WOODBRIDGE, Ont. – Organizers of this year’s Feast of Fields event couldn’t have asked for better weather to celebrate its 20th edition this past weekend (Sept. 13). More than 200 guests paid $100 to attend the roving benefit picnic held at Kortright Centre for Conservation in Woodbridge, Ont.
In addition to sampling culinary delights from more than 40 exhibiting restaurants and top toques, guests were also treated to a taste of beers and wines from 20 of Ontario’s top producers, including Inniskillin, Creekside Winery and Creemore Springs.
Since the first Feast of Fields in 1989, the industry’s love affair with organic foods has grown immeasurably. The founders of Knives and Forks — Toronto’s Jamie Kennedy and Eigensinn Farm’s Michael Stadtlander — are credited with moving the industry forward on this issue. They were instrumental in starting Knives and Forks — an association that has now spawned Organic Advocates — and in developing the feast into one of the season’s best attended culinary events. At this week’s event the two chefs were honoured and recognized for their contributions. Also honoured were Lorene Sauro, Daniel Gilbert and David Cohlmeyer, all instrumental in the group’s success.
In keeping with its organic roots, this year’s affair was intended to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Instead of having bottled waters available, for example, guests had the option to use a glass bottle of water, which could be topped up at refilling stations throughout the site. “At the end of the day,” said Daniel Gilbert, chair of the event and owner of Daniel’s of Nobelton, “our goal is to produce zero garbage.” A portion of this year’s funds raised were donated to the University of Guelph’s organic agriculture department. To date, Organic Advocates has donated more than $50,000 to organic agriculture and promotion.