This celebration of food was honoured by both the Ontario Culinary Tourism Leadership Award and by Stratford Tourism Alliance for making an outstanding contribution to the promotion of culinary tourism in Ontario! Way to go Stratford and to all the chefs, farmers and promoters of local food initiatives for a job well done!!!!
The whole festival is environmentally friendly. For example, they do not sell bottled water anywhere on the festival site; however, there are drinking water stations for filling reusable water bottles. They also use biodegradable and recyclable (or edible) cups, plates and utensils. What a great contribution to the local environment!
Friday night was the opening event and was presented by the chefs and students from Fanshawe College. Down by the bandshell on the west end of the lake, there were tents set up all along the water. To create some atmosphere, there were paper chef’s hats hanging in the trees – just in case you forgot this was a food event – but it was really cute. Each tent had a special food delicacy that Fanshawe had prepared. You bought tickets and then each tent’s item was so many tickets to buy.
At the ticket booth they also sold cookbooks signed by the chefs at the weekend event, Savour Stratford posters, tote bags and an insulated lunch bag – so we had to buy a few things there!
We gobbled down our lunch and by that time the rain had stopped. So off we go again with empty bags ready to buy some more things. At this point we came across a local sheep farmer who had brought his sheep to the festival – the big sheep were used for their wool and the baby sheep would grow up to be used for their milk. In fact, I believe he told us that his milking sheep produced some of the milk for the Montforte Dairy – which has fantastic cheeses that I didn’t even know were made from sheep’s milk (and yes we bought some cheese too!).
So if you plan to come to Stratford next September, do try and arrange to come for Savour Stratford. The 6th annual Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival will be held September 20 – 22, 2013, so don’t forget to mark it on your calendar.