COLLINGWOOD, Ont. – After 16 years of operating Eigensinn Farm in Collingwood, Ont., and gaining worldwide prominence for it, chef Michael Stadtlander and his wife, Nobuyo, have opened a new restaurant venture called Haisai, a term of greeting used in Okinawa, Japan, where Nobuyo hails from.
The restaurant’s mandate is to source and serve seasonal dishes using organic produce from local farmers and gardeners. Stadtlander’s own farm, Eigensinn, is the primary source of ingredients for Haisai’s dishes “in concert with the bounty of the waters and forests of Georgian Bay” says a promotional piece.
According to Stadtlander, who caught up with Foodservice and Hospitality this past week at Feast of Fields, the 30-seat restaurant (with an additional 16 seats on the patio) opens for dinner Wednesday to Friday from 5 p.m. Cooking alongside him are four young apprentices. On the weekend, the restaurant changes its focus by offering a 12-course Dim Sum menu presented as a “culinary performance”. Meals are priced at $120 per person plus taxes and gratuity. In addition to the restaurant, Stadtlander operates a bakery from Tuesday to Sunday. Like the restaurant, the bakery sources and uses locally grown grains as much as possible, as well as offering prepared food for purchase and ready-to-serve at home.
To round out the culinary experience, Stadtlander features “High Society Evenings”, with a multi-course menu served in conjunction with presentations by luminaries in the fields of arts, music, politics, agriculture and environmentalism. And, if that’s not enough to keep the entrepreneurial couple busy, a media lab has been set up to produce programs such as the Haisai News Reel, a program dedicated to highlighting agriculture and food issues, which is presented with coffee and dessert following the main dinner service.
Unfortunately, with the opening of the new restaurant, the world-acclaimed Eigensinn Farm will only operate for special events.