So many of us are becoming more educated and inquisitive about the food we eat, where it comes from and how it is prepared. There is a growing trend where restaurants are not only providing food, drink and hospitality to their patrons; some are going the extra mile to provide us with background information regarding what's on our plate.
We see it everywhere these days, from dishes bearing farmers' names to the Savour Ottawa stamp on the menu. From the Chef and Farmer themed dinners going on all across North America, to our television screen, with Chef Lynn Crawford being the newest to have a show that brings her back to the farm.
A lighthearted clip from Lynn's new show
Everyone is going far and wide to find the story behind the food, including myself.
I experienced this added value to my meal this past weekend at Play Food & Wine. While my guest and I enjoyed the fabulous food, we were not only served by the charming, well-educated staff; the service went above and beyond just as our meal was wrapping up. While discussing our cheese selections with the Sommelier, we started talking about raw milk cheese and were unclear on some details surrounding the raw milk debate. Before the dessert wine had vanished from our taste buds, he was back with more information for us to digest and take home. We all learned more about raw milk cheese in Canada and the laws that govern cheese with respect to pasteurization.
It is inspiring when you see the passion that some people in the food and drink industry have for their work, and this experience helps prove that point. This kind of dialogue is something that continues to add meaning to our dining experiences. Those of us who work in this industry thrive on these experiences, where the customer is engaged and we can discuss stories, issues and even the odd anecdote surrounding a dish, a wine or an ingredient.
As we continue to learn and grow in our journey with food, one thing remains true: every time you sit down to eat, it is more than just a taste experience. You are welcomed, you are informed and you are valued. Whether it is at a restaurant or around the family dinner table, each meal should be savoured, understood and shared.
Here's to more engaging experiences!