Food + Drink Winter 2022
Big flavours brighten the season! From classic bonbons and tourtière to new beers and café treats, a winter of good taste lies ahead.
A most chocolatey time of the year!
Holiday chocolates make gifting, hosting and even decorating a cinch. Consider local options, such as a white chocolate sleigh, festive foil-wrapped “presents,” hard candy and a Santa lollipop from Debora’s Chocolates in Erin. The Chocolate Shop in Orangeville fills sleighs with their famous chocolate-covered Oreos in a variety of holiday designs, from snowmen to snowflakes. Cream centres and truffles add to the spoils. Pick up Giddy Yo Chocolate’s organic, plant-based dark chocolate in Mono or order online – festive options include Mint Crunch and Raspberry. Head to Caledon East for Gourmandissimo’s trademark Peppermint Bark, which marries semisweet and white chocolate with crushed candy cane – or opt for chocolate-dipped peppermint meringues and chocolate Santas, among other treats.
A golden oldie
The holidays have been magical at Holtom’s Bakery in Erin since the bakery opened back in 1946. Favourites include Christmas cake (with generous lashings of rum) and classic buttery icebox cookies full of fruit peel and nuts. Gingerbread people and shortbread are other must-buys, while tourtière makes a quick main course in the runup to the main event. For a showstopper, consider their braided rye, a huge loaf that doubles as an eye-catching centrepiece.
New country brews
Picture the scenery of Mono Cliffs Provincial Park. Now imagine a brewery just down the road where you can try flavourful beers made onsite, next to a sea of pines. There’s a spot to play lawn games in the nicer weather while enjoying a lighter brew like Island Lake Pale Ale. Or, come winter, cozy up in the bright indoor space with a darker option like Relessey English Brown Ale. In any season, that’s the great vibe at the newly opened Mono Centre Brewing Company, headed up by friends Paul Wratten and Zach Gammage on Zach’s property, which has been in the family since 1987.
“Beginning this journey, we appreciated there were a number of good local breweries but felt that our location was underserved and central to Orangeville, Shelburne and Alliston,” says Zach. “We have been blown away by the community response. I hope I’m not wrong, but our brewery is quickly becoming a place where folks meet, catch up and come for a relaxing, enjoyable time.”
Zach says he’s grateful to the nine local restaurants that have shown their support and serve Mono Centre Brewing Company brews. Plans include expanding to offer food options beyond the snacks currently on offer — perhaps via food trucks or local chef partnerships — along with music-themed events or popup markets.
Coffee culture collab
Rose De Marco has realized her vision of opening a café that celebrates two coffee powerhouses, Jamaica and Italy. In a nod to Rose’s Jamaican background and husband Antonio’s Italian heritage, De Marco’s Caffè in Shelburne offers mouth-watering desserts from both cultures.
Rose employs two bakers, one specializing in Jamaican sweets like rum cake, and another in Italian classics. Otherwise, red velvet and caramel pecan cheesecakes are top sellers, and Rose also stocks gluten-free options. Lovers Leap is the cafe’s smooth signature coffee blend, and a chai latte soothes after a long day of holiday shopping. Let’s not forget the iced versions or a smoothie for a hit of fruit.
Winter is filling
It’s winter, why not eat? The Headwaters Food & Farming Alliance’s Winter Harvest Dining Series unfolds January 21 at Shelburne Golf & Country Club, February 23 at Mrs. Mitchell’s Restaurant, and March 23 at Mono Cliffs Inn. Each event is an exquisite dining experience prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
There’s a new pizza player in downtown Orangeville. The Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen offers already-popular Neapolitan- and New York-style pizza and Italian street food, from veal sandwiches to arancini rice balls (and cannoli for dessert). Meanwhile, Grand Valley doesn’t get to keep those wafer-thin pies from Biegel’s Stone Oven Pizza to itself – the small but mighty new Orangeville outpost is at the west end of Broadway. Try the excellent gelato, too.
Listen up, order’s up
Want to be able to cook better Italian at home? The Kitchen at Mono Mills offers cooking classes perfect for date nights, team-building gatherings or kids’ birthday parties. In the Art of Italian Cooking you’ll learn how to make everything from chicken parmigiana to gnocchi, and enjoy the fruits of your labours over six sessions.
You heard about Orangeville’s new social enterprise CommonFare Kitchen in our fall issue (now selling homemade granola – yum). Their six-week food program focuses on low-cost meals and battling food insecurity, as well as learning kitchen knife skills. For a social offering, Get Your Bake On sees attendees choose a recipe for the day, and share coffee and sweets in good company.