New Dining Series to Focus on Local, Seasonal Ingredients & “What Healthy Food Really Means”

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Allison Connors Brophy and Stacey Tuttle have formed a partnership to create the “Well Winter Dinner Volume 1” at Mallard Cottage.

It’s a shareable dinner that will “showcase local and seasonal ingredients, with a shared vision to delight your palette, make you feel real good, and help shift perceptions on what healthy food really means.”

When asked how this partnership came to be, Brophy explained that it was “kind of a funny story.” The pair met six or seven years ago while working at the same retail store in the Avalon Mall. Both women ended up attending The Institute of Holistic Nutrition: Toronto School of Nutrition, albeit at different times.

After continuously running into each other in Toronto and both moving back to their home province, Tuttle and Brophy decided to combine their common interests and work together.“We learned so much in school about local foods and foraging, and you can’t really do that in Toronto,” Tuttle said. “But here, everyone goes berry picking. Everyone’s Nan has a little garden,” she said with a laugh.

Despite our short growing season and limited growing options, both feel that Newfoundland and Labrador has a lot to offer its culinary community – a view shared by many local chefs, including Mallard Cottage’s Todd Perrin.

The choice to employ Mallard Cottage as the event’s location is partially due to the fact that Brophy works there, but as she also noted, the restaurant “fits the rustic, hyper local, cozy atmosphere we were going for.”

The open concept kitchen will also allow attendees to watch their food as it is being prepared. A little nerve-wracking for the cooks, Brophy joked, but a treat for the patrons.

For anyone curious about checking out the event, Brophy has the details on what to expect on March 7. “It’s going to be family style, meaning it’s a communal meal … The food will hit the table, to be shared and explored. We really want it to encourage conversation and questions, and we’ll be there to answer those. We want people to enjoy and understand what they’re eating,” she said.

“Instead of having one appetizer, one entrée, and one dessert, you can try it all,” Tuttle added. Think along the lines of small plates, or a tapas style of serving. Among the list of local ingredients used in Brophy and Tuttle’s culinary creations, expect seafood, seaweed, untraditional twists on local root vegetables, greens, leeks, berries, dried mushrooms, preserves, local honey and more.

The pair would like to make this dinner into a quarterly series of events, changing with the season. “In summer, we’d like to do a picnic style event. Lots of fun raw foods, beautiful summer produce, berries and more,” Tuttle said excitedly.

With tickets now on sale for Well Winter Dinner Volume 1, Brophy and Tuttle said that they have had a “really good response” to the event. “It’s been very positive and super encouraging,” Brophy said with a smile. “We just really want people to come out, throw off the winter blues and have a positive, cozy night, eat some new food, meet some new people. Taste, laugh, and drink!”

Well Winter Volume 1 takes place at Mallard Cottage on March 7 at 7p.m. Tickets are available through eventbrite.ca.

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Wendy Rose

Wendy Rose is an arts/entertainment writer based in St. John’s. When she’s not writing, you can find her at Fred’s Records, ranting about her insane crush on Tom Waits.

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