Ontario. My home province. In the middle of February, it sleeps under a
cozy blanket of snow. But come the warm weather,
it’s a chef’s paradise. I’m Devan Rajkumar. Food & Drink magazine
is sending me on a mission to discover all that’s
on offer here in Ontario at the peak of summer. Today, chef Dustin Gallagher… Let’s get it going! …executive chef
of Peoples Eatery and the 416 Snack Bar
in Toronto, is riding shotgun. Throughout my career, I’ve always heard
your name come up. You’ve worked in some
incredible restaurants. 416 Snack Bar is one
of my favourite places. All my mates would go there.
Amazing date spot, by the way. It’s the number
one date spot, man. Devan:
Number one date spot! Today we’re on the road to explore the rich
culinary smorgasbord offered in the Blue Mountains, on the southern edge
of Georgian Bay. It works like this: we’ll gather our summer’s
bounty of food and drink at each of our five stops, and then put it all together
into one memorable dinner. You know, I’ve been up
north here to ski, but I haven’t really explored
the food and drink scene. So today we have
five incredible stops. I’m really into…
are you excited, man? Stoked, brother. I love cooking with the
products from around that area, but never get the chance to
go out and check it out myself. Devan: And we’re going
to gather all these ingredients and make a really exciting
meal at the end of the day. Today’s going to be
an awesome day. Dusty, man, I’m stoked. Thornbury Cider House,
I’ve never been there before. I love cider. I’ve spent
a lot of time in the UK and I’ve been to some places where they just
have cider on tap. It’s amazing how much
flavour and body and notes that can come
from just an apple. Purely through the
fermentation process. Devan: Totally. So I’m excited to see what
they’re doing over here. Dusty, we’re at a cidery,
you know how much I love cider. I’m going to need you to take
this for the team and drive. Is that okay?
– I got you brother. All right, so here’s
your flight. So you want to drink your
flight from left to right. This is our premium
craft apple cider. The cranberry apple cider. Wild blueberry
elderflower apple cider and the blood orange
apple cider. And these apples are
coming from where? All local, so within about
a 10 to 15 kilometre radius and it’s a mixture
of 13 local apples. Delicious, clean, refreshing. That’s delicious. Puckering up at
the end, very tart. Definitely my favourite so far. Very clean tasting,
I love the colour. That could be my favourite. We’re deep into apple country
here in the Blue Mountains. It’s one of Ontario’s biggest
apple producing areas. And you can’t go anywhere
without seeing an orchard. Goldsmith’s orchard market grows them in their
own backyard. What makes this region so ideal for producing
such great produce? Kyle: There’s a lot
of reasons but primarily, what makes this region great is the warm days
and cool nights during harvest, giving the apples from this
region their distinct flavour. Goldsmith’s grows
a lot more than apples. I think we should
get some tomatoes. I love peaches, even
if we just snack on them. Devan: Load up my basket.
(Laugh) Get some corn. They also sell one of
the best dairy products to come out of
the Blue Mountains. Emerald Grasslands
is certified grass-fed, organic Jersey cow butter. I’ve got to cut
you off real quick. This is my favourite
butter in Canada, 100%. Maybe the world, but there’s
a lot of competing butters, you know, in Europe.
But this stuff is fantastic. I think this is the butter that
actually tastes like butter. Each batch is barrel-churned
to 84% butterfat and the milk coming out of these
grass fed organic Jersey cows is beautifully high
in fat milk to begin with, so it lends to make
an incredibly delicious, really clean tasting,
creamy butter. What’s your favourite thing
to make with this butter? You know what, it’s the
simple things, you know. Dunking corn in it,
poaching in it, cooking scallops in it,
you know. This butter can
transform any dish into a killer, killer dish. Devan:
Time to grab up protein to go with all of the great
produce we just picked up. Our next stop is Black Angus. Known for their
specialty game meats. – How you doing?
– How’s it going? – Oh, man!
– What have we got? I’ve got foie and venison stew. I’ve got crocodile. (Laugh)
A standard. Some water buffalo. Devan: Kangaroo loin.
That’s exciting. Dustin:
Yeah. Devan: You have so many
wild, exotic meats. Is there a reason
why you carry those? Do you sell a lot of them? Of course we do.
No one else does it so we, uh, like to specialize in stuff
like that and, you know, give people a new experience
when they come here. Anything else
you’d recommend here? Definitely the wild boar.
All this stuff in here. We have tenderloins,
racks, rack chops, capicola shoulder roast, ribs.
– Canadian? Trevor: 100%.
Dustin: Amazing. Devan: So let’s
get a couple racks. Dustin:
Yeah, let’s do it. Sure, how many would you like? One each? – Sure.
– A full rack each? – Sure.
– You got it. – (Laughter)
– All right guys, there you go. – Thanks, Trevor.
– Enjoy. – Cheers.
– Take care. Devan:
A lot of what is grown locally in the Blue Mountains is pretty much in your
stomach by October. But fortunately, wine made from grapes
produced here is available all year long. Next stop,
the Roost Wine Company. So we have about eight different
wines you can choose from. Really it’s up to you
whether you like sweet, dry, whites, reds. We’ll kind of cater
to your taste and palate, so you let me know what you like
and I will guide you through. Considering the weather
outside today, I’m kind of in the mood
for a rosé. We have three, actually.
So we have a pinot noir rosé. We have a Nine Yards rosé, which is made from
four different types of cold climate varietals:
two whites, two reds. And a sparkling rosé. It’s actually a wine maker’s
secret which grapes she used, but I do know there’s
two whites and two reds and the colour of that one actually comes from
the inside of the grape rather than the flesh of the
skin, which is pretty rare. Cheeky, she’s hiding
her secrets, huh? It’s like any baker, you’ve got to keep your
secrets close to heart. So this year we’ve produced
a sparkling red. So it’s a cold climate
sparkling red. So it’s quite rare, and… So cold climate’s your thing? Katie:
Cold climate’s our thing. Dustin:
Look at this view, brother. Devan:
Stunning. Dustin: Having this day,
travelling out here, enjoying this, I feel that
we underappreciate Ontario. Devan: We’re 90 minutes
away from our turf. Like, stepping out here,
this reminds me of Italy, of my trip to Florence.
– Yes, yeah. It’s the rolling hills
of Florence, but in our own backyard. Devan: Last stop,
Kolapore Springs trout farm. This trout farm speaks to
every single one of the values I hold dear as a chef: use ingredients
that are sustainable, nourishing and local. Bruce, I must say, the trout you raise here
is a staple in my house. My kid loves it, my wife
loves it, I love it. We can eat it for breakfast,
we can eat it for lunch, we can eat it for dinner. – That’s a lot of fish.
– (Laughter) So what you guys do here
is a very old school method. This is very old school.
The place was built in 1962. Almost everything
here is original. But the whole secret to the
whole place is the water. This being cold spring water, it’s very rich with
minerals and nutrients. But one of the big key
things is our fairy shrimp. These things have a punch
that nothing else has. Isn’t that cool? So this is a full-on
ecosystem, from the moss to the algae to the shrimps
to the trout to me… That’s correct, yeah.
– (Laughter) Yeah, so you’re getting
a little bit of mother nature all the way along. Devan:
Dustin and I are staying here at Kolapore Springs
to make our meal. And Bruce has given us
the perfect spot where we can cook it together. Dustin: This is absolutely
beautiful here. The sun going down,
looking over the water. We’ve got the fire,
we’ve got some great produce, some great meat, some great
fish, some great wine. Some great cider. Everything has come
together so perfectly, and I’m so excited
to get this meal going. Devan:
All those beautiful ingredients we collected through the day, we’re going to cook it
over this open fire and assemble an amazing dinner that we’re both going to slay
together as soon as we’re done. So first thing we’re going to do is tackle the jobs that
take the longest. The polenta goes on first. The corn, we’re going
to cook some in the husk. That’s going to get
folded through the polenta. Next what we’re going
to do is get the fish cooking. We also put together an
incredible salad full of greens, full of freshness. Dustin: Making a little
apple crumble here. We got some caramelized
maple sugar, apples and a little
bit of lemon. We’re going to cook
that out a little bit. Then we’re going to hit it with a little Emerald Grasslands
butter, soften it up. Devan:
Get the boar on. And we’re going to put
together a beautiful salsa with garlic
and lemon vinaigrette. And that’s going
to top the boar. – Let’s feast.
– Let’s eat. Dustin:
This experience has been one of my most
memorable experiences to date in my 37 years. This is what I live for,
this is what I cook for, and this is what
I have passion for. Devan: Just to think
that I could travel less than a couple hours
outside of my city and be inspired so much
and be introduced to such incredible
food and drink, and then have the opportunity
to cook it, is just… is just a wild, wild, wild ride. Look what we did today, man. Amazing, brother.
From sun up to sun down. – Cheers, chef.
– Cheers. Miranda: On the next
episode of “5 Stops”, award-winning baker
Justine Martin and I travel from Sudbury
to Manitoulin Island in search of
everything delicious. Next stop.