4 Chefs: Four Seasonal Ideas

Chef Dan Hayes w/ Pumpkin. Photo Elizabeth Nyland

Chef Dan Hayes w/ Pumpkin at Mitchell Farms. Photo Elizabeth Nyland

Autumn is a season for getting closer, snuggling in with loved ones in front of the first fires of the season and breaking out the slow cookers and canning supplies. The familiar smell of smoke fills the air and the crisp crunch of leaves sounds under our feet. It’s my favourite season of the year and not only because of reasons listed above, but because of the availability of so much of the year’s best produce.


Much local produce is still available during this chilly time of year, such as pears, apples, herbs, corn, various squash, cranberries and mushrooms. We asked some of our favourite local chefs to share their preferred seasonal ideas for these local treats:


Sarah Russ & Dan Blackmore of Bin 4 Burger Lounge

“We have taken advantage of pumpkin this season by making one of our feature desserts a pumpkin cheesecake.”

Rebecca Wellman of Devour

“Jena and I received a big case of chanterelles … and were discussing preserving them. We decided we’d do a compound butter…. Sauté mushrooms, butter, herbs, onions and garlic with plenty of seasoning in a pan. Cool and chop. Whip butter in a food processor and add chopped mushroom mix. Roll into a tube shape between saran wrap (kind of like you’d roll a sushi roll), wrap and freeze. When ready to use, slice and top grilled tenderloin or veggies.”



John Brooks of  Smoken Bones Cookshack

“The pears at my house this year have been few and far between, and with this late warm snap during the days and cool nights, I have found the sugar contents and texture perfect for cooking. Being a BBQ guy, sauce is what I have found works great. Peel, cut and reduce the pears with one of the local wet hopped beers that have recently come out and add some brown sugar, vinegar and chillies for a great Carolina style sauce great with pulled pork, or baked into some Delicata Squash.”

Dan Hayes of  The London Chef

“I love autumn vegetables – they are so versatile….the color, the texture, and of course the taste.  Pumpkin might be my favourite. Have you seen the pumpkin field at Mitchell Farms? It’s amazing. I love cooking with pumpkins. Pumpkins are hearty and delicious and should not just be used for carving and then discarded – cook with them! Pumpkin is great for soup, salads, ravioli filling, baking, and all sorts of hearty autumn cooking.”


I know I’ll be first in line at the pumpkin patch this season and you’ll find me soon after in the kitchen cooking up stews, desserts and all kinds of slowly cooked delicacies. See you in the markets!

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