Archive for September 5th, 2011

September 5, 2011

Savour Ottawa dishes out a bountiful celebration of local food

Chris Tremblay and fresh corn at Savour Ottawa Harvest Table 2011

Chris Tremblay preps fresh-picked corn for guests of the Savour Ottawa Harvest Table.

OTTAWA — The nation’s capital took a hit a month ago when the Canadian Tourism Commission omitted it from a list of 48 great things to do in the country. Politicians and at least one brilliant commentator noted the head-scratching oversight. Katherine Hobbs, a city councilor, told me, “We felt so left out of the party.” Yet she didn’t seem all that concerned by the perceived slap, nor did too many others in the city.

In this government town, things can be surprisingly low-key and attitudes relaxed once you get away from Parliament Hill. Case in point, the Savour Ottawa feast last Sunday. This celebration of local food wouldn’t make headlines outside of Ottawa, but it is an indication of the progressive mindset of the city and its culinary establishment. It was a community event with potential ripple effects for the rest of the province.

“It’s frustrating when you go into a big grocery store and find fruits and vegetables coming from the States, when you have those same products being grown here in season,” said Hobbs, whose Kitchissippi riding was home to the event’s venue underneath a tent at Parkdale park. “If we all buy local and support our farmers everyone benefits.”

Savour Ottawa is an organization that has brought together Capital Region farmers who share a permanent retail space in Kitchissippi, a neighbourhood that is about a 10-minute drive west of the city’s downtown and whose Algonquin name means “the Great River.” In the past, those farmers have been showcased in Savour Ottawa events that aim to pair regional products with the best restaurants in the city. On this occasion, though, such an event — the Savour Ottawa Harvest Table — was open to the public for the first time. For $50 a ticket, guests were able to enjoy a sampling of some of the freshest and most fantastic food you can find in our province.

Highlights included a Chanterelle and Lobster Mushroom Tourte from Les Fougeres in Chelsea, Quebec and featuring mushrooms from Le Coprin. The Acer Farms beef was buttery smooth while the Apple Crumble Pie from Hall’s, whose baked treats and cider are available throughout Ottawa, was sweet and decadent.

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