They’re right, let’s concede it. We really do love chocolate.
How else would Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Easter have got so big?
‘They’ are the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival and they know a thing or two about wine and food, including chocolate. Even after three decades at this, the OWFF continues to innovate, experiment and tempt us more and more each year. The show they put on is the better for it.
Actually, it’s amazing for it. And it’s happening this weekend, November 3-5, 2017, at the EY Centre.
To augment that most addictive of foods – irresistibly fine chocolate – more addictive treats have been added to this year’s repertoire. All your favourite (lawful!) vices can be found in one place, from sweets to savouries.
Give into it. Indulge.
New to this year’s festival is ChocoCHIC – the ultimate chocolate experience curated by the renowned chocolatier Roch Fournier. He trained at the Casino du Lac Leamy under chocolate maker and pastry chef David Leluan. Fournier is the face of Chocolatier Rochef from Gatineau, Quebec.
(Is it just me or do you also associate chocolate crafted by the French as being richer and more decadent than if concocted by someone with say, a surname like mine?! You go to Rochef for chocolate and me for pierogis, not the other way around.)
You’ve seen Chocolatier Rochef on the high-end shelves of Farm Boy. Rochef’s exacting confections won over the son of the owner of Farm Boy, André Bellemare. The relationship with Farm Boy boosted Rochef’s business and sales have risen significantly.
At the OWFF, you needn’t merely salivate before Rochef’s truffle bar. Savour some of the two dozen different varieties featured. Or the three types of fondue and pairings, chocolate-coated fruit and the assortment of bars and barks. If that doesn’t get your heart racing, the 80-pound, six-foot fountain of liquid chocolate deliciousness, will. Guaranteed.
Chocolate delivered to our taste buds in this fashion turns sheer delicacy into all-out vice. So go ahead, chocoholics. Give into it. Indulge.
Another delight that’s also new to the OWFF this year, on the savoury side, is Carnivore.
Because many of us naturally gravitate to the aroma of slow-roasting meat wafting from the kitchen oven, this addition to the array of vices on offer is expected to draw quite the crowd.
Ottawa’s own Michael McKenzie of Seed to Sausage will bring artisan meats from his larder to your very own take-home charcuterie board. McKenzie, who trained alongside German and Italian sausage makers to refine his talent and love of cured meat, sources from local producers, uses as few additives and preservatives as possible and the minimum of salt. Everything he renders is by hand.
Come sample McKenzie’s award-winning fermented Genoa and Calabrese salami, pancetta and guanciale, an Italian cured meat product prepared from pork jowl or cheek and whose name derives from guancia, Italian for cheek.
His specialty sausages include unique varieties like Blue Cheese Jalapeno, Cheese Curd Smokies, and Nduja, another Italian specialty and pork salami made from the shoulder and belly parts of the pig, along with roasted peppers and plenty of kick
For all this yummy food, let’s not forget the drink that goes with it!
The festival features a vast array of international wines, many produced by small winemakers and family-owned vineyards.
Along with the variety of local craft brewers and distillers, festival-goers will be able to create their own vice-laden experience. So get out and meet the chefs, makers, brewers and bakers.
Tickets to this year’s Ottawa Wine and Food Festival are going fast and always sell out. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.