By Don Douloff, June 26, 2008
Culinary tourism is growing by leaps and bounds, and a unique autumn festival, in Prince Edward Island, will provide a comprehensive glimpse of that bucolic island’s gastronomic charms. There’ll be some star power, too, since genial Food Network chef Michael Smith, who lives in PEI, will host a number of events. Slated to run Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, Fall Flavours – Prince Edward Island includes over 100 interactive culinary events.
“Charlottetown will act as the primary host for the festival, with direct-to-the-source product experiences, interactive taste workshops, an Island dining programme and a selection of new signature events, created exclusively for the festival, taking place in communities across the province,” says Kim Green, CEO of Tourism Charlottetown.
Examples of the festival’s interactive taste workshops include sessions on pickling and preserves, and the fine art of cheese-and-wine pairing, while The Culinary Institute of Canada will present workshops, including culinary boot camp, breads of the Old World, and smoking and curing at home.
Those who want to get their hands dirty can join local hosts to pick potatoes, dig clams, catch lobsters or harvest oysters as part of the Island direct-to-the-source product experiences.
At 18 restaurants across the province, chefs and food artisans will create customized menus showcasing PEI products and producers, with wine-pairing options. Participants can also learn more about the area’s food and producers.
Signature events hosted by Smith include Night at the Market – A Roving Feast for the Senses, at Charlottetown Farmers Market, where PEI’s leading farmers team up with Smith and the Island’s top culinary artisans to prepare their favourite dishes using 100-per-cent locally grown products, and Fortune Feast – Inn at Bay Fortune, where guest winemaker John Rossignol, of PEI’s Rossignol Estate Vineyards, will pour his best while Smith and his kitchen team prepare a five-course tasting menu celebrating the Island’s seasonal bounty.
A major event in downtown Charlottetown will see Smith pay tribute to the potato by preparing and serve piping-hot spuds slathered with special sauces made in a state-of-the-art portable kitchen. In addition, local beef, pork, chicken, lamb and veggies will be grilled and served as part of an immense barbecue. Capping the event is a market highlighting PEI farmers and processors selling, promoting, and offering demonstrations of their wares.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.fallflavours.ca and www.charlottetowntickets.com