Fredericton restaurants get local

Eat local at The Blue Door (Andrea Bárcenas/AQ)
Eat local at The Blue Door (Andrea Bárcenas/AQ)

Pork chops from Rogersville and Kale from Taymouth- The Blue Door.

In line with the fall season, Ben Conoley, organizer of Fredericton’s Burger Battle that took place in May, decided to create Eat New Brunswick, an initiative for restaurants to offer local foods during harvest time.

“Not as sexy as burgers, but it is a seemingly appropriate theme for this time of year.”

Twelve Fredericton restaurants are participating in Eat NB held Oct. 2 to 26. Each participating restaurant has created a special dish that’s made with local ingredients from across the province.

Conoley isn’t a food genius. He isn’t even in the restaurant industry. A lawyer, a husband and father of two, Conoley has decided to organize Eat NB just for fun and  to encourage people to experience the local food the city and the province has to offer.

“It also gives people a reason to go out to eat in between Harvest Jazz & Blues and the Christmas season,” he said. “It addresses the slow time for the restaurant industry – especially for downtown Fredericton. I live downtown and I like to see it vibrant and healthy.”

Conoley said it allows participating restaurants to try something new.

“It gives their chefs an opportunity to show some of their creative flair that you might not be able to do on a daily menu.”

Ten Resto on Regent Street participated in the Burger Battle. That was the busiest they’d ever been.

“But people weren’t necessarily just buying burgers – they didn’t sell many burgers at all,” said Conoley. Instead, customers would notice something more interesting on the menu, and try it out.

The year-old restaurant is known for its commitment to local ingredients, so chef and co-owner Keith Phillippe said the Eat NB initiative was a natural fit.

“This keeps it fresh and seasonal. It’s hard to do with the same menu all the time,” he said.

Ten Resto’s Eat NB dish consists of five courses that have unique names including ‘Mirimiachi on the Roof’ and ‘The Woodstock Salad’ – all with fresh and local ingredients.

“I love the promotion and the concept of using local foods. People eating local every restaurant industry would love to see because it’s providing the freshest and the best – and that’s what it’s all about,” said Phillippe.

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Pork chops from Rogersville and Kale from Taymouth at The Blue Door (Andrea Bárcenas/AQ)

Conoley said Eat NB will liven up the options for Frederictonians, who might be tired of going to the same limited number of restaurants in the city.

“This allows them to go to some restaurants that they might be bored of or have tried everything at and gives them a reason to go try it again. It also gets people into a restaurant that they haven’t discovered before and maybe find their next favourite restaurant.”

Conoley said Eat New Brunswick is about the importance of eating and buying locally grown and raised food.

“We live in New Brunswick and we work in New Brunswick and the more that we support New Brunswick businesses the better it is for our economy. It’s great to know you can walk downtown to the market on Saturday and talk to the person who butchers your meat.”

 

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