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Monday, March 17, 2014

Gastronomic treats paired with fine wine flourish in Stratford, Niagara Falls



   One-Tank Trip for March 15/14

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Some great things are cooking in Stratford and Niagara Falls.
   Celebrate “Ontario’s terroir” with gourmet food prepared by renowned chefs and paired with wine at Savour Stratford’s GE Cafe Chef Series.
   Participants join chefs in the kitchen for a hands-on culinary experience.
Chef Aaron Linley of Stratford’s The Bruce restaurant leads the class last year at Savour Stratford’s GE Cafe Chef Series.
   This includes sharing delicious dishes and taking away innovative culinary ideas and techniques to enhance cooking skills.
   “It’s a great opportunity to hone culinary skills while combining our love of food with great conversation and Ontario VQA (Vintner’s Quality Alliance) wines,” said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.
   Classes are held on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Local Community Food Centre, 612 Erie St.


   Let the cooking begin
   - Chef Robert Rose of Canadian Grub To Go restaurant in Stratford, who appeared on Food Network’s Chopped Canada, opens the series on March 23.
   He will create his award-winning vegetarian dish from the 2013 Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival – Ontario grains arancini (rice balls).
Savour Stratford’s GE Cafe Chef Series features local chef Yva Santini of Pazzo Taverna on April 6.
   - Chef Yva Santini of Pazzo Taverna in Stratford on April 6 continues her exploration of the flavours of Italian cuisine.
   A graduate of the Stratford Chefs School, she creates authentically delicious food that satisfies, much like the rustic meals of her family’s village of Calabria.
   - Chef Lora Kirk of Ruby Watchco in Toronto, who was awarded a Michelin Star while working in New York City, visits on April 27.
   With influences from her grandparent’s farm, Kirk has also worked in London with chefs Gordon Ramsey and Angela Hartnett.
   - Chef Joshna Maharaj, assistant director of food services and executive chef at Ryerson University in Toronto, appears on May 4.
   She is working on campus food strategies with a focus on offering more sustainably sourced, wholesome and affordable food.
Chef Dennis Tay of Richmond Station, Toronto, will be cooking on May 18 at the Savour Stratford chef event.
   - Chef Dennis Tay of Richmond Station, Toronto, leads the class on May 18.
   The Windsor native has worked in Italy and competed on Top Chef Canada.
   - Chef Jordan Lassaline of the Local Community Food Centre in Stratford hosts the group on May 25.
   The Stratford Chefs School grad’s work included teaching volunteers on an organic farm in Sri Lanka how to cook and make bread.
   Wine is an important element, with Southbrook Vineyards of Niagara-on-the-Lake kicking off the series.
   “We value this opportunity to support the work of Community Food Centres of Canada as they bring together rural and urban collaborators to create a more equitable and inclusive food culture,” said Paul DeCampo, Southbrook director of marketing and sales.
   Classes are $75 a person or $210 for three workshops (plus a service and handling fee and tax).
   Included are food, drinks, a GE Cafe gift and take-home recipes, with overnight packages available. Details: visitstratford.ca/gechefs; 1-800-561-7926
   Meanwhile, Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival happens earlier this year –
from July 18 to 20.
   It attracts some 25,000 people for the best of Ontario’s producers, wineries and craft-beer artisans along with the creativity of local chefs. savourstratford.com

   Dining delights
   Niagara Culinary Experiences continues its dinners featuring celebrity chefs Jamie Kennedy and Massimo Capra, and winery partners.
   Guests enjoy remarkable cuisine and wine pairings while mixing and mingling with the chefs at the Falls Avenue Resort.
Celebrity chefs Jamie Kennedy and Massimo Capra host the monthly Niagara Culinary Experiences.
   “The culinary evenings take place every month at the resort and focus on a central theme tying the dining occasion together, such as the treasures of Venice or the fresh bounty of spring,” said publicist Stephen Murdoch.
   Upcoming is Capra's Salute to the King of Savoy on March 28 at the Sheraton on the Falls.
   The Kingdom of Piedmont is known for rich dishes featuring truffles and cream sauces, but it's also Italy's most culinary progressive region, Capra said.
   The dinner will feature wines of the Massolino family, recognized for preserving the natural characteristics of the grape.
   “Spring Thaw with Jamie Kennedy” is on April 25 at the Sheraton.
   “As the Niagara earth warms to offer up her first bounty in the form of wild leeks, asparagus and the like, we play with the interaction of food as it travels through states: from solid to liquid, liquid to gas,” he said.
   Dinner, wine pairings and overnight accommodations for each event costs $199 a person or $125 without a hotel room. Previous dinners have sold out. sheratononthefalls.com/niagara-falls-packages/culinary-experiences.php; 1-800-263-2552

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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