The Buzz: September/October 2018

Written by The Editors


We’re moving ahead as briskly as we can with an updated Local Flavour Culinary Guide. We’re happy to report that the 30,000 copies we printed and distributed last year was the right amount. We got them out to the important locations like tourism offices, the airport, farmers’ markets, and select restaurants, shops and cultural spots. This year we are excited to ask our out-of-town partners to take part in Local Flavour. Let us know if you would like to participate in the Guide.

The recently launched Old South Farmers Market operates from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Its debut last month drew large crowds to the host venue Storm Stayed Brewing Company.

Join us in a celebration of local food and drink. The Artisanal Culinary Arts program at Fanshawe College will be hosting a Harvest Dinner to celebrate International Chefs Day on October 20. The dinner will feature five courses with drink pairings. 130 Dundas Street (Fanshawe’s new downtown campus). Tickets are $100 and available through

Restaurateur Joe Duby is launching Gnosh in the former Blu Duby space (with entrances off Dundas Street and Market Lane). Using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients to create delectable fare is the passion of Chef Cynthia Beaudoin and her culinary team. Featuring an evolving menu focused on the seasons, and dishes executed to perfection, they`re promising to wow you with every bite. A service team of accomplished pros will ensure your every need is taken care of. Construction on Dundas Place, the newly created flex street, is anticipated to be finished in September.

Chef Dave Lamers and business partner Rob D’Amico of Abruzzi have started construction on Taverna 1331 in Hyde Park. Abruzzi welcomed Chef Justin Dafoe, a graduate of Stratford Chefs School, earlier this year. Dafoe is currently working at Abruzzi, and will be leading the kitchen team at the new restaurant. Follow Taverna on Instagram and Facebook.

Palasad North is closed for renovations and will bring a new concept to the city around mid-October. The Palasad South location will be rockin’ as always. Stay tuned to their social sites for exciting updates on this new adventure.

After 11 years, the folks at True Taco have closed their Dundas Street operation. They will continue operating at the Market at Western Fair. They would like to thank their family, friends and customers who have supported them and made the experience tremendously memorable. “It has truly changed our lives, and we are excited to start a new chapter!”

The recently opened Casa Cancun at 325 Wharncliffe Rd. South serves authentic Mexican fare and has a genuinely cantina-like ambience, although it is unlicensed. It serves excellent tacos and enchiladas and is located close to the Hyland Theatre. Tacos are 50% off on Tuesdays!

Another great Latino hotspot is Lo Nuestro at 722 Hamilton Road. The humble restaurant with great food has new owners and we are hearing great reports from our readers.

Bourbon Street, London’s destination for Cajun and Creole food on Oxford Street, has ceased operations.

The Market at Western Fair will open on both Saturday (8am–3pm) and Sunday (11am–3pm) each week beginning October 6. Market Manager Dan Ross and Assistant Manager Courtney Berens are working to grow attendance and improve the customer experience. Up to $400,000 will be invested in the Confederation Building location this year, including washroom upgrades and new cooler storage. Support local and include @TheMarketWFD and use #MeetMeAtTheMarket when sharing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. westernfairdistrict/market

Chef Chris Morrisson of the Katana Kafe will be at it again, switching up the menus for cooler weather during October. Come out and enjoy his mouth-watering dishes. Come for breakfast, get lost in time watching aviation, and find yourself staying for lunch and dinner.

The Village Teapot in Ilderton is owned and run by Gaynor Deeks and Jana Yassine. Gaynor is originally from the UK, Jana from Chatham, Ontario. They are tea drinkers and sandwich makers, and know a good scone when they see one. Located in one of the oldest properties in the town, believed to be at least 145 years old, the premises retain many period features. Beginning September Deeks and Yassine will again be offering Sunday Roast lunches once a month. Usually these are scheduled at the beginning of each month but to accommodate a Turkey Dinner before Thanksgiving the first one will be Sunday September 30 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Turkey with all the trimmings will be on the menu. Reservations required.

Gino Parco of Porcino, the Italian hotspot on Southdale, has launched Veta Wine and Pasta Bar in the former Blu Duby North location at 745 Fanshawe Park Road West.

This year’s VegFest — London’s annual “plant-based party” — takes place Saturday, November 10, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Metroland Media Agriplex, Western Fair District. A wide variety of vendors will be on site, offering food and drink samples and all kinds of support for a plant-based lifestyle. Admission is $5 (children 12 and under are free) and parking is free.

Museum London is hosting the inaugural “Night at the Forks” fundraising gala, featuring a tasting menu by one of the leaders pushing the vanguard of Indigenous cuisine, Chef Joseph Shawana of Kū-Kŭm Kitchen (one of Toronto Life’s Best Restaurants 2018). This will be the first time Chef Shawana will be creating his delicacies in the Forest City. Be prepared for creative dishes that combine fine dining techniques and traditional Indigenous recipes. For example, from the restaurant’s menu: Pemmican, Venison Gravlax, and Sweet Grass Cream Brûlée. The gala will take place throughout the Museum, with a concert in the new Centre at the Forks space. Funds raised will go towards children’s programming and other activities at Museum London. The gala seeks to spread awareness of modern Indigenous culture through food and music. Saturday, November 17 at 6:00 pm

Celebrating its sixth anniversary, The Root Cellar remains committed to working with local, organic, and sustainably focused farms in Southwestern Ontario. Through On the Move Organics, the worker-owners have forged meaningful relationships and continue to expand the network of organic farmers and producers they work with.

Aranka Csárda is a family-run Hungarian restaurant on Longwoods Road just outside of Lambeth. The owners take pride in what they do and serve only authentic and quality food. The decor and colours of the restaurant are meant to mimic the feel of a real Hungarian Csárda. You’ll feel like you’re in a different country when you dine with them. 7447 Longwoods Road, London.

Fat Olive is a new Italian-inspired restaurant in Dorchester that is expected to open soon at 2135 Dorchester Road.

Lou Dawg’s Southern BBQ has opened in the space previously occupied by Icarus on Richmond Row.

The Forest City Cookbook crew recently launched the book to considerable acclaim. It features over 60 talented culinary artists and 40 dedicated local producers in a stunning 500-plus-page hardcover edition, with 135 recipes. There are still a few copies left for sale at Haymach Canada and Edge Food Equipment.

Jill’s Table fall cooking classes have a big season planned including classes on Vietnamese, How to Sous Vide, The Big Red Bowl, Cider & Food Pairing, Hands-On Pasta, Vegan Brunch, Gluten Free Baking, Sake & Sushi, Chinese Street Food, Festive Cookies, Cooking With Cast Iron, French Baking, Vegetarian Food & Wine Pairing, Inspiring Appetizers and so much more.

Thanksgiving Sunday (October 7) is the day to treat family and friends to turkey and all the trimmings, at Idlewyld Inn & Spa. Thanksgiving Sunday Brunch Buffet, sittings at 11 am & 1:30 pm. Children age 3 to 12: 50% off. Thanksgiving Sunday Dinner, sittings at 5 pm & 7:30 pm, children age 3 to 12: 50% off. The Idlewyld is also accepting reservations for holiday parties. 36 Grand Ave, 519-432-5554,

The In Home Chef’s new fall cooking class schedule is here. Just click on the link to check out what they’ve got cooking. Chef Thomas Waite offers cooking classes, pop-up dinners and a private dining room. Waite will be partnering with other chefs and farmers this fall for pop-up dinners and events.

Reverie is a Canadian-focused five-course tasting menu restaurant with optional wine pairings, operated by Chef Brian Sua-an and Jerrah Revilles. Chef uses modern and molecular techniques and applies them to his cuisine to make each dish uniquely his own. Chef is teaming up this fall with our food editor Bryan Lavery for a pop-up event featuring a menu inspired by Lavery’s former Murano Restaurant at the end of September. Reservations are required. 1–208 Piccadilly Street, 519-914-6595,

Thanksgiving Sunday (October 7) is the day to treat family and friends to turkey and all the trimmings, at Idlewyld Inn & Spa. Thanksgiving Sunday Brunch Buffet, sittings at 11 am & 1:30 pm. Children age 3 to 12: 50% off. Thanksgiving Sunday Dinner, sittings at 5 pm & 7:30 pm, children age 3 to 12: 50% off. The Idlewyld is also accepting reservations for holiday parties. 36 Grand Ave, 519-432-5554,

Blackfriars Bistro & Catering is open on Mondays for lunch and dinner. Betty Heydon’s locally-acclaimed bistro continues to wow all age groups and recently celebrated its 22nd birthday. Chefs prepare innovative, seasonal blackboard specials with cutting-edge menus that respect tradition. Closed Sundays. 46 Blackfriars St., 519-667-4930,

Food Trucks on the Farm: It’s Heeman’s 5th annual Food Truck event on September 15 & 16 with unique food offerings from 10am to 3pm each day. This year’s trucks include local favourites plus a couple great food wagons on wheels from the K-W area.Look for, among others, Bifana Boys, Goodah Gastrotruck, My Big Fat Food Truck, ish & chips, Smokestacks & The Donut Diva.

Matthew and Kristin Buckley of Powerhouse Brewing are setting up in the former Kellogg’s in the Albert Kahn-designed power plant. Generators that once churned out the energy to produce cereal have been replaced by a four-vessel, 20-barrel brewhouse. When Powerhouse’s taproom opens, it will feature eight taps: six Powerhouse or Tobermory beers plus two rotating among other craft breweries in London. The brewery is family-owned and operated, using quality Canadian-made equipment. It will offer tastes, tours and memorable dining experiences.

Fanshawe’s College’s new $66-million downtown campus in the former Kingsmill’s department store is now open on time and on budget. The hospitality/culinary and information technology programs have their new home in the downtown campus. Most of the third floor is devoted to state-of-the-art kitchens and bakery. The culinary program will be showcased in Chef’s Table, a ground-floor restaurant that will help provide a training ground for culinary students and serve locally-sourced food with a sustainable focus featuring international flavours.

Culinary wizard Matt Reijnen, former chef at Pub Milos, has opened Pizzeria Madre in the space previously occupied by Manito’s Rotisserie at 111 Wellington Street. We are already hearing glowing reports.

Olha and Anatolii Prytkova’s Happiness Coffee and Desserts opened its doors at 430 Wellington Street across from One London Place recently. The family owned business bakes all the European-style desserts from scratch, including specialty cakes, cupcakes and chocolates.

Keto Health Foods is on the move! As of September 8 they are at a new location at 911 Commissioners Road East under a new name – ketolibriyum.


Stratford is awash with culinary hubs where locals, visitors, chefs, farmers, artists and artisans gather, such as Market Square, Your Local Market Co-op, the Local Community Food Centre, Stratford Farmers’ Market at the Agri-plex (on Saturdays) and the Slow Food Farmers’ Market (on Sundays). There are many great retailers like Bradshaws Kitchen Detail, Downie Street Bakehouse (“Really Good Bread from the Wrong Side of the Tracks”), Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar and Milky Whey Fine Cheese Shop. The recently opened Grounded is Stratford’s only purely plant-based café. Groundedraw/

The Planet Diner, with candy-apple red upholstered booths and a ‘50s vibe, is warm and welcoming, with enthusiastic and well-informed staff. Owner Dee Christensen says, “This is where herbivores can bring their carnivore friends.” Most items on the menu are derived from plant-based ingredients, but there are meat-based options. There’s just nothing like the Chick’un burger made in-house with vegan buffalo butter. Try the cashew-based banana split, bound to be a hit even with die-hard ice cream lovers. 118 Downie Street.

Raja Fine Indian Cuisine is the place for authentic Northern Indian food in Stratford. Raja offers upscale cuisine in sophisticated and elegant surroundings, and knowledgeable, well-trained staff. The service is white linen, and professional but friendly. Foods are prepared from scratch with fresh ingredients. The heat quotient of dishes can be adjusted to your preferences. Raja offers milder Indian fare such as Butter Chicken, Korma, and Tikka Masala. 10 George Street West,

On Friday September 14 Revival House presents Montreal’s Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, a 2016 Juno nominee for Best World Music Album of the Year. A potent mix of Afro-Colombian music and dance, with the brass and violin melodies of Eastern Europe, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra combines live music, choreographed dance, circus, theatrical staging and dynamic audience interaction to take over dance floors wherever they go. Formed three years ago, this 16-piece group has already performed over 140 shows, including many  in
Europe, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra combines live music, choreographed dance, circus, theatrical staging and dynamic audience interaction to take over dance floors wherever they go. Formed three years ago, this 16-piece group has already performed over 140 shows, including many festivals across Ontario, Québec, Eastern Canada, Colombia and parts of France.

Digi Writing + Literary Festival: A literary festival with a culinary twist. The Appetite for Words Festival program is a partnership between the Stratford Writers Festival and the Stratford Chefs School, and features authors who have written about food and fiction writers who have food as a strong component of their novels. Chefs and students from Stratford Chefs School develop and prepare menus inspired by featured books so you can taste the words you’re reading. Appetite for Words revolves around storytelling and is created for the enthusiastic and curious — anyone interested in reading, discussing and consuming food (that’s you, right?). There will also be educational workshops and tasting sessions. At literary dinners and lunches, food is matched with authors’ readings, so participants can taste the words they’re hearing. During workshops, participants can build their skills and increase their knowledge of both the culinary and literary arts. From a literary picnic-style farm lunch to a food photography workshop, come whet your appetite for literature.

Olive Your Favourites let us know their new Southern Hemisphere extra virgin olive oils (EVOO)have arrived from Chile and South Africa and the customer-favourite Hojiblanca EVOO from Australia is due at any moment.

Milky Whey offers Cheese Pairings starting October 27.

The Bruce Restaurant offers delicious events including a complete take away Thanksgiving dinner! –

Savour Stratford Chocolate Trail. If you’re a choco-holic this is the trail for you! What could be better than spending an afternoon (or two) strolling the Victorian streets of Stratford and sampling chocolate? The self-guided Chocolate Trail is offered year-round. Tickets are just $30 (+HST), are valid for one week from the date of purchase, and can be used at six of the 27 stops.

Savour Stratford Bacon and Ale Trail. This self-guided walking trail includes vouchers that you can use at 5 stops. Each voucher will entitle you to a “tasting” of unique bacon and ale inspired treats and the chance to speak to Stratford and area’s culinary stars while visiting restaurants and retail locations. This trail is offered year-round and is valid for one week from the date of purchase ($30 +HST).

Around the Region

Alton Farms Estate Winery, a pioneer estate winery and vineyard in Ontario’s emerging wine region, Huron Shores, is featured in this issue’s Wine column. In late-breaking news, the winery just celebrated their fifth anniversary with fresh new graphics and signage.

Lambton County continues to add to its fine list of beverage producers, which also includes Twin Pines Cider House in Lambton Shores, Refined Fool Brewing Co. in Sarnia, and the Munro Meadery in Alvinston. Just around the corner from Alton Farms Estate Winery, the Stonepicker Brewing Company taproom and retail outlet is now open, Thursday to Sunday. Partners Mary & Joe Donkers and Laura and Jim Soetemans  are brewing ales, lagers and stouts from the Donkers farm, where they are also growing some of their own barley.  7143 Forest Road, Plympton-Wyoming (Forest)

Stonetown Artisan Cheese is a purveyor of Swiss mountain-style cheeses, hand-crafted by master cheesemaker Ramon Eberle. Using unpasteurized milk from farmers Hans and Jolanda Weber’s herd of Holsteins, Eberle uses raw milk so that the cheese ripens as naturally as possible while the flavours improve with maturation. Cheeses and other local products are available to buy on-site at the farm store. Guided group tours are $5 per person (minimum 15 people). See the complete process of cheesemaking with the cheesemaker. The tour lasts about 60–90 minutes. 5021 Perth County Line 8 (Kirkton Road), St. Marys, 519-229-6856,

Fat Olive, a new Italian-inspired family-friendly restaurant in Dorchester, has opened at 2135 Dorchester Road.

Chris and Mary Woolf have ceased operations of Little Red’s in St Marys and retired at the end of August. Congratulations go out for two successful and celebrated careers in hospitality, and best wishes for many enjoyable years in retirement. Cheers!

Heritage Grain Weekend and Bread Camp is an opportunity to educate and connect growers, millers, bakers and chefs who are creating a rise in demand for local grains. This program will increase a baker’s capacity to procure and utilize regionally grown whole grains to help build and develop the regional food shed. Bread Camp is for chefs, cooks and bakers, and those with an interest in baking who want to gain more knowledge in the versatility of using specialty grains. October 19, 20 and 21.

Taste Detours highlights Guelph’s history by mapping it from one culinary experience to the next, offering an authentic “taste of place.” Lynn Broughton, founder of Taste Detours (, 1-866-736-6343), spent eight years with Downtown Guelph Business Association, marketing shops, restaurants and events in Guelph’s downtown core. As a certified Food Tour Professional she is a passionate and knowledgeable guide with the expertise and savvy to provide a first-rate experience. Guelph has stunning architecture, a strong cultural fabric and a rich historical background. Taste Detours literally tells the city’s stories through food and drink experiences.

Since 1969 Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest has developed its own traditions, combining the largest Bavarian festival in North America with the greatest Thanksgiving Day Parade in Canada. Thousands of visitors celebrate annually in the Festhallen and by attending one or more of 40 family and cultural events. The local economy is stimulated through the celebration of this spirit of Gemuetlichkeit, and over 70 charities and not-for-profit organizations raise funds to support the high quality of life enjoyed in Kitchener-Waterloo. Tickets for the 50th Anniversary event (October 5–13) are on sale now.

Early Bird Coffee will be moving to 815 Juliana Drive in Woodstock. Their focus is on producing top quality coffee that is sustainable, economically supportive.

Truffle Camp: Handcraft a dozen of your own delicious and gourmet truffles alongside Cindy Walker of Chocolatea. Learn how to use flavours from Southwestern Ontario to create a selection of delicious ganaches as you step into the role of chocolatier.  $75.00 per person + HST. Chocolatea, Ingersoll,

Preserving Workshops: Join Rural Oxford and Chef Murray Zehr to learn how to preserve the season’s freshest produce. From workshops on salsa and beets to apples 101, you’ll love exploring ways to eat local all year long.

A Taste Of Port is celebrating the food of Central Elgin, and the wine and craft beers of the region.Come and join them as they launch the first Food Festival September 21 to 23 in beautiful Port Stanley.

A trip to Port wouldn’t be the same without a stop at Shaw’s Ice Cream. It’s been serving up “delicious old fashioned ice cream made the way it should be” and is celebrating its 75th birthday. Shaw’s offers a wide selection of hard ice cream, fruit sorbets, frozen yogurt, thick milkshakes, decadent sundaes and celebratory ice cream cakes. 6598 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas. 519-631-2510.

Ottercreek Woodworks is opening their doors to offer an exclusive Tree to Table Experience to visitors interested in crafting a beautiful live-edge charcuterie board with the woodworker himself. Explore a Carolinian forest, savour a charcuterie-style lunch and of course, create something beautiful with your own hands in an environmentally conscious way. $250.00 per person + HST, Ottercreek Woodworks, Burgessville.

In case you missed our story online about truLOCAL, check the link at This home delivery service has some cool options for purchasing quality local proteins and for a limited time is offering Eatdrink readers a special offer. Use the EATDRINK10 code for a 10% discount on your order!

The 12th Annual Taste Real Fall Rural Romp is a self-guided tour of Guelph and Southern Wellington County farms, markets and local food businesses. Experience a day in the countryside, meet local farmers, eat, learn about food and experience the local bounty. Saturday September 29.

About the author

The Editors