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Taste Oddities at the Ultimate Potluck Feast

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For agri-businesses, getting the most out of RC Show starts with understanding and responding to the needs of foodservice and restaurant partners. Think of it as the ultimate Canadian food industry potluck.

RC Show is an annual tabula rasa where bold ideas and products converge with emerging trends and technologies. This year’s show theme: Diversify and Thrive, focuses on changes how shifting demographics, product innovation, food delivery, retail, rising food costs, staffing and even climate change are affecting the foodservice industry. At the three-day event, attendees from a broad swath of culinary industry segments from foodservice to agriculture will converge to explore the meaning and potential of diversification by creating unexpected connections with national food leaders and trendsetters.

The Show will also feature the most traditional contributors to Canada’s food culture: agricultural producers and the commodities that form the cornerstone of our national menus. Sessions like the Culinary Tourism Alliance-hosted Ask a Farmer at the Ontario Local Stage provide the industry with a direct opportunity to engage with real producers on topics that matter to their businesses, customers and bottom line. “Ontario farmers are embracing opportunities to tell the stories of how their food is produced, and to debunk some of the myths about Canadian farm practices that are hurting the food industry’s ability to work in partnership. We’re all in this together, and the Show is a perfect venue to connect meaningfully and share the facts,” says Marianne Edward of Sheldon Creek Dairy, a beloved on-farm dairy north of Toronto.

Dairy Farmers of Ontario is taking this year’s ultra-collaborative Show program to heart.

“Milk and dairy products are the magic ingredient in so many dishes, it’s amazing to co-create and activate so many unique experiences with so many partners in a single event,” says Sean Bredt, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Dairy Farmers of Ontario. “This year, our new Savour Ontario culinary team is working across the show floor to showcase what makes dairy a truly inspired food choice.”

Savour Ontario is Dairy Farmers of Ontario’s new culinary program that brings together the best of Ontario local food and dairy products in new and exciting ways that showcase the quality and versatility of milk.

The ProBurger, created by Dairy Farmer’ of Ontario’s Savour Ontario team and perfected by Chef Emily Richards, Jasmine Baker, Sarah Evans and Trevor Lui is an in-show collaboration with the country of Peru. The ProBurger is made with MC-Dairy’s pressed cottage cheese and topped with a chili aioli flavoured with Peruvian chilies and Queso Cotija, a Latin-style cheese made in Thornloe, Ontario by Sabana. What makes this burger unique is that its natural pressed cottage cheese base, made from live bacterial culture and milk, is a low-cost, clean-label vegetarian burger that onboards flavours exceptionally well. The cottage cheese burger has melting properties like a halloumi, and browns beautifully. It also can be made ahead in large quantities, then frozen and reheated to save on labour costs.

“Cottage cheese is generally a much overlooked, protein-rich, low-fat fresh cheese with a subtle flavour that encourages and responds to experimentation,” says Borys Wrzesnewskyj, owner, MC-Dairy and Future Bakery.

The ProBurger will be served with a signature Red Velvet superfood shake that combines the best of Ontario local dairy, beets, and honey with Peruvian cacao, maca root and local chilies. Instead of the more traditional ice cream, the shake’s base is a mixture of a new grass-fed, organic yogurt from Hans Dairy, one of Ontario’s largest processors specializing in South Asian dairy products, and silky-smooth organic chocolate milk from Harmony Organic.

With labour and food costs high on the list of restaurant concerns, smart partners are taking the time to review and retool their offering from their commercial partner’s perspective, looking beyond simple volume economics to play a meaningful role in promoting restaurants and foodservice.

In preparation for the Show, Afrim Pristine, Maître Fromager, Ontario Cheese Ambassador and owner of the famous Cheese Boutique, is collaborating with Savour Ontario to engage with partners across the RC Show floor including Labatt and Southbrook Organic Vineyards. Restaurants Canada’s signature Pop Up Restaurant will feature an exquisite cheese pairing board that demonstrates the principles of effective cost management by pairing non-traditional foods with magnificent Ontario cheeses and butter from Quality Cheese, Stonetown Artisan Cheese and Thornloe Cheese.

Who knew brie could be paired with fuzzy peach candy?

“This is what I do every day. I’m thrilled to share what I’ve learned over years in the food and food experience business with other business owners,” says Pristine. “The way you cut and pair cheese on a board has a direct impact on your bottom line, and there are curation and prep techniques that can amp your guest experience while ensuring your boards are profitable and memorable.”

Expect the Unexpected at RC Show 2020

At the Opening Night Reception, Shaw’s Dairy vanilla ice cream will be served with Hormel’s Bacon 1 in a maple-bacon ice cream cone drizzled with Ontario maple syrup.

The RC Show Pop Up Restaurant will be serving the new, MC-Dairy pressed cottage cheese ProBurger with Peruvian chili aioli and a signature Red Velvet shake featuring Hans Dairy’s new organic yogurt and Harmony Organic chocolate milk with Peruvian cacao and chilis.

Cicerone Michelle Tham teams up with Dairy Farmers of Ontario in the Pop Up Restaurant for Labatt and Ontario artisan cheese pairing sessions.

Savour Ontario presents Everything on a board, Ontario Cheese Ambassador Afrim Pristine’s uncommon Ontario cheese pairings and tips on how to cut and present cheese, minimize waste and build next-gen boards that increase margins and maximize guest experiences.

For the much-anticipated Breakfast with Champions session, Dairy Farmers of Ontario is collaborating with chef Chris Zielinski from MLSE, serving up gourmet local yogurt bowls and breakfast smoothie power shots suitable for any meal occasion.

Check out the recipes for unexpected dishes you will be able to find at RC Show 2020:

RED VELVET SHAKE 

Savour Ontario with chef Emily Richards, Jasmine Baker & Sarah Evans

Yields 16oz

This extraordinary shake tastes like red velvet but is packed with nutrient-rich ingredients like grass-fed organic yogurt, organic chocolate milk, local maple syrup, beets with a delectable, but subtle heat from the panca pepper paste.

2 cans cooked rosebud beets

1 tbsp beet juice

1/2 cup Hans Dairy Grass-Fed Organic Plain Yogurt 3.5% M.F

1/2 cup Harmony Organic chocolate milk

1 tbsp Peruvian cocoa powder

1 tbsp maca powder

1.5 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp aji panca pepper paste

Top with real whipping cream, Peruvian cacao nibs and chili powder.

PROBURGER WITH PERUVIAN AIOLI

Savour Ontario with Jasmine Baker, Trevor Lui & Sarah Evans

Yield: 25 oz

This exceptionally delicious, high-protein burger is crafted of traditionally made pressed cottage cheese and is extremely versatile, easily onboarding unique flavour combinations. The batter cooks well from both cold and room temperature and reheats perfectly in either an oven at 350ºF for 5-7 minutes or in a dry, non-stick pan for 5-7 minutes, flipping once. The cottage cheese patties can also be cooked from frozen for easy prep.

4 x 5 oz patties

6 x 4 oz patties (using a wide-mouth mason jar lid as a mold)

12 x 2oz. sliders

500g MC-Dairy pressed cottage cheese

1 cup flour

2 large eggs

2 tbsp lemon zest (1 whole lemon)

1.5 tsp garlic powder

1.5 tbsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp          salt 

1/2 tsp       pepper 

1 tbsp Thornloe grass-fed butter

2 tbsp canola oil

Combine all seasonings with eggs and whisk.

Add pressed cottage cheese and then stir in flour slowly until combined evenly – don’t over mix!

Melt butter and canola oil in a nonstick pan. Cook patties until golden brown on both sides.

Peruvian Chili Aioli

Yield: 16oz

3/4 cup mayo

2 cups packed cilantro, some stems

1-2 jalapenos (seeds out)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup Sabana queso cotija

1.5 tbsp lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

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