In late August I joined Rebecca from the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance for a road trip to Durham Region. We had been invited by the tourism board to experience their culinary tourism product first hand which they showcase every year via their Savour the Season festival.
Our adventure started at Archibald Orchards and Estate Winery a fourth-generation family farm in Bowmanville. We spent the next hour or so meeting with the friendly faces at Durham Tourism while munching on the most fantastic apple pie I have ever tasted. Fred, the owner of the Orchard and Winery then took us through a cider tasting highlighting his favorite bottles.
Our next stop was Port Restaurant located on a beautiful stretch of Frenchman’s Bay in Pickering. It was a pleasure to sample Chef Thomas Heitz’s Savour the Season menu which thoughtfully paid homage to local producers. The squash fritters were a to-die-for starter which we enjoyed on their sun drenched patio. The “farm to table” experience was highlighted as we sipped on two of Archibald’s cider offerings (sparkling and spiced winter apple). A perfect pairing.
Once finished lunch we hopped back in the car and stopped by the Pickering Town Centre Farmers’ Market for a quick visit. On the drive back to the city I closed my eyes and revisited my first ever whirlwind tour of Durham.
My takeaways worth sharing (and getting excited about): Pickering has a stunning waterfront and just down the road in Bowmanville sits a fine cider producer that everyone in Ontario should be proud of. I also enjoyed two unforgettable summer pies: Archibald’s apple pie is absoltuely addictive (I had two slices, with no shame) and Port’s plum streusel pie was a perfect way to celebrate the end of summer. Make sure to dabble in Durham, and when you do, don’t forget to swing by Archibald’s for a few bottles of cider and a big fat slice of their world famous pie. The chef at Port also offers up a local loving menu worth exploring.
Savour the Season Menu:
FOR THE TABLE
cauliflower, leek and spaghetti squash fritters
Hy-Hope Farm Breads
herb and garlic, raisin molasses, oatmeal honey and multigrain
-paired with geissberger farmhouse pressed apple cider and summer savoury-
Wind in the Willows
organic heirloom tomatoes
pickled golden and candy cane beets
chevre and feta
-paired with archibald’s sparkling apple cider-
Yellowlees Family Farm
lamb chop and sausage
apple and peaches and cream corn and baby white potato smash
braised red cabbage and bunch carrots
yellow and green beans
-paired with county durham signature ale-
plum streusel pie
-paired with archibald’s spiced winter apple-