TORONTO, July 31, 2018 /CNW/ - A dozen female chefs from Newcomer Kitchen joined garlic grower and Toronto Garlic Festival founder Peter McClusky Saturday, July 28, on a farm near Acton, Ontario, to help harvest Ontario garlic.
As recently-arrived Syrian refugees, this was their first chance to tour an Ontario farm and familiarize themselves with Ontario's rich soil and hardy garlic bulbs. Historically, garlic may have been used as payment to build the Egyptian pyramids, but at Whole Circle Farm, in Ontario's Greenbelt, the mighty bulb builds community.
Joined by farmers Johann and Maggie Kleinsasser, translators, and a few young farm hands, post-harvest lunch included a colourful and flavourful Laphet Thoke, a Burmese fermented tea leaf salad, provided by Festival chef Carol Mark of Empower T. The salad was augmented with both raw garlic and fried garlic carried from the field and prepared onsite by the Newcomer Kitchen chefs who also brought many samples of their traditional food as a taste preview of their offerings at this year's festival. The chefs departed with their fresh harvested Ontario garlic which will feature in their dishes baked in a brick oven at the Toronto Garlic Festival: Kibbe, meat and bulgar dumplings, and Fatayer, a triangular pie stuffed with cheese and garlic.
The work entailed in growing food organically reminded the women of farm life in Syria. For McClusky, it was a unique opportunity to share his passion for Ontario garlic. "The enthusiasm of the Newcomer Kitchen chefs showed me that the love of garlic transcends national boundaries. A highlight was hearing them sing 'Old McDonald Had a Farm' in Arabic."
Newcomer Kitchen joins Toronto Garlic Festival chefs in preparing meats, fish, salads, even dessert and beer using local Ontario garlic at the 8th Annual Toronto Garlic Festival. An estimated 4,000 visitors nosh on delicious food and purchase their winter supply of garlic from over 20 local farmers and artisans. They'll enjoy live music, listen to talks on growing and cooking with garlic, watch films including Angry Inuk and Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers, experience a VR Farm Tour, indulge in free grilled garlic scapes and raw garlic shots and compete in the annual garlic breath contest.
Newcomer Kitchen is a 2-year-old, not-for-profit project where women cook traditional Syrian meals for delivery to surrounding Toronto neighbourhoods. Newcomer Kitchen has created meaningful employment for 75 women through pop-up dining, Syrian cooking workshops and special event catering. It has become a hub for social and cultural exchange.
In its eighth year, Toronto Garlic Festival, a not-for-profit, is on Sunday, September 16, 2018, 9 am to 5 pm. Venue Artscape Wychwood Barns is located at 601 Christie Street, Toronto, ON M6G 4C7. Wheelchair accessible. Admission is $5.00 per adult.http://www.TorontoGarlicFestival.ca Facebook: TorontoGarlicFestival Twitter: @TorontoGarlic Instagram: @torontogarlicfestival
For hi res photos and videos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1skgxeLAiW0UpewDfHg8DoZZJbnO9v8Eh?usp=sharing
SOURCE Toronto Garlic festival
For further information: Peter McClusky, Phone: 416 888 7829, Email: Peterm@torontogarlicfestival.ca