At the end of July, foodies from across the country will travel north to take part in the 2015 Yukon Culinary Festival.
Now in its third year, the festival will showcase and celebrate the Yukon’s local food movement to visitors and locals alike.
Taking place over four days, from Thursday, July 30 to Sunday, August 2, the festival has packed its program with multi-course gourmet meals, receptions and explorations of farmers’ markets in both Whitehorse and Dawson City.
Festival co-ordinator Amy O’Rourke, who is membership and community relations officer for the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon, says the menus that will steal the show at these events are being developed collaboratively by the festival’s team of guest and local chefs. “They have been provided with lists of all the local food products available in the territory,” O’Rourke explains. “Now they are shooting menu plans back and forth between them to develop the multi-course meals for each of the events.”
Joining the talented crop of local chefs will be two guest chefs from outside the territory, Eric Pateman and Chris Irving.
Pateman, who is joining the festival for the second time, is the founder of Edible Canada, a multifaceted culinary tourism company focused solely on promoting local food and highlighting Canadian cuisine.
Irving was born and raised in Whitehorse, but now serves as executive chef for the Gantry Restaurant and Bar in Sydney, Australia. His career has garnered him a wealth of accolades, including four years with notorious TV chef Gordon Ramsay.
He has also served as private chef to David and Victoria Beckham, chef consultant to the Spanish royal family, and has cooked for Her Majesty, the Queen of England. (See “Pig-roaster with Serious Cred”, WUY, July 24, 2014.)
Regional culinary experts on hand will include Boréal Gourmet author Miche Genest from Whitehorse, chef Carson Schiffkorn from the Inn on the Lake, and chef Marco Desmond from the Starfire restaurant in Skagway, Alaska,
The festival kicks off with the Fireweed Market in Whitehorse on Thursday, followed by the welcome picnic at the SS Klondike. This multi-course alfresco dinner will feature a spit-roasted elk, live music provided by Ryan McNally’s trio, dancing, and custom tours of the national historic site.
On Friday, the party moves to Dawson. Festival-goers will have the opportunity to get in a round of golf, a delicious lunch and a distillery tour during the Vodka & Greens at the Top of the World event.
That evening they can take part in a Sourtoe Cocktail apertif, a cocktail reception at the Palace Grand, and a tour of the city’s finest eateries as part of Tastes of the Klondike.
Saturday’s festivities will kick off with an exploration of the Dawson City Farmer’s Market before a gourmet meal is served at the Commissioner’s Residence.
The festival returns to Whitehorse on the Sunday for Feast of the Fields at Rivendell Farm. This will take place in the fi elds that inspired the chefs, featuring sustainable meat and vegetables from across the territory.
Almost Four, a trio of Grant Simpson, Rob Bergman, and Duncan Sinclair, will entertain the crowd, and a shuttle bus ride is included with your ticket so you can safely enjoy Yukon Beer and Spirits’ contributions to the edible extravaganza.
Air North is partnering with the festival to create packages that include airfare, accommodation, and full festival passes from all its gateway cities. O’Rourke says that they have been flying off the shelf and she expects the festival as a whole, will sell out quickly.
For more information, or to get tickets, visit http://www. tiayukon.com/Events/TheYukonCulinaryFestival/