Last night was the inaugural Farmers' Feast, an event I helped co-ordinate and that we hope will continue to grow each year. The idea was to promote local food made by local chefs and to bring the producers, chefs and consumers together to create relationships and bring people closer to the food they eat.
The night was a smashing success. The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky, no wind, and an unusually warm day for late September. Guests were greeted with live jazz and a free glass of wine if they brought their own wine glass. The chefs really showcased their unique talents with delicious local fare such as mini-bison burgers, Manitoba pike cakes, pulled Manitoba pork with aioli on local lettuce, vegan shepard's pie made with all local produce, vegetarian pemmican, Manitoba pumpkin crumble squares, local apple cider, fairly traded organic coffee and so much more that I didn't even get a chance to taste! People wandered from booth to booth, chatting with the chefs, tasting the delicacies and sipping wine or local Manitoba beer. There was an ambiance to the evening that was almost tangible; people laughed; kids played; little Wally the puppy made people swoon; music drifted; wonderful smells filled the air; it was better than any of us thought it could be. A perfect way to cap off a Manitoba summer.