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96 

FOOD & DRI NK

WINTER 2016

We lean in hard to

the root veggies in

January and play

with spices to liven

things up.

BY CYNTHIA DAVID 

 PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB FIOCCA

JULIA GRAHAM, OWNER OF THE QUIRKY CARROT, ALEXANDRIA, ONT., THEQUIRKYCARROT.CA

5 qUESTIONS

WITH…

What’s with the quirky

name?

When I was teaching, we

ran a weekly classroom café

called The Staff Caf. I chal-

lenged staff and students to

come up with a better name

and The Quirky Carrot won.

The name never stuck, but

I loved it and tucked it away

for future use.

What does your Feast ON

designation mean?

Feast ON recognizes about

100 restaurants committed to

showcasing and celebrating

Ontario’s unique flavours. In

2014, these restaurants pur-

chased more than $10 million

worth of locally produced food

and beverages. That’s a lot of

carrots! Diners are hungry for

Feast ON experiences, with

3,000 visiting the website

(

feaston.ontarioculinary.com

)

monthly and 25,000 fans

engaged across social media.

What dish keeps appearing

on your daily menu?

Our best seller is the Friday

BKT sandwich—bacon, kale

and tomato with garlic mayo

and Lankaaster aged cheddar

from just up the road.

How do you survive the

culinary winter?

We lean in hard to the root

veggies in January and play

with spices to liven things

up. When I can’t bear roasting

another parsnip I serve veggies

raw, maybe julienne a butter-

nut squash for a Thai-inspired

salad with spicy red chilies and

cilantro.

Let’s say you were stuck

on a desert island …

I’d dream of a kale, arugula and

radicchio salad with grated raw

beets and carrots, topped with

avocado, goat cheese, pumpkin

and hemp seeds and dressed

with lemon and olive oil. With

a little grilled salmon on top.

J

ulia Graham is a self-made woman. With no chef’s

training, the psychology and gerontology grad

ran a catering company with her sister, then taught

a wildly successful cooking class in the local high

school. The mother of two is now busy introducing

the 3,000 residents of Alexandria, halfway between

Ottawa and Montreal, to the joys of kale, quinoa

and immune-system-boosting juices from the open

kitchen of her friendly café, designated a Feast ON

restaurant by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance.