Julienne Spence, our Acting Communications Director, asked me if I was interested in attending the 2012 Brewers Plate. I immediately Googled it to learn about the event. I came to know that it is a fundraiser that celebrates local Ontario food and craft beer, all under one roof. This year, the beneficiary was Green Thumbs Growing Kids, an innovative program that seeks to reconnect urban youth to their food through a variety of garden-based programs. I gladly accepted the invitation.
So, on Wednesday, April 18th after work I left for Roy Thomson Hall along with Moe, our Communications Assistant.
Moe and I set up our table and got ready to answer the visitor’s questions about Greenbelt and its programs on local food. Our display featured Ontariofresh.ca, Ontario's Local Food Champions, and The Produce & Protein Guide from Food Service and Hospitality and the Broader Public Sector Investment Fund. Throughout the event, chefs and attendees were most interested in learning about Ontariofresh.ca, a website that makes it easier for producers, processors and buyers to connect and source local food.
Moe and Namgyal, interrupting the photo shoot. Courtesy of Molly Crealock.
Moe and I took our time to visit the food stalls, relishing in the fresh local delicacies and beer. Strolling through the stalls, I was amazed at the how simple local ingredients could be transformed into something really exquisite. One of the best examples was the Apple Delight by our table neighbours, Culinarium. I had to ask for the recipe. It was a dehydrated apple with goat cheese sweetened with lavender honey, topped with walnut and a special jelly (apple cider, rosemary and black pepper). The flavours gently exploded in my mouth, tasting immensely wonderful. Hats off to Culinarium! They amazed me with what can be done with simple local ingredients.
Namgyal sampling the incredible tamale from Chris McDonald at Cava. This was Moe's fav dish.
Another delightful experience at Brewers Plate was while enjoying Wanda’s Pie in the Sky dessert. When I approached the station, the attendant advised me to try his bite size cherry pies at one go so that the delivery of taste and flavor is complete. He took a picture of me enjoying the pie. It was indeed very delicious and tempting, but I was too shy to ask for another blissful bite. But now I know where to go if I crave for another bite, they have a store at Kensington Market.
Check out Toronto Life's coverage on the event. But beware -- it will make you very hungry.
Coming out of this Brewers Plate, I felt closer to changing my eating habits and embracing healthy local Ontario food. Thank you Brewers Plate committee for offering us a space and for organizing such a special event. The wonderful musicians and performers added spice to the already great event.
I could not have asked for more.
Thank you Julienne and Moe for all the fun I had at Brewers Plate.
-- Namgyal Dolker, Executive Assistant, Grants