By Katie Watt
From Scratch: A Mountain Kitchen, a market bistro located in Fairmont Hot Springs, busted out the champagne last week after receiving the Gold Food Innovation Award from Food Day Canada.
Food Day took place at participating restaurants across the country earlier this year on August 4th. Participants submitted their menus from that day, and were judged based on creativity of flavours and their utilization of local foods.
This year, From Scratch’s award winning menu included a variety of fresh and locally sourced meats, veggies, cheeses, and more; the restaurant’s main feature was a “1KM Pork Loin”, named after the meat that had been sourced from the Downey Farm, just 1 kilometre away.
“Optimizing our use of local food is what we do here,” says Lara McCormack, co-owner of From Scratch. “During the summer season, we’re getting our ingredients from about 30 local producers,” she adds.
Nationally, hundreds of restaurants compete on Food Day each year. As this year’s champions, Lara and Adrian (her husband and From Scratch co-owner) will be flown out to the University of Guelph, in Ontario, to receive their award.
Last year, when From Scratch entered the competition, they received an honourable mention. In the past year, they’ve managed to climb, or cook, their way into first place.
“I don’t know how we did it, but I know that it wouldn’t have been possible without our producers. In the end, we just cooked what was in front of us,” says Ms. McCormack.
The annual Canada Food Day aims to praise the country’s farmers, fishers, chefs, researchers, and home cooks. For years, the McCormacks have proudly held multiple of these titles, and they would like to see more people getting involved with what Food Day stands for.
“When we won the award, we were in total shock,” says Mrs. McCormack. “After such a busy summer, Adrian and I were at a bit of a breaking point. This award showed us that we are going in the right direction, and that we’re doing the right thing by supporting local producers.”