This is the perfect mix of giving and eating! Every year Bon Appetit hosts a charitable food and drink event to raise money for local charities. Your ticket grants you entrance to as much as you can eat and drink. Plus a $50 tax rebate! This year the event was held at the Ernst & Young Centre (formaly CE Centre). In previous years it was held at the Cattle Castle at Lansdowne Park. Vendors include local restaurants, breweries, wineries and this year, food trucks!
The first table we came across was Brut Restaurant located in Gatineau which spotlights fresh local ingredients. They were showcasing pickled vegetables. The table was full of people, so unfortunately we missed it.
The second table we came across was Hummingbird Chocolates. They were offering two different kinds of chocolate. Both the Patanemo and the other one, which I can’t remember at the moment, were excellent. They provided a chocolate tasting card on how to properly enjoy and differentiate between them. Delicious!
The Culinary Experience had a few things on their table but I was only able to grab a gelée: Waupoos Cider/Peach. Full of flavour!
Next, we hit up Fatboys BBQ which is located down in the market. They were serving a pulled pork slider with a side of beans. We didn’t know it when we started, but that was the first slider of many, unfortunately. Although the best one there, in our opinion. However, too many sliders got us full pretty quick. A little dessert after our sliders was provided by The Flour Shoppe. They were offering frosting shots in two flavours: vanilla and strawberry, red velvet mini cupcakes, salted caramel brownies and an Indian spiced popcorn. The popcorn was hands down my favorite thing on that table.
Down this same row of vendors was The Works Gourmet Burger, who weren’t serving burgers at all, but Milk Shakes! Two of the ladies I was with said they were excellent. They had the chocolate and the oreo.
Real Sports was serving up mini pork sliders with a side of golf tees! Pretty tasty slider, didn’t try the golf tee. Meatings.ca was also serving up sliders with fresh BBQ pork that they still had on the spit! I was lucky enough to get a pig cheek. Best part as far as I’m concerned! Thanks guys! I grabbed a glass of Country Cider which is located in Prince Edward Country. I was planning a trip there this summer so I was excited to see them and taste their product. I’m not usually a cider fan, but this was so refreshing I almost went back for a second glass.
Todrics is a catering company and restaurant here in Ottawa. They were serving up soup topped with crumbles of something and a chicken dumpling. I can’t comment more on the soup as I just went right for that dumpling. Tasty.
Up next was Black Dog Bistro. From what I can remember, they served a phyllo cup filled with goat cheese topped with a fig that was marinated in port and to finish it off, a slice of lemon cake. Black Dog is located in Manotick.
One place I couldn’t even get near the table was Scratch Kitchen. They were serving a type of soup. “Scratch Kitchen is a local Ottawa family-owned and operated business preparing gourmet frozen meals delivered to your home.” The Fish Market had spicy stone crab cakes which they were frying on site and being served piping hot which was blended with herbs, shallow fried and served with their house tartar sauce. I could have eaten ten if it wasn’t for those sliders!
I washed my delicious crab cakes down with a glass of spicy Pinot Noir from the Pelee Island Winery.
Fratelli is a pretty well known restaurant in town. They currently have 3 locations. They were serving up a small version of their caprese salad – fresh tomato, fior di latte mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, basil. Yum!
Mamma Grazzi’s offered a type of crustini topped with goat cheese, prosciutto and tomatoes and finished off with some sort of of bar. Bistro 19 had a nice big menu sign. More sliders and unfortunately for Bistro 19, we started at the wrong side which served too many sliders leading up to them. If we would have started in the other direction, they would have been the first slider! They are located on the Gatineau Golf Course. We found it a little hard to eat and bit strange to serve at a party like this, but the chicken marsala and baked penne were pretty tasty and were offered by Da Santino Restaurant which is located on Merivale.
The Grange of Prince Edward Country, which is also on my tour for this summer while in PEC was offering a few wines. I tried the Gamay. It was smooth and went well with the chicken marsala. Pelican Fishery and Grill was serving up fresh smoked salmon on a pumpernickel round with a caper-dill sauce and with fresh capers and dill. One of the freshest things we ate. Delicious!
True Loaf which is located on Glasstone was there. On the weekend customers have to get there in the morning or before they sell out, which is usually around 1pm. They have many fresh french style breads. They also offer a bread of the month. In January they offered a chocolate chili bun and last summer they offered a pear blue cheese. At the same booth, they were topping 3 different kinds of bread with cheese and different jams from Michaelsdolce.
I’ve always wanted to check out Wakefield, and here was the Wakefield Mill Inn which is located only 20-30 minutes from downtown. I don’t really know how to describe this cone though. At the bottom of the cone was a papaya like jam topped with what I would guess is a goat cheese and decorated with edible flowers.
I was excited to see one of my favorite cake makers there – It’s a Matter of Cake. He was launching his new concept cake called Xposed. All the ladies I was with said this was one of their favorite vendors. It had depth of flavour and texture. Truly amazing! Why not just jump right back into savoury after a delicious cake? Lamb chop by Lago. Lamb was cooked on site and was perfect medium rare. They are located at Dows Lake.
Les Fougères offered a really interesting dish. Full of flavour and made right on site!
Tandoori-marinated Ferme aux Saveurs des Monts grain-fed chicken breast on spring salad dressed with organic yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs and peanuts. It was wonderful!
My wine at that time paired perfectly with this dish! It was from my favorite appellation – St. Emilion which was being offered and many others by Trialto, a distributor here in town.
The next vendor had delicious brownies which were topped off with dulce de leche sauce – Carolina’s can also be found at the local farmers markets. Delicious brownie with a wonderful texture.
I’m not usually a soda pop drinker, but I couldn’t resist when he said olde fashioned cream soda! The flavour was magnificent And the ginger-beer reminded me of the caribbean. Harvey & Vern’s is made in the Kitchesippi Brewery, off Carling.
I’m not sure what Fat Tuesday’s was serving as there was no menu sign and couldn’t see in the containers but their booth was festive.
Right next to Fat Tuesday’s, was St-Ambroise Brewery. I can tell you that if you are a Guinness fan, you might enjoy the Oatmeal Stout. I was unfortunately too full at this point to try the apricot wheat ale, but I bet it would be refreshing on a warm summers day.
There were more vendors which you will be able to see on the Bon Appetit website as we just couldn’t fit any more into our belly’s. I would recommend buying a ticket for next year and go early! What a great event! Or check out the vendors separately!