CK Table wins Ontario Culinary Tourism Event of the Year
Chatham, ON – Local culinary offerings are getting provincial recognition this week at the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance summit being held in Blue Mountain, Ontario.
Local farmer Paul Spence and his local agricultural business, Lo Maximo Meats, was nominated for the Ontario Culinary Leadership Award, while the popular and successful CK Table “farm-to-table” event also made the finals for the Ontario Culinary Tourism Event of the Year category – with CK Table coming out on top as winners of their category. Nominations for all categories much demonstrate innovation in showcasing authentic culinary experiences or leadership in their region/destination. Nominations are open to any Ontario-based culinary organization or event. The nominations and awards were announced last night at the 2014 Ontario Tourism Summit Awards Banquet in Blue Mountain.
CK Table was established three years ago thanks to a local group of hard-working volunteers and farmers. This unique farm-to-plate event features locally grown food from Chatham-Kent farmers and artisans. Paul Spence, coordinator of the CK Table event since it’s inception is proud that CK is getting noticed for a sector that is very close to his heart, “after three years of working with local farmers, it still astonishes me how much food Chatham-Kent provides for consumers but, yet, few people know much about CK and our agricultural power. I am so proud for our farmers, artisans and for our community, in getting the provincial recognition we deserve”.
The CK Table was a team effort, with a great deal of time invested, not only from the farming side but also in promoting and marketing the event to reach as wide an audience as possible. They worked with BRANDam, a Toronto-based ad agency, as well as internationally renowned photographer/videographer Brent Foster of Fosters Visuals of Wallaceburg. Brandon Houston, of Logix Design Studios in Chatham also dedicated a great deal of time to this initiative. As Foster states, “it was an honour for me to be part of such a great project to help the community I grew up in – and especially to contribute to this provincial recognition”.
Spence was also thrilled to make to the final round of judging for the Ontario Culinary Leadership Award category, as he says, “I am honoured to be part of both nominations, and am thankful to the people who nominated me. I am hopeful we can start to leverage the positive attention from across the province that we received in both categories. I’m just one of many local farmers who are working hard to make culinary tourism one of the biggest economic drivers in Chatham-Kent. This will really put us on the map.”