Photography by iStock.com/acanonguy Credits: Photography by iStock.com/acanonguy
Photography by iStock.com/acanonguy Credits: Photography by iStock.com/acanonguy
Photography by Del Mahabadi
Foraging is a something that many know about, but few know how to do it. Chef Michael Hunter shares his best tips on foraging and how to get started.
It seems fitting with a name like Michael Hunter that this Toronto-based chef grew up on a horse farm in Caledon. His passion for foraging was ignited after a chef he was working with came in with a handful of morels he found one day. "It's just kind of like a food treasure hunt. Once you get hooked, it's kind of like an obsession, " says Hunter.
Hunter, who has worked in kitchens since the age of 13, is currently chef and co-owner of the Toronto-based Antler Kitchen & Bar, which opened in Oct 2015. Hunter describes his cuisine as Canadian with a focus on wild food. "We aim to define Canadian cuisine, so we want to use regional ingredients and embrace Ontario as much as possible", he says. Wild game cannot be sold in Ontario restaurants, so Hunter points out that the offerings at Antler are all sourced from farms. To intrigue restaurant goers, who he believes are more adventurous than ever, Antler's inventive menu includes deer rack served on top of a stew made of the neck meat, rabbit pappardelle and eclectic snack items like Jamaican venison patties, wild boar gyoza and duck heart yakitori.
When he's not at the restaurant, you'll find this avid forager and hunter "playing in the woods" in Caledon, making maple syrup, hunting and foraging for morel mushrooms (his personal favourite), wild leeks and fiddleheads, as well as experimenting with new ingredients, like squirrel.
What's next for Hunter? He's heading off to a hunting camp deep in the Mississippi wilderness and he'll be headlining What's Cooking Bracebridge by embarking on a foraging hike and expedition and preparing a special dinner hosted by Matt Basile of Fidel Gastro's. It's clear that this hunter likes to be in his element.
4 things to consider before you start foraging:
1) Know what you're looking for
Always consult a reputable guide such as the Audubon Society's guide to mushrooms and plants. Stay away from any mushrooms or plants that have deadly poisonous look-a-likes.
2) Start small
Forage only things that can easily be identified – and that do not have poisonous look-a-likes - like fiddleheads and mint.
3) Think about ethical foraging
Some plants don't grow back the following year if you harvest the entire batch. Avoid over-harvesting by reading about the plants that you're foraging.
4) Be respectful
No one wants to come across strangers harvesting on their property without permission, so always ask before start to forage.
Spice Ash Crusted Venison Chop Del Mahabadi
Getty Images Credits: Getty Images
<p>Raina + Wilson</p>
As we usher in the fall season we also welcome changing foliage, pumpkin spice lattes and the coveted transitional coat—which depending on where you live in Canada can mean different degrees of warmth and protection. Here are 13 transitional toppers that will have you looking stylish and protected this fall, we picked one to go with every major city in Canada, related to their average fall forecast.
Rainfall isn't an issue in Calgary come fall, but temperature's sit right around 5c so keep cozy.
Oversized Suede-Like Jacket, $179.
Montreal get's a solid dose of precipitation (sometimes rain, sometimes snow) come the fall with averages hitting 4c.
TNA league jacket, $85.
Yellowknife's fall average sit at a brisk -10c with roughly 30 cm of snow projected, so it's time to break out the puffer—and snowboots!
The North Face Thermoball PrimaLoft Hooded Parka, $230, shop.nordstrom.com.
Halifax gets a hefty rain fall come the autumn, with its rainiest month being November. The average temp is 6c. Look for thin jacket or puffer with a water-resistant outer shell.
Alderwood shell, $425.
Whitehorse sits at a respectable -4 degrees come fall. Look for jackets made from natural materials such as cashmere, wool and alpaca to keep you cozy. It's a wee bit of a splurge, but if you buy a classic shape it will be a wear forever piece.
Charlotte Coat in Melton Wool, $528.
Saskatoon sits at 0 or below for 185 days a year, but come fall temps range from 18c to -7, so versatility is key—layering is also a smart idea. Try wearing a cape over a wool sweater to keep you toasty warm.
Twik Three-button cape, $70.
Iqaluit is in the Arctic, so it's average fall temperature is a chilly one: -15. A jean jacket won't cut it in these parts, look for a short parka or heavy duty puffer with a hood to protect you from the wind.
Anouk Paraka, $729.
Out east they get warmer fall's and St. Johns, Newfoundland is no exceptions, with temperatures sitting around 4c. Try layering a utility jacket over a hoodie.
Sherpa-lined utility jacket, $118.
Winnipeg has its nickname "Winterpeg" for a reason, the city's temperature fluctuates but the fall average sits at -1c. Look for an oversized stylish coat, perfect to layer over a puffer vest on cooler days or keep it open with a scarf draped around your neck for warmer days.
Cashmere-like open collar coat, $100.
Vancouver's wettest season is autumn, with an average of 450mm of rainfall and a temperature that hovers around 10c. Which means it's the perfect time to break out the rubber boots and find a slick coat to keep your warm and dry in the downpours.
Michael michael kors hooded trench coat, $149.
Toronto average forecast is sitting pretty around 12c, which means it's the perfect jean and moto jacket weather.
Cropped Suede Moto, $458.
October is Charlottetown's rainiest month, with and average of 110 mm of rainfall and temperatures at -1c.
Rains trench coat, $119.
Fredericton enjoys a sunny climate, averaging about 2,000 hours of sunshine a year however its temperatures are on the chillier side come fall, sitting around 4c.
Wane Lux Wool Waterfall Collar Jacket, $750.
Pumpkin pie is a classic at this time of year, but we highly recommend trying this butternut squash version for a tasty update on the original.
Homemade butternut squash purée give this sweet pie a wonderful taste of fall – it does take a little extra time to make, but it couldn’t be more worth it!
1 butternut squash
3/4 cups whipping cream (35%)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 teaspoons cold lard, cubed
1/3 cold water(approx.)
Yogurt Whipped Cream:
2/3 cups whipping cream (35%)
1/4 cup Balkan-style plain yogurt
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cut squash lengthwise; scoop out seeds. Place, cut side down, on greased baking sheet. Bake in 400°F(200°C) oven until squash is fork-tender, about 45 minutes.
Pastry: In bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter and lard until in coarse crumbs with few larger pieces.
Drizzle with water, tossing with fork until ragged dough forms and adding up to 1 tbsp more water if necessary. Shape into disk. Wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. (Make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.)
While pastry is chilling: remove cooked butternut squash from oven. Scoop flesh into food processor; purée until smooth. Let cool.
On lightly floured surface, roll our pastry to 13-inch (33cm) circle; fit into 9-inch (23cm) pie plate. Trim, leaving 1-inch (2.5cm) overhang; fold under and flute edge.
Line pastry with foil to cover edge; fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in bottom third of 375°F (190°C) oven until light golden, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and weights and reduce temperature to 350°F (180°C); bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
In bowl, whisk together butternut squash, cream, eggs, brown sugar, honey, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg; scrape into pie crust, smoothing top.
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until crust is golden and filling is set, about 45 minutes.
Let cool on rack. (Make-ahead: Lightly cover and set aside for up to 24 hours.)
Yogurt Whipped Cream: In bowl, whip together cream, yogurt, sugar and vanilla. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours.) To serve, dollop over slices of pie.