Table setting from June 18th, photo by Anne Rumble
June 20, 2016 Missive from J.K. Farm
At 3:00 pm on Saturday June 18th, I was already up on the ridge. Anne Rumble stayed behind in the kitchen to put the last pieces of the mise en place together. Deep breaths and focus as we move into the fast water. The clock approaches guest arrival time at 5:00 pm. Today the excitement is palpable as it is our launch of the Summer Dinner Series.
Chase Collins-Chandler is up on the ridge with me. We move quickly to light fires and spark up the grill. Ice is loaded into the stock tank, the bar is assembled and the sun umbrella is raised. We are under the twin cherries, my favourite spot on the property. We look down over the vineyard slope and beyond to the village of Hillier. There is a breeze blowing and the tall trees cool the afternoon heat with their shade.
Presently Keith Tyers, vinegrower and winemaker arrives on the scene with his scimitar flashing. He is excited in anticipation of sabering the necks of his sparkling wine bottles. He will release the sparkling nectar within, to reward our guests for their arrival to this place. It is a peaceful place to arrive. The twin cherries reception allows one to decompress, to shake off the city, to settle in to this rural environment.
We offer our guests several tastes to accompany their bubbly arrival. We observe as they begin to assimilate themselves into this new rhythm. I make my way down to the gallery to check in with Anne and Jane. I let Jane know that soon our guests will be making their way down. She gives last minute instructions to her crew and bread is cut and candles are lit and watchful eyes skim the room for the details. Victoria puts the last touches on the table arrangements, thoughtfully and imaginatively rendered from found objects and the nature of this place. Harry Ellis strikes up the band and now we are live.
Showbuzz kicks in and we begin telling our carefully woven story of terroir based gastronomy, through a succession of dishes featuring ingredients from this place matched with wines from this same place. There are harmonies that resonate. Each guest discovers in their own way, the excellence of our southern Ontario food culture.
Menu for Saturday June 18th, 2016
Hors d’Œuvres on the Ridge
JK Fries with Two Sauces
Chilled Nettle and Sheep’s Milk Yogurt Soup
Socca with Pickled Vegetables and Olives
Confit Chicken Wings with BBQ sauce
Beef Tartare on Grilled Bread
Closson Chase ‘Mosaic’ Sparkling Wine
Closson Chase Pinot Gris 2015 VQA Four Mile Creek
Wild and Cultivated Salad with Wild Leek Vinaigrette and Sumac Croutons
Steamed Pickerel Soubise
Closson Chase Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 VQA PEC
Braised Beef Shank with Sour Cream Potatoes
Closson Chase Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 VQA PEC
David Smythe’s Ontario Cheese Plate
Closson Chase Churchside Pinot Noir 2014 VQA PEC
Strawberry Shortcake with Vanilla Crème Legère
Photos by Scott Ewen and Anne Rumble