Food + Drink Spring 2024

Let someone else do the cooking, try a sweet treat from Japan, and indulge in some scrumptious Sunday fare

March 16, 2024 | | Food + Drink

Spotlight: Chef Jex Paisley Really Delivers

How does pineapple BBQ chicken sound? Or maybe jerk beef and vegetable stir fry? Perhaps it’s time for pimento-and-nutmeg-spiced salmon, or penne alfredo with crumbled jerk sausage? Local chef Jex Paisley of Orangeville’s Transcend by Jex is ready to take your order.

Jex trained in Jamaica and Canada, and has a long history in the industry, including at five-star resorts and on cruise ships. Now he has pulled together his takes on Caribbean and other cuisines into convenient meal packages. There are more than a dozen dishes to choose from at and deliveries are Tuesdays and Fridays. Not sure if you’re ready to commit? Try the 3-Meal Trial Pack first.

Chef Jex Paisley of Orangeville’s Transcend by Jex juggles five of the Caribbean-flecked meals he offers for home delivery.

“We’re trying to provide convenience by delivering fresh, inspired dishes to your home, ready to go for busy working families,” says Jex, who calls Grand Valley home and runs the business in Orangeville’s west end. “I create all my dishes based on experiences I’ve had learning from some amazing chefs and other culinary discoveries during my travels. My goal is to enhance dishes with complementary ingredients and provide fresh flavours that my customers can enjoy any day.”

Soup to Die For

Put on your thinking caps and your best ’80s costume for the totally rad I Love the ’80s to Death Murder Mystery Dinner Night at Hockley Valley Resort on April 20. Figure out whodunnit during the three-course dinner with dishes like Soup to Die For, a Deadly Entrée and Rest in Peace Dessert, plus hits of the 1980s that’ll make you, like, totally freak out.

What a Dish: GoodHawk’s Smoke Stack

If you’ve ventured through the yellow door into Hockley hotspot The GoodHawk, you know culinary creativity reigns here. The Smoke Stack is a signature bite – a plate of house-smoked whitefish salad, beet-cured steelhead (the beets give it a gorgeous pink hue), caviar, horseradish cream and house-made crackers.

The Smoke Stack remains a popular dish at The GoodHawk in Hockley Valley.

The menu can change every two weeks or so. Watch for rabbit on polenta with a black truffle vinaigrette, smoked duck and more.

A Real Deal

Chef Frederic Chartier of Beyond the Gate in Shelburne has a very special menu for anyone feeling the pinch of inflation. On Wednesday nights you can enjoy his new ‘F#%K Recession’ $30 prix fixe menu with entrées of seared salmon, roasted mushroom ravioli, or mustard and tarragon chicken stew. Frederic says he’ll offer this wallet-friendly dining experience indefinitely.

Have a ‘little bit more’

Though Grand Valley baker Maiko Hogan loves to bake traditional treats such as brownies, blondies, cakes and cookies, she also slips in flavours from her hometown in Kanagawa, Japan. Maiko is the baker behind Chotto Motto Sweets – the phrase chotto motto means “a little bit more” in Japanese – and her creations include matcha (green tea) tiramisu, black sesame macarons, and dorayaki, a dessert of sweet red bean paste mixed with whipped cream and sandwiched between two palm-sized matcha pancakes.

chotto motto sweets grand valley
From left, dorayaki, black sesame macarons, and Japanese matcha bouchées from Grand Valley’s Chotto Motto Sweets.

“Most Japanese confectionaries are not too sweet and rely on the flavour of the ingredients,” explains Maiko. “Matcha is made by crushing green tea leaves into a powder, and in addition to being used for the traditional tea ceremony drink, it’s also a very popular ingredient in many Japanese desserts. Matcha has a rich aroma and taste, and is especially useful for adding a Japanese flavour to Western sweets.”

Kids also love her super kawaii (cute) Pikachu cookies which are perfect for throwing a Pokemon-themed birthday party. You can order online through her Instagram account @chotto_motto_sweets.

Maple Syrup Fun

For a clever date-night idea, don’t miss Lamplight: Maple Syrup After Dark (for ages 19 and up), hosted by Credit Valley Conservation on April 6 at Terra Cotta Conservation Area. Choose from two time slots for an evening sugarbush tour, maple treats by the campfire, and a signature maple-themed mocktail or cocktail in a souvenir glass.

At Lamplight: Maple Syrup After Dark, visitors to Terra Cotta Conservation Area enjoy an evening sugarbush tour, tasty treats and a maple-themed cocktail or mocktail.

At Elliott Tree Farm in Hillsburgh, tickets to the Maple Syrup Experience include entry to their Maple Syrup Museum of Ontario, a walk in their sugar bush, and breakfast inside the Horse Barn Canteen with all-you-can-eat pancakes, plus a side of bacon and breakfast sausage, all topped with the farm’s liquid gold. Alabaster Acres in Caledon Village hosts Maple Makers Workshops on Saturdays and Sundays through to April 7. Make your own syrup and go home with a bottle. For these and other maple syrup events see What’s On, our Events page.

Sunday Funday

Bring some pizzazz back to your Sundays with either a bubbly brunch or a proper dinner out. If you’re craving a quintessential brunch experience complete with mimosas (bottomless, in some cases!), Caesars and sangria, head to Orangeville’s Main Street Station which serves up favourites like avocado toast or Bacon Egg Gouda Benny, or to Bolton’s Wine Spot where the Sunday Brunch & Bubbles menu offers innovative items like Brandied French Toast hors d’oeuvres with honey maple syrup and triple-berry compote served in a shot glass.

Rustik in downtown Orangeville offers a chic take on classic smoked salmon and bagel crisps. Sample the warm baked brie board at historic Mrs. Mitchell’s in Mulmur, or hit The Globe in Rosemont for eggs, baked beans, smashed potato, sourdough toast and sausage, bacon or peameal.

In Erin, live music at The Busholme’s Sunday Matinée pairs well with drink specials and brunch bites such as a BLT flatbread or scrambled eggs on rye with avocado and bacon.

As the sun starts to set, hearty dinner options make it easier to accept the end of the weekend. Tuck into a traditional prime rib meal at the Mono Cliffs Inn in Mono (unless you’ve had their weekend eggs benny earlier in the day, that is), served from 4 p.m. onward, with a side of Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, veggies and half-priced bottles of wine. If you happen to be from the Rock and crave a true taste of the East Coast, The Upper Pub and Eatery in Grand Valley has introduced Jigg’s Dinner, a traditional Sunday Newfoundland meal featuring hearty helpings of turkey, salt meat and cabbage.

About the Author More by Emily Dickson

Emily Dickson is a writer and editor living in Orangeville.

Related Stories

Selection of treats from Cookies by Gia in Orangeville

Food + Drink Winter 2023

Nov 27, 2023 | Emily Dickson | Food + Drink

Holiday cookies, festive tipples and tasty local gifts make it easy to eat, drink and be merry this season.

Food + Drink Autumn 2023

Sep 8, 2023 | Emily Dickson | Food + Drink

As summer turns to fall, check out cool new mocktails, hot chili sauce, and savoury northern Indian street food.

Food + Drink Summer 2023

Jun 16, 2023 | Janice Quirt | Food + Drink

Get ready for a summer of gourmet grub with a hot new smoke shack, fresh produce at farmers’ markets, Field to Fork events, and Caledon Ribfest

Food + Drink Spring 2023

Mar 20, 2023 | Janice Quirt | Food + Drink

From pop-art macarons to melt-in-your-mouth maamouls, these adorable bites will sweeten your day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By posting a comment you agree that IN THE HILLS magazine has the legal right to publish, edit or delete all comments for use both online or in print. You also agree that you bear sole legal responsibility for your comments, and that you will hold IN THE HILLS harmless from the legal consequences of your comment, including libel, copyright infringement and any other legal claims. Any comments posted on this site are NOT the opinion of IN THE HILLS magazine. Personal attacks, offensive language and unsubstantiated allegations are not allowed. Please report inappropriate comments to