If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen some stories of food being cooked over fire-pits at South Pond Farms a couple of weeks ago. If not, then you’ve also missed my new obsession with spicy honey (also from South Pond Farms). While I normally use this blog platform to share my passion for wedding photography, you should also know I’m a HUGE fan of food and value the hard work that goes into the farm to table process.
This year I had the amazing opportunity to join my talented sister and cook, Keirra (her Instagram) to experience the 2019 Feast On Rural Retreat. If you’re like me and have a great respect for the relationships between farm and chef, then you should know about Terroir (pronounced: terˈwär ) Hospitality and their outlook on culinary diplomacy (They call this Gastrodiplomacy: “Terroir Hospitality is transforming global food systems through gastrodiplomacy – giving chefs, producers, restaurateurs and industry leaders a valued platform through which to connect, learn and interact within their own industries & communities, as well as others all across the world”). Terroir’s Founder, Arlene Stein, spends a lot of time travelling around the world to research responsible food systems and and this spring I had the pleasure of meeting this brilliant human while she brought her food family together at South Pond Farms.
What Happens at a Feast On Rural Retreat?
Invited guests are welcomed to South Pond Farms and immediately shown to a hilltop area with jaw-dropping views. This area also houses a giant wood-burning outdoor oven and a large bar. Chefs are cooking over open fires and the air smells of smoke, butter, cedar and fresh bread. Everyone is eager to connect and taste a sampling of the innovative recipes being cooked on site. My favourite was the grilled flat bread, brushed with butter, then South Pond’s Hotter than Hades Honey and sprinkled with salt. I could have eaten that all day! Also memorable and super tasty was Rich Uncle Tavern’s Chef Ben Lillico’s duck smoked with fresh cedar clippings, followed by a refreshingly smooth gin and rhubarb cocktail by Black’s Distillery.
The tour didn’t stop there! We took a small walk down the hill into a cedar grove for more delicious food being cooked over the open flame, including a trout with puffed rice and leeks dish that was a texture party in my mouth. The day eventually ended with everyone taking home some freshly baked bread and flaky-perfection butter-tarts.
A full list of the local Chefs and vendors involved can be found here:
http://www.terroirsymposium.com/rural-retreat , and before I get to the photos I want to thank my sister for taking me, the Feast On Chefs for their delicious innovative dishes that inspired, and of course Arlene Stein / Terroir Hospitality for founding such an amazing experience.