Abruzzi, London, Ontario
Chef/Owner Dave Lamers is inspired by the flavours of the Italian countryside but his real passion springs from growing up on a farm, collecting the freshest eggs and helping in the garden here in Canada.
We first met when he was a newly-graduated young cook on Prince Edward Island where great seafood was down at the dock and fresh produce was just out the backdoor – they “made it so easy to get excited and learn about how important it is to use seasonal ingredients because you can’t compare the taste of a sweet pea fresh from the garden then one shipped from out of the country.”
At Abruzzi, in downtown London, Ontario he makes everything on premises — pastas, gelati, pancetta, guanciale and an array of desserts. His brother’s butcher shop in Woodstock supplies all the meats, including 28 day dry-aged beef, which are sourced from 100 miles around that community.
The fish comes from Organic Oceans, a BC fishermen’s cooperative that have started a distribution company. He has been using flour from Arva flour Mills about 15 minutes from the restaurant for their bread and fresh hand-made pastas.
The ducks are sourced from Everspring Farms in Ilderton. 20mins from the restaurant. In season he gets 90% of his vegetables from a organic farm called Loco Fields from Stratford. He purchases bison comes from Blanbrook Bison Farms in St. Mary’s and writes that “it’s free range antibiotic free and is the most tender luscious meat I have ever had.”
He is absolutely strident about using vegetables and fruits that are in season. “You will never see a piece of asparagus or a strawberry in my fridge in the winter, our peaches are from Niagara and when they are in season we use them.”I think it’s so important to cook that way because it gives guests and the chefs in the kitchen something to look forward to every season. As winter rolls around you want to start using all the roots and cabbages, then as spring comes its time to get excited again about fiddle heads, asparagus, radishes and morels.”
Local wineries – Lailey, Tawse, Pondview, Burning Kiln – all find their way onto the Abruzzi list from time to time.
Abruzzi is one of about 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below.
Abruzzi est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs .
119 King Street,
London, Ontario, N6A 1C3
T: 519-675 9995