Kitchener’s 100 Mile Feast and Feast History

Chef Lori Maidlow shows her passion as she prepares for Kitchener's 100 Mile Feast of 2015 - A Taste of Spain.

Chef Lori Maidlow shows her passion as she prepares for Kitchener’s 100 Mile Feast of 2015 – A Taste of Spain.

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November is the month that Kitchener, Ontario, Canada,  chooses to celebrate harvest time with an annual fundraising event known as The 100 Mile Feast.

The 2015 theme was – A Taste of Spain. The Chamber of Commerce hosts this event annually with a different theme each year.

The 2015 feast was a grand six-course meal with wine pairings. The feast was celebrated with a themed spread of food that offered too many ingredients to count, all from sources within 100 miles of Kitchener. This trend towards buying and eating locally celebrates the local farmers and food producers of this area. The variety was astounding and to be celebrated.

I peeked in the kitchen for a few moments to appreciate the work that really goes into creating a modern day feast. I saw Chef Lori Maidlow running the kitchen like a Culinary Queen, without wasting one movement or moment but performing with the grace of kitchen royalty.

The elegant table settings covered the table with china, glass and cutlery, to accommodate the many tastes we would experience.

Roasted Simcoe, Ontario, tomato soup with crisp Pingue

Roasted Simcoe, Ontario, tomato soup with crisp Pingue “Iberian Ham” and extra virgin pristine canola oil.

The menu was  extensive, but to give a nibble of just two of the six courses we experienced at this modern day feast:

Roasted Simcoe, Ontario tomato soup with crisp Pingue “Iberian Ham” and extra virgin pristine canola oil 

Served with Faustino white (Viura grape)

Slow cooked Fearman’s Pork Belly; smoked paprika infused squash puree and fino sherry gastrique

Served with Lan Crianza red (Tempranillo grape)

At our table, among other guests was food commentator Andrew Coppelino. We discussed how we, (all of us) have little appreciation of how our food makes it to the table. The people involved in raising, growing, preparing, and serving food are the unsung heroes of what we eat each day.

Veal striploin, saffron rice, romesco sauce, lemon, homegrown sage butter

Veal striploin, saffron rice, romesco sauce, lemon, homegrown sage buttergrowing, harvesting, butchering, preparing, and serving are really the unsung heroes of the food we put in our mouths each day.

Enjoying this sumptuous modern day feast was one way to celebrate those who work so hard to feed us each day.

A Very Grand Feast 1465 

Five hundred and fifty years ago was a very grand feast. I could not resist digging back into history for a description of a feast that is difficult to imagine.

This elaborate feast of the past took place to celebrate The Enthronement of George Neville as the Archbishop of York in 1465, at Cawood Castle. Two thousand and five hundred guests were fed at each meal.

Here is a list of the animals used to provide meat for this feast. (Old spelling is used)

Oxen 104, Wild bulls 6, Muttons 1,000, Veals 304, Swanns400, Kids 204, Cranes 204, Chickens 2,000, Connies, 4,000,Bittors 204, Heronshars 400, Pheasants 200, Partidges 500, Woodcocks 400, Curliews 100, Cappons 1,000, Piggs 2,000, Plovers 400, Quailes 1, 200, Rees 2,400, Peacocks 104, Mallards and Teals 4,000, Staggs, buck and does 500, Egrits 1,000, Porpoises and seals 12.

There is some speculation that the list may not be completely accurate, but it does tell us of the birds and animals consumed at that time in history. The complete list of food for the feast can be seen on the Yorkshire Archeological Society website. Here is the link. https://www.yas.org.uk/content/treasures/neville.html

Feasts continue from the past to present. Guests dress in finery, and enjoy food cooked by those who perform culinary magic.

We should celebrate the work of those who put the feasts on our tables everday. 

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2 comments

  1. By the looks of the number of forks and knives surrounding the bowl of soup, I expect you were eating several courses over a few hours! Everything sounds wonderful. And, yes, taking the time to consider where our food comes from is soooo important. I farmed for 18 years and ran extensive U-picks as part of the operation. One day, a family arrived wondering what was on the go for U-Pick. It happened to be peas. I positioned them in the field with some baskets and showed the young boy how to pick. The I showed him how to pop a pod open, pluck out the peas and eat them (telling him he could eat as many as he liked.) He looked dubious. Then he turned to his mother and said, “But where’s the can?” My point: there’s a huge disconnect with people regarding where their food comes from. Thanks for this Jan!

    Like

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