A Celebration of Food ~ Fall Flavours Festival

Every September, Prince Edward Island puts on a month long Fall Flavours Festival showcasing a variety of acclaimed guest chefs hosting a wide range of unique culinary experiences. Over the years Chef Mark McEwan and his team have taken part in the Beef Festival, the Shellfish festival, Applelicious and much more. This year Mark McEwan took part in a lively Lamb Luau culinary party and a Great Big BBQ feast.

The first event took place on Sunday, September 20th at Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort. Guests enjoyed an afternoon of flavours and fun with Chef Mark McEwan, local chef Peter Angus and chefs & students from the Culinary Institute of Canada. The menu featured locally grown lamb prepared in a variety of dishes.

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The upbeat sounds of The Count and the Cuban Cocktail, a local PEI band that had everyone dancing!

The second event took place on Saturday, October 3rd at Delta Prince Edward. Chef Mark McEwan and Corporate Executive Chef Andrew Ellerby wowed guests with local PEI favourites from potatoes and aged beef, to fresh mussels, clams, oysters and lobsters. The barbecue feast was completed with PEI’s finest craft beers and wines.

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Take a peek at the gallery for a closer look at the Lamb Luau party and the Great Big BBQ feast.

[Photos courtesy of Fall Flavours Festival]

Freshness, Taste and Nutrition – McEwan Celebrates Eating Local in 2014

Last month here on The McEwan Group blog we explored some of celebrity chef, Mark McEwan, and McEwan’s General Manager, George Bachoumis’ top predictions for this year’s hottest food trends.  The consensus? Us Canadians care about the quality of ingredients we’re putting into ours bodies, and McEwan wants to make sure we only eat the best. One of the most popular health-driven movements we’re seeing for 2014 is an emphasis on locally sourced meats and fish.

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Local products have long been known to have health benefits, largely associated with the reduced time between harvest and eating- the fresher the food, the more nutrients and flavour it retains! But it’s not only about micronutrients, as George points out.

Customers are also concerned about where their food comes from, how it was raised and how it was prepared.

This type of information is much easier to obtain from smaller operations that are locally grown than from massive corporate organizations with countless international plants, allowing you to feel much more at ease with a familiar local supplier.

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The McEwan process for buying local acknowledges that as a result of variable landscape and terroir, the different Canadian provinces and regions have their own specialty in what they farm and produce best. Mark describes this as the “best in show” approach to sourcing the products on his shelves. Rather than buying all from only one Canadian region, McEwan finds the crème de la crème across our delicious country. For example, Mark sees Prince Edward Island as an absolute gem for fantastic seafood- “the saltiness of the air and the natural programs make their products pristine which is why I am happy to serve them to my clients.”

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And while it may be easier to buy from just a handful of massive production facilities, the McEwan team know the value of seeking out the very best. So every day George meets with local sales representatives, and visits Toronto’s food terminal to hand-pick the freshest products. Him and his team also attend a variety of food shows throughout the year to network with passionate suppliers, farmers and food entrepreneurs.

To George, Mark and the rest of the McEwan family, buying and selling local is a no brainer, especially because it’s what you, the customer want. As George says, “Supporting local creates a relationship between the producer, us, and the customer”, and that’s what McEwan is all about.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN