Newfoundland's Foodiest Festival


For the second year, I attended Newfoundland's biggest feast. This time in the company of two additional expat families, experiencing Roots, Rants and Roars for the first time. James has been sent out to the rig and was unable to attend, so I led our crew to the best of my abilities. 

You may recall, I described my first Roots Rants and Roars experience in this post


We may not have entered the festival in as fashionable a manner as these folks, but we had an incredible time nonetheless. 


From my previous post you already know the outline of the event.

Friday night is the infamous Cod War! Where seven chefs from around Canada compete for the crown by highlighting Newfoundland's most illustrious sea creature. 

This year the competition was as stiff as the Patron Paloma cocktail served up by Black Salt Catering, alongside their black bear chorizo and cod taco. While this taco wowed us all, for me, it didn't give enough attention to the fish to win the chef the title King of the Cod. 


It was this simple, yet perfectly executed, fish n' chips that won my vote. Never have I ever enjoyed a batter as light and crisp as this prepared by Gypsy Tea Room Chef Daniel Butler. 

In the end, the winner was an equally exemplary and true to form dish.  An uncomplicated yet robust flank of fish, topped in a zesty pesto and served alongside two steamed mussels.


Saturday is a festival all on it's own, starting off with a food hike. 5 kilometers of Elliston coast sprinkled with wildflowers and berries played host to five pop-up food stations. Chefs prepared Newfoundland classics such as toutons and moose chili, and gained creativity points with a self-foraging chicken wing stuffed with ham, cheese and chanterelle mushrooms. 


The hike concludes with a coffee and dessert bar, where these partridge berry donuts stole my heart and Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes presented this gorgeously naturalistic puffin cake. 

With some time to kill before we hunkered down for the feast (as if we hadn't feasted enough already), we decided to work off some calories with some site seeing around Bonavista.  En route from the town's lighthouse we were greeted by these gorgeous horses. 


The feast is a sit-down fete,  where many courses are served up by various chefs and presented to your table. Bands light up the stage and the wine flows. By the end of the night we were kicking up our heels to Newfoundland and American hits before retiring to our beautiful Spurrell Heritage Home


It was a glorious, full-bellied weekend that I'm thrilled I could share with great company. James and I may have to return to the province to celebrate with our friends next year!

FoodLyndsay Cavanagh