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Filtered By gastronomy

Ingredients of the Moment, Foraged and Cultivated

June 20 2017
My dog Champ has adapted well to dividing his time between the farm and the city. While in the city he looks forward to his daily walks along the West Toronto Rail Path. This morning, we walked north past the Union-Pearson Express station at Bloor, to Dupont and then back. Champ loves to pause frequently along the way. A fresh blossom caught my eye as I waited for Champ to thoroughly inspect yet another interesting scent in the underbrush. It was the first catalpa flower of the year.

Gently Steering the Ingredients

June 14 2017
The last couple of days of tropical heat and humidity have convinced me that we have come through the long, cool, wet spring and have arrived at summer. Shimmering heat and the cacophony of tree frogs and cicadas has replaced damp coolness and sinister, carnivorous May flies. The veil has lifted.

A Cane Raising in the Vineyard

May 04 2017
Prince Edward County is a unique place in so many ways. I am reminded of its farming history every time I walk around outside and re-examine the older buildings on my property. Along the creek, near the highway and close to the village road, there is the crumbling ruins of a blacksmith shop and a mill powered at one time by the water flowing in the creek. I also see remnants of the tomato canning factory that was once active here; blanching baskets and labels that read, “Taylor Made” Taylor, the family name of the cannery owners more than 60 years ago.

The Warm Tone of the Cherry Wood

March 21 2017
One morning a few years ago, my dad called me to let me know that he had to cut down a large cherry tree that was on their property in Wellington. I think it posed some kind of danger to the house. He had heard about a man with a portable sawmill and called him to come and not only cut the tree down, but saw the trunk into planks for lumber. My dad wanted to know if I wanted to come by the house to watch this operation. I was intrigued right away.

Pond Skating & Summer Planning at J.K. Farm

February 08 2017
The winter landscape on the farm couldn’t be more different from the summer. It is a quiet monochrome, beautiful in its wintry way. I walk out to the vineyard imagining that in just 3 short months, all will be green again.

Warm Autumn Reflections on the Summer Dinner Series

October 17 2016
There was a tang in the air. The leaves on the trees glowed with their Thanksgiving colours that Andy Goldsworthy finds so fascinating. Chase and I made sure there was plenty of firewood around. We would need to get the wood stove going in the loafing barn Saturday evening for the first time all summer. Victoria wanted the Tom Dean “Mercy” burning barrel close to the entrance so that everyone could see the fire from their seats. Crispy Confit of Pork was to be one of the hors d’oeuvres on the ridge so we needed to burn a fire there too.

Reflections on the Season

October 04 2016
So here it is October and nature never ceases to amaze. It was like the garden was somehow in stasis all summer, barely staying alive. Now, with a bit of rain in August and September the garden responds. Several passes through the tomato patch have yielded the deepest red, most beautiful tomatoes that now have been transformed into litres upon litres of sauce, the taste of which is indescribably delicious.

Polished Gems Around the Table

September 06 2016
Bruno François said to me, “you know Jamie, what I have begun to realize is that more than making my way as a wine and cider maker, I value the friends I have made in the community that has grown here in Prince Edward County.” I agree with Bruno and I am fascinated by how the ground has shifted in this rural region.

On Sundials, Tamales and Limestone

August 30 2016

I am noticing how the sunlight plays on the side of the barn. This year we constructed an arbour covering the area of our outdoor kitchen. The idea was to allow, through the slatted roof, filtered sunlight to enter the space. It is a breezy spot, pleasant to work in, and sheltered from the direct glare of the sun.

How Nature Rebounds

August 23 2016
I saw the most spectacular moonrise around midnight this past Friday. I was walking and leaving a message on my cell phone when I caught a glimpse of this glow on the horizon. I had to hang up and just watch as this immense orange orb started climbing up the eastern sky. The horses in the barnyard were confused by the moon shadow and unusual intensity of light. They were unsettled and refused to go into their stalls. This beautiful natural event also seemed to usher in a shift in the season.

Let the Vintage Decide

August 09 2016
I take a black walnut from one of the many trees that grow wild on my property. I rub its pale green exterior with my thumb. It releases a pungent scent reminiscent of limes and roses. I slice the whole thing in half and remove the meat from the shell. Still young, the shell is easy to penetrate. The meat has a mild flavour vaguely familiar, like prosciutto and a texture like a cross between heart of palm and a macadamia nut.

Suddenly it's August

August 02 2016
It happens every year. I look up and all of a sudden it's August. We have been in an absolute torpor all summer. I am joyful in my work but I do fantasize about lying in a hammock clutching a tall refreshing beverage and staring off into middle space feeling the breeze moving the leaves and branches of the poplars, swaying and drifting off into a long afternoon nap. The buzz of the cicadas casts the ultimate hypnotic spell.

A Collaboration with Chef Albert Ponzo

July 26 2016
From time to time we get to collaborate with our colleagues to create a gastronomic experience for our guests that allows them a window to observe and taste stylistic differences in food preparation, in real time, in the context of a dinner. For all the cooks involved, it is also a great opportunity to step outside one’s comfort zone and to learn from each other.

A Celebratory Feast with Charles Baker

July 19 2016
It is another peerless day on the farm. This morning I notice a heavy dew. The temperature has dropped overnight, providing water from condensation that I imagine my potato plants absorbing before the sun rises and all is dry again.

Jeff Connell at the Summer Dinner Series

July 06 2016
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.

Local Sparkling & Strawberries

June 28 2016
It has been hot and dry in Prince Edward County for the past month or so. I noticed it was becoming critical on Saturday as the dry golden grass crunched under my feet while getting set up on the ridge.

Good Things Take Time

June 14 2016
It takes a while to change one's rhythm. I mean, I have owned this farm in Prince Edward County since 2001. I was drawn here through my curiosity about growing grapes and the magical transformation of grapes to wine.

Gastronomy on the Farm

June 08 2016
It was like when Elvis Costello came into my restaurant many years ago. I was so excited to see him and so honoured that he had chosen my place to dine. I went to his table and told him how much I enjoyed his music.