Food + Drink Spring 2020
Spring’s seductions: Sweet treats, bounteous brunches, and Easter feasts.
*Editor’s note: This story was written before the fallout of the coronavirus hit our community. Many of the businesses and organizations mentioned here may be temporarily closed or offering alternative customer service options.
Vanessa Kreuzer and Terry Doel of Lavender Blue Catering are known for their refined-yet-homey catering fare, wedding spreads and take-home freezer meals. Le Finis, their sophisticated new café on Broadway in Orangeville, doubles down on end-of-meal sweet treats perfect for casual get-togethers, after-theatre debriefs and special date nights.
“We wanted Lavender Blue to finally have a front entrance that reflects our quality and customer experience, while also truly becoming part of Orangeville’s town centre. We support so many local initiatives that it always felt a bit strange that we were not more central,” says Vanessa, the self-described paperwork chef.
Food lead Terry is on her game with lavender crème brûlée, drinking chocolate, hazelnut crepes, vegan raspberry cashew cheesecake and gluten-free apple crumble. (There are savoury charcuterie and cheese and pâté plates too.) Éclairs, profiteroles, cream puffs and “stuffed” cupcakes fill the display case for takeaway. Oh, and don’t worry, catering and frozen food pickups are still available – via the rear entrance on Dairy Lane. Visit Le Finis by Lavender Blue Catering on Facebook
The brunch beat
We crave our beloved breakfasts at local diners and pancake houses, but sometimes a more leisurely Sunday brunch is in order. Not all local spots offer it, so we’ve rounded up six of the best. At Hillsburgh’s Fanjoy, chef Pam Fanjoy builds her eggs Benedict on house-made focaccia. Her Middle Eastern breakfast of eggs and sausage get a kick with hot sauce, green onions and pistachios. Rustik Local Bistro on Broadway in Orangeville offers duck confit burritos and a crab omelette. Violet Hill’s Mrs. Mitchell’s serves something for everyone – think turkey burger on a pretzel bun or French toast made from thick-cut cranberry-raisin bread. Chez Michel in Creemore has a full-on Sunday brunch buffet with a mind-boggling range of choices from waffles to a prime rib carving station. Rosemont General Store turns out killer eggs Benedict with home fries on both Saturdays and Sundays. We’re fond of their blueberry buttermilk pancakes as well. In Mono, the Paddock Room at Adamo Estate Winery features a prosciutto-laden Benny with hash browns, bacon jam, sour cream and green onions. Oh, and fresh oysters on the side, if you fancy.
Check them out:
Easy staying green: spinach
As we eagerly await the arrival of spring’s new bounty, we’re grateful for fresh spinach from local growers who keep the crop going in unheated greenhouses and hoop houses. Am Braigh Farm grower Jamie Richards reports the sun is warming the daytime temperature of the greenhouses on his Mono property up to nearly 20 C. He’s harvesting spinach and other greens weekly for his farm gate operation. (See our story on microgreens, including his). Fiddle Foot Farm in Mulmur also has spinach available and should have young salad greens ready soon for their CSA, market and online shoppers.
Learn more at:
Save the date: Healthy meal prep 101
The Dufferin Area Family Health Team is teaming up with Orangeville registered dietician Jacalyn Dryland to share healthy-eating ideas through a series of Cooking with Jacalyn workshops at Orangeville’s Westminster United Church. Held on select Monday afternoon and evenings through to the end of June, the workshops will zero in on salads and homemade dressings, stocks and soups, and one-pot and sheet-pan meals. See the calendar at dafht.ca
The dish: Shawarma
Headwaters has developed a serious shawarma habit thanks to a growing number of restaurants serving their versions of the tangy Middle Eastern/Mediterranean dish. How it’s made: Chicken, beef or lamb shaved from a rotating spit is topped with a variety of garlicky Greek, Turkish or Lebanese sauces, then tucked into a pita or served as a plated dinner. In Orangeville, Sabby Sebastian of Eat Like Sabby at the west end of Broadway serves both shawarma and its cousin, Greek gyros (made with ground meat), with tzatziki and hummus. Other stops on a shawarma tour include the Orangeville outpost of the Osmow’s chain on First Street, where chicken, beef, Beyond Meat or veggie shawarma is served on rice, fries or vegetables. At Mahdia Shawarma on Rolling Hills Drive, try extra-garlicky chicken or beef shawarma wraps and platters. At the south end of Bolton, La Shawarma offers juicy chicken, beef or lamb shawarma with mouth-watering sides including tabbouleh and fattoush salads.
Taste them all:
If you’ve put your hand up as this year’s Easter host, don’t be shy about calling in reinforcements. At Heatherlea Farm Shoppe in Caledon, you can order a single cut of meat or the full soup-to-nuts meal. Dave’s Butcher Shop in Orangeville will set you up with a turkey or prime rib roast and handmade fruit pies. Or go for a classic ham (regular or spiral) from Howard the Butcher in Caledon East. For lighter Easter lunch fare, visit Caledon’s Spirit Tree Estate Cidery for quiche, bread and desserts. There’s also Fromage on Broadway in Orangeville for more than cheese and charcuterie trays – but those too, please – including to-go lobster mac and cheese, and coq au vin.