Wednesday, July 1, 2009

sip & Savour Ontario 2009

The 10 Chefs with Tony Aspler & Debra Aspler
The Production Crew, including me (Danielle Rose) in the back
Chef Tim Dunnill, The Old Mill Inn & Spa
Chef Bertrand Alepee, Amuse-Bouche
You can spot me (Danielle Rose) with Kevin Brauch and Sandy Kurbis of Forefront Communications

Chef Michael Wilson, Crush Wine Bar
Spot me (Danielle Rose) in the crowd on the left talking to my beautiful sister

Live Culinary Theatre with Tony Aspler, Martin Kouprie, and Kevin Brauch

Tony Aspler with Chef Michael Wilson in the Culinary Theatre

Kevin Brauch with Chef Bertrand Alepee

Chef Martin Kouprie, Pangaea
Me (Danielle Rose) with Patricia Crease of Forefront Communications, and other guests
Chef David Agee with Kevin Brauch
June 16th was a very exciting day for Ontario.  On June 16th at the Fermenting Cellar in the Historic Distillery District, sip Ontario and Savor Ontario joined together for a celebration of Ontario wine and produce for sip & Savour Ontario.  The event brought together 34 award winning VQA Ontario wineries and 10 top Ontario chefs to showcase what Ontario has to offer. I had been looking forward to this event for quite sometime, and let me tell you, it exceeded far beyond my expectations!  

The Fermenting Cellar was decked out with exquisite flower arrangements and candles, turning the originally barren brick walled venue into a warm and inviting atmosphere.  The large space was lined with stands for each one of the 34 wineries, as well as a special feature room for the top wines selected from the Ontario Wine Awards, which took place on May 8th in Niagara. Attendees were invited to sample as many wines as they pleased, as well as the 10 food pairings that accompanied 10 of the wines, which were all created out of entirely Ontario produce.  The many sampling booths allowed for attendees to not only sample, but interact with the many winemakers, sommeliers and chefs.  The food pairings were created by the following chefs:
In addition to the 10 food pairings, there was also a Live Culinary Theatre that three of the ten chefs participated in.  The Culinary Theatre took place throughout the evening in a candlelit tent that the Fermenting Cellar led to.  The Culinary Theatre allowed guests to sit and relax while learning how to prepare a gourmet dish out of Ontario produce, as well as how to pair it with Ontario VQA wine.  How can you have a celebration of wine without it's best friend cheese?  As well as the food pairings and Culinary Theatre, there was also an impressive cheese table provided by the Dairy Farmers of Canada.  

I was not only impressed by the events spotlight on Ontario, I also greatly appreciated the way it showed how Ontario is committed to helping our environment.  The entire event was powered by Bullfrog Power, a company that uses 100% low-impact renewable electricity. The water poured at the event was all provided by Gaia: Blue glass Water, a water company out of Caledon Ontario that recycles all of their beautiful blue bottles for future use.  In addition to that, all of the plastic cups that were used for the water, were biodegradable.   

I was very lucky to have been able to take a behind the scenes look at sip & Savour Ontario, as I was actually working the event.  Because of this, I was able to be apart of the exclusive industry luncheon.  A lunch dedicated to providing information and inspiration on how Ontario is progressing in terms of their produce and wine, and how businesses can be apart of this growing trend. At the head table sat Kevin Brauch, the Thirsty Traveller and Master of Ceremonies for the Evening; Tony Aspler, the Wine Guy and the Founder of the Ontario Wine Awards; and four keynote speakers: Gurth Pretty, Founder of; Cynthia Beretta, Owner of Beretta Organic Farms Inc.; Ann Sperling, Director, Winemaking and Viticulture of Southbrook Vineyards; Thomas Bachelder, Winemaker and Vineyard Manager of Le Clos Jordanne.  The lunch was a 4 course meal prepared by top up-and-coming chefs.  The menu went as follows:

Chef Cory Vitiello 
Lightly cured and smoked Creemore Springs Arctic Char Salad
Shaved asparagus, morel and pine nut salad with a brown butter and pickled wild leek vinaigrette
Le Clos Jordanne 2006 Village Reserve Chardonnay
Le Clos Jordanne Claystone Terrace Chardonnay

Chef Nick Liu
Rabbit roulade with house cured bacon, fresh bean cassoulet and natural jus
Pelee Island Winery 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir
2009 OWA Bronze Medal

Chef David Chrystian
Ontario Texel Lamb Curry "Tamil Style"
Stonechurch Vineyards 2007 Reserve Syrah
2009 OWA Gold Medal

Cheese Course
Evanturel, Niagara Gold
Thunder Oak Farmstead Gouda
Artisan Breads: 9 Grain Rye & Cranberry Pumpkinseed
Creekside Estate 2007 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
2009 OWA Gold Medal
Vineland Estates 2007 Chardonnay Non-Oaked
2009 OWA Gold Medal

Southbrook Vineyards
2008 Cabernet Rose

After a fabulous day filled with amazing food, wine, music, and company, I could not have been more proud to be an Ontarian and to be involved with such a successful event.  Since the event, I have already seen a significant change in the way that I cook and shop.  I am much more aware of what my province is producing, what is in season, and how I can use that to my benefit to promote the land I am from.  See you at next years sip & Savour Ontario!  I wouldn't miss it!

Photography by Rohit Seth, of Seth Photography.


Rosemary and the Goat said...

Looks like fun event and food looks fabulous.

finsmom said...

So fun!

Hooray for Canada!!!
(I am Canadian as well :) )