Chef Bryan Steele has taught and mentored dozens of Canada’s new wave of top chefs. In his role as Chef/Instructor at the Stratford Chefs School, which holds classes in his kitchen, he has, in many ways, laid a foundation for the food revolution that we are currently experiencing today in this nation.
But when the students have left for the year, he returns to a full time role as the Executive Chef at The Old Prune Restaurant, one of Festival theatre-goers top choices for a pre-dinner meal or languorous lunch. His menus are filled with the names of local producers; Churchill Farms meats; Soiled Reputation greens; duck from Everspring and herbs and vegetables from Carol Francom’s beautiful garden.
His menus are not only good to eat, but they are good to think. His is intelligent, fabulously flavourful cuisine which often makes a culinary statement that honours both Ontario’s history and the ultimate agricultural nature of his region in Canada. At a recent lunch he served a wild asparagus soup with smoked cinnamon cap mushrooms that was second to none I’d ever tasted. Next was a local rainbow trout, baked in salt then served with pickled wild leeks, amaranth, tarragon foam. Again…absolute perfection.
He sources heritage breeds of pork and just for fun that day he and his lucky protegées made a trio of preparations to be served on one plate. He used the meat of an English Large Black, a breed with origins in the 16th and 17th centuries, to create a pig head terrine to go with Anthony John’s greens; a perfect farmers sausage with German fingerling potato salad and thick, pink slices of smoked shoulder & loin to go with stewed cabbage and apple.
The finale of this lunch was rhubarb compote with preserved Sea Buckthorn and a fresh (made in house) ricotta dumpling.
The Old Prune is one of about 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below to reserve a table.
The Old Prune est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. Contactez The Old Prune directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre réservation.
The Old Prune
151 Albert Street,
Stratford, Ontario N5A 3K5
T: 519 271 5052