There were a lot of moving parts, and a few glitches, but the From This Rock Culinary Tours proved to be a success on all nine fronts across Newfoundland and Labrador Thursday night.
“Everything went well in spite of our challenges, the biggest being trying to hold all of these events on one night,” Nancy Brace, executive director of the Restaurant Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (RANL), said Friday afternoon.
“The logistics of moving around 26 chefs and all the food in one night is difficult, but we did it,” she added.
While reports are not in yet from all the venues, Brace said several of the locations did well — sold out — and others were less attended this year, but all were successful in their own right.
The chefs at each venue prepared top-notch fare that was enjoyed by all those who did make it out to an event, she said.
A wide variety of locally grown foods were prepared and served at the corresponding events, including Port Leamington pork, Haricot Farms beef, Country Ribbon chicken, a host of aquaculture fare that included salmon, mussels, cod, crab and shrimp, and a full array of produce grown in this province.
The only item not appearing on the menu was lamb, something Brace says will be available during the Grand Finale on Nov. 3 in St. John’s.
The venues that participated in the tour included the Port aux Basques Hotel, Days Inn in Stephenville, Quality Inn in Corner Brook, the Deer Lake Motel, the Oceanview Hotel in Rocky Harbour, the Mount Peyton Hotel in Grand Falls-Windsor, the Anchor Inn and Suites in Twillingate, the St. Jude Hotel in Clarenville and Harbour Breeze Catering in Harbour Grace.
Brace said to crisscross each of these chefs and their products across the Island in advance shows there are issues within the province, greater than this one-night event that affects the entire population.
“It shines a big spotlight on distribution issues of moving food around this province. This has been discussed at agriculture meetings I have been to,” she said.
Those discussions included distribution, food security and movement of items. She cited produce as an example, as many of the farms that grow produce are located on the western side of the province and the main marketplace is in the east.
Six chefs will gather on Nov. 3 at the Spirit of Newfoundland for the grand finale of the From This Rock Culinary Tour to present their versions of local food.
Those chefs will be Bernie-Ann Ezekiel of Academy Canada, Brian Piercey of Celtic Hearth, Dwayne Davis of Doctor’s House, Alex Pierson of Spirit of Newfoundland, Daniela Butler of The Gypsy Tearoom and Andrea Maunder of Bacalao.
In addition, the Restaurant Hall Of Fame and Restaurateur of the Year recipients for 2017 will be unveiled during the event, which goes from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Fergus O’Byrne and Jim Payne will entertain and the Hall of Fame and Restaurateur of the Year awards will be presented.
To book tickets for the finale or for other inquiries, contact Nancy Brace at the Restaurant Association of Newfoundland and Labrador at 709-765-8483 or go online to http://ranl.ca/events/2017-10-26/. Tickets for the grand finale are $125.