We are fortunate to have Bob and Irene Romaniuk as two of our regular garlic producers and presenters every year at the Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival and they're comin' back!!!
Bob and Irene have been selling at our festival since 1989 when they had a friend bring some of their product to Stratford. The friend called him quickly after the opening of the festival saying "You'd better bring me the rest of what y'all got because I've sold it all!" Bob's response: "Holy! You've got to be kidding me!" And the rest is history!
And in 2009, Bob and Irene began working the festivals themselves. Over the years, Bob and Irene have continued to expand their clientele and there's no one in the industry who is a stronger proponent of Canadian-grown garlic than Bob. They sell 70% of their production as seed and the rest is sold through retail sales. They've been premium gourmet garlic producers since 1978, on the sandy loam fields of their farms located in Brant County. Their area is part of the southwestern region of Ontario known for premium quality fruit and vegetables, as well as the diversity of agriculture crops from apples and ginseng to zucchini.
There are hundreds of garlic varieties including soft neck and hard neck strains. It has been their experience to have propagated numerous varieties over the years from cloves and garlic bulbils to bulbs. Through this experience, they have found the hard-neck strain called "Music" to be the main variety grown in our garlic operation. Through this strain, they have achieved a premium high quality gourmet garlic yield with Music consistently every year, and to their surprise have achieved some bulb weights just under half a pound.
If you're interested in learning everything there is to know about growing Ontario garlic, join us in the Presentation Theatre to hear Bob's presentation. Is there any garlic producer in Ontario more knowledgeable than Bob? We think not!
Andrew Tutt has been in the food service industry for over thirty years. Starting at the age of thirteen he has well over half a lifetime of experience in a variety of kitchen settings.
The Stratford Chefs School boasts one of the top chef schools in the country and is unique in the idea that only the finest ingredients are given to the students. The premise of starting with the best leads to the idea that you will finish with the best.
Andrew grew up in Stratford and after completing the Stratford Chefs School program he spent time working with Chris and Mary Woolf at Wildwood Inn .Then moving on to some of the top restaurants in Toronto including working with the Oliver Bonaccini Corporation under Chef Anthony Walsh, Andrew went on to work in many reputable restaurants in Stratford, Calgary and Canmore.
Confident in his abilities as a classically trained French chef, Andrew's inspiration comes from the diversity of many ethnic cuisines, his passion for excellence, sustainability, and local food.
Andrew will be sharing some of his culinary secrets with you at this year's Garlic Festival so that you can make that same magic happen in your own kitchen.
Chef Andrew Mavor is an amazing Stratford-born and raised chef who is now the teacher of Culinary Arts at Stratford District Secondary School.
Chef Andrew says: "The goal is simple…connect youth to good, clean and fair local food and develop their ability to prepare healthy meals from scratch. Their assignments are to bring the recipes home and to prepare them for their families.
To prepare healthy meals and enlighten their parents, grandparents and in the future their kids to fresh yummy food. They are the cross generational tool of change.
The Avocado (previously known as The Screaming Avocado) is an extension of the thriving, innovative Culinary Arts Program at SDSS that has grown to include over 200 students per year, a large kitchen classroom, 3000 square feet of organic garden, an organic greenhouse, a six-acre school farm initiative, a culinary club with national and international experiences, outreach programs to elementary students and support for their Culinary Club Dinners from world-renowned chefs including: Jamie Kennedy, Jason Bangerter, Jonathon Gushue, Winlai Wong, Michael Smith and so many more."
So bring the kids...the husbands, too...and see what tricks Andrew has to share. Should be a fun time! With Chef Andrew's wealth of experience, we're all bound to learn some new magic.
Chef Eli Silverthorne, as his Twitter handle says, is the #truffledchef.
A London, Ontario native and Red Seal Chef, Chef Eli has worked most recently at The Berlin (K-W) and Stratford's Prune Restaurant. He was Class Valedictorian for his graduation from Stratford Chefs School in May, 2015, and has staged for Maison Publique, Richmond Station, Scaramouche and Araxi in Whistler, BC., all top restaurants in the country. Chef Eli also completed his B.A. in history and political science at the University of Western Ontario in 2006 and has worked as an educational aid at Fanshawe College for six years. Currently, Chef Eli is an Instructor of Practical Cookery at Stratford Chefs School. Chef Eli tells us that his favourite part of being a Chef is being able to utilize all five senses plus intuition and imagination at the same time. He is constantly visualizing, smelling, tasting, touching, and listening, whether it be to other chefs or sizzling burners…all the time! Few occupations demand so much of you at any given singular moment. He loves the challenges offered by food.
We are thrilled to have Chef Eli join us once again at this year's Stratford Garlic Festival to share his love of all things colourful and culinary!
Rick is a long-time Stratford resident who began his musical career at the age of five on classical violin and the ukelele. Rick is a Guitarist, Bassist, Audio Engineer, Music Programmer, Music Producer, Photographer, Cat Lover and Hat Lover. Rick returns to the Stratford Garlic Festival after many years of participation. He performs his smooth jazz, folk and soft rock at weddings, corporate events, private parties, restaurants and house concerts.
Rick has performed in many fine establishments such as Tuttco Eatery, Snapping Turtle Coffee Roastery, Revival House, Maelstrom Winery, and Hughson Hall. He not only performs each year for us at the Kiwanis Garlic Festival, but he is also our Audio Engineer. Our sincerest thanks to Rick for his ongoing support of our Kiwanis ventures and projects.