If you’re into great local food, get out to West London on July 17 and bring a “SmartAPPetite.”
This year’s Local Food Skills Feastival, to be hosted under the trees in front of the London Training Centre’s farm at Vanneck and Gainsborough Roads (west of Hyde Park Road), will be a chance to see the faces of the new local food economy according to organizer David Corke. It starts at 5:30 p.m.
He said the director of Human Environments Analysis Laboratory (HEAL) would be there to talk about the app London developers Inner Geek are creating on the Western University lab’s behalf, a location-based tool that helps foodies find places to buy or eat their favourite things.
SmartAPPetite is described as “a collaborative project aimed at supporting local farmers, producers, retailers, and restaurants” to knock down barriers to healthy local food.
“Our interest is economic activity,” Corke said. “So this app driving consumer habits ultimately creates more jobs, more Farm Boys in town, that sort of thing. When you talk about local food it sounds like hay feed but at this event there’s a blending. We’re creating a new food economy with technology.”
It’s a great networking opportunity but as always, attendees shouldn’t be afraid to talk with their mouths full.
At $60 a ticket this year’s event has a more family kind of feel than last year’s, with kids younger than 12 eating free.
Proceeds go to the centre’s Local Food Skills program, offered free to people exploring jobs and careers in the food sector, but don’t expect your run-of-the-mill chicken and salad charity dinner.
The epic salad bar will be back, with last year’s kale Caesar salad returning along with it. Corke used “watermelon” and “feta” in the same sentence but wouldn’t elaborate.
But who needs a big explanation when next door there’s a fresh oyster bar with crab cakes and shrimp for good measure, vegetarian stations (plural) across the way and Railway City beer from St. Thomas bringing up the caboose?
Also on board: soups made from roasted red peppers and tomatoes, or green pea and yogurt, spice-and-coffee-rubbed chicken tacos, steamed baozi buns with Asian-inspired glazed pork belly, cotton candy strewn with local maple syrup and strawberry shortcake with local berries.
And if there’s any more convincing needed, imagine a genuine wood-fired pizza oven on loan from the Stratford Chefs School cranking out gourmet pizzas under an open sky.
For tickets, track down Jill Morrison via email or phone her at 519-685-4331.