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Friday, July 18, 2014

Good eats: Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival and Taste of Toronto

   One-Tank Trip for July 5/1

  (c) By Jim Fox

   Ah, summertime and the eating is easy.
   The culinary scene heats up this month with the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival celebrating Canadian cuisine.
   Kids can join the fun by munching on bugs – high in protein and low in fat.
   Then, Taste of Toronto, billed as “one of the world’s greatest restaurant festivals,” makes its North American debut.

Visitors to the Stratford culinary festival can sample food treats.
   Sip and savour
   Stratford’s culinary festival happens July 19 and 20 instead of in September as in the past.
   “Some of Canada’s most exciting chefs will join over 100 producers, vintners, craft brewers and culinary personalities to share their passion, knowledge and love of local food,” said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.
   Set in the garden district along the Avon River, visitors can savour Ontario food, wine and craft beers as well as meeting chefs and producers.
   The Grand Tasting is an elegant garden party, pairing 30 local chefs with producers to create an array of seasonal delicacies complemented by VQA wines and craft brews.
   Awards will be given to those judged the best along with the GE Cafe People’s Choice award as the Alysha Brilla Quartet entertains.
Canadian cuisine, fine wines and craft brews are highlighted at Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival.
   Featured chefs will demonstrate their approach creating original Canadian cuisine, sourced from Perth County farmers and producers.
   They include Top Chef Canada winners and Stratford Chefs School graduates such as Rich Francis with his modern aboriginal and Northern Canadian cuisine.
   Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station is known for his nose-to-tail pork cooking while Todd Perrin of the Making of Mallard Cottage demonstrates sea-to-table philosophy.
   Dale Mackay of Ayden Kitchen and Bar, a protege of chef Gordon Ramsay, pairs Saskatchewan lake fish with local produce.
   Doug McNish, cookbook author and plant activist, offers organic vegan cuisine.
   Derek Dammann of Montreal’s Maison Publique and Jamie Oliver’s Canadian partner presents the new trends in heritage cuisine.
   Paul Rogalski, of Calgary’s Rouge, will give a modern twist on the classic souffle while James Walt of Whistler’s Araxi, presents sustainable west coast seafood.
   Chef Jeff Stewart will cook up candy bug treats at the Stratford culinary fest.
   “Intimate Tutored Talks and Tastings” have culinary experts discussing trends from foraged wild edibles to fermentation, preserving seafood, the pairing of craft beers and sampling Ontario wines.
   The Taste of Ontario Artisan Alley is an open-air gathering along historic York Street with an afternoon of tastings along with wines, craft beers and cheese.
   The Perth County Hoot is presented by Mill Street Brewery and the Sunday Sunset Party features the vocal trioTrent Severn.
   Young gourmands can join a Bug Fest Feast led by chef Jeff Stewart of Creepy Crawly Cooking and the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.
   Those with adventurous palates can munch on bugs as Stewart is known for making chocolate cricket clusters, anty floss and roasted mealworm fudge.
   Kids can create sprouting dirt n’ worms sundaes while the Other Hand Puppet Troupe entertains with the Farmer and the Smell.
   There will be watercolour juice painting, veggies for dessert and powering light bulbs with fruits and vegetables.
   For details and tickets: savourstratford.com; Stratford Tourism Alliance, 1-800-561-7926

   Food on the world stage
   A world-renowned food festival that had its start 10 years ago in London, England and has grown to 20 cities has now added Toronto.
   Taste of Toronto from July 24 to 27 at Fork York will feature specially created menus and exclusive opportunities with the city’s most-acclaimed chefs.
Taste of Toronto has specially created menus and exclusive sampling opportunities for foodies.
   It aims to represent a “gourmand’s dream come true: delicious food created by the city’s greatest restaurants, world-famous chefs, superb drink and outstanding entertainment, set in stunning outdoor surroundings.”
   “It says a lot about the city's food scene – that such an internationally respected festival is doing its North American launch in Toronto,” said Mark McEwan of McEwan Group.
   More than a sampling event, it invites guests to engage with top chefs and enjoy food demonstrations, interactive cooking classes, wine tastings, live music and entertainment.
   Participating restaurants will present foodies with twists on the tastes they love, with each chef creating three new dishes for the event.
   Visitors can buy signature small plates and sip, sample and shop in the market with about 50 local producers selling their wares, said Meghan O'Hanlon, festival director.
   Tickets start at $30 and include a lunch or dinner session. Details: tasteoftoronto.com; (416) 960-5312


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

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