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A barn lunch by Rundles in Stratford

This is the third in a series detailing the culinary tour of Stratford I took part in for Foodbuzz 24×24 this month.

After a visit to the dairy and the farm and some hog-feeding, we were a group of hungry bloggers :-)  We headed back to Soiled Reputation to partake in a beautiful barn lunch.  For the next couple of hours we were to be treated to some absolutely outstanding food whilst being transported back to what almost felt like another era.  Fresh food, simply prepared and served in an atmosphere of total respect for the food and where it is coming from = magical.

Chef Neil Baxter, from Rundles Restaurant, and his team whipped this lunch up literally just outside the barn.

Of course they used fresh produce from Soiled Reputation too:

VQA wine from Niagara and Stratford Brewing Company’s pilsner accompanied lunch.

When I saw the salad being prepared outside the barn, I was pretty excited – I mean what could be better than this?

Why a deep-fried poached egg atop the fresh greens, asparagus and the Toscano cheese:

Isn’t that just spectacular? But wait, there’s more – when you cut into the egg, you were greeted with a literal explosion of yolk, so orange it looked nearly Photoshopped!

This was truly one of the most spectacular things I have eaten in a long time – so simple, yet so flavourful. I made sure to bring some of the eggs home with me and the following day, Neil helped me make the most beautiful Hollandaise sauce you have ever seen!  At that point in the meal, I could have happily retired to a neighbouring field for a bit of a nap but there was more to come..

This spit grilled Wild Boar from Perth Pork Products was truly amazing. The marbling made this so tender and flavourful and even though I don’t tend to eat all the fat on a piece of meat, I did with this – it blended into the meat seamlessly and melted in your mouth.

The pea-shoot spätzle was another revelation to me an one I will be trying at home this summer, that’s for sure :-)  The mustard seed jus was wiped with much glee from every single plate at that table with the wonderful Rundles bread.  Hardly the need for a dishwasher, we all enjoyed our meal so much!

The dessert was one I approached with some trepidation. I am not a big rhubarb fan (sorry, does that make me a bad foodie?) but was prepared to try this – where better to try something you think you might not like that right at the source?

Confession? I was very pleasantly surprised!  This chilled rhubarb soup was sweet and sour at the same time. The sorbet provided a fresh burst of flavour and the actual rhubarb stalks in the bottom tasted… well to me they tasted like apple. Which has made me rethink rhubarb. I might even like it ;-)

All throughout lunch we were serenaded by Derek Barnes and after lunch, Antony joined him and tehy sand a haunting rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. It was truly like something out of a Fellini film!

Stay tuned later this week for the final instalment in this Stratford culinary tour – featuring a tea tasting, making candy and checking out the best homemade pies NOT made by your Nana!  In the meantime, head on over to Suresh’s site for a fabulous video montage of the day.

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41 Responses to A barn lunch by Rundles in Stratford

  1. Jason Phelps June 6, 2010 at 09:05 #

    What a day. The lunch sounded fantastic.

  2. Belinda @zomppa June 6, 2010 at 09:05 #

    Next time take me with you! What an amazing, beautiful journey.

  3. sd June 6, 2010 at 09:08 #

    Still thinking about that barn lunch, the rhubarb and the egg. yum.
    Thanks for linking to the video!.

  4. Daydreamer Desserts June 6, 2010 at 09:30 #

    I’m so craving that, deep fried poached egg salad it looks amazing, but I’m still waiting for the candy making adventure… ;)

  5. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz June 6, 2010 at 09:57 #

    Wow, I guess barn lunches have come a long way lol

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 7, 2010 at 06:39 #

      This is the first barn lunch I have attended and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but it exceeded all expectations!

  6. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } June 6, 2010 at 13:24 #

    Now that is a perfect foodie day! The salad with the egg looked amazing. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  7. mademoiselle délicieuse June 6, 2010 at 17:44 #

    That deep-fried poached egg is impressive indeed! So much potential for disaster and agree that, yes, that yolk is unbelievably orange.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 7, 2010 at 06:38 #

      Isn’t it beautiful? :-) I think it appeals to me precisely because of the potential for disaster!

  8. Julie M. June 6, 2010 at 21:42 #

    I am so jealous! That’s the most beautiful meal I think I’ve ever seen. That egg is absolutely splendid. I wish I could have been there to taste it. Can’t wait to read the conclusion of this culinary journey!

  9. Gourmantic June 6, 2010 at 23:16 #

    That egg looks amazing! In fact the whole meal is very appetising. Not so sure about the rhubarb soup. It reminds of me of jelly!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 7, 2010 at 06:37 #

      It was very un-jelly like if that helps! I am not a fan of rhubarb but this might convince me to give it another go…

  10. Bonita June 6, 2010 at 23:53 #

    Loved reliving that wonderful meal with your fantastic post and beautiful photos!! Everything about that meal was superb!

  11. The Cilantropist June 7, 2010 at 01:18 #

    Ahhhh!!!! I have been DYING to try that sort of deep fried poached egg ever since I saw it in a Bon Appetit article last year, you are so lucky you got to enjoy it! Looks like a lovely afternoon, and a really special meal.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 7, 2010 at 06:36 #

      It was really special and yes, I totally need to figure out how to make that myself, that egg!

  12. Pam M June 7, 2010 at 05:07 #

    The Barn Lunch looks fabulous, my favorite was the pork, no, maybe the Fried egg salad. On second thoughts I think I would have to go with the dessert, you know my sweet tooth, and I LOVE rhubarb.
    Also I loved the video link.

  13. Dawn@CocinaSavant June 7, 2010 at 07:06 #

    how fun! everything looks delicious! i love the idea of the rhubarb soup, sounds tasty!

  14. Magic of Spice June 7, 2010 at 22:08 #

    Great post… That bread, fantastic! Great looking food:)

  15. Linn @ Swedish home cooking June 8, 2010 at 03:30 #

    Deep fried poached egg sounds so interesting! I’ve never had anything like that before. I better go on some food exploring after this!

  16. Casey Angelova June 8, 2010 at 07:00 #

    Everything looks so amazing. I am salivating just looking at those photos. I wish my adventures in Bulgaria looked as tasty.

  17. sippitysup.com June 8, 2010 at 12:35 #

    Congrats on Top (! I knew that drink shot was good!) I also crave that egg salad. GREG

  18. Tokyo Terrace June 8, 2010 at 15:12 #

    I love this! There is something so enchanting and lovely about barns, and this lunch looks like it was served in the perfect setting. Fabulous photo of the rhubarb soup being poured into the glasses!

  19. The Housewife June 9, 2010 at 02:28 #

    What a great experience! I can only imagine how fresh the ingredients must have been! This would have made a world of difference…

  20. Cat June 9, 2010 at 15:01 #

    that salad? i think i could eat that every day for the rest of my life. and you want to make that pea-shoot spätzle? maybe when your friends from rockford are visiting? pretty, pretty please? (what is that about the fifteenth thing i’ve said i want you to make when we’re there? ;) that, along with the half a dozen restaurants we want to go to should put us at about six meals per day . . .)

  21. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction June 9, 2010 at 21:28 #

    Wow… I’m intrigued by the deep fried poached egg and the rhubarb soup for dessert… They sound interesting and wonderful at the same time!

  22. Fuji Mama June 10, 2010 at 13:53 #

    What an amazing meal!!! I mean, wow! That deep fried egg…I’m about to lick the screen…

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