Savour Stratford draws huge crowds

Tim Larsen of Mercer Hall is grinning beneath the pig’s head as Ingrid de Martines of Perth Pork Products shows off some treats at Savour Stratford. (Rod Charles/

Story by Rod Charles Deputy Editor

STRATFORD, ONTARIO — The Savour Stratford Culinary Festival wrapped up another oustanding year with approximately 30,000 visitors coming to southern Ontario city’s main foodie event.

After a damp start, the event took off with dozens of presentations, book signings, exhibits and celebrities showcasing locally grown food. Among some of the celebrated chefs and highlights:

  • Vikram Vij of Vij’s, one of’s Top 50 Restaurants in Canada, who put on a curry bonanza of modern Indian cuisine with a demonstration-style class for 40 participants
  • Food Network TV host, musician, and philanthropist Roger Mooking showed off his knife and garlic-crushing skills
  • Local chef Tim Larsen of Mercer Hall served up pork cheeks
  • And chef Wing Li was in attendance. Lee is a chef trained in Cantonese, French, and Thai cooking. Originally from Hong Kong, he has learned Thai cooking from Linda Liu, owner of Toronto’s Linda Modern Thai and Salad King.

The event ended with the Savour Stratford Tasting, the highlight of the festival and an opportunity for everyone to sample the best food that the region offers.

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Stratford Tourism Alliance executive director Eugene Zakreski was thrilled with the event, and the turnout.

“What we’re really happy about is that the theme of ‘globally inspired, locally grown’ really did capture a lot of imaginations and brought a lot of people out,” said Zakreski. “This puts Stratford on the map as being much more than a theatre town.”

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Rod has previously worked for and is currently freelancing for Huffington Post Travel. He’s also written travel articles for the Toronto Star and Up! Magazine. Living in Toronto but raised in the small central Ontario village of Holstein, Rod is a country boy at heart who has never met a farmer’s market he didn’t like.

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