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Sep 14, 2008 03:09 PM

Did you go? What did you think?

We spent the day at the picnic at the Brickworks- just wondering if any CH's were there, and what did you think?
We had a great day- George's blueberry, pastrami and almond was a highlight-

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  1. We had a great time as usual. Some of our highlights:
    Splendido Wagu beef sliders - 1st prize without question.
    Eight Wine Bar gnocchi - loved the richness
    Canoe BLT's - execellent - never been to Canoe but now it's on the list
    Chez Vous gourgettes - very tasty
    Cowbell sausage on a skewer - yum
    Scaramouche white fish - very classy

    It was really well organized again but I'd have to say though that last year's event seemed to have more variety. It seemed very crowded this year and you really had to look to see who the featured chef was. Seemed every other table had burgers or some version of pulled pork.

    Can't wait for next year!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: millygirl

      Missed it last year, had the day circled on the calendar for this year. We had a blast. Agreed that it was a little crowded, but the weather held out, so really, who can complain.
      Canoe's BLT - something so simple, prepared so well.
      Splendido's Wago Beef Brisket "slider burgers"
      Balluchon's Raw Milk Latte - although we are not allowed to talk about those...what happens at the picnic stays at the picnic.
      Gilead Cafe's Peach-Half Oyster style dessert.

      I agree that the different places were leaning towards pork, but if you remember that the "theme" this year was giving the direction to the producers, so if that is what was available and offered, then I'm happy to eat it!

    2. It was amazing. Despite the crowds, there was never a very long wait at any table. I wasn't sure how much food there was going to be, as I didn't go last year. Happily, there was no way to sample every table without blowing up.

      Highlights for me:
      - the pork belly confit over fresh corn salsa and corn bread from Fat Cat
      - the BLT from Canoe (the spicy tomato jam made it)
      - the hedgehog mushroom puree from Auberge (incredibly intense mushroom flavour)
      - the Cumbrae forked brisket burger from Splendido (great char and smoke flavour, rare in the middle)
      - the grape soup "shooter" with crushed walnuts served in a perfectly ripe half peach from Gilead Cafe
      - the peach and sparkling wine ice cream from XocoCava served in a waffle cone
      - the poussin wing served w/collard greens and fresh corn (can't recall where that was from)

      It was also nice to sample so many different wineries (Stratus, Cave Springs, Peninsula Ridge, Tawse, Flat Rock, etc.). After 2 hours of eating and drinking, I was stuffed and exhausted. Can't wait for next year!

      My only complaint is that many of the portions were too big (especially all the sandwichy/bready type offerings), leading me to only eat a couple of bites in order to save room for other yumminess.

      Here are some photos that "fickle" took:

      5 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo

        So bummed I miss this. Food sounds and looks amazing. What's the prosciutto looking thing on those long crisp flatbready things? Looks good!

        1. re: TorontoJo

          Torontojo, great photos...thanks!
          We said the same thing, in that some of the portions were huge. Esp. the wraps from Ill Fornello!

          1. re: millygirl

            I can't take credit for the photos, they're chowhound fickle's! Funny about the Il Fornello wraps -- when I saw them, I thought it was crazy how big they were. But I did have them wrap one up in plastic to take home with me. :) It was dinner, but it was pretty bland. Glad I didn't waste any stomach space on it while I was there!

            1. re: TorontoJo

              It absolutely killed me that Il Fornello displayed their house bottles of Il Fornello water -- at a food event for eating locally.

              1. re: merlot143

                we asked and the water is sourced and bottled in ontario (caledon i think).

        2. Damn. I skipped both the Wagyu burger and BLT because I already too full. Aaargh! My favorites included the peach and brut ice cream, pulled pork over corn salsa and the balsamic gelatin something from Viva Tastings.

          2 Replies
          1. re: merlot143

            peppermint pate, the thing you were asking about was an assortment of prosciutto, salami and another type of charcuterrie all served on a wonderful flatbread. If I recall correctly, that was served by Reds Bistro.

            Merlot, I agree, the tomato balsamic terrine from viva tastings was very nice, Very refreshing!

            1. re: millygirl

              Thanks millygirl - I have visions of a crumbled cracker and a piece of meat hanging out of my mouth after the first bite but the presentation is lovely!

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. We were first timers at the picnic and I was really surprised by the generous portions that a lot of booths were serving up! We did notice a lot of
              bread-y/sandwhich related foods which filled us up quite quickly! My favs of the day: the spicy candy apple, peach and sparkling wine ice cream in waffle cone, and the mini pulled pork burgers with blue berries. We'll try to go back next year for sure!

              1. re: LovesToEat

                Those were some of my highlights, as well, though I actually took the caramel apple home with me and had it for breakfast this morning. (What? Stop looking at me like that. It had an apple in it. That's fruit. Fruit is totally an appropriate breakfast food.)

                There were a lot of things there that were to be loved -- the Canoe sandwich with bacon and the hot, fresh flat bread was a definite favorite, though much too large a portion for a day with so much other food on offer.

                I really liked the sausage that Cowbell served with the pickle. It was my favorite of the sausages. The three different wine soaked ones I didn't think really differed from each other appreciably. The oyster sausage was surprisingly uninteresting.

                The pulled pork with corn bread and fresh corn salsa from Fat Cat was amazing -- we tried it as one of our first dishes and it was hard to remember it later in the day, but it was great.

                The Splendido burger was great, while the Allen's lamb burger was eh. If I'm going to eat lamb, I'd like for it to taste like lamb, and not so mild that you can hardly tell it's lamb.

                The only thing I went back for seconds on was that peach and sparkling wine ice cream -- I had one early and then finished off with that at the end, as well.

                The most interesting thing I tried was the fruit soup on the peach half-shell from Gilead Cafe and Hibble Farms. It was outstanding, light, and not served on bread, which made it a real winner for the day.

                1. re: Jacquilynne

                  Loved the sausage & pickle from Cowbell too.

                  My favourite of the day was definitely the mushroom puree from Auberge. I went back for seconds. I saw the spruce beer there but didn't try it since I'm not a beer fan. The tempura mushroom was tasty as well but nothing compared to the puree!

                  Tied for second with me would be the BLT from Canoe, pulled pork from Fat Cat and the Splendido brisket burger.

                  The peach shooter from Gilead, carrot soup from Quince, the blueberry sorbet and the reisling from Stratus were wonderfully refreshing.

                  I can't wait till next year's picnic. I'm planning my strategy now. We ran into another CH who went last year and came extremely well prepared this time with her own plate and wine glass clip leaving a free hand to select and eat with. Brilliant. I found it hard to juggle a wine glass, food, camera and the crowd. I'm even more amazed the pictures turned out!

                  1. re: fickle

                    I"m interested about two things= i missed the blt from Canoe- was it really that splenderific? I'm having a hard time thinking that a blt gets this much spin- can you describe what was so special?

                    also, I disagree with previous posters on the two cats item- the pulled pork was definitely fantastic (soooo much pork at the picnic...too much?) but I found the corn bread very dry- the whole thing needed something- also quite hard to eat- good flavors, but not a stand out for me.

                    the Tawse riesling was the best wine i drank-

                    1. re: nummanumma

                      It was a roasted flat bread that they were cooking on site, wrapped around a massive slab of bacon and with a spicy tomato jam along with tomatoes and a leaf of green. It was really lovely.

                      I found that the salsa from the fat cat dish moistened up the corn bread quite well, though I did comment at the time that I wished I was eating it off a plate, so I could blend the flavors properly -- you ended up eating it more in layers than you would have liked.

                2. re: LovesToEat

                  I was told that they stressed to the vendors to provide items on edible serving platforms and to avoid as much as possible cutlery. This is to be as eco friendly as possible. But as people noted resulted in a lot of burgers / sandwiches / wraps as that is the easiest way to avoid plates and cutlery.

                3. Ah, thank you. I couldn't remember where I had the venison sausage from. I'll update the photo with the right restaurant name. Did anyone remember where the empanadas were from?

                  1. re: fickle

                    The name was something like Surkl.

                4. The un-highlight for me was the chocolate-beet cake from Palais Royale. I couldn't/wouldn't eat more than one bite.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: merlot143

                    Yeah, my husband had one bite of that and tossed the rest out. Ick.

                    1. re: merlot143

                      I agree -- I popped that thing in my mouth as quasi-bite sized and instantly regretted it.

                      1. re: merlot143

                        it really was disgusting. I feel badly saying that, but there was no denying it.

                        1. re: merlot143

                          A very close second un-highlight was the peanut butter chocolate square from Chocosol. A server was handing it out. She rhymed off a pedigree for each of the components, but frankly, I couldn't finish it. Unbelievable, considering it was chocolate!

                          1. re: merlot143

                            I didn't enjoy the pear with the chocolate heart from Chocosol either. I think it was the texture, too gritty and paste like.

                            1. re: merlot143

                              Someone else raved about that to me, but I had the same issues as you when I tried it -- the texture of the chocolate was totally off and the filling was blech.

                              On a more positive chocolate front, the truffles Soma was serving up were super fantastic. As were the caramels, but I've had their caramels before.

                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                I so wanted to taste the caramels. They ran out before I got there!

                            2. re: merlot143

                              totally agree. i wanted to spit my bite out. i didn't, but i tossed the rest. it was sour. blech!