A Discovery of Local Food, Wine and Craft Beer
Back by popular demand on the culinary stage was Kevin Brauch of Food Network Canada’s Iron Chef and the Thirsty Traveler. Kevin’s charismatic demeanor mixed with his amusing antics brought some fun to the stage, while local talents such as Chef Paresh Thakkar of Personal Touch Eatery and Catering enlightened the audience with cooking demonstrations. Sarah Woodley of 99.9 The Fox FM Morning Show joined veteran Fusion MC Jason McMichael as co-host this year. The pair also stepped in as sous chefs for the two second year culinary students who battled in the "Fusion Kitchen Stadium" for the title of Iron Chef Lambton College!
Michael Pinkus joined Sarnia’s own Certified Specialist of Wine, Nancy Michieli, in the Education Series, and took Fusion guests on a wine tasting journey of the best Ontario has to offer, from the wineries themselves to the shelves of the LCBO.
On the music stage, saxophone player Chris Molyneaux and crooner Michael VanHevel were back this year to create the perfect atmosphere in the wine, craft beer and culinary paradise!
New to the culinary stage line-up were Pizza Champion Marina Rondinelli and Pelee Island Winery’s Veronique Peladeaux demonstrating creative cooking with wine. Also, Chef Alastair Mackay and Greg Lee of Lambton College provided a fun food and drink demonstration called >Mixology + Gastronomy = Cocktail Party!
Fusion 2013 welcomed two new Ontario Craft Breweries, Highlander and Lake of Bays, to the show floor as well as local gems Aberarder Vineyards, The Front Door, Crossroads, Egg Farmers of Ontario and The Hive. Acoustic folk duo Erika and Sara were fresh faces on the music stage and charmed the crowd with their beautiful renderings of the classics and their haunting originals.
An event such as this cannot take place without significant support from our community. Over 100 volunteers gave their time to help with this event, from the Fusion planning committee members to those who filled a shift on the show floor to our clean-up crew. A very special thanks to our major sponsors RBC Royal Bank and Basement Boss/Able-tec Enterprises, and all of our other sponsors for their monetary and in-kind donations – the success of Fusion was dependent on your generosity.
Fusion 2013 is expected to make just over $23,000. These much needed funds will be used by the LCDS Foundation to support our ongoing mission. We are excited to begin planning Fusion 2014 in the New Year and promise even more excitement and fresh new talent for our 5th Annual Event, set tentatively for November 7th and 8th, 2014.