By Dauna Ditson
Special to the Pioneer
From Scratch: a Mountain Kitchen – a market bistro in Fairmont Hot Springs – received an honourable mention in a national competition to highlight eating locally. Food Day Canada took place at participating restaurants across the country on August 5th, 2017.
From Scratch owner Lara McCormack said she and her partner Adrian developed their award-winning menu after, “going to the farmers’ markets to see what was available, what tastes great now and what we could get our hands on.”
While the competition focused on showcasing locally-available products, Ms. McCormack said, “that’s pretty much what we do each day.”
From Scratch’s Food Day Canada menu was comprised of meat and produce grown in the region, with products from Creston among those travelling the longest distance. “We have absolutely top product right here in the valley, and we’re pretty lucky for that,” Ms. McCormack said.
The menu included a carrot and ginger soup, an “all-things-Valley” salad, Creston duck breast and a summer berry dessert. Ms. McCormack estimated that 200 customers enjoyed items off the speciality Food Day Canada menu.
No food competition would be complete without a surprise twist, and so it was that Ms. McCormack found herself facing off against the summer fires. A road restriction leading up to Food Day Canada meant that her duck delivery had to make a detour. Fortunately the duck arrived, and dinner was saved.
Ms. McCormack said it feels incredible to see their “little tiny itty bitty” eatery recognized on a national scale. She was “totally surprised and then a little shocked” when From Scratch received the honourable mention, announced December 1st. She looked over at Adrian and met his big grin.
Ms. McCormack was quick to acknowledge the local producers and farmers’ market vendors for their contributions. The From Scratch menu for Food Day Canada also credited the producers. A blurb at the top of the special menu said, “We take our hats off to the wonderful suppliers who live in this beautiful valley of ours – Edibles Organic Farm, Beeland, J2 Ranch, Patti’s Greenhouse, Downey Family Farm, Quack Me Up Farm, Kootenay Alpine Meadows Dairy and Hopkins Harvest. It’s their quality of ingredients that allows us to create fabulous dishes for you to enjoy!”
“I never really looked at it as a competition,” Ms. McCormack said. “For me it was more about educating people.”
In particular, she wanted to demonstrate the value of eating locally. She also wanted to showcase what is possible by, “focusing on really great, good-quality ingredients.”
Ms. McCormack welcomes more local restaurants to join her in participating next year.
“I hope Food Day becomes bigger in the Valley,” she said.
Ms. McCormack and her husband are working on expanding From Scratch. They’re in the process of taking over the space next door, looking at creating a line of grab-and-go options, and planning to start a production kitchen that will allow them to expand the selection of From Scratch products available in grocery stores.