Decompress in Prince Edward County with Chef Jamie Kennedy

Posted by Jen McNeely, July 06, 2016


If you're visiting us at Drake on the Lake in the next couple months and seeking a divine culinary experience, reserve a spot at Chef Jamie Kennedy's Summer Dinner Series. In for a date at Jamie's Kennedy's on us? Read on for details on how to win dinner for two!

Jamie Kennedy Dinner Series

At the top of the vineyard hill, the path leading to the ridge.

It was 1999, a few years before the opening of Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, when Jamie began to hear murmurings that a new viticulture area was emerging in Prince Edward County. Always passionate about wine, and having dreamt of owning his own vineyard, Jamie organized a summer holiday for his family in The County. Not long after, he purchased a property that he affectionately calls "The Farm."

Beyond having a magical escape for his then young children, Jamie was also curious about the relationship between rural farming and downtown dining. "I was looking at ways to reconnect cities with rural areas, and exploring new economies around food." It’s this curiosity that has defined his food philosophy and cemented him as one of the pioneers of Canada's contemporary farm-to-table movements.

Jamie Kennedy Dinner Series

Jamie chats with a guest while watching his fries cook - also on the ridge.

From now until late September, Jamie is hosting thirteen five-course dinners at his farm on Saturday evenings, inviting intimate groups of city-dwellers to decompress and discover the terroir that has inspired his cuisine for nearly two decades. "I believe very strongly in the terroir of Prince Edward County; the taste of vegetables coming out of the ground here is excellent," says Jamie, but his inspiration runs far deeper than that. "The wineries, artisans, people of the local community: these are all relationships I explore in the summer dinner series."

An evening at Jamie's farm starts in his vineyard. Guests will congregate on the ridge to enjoy some wine, most often poured by a local winemaker. "I love to explore the harmony that exists between wine and food. There's always an element of discovery in the experience," says Jamie, who wants guests to relax and unwind from city life in a natural outdoor space.

Jamie Kennedy Dinner Series

Grilled flatbread with fresh peas crumbled sheep's milk feta.

Jamie Kennedy Dinner Series

Some fruits and veggies are grown in Jamie's garden while others come from neighbouring properties and farms. It goes without saying that each week will have a different focus on locally grown and seasonal food. "We've gone through asparagus, we’re almost through strawberries, and now we're into rhubarb. Peas are really great right now. In another week: summer squashes. Three weeks or so: tomatoes."

Jamie Kennedy Dinner Series
Jamie Kennedy Dinner Series

Pickerel meunière with rice and peas.

When asked what he's enjoying most right now, Jamie points to the water and tells me about local fisherman Kendall Dewey: "He's one of the last remaining commercial fishermen in the area. We talk every week." White fish, pickerel, perch: the catch of the day will be elegantly plated with the freshest local veggies and legumes. Each dinner also includes a cheese course, featuring the finest cheeses from local dairies.

Following dinner, a bonfire is lit. If you want to enjoy wine and linger, you're most welcome to.

"The air is cleaner, you're close to nature, the sky is clear. I can hear the creek, I can see the stars...it takes you down. I sleep really well here." Come see why this piece of land has been so influential in shaping Jamie's creative vision, mindset, and remarkable career as one of Canada's finest chefs.

Jamie Kennedy Dinner Series

Wine on the ridge, five-course dinner, bonfire...it's as dreamy as it sounds.


CONTEST

We love sharing great culinary + cultural events like this one with our Drake family! Sign up for the AKE, our monthly newsletter, and be automatically entered to win a dinner for two at Chef Jamie Kennedy's Summer Dining Series in Prince Edward County. Winners will have a selection of dates to choose from for this culinary experience.

ENTER HERE



*All photos by Jo Dickins

Posted in: Food + Drink

Tags: Drake Devonshire  Food + Drink  Guest Chef Series  Jamie Kennedy  Prince Edward County