Friday, April 20, 2012

Farm Fresh Fare At The Green Living Show

There was a ton to do and see at this year’s Green Living Show, held at Exhibition Place.  Over three days, the GLS showcased thousands of eco products and services, live presentations by eco-icons and celebs and more than 400 exhibits.

But for me, the highlight was the food! This year’s GLS hosted Farm Fresh Fare – 18 food stations of delectable offerings created by dynamic Producer and Chef partnerships.  Here are my top 5 favourite dishes out of the bunch:
1) Porchetta on Wood Fired Bread
By Chef Mario Pingue and Fernando Pingue of Niagara Specialty Foods and producers: DuBreton and Ravine BakeryHoly sandwich, batman!  This delicacy was overflowing with sumptuous meat on freshly baked bread, bringing a new level to the sub sandwich.
2) Hearty Buckwheat Apple Crisp
Chef: Evelyne Gharbirian of Hearty Catering and producers: Lincoln Line Orchards Harmony OrganicYou can’t go wrong with baked apples topped with honey and organic whipped cream. I wanted to devour the whole tray. Check out Hearty Catering’s veggielicious spread at the Riverdale Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays from 3-7pm (May to October) and at Evergreen Brick Works on Saturdays from 8am-2pm (May to November).

3) YU Ranch All-Beef Hot Dogs on Homemade Buns with Alsatian Choucroute  
Chef: Albert Ponzo of Le Select Bistro and producers: YU Ranch and Grassroot Organics.
It may not appear fancy, but this dish won my heart at the GLS!  Chef Ponzo created a delicious dog topped with a mouth-watering sauerkraut and mustard sauce. I’m salivating right now just remembering it!  PS – Le Select Bistro is a great place for a Parisian brunch on the weekend.
4) Carrot Cake
Chef Karen Viva Haynes of Viva Tastings and producer Pfenning`s Organic Farm. OMG, this dessert was the bomb!  The thick icing mixed with the moist cakey centre – yum! One bite is like Grandma’s home baking all over again. Want to learn how to bake? Viva Tastings offers cooking classes – visit the website for more info.
5) Vegan and Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Donuts tossed in Maple Sugar
Chef Lesia Kohut and producers Ninituk Maple Syrup, Round Plains Plantations, 100Km Foods Inc. For me, the sweet potato donuts win “Most Unique Dish.” Little bits of savoury goodness melded with maple sugar sweetness. It’s like Beaver Tails meets pub grub!
Of course, I didn’t miss out on the opportunity to sample the organic beer and wines. Or the delicious organic grilled chicken from Rowe FarmsI can’t wait for next year’s GLS!  I might have to starve myself first. --- Lisa Jackson

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