The Buzz: September/October 2016

Written by The Editors

Volume 5 of the London’s Local Flavour Culinary Guide recently launched. The restaurant, specialty food shops and farmers’ markets guide is available at tourism information booths, farmers’ markets, restaurants, Downtown London, the London Public Library and many culinary retailers. The guide is also online at or

Justin and Gregg Wolfe of The Early Bird diner and Rock au Taco have opened the highly anticipated Wolfe of Wortley in Wortley Village. Along with chef Kyle Rose (formerly of Stratford’s Revival House and the late-lamented Auberge), the Wolfe brothers have brought a fresh and innovative experience to the village with their 20+ seat restaurant which is complemented by a 14-seat patio. Expect casual but sophisticated dining focusing on pickling, fermenting and preserving. The restaurant has a meat window highlighting their delicious house-made salumi. The menu features raw, smoked and grilled oysters. Snacks include chicken liver brûlée, bone marrow, clams and chicken fried oysters. There are charcuterie and cheeseboards. Proteins include pork belly, rainbow trout, bison ribs and octopus. Open Tuesday–Sunday from 5 pm, 147 Wortley Road.

Chef Paul Paschink is joining Shayna Patterson to lead The Root Cellar’s culinary team. Stay tuned for a new seasonal menu launching in early fall. Also keep your eyes peeled for the brand new ale on tap from London Brewing Co-operative featuring local Einkorn wheat (an ancient wild wheat) as part of a celebration of seed sovereignty. 623 Dundas Street East, London.

Jess Jazey-Spoelstra of North Moore Catering (NMC), The River Room and the Rhino Lounge Bakery & Coffee Shop is known for innovative and cutting-edge food experiences and service. Jazey-Spoelstra and husband Harmen Spoelstra are teaming up with Chef Andrew Wolwowicz, who will buy in as a partner, in opening a new restaurant in the NMC’s Wharncliffe Road premises, once the home of Custom Cuisine Catering. Jazey-Spoelstra and Wolwowicz have been tossing ideas back and forth and at present everything is tightly under wraps, but with these two partnering, it’s sure to be spectacular! Chef Jeff Fortner has gone to Pine Knot Golf & Country Club as F&B manager but will still work some events. Chef Alicia Hartley and uber pastry chef Michele Lenhardt round out the brilliant culinary team.

Old East Village is a little short of pubs. But we know a place… Head over to the area’s newest craft brewery at 1030 Elias Street (east of Quebec). Anderson Craft Ales is a family-owned operation with a focus on top-quality hop-based ales, and the retail outlet offers cans, kegs and growlers. But there’s also a tap room that sells beers by the glass or flight. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. The former industrial building is also set up for tours and community events.

Word on the street is that Globally Local is opening up a vegan fast food restaurant right here in its hometown. Hundreds of people lined up for Globally Local’s Big MacInnes — a vegan take on McDonald’s iconic burger — at Ribfest in Victoria Park, earlier in the summer.

Country Music Week runs September 8 to 11th with the CCMA Awards Broadcast being held on Sunday, September 11. Come by the Covent Garden Market for Canadian Country Music Awards week. Outside on the Rotary Square there will be Fan Fare, beer tents, live performances and lots more. Special market hours for the CCMA week: Thursday 8 am–7 pm, Friday 8 am–7:30 pm and Saturday 8 am–6pm. and

Every Thursday the expert chefs at Jill’s Table are in the centre court of Covent Garden Farmers’ Market from 11:45 am–1:15 pm to help get the local food party going with their fantastic recipes and delicious samples.

Whether you are looking for a farm-to-table meal featuring the best of local food and beverage choices, or a quick bite on the go, you can find it in the new Taste Downtown London dining guide, which gives you a delicious roadmap for the many restaurants that call London’s downtown their home. You can also find more listings for downtown restaurants online at

Miljan Karac, former owner of Kantina and Black George, closed Black George earlier in the summer, announcing the 349 Talbot St. location would be undergoing a dramatic concept change. Ritual Café is an alternative to the other independent cafés in downtown London. Expect local chefs to make cameo appearances in the kitchen for special pop-up events and guest chef dinners.

“Chief Sipster” Bill Wittur and programmer Liam Rice are excited to announce the launch of, Canada’s Beverage Solution. The site gives new and existing artisan, boutique and craft (ABC) alcohol producers a chance to sell unlisted products directly to consumers. Selection is growing fast. Interested suppliers that sign up now will get a full year free (no commission, monthly fees).

Glassroots will be participating in several events in the coming months including AnticiPLATE, Veg Fest and The Dundas Street Festival.

AnticiPLATE is the fall fundraiser for Childreach. Held at the Greek Canadian Community Centre on Thursday, October 6, four chefs from local restaurants (Bourbon Street, Glassroots, Marienbad and Mythic Grill) prepare an elegant dinner. The evening includes a silent auction and entertainment.

This year’s VegFest London will take place in the Progress Building at the Western Fair District on Saturday, November 12. VegFest celebrates the plant-based lifestyle and promotes compassionate, sustainable and healthy living. Admission is free.

Ian Kennard’s Willie’s Café has been a revered lunch spot for 20 years. Everything is made in-house and from scratch. Willie’s has built a reputation as a caterer, and fresh healthy fare can be delivered to your office at an affordable price. Set price, set menu dinner the last Friday of the month and a good Saturday brunch. 731 Wellington Street, 519-433-9027

Rico’s Pizzeria Downtown is reopening at 71 King Street in the Renaissance Towers. Rico’s original store (at Highbury and Hamilton) will hand off the Rico’s downtown to new owners/partners Jocelyn Morwood and Wayne deGroot, who will twist the concept of thin crust pizza and put a completely new take on comfort food. Beer and wine pairings, and simple artisanal food made with maximum flavour explain why they are calling it “gourmet ’za”.

Now celebrating 22 years on Richmond Row, Garlic’s of London successfully combines all the elements of a perennial favourite — as delicious, affordable, top-of-the-line cooking, and using seasonal and high quality ingredients. The cooking repertoire of Chef Carla Cooper is influenced by passion and a focused commitment to a philosophy that advances the economic, ecological and social values of the local culinary and agricultural community.

London Ale House has a new menu that includes many delicious BBQ smoked items, smoked outdoors in their beer garden. Everything from duck to brisket to pulled pork. Experience their charming beer garden for lunch dinner, or late night.

At Chaucer’s, one of London’s premier pubs, owner Jerry Pribil has launched BiblioPub as an initiative to unite local authors and readers. BiblioPub is a collection of books by local authors, available to the public.

Kiss the Cook’s fall cooking class schedule is now available. Try your hand at Knife Skills, Classic Julia, Asian Flavours and much more, all taught by some of our city’s best chefs.

Cooler temperatures in the fall are friendlier for making cheese! Get in touch with Rick Peori at All ’Bout Cheese to schedule a class in Cheesemaking 101. Dates are flexible, so get your group together — classmates, colleagues, book club, or just a bunch of friends — and call 519-601-5225. In the meantime, you can find an outstanding selection of artisanal cheese at Rick’s shop at 898 Dundas St. East or on Saturdays at his corner booth in the Western Fair Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market.

The Old East Village Grocer (OEV Grocer), a new independent grocery store that doubles as retail training space for Londoners with disabilities, is expected to open shortly in the Somerville Building at 630 Dundas Street. The business has received one of the first loans specifically aimed at social enterprises in London. The Fire Roasted Coffee Company is moving its coffee roastery to the front of the Somerville Building, from the Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market. The rest of the main floor premises comprises the London Food Incubator and is being leased out to other fledgling culinary enterprises and small food businesses.

Yam Gurung from Momo’s in the Market is expanding into the London Food Incubator and needs help to cover renovation costs. Momos at the Market is not just a business; it’s a social enterprise. As an immigrant from Nepal, Gurung faced language barriers, and he now offers employment and training to newcomers, providing the income and experience necessary to get a foothold in the local job market. A Kickstarter campaign will help Yam pay for renovations to the new space and buy the equipment he needs, including stand-up fridges, freezers, and a commercial stove.

Mary Ann Wrona of Café Bourgeois, one of the original vendors at the Western Fair Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market, has closed her operations. Fondly known to market-goers as “The Pierogi and Cabbage Roll Lady,” Wrona tells eatdrink, ”this news is likely surprising and disappointing to my regular customers, and fellow vendors at the Market. For that, I am deeply sorry. It has been my sincere joy and privilege to serve you.” For catering inquiries, Wrona can be reached at


Join The Local Community Food Centre for The Hunters and Foragers Dinner on November 25. The multi-course dinner celebrates wild game and ethically-foraged food products. Chef Aaron Linley of Linley’s | A Food Shop will be leading the kitchen.

Enjoy craft beer, innovative cocktails, light lunches and small plates on the new 40-seat garden terrace on the quiet Brunswick Street-side of Revival House’s old church building.

The String Bone Presents! monthly concert series launches in October. The 2016/2017 series will feature a regular monthly Friday night out with concerts performed by Canadian touring musicians (many Juno winning and CBC Radio featured recording artists) such as Gregory Hoskins, Fred Eaglesmith, Sean McCann, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar.

Revival House, in partnership with Bradshaws Kitchen Detail, presents Revival House Afternoon High Tea, now offered monthly on the last Sunday of the month with different seatings available from 2–5 pm. Each event features three distinct blends of Sloane Fine Tea served on beautiful Royal Albert china from the Miranda Kerr collection. The tea menu compliments house-baked scones, sandwiches and preserves, both sweet and savoury, within the elegant setting of Revival House. Reservations are required. Call 519-273-3424 or email

Pazzo Taverna and Pizza will be participating in the 3rd annual Restaurants for Change national fundraising event on October 19. Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) is working with chefs and restaurants in over a dozen cities across Canada with a commitment to supporting healthy and fair local food systems. Participating restaurants will donate proceeds from their dinner service to CFCC to support the work of CFCC and Good Food Organizations offering healthy food and empowering food skills programs in low-income communities across Canada.

Chef Max Holbrook has moved to Downie Street BakeHouse, and chef Dion Lach is now head chef at Bijou. Bijou continues with a daily blackboard menu featuring farm-to-table three course prix fixe menus, after-theatre tapas menus and Dim Sum Sunday Brunch.

We’re excited to try Keystone Alley’s Sampler Sundays. Choose from pre-selected, ploughman’s, and dessert and blackboard menu platters priced at $12.00 per platter. 11:30 am–2pm and 4:30–8pm.

The Mill Stone Restaurant and Bar is bringing back Date Night! Every Wednesday night, two can dine for $55 and take advantage of beer specials and $30 bottles of featured wine. On Fridays at lunch, enjoy a large fillet of Black Swan EPA-battered haddock, triple-cooked fries and authentic British mushy peas for only $16.

The HUB at 27 Marketplace is Stratford’s new high-end sports bar with a 50-seat rooftop patio and wooden dance floor. Oh, and the oysters are quite a hit, too. In addition to Bard’s Steakhouse, there is a cozy, private meeting/party space on the lower level with seating for 45 or stand-up room for 80. All floors are accessible via an elevator. GM Jeff Cawston draws his expertise from his time at the Beer Market in Toronto and food and beverage outlets in Victoria. Head chef Andrew Tutt brings both Stratford and west coast experience to the table (literally). Senior sous chef Billy Malawi is a welcomed addition, arriving here after his restaurant burned down in the Fort Mac fires in May.

Please remain calm, but we want to get notice of this “not to be missed” event in now, as it will happen just as our Holiday Issue hits the streets. Bradshaws Christmas Open House will take place Friday November 4 from 5–8pm. Get your first look at Christmas gourmet foods, décor and find hot gift ideas. Enter to win lots of great door prizes, and receive a FREE gift with your purchase. 129 Ontario Street, Stratford

Around Our Region

Anita Stewart, Canadian food activist, culinary author and Food Day Canada founder, has compiled an interesting list of 149 ingredients to help us Shop Like a Canadian!

Kate St Laurent has opened Bake Shop Studio, a commercial kitchen and boutique bakery, in St. Thomas, offering custom-order cakes, hands-on baking classes and canning workshops, as well as commercial kitchen space for artisan bakers. Outfitted with fridge space, ovens, stand mixers and specialty baking equipment, the studio provides a professional kitchen to rent on a short or long term basis. Bake Shop Studio has already helped several businesses get off the ground, including Living Alive Granola, KJ’s Bakeshop, Petit Pineapple, Nosey Bear Bakery and Flour Bake Shop.

Snyder’s Family Farm near Bright is featuring a new bakery this September.

A Taste of Art, presented by Woodstock Art Gallery, will be held Sept 24, promises a raucous night of artful experiences, craft beer and local cuisine.

Louie’s Pizza and Pasta in Ingersoll will be featured on the TV show You Gotta Eat Here! this fall.

Celebrate Windsor-Essex’s rich agricultural heritage and local food and drink producers at Windsor Essex Harvest Festival (September 9-11) at Fort Malden National Historic Site in Amherstburg. The festival will showcase the growing industry of locally grown food, craft beer, fruit and grape wines, distilleries and restaurants. Local, delicious and fun!

In Sarnia, Corks, Caps & Cuisine has provided a unique opportunity to experience the complimentary pairings of premium beverages and culinary delights for over 10 years. Guests enjoy sample-sized product portions from popular vintners, distillers and brewers, unlimited hors d’oeuvres prepared by Lambton College’s Cook Apprenticeship and Culinary Management students, and access to spectacular silent and live auctions. October 14, at Lambton College Event Centre.

CK Table is a movement and a catalyst in Chatham-Kent and southwestern Ontario that has developed a plan for a viable, self-sustaining, local food economy. Regenerate/Food and Agriculture Communities is a first-of-its-kind festival celebrating sustainable and real food by dining, learning, tasting and celebrating the bounty of southwestern Ontario. From September 30–October 2, events will be held at various venues, focusing on educating and supporting primary producers, consumers, tourists, chefs and culinary professionals. Everyone is invited! The festival will showcase local London restaurants sourcing local products; a farmer’s market providing farmers with an opportunity to sell direct to consumers; a charity with an outstanding children’s food education program; a unique culinary program being offered at Fanshawe College; a Canadian premiere food film documentary; a heritage grain-tasting event; and a baking demonstration for industry professionals by cutting-edge baker Greg Wade from Publican Quality Breads in Chicago.

Norfolk County Beerstock comes to Powell Park in Port Dover on October 1, from 11 to 6. Enjoy a day of local beer, wine, cider, great food and live music just steps from the water.

Visiting Windsor? Like to drink? Join in the Drinks of Walkerville Walking Tour, offered on the first Saturday of each month. Enjoy the drinks and stories that make Old Walkerville known across the world. Learn about its architecture as well as some well-known and not so well-known tales associated with the neighbourhood. Walk through the hallways of the Canadian Club Brand Centre, home of Canadian Club Whisky, and be brought through the history and brewing process of Walkerville Brewery while enjoying some brews. You’ll receive a unique experience and some extras that you won’t be able to have on your own.

Halls Creek Festival of Creativity will be held September 10–11. It’s a hands-on arts festival, where people can try their hand at a variety of art forms from pottery and painting to woodcarving. The event also features a gourmet village with local artisanal products, chef demos and tastings.

Big Cheese Days (September 10–11). Two days of mammoth deals, meals and experiences along the Oxford County Cheese Trail. This fall event includes a free orchard tour and tour of Mountainoak Cheese. For the full list of special menus, sales and tastings visit

Carl Bloomfield, Chad Paton, Josh Bowes, Frank Raso and Moe Morris are the five partners that have come together to create Woodstock and Oxford County’s first brewery in over a century! Upper Thames Brewing Co. opened its doors on August 18, at 225 Bysham Park Dr. Unit 9. It offers small batch beers with a local twist. Initial brews are Blonde Ale, Brown Ale, India Pale Ale and Farmhouse Wheat Ale. One-offs and seasonal beers will be on offer throughout the year.

Lisa Friesen has opened Plant Inspired Kitchen in Woodstock and is offering vegan cooking classes and workshops to small groups and private parties. (She also teaches at Jill’s Table and Indigo Lounge). Friesen’s goal as a holistic nutritionist is to make healthy eating as delicious and fun as possible, while also making participants aware of the great local produce and products that are available. Friesen operates a plant-based meal delivery service. She delivers healthy, made from scratch foods every Monday. The menu changes weekly depending on what ingredients are in season. Alternate Routes in Woodstock carries her salad bowls and Yoga breakfast cookies. Her cookies can also be found at Beantown in Woodstock.

The Craft Beer Awards will be back at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto on Friday, November 4. Sip, sample and celebrate some of the best craft beers from across Canada. One night only!

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The Editors