On Sunday, Oct. 16th, more than 28,000 people and 100 of the best chefs in Canada gathered in Honeywood, Ont., to participate in Foodstock, a pay-what-you-can food festival meant to raise awareness about the impact the proposed quarry will have on local farmland. The event was organized by the Canadian Chef Congress and Stop The Mega Quarry.
A large area of farmland north of Orangeville a third the size of downtown Toronto may be turned into what locals refer to as a "mega quarry" for mining limestone. It threatens to destroy a huge chunk of rich, agricultural land, to disrupt wildlife, and to drain a water table that is a valuable source for the surrounding area and everything south of it towards Lake Ontario. Chefs were asked to prepare small snacks to give to participants as they meandered through the fields and forest listening to local musicians and artists displaying their works.
I was helping out with the Palais Royale and ChocoSol at table in the forest making chocolate braised rabbit stew with profiteroles and cherry preserve, as well as cocoa infused coffee. Other chefs made a wide selection of items including sturgeon chowder, apple flan, pork and potato lollipops, and banh mi.
On the mainstage in the field guest speakers and bands like Ron Sexsmith, Hayden, and Sarah Harmer played before a large and enthusiastic crowd. I was too busy stoking the fire and feeding people to check most things out first hand, but everyone I spoke to had a great time and enjoyed the food and music.
It was a privilege to by invited to Foodstock, and I think the day really raised awareness for the cause and helped the local community.
For more photos of Foodstock see my photoblog.