I was in Stratford, Ontario this month. It’s a charming town, obviously renowned for its theatre but is also gaining recognition as an outstanding food city. I was blown away by the commitment to eating local that many restaurateurs and shopkeepers maintain.
At Monforte on Wellington, locally made cheeses are complimented by local honey and pickled radish sprouts that a staff member foraged for herself. At Mercer Hall nearly every menu item involves something local – from greens to beef to paneer. Breakfast at Foster’s Inn features ham and bacon from a farmer down the road. There’s a wall-sized map of Canada at Grub to Go that shows in geographic exactitude the provenance of each of the restaurant’s ingredients. A “cheat sheet” admits to the few items which aren’t Canadian-grown (baking soda, cream of tartar). It goes on and on.
Not going to lie: I ate a lot. Chocolates from Chocolate Barrs, flavoured olive oils from Olive Your Favourites, an incredible old-fashioned fudge sundae at Jenn & Larry’s, easily the best butter tart I’ve ever tasted from Madelyn’s. I even saw Justin Bieber’s car! All in all, a great trip.
I’m speaking at the Savour Stratford Culinary Festival this September, and Chatelaine is proud to be a sponsor of this fun, laid-back, food-focused event. Come on out and eat great local food with me!
For more information go to Visit Stratford