Friday, September 4, 2015

Canola Growers - Street Food Workshop Featuring Chef Adam Hynam-Smith [NOTL]

Canola Eat Well (@canolaeatwell) invited me to a #EatWellCanolaOil workshop at Oast House Brewers (@OastHouseBeer) in Niagara-on-the-Lake last Friday. A bunch of us rode on a bus chatting about local food, of course canola oil and even played some games.
The weather couldn't be more perfect for our little picnic outside with the most amazing backdrop.

Love the vineyard backdrop although it's a beer house and can't make my day happier than a welcome glass of peach beer which was surprisingly light, not sweet and super refreshing.

Find more pictures of Oast House Brewery from my previous post here

With the theme being "Street Food", I am beyond ecstatic that they choose Suresh Doss (@spotlightcity) and  Chef Adam Hynam-Smith of El Gastronomo Vagabundo (@elgastronomo), my favorite food truck to co-host this event.

As per Chef Adam, he love using Canola oil especially in salad instead of olive oil since it has such neutral flavor that it won't overwhelm the other fresh yummy ingredients.

Peach & Melon Gazpacho
What a great way to start after a long bus ride, perfect way to show off peaches which is in season right now.

Cod Taco with Smoked Pineapple Hot Sauce
This was probably Chef' Adam's foodtruck signature dish and if I remember correctly, it's was on the menu before it was, well "everywhere". Oh and anything fried and top with hot sauce was so perfect with the cold glass of beer.

An new event space on the second floor of Oast House, what a gorgeous space which have look down to the vineyard.

Look at this view, wish I could throw a party or two here with yummy El Gastronomo food and cold Craft beer. 

Love those vintage table legs use a taps here

Confit Pepper and Peach Salad
Never had confit veggies or fruits before and this was out of the park plus the perfect way to showcase canola oil. Chef Adam even did a demo about how it's made.

Here's some 101 about Canola Oil :
  • Canola is a plant that is a member of a large family of plants called crusifers with four yellow flower petals that form the shape of a cross
  • One flower can produce 60-100 seeds pods with each seed pods containing 20-30 tiny rounds seeds which are then crushed to extrude canola oil
  • Canada is the #1 grower of Canola in the world
  • Canola oil is good source of vitamin E, vitamin K and packed with Omega 3 fats which is an anti-inflammatory that can help protect against heart attacks and strokes.
  • Canola oil have the lowest amount of saturated fats (hald of olive oil)
  • Neutral tasting
  • High heat tolerance and high smoke point (242 C / 468 F)
  • Grown by over 43,000 family farmers in the Canadian Prairies

Choose Canola Oil because it's local, healthy, versatile!

We also got to play with some canola seeds and do the Canola Crush test. I am still amazed at how tiny the seeds were and how much oil came out from them.

Korean BBQ Chicken Wings
Spicy wings with cold beer, what not to love and not to mention one of the best non-Korean made kimchi I ever had. Need I tell you how perfect this take-a-day-off-work-Friday that was. With the high heat and smoke tolerance of canola oil, featuring fried food was perfect.

2-Bean Tostada with Guacamole

Pickled Prawn and Lychee
This was something new that I have never tried from Chef Adam and what a pleasant surprise, can you imagine me being Chinese and all, I haven't had a lychee for years. This was the perfect way to end the meal. Refreshing, yet love the dense intense flavor of the curry/spice paste on top. PERFECT!!!

We were also accompanied by Will Bergmann, a Canola farmer all the way from Manitoba sharing his passion for farming and food. 
It's always nice to know there's still young passionate farmers out there.

Next stop, Ravine Vineyard Bistro(@RavineVineyard) before heading back to Toronto. Been here more time I can count, I never really knew about the history of this winery. So nice to learn first hand about the winery, the restaurant (which I go to almost every time I am in notl, see one of my post here) and new projects from the owner and winemaker of the place. And I am ashame to say that I never knew about the cool basement cellar where you can host personal dinner or party at after so many visit.

We got to taste 6 different wine from Ravine and my favorite of the day was the 2012 Reserved Red, the winemaker's special blend.

I realize that not a lot of people come to the wine country even Toronto foodies from this trip which is a shame since it's such a beautiful place no matter the season or weather... that's why I always urge people to to make a visit and it doesn't hurt to support local wineries.

What a great event not only because of the amazing food, beer and wine but also great to learn about the making and using of Canola Oil. I definitely think I will be using a lot more of it from now on especially I never knew I could use it raw in salad dressing. 

*** This trip was complimentary. Opinions are my own***

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