Nfld. & Labrador

Food festival a chance to learn from the best in the kitchen, says Grand Falls-Windsor chef

A brand-new festival is coming to Grand Falls-Windsor this summer: the Perfectly Centered Culinary Festival, which will feature some of the country's biggest chefs.

The Perfectly Centered Culinary Festival debuts this summer

Peter Butler, a chef in Grand Falls-Windsor, is helping organize the Perfectly Centered Culinary Festival. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

The arrival of some of Canada's biggest chefs will be a boon for Grand Falls-Windsor's local cooks, according to the chef at the town's golf club.

Well-known Canadian chefs John Higgins and Anne Yarymowich are part of the lineup at the Perfectly Centered Culinary Festival, unveiled by the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor on Friday morning.

The festival features a Saturday-evening dinner Aug. 5, where Canadian chefs will staff nine food stations at the Joe Byrne Arena in Grand Falls-Windsor, and will get some help from the locals.

Chef Peter Butler cooked up these dishes for Friday morning's announcement of the culinary festival. (Garrett Barry/CBC)

"It's going to be a learning opportunity for everybody," said Peter Butler, the chef at the Grand Falls Golf Club. 

"The local chefs are going to get a chance to work with these people that would [usually] never ever have the opportunity to do." 

Along with Higgins and Yarymowich, Grand Falls-Windsor Mayor Barry Manuel says the event will feature nine top chefs from across the country.

Toronto deli owner Zane Caplansky and St. John's chef Jeremy Charles of Raymonds are among the contributors.

"These are celebrities, these are movie stars. In the culinary world, these are the top," said Butler.

New summer tradition?

Manuel said the culinary festival is another piece of Grand Falls-Windsor's summer plan, which he hopes will complement the Salmon Festival.

"We're looking forward to this not only being a great event for this year, but for many years to come," he said.

People will walk away with a good taste in their mouth- Barry Manuel

Though the Salmon Festival had to undergo a transition from mega-concert to community event in recent years, Manuel said the food festival will stand on its own.

He said he expects the event to break even.

"We just like to think of it as another anchor event for the summer, I don't think it's going to take away [from the Salmon Festival]."

"It's not always easy to have events of this magnitude, certainly in Grand Falls-Windsor. You expect to see them in larger centres. So having it here in Grand Falls-Windsor is a huge, huge announcement for us."

Building a culinary culture

The event is land and sea-themed, and Manuel says festivalgoers should expect to see "our food, [done] their way." 

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online.

Butler says the event is one more feather in the cap of the culinary industry in Grand Falls-Windsor, which he says could be a big economic player despite the town's size.

"It's not only our town. We're a central hub, so all the communities around, they're a big supporter to our town as well, right? And these little festivals, especially our Mid Winter Bivver … these little festivals help, big time."

"People will walk away with a good taste in their mouth, pardon the pun," Manuel said.


Garrett Barry


Garrett Barry is a CBC reporter based in Gander.