July 5, 2016 Missive from J.K. Farm
Sometimes it takes stepping away from one’s usual focus to gain perspective and a better understanding of what makes the work one is engaged in, unique. This small journey outside the box inspires one further in one’s own work, closer to home. Such was the case this past weekend at the farm.
I invited my friend Jeff Connell, a sage in all manner of speaking with a particular passion and deep knowledge of wine. Jeff is also a property owner in Prince Edward County and shares my passion for the terroir of this place. The possibilities for achieving excellence in gastronomy are here.
Jeff selected and spoke to the wines served before and during the dinner. He has an immense appreciation for small production, natural wines from many parts of the world. I think he is fascinated with the culture of wine, from how and where a vine first gets planted through the magical transformation of grapes into wine, to who the people involved are along the way and where they are in the world tending vines and making wine. Also, how is their excellence defined? Through his passion, Jeff has met great people, many of whom he can count as friends who share his passion for excellence in all matters of gastronomy. By presenting wines from known and lesser known viticultural areas in France, Italy and Slovenia, Jeff offered us an opportunity to discover our own uniqueness in the wonderful world of wine, right here in Southern Ontario. In addition, Jeff possesses that one attribute that defines an excellent sommelier; the ability to pick wines that complement the dishes served harmoniously.
There was a steady breeze up on the ridge. Chase and I loaded the trailer with our ambulatory cocktail party and turned to make the short trip up the side of the escarpment. As we were pulling away, Jeff came rushing out with a glass of wine in his outstretched hand. Just at this moment, the sky open up and it poured rain for exactly 5 minutes. It was the perfect amount of time to savour the wine in my glass. “I thought this might go well with the pickerel” he said. Indeed the focused minerality and slightly oxidative note of this previously unknown to me white from Slovenia called Movia Rebula married perfectly with the pickerel we served. And so it was with all the wines we sampled on Saturday July 2nd.
This week we will bring ourselves back to Ontario when we will welcome Anne Sperling from Southbrook Vineyards and Ruth Klahsen from Monforte Cheese dairy to help us continue the conversation about our gastronomic evolution in Southern Ontario.
Menu from Saturday, July 2nd:
Hors d’Œuvres on the Ridge
JK Fries with Two Sauces
Smoked Whitefish Canapé
Grilled Flatbread with Peas and Sheep's Milk Cheese
Confit Pork Belly on Crisp Apple Round
Crunchy Buttered Radish
Sparkling Wine - Château d'Eternes Saumur Brut (NV)
Chilled Sorrel Soup with Wild Salmon Tartar
Clos des Briords Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur lie 2014
Pickerel Meunière with Rice and Peas
Movia Rebula 2012 (Ceglo, Slovenia)
Grilled Dry-Aged Beef with Lovage Chimichurri
Domaine de la Pepiere Cuvée Granit 2014 (Vin de Pays de Loire-Atlantique)
David Smythe’s Ontario Cheese Selection
Le Piane "Mimmo" 2011 (Boca, Italia)
Peppery Chocosol Mousse with Strawberries in Granita
Château d'Eternes Saumur Brut (NV)
photos by @jodickins