Food + Drink Autumn 2022
Try a new Caribbean restaurant, tour Dufferin farms and add style to your home kitchen.
West Indian flair at Fiona’s Cuisine
Caledon, meet the Caribbean. Food lover Fiona Riley had long taken on catering gigs in her free time while working in the banking industry. So much so that her eldest son, Raymond, often encouraged her to open her own restaurant. However, the journey to opening Fiona’s Cuisine — a lively hub featuring West Indian and Canadian dishes — took a few detours.
“I kept putting it off, but during Covid, that vision came to fruition,” says Fiona, who had been eyeing Shelburne, but landed on the former Flapjacks’ location south of Caledon Village.
The menu at Fiona’s Cuisine features a variety of jerk dishes, Caribbean stews and a tropics-inspired pineapple, lobster and shrimp dish — served to impress on a half pineapple, fronds and all. Fiona says her brown stew fish — in which fish (such as snapper) and sauce ingredients are pan fried and then simmered down in a rich, savoury sauce — is tied for top seller with jerk chicken pasta. “Out-of-this-world” chicken wings round out the offerings.
“Cooking for me is like therapy; when the clients eat and they are fulfilled, I am fulfilled as well,” says Fiona, who lives in Brampton. “I love to see the smiles on their faces when they try something new and it is to their liking.”
Organic, cold-pressed juice is a heady mix of luxury and nutrition – and now Headwaters has a purveyor to quench locals’ thirst. And she delivers! Nikki Holness of Shelburne’s Renewed Vitality Juice Co. whips up a range of rainbow-bright blends, including one dubbed Classic, made with carrot, apple and ginger. Or try straight celery juice, a top on-trend elixir. Watch for occasional local pop-ups or order for delivery to Shelburne and Orangeville.
2 Dirty Aprons
There’s cooking and creativity aplenty in the Creemore hills. Mother-daughter duo Laurie and Tessa Foote are the energetic entrepreneurs behind the 2 Dirty Aprons recipe blog and pop-up shop 2DA Market. A couple of years ago, they started producing cooking videos, not as professional chefs but because they enjoyed spending time together in the kitchen.
During Covid, they opened their small pop-up, offering a curated variety of kitchen and tabletop items with an elevated farm-chic esthetic. The business owners and buyers confess to being captivated by texture and pattern. The pair has also expanded to hosting markets in the barn on their spacious farm and taking their wares on the road via a retrofitted 2DA trailer.
One of their go-to recipes is Moroccan veggie stew. Tessa and Laurie rave it is the perfect fall recipe – vegetarian and easy to prepare. They love making it in their enamelled cast-iron Dutch oven (its forest green is a wonderful autumn hue). It works well paired with naan bread nestled in their linen breadbasket. Check out the full recipe online at inthehills.ca
Party-ready: Chair of the board
Love charcuterie, hate the assembly? Grand Valley’s Veronica Vijay is the talent behind On the Board. She creates artfully arranged boards and snacking cups packed with sliced meats, cheeses and other nibbles — including vegan options. Veronica’s the imaginative sort, so don’t forget to request a salami rose, dessert board or kid-themed offering complete with child-friendly cheese, yogurt-covered pretzels and gummies. The beauty of her exquisitely carved fruits will almost make you refrain from digging in — almost.
The Dufferin Farm Tour returns
Dufferin’s favourite family event is back in person! The Dufferin Farm Tour runs Saturday, October 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. This self-guided tour takes you to some of Dufferin’s best local farms, including cash crops, dairy, beef cattle, goat and poultry, most of them never otherwise open to the public. Register to receive an event passport and the finalized farm list.
The James Family (Diane, Ewen, Jadon, Jazara and Josiah) stock a wealth of fish and seafood options at Finiti Seafood Depot, the business they opened in Shelburne in September 2021. “Customers have different favourites based on their family recipes,” says Diane of their frozen and fresh offerings.
“I’ve had Portuguese and Italian families overjoyed that we stock salted cod, sardines and stickleback (aka chinchard). West Indian customers tend to love our king fish and snapper.”
Cedar plank salmon, pickerel, rainbow trout and whitefish are also regularly stocked.