Representing nearly one-quarter of the world’s fresh water supply, The Great Lakes have been essential to the region’s massive industrial development – providing a means for transportation, trade, and settlement. The Great Lakes are a prime example of nature and humanity merging together to create an ever-changing landscape.
Your culinary voyage will begin with a taste from the St. Lawrence River, the literal gateway to the Great Lakes. Flowing through Québec and Ontario, the river connects French, English, and First Nations communities. In certain ways, this menu honours the cooking and survival techniques of Canada’s First Nations, which they subsequently shared with European settlers. Methods included trapping, smoking and preserving white fish, farming the “Three Sisters” crops (corn, beans, squash), harvesting cattail flour, and tapping trees to make maple syrup. Their practices and contributions have undeniably shaped our vision of Canada to this day.
Trading Outpost pays homage to The Great Lakes as the nerve center of the North American fur trade, largely driven by Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company. The trade encouraged settlers to travel further inland to harvest furs, thus creating new communities and farming opportunities. Hogtown, named after Toronto’s enduring moniker, features 21 day dry-aged pork and Front St. peameal bacon with green split peas. The dish is a nod to the Davies Company, once the largest pork packer in the British Empire, as well as the figurative pigs of Fort York.
Finally, Niagara Escarpment is a representation of one of the best fruit-growing regions in the world – thanks to its microclimate and the moderating effects of Lakes Erie and Ontario. To complement each dish, sommelier Billy Woon looked no further than Niagara, selecting wines from Rosehall Run, Southbrook Vineyards, and Cave Spring Cellars.
As you soak up the breathtaking view of Lake Ontario, we hope you enjoy back paddling your way through time and place.