Ontario is home to two of the three largest wine-producing regions in Canada, those being the Niagara Peninsula and Essex County (including Pelee Island). On September 24, 2015, Torontonicity was invited to enjoy a Thanksgiving menu prepared by celebrity chef Lynn Crawford, paired with local wines from Ontario winemakers and food sampling from Ontario food artisans. The LCBO event at The Burroughes on Queen Street West, was also hosted by Wine Country Ontario.
Ontarians are truly blessed to have these fertile regions within their boundaries and Chef Lynn Crawford enthusiastically promotes Ontario’s bounty.
We began the afternoon with an introduction by Lynn Crawford of the many types of fruits and vegetables that have recently been harvested in Ontario, and a preview of the dishes and wines we were going to be tasting.
Crawford raved about salt-baked pears. She advised that baking pears in salt helps to keep the moisture and flavour in. We tried her Salt-Baked Pear Salad with Aged Cheddar and British Pickle. What a delight for the taste buds! The sweetness of the pears complemented the tartness of the cheddar and dried cranberries while the blend of crunchy, crispy and soft textures was exciting. The pear salad was paired with Sandbanks Winery’s Summer White, an off-dry and fruity white available at the LCBO for $14.95 (LCBO #414748).
Catherine Langlois, co-owner of Sandbanks Winery in Prince Edward County, discusses her Summer White wine.
Chef Lynn Crawford’s Pork Rib Roast with Prosciutto and Apricot-Vanilla Jam was a wonderful option for those not having turkey on Thanksgiving. Her roast was accompanied by a melt-in-your-mouth Ham Hock, Apple & Sauerkraut Bread Pudding that I couldn’t get enough of. Salty and sweet, chewy and soft, this dish was a definite star of Lynn Crawford’s menu.
The pork rib roast was paired with Cave Spring Riesling Dry VQA, a light and crisp Riesling, which is $14.95 at the LCBO (LCBO #233635).
Chateau des Charmes’ ice wine, which is available at the LCBO in November for $23.99 (200 ml) was paired with Chef Crawford’s Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cranberry Orange Topping. Crawford’s pumpkin cheesecake was smooth-textured and not too sweet and tantalized the taste buds with the sweet cranberry-orange sauce. The cheesecake was placed in cute take-home jars, but from what I could see, nobody was saving this magnificent cheesecake for later.
Before and after the sit-down media tasting, we were able to visit several of the wine and food artisans who had set up booths in the room.
I sampled the Pickerel Sushi prepared by Chef Sebastien Schwab of Sebastien Cuisine in Bloomfield, Prince Edward County. The fish was so fresh and the flavours blended fragrantly, resulting in a satisfying hors d’oeuvre.
The winemaker from Pelee Island Winery was on hand to showcase Traminer Muscat VQA, an aromatic and flavourful white, $13.95 at the LCBO (LCBO #411744). Also displayed (but not shown) was Pelee Island Winery’s Baco Noir VQA, a full-bodied and firm red, $14.95 at the LCBO (LCBO #414508).
Chateau des Charmes showcased their light-bodied and fruity 2013 Gamay Noir, VQA, $13.95 at the LCBO (LCBO #57349).
Ever tried a squash tart? This pastry was prepared by Vintage Hotels, Niagara-on-the-Lake. I’ve discovered a new way to use squash and I love it.
Inniskillin Wines presented their Riesling-Pinot Grigio VQA, a light and crisp white, which is $13.95 at the LCBO (LCBO #145458).
What a fabulous afternoon tasting Chef Lynn Crawford’s creations from the fall harvest of Ontario, paired with some of the finest offerings from local wineries. Thank you to all of ht wine and food vendors who were on hand to share their products. The event really made me appreciate the rich bounty of agriculture and wine that we have available to us in Ontario.
This looks like such a fun experience! The food looks amazing and knowing a little about where it came from I have no doubt at all that both the foods and the wines were absolutely wonderful. We definitely need to get back up that way and enjoy some of the incredible regional wines and foods – and soon!
It looks like a wonderful event with good food and good wine! Does it get any better than wine paring? I feel like a connoisseur (not), but I’ve actually had both Niagara and Pelee Island wines. They were very good, but I don’t remember the names of the wineries. I would know the labels if I saw them.
That looks like a very fun and posh event! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Wish I could attend a similar function here in the West coast!
What a lovely event and how fun that you met Lynn Crawford. That salad looks amazing. The squash tart sounds interesting. I have tons of squash I need to use up. Which wine was your favorite?
Wow! This looks like a lovely event! I would love the opportunity to see and meet Lynn Crawford! The pictures and recipes make me want to start planning my Thanksgiving menu right away! Love the pictures from this experience! I wish I could have attended.
I had no idea Canada offered such amazing wine selections. This looks like it was truly an event to remember..
Wow some of those meals look amazing! I would love to try out that salad, looks tasty! Looks like you had a fabulous time. I always love events that involve food lol!
This looks like it was a blast! Ive never done anything like this and I think I would love it! What a lovely way to enjoy a day! Totally cool and everything looks so amazing! Anything food is for me! I love your photos and thank you for sharing!!
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