In Case You Missed It

The accolades just keep coming for chef Irwin MacKinnon. He was awarded the 11th annual Distinguished Alumni Award from Holland College. MacKinnon graduated from The Culinary Institute of Canada, worked in Switzerland, then Germany, and returned home to PEI where he became the head chef at Papa Joe’s restaurant, a position he has held for more than 25 years.

A mentor to dozens of interns and culinary students in his kitchen, he’s travelled globally to promote Island shellfish but is well-known among farmers, producers, and artisans as a pioneer of the local movement on PEI. He has led many PEI-focused initiatives, including Fall Flavours and racked up well-deserved awards in the last few years.
Skip the Dishes, a food delivery business operating across North America, has finally opened in PEI. Restaurants participate by offering their menus online so diners can order food and then choose pickup or delivery to their homes. Currently only restaurants in Charlottetown are using the service, but expansion beyond the capital city is expected soon.

Charlottetown’s Urban Beehive Project by Nine Yards Studio, was a recipient of a 2018 National Urban Design Award. The awards are given to projects that reflect a range of ideas about reclaiming and enhancing public space while addressing challenges such as urban density, environmental sustainability, and affordability. In collaboration with the community, the architects created a destination to learn about the importance of bees in a sustainable environment. Two sculptural structures house thousands of bees and serve as a learning platform for demonstrations. Like a public art installation, they attract people. An amphitheatre made of hexagon blocks gives seating, a framework for interpretive signage, and spaces for children to burrow and climb. The project has become a play structure, a sculpture, a garden, and a tool for hands-on learning.

The Coalition for the Protection of PEI Land has been formed to address land ownership and use on the Island. Formed out of concern for land use, the group aims to educate Islanders about the Land Protection Act and to hold the government accountable for enforcing the law. Their Facebook page states: “We are a group of concerned islanders from a diverse range of backgrounds who have formed to raise awareness about critically important land issues on PEI. We hope to work with government in order to tighten regulations in order to protect our land for all islanders, now and into the future.”

Last month, we missed a few winners of the Tourism Industry Association of Prince Edward Island awards. Congratulations to Mitch Cobb of Upstreet Brewing for the Emerging Entrepreneur Award; Pat and Meghann Deighan of Trailside Music Cafe and Inn who were granted the Premier’s Award for Tourism; Chef Ilona Daniel, Holland College Culinary Institute of Canada received the Tourism Trailblazer Award, and Carl Nicholson from New Glasgow Lobster Suppers who was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Tourism. As noted in November’s ICYMI, Derrick Hoare, of The Table Culinary Studio, was given the inaugural Canada’s Food Island Leadership Award.

The Dundas Fair Grounds, home to annual plowing match events in eastern PEI, have been upgraded with funding from the PEI government. “The improvements and expansion to the horse shoe ring and show area have truly changed the grounds,” Gordon Jackson, operator of the Dundas Fair Grounds said. “We are so excited and proud to have the province of Prince Edward Island contribute to our achievements as a rural community and to the successes of our future”. The PEI Provincial Plowing Match & Agriculture Fair Association Inc. celebrated its 78th year of agricultural success this year with the first match being held on October 2, 1941. Every year more than 6,000 visitors from near and far attend the plowing matches in Dundas. From the early origins as strictly a ploughing competition the fair has grown to include a wide variety of livestock competitions including the national agriculture show. Many other events are also held on the grounds such as community activities, workshops, weddings, and dinner theatres.

Congratulations to the PEI 4-H Royal Dairy Team who placed 10th for overall county/province out of about 50 groups at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair takes place each November and welcomes more than 300,000 guests. The Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show, and showcases Canada’s leaders in agricultural, food, and equine excellence. Our PEI team included: Maddie Stewart who was the Junior Yearling and Reserve Grand Champion; Parker Mann, who placed 14th in the Junior Calf category; Reagan Bouma, 4th in the Jersey Summer Yearly category; Emily McKenna, 7th in Summer Yearling; Porter Weeks placed 9th in the Senior Calf competition; and Owen Stewart was 9th in the Junior Yearling category.

Also at the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair, Cows Creamery took home eight awards including Reserve Champion Cheddar at the annual event. Their Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar won three separate awards: Reserve Champion Cheddar, Silver Tier Award for the Highest Aggregate, and Best Aged Cheddar. ADL also took home a third place award for their medium Dairy Isle cheddar.

Staying with the winners’ theme, both Summerside and Charlottetown’s Chamber of Commerce held their annual Excellence Awards in November. Food related businesses came away with some serious accolades, including Seafood Express, winner of the Excellence in Business Award; Navigate Food Safety Solutions, winner of the Export Excellence Award; South Central Kitchen & Provisions, New Business of the Year, and Holman’s Ice Cream Parlour, Innovator of the Year.

Just as we went to press last month, Riverdale Orchard walked away with four Gold certificates at the 2018 Atlantic Canadian Beer Awards in Halifax. Congratulations to this new cidery for their Cider of the Year, New Cider House of the Year, and Cider House of the Year awards, as well as a Gold in the Standard Cider and Perry field. Riverdale Orchard began making cider this summer.

About Salty Staff

A diverse group of people, the Salty team works hard each month to bring you great stories about PEI's food and farming community.

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