Gather in Social
On Sunday October 27th, 2019 we gathered at Jac's House, to celebrate the beauty of Fall. We explored flavours through hot and cold beverages and freshly prepared horderves. Discovering, tasting and interacting with wild foods found right here in London and St Thomas Ontario. We curated both artistic and educational installations/work shops for guests to explore our feature plants, which included, Jerusalem Artichokes, Autumn Olives, Puff Ball, Eastern White Pine, Wild apples and pears and more. It truly was an experience arousing all the senses! We also learned to sustainably harvest wild plants and how they can enhance our lives daily by simply acknowledging our surroundings.
Chef Yoda Olinyk of Yoda's Kitchen
Chef Yoda Olinyk entertained us with an amazing food demonstration featuring two key fall wild ingredients, wild apples and Eastern White Pine. She taught us how working with wild ingredients doesn't have to be intimidating, it can be as simple as incorporating them into every day easy meals, like pancakes and maple syrup. Chef Yoda's food demonstration was super engaging as we learned about her experiences foraging as child, tips on food preparation and advice on reusing kitchen scraps for a delicious vegetable broth. Not only did she make pancakes from scratch, but she sautéed the wild apples and infused the pine needles in the maple syrup. We all really enjoyed eating it all afterwards! Want the recipe to try at home? Check it out on her blog here.
Chef Ellen Laing of Killdeer Food Co.
Foraging and cooking with wild foods in not new to Chef Ellen, as she grew up on her family farm "Orchard Hill Farm" where she has many memories harvesting in the woods. In fact, that's exactly where she harvested both her autumn olives and the elusive, highly prized, puff ball mushroom. Chef Ellen prepared us Autumn Olive Jelly Jigglers on served them on these beautiful antique spoons to try. The consistency of her jelly jiggles, cannot be compared to jello- oh no! These were, fresh, and held a nice texture with a flavour that wasn't too tart (as autumn olives often can be) but not too sweet! A dessert we could eat by the bowl! For her Puff Bull appetizer she sliced the puffball into crepes and served it with a chick-a-weed pesto which was a treat. Puffball warmed up in such a way was so tender and amazing to try, especially for the first time.
Chef Tim Drew
We provided Chef Tim Drew [Instagram] with some pretty challenging ingredients, at least so we thought. Assigned Dandelion roots, Tim made a dandelion root gravy and made a mushroom bruschetta of sorts mixed with fresh dandelion greens. It's hard to explain how delicious these were but for those of us who were there, we know. And it didn't stop there, it was followed with fresh Jerusalem Artichokes chips and and autumn olive ketchup to dip them in which was equally delicious. Potato chips didn't see this coming because they were WAY better.
The Food & Experience
Martha Laing is here from Orchard Hill Farm - introduced us to the world of indigo dyeing- the process of dying fabrics and textiles different colours with plants. The colours of her yarn were astonishing.
Special thanks to The Whole Grain Hearth Bakery for preparing us loafs of bread with our freshly made acorn flour. We served it with a honey calendula infused butter and garnished the bowl with Lemon Gem Marigolds flowers from @orchardhillfarmca.
Botanical Photo Wall
Photography by Juan Neira
We love our sponsors and all that they provided to make this event a huge success for all our guests.
Guest Speaker by:
Chef Yoda of Yoda’s Kitchen
Chef Ellen Laing of Killdeer Food
Chef Tim Drew
Martha Laing of Orchard Hill Farm
Whole Grain Hearth Bakery
Forage City (London)
And the Prizes from
Glen Farm Preserves