On November 5, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation hosted the fifth annual Queen’s Park Plate. Presented by the Honourable Dave Levac, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, the night was a delicious showcase of local food and talent, fresh from Ontario’s Greenbelt.
The burgeoning new talent in Ontario’s culinary schools prepared the majority of the food for the event. From sweet to savoury, everyone indulged in the best of Ontario cuisine and Greenbelt-grown produce. Paul DeCampo from George Brown College served a hearty Ontario mixed bean salad with local autumnal vegetables fromVicki’s Veggies. Samuel Glass from Centennial College warmed the heart with a harvest vegetable soup, which included garam masala and root vegetables from the Greenbelt’s Gwillimdale Farms. Joshna Maharaj fromRyerson University kept the spice train going with a squash and kale curry featuring Sheldon Creek Dairycucumber yogurt, and Tracy Winkworth from Liaison College and Belworth House got “pretty ballsy” with delicious Y U Ranch meatballs. Keeping with the fall season, Aurelio Petraglia of Compass Canada created a maple roasted butternut squash crostini with Ontario pecorino & fried sage. The cherry on top? Handcrafted ice cream made by Andrew Vergalito of Niagara Falls’ Italian Ice Cream. The 3 delicious and unique flavours were Cherry Baco Noir, Ice Wine Peach, and Ricotta Cinnamon and Honey topped with Black Walnuts.
There were plenty of bubbles and brews to wash down the harvest feast, all coming from Ontario’s amazing wineries, breweries, and cider houses. Reif Estate Winery and Southbrook Vineyards served their famous VQA wines, while beer-lovers cheered for craft brews hailing from King Brewery, Nickel Brook Brewery/Better Bitters Brewing and Steam Whistle Brewing. Geissberger Farmhouse Cider showcased the humble yet delectable Ontario apple, in both sparkling and sweet cider varieties.
Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food, Kathleen Wynne, attended this year’s event to not only celebrate the Local Food Act – which passed that very day – but to show her support for the Greenbelt. “It’s not just about the food, it’s about the land as well, and so that’s why we support the Greenbelt Fund, because it’s very important that through your efforts these connections are being made: the connections between health and education and local food.”
The night was a tasty celebration dedicated to the Greenbelt’s food, farms, and chefs, where numerous MPPs, ministers, environmental advocates, and friends applauded the Greenbelt’s vital role in protecting Ontario’s agricultural heritage and future prosperity.
- Chloe Brown,