project, succulent chowder from Explorers Café, Lamb sliders, fresh baked flat bread from the stone oven with butter turkey, Nicholyn Farms ribbon of elk summer sausage accordion with zucchini and swiss. The alchemy of dry ice mist creating extraordinary ice wine sorbet. The epicurean delights were too vast to mention, too amazing to forget.
Education occurs along route too. The preeminent message is to shop local, this benefits our bodies and our local economy, and that well heard adage of “have you thanked a farmer today” is highly applicable. We were satiated, sufficiently suffonsified, frankly there simply aren’t enough superlatives to adequately express the delight of our taste buds.
I end with a shout out. Sincere thanks to our farmers, our local chefs and restaurateurs, Savour Simcoe is all about the food and it is wonderful!
Written by: Penelope Morrow
Penelope Morrow is a writer, editor and food aficionado from Barrie, follow her tweets @penelopejmorrow
Photos by Celeste Morrow-Bailie – CMB Photography