NC cooks up excitement for Niagara Food Festival

Sep 29, 2011

There’s a lot of Niagara College talent behind the peninsula’s tastiest party to be held the weekend of September 30 to October 2 in downtown Welland.

Not only will the Niagara Food Festival feature culinary delights from the college’s Benchmark Restaurant as one of more than 30 participating vendors, visitors will have a chance to savour wines from the college’s Teaching Winery and sample First Draft beer from its Teaching Brewery.

NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute chef professor Michael Olson and his wife Anna – host of the Food Network’s Fresh with Anna Olson and Sugar – have been hand-picked as the first-ever honorary chairs of the event, recognizing the significant role they have played in its continued growth.

Olson said that he and his wife are happy to be involved with this community event that helps showcase the work of NC’s culinary, beer and wine students from the CFWI.
“This is an all access event for Niagara where we can continue our learning in a live action scenario. The crowds are big and the pace is quick,” he said. “The students see value in participation and get to work with excellent local produce – huge vats of butternut squash soup, apples, sausage, peppers and fresh baked cinnamon rolls.
“Culinary faculty volunteers come out to spend time with the students and help promote our programs. This is truly active, living learning.”

NC’s senior communications officer Michael Wales, who is also a board member for the food festival, pointed out that Niagara College has been a long-time sponsor of the event.
“The Niagara Food Festival brings together some of the top food producers and restaurateurs in southern Ontario, and is a great opportunity to showcase NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute,” said Wales. “We have a record number of vendors this year, exciting contests, top-notch entertainment and much more. It’s truly the Peninsula’s Tastiest Party.”

The festival’s Mobile Culinary Theatre will showcase cooking demonstrations from a few of NC’s talented chef professors including Olson (Friday, 7 p.m., and together with Anna on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 12:50 p.m.), Philippe Corbiere (Saturday at 11 a.m.), and Sam Seaver with his son Ethan (Saturday at 11:45 a.m.).

This will be the 18th year for the Niagara Food Festival which has become known as the largest of its kind in the region. For information visit its website at


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