Chatelaine Kitchen

Hot ingredient: Strawberries

Nothing signals the start of summer like plump and juicy strawberries. With their sweet-tart flavour, these ruby-red gems bring lightness to desserts and adding a refreshing spin to cold soups and salads.

Photo by Bayside/Stockfood

Photo by Bayside/Stockfood

 

Rouge Restaurant, Calgary, 1240 8th Avenue S.E.

The big lot around the big red Victorian house that is Rouge is home to a big garden that provides much of its kitchen’s ingredients.

Rouge Restaurant, Calgary

Rouge Restaurant, Calgary

The chef: Kenny Kaechele celebrates seasonal local ingredients in a laid-back Western style.

The dish: Duck Prosciutto with Alpine Strawberries matches salty house-cured charcuterie with sweet Alberta berries to make this appetizer’s natural sauce, served with a simple salad of greens from the garden.

Manresa, San Francisco, 320 Village Lane

Located just outside the Santa Clara (Silicon) Valley south of San Francisco, Manresa is supplied by a neighbouring farm and the restaurant’s own gardens, where all ingredients are raised biodynamically.

The chef: David Kinch won his Michelin stars and awards by marrying his respect for local ingredients with cutting-edge techniques.

The dish: Strawberry Gazpacho substitutes the fruit for tomatoes, playing on strawberries’ natural acidity.

Manresa, San Francisco

Manresa, San Francisco

Cava, Toronto, 1560 Yonge St.

Tucked away in a midtown plaza, Cava’s low-key looks belie its high-powered customers and devotion to gastronomy.

The chef: Chris McDonald can often be spotted hand-carving Iberico ham behind the bar.

The dish: Rhubarb Fool with Strawberry-Rosewater Sorbet uses the exotic flowery scent to up the sweet intensity of just-picked local berries, which balance the sourness of the rhubarb.

Cava, Toronto

Cava, Toronto

Les Jardins Sauvages, Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan, 17 Ch. Martin

Nestled in a wooden cottage north of Montreal, Les Jardins Sauvages features wild foods foraged from the surrounding area.

The chef: Nancy Hinton has made a career out of rediscovering the wild bounty of the Quebec countryside.

The dish: Wild Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Sweet Clover Crust is accompanied by Strawberry and Milkweed Flower Jelly, and Strawberry and Acacia Sorbet, which mixes the intense strawberryness of little fraises des bois with the perfume of wild flowers.

Les Jardins Sauvages, Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan

Les Jardins Sauvages, Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan