On July 1st Four Seasons YEW Seafood Restaurant and Bar's chef Ned Bell set off to cycle across Canada. He'll be keeping us posted with his journey from the road for the full eleven weeks. Here now, the ninth of his diary entries.
This was a cool week! We started the week in Winnipeg...And we had a special guest join the trip. Bob Blumer from Food Network fame joined me and we proceeded to cycle 400 plus km from the Peg to Regina.
The Winnipeg event was a huge success, and a lot of fun...
It took place at a restaurant called Deer + Almond with the chef and owner Mandel Hitzer. He is a total character, and a wicked guy. The event was packed with the 'cool kids' of Winnipeg, who were engaged, passionate and totally supportive of the Chefs for Oceans initiative. They supported with more 'Ned' tuna sold to fuel the ride at this event then anywhere else on the entire journey so far. 5 cases with 125 people in attendance.!!! Which will keep the ride moving forward for another few weeks!
Mandel closes his restaurant every year in January to host something called Raw Almond where they build a restaurant on the ice of the Assiniboine river and host chefs from around the world. ( I can't wait to go ice fishing)
We rolled out of the Peg the next day and proceeded to ride our longest day of the journey. 214 km. it was hot, humid & windy. It was a big push but to have Bob riding with me was pretty damn cool. Lots of stories, laughs & conversations about the cool food we hoped to find 'off the eaten path'. Well, we found it. Actually we made it, cooked it that is.
The following day we rolled down the highway past Moosomin and onto Wolseley through a torrential down pour with thunder & lightning. Quite common on the prairies.
A big magical and mystical at the same time, Really it scared the crap out of us.
Let's remember not to ride in a lightning storm we said to ourselves a few times. When we finally got to Wolseley we arrived at a B&B where it was obvious we were going to have to break out the chef skills. A '2 horse restaurant town with a Chinese Canadian spot and the restaurant in La Parisen. (where we were staying but where the kitchen had recently had a fire and as such wasn't really ready for action.)
It turned out to be one of the coolest parts of the journey so far.
A 'pop up' kitchen throw down of sorts with Bob and myself sous cheffing for each other. We went shopping at the local market, bought our ingredients and cooked for the CFO team a small group of locals who we met. Including my mom (driver #3 of the CFO journey, my son Fin, the 'chef' Susann, a woman at the market, her husband and 9 yr old son Cambie.
It was kind of Chopped meets Door knock dinners meets Iron Chef. It was a fantastic few hours of hilarious stories, laughter, new friends and great food. We rolled into Regina today. 51 days into the trip, 6000 plus km. Bob leaves the trip tomorrow. I will miss my co pilot on the road. Here's hoping more friends join the ride on my way home.
Follow Ned's Journey at #chefsforoceans and via @Nedbell on Twitter. See you on the road.
· Chefs for Oceans. [Official Site]
· All Ned Bell Coverage [EVAN]
· All Chefs for Oceans Coverage [EVAN]