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savour muskoka

Weekly Planner: June 4 to 10

Pick a pepper (and other fresh produce) at Muskoka's farmers' markets

Our guide to cottage-country events and activities has returned for another summer! Check back every Monday for more timely ideas for family fun.

Support Ontario growers and get some fresh ingredients for this week’s breakfasts, lunches and dinners at a pair of farmers’ markets that are now in full swing. This Wednesday (and all subsequent Wednesday throughout the summer) the Gravenhurst Farmers’ Market operates from from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Muskoka Wharf, while the Bracebridge Farmers’ Market runs on Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Memorial Park.

Stretch out on a blanket at Bracebridge’s Memorial Park bandshell and listen to the acoustic folk sounds of Neil Hutchison. Influenced by the likes of Gordon Lightfoot and Ian Tyson, Hutchison takes the stage this Thursday at 7 p.m.

Grab your motorcycle boots and leather jacket and head on down to the Kee to Bala. Blues singer and guitarist George Thorogood—with his longtime band, The Destroyers—rocks the joint on Saturday, with hits like “Bad to the Bone” and more.

Drive around the region this Saturday and Sunday and take in not only the exceptional natural scenery, but also some great artistic visuals. This year’s Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour allows you to visit the studios of 11 top cottage-country artists in Bracebridge, Bala, Port Carling and elsewhere.

The local food movement just keeps creeping ever closer to home; one of the latest trends is to keep a chicken or two right in your own backyard (depending on municipal bylaws, of course). If you’re interested in learning more, regional culinary association Savour Muskoka hosts a poultry workshop on Sunday at Severn Sunset Eco Farm in Severn Bridge, where participants will find out some of the ins and outs of working with chickens, ducks and turkeys.

 

 

Top Chefs: Rory Golden, Deerhurst Resort

There are many reasons to visit Muskoka: the small town ambience; the pristine lakes; its world-renowned golf courses. These days, the region offers another excellent incentive thanks to the tremendous growth of its dining scene. We asked some of Muskoka’s most prominent kitchen captains about their restaurants, their cuisine and the area’s emergence as a foodie-friendly destination. Watch this space for a new chef every week of the summer! (more…)

Top Chefs: Michael Rickard, One Fifty Five

There are many reasons to visit Muskoka: the small town ambience; the pristine lakes; its world-renowned golf courses. These days, there’s another excellent incentive thanks to the tremendous growth of its dining scene. We asked some of Muskoka’s most prominent kitchen captains about their restaurants, their cuisine and the area’s emergence as a foodie-friendly destination. Watch this space for a new chef every week of the summer!

CHEF MICHAEL RICKARD
One Fifty Five, Bracebridge

Tell us about your restaurant and its philosophy.
All of our dishes are house-made from the finest available ingredients using traditional French techniques. We have endeavoured to create an affordable fine dining experience in a comfortable environment—light and fresh at lunch, romantic at night.

The Muskoka region is gaining popularity as a dining destination. Why do you think this is?
As an up-market destination for cottagers and tourists and with the influx of retirees from the Toronto area, there is an ever-growing demand for a better dining experience.

What are your thoughts on the local food movement?
I think the local food movement, as promoted by Savour Muskoka, is a great thing.  Supporting our local purveyors is good for the diner, restaurateur and farmer. I find local food and produce to be fresher and tastier. It gives me a great feeling to “buy local”—a feeling of being connected to the life of the land around me. It’s a bit more work as a chef to buy local as you have to be more attuned to the local market, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

What inspires you to cook?
I am passionate about food and I like to be creative.  I was raised in the hotel industry and so was lucky enough to live in places like Malaysia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda and the United States, where I was constantly exposed to a variety of local foods as well as the fine cuisine served in the five-star hotels my father managed. I’ve also travelled and cooked in such places as England, New Zealand, Thailand, Mexico and British Columbia, widening my culinary horizons. My parents are both very good cooks, so I guess you could say that cooking is in my blood.

Savour Muskoka Extra—More Restaurants

For even more locavore fare, try these restaurants and caterers which are also participants in the Savour Muskoka program.

Regatta Steak and Seafood

Regatta Steak and Seafood

– Arowhon Pines, Algonquin Park, on Arowhon Road, 705-633-5661

Bartlett Lodge, In Algonquin Park, 705-633-5543

– Bigwin Island Golf Club, On Bigwin Island, ferry departs from Norway Point, Huntsville, 705-635-2582

– Blackburn’s Steakhouse, 7 John St., Huntsville, 705-789-7563

Black River Food Co., Washago, 705-689-1617

Cedar Grove Lodge, Off of Hwy. 60, east of Huntsville, 705-789-4036

– Christine Bib Catering, Bracebridge, 705-646-1462

– Hidden Valley Resort, 1755 Valley Rd., Huntsville, 705-789-2301

– Inn at the Falls, 1 Dominion St., Bracebridge, 705-645-2245

– Morandin Fine Foods & Catering, Bracebridge, 705-764-8065

– The Norsemen Restaurant, 1040 Walker Lake Dr., Huntsville, 705-635-2473

Port Cunnington Lodge, 1679 Port Cunnington Rd., Dwight, 705-635-2505

– Regatta Steak & Seafood, Muskoka Wharf, 1110 Bay St., Gravenhurst, 705-687-9410

– Spencer’s Tall Trees, 87 Main St. W., Huntsville, 705-789-9769

– Taboo Resort, 1209 Muskoka Beach Rd.,Gravenhurst, 705-687-2233

– Trillium Resort & Spa, On Clearwater Lake Road, Port Sydney, 705-385-1212

Savour Muskoka Dining Guide

Celebrate unique Northern Ontario cuisine with the Savour Muskoka dining program and the region’s many outstanding restaurants.

Enjoy a salad at the Delta Grandview Resort (photo courtesy of the Delta Grandview Resort.)

Enjoy fresh, local tastes at the Delta Grandview Resort.

It was not so long ago that “eating out” in Muskoka meant a wiener roast following a placid canoe trip, or grilling up the fish you caught earlier in the day. In recent years, however, cottage-country dining has gone increasingly upscale, and acclaimed restaurants seek to please the palates of sophisticated residents and vacationers alike.

Muskoka is now home to superlative chefs capable of crafting the most intricate of entrees. Thankfully, these culinary stars, and the establishments at which they toil, still have a sense of what makes this expanse of geography so special—its natural bounty. From berries and mushrooms to myriad vegetables and maple syrup, the region is blessed with an abundance of indigenous and farmed foodstuffs. These often-organic ingredients are highlighted as part of the Savour Muskoka dining program.

(more…)