Archive for March 19th, 2012

March 19, 2012

Jonathan Gushue stays local with Langdon Hall


Jonathan Gushue's efforts to keep Langdon Hall's menu have also put a spotlight on the quality of ingredients in southern Ontario. (Julia Pelish photo)

[This article was previously published in and AOL/Huffington Post.]

CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO — In a lot of ways, sustainability starts with the food we eat. The more we can consume foods that are in our own backyards, the less food needs to be shipped in from disparate parts of the world.

At Langdon Hall, a Relais & Chateaux country manor close to Toronto, executive chef Jonathan Gushue has succeeded in turning the property on which he cooks into the source for a large percentage of his ingredients. Gushue is one of North America’s finest chefs, having attained 5-Diamond Award status from CAA/AAA judges for six straight years at Langdon Hall as well as a World’s Top 100 Restaurants ranking and acclaim throughout Canada.

“People talk about a 100-mile menu. This is a quarter-mile menu here,” says Gushue, who was the chef at the Four Seasons in Toronto before coming aboard at Langdon Hall in 2005. “It really took us about four years, the time to understand our harvesting. We’ve learned to use wild herbs, what our gardeners had been ripping up as weeds. These are the things that are indigenous to the area, what people were eating 100 years ago.”


Gushue says the soil at Langdon Hall is exceptional for growing beets, so those root vegetables are almost always on the menu. Although he will fly in products from elsewhere in Canada, including snow crab from the east coast, Gushue sticks to sourcing his meat and fish close to home. The fish & chips served in Langdon Hall’s comfortable bar are made with pickerel — and they’re as tasty as any you’ll find with cod or halibut.

“We use everything here for our inspiration. Don’t expect the typical lobster, steak, salmon dishes,” he says of his menu.

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