The Copper Kettle Festival

Words and photography by Raleigh Seldon

The Copper Kettle Festival was such a great way to kick off the weekend. Here’s why:

Shiny, vintage cars! Yup, my fiancé was purring as he toured The Copper Kettle Classics Car Show.

 

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Hosted by The Thirsty Traveler, Kevin Brauch, the Copper Kettle Cook Off was the best part of the day. Chefs Rodney Bowers, owner of Toronto restaurant Hey Meatball and Chef Donna Dooher, owner of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, led separate teams in hopes of winning best dish.

 

Our very own Dabble Chef, Corey Burgan got up-close and personal with the honourary foodies! Here he is with Rodney Bowers.

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Corey with Donna Dooher.

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Farmers and community members donated all the fresh produce for the Cook Off. The surprise ingredient both chefs had to implement into their dishes? Creemore Springs Beer of course! At the end of the competition all left-over foods were then donated the Clearview Stayner Food Bank.

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There’s A Party Brewing in Creemore

Saturday, August 23rd 2014. Noon to 6pm. Rain or Shine.

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Come on down this Saturday, August 23 and meet celeb emcee Kevin Brauch of the Iron Chef US. He’s taming two teams (some of Ontario’s most gifted chefs, local farmers and community members) as they face off in culinary combat. Then, National Post food columnist, Bonnie Stern dishes out some prizes.

Presented as part of Creemore Springs Brewery’s annual Copper Kettle Festival, the teams, helmed by acclaimed chefs Rodney Bowers and Donna Dooher, will each create one delicious recipe using local, seasonal ingredients and of course, a selection of Creemore beer.  For more info: http://copperkettlefestival.ca/

As long as you’re visiting, pop into some of the fun shops. Victorian Values, Seasons, and the General Store are sure to please design enthusiasts.

And, all that shopping will probably leave you hungry for dinner. No problem. Creemore has a serious food scene—something for every palate.

Dabble hopes to see you this weekend in Creemore.

Charleston’s Top 5 Restaurants

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Scott and Crystal Winks know exactly what to order and where to order it from thanks to their expertise as the pens and palates behind Charleston Food Blog.

Happy to tag along, Scott and Crystal sent us to the city’s best restaurants and led us to the must order dishes on every menu. (It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.)

1. We’re told people travel from all over the country to taste FIG’s Tomato Tarte. Order several of chef Mike Lata’s dishes to share because you’ll want to try it all. The seasonal menu changes daily so visit more than once if you can.

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2. The name Closed for Business is sure to scare off or confuse many visitors, but the locals know better. This small drinkery has twice as many beers on tap as they do tables. The drink and food menus are both full of surprises. Try the duck pot pie, chicken salad or the pork slap sandwich—a perfectly fried pork cutlet, house-smoked ham, swiss cheese, green tomato chutney, with a house sauce that’s served on challah (egg bread). Need we say more?

3. Hidden on the first floor of the French Quarter Inn at the corner of Market and Church Streets is the delicious Tristan. Chef Nate Whiting runs the kitchen in this sleek, modern yet simple restaurant. Expect to be visually stunned by the beauty of the décor and the equally gorgeous food.

4. Pealz is the best spot in town to eat raw oysters. It is very small so head over there at 4:00 pm when they open to avoid the big crowds. If you can’t get enough of fresh seafood, go to Hanks and share the Grand Seafood Castle.

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5. Dying to try Southern food? Head to 82 Queen Street. Sit in the courtyard and order the she-crab soup and the barbecue shrimp and grits. If you want something that tastes like grandma spent the entire day in the kitchen, try Virginia’s on King. They turn out authentic cuisine using the freshest local ingredients and recipes that are 100 years old.

Drink in Seattle

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There are many things to love about living in the diverse  neighborhood. A leisurely walk in almost any direction puts you in contact with a dizzying range of places to get everything from a cold beer, a great glass of wine, or an expertly assembled cocktail. Here’s a selection of places where you’ll undoubtedly run into our wine expert Jameson Fink.

“All I ask is that you say hello, tip your bartenders generously, and tell ‘em Dabble sent you.”

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Top 5 Drink Experiences

1. It’s almost enough to recommend a visit to Poco Wine Room just to meet ownersBart and Peter, whose sense of humor is intoxicating. Add in a sleek, modern atmosphere, a vibe that can facilitate everything from contemplative solo reading to unbridled group hilarity, and you’ve got a neighborhood wine bar to frequent and cherish.

2. After you and your friends order a wild boar Sloppy Joe peruse the über-impressive list of beers on tap at Quinn’s. That beer selection gives Quinn’s the cachet to get those special, limited edition kegs of beer (I cannot name names or I will be banned) that our local, rabid beer geeks get wind of and drain in under an hour.

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3. You’ve got to check out the gorgeous new Sun Liquor Distillery location on Pike. And how many bars have an on-site distillery? Say hi to Erik, one of the friendliest bartenders in the city, and don’t be afraid to engage him with all queries spirits-related. He’ll probably even let you drone on about your life a bit as well. (Thanks for listening, friend.)

4. I knew Gregg as one of my all-time favourite wine customers, but when I found out he was a bartender at Knee High Stocking Co., I had to let him pour me a drink. Text them to make a reservation and then ring a bell at a hidden-in-plain-sight location. Request a seat at the bar so you can banter with Gregg, and start with a glass of their punch du jour.

5. I’ll admit I first came to the Barrio solely to drink the excellent margaritas but, if you go on a night Casey is behind the bar, get ready for some cocktail innovation. I became mildly obsessed with a ghost chili-infused tequila with which he makes a myriad of memorable creations.

Beer Pressure

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At one popular joint known humbly as The Pub I encountered my first experience with “Beer Pressure”. The Pub has a large screen TV that tracks consumption at each table, against other pubs throughout the country. The bartender and other diners (let’s be honest, they were drinkers not diners) encouraged me (by way of derisive shouts and stares) to drink more beer and not allow our pub to look weak. I caved.

“To suggest Czechs are obsessed with beer (pivo) is akin to saying a human being is obsessed with breathing—it’s an instinct.”

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Popular Pubs

U Zeleného Stromu (Bel.msk. n.mesti 6)
If it’s a warm day, head to the outdoor garden patio.

U Medvídku (Na Perstýne 7)
There’s a brewery and a small gift shop with kitschy beer merchandise like pilsner lotion. It also has an outdoor patio where you can enjoy a plate of sausages, mustard and sauerkraut for about $7, including beer.

U Vejvodu (Jilsk. 4)
A popular Old Town destination.

Books and Beer in Prague

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A short walk from Schwartzenberg Palace is the Strahov Monastery. While it’s still an operating basilica, the real attractions here are more earthly—books and beer. The gawk-worthy Theological Library dates from the 17th century and contains more than 200,000 volumes housed in an elaborately stuccoed and ceilinged room.

Check opening times—like many Prague Castle attractions, the Theological Library is closed from 11:45am–1pm.

Eat

Strahov Monastic Brewery serves simple Czech fare and, according to beer snobs, a heavenly brew. Take a seat on the patio or in the newly renovated restaurant.

Shop

The Library gift shop has lovely crystal paperweights and fine stationery to take home.