If you enjoyed Toronto’s Winterlicious then you won’t want to miss WinterFeast, one of Ontario’s top dining opportunities. And, if you act fast, you can still get a seat at one of the top tables. WinterFeast, held February 16 to March 5, 2010, is an 18 day celebration of culinary excellence held in the Hills of Headwaters, a tourism region located one hour northwest of Toronto.
Not sure where the Hills of Headwaters is? The area stretches from Bolton in the east, Georgetown in the south, Collingwood in the north and Fergus in the west. It’s the source of four major river systems and home to the rolling hills, valleys and pastureland of the Greenbelt, one of Ontario’s most important agricultural regions.
Menus, created by each chef especially for Winterfeast’s 11 participating restaurants, feature price fixe menus for lunch ($15 -$20) or dinner ($25-$35) plus tax and gratuities. In addition to being a bargain, the promotion offers an introduction to a bounty of fresh, local products.
Much of the culinary action takes place around the village of Alton, situated on Shaw’s Creek where, 125 years ago, the picturesque waterfalls once powered woolen mills. Today, the pretty valley is home to a growing number of artisanal food producers. This community of local producers provide inspiration – and a source of fresh ingredients – to local chefs, like Executive Chef Roberto Fracchioni of the Millcroft Inn and Spa.
Food fans will recognize Fracchioni from his previous posts at top Toronto restaurants such as Scaramouche, Canoe, Auberge de Pommier and Jump. His WinterFeast dinner menu offers appetizers such as a refreshing composed salad of baby arugula, toasted pine nuts, balsamic grilled plums, red onions and shaved fennel. Entrees include choices such as hearty spice brined pork tenderloin with grilled squash, bacon brussel sprouts or tender marinated grilled strip loin steak with wild mushroom saute.
Suggested wine pairings, which include wise choices from Italy, Niagara and the U.S. are selected by sommelier Jeff Hoeseler.
Highlights of pastry chef Enrico Schulze’s dessert creations include warm fudge cake topped with white chocolate rum sauce and housemade ice creams.
The Millcroft Inn & Spa offers 52 guest rooms, an award-winning spa and expansive woodland trails ideal for hiking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. A member of Ontario’s Finest Inns, it is the newest addition to Vintage Hotels, a collection of luxury hotels which include the Prince of Wales, Queen’s Landing and the Pillar and Post in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Call (519) 941-8111 for reservations.
For more information visit: www.winterfeast.ca
Need driving directions? You can get anywhere with Google Maps. (www.maps.google.com) Alton is a one hour drive via Highway 10. Other participating WinterFeast restaurants are located in Erin, Caledon East, Orangeville, Hockley Valley and nearby rural communities.