Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Brick Works Afternoon

I finally visited the Evergreen Brick Works this weekend on a quick trip to Toronto. A friend and I hiked through one of the Discovery Walks and made our way to this amazing community space!

After looking through the website in more detail, it is so inspiring and wonderful to see how much amazing, community-focused, food, environment and art-related programming exists at the Evergreen Brick Works! I only wished I had more time to take it all in.

As soon as we got there we came upon Chef Brad Long and his team, serving up samples of his catering menu from his company, Belong Catering. In a few months his restaurant Cafe Belong will open, so in the meantime he is offering a little taste of his delicious food, like the blueberry ginger muffin I enjoyed. I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with Chef Long and he had high praise for Ottawa's food scene!

Once inside the market, we also spied Micah Donovan's Micro Farms display as well as the always irresistible ChocoSol chocolate and Forbes Wild Foods birch syrup. I highly recommend you check out the Brick Works if you have a chance -- it's a great way to spend a day, and perhaps even a creative date idea -- my kind of date, anyhow!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

JBJ's Got Soul in his Kitchen

This one's for my sister, Andrea, and for all those Jon Bon Jovi lovers out there. Turns out Mr. Impossible Lips and Feathery Hair has opened up his own restaurant! We've all seen stars who venture into the world of hospitality, but I think Jon's got a good thing going with his Soul Kitchen.

Soul Kitchen from Soul Kitchen on Vimeo.

Operating on a pay what you can, by donation policy, The JBJ Soul Foundation's Soul Kitchen Community Restaurant isn't your average celebrity-endorsed eatery. While not the first to adopt this model, JBJ's Soul Kitchen joins the many community kitchens that exist all around the world. Part soup kitchen, part restaurant, "all are welcome" at Soul Kitchen's table and everyone who dines there does their part to fight hunger in New Jersey.

With a motto of "Hope is Delicious" and a Manifesto with tenets such as "all are welcome at our table", "When there is love, there is plenty" and "Happy are the hands that feed", Soul Kitchen is just one of JBJ's charitable endeavours through his foundation. Now that gives love a good name.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

ATH Projects Update!

As this blog has evolved over the few short years it's existed in the blogosphere, I decided to start After the Harvest Projects. I wanted to be able to make positive change by helping to spread awareness for food-related causes. My plan is and was to do what I could to support these causes, and to hope that I could encourage all of you to help me! Recently I've made a decision about Project #1, and Project #2 is also in the works!

Project #1: SAVE A SEED:

Project #1's original goal was to raise 3000 British Pounds (roughly $4700 Canadian Dollars) to save an entire seed species. Although I still hope and dream for this project to reach its goal, I also understand that times are tough in today's economy, and often many of us are donating to many different charities, so sometimes we need to draw the line somewhere.

Having said that, I'd like to create a short term goal for this project to raise $160!

So far some very generous souls have helped me raise $75, so all we need to hit $160 is a mere $85!

Please consider helping this cause, and I will send Kew Gardens a cheque in the mail on behalf of After the Harvest and friends!

By raising $160 Canadian Dollars, we will have done our part to adopt 4 seeds, which will help Kew Gardens to continue to do their good work to save entire seed species. Every little bit helps!

To donate, click on Mr. Seed in the left hand sidebar. All payments are secure through PayPal.

Please consider helping me reach this goal. If you need more info or would like a bit of inspiration, check out this video:

Project #2 recently came to me after an interaction with a new Twitter friend. Plans are slowly forming for this project, but for now I will only say that it is going to be After the Harvest's first official event, and I am very excited about it!

Thank you for reading, and thank you for considering lending your support. Stay tuned for more news about Project #2!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

5 Questions with Brad Campeau of BGoods Bakery

Photo courtesy of Brad Campeau

I first encountered Brad Campeau of BGoods Bakery the first time I attended Feast of Fields. For those of you who live in Ottawa, you may already know him, perhaps as the "Cookie Truck Guy". A man who a truck? I instantly thought to myself: "I must interview that guy". Fast forward to Feast of Fields a year later, and we chatted about telling his story on After the Harvest. Alas, a mere 7 months later, we finally got around to meeting up, where I asked him 5 Questions.

Brad owns BGoods Bakery, which is essentially a mobile bakery. He bakes 11 varieties of cookies, including flavours such as: oatmeal raisin, spelt butterscotch almond, whole wheat chocolate chip and spelt molasses ginger, among others. There is actually an oven inside his truck, so he never runs out of cookies, and he also has coffee on hand to wash down the tasty treats. I asked Brad how a guy like him ended up baking cookies in a truck:

ATH(After the Harvest): What inspired you to start baking? How did you get started?

BC(Brad Campeau): My first job was at a bakery. I really enjoyed it and I thought I could do it for a living. I had worked in the food industry in other ways as well, from fine foods to catering to grocery store jobs. I also took Business at Niagara College. Growing up I was used to making my own food -- I had to, because I have an alternative diet .(Brad is vegan, as are his cookies, you don't have to be vegan to enjoy the BGoods goodness!) I'm vegan for personal, ethical reasons, and I started baking vegan cookies simply because I wanted to be able to eat my own cookies! I'm not trying to save the world one cookie at a time, or anything, although I must confess to quoting Lord of the Rings on Twitter when I tweeted, "One cookie to rule them all!"

ATH: What is your favourite music to listen to while you're baking cookies?

BC: I used to listen to music a lot in the bakery, but now it's all about CBC Radio One. I listen to Kathleen Petty in the morning. I wanted to get back in touch with what's happening in Ottawa. It allows me to feel connected to the city.

ATH: When you cook for yourself at home, what is your favourite signature dish?

BC: It would have to be a baked pasta dish. Red peppers, kale, mushrooms, pan-fried tofu and a sundried tomato rose sauce with Daiya cheese, topped with bread crumbs, nutritional yeast and sesame seeds.

ATH: What's next on the horizon for BGoods Bakery?

BC: Festivals! Bluesfest, JazzFest, possibly Folk Fest, and I'll also be at Pride and the Main Street Farmers' Market.

ATH: Food Trucks are all the rage these days. Since you started your business a while ago, what is your opinion about the increase in food trucks?

BC: Food trucks won't be a passing fad. It's a good alternative business idea, a good way to test a business idea without having to invest in a restaurant space. Your truck is your building -- it's affordable. There will most likely be growing pains if Ottawa gets more of a food truck scene, but food trucks and restaurants could work together. Food trucks often offer alternative food ideas.

ATH: What is your earliest food memory?

BC: It's funny, the first thing that comes to my mind is when I was 5 or 6 years old, waking up in the middle of the night and drinking a big glass of milk. Interesting food memory for a vegan to have, I know, but that's the earliest one I can think of!

I really need to start calling this feature "5-10 Questions", as I never quite seem to be able to cap it at just 5. Many thanks to Brad for taking the time to chat, and if you're in the Ottawa area or visiting in the summer, keep an eye out for the BGoods cookie truck at Bluesfest, JazzFest, Folk Fest and the Main Street Farmers' Market!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Parkdale Market: Fieldhouse and Flowers

Just a few shots I captured on Saturday while checking out the new fieldhouse! Smaller than expected, but still jam-packed with lots of local goodies! Can't wait until the veggies are in full swing, but at least for now there was an abundance of flowers!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Parkdale Market Expands!

I recently joined the Parkdale Market Core Team, a.k.a. the "Board" for the Parkdale Market. Being on such a team makes me privy to details about the market that I can share with all of you, although I'm sure some of you foodies may have already caught wind of this news.

This Thursday, May 5th is the official opening of the Parkdale Market, which also happens to coincide with the 1st Thursdays Wellington West Art Walk. So, Ottawa folk, you can take in some art and take home some veggies, all in one trip. This neighbourhood rocks!

This year the Parkdale Market will have even more to offer its customers. With the construction of a new Fieldhouse as well as a redesign of the park including the addition of a stage, many new and exciting events and food vendors will be part of the market.

What's a Fieldhouse? In short, it's that modern building right beside the market stands! The Fieldhouse will house 10 Savour Ottawa verified local farmers/producers who will sell their products through a central checkout system. That's right, people -- proteins galore! Now you can purchase your breakfast fruit, salad goods, meat, eggs and cheese all in one central location, while connecting with members of your community!

Products for sale in the fieldhouse will include:

  • eggs

  • sheep and goat cheese

  • honey

  • maple syrup and maple syrup products

  • heirloom organic vegetables

  • organic mushrooms

  • local frozen beef

  • red deer

  • elk

  • lamb

  • wild boar

  • apples and apple products

  • The Parkdale Market Fieldhouse will be open Thursday to Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm, and the other market vendors will be open as usual, from dusk till dawn 7 days a week.

    Stay tuned for more news regarding the Parkdale Market, and I hope to see you there on May 7th for the Hintonburg Tulip Festival!