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.

41 thoughts on “A barn lunch by Rundles in Stratford”

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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

  8. 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!

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

  10. 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 . . .)


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