For over three decades Jamie Kennedy has been instrumental in shaping the culinary landscape in Canada. His innovative approach to gastronomy, commitment to sustainable agriculture and advocacy of local food have been unwavering. He has been executive chef and owner of several acclaimed Toronto restaurants, including Palmerston, Jamie Kennedy at the R.O.M. (aka JK ROM), and the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. Today he’s most often seen at Gilead Café although his company, Jamie Kennedy Catering, is also extremely active. In 2010, Jamie was honoured for his contributions with two major appointments; with Chef Michael Stadtländer, he was awarded for his leadership at the inaugural Governor General’s Award in Celebration of the Nation’s Table, and soon after he was appointed to the rank of Member of the Order of Canada.
Enter acclaimed columnist and author, Tony Aspler, who is simply Canada’s foremost authority on wine. Also a recipient of the Order of Canada in 2007, Tony has been writing about wine for more than 30 years. A columnist with the Toronto Star for 21 years, Tony is the author of 16 books on wine and food including “The Wine Atlas of Canada”, “The Wine Lover’s Companion”, and “Tony Aspler’s Cellar Book”
The third member of the team is Chef Ross Midgley. Born in Montreal and raised in Prince Edward Island, Ross grew up around hospitality. He recounts how his mother absolutely hated the kitchen but because she was a consummate entertainer, Ross learned the craft and importance of hosting a good party. In retrospect, it is no surprise that after university and stints in teaching small business and banking, he turned to the professional kitchen as a ‘born again’ chef and went ‘home’ to P.E.I. to hone his craft at The Culinary Institute of Canada. He settled in Niagara although he did several ‘stages’ at Quebec’s L’Eau à la Bouche, and Toqué.
Ross understands regional cuisine…likely as well as anyone in any kitchen in Canada. His menus absolutely resound with the bounty of Niagara. The buzz was happening amongst the food community so, on St. Patrick’s Day, with my son Jeff, himself a veteran of restaurants like Sooke Harbour House, Scaramouche, On the Twenty and Stadtlander’s long-lamented Nekah, we treated ourselves to a what we consider as research, well-laced with pleasure. It was great fun!
The Great Lakes fish chowder was a masterpiece of small, classically-shaped fish quenelles, chunks of potato and a swirl of beet (Pairing: Henry of Pelham’s Cuvee Catherine sparkling). A vegetarian/goats cheese tartlet was framed by pepper purees (Pairing: Creekside Sauvignon Blanc 2009). Lake Erie pickerel, with it’s lovely crispy skin, was layered on top of colcannon, the Irish dish spiked with house-smoked bacon and served in a pool of chive butter (Pairing: Foreign Affair Chardonnay 2008). Tarte Tatin was perfect — with it’s whisky caramel sauce, meltingly rich vanilla ice cream and locally -grown black walnuts made into praline (Pairing: Irish whisky on the rocks).
Windows by Jamie Kennedy is one of about 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below to reserve a table.
Windows by Jamie Kennedy est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. Contactez au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre réservation.