Hot Food Trends at Herbfest

Herbfest is an Ottawa Valley tradition combining a large marketplace of over 100 vendors and artisans, informative lectures, a Chef Cook-off, live entertainment, and much more with time to relax and meander through the beautiful landscaped herbal garden beds.

Savvy Company will be out in full force at this year’s Herbfest.  Accredited Sommelier, Debbie Trenholm, will be on-hand to moderate the Chef cook-off  while Cheese Sommelier, Vanessa Simmons, will do a presentation on Summer Cheese Sizzlers – A Tasty Discovery of What’s Hot in Local Artisan Cheese. Don’t miss this fun day out for the whole family!

While you wander along the wild herb walk, taking in the garden tour and maybe even catching a glimpse of garden fairies you can also pick up some great new recipes from Executive Chef Rehaad A. Ali.  He is cooking up a storm at Saffron & Chives Creative Catering & is also partner of FUZE Productions, an Events Food and Venue company saffronandchivescatering.ca www.fuzeproductions.ca 613.858.9250

Rehaad gives the ultimate food experience to the client. He constantly follows the hot food trends and is proud to create some of his own… adding to the Ottawa dining scene.  Rehaad was trained by some of Ottawa’s top chefs—such as the Ottawa Westin Hotel’s executive chef, Philippe Whetell (formerly of La Baccara) and the Ottawa Crowne Plaza’s executive chef, Willy Wetcher.

Here are some of Chef Rehaad’s mouth-watering recipes…

Stuffed Ground Bison Crocchetta (Meatball)


10 oz ground bison to serve 5 persons
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 kg vidalia onion fine diced and cooked on low heat until carmelized
2 cloves chopped garlic
2.5 oz chopped cooked pancetta choppped coarsely
2.5 oz shredded Oka
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil to fry


Season bison with salt and pepper, add carmelized vidalia and fresh thyme, mix and set aside

Equally divide bison into 2 oz balls and proceed to flaten each balls, add Oka and pancetta to the centre of meat. bring up edges to form a ball. On medium heat on, use a heavy deep pan, fry croccohettas until brown, about 4 mins, should be nicely cooked at 160 0 F, cover and keep warm at 140 0 F


Something special featuring this year’s “Herb of the Year”…the Elder

Elderberry Chipotle Maple Compote


5 tbsp Elderberry preserve or jam
1 tbsp chipotle chopped finely
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro


In a small bowl combine all ingredients and set aside.


Butternut Squash Mash with Coconut Oil and Chives


1 small butternut squash
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste


Peel and scoop out seeds from squash, cut into medium cubes. Heat 2 tbsp oil on medium heat, add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add squash and sautée  for 5 mins and then cook covered until tender, about 20 mins.  Remove from heat and mash, add oil and season then chives, set aside and keep warm.


Red kale and Fennel Slaw


1 cup shredded kale
1 cup shredded fennel
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp olive oil
fresh ground pepper to taste
sea salt to taste


In a medium bowl mix all ingredients and set aside.

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