Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival draws praise



Cupcakes and Saucers is a 1000 piece puzzle from Cobble Hills, and it is available at the Book Vault.

Cupcakes and Saucers is a 1000 piece puzzle from Cobble Hills, and it is available at the Book Vault.



Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival draws praise

Credit: Mike Beitz, The Beacon Herald

Monday, September 23, 2013 5:23:53 EDT PM

Organizers are still crunching the numbers on the Savour Stratford Perth County culinary festival, but they came away feeling fairly full of positive feedback.

“We’re pretty excited about the success of the weekend,” said Stratford Tourism Alliance executive director Eugene Zakreski Monday, after the dust had settled on the sixth annual event.

He based that on a flood of complimentary tweets and glowing reviews from many of participants, presenters and guests who took part in the two-and-a-half days of sipping, sampling and savouring.

“Everyone appeared to be very pleased with the theme of the event, the organization of the event, and the overall quality of the things we were offering,” he said.

The Taste of Ontario artisan alley, where visitors could sample a selection of new VQA wines, craft beers, cask beers and artisanal cheeses, the Sunday tasting, which paired local chefs and area food producers, and the culinary presentations were among the highlights, said Zakreski.

Entertaining cooking demos by superstar Canadian chefs and Food TV personalities Vikram Vij and Roger Mooking were particularly well attended, he said.

Both of them reinforced this year’s theme of “globally inspired, locally grown,” and Savour Stratford’s overall goal of promoting and highlighting local food, and the farmers, producers and chefs behind it.

“Regardless of what your international tastes may be or your culture may be, there’s such an abundance of local produce and local creativity with the restaurant chefs themselves to be able to adapt or use that as being just another creative source,” Zakreski said.

He said he was happy with the turnout on the weekend, despite a rainy start to the event, and cool and somewhat blustery conditions throughout.

While the final numbers will take a few days to calculate, Zakreski said attendance appeared to be roughly on par with last year’s Savour Stratford, which drew an estimated 27,000 food lovers.

mike.beitz@sunmedia.ca

STRATFORD CHEFS SCORE WELL

Stratford chefs nearly swept the podium at the Savour Stratford Perth County tasting Sunday.

The event, considered the highlight of the weekend culinary festival, paired 30 local chefs with area food producers to create some tasty tidbits.

Here are the winners:

People’s choice

Fresh peach salsa with roasted jalapeno chevre, created by Molly Blooms Irish Pub chef Chris Huggins paired with Brendon Lyoness of Caveman Crops

Best meat dish

A taste of wild boar — braised boar cheek on walnut cranberry sourdough bread with pickled shallots, created by Mercer Hall chefs Tim Larsen and Sean Collins paired with Fred and Ingrid de Martines of Perth Pork Products

Best vegetarian dish

Ontario grains arancini — barley, wild rice, quinoa and sunflowers seeds stuffed with hot pepper brick cheese, created by Canadian Grub to Go chef Robert Rose paired with Oak Grove Cheese

Best dessert

Harvest moon cookie, a fall twist on the Bengali desert rasgulla, created by Your Local Market Co-op chefs Tyson Everitt and Katelyn Vere paired with Local Dairy Products

Most creative dish

Blueberry cured salmon with pickled blueberries on bannock toast, created by Aboriginal Culinary Concepts chef Richard Francis paired with Sheldon Berries

Best alcohol beverage

Cafe con piquete, Revolution blend cold-extracted ice coffee with espresso-infused Harry’s Hurricane spiced rum, garnished with a fair-trade dark chocolate-covered Revolution coffee bean and rimmed with caramel and espresso sugar, created by Revel Caffe’s Anne Campion paired with coffee roasters Las Chicas Del Cafe

Best beverage

Digestif fire tonic, created by Tea Leaves Tea Tasting Bar tea sommelier Karen Hartwick paired with local forager Peter Blush of Puck’s Plenty

The Savour Stratford tasting winners were selected by celebrity judges Francisco Alejandri of Agave y Aguacate; Naomi Duguid, award-winning author of Burma: Rivers of Flavour; Alison Fryer, The Cookbook Store; Mara Salles, Brazilian chef/owner of Tordesilhas; Claire Tansey, food director of Chatelaine; and Vikram Vij, chef/owner Vij’s Restaurant and Vij’s Rangoli.

Stratford Beacon Herald article

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