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Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Fifth Feast

It's only April, and already I'm getting giddy with excitement for... dun dun na na: the 5th Annual Village Feast!

I'm assuming a few more readers know about the Village Feast now, given my post from last year the stunning Food Network documentary which aired in early April (trailer here).  The event has been covered in other blogs, the news, and widely spread by word of mouth.

In a nutshell, the Feast is a community-supported event in Souris, PEI, championed by local Chef Michael Smith and a wide variety of community leaders and businesses.  It is a gourmet steak dinner with all the trimmings, held (usually!) outdoors in a summer picnic setting.  The ingredients are as local as possible (depending on Mother Nature, of course) and purchased to support local primary industries such as farming and aquaculture.  The funds raised support charities both near and far.  Near includes the Souris Food Bank, Coats for Kids, and the Main Street Family Resource Centre.  Farmers Helping Farmers assist with the "far" part, using the funds to build school cookhouses in Kenya.  The hot meal prepared in the cookhouses encourages the children there to attend classes daily, and the cookhouse makes it a lot easier and safer for their mothers to prepare the meal.

I've been waiting for months to debut last year's Feast pics on runty mouse.  Thought I'd save them up to generate saliva buzz for the upcoming - fifth! - Feast on July 8th, 2012.

Let's start with the raw materials, shall we?

First up, some Island beef.  Canada AAA Striploin steaks to be exact.  (Incidentally, the excellent quality of Island beef has also been showcased this month with PEI Burger Love.  There is no better place for a part-time foodie than Prince Edward Island!  If you haven't already, get out there and try one of the creations!)


Next, the bread of breads: Speerville Mills Organic Red Fife bread... all risen and ready to go.

Risen dough

Freshly picked (and I mean freshly picked) lettuce from Farmer Becky at Fortune Organics:

Farmer Becky

The (very local) oyster shucking station:


And - my personal favorites - the strawberries and rhubarb for Chef Pedro's famous dessert.



What does this look like when it all comes together?

The meal

Strawberry-rhubarb shortcake on a nutmeg biscuit

Oh, yeah.

Now, some miscellaneous and behind-the-scenes shots from the day:

Many hands make light work:


Co-founders Alan MacPhee and Chef Michael Smith rallying the volunteer troops pre-event.  (Don't mind the film crew):

Volunteer rally

Committee chair Pat O'Connor addressing the masses:

Committee chair

We literally require the army to pull this off:  This is a Canadian Forces truck with a Mobile Kitchen Trailer (MKT) attached.  It also comes with army chefs!  A place to prepare and serve a large portion of the food.

Canadian Forces at the Feast

Chowder creation: seafood chowder for 1200 is no easy feat.

Chowder prep

Speerville's wood-fired oven being stoked up for the bread-baking:

Speerville oven

Local butchers in the on-site steak carving tent:

Meat tent

The biggest, hottest steak grilling station you've ever seen:


A new station last year: Kenyan Githeri.  The same dish that is prepared in the Village Feast-sponsored cookhouses built for Kenyan schoolchildren:


Chef Pedro giving instructions on the dessert serving:

Chef Pedro and gang

Intrigued?  Inspired?  If you want to join in the amazing experience that is the Village Feast, you can join the Facebook group here, contact for ticket info here or get information on volunteering here.  This year, it's happening on Sunday, July 8th in Souris, PEI.  Tickets are $39 and more than worth every bit for the food, the experience, and most importantly, the charities!


Margie said...Best Blogger Tips

Worth every cent, great dining experience and volunteering to helping children. Can't beat that combo. Great Post Laura !

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