Cookery Bank: My Favourite Chef in my hometown, West Lorne


Chef Jeff Crump and Actor Paul Amos


I got to meet Jeff Crump, one of my favourite chefs and owner of my favourite restaurant: Earth to Table Bread Bar in Hamilton. But what’s more exciting is I got to meet him in my hometown of West Lorne, Ontario. 

West Lorne is a rural, farming, community, a half hour west of London, Ontario. My summer jobs revolved around food and farming; corn detasseling, stripping tobacco leaves, and cook at the local golf club. We had a vegetable garden growing up and no matter where I’ve lived I’ve carried the cosy reminder of my rural home by finding a way to grow my own produce. However my mom’s big veggie garden still to this day is my favourite place to get produce! Plus it leads to her canned beets, asparagus, strawberry, blueberry and apple jam. I’m so proud of my rural roots and I admire the Arts & Cookery Bank‘s work of preserving rural culture. I really wish this was around when I was growing up!

I was honoured to attend the Bank’s Food Fight Extravaganza. Where in the weeks leading up to the day’s event, 22 teams created dishes based on black box ingredients (so their ingredients were unveiled right before they started cooking!).


Teams included accredited and self-proclaimed Chefs as well as local community leaders. All 22 recipes were presented to the public for tasting and judging at an all day foodie event where food demonstrations were headed up by several celebrity chefs!

Thank you to Jeff Crump for the Risotto tips, the Arancini taste tests and the parm samples


This is where I got to meet Jeff Crump, the leader of eating local and in season!  He grew up in London, Ontario. His funny, educational and interactive cooking demonstration was about buliding risotto. Jeff’s recently semi-retired from the landmark group, running 7 restaurants in Ontario, and he’s now focusing more on his two bread bars; one in Hamilton and the latest addition in Guelph. If you haven’t been to one of his bread bars, please go soon. I’ve done 4 food blogs on the Hamilton location (1, 2, 3, 4) and it my go-to recommendation for Hamilton visitors. Thank you to Jeff for packing so many tips and tricks into your demonstration:

  • Practice food abstinence: wait for it to be local and in season
  • Risotto is an easy vehicle to anything in season: asparagus, cauliflower, corn.
  • Basic knife skills: How to cut an onion
  • Even when it comes to cooking with wine, good ingredients matter: Cook with what you would drink
  • Stir your risotto!
  • Anti-Al dente: risotto should be well done, soft and loose

I love that their local theme was so prevalent, as they listed all the local locations where all the ingredients came from.

For more information on the Arts & Cookery Bank, including cooking classes and Fest-a-Month eating events check out: 


About Marsha Idella

It's my Edible Journey! I love food. I love love love chef tastings. Eating out inspires my home cooking. I’m passionate about sharing the foods I’ve tasted – made by someone else or me. I love sharing my journey through food, advising where to eat and what to eat. Sometimes it’s a homemade meal, a nearby restaurant, a culinary vacation or a food themed event. I love sharing food photos and their descriptions just as much as eating, but I also need to archive my foodie photos and recommendations thus far so that I don’t forget where I’ve been. Sometimes it is about eating the same thing twice – especially when you want to share that experience with someone or just relive it. “This is amazing, you gotta eat this”
This entry was posted in Elgin County, Hamilton, Other Culinary Thoughts, Southwestern Ontario and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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