I first met Chef Scott last year when The Culinary Adventure Company hosted a dinner at L.A.B. I regularly run into him at food events in the city and was so pleased to join him at Nuit Blanche for his exclusive Food Trucks Tour this past Fall. Scott’s most popular tour (and which I think defines the company’s unique Toronto offerings) is his Canoe and Beach Dining Adventure. My family grew up in Muskoka so I knew the canoe paddle from Toronto’s Harbourfront to the Islands would be a fun experience they would enjoy. With Father’s Day just around the corner I thought it would be a perfect surprise!
We met at 6:30pm at Toronto’s Harbourfront where we strapped on life jackets and had a quick lesson on paddling. The group hopped into a massive Indian War Canoe which was soon zooming between ferries and sailboats. It really is something to paddle your way to the island as Porter Airlines flights land directly over your head. Feels as though you are a floating landing strip. Once at the island we slowly paddled in between Center Island. We had a few serene moments where I think we all got lost in the nature which surprisingly can be found a stones throw from the bustle of city. While the Gardiner Expressway thundered off in the distance beautiful white swans, heron and gaggles of ducks went about their business.
Once we landed on shore Chef Scott and his team got busy setting up our picnic feast while the rest of us stretched our necks and flung our arms in all directions to get out the kinks from our paddling workout. We sat right by the water on picnic tables, waving as steam boats tooted past. Everything on the menu for dinner surpassed expectations for a canoe trip!
Charcuterie platter featuring Ontario meats, cheeses and Toronto’s own Kozliks mustard
Slow roasted red and yellow Roma tomatoes with organic olive oil
Fresh locally baked bread
Salt roasted beet salad glazed in orange juice and topped with goat cheese & Turkish pistachio mousse
Baby Yukon gold potatoes in chipotle crema with red onion, capers, scallions and fresh mint
Summer slaw with red wine agrodolce & green onion sprouts
Spiced pork tenderloin with apricot mostarda
Niagara prosciutto wrapped chicken thigh stuffed with ricotta and sweet corn
Selection of locally baked Ontario pecan and raisin butter tarts
Once finished dinner we hopped back in our canoe which was now lit by little glow light bobbles. There were a lot of oooh’s and ahhh’s as we left the tranquil forested island behind and took in the breath taking view of Toronto’s skyline at night. The CN Tower sparkled and the cities many skyscrapers glowed. Porter Airlines flights zoomed over head and created a thrilling atmosphere as we pulled our canoe one collective paddle at a time towards Harbourfront Center. The Culinary Adventure Company’s Escape the City….Canoe and Beach Dining Adventure is a truly unique experience that both tourists and locals will get a real kick out of. The food is excellent, you get to meet some new friends along the way and it allows you to see Canada’s largest city from a perspective that one rarely has the opportunity. My family had a great day celebrating Fathers Day and most importantly my dad left with a big smile on his face.