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Kamloops-grown to highlight Farm2Chefs culinary event later this month

Kamloops-grown to highlight Farm2Chefs culinary event later this month

This year’s event will feature 26 participants, including local restaurants and caterers, as well as beverage makers and more.

“The idea is they try to use something seasonally appropriate that they buy from the farmer’s market or from a local supplier or purveyor,” Summers says. “[They] make a little one-, two-bite snack, basically, and everyone just kind of hangs out and has a good time.”

Nicole Mackie, Chef at Salty Fig Catering and Owner of The Cure Culinary Provisions is one of the chefs making culinary magic for the event. She joined Farm2Chefs during the pandemic and says she’s looking forward to her first grazing event

“Just being able to celebrate all the business we have in town,” Mackie says. “How hard everyone has worked over the last couple of years especially, and to be able to celebrate food with the people that we love.”

Every year, Farm2Chefs picks a local cause to donate the funds they raise during the grazing event. This year, the grant will help support the PIT Stop Program at the Kamloops United Church.

“Farm2Chefs, being a food-oriented organization, to support [PIT Stop] just goes hand-in-hand,” PIT Stop Program Coordinator Tomas Bijok tells CFJC Today. “We are so grateful to them for this money that goes to support our program so we can buy amazing food to serve to our guests, week-to-week.”

And once the food has been chewed and it’s time to clean up, Friendly Composting will be there to take away all the food waste from this year’s event.

“It was just a really neat opportunity to think about one-off events and how we can have a really, really huge impact with and change the narrative,” Katie Forsyth, co-founder and CEO of Friendly Composting says. “This is an event that’s been around for many years, and it’s cool to see it going that green-friendly route.”

With a little more than two weeks remaining before the event, Summers suggests that if you want to go, you’d better grab your tickets soon.

“Usually, we have quite a few tickets leading up to the final week of the event, but we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty,” Summers says. “I encourage people, if they want to, go on to Eventbrite with Farm2Chefs and get their tickets right away.”

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Award-winning summer culinary event cancelled

Award-winning summer culinary event cancelled

The plan is for Feast on the Farm to return in 2023. ‘Many of our local businesses are still feeling the adverse effects of the pandemic and extended lockdowns imposed on them for the past two years.’

WEST NIPISSING — The West Nipissing Chamber of Commerce is postponing its popular Feast on the Farm culinary event until 2023 due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising costs.

“After receiving the Ontario Culinary Event of the Year award in 2020, our team wanted to ensure that the next event was brought back to the highest standards possible,” reads a release from the Chamber. “Unfortunately, due to an overall lack of participation, this is something we could not guarantee at this time.”

See: Feast on the Farm wins Ontario culinary tourism award

The 2020 and 2021 events were also both cancelled due to the pandemic. Even with the setback this year, the Chamber intends to move forward with Feast on the Farm in 2023 with the hope another year to recover from the pandemic will lead to a top-notch experience for all.

“Many of our local businesses are still feeling the adverse effects of the pandemic and extended lockdowns imposed on them for the past two years,” the Chamber states. “Lack of adequate staffing and the substantial increase in food prices have also been a major deterrent for our participants. We feel that allowing our local businesses more time to prepare themselves will lead to a more successful event in the future.”

Feast on the Farm was poised to return on August 7. The annual event is held at Leisure Farms. Zack Lafleur, the Chamber’s executive director has noted the event is the organization’s biggest fundraiser, and once costs are covered, the proceeds help the Chamber to continue to offer programs for the local business community.

Feast on the Farm is also a promotional tool for the farm and restaurant sector within West Nipissing and surrounding areas. The event has grown considerably, from 50 guests when it launched in 2013 to the 550 guests planned for this summer’s feast. The Ontario Tourism Association declared Feast on the Farm the 2019 Culinary Event of the Year.

“It’s a very big award for us, and it was really nice to be recognized,” Lafleur said. “That really put us on the map.”

The Chamber was offering $1,500 per chef to help offset the cost of cooking a small plate for 550 guests. Chefs are welcome to apply from anywhere, although most come from West Nipissing, North Bay, and Sudbury, with a heavy emphasis on West Nipissing cooks, because the idea is to maintain a strong local presence.

Each meal prepared for the feast uses ingredients sourced from within 100 kilometres of Sturgeon Falls. Local businesses sponsor the chef tents with guests circulating around the farm to sample the many different kinds of food and refreshments representing a variety of cultures.

The event highlights local producers as much as the local cooks and organizers will now go to work to bring Feast on the Farm back as a main course option next summer.

With files from David Briggs

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Guest Star Chefs Are Creating Unique Culinary Events At Auberge Resorts

Guest Star Chefs Are Creating Unique Culinary Events At Auberge Resorts

When Nina Compton, the James Beard Award winning chef of New Orleans’ Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro, sets up shop at Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection in July, she’ll be returning to the Caribbean, the region of her birth, although to Anguilla instead of St. Lucia. For a month, from July 22nd to August 19th, she’ll be the headliner of the resort’s “Flavors of Malliouhana,” a series that started with chef JJ Johnson in March and is intended to reflect the island’s rich culinary traditions combined with a guest chef’s singular focus. She’ll be on property the first three days, doing immersive events and cooking demonstrations with dishes such as ricotta gnocchi with jerk summer corn and tomatoes; her dishes will then remain on the menu for the rest of the month.

It’s an honor to be partnering with Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection,” said Chef Compton. “Having grown up in St. Lucia, where I initially discovered my passion for food, it is an honor to bring my skills back to the Caribbean. I’m excited to partner with Malliouhana to create a memorable menu that not only remains true to my roots but also provides creative twists to some Anguillian classics.”

By creating this series, part of Auberge Resorts Collection’s Taste of Auberge, the hotel group is responding to the growing interest in culinary travel the last few years fueled, according to recent studies, by the increase of food experiences on social media largely by food enthusiast millennials, the rise in discretionary income and proliferation of food festivals. So, a little cross pollination of bringing chefs from other cities in to create their signature dishes with local ingredients and influences, often alongside the resort chef definitely adds to a resort’s appeal. Guests obviously benefit from experiencing the cuisine from in demand restaurants without traveling to that destination and trying to get a reservation.

Just before Nina Compton’s stint at Malliouhana, from July 13th-16th, Tyler Cole’s inventive restaurant Uchi which originated in Austin and now also has branches in Denver, Dallas, Houston and Miami is taking over the Prospect restaurant at Aspen’s Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection to showcase his out of the box takes on Japanese cuisine. Also in July, from the 1st to the 10th, New York’s creative, secret cocktail bar Please Don’t Tell is taking over the bar and culinary destinations within Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection on Mexico’s Riviera Maya mixing Mayan influences and distinctive urban mixology.

Diners hoping to score a table at San Francisco’s perennially in demand Saison known for its impeccably sourced ingredients, wood fired cooking and creative $298 tasting menus can get a glimpse of the restaurant’s two star Michelin creations at Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection on November 4th and 5th. The chefs will be working with local ingredients from the property’s Austin location, conducting a fire cooking workshop and multicourse dinner accompanied by the unique fermentations foraged and created by the restaurant’s team. Also in November, on the 26th, Mexican and New Mexico cuisine will fuse with a collaboration between chef Jorge Vallejo of Mexico City’s Quintonil, a regular on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and Executive Chef Pablo Peñalosa of the restaurant Skyfire at Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection in Santa Fe.

Another upcoming collaboration promises to deliver not just an assortment of different flavors but also health-encouraging benefits. Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection, the wellness retreat near a long life Blue Zone in Costa Rica, is welcoming chef Shennari Freeman of New York’s Cadence, named one of the best new restaurants of 2021 by the New York Times. Guests can learn the keys to the restaurant’s plant-based Southern soul cuisine with wellness and sustainability as a focus in curated dinners, a cooking class and holistic health workshops. All will be held from July 7th-17th.