Food + Drink Summer 2022
Map out a season of good eating with Parisian-style pastries, creamy coconut yogurt and on-farm adventures.
If a trip to Paris isn’t in the cards yet, a visit to Creemore’s chic new YF Pâtissier Chocolatier may tide you over. Plan on being wowed by the chocolate bonbons from pastry pro François Rahier and chocolatier Yoonhee Chang. The sweets are available in more than 20 flavours, including salted caramel, honey balsamic caramel, hazelnut crunch and caramelized banana.
Owners Yoonhee and François worked on the “chocolate project” for more than a year, studying in Belgium, trying out hundreds of recipes and sourcing certified chocolate through Cacao-Trace, a program based on sustainability and ethical relationships with cacao farmers.
Yoonhee says they’re clicking with their new community. “Even while we were working with renowned Belgian chocolatiers to perfect our recipes, we were searching for a place to make our project come to life,” she says. “François discovered Creemore first. He immediately pictured our store as a destination chocolate and pastry shop full of cyclists, bikers, pedestrians and neighbours. We felt that Creemore was the perfect fit for our vision.”
Pick up a baguette for later but do also consider a classic Saint Honoré cake (all choux pastry and cream) or Belgian waffles, crunchy and caramelized on the outside. Pass by the store early in the morning and you’ll catch a whiff of buttery croissants. One bite of the shatteringly crisp, melt-in-your mouth goodness and you’ll realize Paris can wait.
Grab a spoon
It would be easy to assume Simpla Coconut Yogurt, made with hand-shucked coconuts and vegan probiotic cultures, is a creamy, decadent import from the tropics. But no, it’s made in Hockley Valley. Track down this must-try vegan goodness (lemon and chocolate varieties are also available) at Am Braigh Farm, Hockley General Store, Wicked Shortbread, Harmony Whole Foods, Lost Bear Market, Rock Garden Farms and Creemore 100 Mile Store.
A trip to Egypt
At the newly opened Treatland in Orangeville, sandwiches and samosas are warmups for the real main course – dessert. Unique here are Egyptian options inspired by owner Yehya Soliman’s background. A Day in Egypt is reminiscent of a dessert enjoyed there with ice cream, strawberries, mangoes, cream, mango juice and nuts. Rolled ice cream, waffle and crêpe creations, milkshakes and cakes round out the menu. Egyptian cappuccino has more milk than Canadian or Italian versions, and is frothier and sweetened. In the pure fruit juice department, consider the summer-ready lemon mint.
“It’s been wonderful opening in this community and having immediate support. Some people came in six times in the two months after we launched in early March,” says Yehya.
Many local farms have new family-friendly adventures planned for the season. At Ontario Honey Creations in Mulmur, farmers Sarah Allinson-Chorabik and Peter Chorabik offer farm and foodie pursuits, including bottling your own honey and meeting the resident pigs. Book ahead and set aside time for shopping for their honey chai tea, honey vinegars, creamed honey, and mead products.
At Grand Valley’s Landman Gardens and Bakery, on-farm workshops are back – watch for topics such as making fresh summer salads – along with reservation-only dining events in the farm’s rustic Blackhouse. If you’re driving by, visit pop-up market booths with vendors, including Shelburne’s Shine Baking Co., or grab a salad or quiche to enjoy at the new outdoor seating area.
For more ideas, see the Headwaters Farm Fresh Guide.
Howard Beckett, and his wife and business partner, Ann Dunbar, of Howard the Butcher in Caledon East, have retired after more than two decades of selling high-quality meat and hearty prepared foods. New owners Amarjit and Jasmeen Hundal are committed to continuing the legacy. They say the stars of the butcher case and house specialties remain – and they welcome ideas and recommendations from customers.
After a long Covid break, The Globe in Rosemont has reopened, this time including brunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Chef Scott McIlwee is back at the stove. Buttermilk pancakes, eggs Benedict and the rotisserie chicken club sandwich are in high rotation.
The annual Orangeville Rotary Ribfest returns July 15 to 17 on the grounds of the Alder Recreation Centre. But no more pandemic drive-thrus for this fundraiser – Ribfest goers can walk, mingle and enjoy the offerings of multiple “ribbers,” food trucks and entertainers.
Soulyve chef Phil DeWar of Orangeville is managing the GoodLot Farmstead Good Spot food truck in the brewery’s Caledon beer garden this summer. The Caribbean-flecked menu will change weekly, with an assist from food trucks including local favourites Southern Crown BBQ and Paco’s Tacos.
Much-anticipated, The GoodHawk in Hockley village is now open for limited seatings. Owners Sean MacMahon and Natasha Priest say you can expect “an eating house that is honest, approachable and ingredient-driven.” Menus change weekly, featuring dishes from ravioli to rabbit. One recent winner was cold-poached shrimp accompanied by Am Braigh Farm’s hakurei turnips, spinach leaves and remoulade.
The Authors in the Hills of Mulmur book festival is back – with a focus on food. Head to Foley Barn on 10 Sideroad Mulmur on Sunday, August 21, 1 to 4 p.m., and meet Mairlyn Smith – the self-appointed Queen of Fibre and Second City alumna – as she shares Peace, Love and Fibre: Over 100 Fibre-Rich Recipes for the Whole Family. Go deep with food activist Joshna Maharaj’s Take Back the Tray: Revolutionizing Food in Hospitals, Schools and Other Institutions. Update your tired pandemic meal planning with Trish Magwood’s My New Table: Everyday Inspiration for Eating + Living. And plan your summer shopping with Deirdre Buryk’s Peak Season: 12 Months of Recipes Celebrating Ontario’s Freshest Ingredients. Tickets available at BookLore in Orangeville.