Thanks to Twitter I was able to win a Free Weekend Stay in Stratford for the Savour Stratford Festival. I entered this twitter contest for a few reasons. 1. A cool food event to check out and blog about on this page. 2. Chuck Hughes from Chuck's Day Off was there. 3. My friend lives in St. Mary's and a free weekend stay to visit with her would be a bonus. So what did I have to lose??? nothing so I clicked...and I got lucky and won the free weekend stay at the Festival INN and along with that I got tickets to Beerology101 but I am not a beer drinker so I passed on that but I did attend BBQ, Blues and Beer..but the BBQ was limited and extra so we didn't stay long. But the best part of the package was vouchers for something called the Chocolate Trail. The chocolate trail were businesses on the Stratford main strip that had all things chocolate and had chocolate items that were given out free in exchange of a voucher. I split the vouchers with my friend but I was able to get 2 bars of chocolate, 1 milk and one dark, some Chocolate Ginger Tea, Chocolate Mocha sauce and my friend got a chocolate sundae too. YUM.
On the kickoff day I watched Paul Finkelstein (Fink) orchestrate a Pass it On session to teach a bunch of kids how to make an egg wrap. Something Jamie Oliver does as well. The idea being teach a kid who will then pass on the recipe and become self sufficient in the kitchen.
Another fabulous thing that was a part of the Festival was their great Farmer's Market. I have been to many Farmer's Markets in Toronto but this one was exceptional. The range of food and the freshness was amazing. I picked up things that I am sure most people don't ever find in their grocery stores. I got yellow and candy beets, purple fingerling potatoes and some purple peppers. I have already cooked up the potatoes and beets...great and the colors are amazing.
The Most Fun I had that weekend was seeing Chuck Hughes (chuck's Day Off) do a Cooking Demo. He was trying to talk over a steam whistle and music playing all over and the odd passerby but handled it all with humour. He made some sashimi/ceviche style fish with pickled radish and also caramelized peaches for dessert. Chuck is a great chef but he is also down to earth and entertaining when he does these cooking demos. Chuck's Day Off was already one of my favourite shows because Chuck always cooks things that are accessible to most people and sometimes he puts his little spin on his food which keeps it fresh. I am not a big tattoo person but Chuck has food related tattoos that all have special meaning to him which adds a lot to his character.
Overall the Savour Stratford Festival is a great event and was voted Ontario Event of the year last year and I can see why. It's a foodie's heaven. People that love fresh, local, good food congregate in a small and friendly community where everyone says Hi and wants to share their food with you. What could be better? I hope to return again next year and savour more of Stratford.
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