By AJ Sauvé
Ontario Festival of Small Halls organizers have added Brown’s Inlet – one of Ottawa’s most picturesque parks, located on the southern edge of the Glebe – to their Chef’s Table lineup. The Chef’s Table showcases local chefs and includes a farm-to-table dining experience “paired” with world-class music in unique locations in the Ottawa area and throughout the nearby countryside. The Chef’s Table also includes a wine pairing component.
When the Team Behind Bluesfest first launched the Festival of Small Halls, they started with small steps, staging music events in historically important venues in a few small towns and villages near Ottawa, and featuring some notable Canadian talent. Since then, the festival has grown by leaps and bounds, with 35 venues stretching from Maxville to Tweed, featuring acts from across Canada and around the world.
“The growing support we’ve received, from so many communities, has been amazing,” says festival manager Kelly Symes. “There’s never a lack of volunteers who pitch in to stage these events, and the way everyone in the community opens their arms to the visiting musicians is heartwarming. You can see it means a lot to the musicians, too.”
Last year, when festival organizers introduced the Chef’s Table to their programming, they again started out small, featuring just a couple of chefs. But in one short year, the Chef’s Table Series has already seen significant growth, becoming a series of events unto itself, under the umbrella of the Ontario Festival of Small Halls.
“With the Festival of Small Halls, the original notion was to provide folks in rural areas an opportunity to enjoy the kind of music that’s usually offered in a bigger city, but in their own unique venues,” says Mark Monahan, the event’s executive director and a Glebe resident. “Then we added the Chef’s Table to the mix, hoping to offer people from Ottawa and beyond an opportunity to visit nearby towns and villages to enjoy some great farm-to-table meals, along with the music. More recently we thought: why not offer a Chef’s Table within the city – a rural vibe in an urban setting? And, living in the Glebe, I’ve always thought Brown’s Inlet park would be a great place to stage some kind of more intimate event, perfect for a Chef’s Table.”
The Brown’s Inlet Park Chef’s Table takes place on Saturday, September 21, at 6 p.m. featuring award-winning chef Patrick Garland of Absinthe Café, with a musical performance by Canadian singer-songwriter Peter Katz.
In partnership with Thyme & Again and made possible through funding from Ottawa Tourism, the Chef’s Table events are curated by renowned Ottawa chefs, using locally sourced ingredients. To sweeten the pot, lively concerts take place following the feasts, featuring musical performances by celebrated artists!
For more information about the festival and the Chef’s Table, go to thefestivalofsmallhalls.com
AJ Sauvé is the communications director for the Team Behind Bluesfest.