Bracebridge is getting ready to sizzle later this month. The special culinary weekend known as What’s Cooking Bracebridge is set to take place on the weekend of Sept. 30, and according to organizers the weekend’s activities go far beyond your typical cooking class.
Foraging hikes, how to entertain this autumn, Caesar mixing and a culinary walking tour are all on the menu for the third installment of the event.
According to Beth Kelly, one of the event organizers, planning for What’s Cooking got underway much earlier in 2016 than in previous years, and ticket sales have been brisk thus far.
“Each year is different due to the different culinary talent and personalities that are invited,” says Kelly. “This year Matt Basile and Micheal Hunter are headlining the Smoke and Bones signature dinner at
the Sportsplex on Saturday night. It will have a more casual feel, and I think will appeal to many Muskoka foodies. Also, the foraging hike is a great addition to this year’s activities, and the hands on pastry making with Elizabeth Baird and Rose Murray – perfect for fall comfort food
The weekend begins with a Grand Tasting Marché on September 30 at Muskoka Brewery, hosted by the Australian-born Chef Mike Ward. Ward is known for cooking for celebrities like Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, band also as a writer, producer and director for various TV lifestyle series. He’s also the former Food Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Living magazine.
The signature dinner is on Oct. 1 and features two culinary celebrities from Toronto who view food preparation with a creative eye. The Look Who’s Cooking: Smoke & Bones dinner partners Matt Basile, founder of the Fidel Gastros street-food brand and Lisa Marie restaurant, with Michael Hunter, the “Hunter Chef” and owner of Antler Kitchen and Bar.
The Smoke & Bones menu includes smoked trout salad, smoked ribs with homemade cornbread, wild Cornish hen and a few other items that you won’t find in the average restaurant.
The weekend also offers a chance to take a look inside the much buzzed about new restaurant Kelly’s Kitchen Pub on Manitoba Street. The restaurant will host a three course Irish brunch on Oct. 2.
Beth Kelly says organizers have received positive feedback from the previous two years, with accommodation providers, downtown businesses and restaurants reporting increases in foot traffic, overnight stays, and sales.
“There is benefit to the community overall,” says Kelly.