Top chefs set to square off this weekend at UCV

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By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario - Save your appetite for the second annual Food Lovers' Field Days this Saturday and Sunday at Upper Canada Village (UCV) in Morrisburg.

An eclectic collection of regional food, wine and beer will be on display in an outdoor farmers’ market setting, located in the fairground field in the heart of UCV.

"We launched the event last year and it was a great success," said Susan Le Clair, manager, customer service & corporate communications for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. "This year, we went all out and came up with new ideas. One of them is the Iron Pan competition taking place on Saturday."

Armed with a box of local mystery ingredients, the region's top chefs will be squaring off at 1 p.m. The competition is scheduled to last nearly an hour.

Meet the competitors: Chef Ahmad Mansori, of Table 21 and Truffles Burger Bar in Cornwall, Chef Derek Macgregor, of Le Chien Noir Bistro in Kingston, Chef John Leung, of Steak Modern in Ottawa, and Chef Jhonatan Gonzalez, of Winchelsea Events in North Dundas.

"It's really cool because the chefs don't know what the ingredients are yet," said Le Clair. "They'll be given a single cast iron skillet and 30 minutes to come up with their dish."

On Sunday, the all-new sensational single-skillet suppers - made simple demonstration takes place at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m.

Chef Dwight Saunders, teacher and wellness consultant of Aura Culinary Arts in Iroquois, will lend his expertise, preparing three unique dishes from around the world, using local ingredients.

"People are always looking for a way to make a supper that's delicious, healthy and fast - Dwight will have the answers," she said.

Foodies are also invited to shop, dine and sample at over 30 regional vendors, including breweries, orchards and farms. Click here for a detailed list.

"This is one of the most exciting things about the entire event," said Le Claire. "It's amazing to see the really unique, quality vendors that are right in our backyard. Festival attendees can meet with the owners and see what they're all about."

Throughout the festival, foodies can eat 19th century style, too. Heirloom garden tours will showcase the region’s original 100-mile diet. And special heritage cooking demonstrations and taste testing will take place in three of the village's historic kitchens.

Other food-related activities will include grinding flour in the mill, baking bread in the bakery and making cheddar cheese in the cheese factory. Village flour, bread and cheese will all be for sale in the farmers’ market area.

For more information, check out the UCV website here.

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