1537 Barrington Street, Halifax , Nova Scotia, Canada B3J 1Z41.902.420.9626
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Seafood ChowderChowder may be the most stereotypical dish on any restaurant menu in Nova Scotia, and that’s because everyone who likes seafood loves chowder. Here, competitions are held for chowder glory and everyone thinks their mother makes the best. This is my shot at perfect chowder — free of pomp and ceremony, but full of the best seafood in the province. The innovation is the pureed soup base, to which the seafood is added. For most chowders, I serve tea biscuits or good warm bread and garnish with some freshly ground black pepper.Roasted Root Vegetables and Ham Hock SoupYou could realistically call this soup “winter cellar veggie soup” as it features all those things we have plenty of all winter long in Nova Scotia. If you omit the ham hock and use only vegetable stock, you’ll have a delicious vegetarian version.A dedicated meat eater, I do love the warm and satisfying meal that this soup provides — with all of the ingredients. You can garnish it with a drizzle of maple syrup, balsamic vinegar or melted butter, or with pieces of honey-roasted carrot. Paired with a piece of buttered bread or a biscuit, this is a classic stick-to-your-ribs winter treat.Salad NicoiseGreat year-round salads are often hard to find if you are focused on sourcing local ingredients — pickings are slim in winter and early spring. I love this salad because it is flexible throughout the year. When I can use fresh tuna, just seared and thinly sliced, with heirloom tomatoes and garden greens, great. In winter, canned tuna is usually in the pantry, and I use wonderful greenhouse hydroponic lettuces, tomatoes, and wintered fingerling potatoes. And of course, eggs are always fresh and available year-round. This salad makes a wonderful meal with some very good bread and a crisp white wine.General Tao BaconCooking with bacon is a favourite activity for most Canadian chefs, and pork belly dishes are becoming more andmore common. What you are looking for from your butcher is a raw, uncured or smoked pork belly. Once braised,the meat is incredibly tender, and new flavours can be added. Inspired by a dish of General Tao chicken, the saucebelow has essences of ginger, sesame and garlic that work unbelievably well when glazed over the succulent pork belly. It is great as an appetizer with an Asian flavoured coleslaw, but if served with sticky rice it makes a fine main course as well.
"Cooking locally and seasonally isn't a trend. It's the way it's always been. And this will always be true of great food.