Cooking with Restaurant 100KM at Chanterelle Country Inn & Cottages
Have you found yourself spending more time in the kitchen lately? Are you looking for a few tips to make your latest dish stand-out? Have you ever wondered how the pros cook at home? Join us for our new blog series as we talk to culinary professionals around the province to find out what they’re cooking at home.
We recently spoke to Earlene Busch from Restaurant 100KM at the Chanterelle Country Inn & Cottages to collect helpful hints for cooking restaurant-quality meals at home.
Since 2000, Restaurant 100KM at Chanterelle Country Inn & Cottages has served a menu featuring vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals, seafood dishes, house-made soups, salads, and desserts, and artisan bread.
“The name of the restaurant tells it all,” says Earlene. “We try to source all of our ingredients from within 100 kilometres.”
While this is easier at certain times of the year than others, Earlene notes in August, the restaurant normally features 85 – 90 per cent local ingredients!
Keep reading for Earlene’s thoughts on everything from cooking with seasonal ingredients to how to present your meals like a chef!
Cook with Seasonal Ingredients
Seasonal produce tends to have a richer flavour since it’s harvested when it’s fully ripened, which helps create the restaurant-quality flavours you love. This isn’t limited to produce though, as Earlene’s favourite seasonal ingredient to feature at Restaurant 100KM is fresh herbs. “My best-kept secret in the kitchen is to treat the ingredients with respect and don’t overcook them. And, of course, add fresh herbs,” she says.
Earlene believes the biggest misconceptions about supporting local regards cost. “Many people only look at the cost of the product without realizing that buying from somewhere else might cost more,” she explains. “For example, buying products from California will cost more in the long run by not supporting the tax base and local prosperity.”
Earlene also points out how buying local helps the environment. “No packaging, no food miles, fewer chemicals, better taste, healthier bodies, and local prosperity.”
This Nova Scotia Blueberry Pie recipe from the Restaurant 100 km features one cup of cooked local blueberries and three cups of fresh berries, for a unique twist on cooking the traditional blueberry pie recipe.
Presentation is Key
One of the easiest ways to make your meal restaurant-quality is to make it look like it would be served at a restaurant. “Use complementary colours and play with texture,” explains Earlene. Focusing on these two things while cooking makes for a fun challenge and a huge difference visually.
Visit Restaurant 100KM at Chanterelle Country Inn & Cottages this summer during your Cape Breton staycation! Check out their “Old-Fashioned Package,” which consists of three nights at the inn and includes both breakfast and dinner.