Out Standing in a Field

Yeah, I know, but I’m coming up empty in the witty subject line department today. And for those of us who attended yesterday’s Feast of Fields event at the Kortright Centre in Vaughan, we not only stood around – in a field (badum bum), but the event lived up to the outstanding part as well.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the event that was created to bring together chefs and promote local organic food has become a must on the calendar of every Toronto-area chef and food lover. With over 40 chefs taking part, guests had the opportunity to try everything from local wine and beer to ice cream, spit-roasted pork, fresh bread and even pizza, most made from local and organic ingredients.

Participants included The Butchers, Great Lakes Brewery, Green River Coffee, Magic Oven, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, Culinarium, Cookstown Greens, Harmony Organics, Frogpond Farm Organic Winery and many, many more.

“Over the course of the last twenty years, we have begun to explore our local community and now today, more than ever before, we are celebrating the work of local food artisans, winegrowers and brewers and chefs. We are gaining confidence in our ability to supply and celebrate our local food bounty. Ours is a region that is second to none and we have a lot to be proud of. A great result of this pride is now a deep seated need to protect what we have nurtured,” said Jamie Kennedy, master chef and co-founder of Feast of Fields, in the event press release.

Kennedy served up an open-faced BAT sandwich (bacon, arugula and tomatoes from his Prince Edward County farm) that was one of our favourites of the day. TV Chef Michael Smith was also on hand serving a lamb burger on Ace Bakery buns, and Chef Jonathan Gushue of Langdon Hall knocked our socks off with his peanut butter, banana and bacon ice cream cones, served with the addition of a candy apple (made me feel like a very sophisticated 5-year-old!).

Feast of Fields is run by the Organic Advocates (formerly Knives and Forks) and was created by Kennedy and fellow chef Michael Stadtländer to promote organic food awareness and sustainability. Funds raised from the Feast of Fields event are donated to an ecological group or organization to promote sustainable, organic agriculture. This year funds that were raised at the event will go directly to the University of Guelph’s Organic Agriculture Department.

Here are some images from yesterday’s event. Feast of Fields takes place each September – it wouldn’t hurt to buy a 2010 calendar and make a note to buy tickets in time for next year’s event. Because it was outstanding… in a field. (Sorry.)

Root vegetable chips from Black Creek Pioneer Village. Love these!

Organic chocolates from Delight.