Food & Drink’s new web series takes a trip to Ontario’s garden, Norfolk County
5 Stops, the new web series from the makers of LCBO’s much-loved Food & Drink magazine, continues to zip across Ontario in search of the best local vintners, craft brewers, distillers and culinary artisans.
Following mouth-watering tours of Prince Edward County and the Niagara Peninsula, the third episode of the series moves to Norfolk County. Known as Ontario’s garden, Norfolk is home to fertile soil, a mild climate and a long growing season, which all means incredibly rich crops—including excellent grapes for the wines crafted there.
Throughout the series, hosts Miranda Keyes and Devan Rajkumar take turns teaming up with a special guest to explore a single Ontario region in eight-to-12-minute episodes. They visit five great spots in the chosen destination, collecting ingredients to make a gourmet meal and cocktail at the end of the show.
Food stylist Keyes is in the driver’s seat for this episode, as she winds through the back roads of Ontario’s countryside with Nick Liu, co-owner and executive chef of Toronto’s DaiLo and Little DaiLo restaurants. Their first stop is Matz Fruit Barn, a farm that prides itself on sustainable growing and harvesting practices that yield a wide variety of rare fruits and vegetables, like tiny mouse melons, pineapple-flavoured ground cherries, and extra-sweet yellow watermelons.
Next, the duo visits Jensen Cheese, a third-generation enterprise known for its aged cheddar, made using an old-world curing process brought to Canada from Denmark nearly a century ago by founder Arne Jensen (Jensen was artisanal before the word was trendy!). Jensen Cheese also produces Colby, mozzarella, and a special six-year-old vintage reserve cheddar.
The third stop is New Limburg Brewing Company, a producer of Belgian-style ales, located in a former school. Norfolk is home to a large Belgian community—which explains why the home brews co-owner Jo Geven and his son began crafting for themselves quickly turned into a popular and successful local business. Along with its selection of authentic Belgian ales, New Limburg offers a line of traditional Trappist beers and the occasional limited-edition flavour—all bottled with unique labels drawn and designed in-house.
From there, Keyes and Liu visit Pleasant Port Fish Co., a 45-year-old family-run business in Port Dover specializing in freshly caught Lake Erie pickerel, a lean meaty fish with a small flake, and perch, a drier fish perfect for deep or pan frying.
Finally, the day’s journey ends at Burning Kiln Winery, located in a repurposed tobacco pack barn—an artifact from the days when tobacco was the region’s chief product. Burning Kiln pioneered the idea of drying grapes in former tobacco kilns to produce its rosés, Chardonnays, pinot grigios and more. Located on an escarpment overlooking a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve, Burning Kiln is the perfect place for a fancy dinner, which Keyes and Liu produce with the help of Ryan Rivard, owner of Canned Heat, Burning Kiln’s onsite restaurant. Watch the video to find out what they made.
In the next episode of 5 Stops, Devan Rajkumar and chef Dustin Gallagher visit the Blue Mountains.