Saturday, September 26, 2015

Food for Thought with Alex Bielak - Sips and Bites – early fall 2015 edition, with bonus giveaway

Sips and Bites – early fall 2015 edition, with bonus giveaway 

There are a couple events, beginning TOMORROW, that merit mention. I’m also pleased to: share some breaking news about an exciting new premier bash that is being developed to launch next May; report on the recent Flamborough Chili Fest; and point you to a couple of tasty, quick reads.

The ever-popular Chef Michael Smith is at Springridge Farm tomorrow, Sunday 27th September, between 10:30 and 12:30. He will be speaking about his new Cookbook, ‘Make Ahead Meals’. You’ll see from a previous Food for Thought, he’s a genuine and funny presenter well worth hearing from. When I first met him at Springridge he stayed until every single copy of his last book (Family Meals - which recently won a Gold Medal at the Taste Canada Food Writing Awards) had been signed. He’s not perfunctory in the least, engaging with the crowds of folk who clearly adore him. It will be crowded, so get there early and take in some of the other offerings at this family and foodie-oriented destination.

The very enjoyable Harvest Halton takes place on Sunday, October 4, from noon - 4:00 p.m. at Country Heritage Park in Milton. Local farmers pair with area chefs to create dishes, and all food and drink tastings are included. A WagJag discount offer of up to 54% off of regular priced tickets makes the event even more affordable, with prices going down the more you buy. Kids 12 and under are just $5.00 at the door. Readers can win two tickets (valued at $60) simply by leaving a comment below, or tweeting to me @AlexBielak and using the hashtag #harvesthalton. I will draw from among entrants toward the end of the week.

I’ve heard the Royal Botanical Gardens is looking at introducing a major annual signature event that will be run “in tandem with the opening of their newly renovated and beloved Rock Garden.” It will feature local celebrity chefs, entertainment, and an “incredible finale” that is being kept under wraps for now. I’ll be happy to share more as I am able.

The 3rd Annual Flamborough Chili Fest was held earlier this week. I was sorry not to be able to accept the invitation to be a judge again this year, and hear I missed some great offerings. All the funds raised benefitted the Flamborough Women's Resource Centre: it provides support services for all women in the community including information and community referrals, individual counselling, legal advocacy and support, women's groups, transitional housing support for victims of abuse, and teen peer support groups. A worthy cause indeed.

Flamborough Downs carried off the majority of the accolades, repeating in three categories. They were again the Overall People's Choice winners, and took Best Garnish/Presentation and Hot and Spicy classes again as well, adding Best Booth to their haul this year. The lovely ladies at Roseto Culinary and Catering Services were also repeat winners carrying off the Celebrity Judge Favourite title. The Chili Fest will be back in 2016, and I hope to return as a judge too.

Finally, fancy a really good, fast, tasty read? Taste Canada in partnership with the Food Bloggers of Canada (of which I’m a proud member) recently celebrated the first-ever winners for best French and English-language posts on food blogs. The winner in the Category for Best English Post was "Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnut, Orange, and Saffron." The French gold laureate was "Pizza 3 minutes: saucisses italiennes, épinards, tomates cerise, coeurs d'artichauts et mozzarella.” Congratulations Allison Day from ‘Yummy Beet’ and Christelle Tanielian from ‘Christelle is Flabbergasting’.

To close, I’d mention this is the 90th Food for Thought. Stay with me to the centenary folks!

To see more pictures, click here.

To see all past columns please see (and “like”) the Food for Thought Archives

Alex (Alex can be reached at fft@thehamiltonian.info or on twitter @AlexBielak)

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