Updates from April, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • simonathibault 2:07 pm on April 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Saint John Ale House,   

    Jesse Vergen: New Brunswick Renaissance Man 

    Image courtesy Jesse Vergen’s Twitter

    Chefs will often tell you of the long hours they spend “on the line”, standing on their feet, burning themselves on hot pans and oil, sweating in front of a stove, cutting themselves on anything with a blade.

    Farmers will tell you about how they get up before dawn and get on their hands and knees and weed their garden, slough out the pig stalls – without slipping on something undesirable – and spend hours hunched over doing what needs to be done.

    Jesse Vergen can tell both of these groups to shut up. He does both.

    Vergen is the executive chef at the Saint John Ale House in Saint John, New Brunswick. When he’s not doling out dishes, the 33-year-old jack-of-all-trades is out on his farm in nearby Quispamsis, planting, weeding, tending and doing anything that needs to be done. When he has a spare minute, you can find him doing anything from smoking foods, fly fishing, foraging for wild plants, hunting or whatever else he can fit on his very full plate. Vergen took some time out from his very busy schedule of farming, cooking, smoking – as well as raising three kids – to do a quick Q&A with Passable.
    (More …)

  • simonathibault 11:04 am on April 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexis Kelsall, , Dartmouth Farmers Market, Greenvale Chocolates, ,   

    Green with envy over chocolates 

    There is something both subtle and brash about Alexis Kelsall’s Greenvale Chocolates.

    For example, her coconut curry truffle is made with her own blend of spices – teasing you, wondering whether you’re tasting clove, or fennel or cinnamon. In her own words, Kelsall’s concoction “takes your palate on a ride”.

    These aren’t the chocolates you would find on your grandmother’s coffee table. They come with a small hand-drawn legend, detailing such flavours as tequila and lime. Cardamom and olive oil. Orange mint. Kelsall is selling chocolates that please her palate, and is finding an audience that is as adventurous as herself. Alexis sat down with Passable to talk about her new venture.

    Tell me how you came up with the idea for doing this

    I totally just fell into it. I generally think I have a fascination with anything handmade, and I’m fairly into food and love cooking at home and baking. I went to a Christmas staff party and Curtis (Jones, the head baker at Two If By Sea ) showed up with these handmade moulded chocolates and I was so in awe that he made them himself – which goes back to my passion for things that are handmade. A few weeks later, my husband Zane gave me a marble slab and a bunch of good quality chocolate and had set up lessons with Curtis to teach me to make chocolates. So it kind of started as a fun little thing, a hobby. I really liked the craft that was involved in making something like this and I have gotten such a great response from friends and family. Around Valentine’s day I had quite a lot of batches made up and decided to sell them at the Dartmouth farmer’s market.

    (More …)

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