Putting Headwaters on the culinary map

Headwaters is emerging as the hottest new culinary region in Canada!

May 18, 2012 | | Back Issues

On a snowy day in late April, I was lucky enough to be among more than 50 food lovers gathered in the spacious kitchen of a North Dufferin farmhouse to celebrate our love of food. The event was part of a two-day Toronto food festival, now in its sixth year, known as Terroir Hospitality Industry Symposium. Among the guests were local producers, star chefs and prominent food writers. They came from as far away as Australia and New York, Calgary and Halifax, and from as nearby as Creemore and Caledon. They came to experience the incredible richness of what I and many others are convinced is emerging as the hottest new culinary region in Canada: our beautiful, bountiful Hills of Headwaters.

A day earlier, during the same snowstorm, I attended the first Headwaters Food Summit at Hockley Valley Resort. Food In The Hills was pleased to be one of the sponsors of this event which brought together 130 restaurateurs, farmers, food processors and policy-makers to discuss such serious matters as market opportunities and distribution systems, all aimed at making Headwaters a major food hub in the province. Chef Michael Potters prepared a locally inspired lunch, which was followed by an Eat Local Caledon food/trade fair.

At both these events, if it hadn’t been for the unseasonably late snow, I might have imagined I was celebrating in one of the world’s great culinary regions. I might have been in the Napa Valley or the south of France.

For the Terroir feast, local and visiting chefs rolled up their sleeves and whipped up such delicacies as black chicken in beer soup with Jerusalem artichokes and wild mushrooms; lamb-organ kielbasa with brassica mustard; and wild rabbit with red-tail flour pappardelle. Those of us who weren’t cooking washed dishes and peeled potatoes.

The energy in that big country kitchen was palpable. The ingredients were sourced from such local producers as The New Farm, K2 Milling, Twin Creeks Organics, Forbes Wild Foods, Best Baa Dairy, and washed down with Creemore Springs beer, wine from Georgian Hills Vineyards and sparkling cider from Spirit Tree Estate Cidery – many of whom have been, or soon may be, featured in these pages. And thanks to efforts like ours  and events like these, word about what is going on up here is travelling fast.

In this our third issue of Food In The Hills, we continue to celebrate local culinary excellence and innovation. So put aside your gardening gloves and oven mitts for a while and enjoy with us the promise of spring and summer in the Hills.

About the Author More by Cecily Ross

Former pony clubber and lifelong horse lover, Cecily Ross is a freelance writer who lives in Creemore.

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