Beans, Greens and a Squirrel

Posted by: Megan, Marketing Manager

On a crisp spring-ish morning in March I stare down and question how my notebook got so dirty. Smeared with sticky house-made jam and stained with a ring of fresh ground coffee – the hazards of a breakfast meeting I suppose.

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We are at FortWhyte Alive, in the Buffalo Stone Café, setting the groundwork for what is to be a delicious collaboration. Mike (Director, Sales & Marketing) and I are meeting with Jason from Dairy Farmers of Manitoba to come up with partnership ideas for Grazing in the Field 2015. Dubbed the Milk & Honey edition, the event will be hosted in Kleefeld, MB, on the Dueck Family’s Dairy – Four Oak Farms.

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We believe that everyone deserves to know where their food comes from and this event hosted by Dairy Farmers of Manitoba connects attendees to the family farm and helps tell the story of the people who live and breathe dairy farming every day. These are the farms we get our milk from to produce our products – milk that comes from within 50km of our factory in New Bothwell, MB.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of attending this magical fall event , it entails a scenic motor coach ride, a tour of a dairy farm, appetizers, a seven-course meal designed by Chef Ben Kramer featuring local foods, beverage pairings and of course CHEESE – might I suggest stretchy pants!

Dinner under the prairie sky at Grazing in the Field

Dinner under the prairie sky at Grazing in the Field

FACT – Tickets for the 2015 edition of Grazing in the Field sold out in 48 hours!

The location for our breakfast brainstorming session is fitting. The Buffalo Stone Café, operated by the Diversity Food Services team and Managed by Chef de Cuisine Kelly Cattani, focuses on connecting people with their food – much like Grazing in the Field. The menu features in-season local, organic and sustainably produced foods cooked from scratch, including those grown on site at FortWhyte Farms.

Fortwhyte Farms Pastured Pigs Project

Fortwhyte Farms Pastured Pigs Project

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View the current seasonal menu

Jason’s meal – Shakshuka and Toast (or as he called it “The Shakira”)

Jason’s meal – Shakshuka and Toast (or as he called it “The Shakira”)

My meal – Beans and Greens (with Bothwell Parmesan)

My meal – Beans and Greens (with Bothwell Parmesan)

Mike’s meal – Mesa Breakfast Poutine (with Bothwell Cheddar)

Mike’s meal – Mesa Breakfast Poutine (with Bothwell Cheddar)

Between sips of coffee and mouthfuls of heavenly flavours, we talk about things like artisan cheese, chocolate milk ///SQUIRREL/// cheese boards, in-flight snacks ///SQUIRREL///pairings, factory tours and cheese for life…?

FACT – There was a busy SQUIRREL running around just outside the window beside our table, which may have been distracting me from part of the conversation. #TRUESTORY
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Fortwhyte Alive – Alloway Reception Centre

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Months after that meeting, sitting in the office, I go back to that page in my notebook to review my chicken scratch – the pages stick to one another – a reminder of my amazing breakfast. That meal may be long gone, but my sticky mixed media (jam & coffee) page is a reminder that Grazing in the Field 2015 is just around the corner – see you under the tent on September 26th!

I live for breakfast meetings. I’m most productive in the morning and I LOVE breakfast foods, so it’s perfect combination. What is your favourite time of day and place to meet? Share your inspiring meeting locations in the comment area below.