Community cookbook inspires Free Press Fall Supper Reader-submitted recipes the basis for eclectic four-course meal, taking place Oct. 1
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/09/2022 (191 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
How do you make a meal out of a 200-page cookbook? If you ask chef Paul Ormond, not easily.
Earlier this year, the Free Press approached Ormond and his partner, Kerri Stephens, with a daunting task: create a four-course fine dining menu for the Free Press Fall Supper based on the 150 recipes in the paper’s new community cookbook Homemade: Recipes and Stories from Winnipeg and Beyond.
“Our first reaction was, ‘This is a cool idea, and it would be fun to have access to all of these recipes that have probably been in families and shared with their communities for years,’” Ormond says. “Then we had a second to sit and think about it — it got me a little nervous. We had zero idea of what kinds of things would be in it; these recipes are people’s traditions, and we hope to do them justice.”
The Free Press Fall Supper takes place on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Ukrainian Labour Temple (591 Pritchard Ave.). The event is a fundraiser for Harvest Manitoba and a celebration of community — from the food to the venue to the concept.
Ormond and Stephens, the founders of Lola D’s Garden Co-op — a local catering company with a charitable mandate — took the idea in stride; combing through drafts of Homemade to come up with a menu that not only meshed well together, but also represented the diversity of dishes submitted.
In the end Ormond, who has worked in some of the city’s best restaurants (529 Wellington, Sydney’s at The Forks, Sous Sol), pulled inspiration from nearly a dozen recipes to create an eclectic meal.
“My goal was to highlight as many cultures and use as many of these recipes as components as I could,” he says. “The menu is a bit all over the map, but so is Winnipeg and Manitoba.”
The meal starts with an hors d’oeuvre of fried polenta topped with feta, curtido and salsa based on recipes submitted by Daniel Raiskin, music director with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and Neria Barrera.
Next is a tabouleh salad served with raita, Tandoori chicken, toasted almonds and herbs inspired by dishes from Zana Lutfiyya, Charulata Gupta and Nita Sharda.
The main course features Ron Cantiveros’ Filipino pork belly adobo, Joan Cymbalisty’s candied sweet potatoes, Judy Fowler’s mustard pickles and Free Press critic Alison Gillmor’s favourite skillet cornbread.
Dinner is capped off with a dessert of apple torte, toasted gingerbread crumble and blueberry drizzle, bringing together recipes from Laurie Magorel, Sharron Todd and Sonja Lundstrom.
Vegetarian options are available for each course.
Coming up with a cohesive menu was a tall but fitting ask for Ormond and Stephens. The couple created Lola D’s as a way to serve fun food outside the constraints of a typical restaurant, while giving back to the community. People are at the core of their work.
Stephens is a musician with experience in the non-profit world and Ormond is the son of Margaret Ormond, the late founder and longtime executive director of Sunshine House. The Logan Avenue resource centre is a frequent recipient of funds raised through Lola D’s pop-up dining events.
Though he’s a classically trained chef, Ormond’s formative food memories are more down-to-earth.
“Some of the best meals I’ve had in this city were either in hole-in-the-wall establishments, or in someone’s home,” he says. “I’ve been very lucky in having such a diverse family and having been brought up in a house with parents and grandparents who were insanely talented cooks. We ate food from all over the world.”
It was from that perspective he approached the Free Press Fall Supper menu: enjoying home-cooked food and celebrating all the love and joy that entails.
“People who submitted these recipes wouldn’t have done so if they weren’t proud and just truly enjoyed them,” Ormond says. “We are honoured to try and share (that).”
Visit wfp.to/fallsupper to purchase tickets and for more information.
Eva Wasney is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.
Fall Supper FAQs
First time hearing about the Free Press Fall Supper? Keep reading for answers to all your burning questions:
Q: What is the Free Press Fall Supper?
A: It’s a fine dining event and fundraiser for Harvest Manitoba the province’s largest food bank, hosted by the Winnipeg Free Press on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Q: Where is the Free Press Fall Supper?
A: At the Ukrainian Labour Temple — a beautiful 103-year-old National Historic Site located at 591 Pritchard Ave., at the corner of Pritchard and McGregor Street in the North End. Long a hub for social activism, community solidarity and cultural celebration, the building underwent recent renovations to make the space fully accessible.
Q: How much are tickets?
A: Tickets are $125 plus fees, with $25 from each purchase donated to Harvest Manitoba. Ticket holders will receive a tax receipt at the event for their contribution. Tables of eight are also available — bring your friends! Visit wfp.to/fallsupper to reserve your seat today.
Q: Does this event feature a fun form of transportation?
A: It sure does. There’s limited street parking at the venue, so attendees are welcome to park at the Free Press building (1355 Mountain Ave.) and jump on the free Winnipeg Trolley shuttle running to and from the Labour Temple throughout the evening.
Q: Anything else I need to know?
A: Where to start? There will be free samples from Capital K Distillery and Nonsuch Brewing (as well as a chance to buy the limited edition Free Press anniversary beer brewed by the latter), a fabulous silent auction fundraiser for Harvest and special pricing on the Homemade cookbook.
Hope to see you there!