Savour Food & Wine Festival

02 Mar 2009, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in chefs & restaurants, food, travel

We were fortunate to have sunny weather for our trip to Nova Scotia last week, where we attended the Savour Food & Wine festival featuring some of Nova Scotia’s best chefs, winemakers and brewers.

This is the event’s 7th year, and takes place throughout the month of February with tasting dinners, wine tastings and cooking classes throughout the region. (Now, dear readers, if you’ve been following closely — and we know you have — you saw that our first tasting dinner was at The Five Fisherman.)

Presented by the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia, Savour has built up a great deal of momentum, showcasing the finest Nova Scotia has to offer. During our time in the region, we’ve learned that said offering is a bounty of culinary riches, from succulent scallops (or SKAH-lops, as we have learned to say when in town) to candy cane beets and nutty ales.

And in case it hasn’t been obvious in some of our recent videos, we love Nova Scotia. The food and wine is as delicious as the people are friendly, and we’re always sad to leave. It was heartening to see so many familiar faces upon our return, and to revisit the wines we can’t get outside of the region (we’re not happy about that either). In addition to Jost, Domaine de Grand Pre and Gaspereau wines, we also discovered Blomindon Estate Winery with its memorable Baco Noir and port wines.

The grand finale of Savour was a grand tasting event at Halifax’s Marriott Harbourfront, seemingly filled to capacity with tasting booths and an eager, sell-out crowd. Chef Mark and I had a wonderful time sampling our way through the event, and even managed to find ourselves being interviewed for Canadian Public Television. (OK, which of you reading this in Nova Scotia has TiVo so we can get a recording? We are prepared to offer a bribe.)

I’m always amused at the way tasting events tend to unfold with a subtle theme or two, as if the chefs were comparing notes behind the scenes. This year Digby scallops took center stage — as well they should — along with sliders made with everything from lamb to Kobe beef. There was also an entire table devoted to sushi, resplendent with colorful platters and bright flavors.

We’ll have more videos coming soon with our adventures in Halifax, including a trip to the farmers market at o’dark-hundred with Chef Dennis Johnston from fid. I believe my final caffeine tally for the morning comprised three double espressos and two cups of coffee, but I forgive Dennis because he made me breakfast. We’ll also recap our meal at fid, along with videos of some behind-the-scenes action with chefs Eric Lee from Onyx and Trevor Simms from 44 North.

Many thanks to Emily Kimber from Destination Halifax, Christine White from the Winery Association of Nova Scotia, Pam Wamback from Nova Scotia Tourism, Jeff Ransome and his staff at the Marriott Harbourfront, and the whole gang who helped to make this trip (and our last one) a magnificent adventure. Next time we’re bringing a gaggle of people with us — and you might not get rid of us. Sociable!