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A Purist's DreAm

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Blood, sweat and tears are an entrepreneur’s recipe for success and Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers is no different. Since getting started in 2012, Dillon’s has grown and diversified from its Beamsville home - Page 6.


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Page 11 – Lincoln Crush coach and former lacrosse pro Jamie Taylor talks about building people, not just players Page 16 – Planning to go fishing? A little research before you set out can pay big dividends Page 19 - “Land of smiles”, Thailand, earns its reputation over and over again Page 23 - Take the “fast” out of breakfast; get beyond cereal and enjoy fresh flavours MARCH/APRIL EDITION 2018


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Dillion's Small Batch creating one-of-a-kind experience in Lincoln

molDing Athletes Storied pastime, lacrosse instills great life lessons

urge to exPlore? try thailand instead of usual Caribbean haunts

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"Serving West Niagara & Winona"

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“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” - Benjamin Franklin If you’re looking for a grind ’em up, spit ’em out attitude of winning at any cost in minor lacrosse, Grimsby native Jamie Taylor is decidedly not your man. If you want your youngster to gain some experience, learn about the game and themselves along the way and be the best they can be on both fronts, then you will be glad you read the feature on the former National Lacrosse League journeyman. Taylor will be a new coach in the Lincoln Crush minor lacrosse system and he brings a wealth of experience to the table. As a former number one draft pick and someone who made many stops along the trail of his pro career, he will have a lot of insight to offer his players and their parents. Surprises come along. Taylor’s career was not planned. It was almost a fluke, really, as he started out as a hockey player but found his skills flatlined. When he started cross-training with lacrosse, he immediately took flight and didn’t look back. The ability to read the tea leaves and adapt are key in the world of sports, just as it is in business. This month’s cover story on the ongoing development of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillery is proof positive of that. Geoff Dillon and family members sensed an opportunity, did their homework and launched their new business, which was quite likely the easy part but getting it up and moving forward is the more difficult, ongoing battle. Dillon and his team has listened repeatedly to what the market has told them and continued to adapt their offering to interest varied consumer interests and tastes. Being a good listener can serve you in good stead no matter what line of work one is in and Dillon’s has picked up on that, clearly. Starting out just over six years ago in what was, essentially, a little used drive shed on Tufford Road at the South Service Road in Beamsville, massive renovation and fine tuning has culminated in a unique consumer experience for anyone who has stopped by. As owner of a small, independent publishing company, I know all too well the perils and benefits of going the entrepreneurial route. A winning concoction is one part energy, one part smarts, one part creativity and one part crazy. Put all in a blender, mix well with anything from Dillon’s and you’ll be well on your way. Just kidding. The first three parts are true, though. Great respect to Team Dillon’s and continued success and, as well, for Taylor with his lacrosse charges. Publisher, ClubWest Magazine Mike Williscraft

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A purist’s dream Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers introduces liquid truth with 100 per cent pure rye grain whisky

A sampling of product mid-process. McDonald - Photo

Geoff Dillon started his Beamsville operation with a passion, a dream and a plan. By Joanne McDonald t’s circa 1895 and there’s a stirring of poetic alchemy, or maybe, it’s just a trick of the eye. Prolific writer and visionary H.G. Wells is in the building. And he’s reading comfortably from one of his scienceadventure novels against the backdrop of botanicals and berries distilling in copper pot stills – machinery resembling so much works of art as the hard working purveyors of spirits that carry the label of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers. The spirit of Wells fades back as Geoff Dillon, proprietor and distiller, reaches up to adjust a gauge on the copper columns. A young entrepreneur with a vintage soul, he takes pride in precisely creating craft spirits from the very best ingredients, the rich bounty of local Niagara fruits and the botanicals and absinthe gardens in his own back yard - one batch at a time. Now heading into a sixth year of production, the confluence of old school values with one-of-a-kind modern equipment and clever techniques has this small batch distillery in Beamsville carving out a big reputation on the local and international stage. It’s been a thrill for Geoff to see his spirits on the shelf at the LCBO. “Seeing that for the first time boggles your brain a bit.” He credits his father, Dr. Peter Dillon, a renowned scientist and retired university professor who taught biogeochemistry, as the “mad scientist” behind the wide range of unique flavours


and aromatics associated with Dillon’s spirits and the distillery’s thoughtful impact on the environment. “He’s such a huge part of this, the fun part where it’s all about experimentation,” says Geoff, of his dad who grows herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables on a ten-acre hobby farm. Extraordinary experimentals have come out of the copper stills but at the heart of Geoff’s dream, and from the very start, “we have always wanted to make 100 per cent pure Ontario rye whisky.” Dillon’s Rye Whisky is the only 100 per cent Ontario rye whisky. Six years aging, it’s now telling the story of liquid truth and being released in small batches. “To be called Canadian Rye Whisky means something. To be called 100% Rye Whisky made in Canada means something more. It means pride. It means made from nothing but pure rye grain - no barley, no wheat, and no corn. It means distilled one batch at a time in pot stills. It means no flavourings and no colourings were ever added. It means what we put on the label is what is inside the bottle. It means liquid truth.” Years and years of planning, investment, hard work, sweat, tears, wins, luck and good people. That’s what went into March/April 2018 |


Continued From Page 7 making this bottle. “This whisky is more than a richly unique tasting rye, it’s the liquid history of the people and places involved in producing an obsessively honest, purist’s dream of a Canadian rye whisky from 100% Ontario ingredients. We are proud to introduce to the world our truly grain-to-the-glass Dillon’s Rye Whisky.” There are two versions of Dillon’s whisky, both made the exact same way from the same ingredients. One is a tenbarrel blend using three different types of oak, the other is a single cask Ontario oak release at barrel strength. The local barrel maker is retired cardiologist Dr. Jim Hedges. “Twice a year we release one barrel of the Rye 1, our single cask ultra unique Ontario whiskey. We also have our benchmark rye, Dillon’s Rye Whisky, available at the distillery or the LCBO.” Craft distilling was almost non-existent 10 years ago. People imagined no further than the big brands on the shelves. But you could feel it happening, says Geoff, people realizing they could make local vodkas, gins and whiskeys. Dillon’s sales have grown across Canada, to England, and down through the states of New York, Florida, California and Connecticut. “I can’t believe something we made is out there for the world.” Geoff praises his 18-member staff team. Head distiller Dave Dickson is incredibly competent, always searching for knowledge to perfect his craft. Distiller Louis Hinshelwood is ultra creative with a passion for the history of distilling and he digs into the past to create long forgotten spirits. Jaclyn Harriman, a winemaker by trade, runs the fermentation side as well as bringing a fresh approach to the team. “Everything is word of mouth. People coming in for tours…it started with restaurants, bartenders searching for something different, finding us and telling their customers.” The small batch collection – the vodkas, gins, white whisky and a number of bitters - is diverse and expansive; everything

8 | March/April 2018

The gleaming copper stacks of Dillon’s distilling system.

Continued From Page 8 from a unique gin crossed with a liqueur and steeped in the sweetness of strawberries fresh from the Tigchelaar Berry Farms in Vineland to an incredibly complex, mysterious and perfect absinthe, cultivated in the distillery’s side yard garden. Geoff pours a taste of the Crabapple Liqueur released that very day at the distillery. He’s elated with the results. “We’ve been doing it in tiny batches. It’s a lot of work to pick the tiny crabapples.” One sip and the olfactory senses take a leap back to a free-range childhood where summer days were meant to comb the countryside in search of pungent crabapples and warm from the sun wild strawberries until the call home for supper. A small town boy growing up in Muskoka, Geoff’s distilling journey began at the University of Western

Ontario, where he earned honors in a double major in biology and economics. His experience only furthered as he trained abroad in areas such as Scotland and the U.S. while educating himself in the art of distilling. By the age of 20 he knew he would follow his own destiny. “We knew some people who owned a winery, toured with them to see Niagara and quickly fell in love with the area.” They thought they could use grapes to make an ultra smooth vodka or gin but then, saw there were strawberries, peaches, plums, “everything was here.” It was a perfect fit. Dillon’s was launched and now has its own botanical garden and absinthe garden on site. “We grow all kinds of stuff we use in our bitters.”


Dillon’s production team (L to R) Josh Mach, Aileen Wilson, Audra Stroncius, Rob Barber and Jessica Culp. McDonald - Photo March/April 2018 | 9

Continued From Page 9 Dillon’s is all about creating new products such as small seasonal batches and exciting new releases all the time and as Geoff says, “coming up with fun ways to enjoy the things we make in the place where we make it.” “We’re excited about doing something unexpected. We want people to come in to the distillery and see something they have never seen before. We want to make interesting, unique, small batch products that you can’t find anywhere else.” “We take fresh, local fruit and grain, and turn them into spirits. Not many distillers do that any more in Canada. We feel with every product we make we are bringing something new to the table. To book a tour or tasting call 905-563-3030 or email: Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers 4833 Tufford Rd., Beamsville Open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Email

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Building solid people one practice at a time By David Erman story. Taylor was a becoming amie Taylor believes a dominant player as he hit that lacrosse—with the his teenage years. proper guidance, can “There was no intention help develop kids into wellof me becoming that. It was rounded people. just a natural evolution of It has been a long and being a good player,” Taylor varied road for Taylor since noted. he first picked up a lacrosse He played half a season of stick at age four until he junior hockey in Burlington, finished up an eight-year but it was becoming obvious professional lacrosse career. that lacrosse was the sport The 38-year-old Grimsby where he could make a name resident has used the game for himself. to learn about himself. Now Playing for the Burlington he is prepared to give back, Braves Junior A lacrosse club not just to the game but in his last year of junior in into creating well-balanced 2000, he led the league in citizens. scoring with 103 points. A writer by trade, Taylor A gifted playmaker who chooses his words carefully also had some toughness and when he talks. He’s thoughtgrit, the next step for Taylor ful and thinks of the big was professional lacrosse. picture when he discusses He was drafted in 2000 such things as his coaching Jamie Taylor celebrates a goal during one of his two runs with the by the National Lacrosse Minnesota Swarm of the National Lacrosse League. philosophies and recalling League’s Toronto Rock in past glories and disappointthe first round, ninth overall. ments. He had a few offers to play college field As a Burlington Braves He will be coaching the Lincoln Crush lacrosse in the United States, but chose standout, Jamie Taylor Novice lacrosse team this summer. to go the pro route in box lacrosse where He won’t live and die with wins and he had a bright future with the two-time was a Round 1, ninth losses but, influenced by his lacrosse defending champs. overall draft choice of career which had some highs and lows, Taylor still remembers where he was he has a much bigger goal in mind. when he was drafted. He was out in the Toronto Rock It’s important for him to find ways for Vancouver. The NLL draft is not a big you mold lacrosse into them,” Taylor his players to thrive in the sport, so they production like the NHL’s draft where surmized. not only get more out of lacrosse, but prospect wears a suit and wait with famAs a youngster, Taylor initially used also so the team will get much more out ily for their names to be called before lacrosse as cross-training for hockey. of them. going up on stage. His older brother and an uncle played “My approach to coaching is to work “It wasn’t a big surprise,” Taylor said of on the person. That’s first and foremost,” lacrosse, so it seemed a natural fit. He being drafted, adding a few coaches had admits that it took him a while to like Taylor said. contacted him prior to the draft, includHis goal is not to create a lacrosse scor- lacrosse. Hockey was his passion and first ing his former junior coach who was in ing machine, but to build a well-rounded love when he was a kid. As he got older Buffalo. he started to become a dime-a-dozen person. “He was telling me that he was trying hockey player, but lacrosse was a different “You don’t mold them into lacrosse,


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PASSIONS Lacrosse Continued From Page 11 to trade up in the draft to get me - if I was still there in the second round, but he didn’t expect that to happen.” Injuries derailed Taylor’s professional lacrosse career, as he bounced around the league. He played in Toronto (twice), Buffalo, Columbus, Rochester and Minnesota (twice). He put up solid numbers when healthy, but injuries kept him off the floor more than on during his eight-year pro career. Taylor’s final season was in 2008. “It wasn’t prolific by any stretch of the imagination,” Taylor said with a chuckle, when talking about his pro career. While the game is on television and played in large arenas, the life of a pro lacrosse player Jamie Taylor with the Toronto isn’t glamourous. Rock. First there is the money, or the lack of it. Professional lacrosse players on average make under $20,000 a year. To survive, players have to hold other full-time jobs and juggle them with playing lacrosse. It means players have to shuttle to weekend games from December to April, airport to airport, with players coming in from across North America. “Looking back on it now it was an amazing time, both socially and athletically,” Taylor said. “But there was more to be desired. I wasn’t in the head-space to be a professional athlete at that time.” As he was embarking on his professional lacrosse career, Taylor was also embarking on his work career. He was focusing more on his personal and business sides than his professional lacrosse side. Which was a great thing for Taylor when the injuries came. “I blew out my knee three times. I had surgeries on my knee three times. I had a broken jaw. I had many broken hands. I blew ligaments in my ankle,” Taylor recalled. The pain and suffering wasn’t worth the little pay he received as a pro lacrosse player. That is when he opted to put his other areas of focus in play. “I wish I had done things a little differently,” Taylor said. Now married with a young son, Taylor runs his own screenwriting company and is a director of advertising for another company. Even though Taylor had a journeyman pro lacrosse career, it shaped the way he plans to coach lacrosse. His first foray into coaching was last season in Burlington, so

it’s still something new. “Sport is an amazing model for life. It helps you grow in so many ways—it helps you, it tests you, it breaks you and, of course, it builds you,” Taylor said, noting the process—the preparing for games, practicing—are the things players will take away and apply to life. The Lincoln Crush lacrosse teams will be underdogs this season as they play larger centres with more established minor lacrosse programs. Taylor said it’s important to build the program from the grassroots level and bring in the right people and structure. With a former pro player for a coach it’s obvious that kids will immediately benefit from the lacrosse skills that they will learn. What might not be so obvious—if Taylor has his way-- is the other skills such as perseverance, hard work and self-awareness that they learn and use in the future.


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Jason Barnucz shows off a channel catfish from Hamilton Harbour.

Planning helps ‘catch’ a break A little research before heading out can aid fishermen greatly By Brent Bochek ith February in the rear view mirror and March in front of us, I can’t help but reflect on the great ice fishing we had and the open-water season that is ahead. With a busy winter schedule of boat, fishing and outdoor shows, I don’t get to spend as much time ice fishing as I


16 | March/April 2018

would like to. One way I have increased my time on the ice is fishing locally. This year, I started fishing local waters close to Niagara such as the Grand River and Hamilton Harbour. The Grand River below the dam in Dunnville has produced good numbers of walleye for anglers this winter. Following schools of bait fish from

Lake Erie, these hungry walleye cruise the river bottom gorging themselves. The Northland Tackle, Macho Minnow jigging spoon tipped with a minnow head was my number-one producing bait followed closely by the Northland Buckshot spoon. Rob LeBlanc of Grimsby spent quite a

Continued From Page 16 bit of time on the Grand this past winter and by paying attention to his electronics and navionic charts, had great success. Rob prefered getting on the ice early in the morning while still dark and fishing the magic hours as the sun starts to peak over the horizon. Hamilton Harbour was a spot I was able to hit after work for a few hours. Meeting up with The Fishing Biologist, Jason Barnucz, we ventured out in search of walleye. Having done some research ahead of time studying the navionic charts, Jason suggested a deep water point that we should start on. Setting up with the wind to our backs, it didn’t take long before Jason had a live one. Rushing over to lend a hand if needed to land his catch, I was surprised to see a grayish flash below the ice. To my surprise but no so much Jason’s, he was fighting a healthy channel cat. This was the first Catfish that I had seen come through the ice and it wouldn’t be long till I saw another. We ended the evening on the ice with three channel cats coming out of the depth, all three were caught on jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head. As March leads into early April, the south shore of Lake Ontario lights up with activity from Salmon and Trout. The Niagara River brings warmer water into the lake and the current flows west along the south shore warming the waters. This, along with the creeks that are swollen from the winter melt and spring rains are bringing nutrients into the lake. Both the warmer waters and nutrients attract the baitfish, in this case, smelt and alwives which are closely followed by the salmon and trout. Trolling shallow running body baits such as the LIVETARGET, Smelt can pay huge dividends this time of year

Brent Bochek with a Grand River walleye.

when fished in 5-25 ft of water. One key factor is finding water that is green. If the water colour is blue it will be too cold, brown waters directly in front of creek mouths is generally too dirty. The green coloured water seems to be the right temperature and has enough

nutrients to hold the bait fish which, in turn, holds the salmon and trout. (Brent Bochek is a multi-species angler who guides for musky, bass & walleye in the Kawartha Lakes and salmon & trout on Lake Ontario. Check his website: or email; )

Sunrise on the Grand River.

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Mileage high but not cost for Thailand adventure

By Lorraine Simpson ach year many head south for the warm sunshine and white sand beaches to escape the harsh Canadian winter… but have you ever yearned to fill your culture cup and explore places much farther afield? This week I am in Thailand. The flight was long and – on paper – it certainly looked daunting, however on long-haul flights the food is certainly much better, the seats recline quite well even in economy and, typically, the


longest stretch of the journey will be over night so you can sleep. Then, when you wake up, you watch a couple of recently released movies, work with the plane wifi if you want to and then you are there. Traveling east one usually will avoid the worst jet lag, too, so your vacation begins right away! Thailand is love at first sight. It is unlike anywhere else on the planet. Starting with its people, the Thais are

among the most gentle, graceful and hospitable on Earth. Locals and foreigners alike, one is always greeted with the warmest hospitality and the most genuine of smiles, hence dubbed “The Land of Smiles” for which Thailand has been long reputed. Thailand, one of the most beautiful destinations in south-east Asia, has been a favourite of mine for decades. Sink into a swaying hammock with a fresh coconut in your hand, gaze at the March/April 2018 |


Thailand is a place like no other, in particular, Phuket Beach.

Continued From Page 18 beach, and consider going for a swim in the clear turquoise water, or exploring the nearby gilt-topped temple complex. The food is loved all over the world but the real Thai food will explode your taste buds as you discover that your local favourite Thai restaurant pales in comparison to every meal with the real thing. I started my Thailand journey as most

A visit to the royal temple is a must!

20 | March/April 2018

do, in Bangkok. Bangkok is a busy, cosmopolitan, spiritual, hotpot of cultures, tourists, food stalls and shopping. It may not be the prettiest location in Thailand, but it’s the nation’s capital and is home to an incredible amount of history, culture, architecture, and FOOD. Bangkok is all about food. You’ll never stop eating here, but the sheer variety can

be overwhelming! To get a deeper appreciation of Thai cuisine, take a food tour. All tours include a variety of mouthwatering food tastings (enough for lunch and dinner) – from Thai and ethnic specialty eateries, renowned street food stalls, to historic fine dining restaurants. How about a cooking class? I took a Thai cooking class at the world famous Blue Elephant and it was fabulous. The chef/owner of 38 years demonstrates first, then you each get to make the dish. Then they taste it and if you are in a group they judge the best one and give amazing prizes. It was one of the best cooking classes I have ever done. Such fun! All for just over $100 per person and you keep the apron and come away with gifts! Excellent value. A place you should visit in Bangkok is the Grand Palace (Royal Palace) and neighbouring Wat Pho, home to the famous reclining Buddha and massage school. The royal family doesn’t live in the palace (it’s only used for official state functions) and you can’t go into any of

Phang Nga Bay looks it would have made an excellent pirate hang out.

Continued From Page 18 the buildings, but wandering the grounds and open temples is worth the visit. It’s beautiful and the craftsmanship in the architecture is amazing. Go first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds. Afterwards, wander down the street to Wat Pho and the famous reclining Buddha (as well as the famous Golden Buddha). The Wat Pho complex fills a city block so while seeing the statues doesn’t

take long, you could spend a solid hour wandering the maze-like temple grounds. Next, head across the river to Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) and get stellar views of the city from atop the temple. It’s my favourite temple in the city because of the view! Take a tour of the Chao Phraya River, a relaxing and beautiful experience that shouldn’t be skipped. You can enjoy a half-day visit to the floating markets

Architecture, such as this temple, and culture abounds.

around the city (Khlong Lat Mayom and Thaling Chan are the two most popular). It makes for a filling morning adventure and if you get there early, you can avoid a lot of the crowds. After a fast-paced, culture-filling three days on Bangkok, I opt for a beach break. With hundreds of beautiful tropical islands, Thailand has no shortage of fine beach resorts. Most of the luxury beach resorts can be found on the islands of Koh Samui and Phuket. The best prices for accommodation can be found during Thailand’s low season, which not surprisingly also coincides with the region’s monsoon season. Resorts in Thailand are apt for the perfect getaway from the hectic city life of Thailand. Located mainly on the shores of azure blue waters, these resorts feature views that are a treat your eyes. Featuring infinity pools, fine dining restaurants, private beaches and state of the art Thai spas, each resort out does the other. These properties are nothing like the ones one typically finds flying south. They offer guests the chance to enter a realm of opulence and style in the warmness of March/April 2018 |


Continued From Page 18 Thailand’s tropical climate. With its perfect weather, perfect beaches and extensive list of perfect attractions and fabulous food. The island of Phuket has long been one of Thailand’s star attractions—especially since making a significant comeback from the devastating tsunami that hit the area in 2004. It’s where you’ll find some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, and travellers are spoiled for choice when it comes to luxury resorts that rival any others in Southeast Asia. Many of the best resorts on Phuket not only make use of the natural surroundings (snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking are all popular pursuits in this part of the Andaman Sea) but enhance it with design that works seamlessly with the island’s lush landscape and oceanfront setting. Strung along the western coast like jewels, this island should be a must do on your Asia visit. Still fresh from its 2014 opening, Anantara’s newest Phuket property (the other, Anantara Mai Khao, lies 40 minutes south) manages a perfect balance of jungle-shrouded seclusion and spot-on service with sleek, modern design. The glamorous result feels

like something out of a James Bond movie—especially at the resort’s just-completed Residence Villas. The mini-compounds, each self-contained and consisting of villas with three to seven bedrooms, sit high on the property’s hillside overlooking Layan Beach and the Andaman Sea. The views alone make it difficult to leave, but with their own private infinity-edge pools and 24-hour butler service, there’s really no need to. From only $160/night you will see the excellent value of these properties compared to similar down south. While you stay in Phuket, you really must visit Phang Nga Bay. You will know it perhaps as James Bond Island. Phang Nga Bay is a remarkable sanctuary of some 60 towering limestone outcrops, some of which have collapsed in the centre to form hongs (huge hollowed rooms with sunlight above) that are usually accessible at low tide. The water around here is emerald green and the whole area is simply breathtaking, even if the scene sometimes resembles a regatta. Most tours will include a visit to the very touristy floating Muslim village of Koh Panyi. Here are some travel facts:

• Getting to Thailand can cost as little as $900 on a good airline such as Air Canada or Emirates. • Then add the hotels which can be very reasonable. You will find that a week can actually cost not much more than a week in Mexico. I recently priced for a honeymoon couple a flight in Premium Class, villa with its own pool for nine nights and two excursions all for under $4000 per person and this was super high-end. • A 5-star beautiful beach resort coupled with the Marriott Marquis in Bangkok where I stayed (which I loved) will cost from about $1,800, including flight from Toronto and Buffet breakfast daily. Meals are typically from just $10 to eat well. Street food is famous here and will cost even less. I urge anyone to take the time to explore this wonderful area as it really is so different from anything you may have seen before, beautiful, interesting and will fill your culture cup to overflowing! (For More information and to book your Thailand Trip or any vacation you would like call Lorraine Simpson on 289-273-8095 or email



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905-945-0071 Family Owned & Operated by the Heemskerk’s Since 1990

22 | March/April 2018

Fasting or taking a break? By Jan-Willem Stulp ur culture has any number of options for ‘managing’ our health; lifting weights, specific diets, pro- and antibiotics, cleanses, and fasting. Fasting involves forgoing food or selected foods, and it used to be far more common than our current practices suggest. Today, our fasts often revolve around religious situations or holidays, but mostly for dietary reasons. And, reluctantly, prior to certain medical tests and procedure. In the past, though, fasting was a very common occurrence, (which is odd, as I think that people ate decidedly less in days gone by, than they do now.) In any case, fasting was done regularly, often happening multiple times a week. And so, the meal with which one would begin the day, was the ‘breaking’ of the ‘fast’, or break-fast, as we know it. In our day, breakfast is popularly considered the ‘most important meal of the day’, but that’s not necessarily true, at least, not anymore. Our ancestors got up with the sun and put in two or three hours of work prior to breakfast. This meant that they worked up an appetite, but there was also time to actually make something substantial, nutritious and wholesome. The ‘most important’ concept has been touted by various bigname cereal companies and with exceptional results. Breakfast cereal has surpassed most other styles of breakfast, combined! Firing up our electric toothbrushes hardly qualifies for hungerinducing lack of nutrition though. The one thing that still rings true, albeit with a twist, is the ‘fast’ part of breakfast. It’s gotta be quick! Today, sadly, our concept of breakfast, has much to do with how late we can sleep, as in, how much work do I need to do beforehand?


From my research, most people fall into one of three categories: 1. Convenience; sleep late, and have breakfast cereal with cold milk or toast.; 2. Convenience-plus; sleep right to the last ‘snooze’, then skip breakfast. And finally; 3. Ultra-convenience; get up whenever, and someone else makes breakfast. It’s this last group that has the most expansive breakfast usually (and, paradoxically, needs it the least…). Researching breakfasts around the world yielded some fascinating information; from Cambodia to Poland, Fiji to Peru, and everything in between, there were some really, let’s say novel, breakfast items. Sticky rice, refried beans, blood pudding, seaweed, and fried fish are some of the items that piqued my curiosity. Through-out all of that variety, some staples were available virtually everywhere. Baked goods and starches, eggs, fruit, some form of ‘porridge’, tea and coffee. Unfortunately, many of our cultures have succumbed to the ‘need for speed’ with pre-packaged microwave products, drive-through breakfast places, and sugarladen, synthetic cereals and baked goods. No ‘break’, but really ‘fast’. We’ve lost something, and I challenge you to re-think this. Next opportunity you have, strap on an apron, and forget the ‘fast’ part. Let’s take a ‘break’, and enjoy real food, with true flavours and a bit of time investment. Just making it is often enjoyable and sharing the results with others makes it even more so! Here are a couple of delicious, but simple recipes that put the ‘break’ back in your break-fast, and gives you a delicious start to your day. Chef Stulp co-owns, along with his wife Jane, Grand Oak Culinary Market in Vineland.) March/April 2018 |


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Fruit salad with mint and vanilla Here’s another lost treasure. So simple, yet so GOOD! If you’ve ever had one of those horrific ‘fruit cocktail’ concoctions that makes everything taste like pear, do yourself a huge favour, and make this. The fruit I have used is what makes sense, now; the season is early and most of the fruit comes from warmer climates. All the fruit in this recipe was chosen for ripeness, a very important factor. Get ripened, deeply coloured fruit, whether it’s strawberries, or raspberries or bananas; just make sure they are ripe and aromatic. I used an orange, seedless I shredded six fresh mint leaves, and then grapes and berries. Cutting takes mere minutes, (grapes in added some real vanilla and a drizzle of simple syrup – a pastry stand-by made of a ½ water and half, to let the juices out).

½ sugar, brought to a simmer and cooled). A few strands of zested orange peel: Fantastic and real!

Spring is around the corner, Go West

March 2018 • Winter Wonderland Food Tour March 2-4, 1-3:30 pm. Winter in Niagara on the Lake can be magical. Bundle up and join us for a a perfect blend of history, culture and of course culinary delights! Our professional and highly entertaining guide will lead you on a visit to a few hidden gems in the heart of Old Towne Niagara on the Lake. You may have a bit of Irish stew, sip on a little hot cocoa, visit a beautiful Inn near Lake Ontario and have an entirely enjoyable and tasty afternoon. This tour is approximately 2.5 hours long and we meet at the Irish Harp Pub and end a block away on Queen Street. Our tour is a 2 km stroll at a leisurely pace. Eat, Walk and embrace your inner foodie! Price: $50pp. Ph 905-468-1950. • Raclette Returns with the Cheesy Guys. March 3, 10, 17 @ 11 am - Back

24 | March/April 2018

by popular demand, the Cheesy Guys will return to the stage, showcasing their many talents through their raclette. Raclette (also known as a cheese) is a traditional swiss dish that can be described as melted cheese that is scraped onto boiled potatoes with an array of ingredients including gherkins, pickled onions, prosciutto and spices! You will also have a flight of wine to enjoy with your dish! Malivoire Wine Company, 4260 King St., Beamsville. Ph 866-644-2244. • Cave Springs Inn On The Twenty|Pra Italia - Sunday, March 11, 11:30 am. $90pp (exclusive of taxes and gratuities) Purity. Finesse. Elegance. These are the attributes that come to mind in tasting the wine and food produced by top, terroirdriven winemakers and farm-to-table chefs the world over. We are honoured to welcome Pra winery, one of the top estates

of Italy’s famous Valpolicella region. Join Cave Spring winemakers Angelo Pavan and Gabriel Demarco as they welcome Pra’s Diego Corradi to pair the finest wines of the Niagara Peninsula and Valpolicella with the refined cuisine of Inn On The Twenty chef Jason Williams. Savour an afternoon with an Italian-inspired, locally sourced menu masterfully paired with the wines of these two great wine estates. You will also have the opportunity to purchase the wines of Pra at the event. To reserve please call 1-905-562-3581 ext. 304 or e-mail: wineshop@cavespring. ca. Inn On The Twenty Restaurant, 3836 Main St, Jordan Station. Ph 1-905-5623581 • Paint Night at The Exchange Brewery - March 13 7-11 pm. At 7 pm, Paint Night will be invading The Exchange

Chef In Residence CUISINE

Caper, shallot and Chardonnay dressing Brief update; I have managed to put together a proper cold-smoker in which the temperature is appropriately cool for amazing smoked salmon. That means the fire-box and the smoke chamber are not the same space, but are separated, and only connected with a smoke duct. This allows the cured salmon to go through a nice, long smoke, (nine hours or more) without being cooked. Smoked salmon used to be a morning staple, on bread or toast, on a salad, or on its own. Here, I’m making a light salad, with caper berries (fruit of the caper bush from which the pickled buds originate) and an awesome caper, shallot and Chardonnay dressing. Stored airtight it will last for a couple of weeks, easily. INGREDIENTS: • Light, flavourful greens, such as mes-

clun or baby salads • 200 gr Your favorite smoked salmon, sliced. (I might be able to sell mine, some day….) • 3 Tbsp Chardonnay, (unoaked is better) • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar • ½ C Light oil, (I use sunflower) • 1 Finely diced shallot • 8 Caperberries, 4 finely minced, the others left as garnishes • Salt and pepper to taste DIRECTIONS: Artfully arrange the lettuces on a plate, and

drape your smoked salmon over top. I used some colour/texture additions, such as cucumber, cherry tomatoes and finely sliced red onion. To finish your dressing, combine the liquids, with a pinch of salt and pepper, and whisk to emulsify - add in the shallots and minced caperberry. Taste and adjust. Making this in advance does have a positive effect on the flavours! Use this on any other salad. It’s great with smoked salmon, but also will do well with goat’s cheese or as a bread dip!

Spring is around the corner, Go West

Continued From Page 24 Brewery with everything you need to create one-of-a-kind paintings, while sipping on our delicious craft beer. “The Exchange is a premium brewery and tasting room located in Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Old Town heritage district. Our selection includes a range of American styles along with sour and funky Belgian-style beers and ales. Exchange Brewery, 7 Queen St, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. Ph 905-4689888 • Dinner on Tap Cooking Class @ The Good Earth and Wine Co – March 18 Noon-2 pm. Chef Jason Bilkszto makes a return engagement to his old stomping grounds here at the Good Earth! Jason explores the versatility and flavour of our neighborhood craft brewery, Bench Brewing Company. His food is sure to delight your tummy and your senses! $95pp. Call

The Good Earth, 4556 Lincoln Avenue, Beamsville, to register, 905-563-6333. • Friday Night Dinner Series/Greek – Friday March 23. What better way to celebrate than with a great night out. Chef Sider has come up with some internationally inspired menus for this season’s Dinner Series. On six separate evenings he will treat guests to the cuisines inspired by some of the world’s most renowned and interesting culinary regions. So many of the classic culinary hot spots cultures revolve around sharing time together around the family table with fabulous food and wines. In order to truly (temporarily) transport you, we thought that we would bump up the social aspect of the evening. Dinner guests will dine familystyle at communal tables where they will share not only great food and wines with their neighbours but also great conversa-

tions. Seatings are at 7:30 pm. Seating is limited and you can book your seats at the table by calling 905.563.9463. Redstone Winery, 4245 King Street, Beamsville. • One Weekend - March 23-25 – 11 am-5 pm. Join us for a sampling of multiple vintages and estate paintings of Kacaba Syrah’s including the 2012 Reserve (Silver Medalist, Decanter World Wine Awards 2017 - London, U.K.), the 2015 Reserve (Gold Medalist –Ontario Wine Awards 2017), and the 2014 Tarrace Vineyard (Silver Medalist, Syrah Du Monde 2017, France). Gain insight how Michael Kacaba dreamed of planting Syrah in Niagara and how winemaker John Tummon successfully crafts awarding wining wines vintage after vintage. For more information contact us at (905)5625625 or March/April 2018 |


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Frittata or omelet My Chef used to be very particular about how to assemble this – making sure that the ingredients were added in the right order, and the egg/cream mixture was whisked to-order. Easier when you’re just doing this for yourself, instead of dozens, in a restaurant! Many vegetables work well. Just cut them so they do not take too long to cook, and select for colour and good flavour. I used red onion, leeks, sweet peppers, herbs and cherry tomatoes, but you choose what you like; asparagus, morels, roasted garlic, oh my! INGREDIENTS: Makes 2 • 4 eggs • 120 ml 35 per cent cream (for a lighter style, use milk) • Herbs, chopped (thyme, rosemary, parsley etc) • Your selection of fillings….. • Oil, salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS: Preheat your oven to 375F. Because it is such a reflection of what’s in season, or on hand, it’s not necessary to make a list of what you will add to your frittata – just play with this. Get your medium, non-stick and ovensafe frying pan very hot; - I generally start with sliced onions, for example, and then add other vegetables , and once I have about ½ cup of ingredients, I then add oil – this

prevents a lot of splattering and spitting. While this sautés, vigorously mix your egg, and cream, with herbs, and salt and pepper. Pour this into the middle of the vegetable mixture, and notice how it instantly begins to crust on the bottom and sides. If you had cheese to add, do this now, as it will nicely melt into the frittata. Put into the hot oven and cook for 15-18 minutes. Serve immediately, by itself or with a salad. Bon Appetit!

Spring is around the corner, Go West

Continued From Page 25 Kacaba Vineyards Winery, 3550 King St. Vineland. 905-562-5625 • Retreat For A Day – March 25, 2018, 10 am-4 pm. (Yoga/Vineyard Stroll/ Healthy Lunch/Mosaic Making Workshop). Spend your day on the bench of the Niagara Escarpment at the quaint, exclusive Cave Spring Retreat cottage. The private retreat building is a charming, rustic and bright venue nestled on the bench of the 20 Valley escarpment in Beamsville. It’s surrounded by Cave Spring Cellars vineyards, snuggled up to the back drop of the Niagara escarpment overlooking Lake Ontario. Your ticket includes a day at the exclusive Cave Spring Vineyard Retreat Cottage on the Niagara Escarpment, yoga class suitable for all levels - just bring a mat, no experience needed, healthy refreshment beverage, guided

26 | March/April 2018

stroll through the Cave Spring vineyards, healthy catered lunch, including a glass of Cave Spring wine - all meals are free of gluten and dairy + vegan options are available; Mosaic making workhshop - all supplies and instruction included 2nd glass of wine to help with your creativity, bottle of Cave Spring wine to take home with you. $149pp. Cave Spring Cellars Retreat, 441- Cave Spring Rd., Lincoln. 905-562-3581. • Private After-Hours Tasting: Back Vintage Wines - March 1/15/29. Let us take you through some of our Back Vintages Wines in this private tasting. You will also have the opportunity to purchase historic, iconic wines in limited quantities. Reservations are required and seating is limited to 25 people. Flat Rock Cellars, 2727 Seventh Avenue, Jordan. For reservations call 905-562-8994.

• March Madness at Trius Winery Restaurant - Daily March 2 – 31. Join us at The Trius Winery Restaurant in March for delicious deals on delectable dining experiences. Enjoy Frank Dodd’s 3-course prix fixe menu made with locally inspired ingredients. $55pp, plus wine, taxes and gratuities. Reservations required. Trius Winery 1249 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake. 800-582-8412. April 2018 SAVOUR THE SIGHTS - April 7. Enjoy an epicurean experience including five courses of fine regional cuisine, each featured in a stunning location of our winery. Relax amidst striking architecture as you savour award-winning wines complemented with gourmet cuisine. This ‘progressive’ dinner takes you on a gastronomic adventure...Jackson-Triggs Winery,

Chef In Residence CUISINE

Hollandaise OK, I admit, this is a bit about showing off; how many people make Hollandaise anymore? Or even know how to do it? Usually, Hollandaise is enjoyed with reckless abandon when others cook, think high-end breakfast buffet, cruise ship cuisine, or fine dining with fish or steamed vegetables. Eggs Benedict, easily one of my favorite breakfasts, used to be made for me (there it is…) by one of my sous-chefs, before a weekly morning meeting. She was awesome, (still is, actually) at always getting it right and it is a great memory of a wonderful way to enjoy Hollandaise for breakfast. I strongly encourage you to try this. To help you along, I’m presenting an uber-simple way of making it, using a new technique, with the

same ingredients. You’ll need a handheld immersion blender…. INGREDIENTS: • 1 yolk • 1 tsp water • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice • ¼ cup butter • Salt, to taste. (with salted butter, probably none) DIRECTIONS: To begin, put the yolk, water, and lemon in a blender-cup, or something similar. Next, heat the butter, either in a small saucepan or

the microwave, until it is totally melted and bubbling hot. Place the blender-cup on a moist towel, and begin blending, slowly drizzling in the hot, melted butter, while blending....should take all of, oh, maybe 30 seconds. Blend for a few seconds more until you have a nice foamy consistency with good body. Serve immediately, for sure within 30 minutes. I show it here spooned over steamed green beans and poached eggs. Wow!

Spring is around the corner, Go West

Continued From Page 26 2145 Regional Road 55, Niagara-on-theLake. 905.468.4637. • Get Fresh in the Valley – April 23/22, 28/29. Get Fresh in the Valley is a selfguided wine tour of up to 23 wineries in Niagara’s Twenty Valley wine country. It’s one of the most brilliant ways to learn about and stock up on our VQA wines. Our wineries are spread across five sub appellations that produce some of Canada’s most highly acclaimed wines: Beamsville Bench, Twenty Mile Bench, Short Hills Bench, Lincoln Lakeshore, and Creek Shores. Included with your passport is the opportunity to assemble your own Get Fresh Cookbook by collecting delicious spring recipe cards that feature the food and wine pairings you’ll be sampling on your winery tour. • Get Fresh in the Valley at Fielding Es-

tate – April 23/22, 28/29. At Fielding, we are pairing our unreleased 2016 Rosé with our Sweet Pepper Bruschetta with Feta Cheese on Focaccia. The alternate wine pairing option is our favourable 2015 Gamay. Fielding Estate Winery, 4020 Locust Lane, Beamsville. 905-563-0664. • Get Fresh in the Valley - April 23-24, 11 am-5 pm. Join us at the Redstone Winery during any of the three Get Fresh in the Valley weekends for a sip of our award-winning 2012 Limestone Vineyard Riesling. Chef Sider of the Restaurant at Redstone will be pairing our Riesling with an Albacore Tuna Ceviche with Lime and Chili. Redstone Winery, 4245 King Street, Beamsville. • Opening for the Season - April 6. The tasting room at Featherstone Estate Winery will be re-opening for the season on Friday April 6. Our tasting room hours

for the season are as follows: April & May | open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays: 11 am-5:30 pm. Please note: Closed on Sat., April 28 and Sun April 29 for a private event. June, July & August | open daily: 11 am-5:30 pm. We will have a delicious array of wines available for tasting and purchase, with many new releases planned for the spring. Featherstone Estate Winery, 3678 Victoria Avenue, Vineland. (905) 562-1949 • Shun the winter blues and “Get fresh” with Kacaba Vineyards – April 21/22, 28/29, 2018. Awaken your palate with Kacaba’s newest off-dry, Rebecca Rose 2017. Winter’s slumbers will be forgotten with Chef Steve’s Spicy Shrimp and Chorizo Kebabs with Chilled Strawberry Gazpacho. A pairing not to be missed! Food accompaniment by Zooma Caters. March/April 2018 |


Chef In Residence CUISINE


To be up-front about this, breakfast items do, by definition, not have the same time available as some other meals. So, the items I am presenting do not take much time, just a bit more than opening a box and microwave until hot. Scones are awesome, warm and aromatic ‘quick-breads’ (so named as their leavening comes from baking powder, not yeast) and are very popular. This recipe is a time-tested one which gets regular use here at the Grand Oak. Our breakfast crowd and lunch crowd, too, love these fresh, light and warm pastries, often topping them with butter, jam or sometimes cheese. Popularized by the British, they are also often seen at High-Teas. Add berries, herbs or cheese, if you like. Prep-time is minimal, but the result, so awesome! INGREDIENTS: Makes 8 • 1 ¾ cup all-pupose flour • 3 tsp baking powder • ¼ cup sugar (omit if savoury)

• 5 tbsp butter, cold • ½ cup mil • ½ cup sour cream • eggwash (1 egg, 1 tsp milk) DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400F, and grease a baking sheet. Sift the Flour, salt, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl. Cut in the butter, using a pastry cutter. (if you want berries, add here). Mix the milk and sour cream together and add all at once into the dry mixture. Stir until it comes together.

I usually roll the dough into a log, and cut into 8 discs, eventually getting 8 even-sized scones. You might cut them a bit thinner and get more, they just cook quicker, and are smaller. Place these on the baking sheet, not touching each other; they will rise more than spread, but will still enlarge slightly. Eggwash the top only, and then chill for 10 minutes. Bake for 8, 10, 12 minutes, (it does not take long) and serve immediately. With butter, cream or jam! Dusting with a bit of icing sugar looks really nice…..

Spring is around the corner, Go West

Continued From Page 26 FREE for Founders Club Members & Guests ~ $10 Food & Wine Match. Kacaba Vineyards Winery, 3550 King St., Vineland. 1-905-562-5625. Multi-Dates • Skating at Wayne Gretzky Estates Take a spin on our new backyard rink! Bring your skates to enjoy a favourite Canadian activity, and relax on The Whisky Bar patio (with heaters) as we serve up wine, cocktails and our winter menu (non-alcoholic beverages, too). Skate rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis. $5pp for skating and $10pp for skate rentals, plus taxes. Wayne Gretzky Estates, 1219 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake. 844-6437799. • Trius Black Glass Dinner - Friday Nights @ 6pm. Amplify your senses at this

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interactive dining experience! Hosted by our wine experts, you’ll start the evening with a guided wine tasting in the cellar. For dinner, you’ll have the best seats in the house as you savour 3-courses of locallyinspired cuisine by Executive Chef Frank Dodd. Each course will include secret wine pairings disguised in opaque black stemware. Put your nose and palate to the test! After dinner, we’ll have a dessert reception. Trius Winery 1249 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake. 800-582-8412. • Restoring a Canadian Distilling Tradition – You are invited to visit our distiller and sipping room located on the Niagara Wine Route. Daily tours are available during our fall and winter hours by appointment at both Noon-3 pm. A modest charge of $5pp is applied to all daily tours. Reservations required. Dillon’s Distillers, 4833 Tufford Rd, Beamsville. 905-563-3030

• Eggs and Wine - March 30-31 & April 1. Cost: free of charge. How about simply for fun? Visit Cave Spring wine shop any time over the Easter weekend and with a minimum three bottle purchase choose a colourful Easter egg with a wine-inspired surprise inside…..Easter’s not just for the kids!! Cave Spring Wine Shop, 3836 Main St, Jordan Station. 905-562-3581. • Terroir Tasting - Daily, 10 am-5 pm. Experience 4 of our very limited Terroir Series wines in appropriate stemware at our tasting bar. One of our tasting associates will be on hand to share with you, as much or as little (you choose), about our wine and our winemaking style. One tasting fee is waived with each purchase of 3 bottles. Hidden Bench is a small lot estate winery and our tasting area is equally intimate. Reservations suggested. Hidden Bench, 4152 Locust Ln, Beamsville. 905-563-8700.


Transforming backyards −

Natural Light Patio Covers from VanAm Construction


ll year round we crave the warmth of the sun, and then by about this time each summer, we’re working hard to avoid its harmful effects. That’s particularly true in our backyards, where too much direct sunlight can transform an idyllic oasis into a spot too hot to enjoy at certain parts of the day. Every solution has its challenges, from umbrellas that blow away during storms to awnings that cast a permanent shadow and have to be taken down each fall. The ideal solution is a Natural Light Patio Cover, available from VanAm Construction. Seemingly magic, the covers block all U.V. rays and 75 per cent of infrared rays, while letting through most of the light. The result is a cool setting that is still filled with natural light. Because there are no U.V. rays, it’s impossible to get a sunburn sitting under the cover. And the air under the cover is cool because so much of the infrared heat is filtered out. All that’s left to enjoy is the sunlight – the perfect solution for any backyard. Natural Light Patio Covers use Acrylite panels, made from 100% acrylic guaranteed not to fade or discolour for 30 years. They can be configured to work in any setting, attached to homes to cover decks and patios, or built as stand-alone covers detached from the house. They are permanent structures that stay in place year-round. Homeowners have two primary choices – aluminum or wood. Aluminum structures come in white, sandalwood or brown. Each order is custom-made to fit perfectly with an existing deck or patio. The other option reflects VanAm’s expertise as a homebuilder and renovation contractor. “We also offer the covers built into beautiful Timberlite pergolas,”

“Seemingly magic,

the covers block all U.V. rays and 75 per cent of infrared rays, while letting through most of the light. The result is a cool setting that is still filled with natural light.

says Ken Blokker, director of sales. They are made with Douglas Fir timbers and can be stained in a variety of colours to suit any backyard décor. “The timbers are really very beautiful, and the Natural Light Cover transforms the pergola into the perfect place to relax all summer long.” VanAm Construction has a sterling reputation across Southern Ontario for building homes and doing renovations and backyard projects of all kinds. Owner Dave Vanamerongen is based in Grimsby. The company services customers across Southwestern Ontario. “I’ve been installing Natural Light Patio Covers for many years for customers in and around London,” Blokker says. “Now that I’ve teamed up with VanAm, I can offer a wider selection of solutions for every backyard set-up.” In addition to the 30-year warranty on the Acrylite panels, there is a lifetime guarantee on the structures themselves, along with a one-year

labour warranty. “People really can’t believe it until they’re standing under the cover, looking up at the blue sky but not feeling the heat of the sun on their skin,” Blokker says. “By filtering the sunshine, we give people the best of the sun without any of the downside. It transforms backyards.” There’s plenty of time to get a Natural Light Patio Cover installed this year. There’s a turnaround time of only two or three weeks for aluminum structures, and a little bit longer for Timberlite options. Van Am does installations all year round.

Dealer for

n For more information contact

Ken Blokker 905-517-0461

ClubWest e-edition March April 2018  
ClubWest e-edition March April 2018