Friday, July 29, 2011

Touchstone on Lake Muskoka & Chef Guy Bedard

Undoubtedly, one of the most picturesque destinations to dine in Muskoka, is Touchstone on Lake Muskoka. Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the deep blue waters of Lake Muskoka, Touchstone is a handsome resort-style community of villa inspired condominiums. Touchstone features fabulous spa facilities, but mch more important - one of the best kitchens in the area, Taste Dining, under the creative leadership of Executive Chef Guy Bedard. This casually elegant restaurant, set amid the rustic beauty of magical Muskoka, Chef Bedard has created an inspired menu that embraces the regional flavours of Muskoka's contemporary culinary scene, taking full advantage of the freshest local ingredients to create dishes that are both delicious and inspired.

Executive Chef Guy Bedard - Touchstone on Lake Muskoka

The luncheon menu features dishes such as Touchstone Salad with fresh local greens, Roma tomatoes, english cucumber and pea shoots with a Bala cranberry and maple dessert wine vinaigrette; Muskoka Cottage Brewery Battered Pickerel with fresh locally caught pickerel, caper and gherkin remoulade; and a flavourful Grilled Chicken Cubhouse served on a multigrain kaiser with fresh local greens and tomato, with peameal bacon, havarti cheese and finished with a delicious roasted red pepper aioli. Dinner selections include Milford Bay Smoked Trout with Brookland farms Arugula, caramelized red onions, caper cream cheese, scallion potato crostini with a lemon chive vinaigrette; Grilled Ontario Rack of Lamb with Brooklands Farm seasonal vegetables ad fresh mint balsamic drizzle; and Rainbow Trout Tower featuring Milford Bay trout with creamy sun-dred tomato polenta topped with crisp prosciutto and sweet oats with Brooklands Farms seasonal greens and wildflower honey drizzle.

If you're in search of the quintessential Muskoka weekend, visit Katcha and Ken at Brooklands Farm for their fresh organic seasonal vegetables, farm fresh eggs and maple syrup tapped from their own maple grove; explore the Milford Bay Trout Farm for their smokey salmon trout filets, gravlax and mousse; and for the final coup de grace, finish with a memorable lunch or dinner at Touchstone. In the Autumn, there's also the Muskoka Studio Arts Tour that features the heart of Muskoka's thriving art scene. Only 2 hours from Toronto, you'll end up coming up to cottage country, time and time again. Savour Muskoka and discover a magical corner of Ontario that is a world apart from the ordinary.

Harvest Salad with Warm Apples
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of Chef Guy Bedard - Touchstone/Lake Muskoka

4 cups baby lettuces, washed
2 medium sized carrots, sliced thinly
½ cup pecan pieces
½ cup smoked Cheddar, grated
1 medium beet, cooked, peeled, sliced thinly
1 Royal Gala apple, cut into wedges

Cider Vinaigrette:
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup canola oil
2 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper

In a food processor, add cider vinegar, honey and salt and pepper. Slowly add the canola oil while the processor is on for about one minute. Heat apple wedges in a frying pan with a ¼ cup of the cider vinaigrette until a little soft. Arrange lettuce in bowls. Place 4 slices of carrots and beets each on the lettuce. Pour apple slices and vinaigrette on top and garnish with the smoked cheddar and pecans.

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