A Culinary Adventure!

If you are in Greater Toronto Area, I hope you are enjoying some of this much anticipated nice weather. It is most definitely a nice change after a seemingly never-ending winter. This is an amazing time not only to rediscover our city, but also the surrounding areas. There is so much to see and do that is only a road trip away. I want to let you know about an incredible experience that I recently had the opportunity to take part in, and tell about an incredible tour company right here in our city that you need to know about , because these experiences are nothing short of incredible!

Kevin Durkee (aka The Big Cheese) founder of Cheesewerks Restaurant and brand marketing executive is a friend of TNL. Check out our review of Food Fight Trivia Night at Cheesewerks, one of our city’s coolest events. Kevin recently partnered with Chef Scott Savoie as co-owner of Canada’s largest culinary tourism company, The Culinary Adventure Company.

Do you like to eat? If so, you will love the experiences that the Culinary Adventure Company offers. Classes, food tours and culinary adventures are their specialty. Believe me when I say that these guys know their food. The Big Cheese and Chef Scott are able to use their combines foodie expertise and knowledge of the city to create perfectly planned and undoubtable delicious experiences. Before we get in to the amazing tour that I attended, let me tell you about some of their other amazing offerings.

Feel like staying in the city? How about a food and cultural walking tour of one of Toronto’s incredible neighborhoods? Flavours of the World- Baldwin Village Tour, Discover Greektown on the Danforth, Little India Food and Cultural Walking Tour, Riverside/Leslieville Food and Cultural Walking Tour, and the “Gaybourhood Gourmet” Church & Wellesley Village Food and Cultural Walking tours are just some of the fun outings in the upcoming months.

If you want to kick it up a notch, the Culinary Adventure Co has a number of special excursions, classes and tours depending on the season. Grillin and Chillin is a BBQ class and pig roast, Uncork the County is a wine tour in Prince Edward Country unlike any win tour you’ve ever been on before, an Urban Mushroom Forage will have you exploring the Don Valley in search of wild mushrooms and edible plants before having a gourmet chef prepared lunch.

One of the coolest city tours I have ever heard of, is the Escape the City Canoe Paddle and Beach Dining Adventure. On this excursion, you get to canoe paddle through a bird sanctuary to Toronto Island where you enjoy a chef prepared gourmet dinner picnic. On the way back, you can enjoy the Toronto skyline at sunset!

Every Culinary Adventure Co. experience is unique and having just experienced one, I can assure you that you won’t ever go hungry!

I attended the Culinary Adventure Company’s annual day trip to the Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Prince Edward County and it was an incredible day of great food, fine wine and amazing memories.

Great Canadian Cheese Festival

In the early morn (8:30…YAWN), my friend and I made our way down to Cheesewerks Resto (56 Bathurst), where the bus would pick us up. The Big Cheese had coffee breakfast ready for us and it was so delish.

Breakfast at Cheesewerks

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn’t know yet that this would just be the tip of the iceberg, as far as food goes.

We were given some “sippy cups” for the road, and we got in our little bus with about 14 other cheeseheads and headed for Prince Edward County.

bus

 

When we entered the county, Chef Scott did a time check, declaring that it was ” wine o’clock”. Perfect time to pull in to a winery.

Chef Scott

Rosehall Run Winery is located on land rich with remarkable Hillier clay soil scattered with numerous rock and shale fragments on a limestone base. There are 25 acres of estate vineyards planted and it includes a barn used for grape processing, wine production and barrel storage. It also includes a tasting bar, which our group made good use of. We sampled six wines and then made our way outside with a glass of our favourite selection for lunch.

This lunch.

Lunch

Ermahgerd.

What happens when a chef and restaurateur/ food expert put together a picnic lunch? Well, magic happens.

Lunch

Fried chicken, summer salad with fig balsamic dressing, fresh melon and Ontario prosciutto, potato salad with truffle oil, coleslaw and three kinds of artisan bread with bone marrow butter. BONE. MARROW. BUTTER.

bone marrow butter

I cannot even begin to tell you how delicious lunch was. If you ever have the opportunity to enjoy a chef prepared lunch with wine at a picturesque winery, please do it. I’m a lucky gal.

After the incredible lunch (with visions of bone marrow butter still dancing in my head), we made our way to the Great Canadian Cheese Festival. When we arrived, I was surprised at the size of the festival. There were over 140 vendors! We were given 20 tasting tickets and set free to go wild tasting cheese and wine galore. And, that we did. There was so much to see and do, and I am pretty certain I ate more cheese on that day than I ever have in my life. Cheese=happiness. Cheese+ Wine=Bliss. Simple math.

Great Canadian Cheese Festival

It was a fantastic experience to be able to taste and buy products directly from the farmers. We picked up lots of goodies including cheese, nuts, baked good and honey. My favourite find was a kombucha starter kit, so that I can make my own kombucha (fermented tea) at home. Hurrah!

Great Canadian Cheese Festival

After three hours at the festival we all got back on the bus stuffed and happy. The Culinary Adventure Co. has another surprise up their sleeves though. We then drove to the legendary Slickers Ice Cream, where we were all treated to a cone of artisan ice cream!

Slickers Ice Cream

Slickers has a plethora of all natural flavours to choose from, like apple pie (with three crushed homemade pies in every batch), campfire (roasted marshmallows) and peanut butter banana. I went with ginger rhubarb, and it was delicious!

Back on the bus, and our next stop was the beautiful Three Dog Winery. Owners John and Sacha Squair, started planting vines for their winery in 2000. The winery now covers 100 acres and the vineyard property has 3 different soil types: Darlington, Gerow, and Ameliasburgh. They are also based on the limestone bedrock that comes through as beautiful minerality in most wines from the Prince Edward County. Their beautiful property as a welcoming meeting place that features trails and yoga. Both John and Sacha were so welcoming and kind to our group as we tasted their excellent wine and enjoyed the beautiful property.

Three Dog Winery

While at Three Dog, we enjoyed barbequed Jalapeno Cheese Curd Smokies, courtesy of Seed to Sausage. So stuffed.

Back on the bus, it was time to head back to the big city. But, the excitement wasn’t over. Believe me when I say, there was not a dull moment on this excursion. How about, a wine and caviar tasting ON THE BUS heading back to Toronto. I kid you not. Chef Scott whipped out chorizo, Sturgeon pate and caviar for the ride home. This stuff retails for $275/ 50 grams!!! What an experience.

caviar anyone? Photographing caviar on a moving bus is not easy.

When we returned to Cheesewerks at about 9 pm, we were a bus full of tired, happy people. Every part of the day was absolutely stellar. It was well planned, food and wine was top quality and our hosts Kevin and Scott could not have been nicer. I highly recommend the Culinary Adventure Co. My first experience with them was memorable and unique – one I won’t soon forget!

Check out the Culinary Adventure Company 1-877-377-4870 and Cheesewerks (416) 243-3327.

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4 thoughts on “A Culinary Adventure!

  1. Wow, I am so impressed by the luxurious quality, and abundance of food and beverages offered! The bone marrow butter must have been to-die-for delicious (I LOVE bone marrow). The fried chicken also looked super-crispy, which is hard to do. I saw a picture of a plate of brie and prosciutto – did they know you were coming in advance Ash? LOL.

    Thank you so much for this review. I will definitely be checking this out during the summer. It would make an awfully nice outing for a wedding party…just sayin’.

  2. OH.EM.GEE. I can’t believe how amaing this looks! I’ve always wanted to go to a winery and the Cheese Festival looks amazing as well! It’s nice to get good quality food and taste what real deal stuff should be like. Oh and that lunch?!! That’s how you do Toronto in style!

  3. I was so fortunate to be able accompany one of my dearest friends on this incredible food journey! We were entertained (we soon realized every hour was wine o’clock!), we laughed so much and we pretty much drank the entire day. Lol. I am NOT joking. No complaints here! Before you could even say “Sir can I have some more?”, Chef Scott is already pouring you another glass. No one can pour wine on a moving bus like him. It was easy to like him….naturally!!!! I like the crowd Kevin at Cheesewerks hangs with!

    We were so fortunate to visit two wineries and to say we were on a high is an underestimate. We could have just had breakfast on our trip and the day would have been complete. But that lunch we had…Ash and I were squealing like girls. Oh wait…. And that happy dance you do when something you anticipated happening happens to the 814464600812347th degree, you dance that dance all day. I know I did. The trip could not have been more perfect. From our amazing lunch to ice cream at Slickers to eating caviar on the bus, I felt like a millionaire! And that bone marrow butter still taunts me. It was so scrumptious and could cure any depression you have. Mmmmm…bone marrow me!!!! Sigh….

    Also, who knew cheese could bring people together? Well it does!!!!!! We saw proof of that at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Prince Edward County! How amazing it was to be Canadian and know that there are so many yummy Canadian cheeses! It was great to sample and of course buy!!!! I would so recommend The Culinary Adventure Company! Chef Scott is a riot and mix in Kevin into the batch, it’s the perfect combo for the most adventure, food-drink-filled day ever! The stories that are shared were some of the memories I will take with me. Your wine glass will never be empty and you will wonder how your stomach can make room for all that food but trust me it does and you go to sleep super happy and waking up the next day wishing it could happen all over again!!!! Thank you again to everyone we met and just thinking about all the super yummy food we ate, let me say that my tummy was VERY happy!!!! And I miss you cheese. Yes, all the cheese I bought is now gone. Sad day. Here’s to next year!!!!

    Thank you Ash for a great day. I love you like I love cheese!!!! And bone marrow butter!!!!

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