Brewers Plate Demonstrates How Seasonal Food Can Taste Great Even In Winter


Image credit: Some guy on very tall stilts using my camera

I have noted before that the Brewers Plate was a bit odd, celebrating local food in early April when the pickings are so thin. But that is the point: "The event is rooted in slow food principles and uses local sustainable produce created with agricultural methods that promote and enhance biodiversity. The result is a rich and complex local feast that deliciously demonstrates the viability of import substitution."- you can still eat well well, even at this time of year.

In fact the chefs of Toronto rise to the occasion, with some spectacular food, paired with local craft beers. And notwithstanding the paucity of green vegetables and fruit, a lot of people showed up on Wednesday night in Toronto to try it out.


Images credit Lloyd Alter

The key for some, like Jamie Kennedy of Gilead and Jamie Kennedy Kitchens, is to prepare in advance. Jamie goes beyond just cooking; he has influenced the culture of food in Toronto for years. He writes:

We use our position of influence to further the ideas around sound environmental practices in the manner in which we source our products. In this way we tend to purchase from small family run enterprises that are located within our region. In the broader sense we are outspoken in our defense of fair trade practices and sustainable fishing practices. We recognize our role as educators and practitioners of sustainable ideologies that touch on many sectors of our society. Our main goal is to facilitate access to higher quality food and wine, produced locally, on a small scale.

He also makes a damn fine tourtière. I interviewed Jamie two years ago about the problems of cooking in April.


Michael Steh of Reds made a spectacular soup, one of my favourite dishes of the evening.

Brad Long of Veritas delivered a delicious beef stew, in quantities that were large enough to make an entire meal rather than just the usual taste. He doesn't look happy about it. My favourite of the evening was a "Smoke-dried tomato buffalo milk ricotta stuffed morels w/ preserved Brussel sprouts, shallot confit and black garlic-Wellington's Imperial stout-morel consommé" by Brook Kavanagh of La Pallete, which we ate so fast I forgot to photograph; a friend who complained that there was not enough for vegetarians should have just hung out here all evening. I interviewed Brook two years ago.

Chris Lowry at Brewers Feast from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo.

I interviewed Chris Lowry, founder of the event, and asked him why they do it now. "it is a little bit different from other food events in Toronto."

More on Brewers Plate:
Brewers Plate Celebrates Spring With Local Food Plus : TreeHugger
Brewers Plate Celebrates Spring With Local Food Plus : TreeHugger
Brewers Plate: Making Local Food Taste Great in April is No Small Feat : TreeHugger

The photographer in the first photo.

Tags: Toronto