Life

EATING NIAGARA: Bits and bites of local food news

By Tiffany Mayer, special to Postmedia News

Chef Michael Smith headlines the latest in the Tastes of Niagara series on Nov. 22 in Niagara Falls. (Supplied photo)

Chef Michael Smith headlines the latest in the Tastes of Niagara series on Nov. 22 in Niagara Falls. (Supplied photo)

Sometimes my email inbox has the same problem as my professional eater’s waistline. It expands, often faster than I would like.

In the case of my inbox, I get all kinds of morsels sent to me that don’t make full stories for my column, either because I run out of time, or they’re just quick hits of information. They’re still juicy bits nonetheless, so in an effort to slim down my inbox, I bring you a round-up of tasty local food news. Think of it as all the news that’s fit to eat or drink but with no harm done to waistlines.

If it smells like wine and looks like wine …

The Brock University Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute is building a one-of-a-kind, mediated-reality wine laboratory that will combine sights, smells and sounds to further the science of consumer choice in the wine industry.

The institute received $960,000 from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to establish The Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Sensory Reality Consumer Laboratory, to be known as R3CL. It will be used to create a variety of environments in which people purchase and consume wines, allowing researchers to study the factors that impact how and why consumers buy and drink their tipple.

The information gleaned will help the industry to best market their wines to potential customers.

A shopping experience to make you bug out

The Bug Buggy, a local start-up specializing in edible insects, has opened a store in St. Catharines.

The business, operated by Laura-Lee Guitard, will continue operating at the St. Catharines Farmers Market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Guitard’s crickets and mealworms in various forms and goodies will also be available at The Bug Buggy’s new bricks-and-mortar location at 59 Eastchester Ave., Unit 2-Bee, in St. Catharines on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

#GardenParkPopUp

Chef Adam Hynam-Smith of El Gastronomo Vagabundo fame is planning a unique feast later this week.

The Aussie chef who made us fall for food trucks and fish tacos is hosting an adventurous and extensive tasting menu in a top-secret downtown St. Catharines location on Friday and Saturday.

DJ Marinko will provide the music, a “sonic palette to complement the rich menu and minimalist architecture of the space.”

Tickets are $165 and include beverage pairings, tax and gratuity. You can get them at gardenparkpopup.eventbrite.com.

Top billing for Treadwell

Niagara is home to one of Canada’s top 10 wine restaurants, according to the authoritative oenophile glossy, Wine Enthusiast.

Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine in Niagara-on-the-Lake joined storied Canadian eateries Toque! in Montreal, Raymond’s of Newfoundland, Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver and Toronto’s Canoe on the list of places “where wine, food, service and atmosphere consistently come together in brilliant ways,” the magazine says.

Treadwell was chosen for its sizeable list of Ontario wines, curated over 11 years and thought to be the largest in the world. It also got the nod for the small international producers on its wine menu that share the restaurant’s commitment to responsible farming.

Celebrity chef to visit Niagara

Canada’s most recognized chef is headed to the region for the next instalment of Tastes of Niagara.

Chef Michael Smith, known for his cookbooks, and his TV shows, including Chef at Home and Chef Abroad, will headline the event on Wednesday, Nov. 22, from 6 p.m. to midnight at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Lounge in Niagara Falls.

The evening promises guests the opportunity to meet Smith, whose latest cookbook, Real Food Real Good, is a Globe and Mail bestseller. A four-course, inspired meal, cocktails and live music are also on the bill.

Tastes of Niagara brings top culinary celebrities and experts to Niagara for a night of food, entertainment and teachings.

Visit fallsviewevents.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

Apple of cider drinkers’ eyes

Cider fans watching their alcohol consumption can raise a glass.

Earlier this year, Reinhart Foods of Stayner, Ont., launched Reinhart’s Red Apple Light Cider, the first light product of its kind in the Canadian cider market, at 3.8 per cent ABV. What does this have to do with Niagara, you ask?

Reinhart, better known for its vinegars and baking ingredients, sought the help of the Niagara College Canadian Food and Wine Institute Innovation Centre to develop the light cider.

Reinhart has significant experience in fermentation and capital-intensive, liquid-based manufacturing, but the company needed help developing a world-class hard apple cider beverage. It was created over 10 months of work with the college in 2016.

The cider hit LCBO store shelves earlier this year.

— Tiffany Mayer is the author of Niagara Food: A Flavourful History of the Peninsula’s Bounty. She blogs about food and farming at timeforgrub.com. Follow her on Twitter @eatingniagara.

 

 



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