Catching up with Chef Alexandra Feswick, TL Insider’s Chef-in-Residence for November
TL Insider’s chef-in-residence for November is Chef Alexandra Feswick of the Drake Devonshire. A visionary and the epitome of culinary talent, she takes inspiration from nature and curates a menu which reflects the bounty of the land. With her unique perspective and distinct style, she’ll share her barley risotto recipe during the masterclass this month. We caught up with her to learn more about the menu, and to find out how Devonshire is adjusting to the new normal.
We’re thrilled to have you as our TL Insider Chef-in-Residence for November. What should the members look forward to this month?
Fall is one of my favourite times of the year! Here in Prince Edward County, everyone is ready in their flannel jackets, huddled around fire pits with warm cider in hand. It’s also when we celebrate the county with a great program called Countylicious. For me, it’s a really fun way to welcome comfort food and to showcase some of my favourite harvest products, like squash, Jerusalem artichokes, apples, kale, mushrooms and some of the best cheeses around.
What is the inspiration behind your menus?
I don’t think there’s anything more inspiring than nature. Curating menus that reflect the bounty of the land is one of the things I value most about my job. There’s nothing better than something freshly picked from your garden, and my hope is to instil that sentiment into all the plates that go out of our kitchen at the Devonshire.
How has the Drake Devonshire been adjusting to the new normal?
I think we’ve adjusted to life with Covid quite well. We’ve been blessed with a team of amazing people who have all done an outstanding job of keeping our hotel and dining room clean and comfortable for our guests. We have very high standards, and practices in place that make it feel like a safe place to work.
Tell us about the Countylicious menu? What’s your top pick?
This Countylicious menu is one of my favourites to date. We’re featuring a salad with pears and crescenza cheese from Fifth Town, which is my top pick for cheese of the year! It’s soft and silky like the centre of brie—I think it’s fantastic. We’re also featuring a sausage that we make at the Drake Commissary with some local potatoes and cabbage, paired with our house mustard. I can’t say enough about this dish. It’s one of my favourites, and it’s definitely the top seller on our menu this year. I would personally finish it off with the apple crumble—a comfort classic, not to be missed!
You’ll be hosting a virtual masterclass with us on November 26. What can members look forward to?
I’m going to be cooking the barley risotto from the menu. Risotto is as comforting and adaptable as a good hearty soup. I’m looking forward to discussing all the ways you can branch out with a good risotto, and how much versatility it can offer your own kitchen table this winter season.
Apart from the masterclass, what should members look forward to in TL Insider’s Chef Pantry?
TL Insiders will be able to purchase all the ingredients for my risotto recipe through Chef’s Pantry. And if you attend the masterclass, you’ll have a chance to win a two-night stay at the Drake Devonshire.
Register for a virtual Cooking Masterclass with chef Alexandra Feswick on November 26 here.