Select Nova Scotia. Eight of the Savour Chefs ( 55 exhibitors this year - represented restaurants, vineyards and more from around the province) presented their dishes starring local ingredients without us knowing which dish belonged to whom.
The judges, set up in the board room of Casino Nova Scotia where the event was held this year, were each presented with a plated dish and a score card. We munched, and savoured and discussed and scored once the plates were practically licked clean and removed. And then we were given another stunning plate with another score card and we repeated that process for the eight dishes. The main criteria was to create a dish making the best use local ingredients and, in addition to that, the scoring was on presentation, taste and ... well.... the bottom line... they were all delicious, but we unanimously voted for ...
The Five Fishermen, definitely a place to visit while in Halifax, with one of the best wine cellars anywhere.
The Tempest in Wolfville, NS
And these two dishes have stood out in my mind over the last few days. They illustrate, in an instant, Nova Scotian cuisine. The cod cake represents quintessential down home cooking that has been around for as long as Nova Scotia has been settled. It is the essence of using local ingredients to make tasty, nutritious meals... pickling and preserving the bounty farmed and caught in the summer months for economical, dishes that waste nothing. It is a combination of all that makes me smile whenever I drive down rural highways and see cars and trucks parked at the side of the road, with signs for smoked mackerel, salt cod, homemade pies and preserves. It may be the farmers and fishermen who bring the bounty home, but it is the housewives who make them last through the long hard Nova Scotian winters.
lobster risotto like the one presented by Clearwater
The Taj Mahal chefs, you can rest assured there is food for every palate and every pocketbook.
Gabrieau's Bistro in Antigonish.
I suppose I could share more of my images with you, but most are blurry. I just wanted to put down my camera and use both hands for the feasting. My one regret.... I didn't get a chance to eat everything I wanted to.
Murphy's The Cable Wharf
Chez Tess. I guess I'll just have to do better next year. And I didn't even get to mention any of the fabulous wines I got to sip!
I'd love to know if you have similar foodie events in your neck of the woods. Oh... and did I mention that our culinary school students have won two gold medals at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg in 2010?