Winter is Dead (Long Live the Spring!)

18 Mar

I’m done with The Polar Vortex… Polar Vortex II… Revenge of the Polar Vortex and all those other blood-freezing episodes that kept plunging us back into an icy snow pit of despair, just when we thought we’d seen the worst of Winter 2013-14.

Chef Michael Stadtländer, of Eigensinn Farm, Ontario, is sick of it too.

snow drinking

So the German-born genius behind the Megaquarry-crushing protest that was Foodstock has just announced the very event to get us through the last stupid snow flurries of March: Spring Thaw!

Twenty-three of Canada’s finest chefs and 12 leading Ontario winemakers are getting together on March 31, from 7-10 pm, at Palais Royale in Toronto, to serve up a seasonal feast, heralding in the most eagerly anticipated spring ever.

Murray McDonald is coming over from my favourite place in Canada on Earth, Fogo Island, Newfoundland, to cook up salt cod cakes with mustard pickles.

Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada

Chef Jason D’Anna, of Magna Golf Club, in Aurora, Ontario, is going all Twilight with poached pears, mulled port, chocolate and blood.

Mulled port poached pears

And Jacob Sharkey-Pearce (from fabulously inventive Toronto restaurant, Ursa) is making momen tofu, dulse nori, fermented soy and yuba. (See work of art below.)

URSA

And Stadtländer? He’s pulling out all the stops for his dessert:

“I’m going to tap my own trees for maple sap, which I’ll cook down over pine wood, then put into jars with pine branches, so the syrup gets a little smokiness and tannic pine flavour. I’m making a mousse from that with some alcohol too, then it’s going to be served with a little genoise with some preserved wild ginger. When you scoop into it with your spoon, there will suddenly be this surprise of apple compote inside.”

Apples

Proceeds from the $175 door price will help support the ongoing food security initiatives of the Canadian Chefs’ Congress (CCC), such as fighting to keep Genetically Modified apples out of our orchards and GM salmon out of our waters, as well as educating chefs across the country about the importance of serving up clean, locally sourced food to diners. Stadtländer also has a vision for a new CCC farm, to be run by eight farmers living on the land, who’d provide organic food to nearby restaurants and run a public market. All causes worth filling one’s belly for this spring!

Tickets for Spring Thaw are on sale here.

2 Responses to “Winter is Dead (Long Live the Spring!)”

  1. Solange Fournier March 22nd, 2014 at 6:22 AM #

    I love spring and all the new flavours thtat comes with it. Can’t wait to be using fresh herbs and sharing my back yard with friends and family.

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