Sushi Cove creating edible works of art

IMG_3460As they celebrate the one year anniversary of Sushi Cove, Peter and Jolie Kim couldn’t be happier to be part of the Woodstock community.

When they came to Canada in 2008 they did not know one day they would own their restaurant. Peter was a mechanical engineer and Jolie a registered nurse in their home country of South Korea. Arriving in Vancouver, the Kim’s moved to Toronto but longed for life in a small town where they could work, live and truly become part of their community. The opportunity for a position at Woodstock General Hospital became the catalyst for Jolie’s dream to be realized. Peter worked in London area restaurants to support Jolie’s passion only to discover his own.

“Peter always liked cooking at home,” Jolie explained. “He discovered through his support for my dream to work as a registered nurse his true passion: Japanese and Asian cuisine. So now it is my turn to support Peter as he pursues his dream with Sushi Cove.”

Peter is passionate about sushi and works to provide the highest quality food at the most reasonable prices. Nothing is pre-bought, everything is homemade including all the sauces. The menu and presentation of fresh, delicious ingredients has garnered Sushi Cove a loyal following. Rave reviews along with stunning photos of Peter’s dishes, which look like edible works of art, have been rewarded with being a Trip Advisor recommended destination.

IMG_3455Favourites include White Castle Roll, Cove Sashimi and Monkey’s Tear Roll but it isn’t just the exquisite and creative menu that keeps customers coming back for more. Peter and Jolie are gracious hosts; their staff is warm and friendly. They truly enjoy their work and service in the community.

“We wanted to work and live in Woodstock and love it here,” said Jolie. “We appreciate Woodstock General Hospital giving me the opportunity to pursue my career and now support Peter with Sushi Cove.”

Licensed for beer and wine, a visit to Sushi Cove is a culinary experience of Asian and Japanese cuisine you would expect in larger centres like Toronto.

For more information please visit their website or telephone, 519-290-2683.

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Forgotten New Year’s Resolutions

Generally, people think of the future at this time of year. They question what the next year will bring and attempt to make formidable resolutions, even though they know these resolutions will be long forgotten by the end of January. After thorough and exhaustive research, I have uncovered some forgotten New Year’s resolutions by some of this county’s more memorable individuals.

In 1860, while shopping in Innerkip, Thomas Cook promised himself that he would spend more money on hats than whiskey.

In 1867, Dr. Emily Stowe promised to stop reading romance novels and to only read medical books from now on.

In 1882, George Leslie MacKay promised he would write home more.

In 1885 Cassie Chadwick promised to pay closer attention to the newspapers for word of any rich man in town.

In 1889, Reginald Birchall promised his wife Florence that he would take her some place warm the following year.

In 1891 Edwin Tillson promised himself that he would limit his morning oatmeal intake from two cups to one cup in order to fit into a new pair of britches.

In 1917 Joe Boyle promised that with the coming of the new year, he would read up on Romanian history.

In 1925, Aimee Sample MacPherson made sketches for two churches to be built in Oxford County.

With New Year’s resolutions the idea is to challenge yourself on a small scale, then achieve it. Want to save money? Start by limiting your daily coffees. Want to keep your head? Sorry Thomas, I can’t help you there.

Happy New Year!

 

 

 

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Amazing Chinese and Thai Cuisine

Refreshing twist on traditional Chinese, Szechuan and Thai Cuisine!

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Ricky Yiu came to Canada from his native Hong Kong at 19 years old. Despite the challenges and vast cultural differences Ricky immediately loved his new country.

“I love Canada,” he said. “It is so peaceful and the people are so friendly.”

He worked in Toronto-area restaurants; both in the kitchen and front of house for 10 years with the goal to one day operate his own business. Five weeks ago, Ricky along with his wife Gigi, saw their dream become reality when they opened Amazing Chinese & Thai Cuisine at 676 Adelaide Street in Woodstock.

The previous owners of wanted to retire and when Ricky saw the restaurant he liked it right away.

“I liked the small, bistro style and the space had been totally renovated within the past two years. It feels Amazing so we kept the name.”

The décor is colourful, fresh and clean and welcomes you to an amazing culinary experience.

Ricky downsized the menu adding Thai and Szechuan specialities alongside traditional Chinese fare. Everything is homemade, MSG-free and prepared with 100% vegetable oil.

House favourites include Pad Thai, Golden Curry Chicken and what is becoming one of Amazing’s most requested appetizers: Cheese Temptation stuffed with fresh cheese and vegetables. There is a wide variety of Combination Dinners for One and Special Family Dinners. Dine-In patrons receive the deliciously addictive Wonton Chips to share and for Pick up Orders over $40.00 receive a complimentary Garden Salad or Crispy Wontons.

Ricky and Gigi are new to Woodstock but have been receiving the Friendly City welcome.

“We really like Woodstock,” said Ricky. “It is very family-oriented and friendly. Our customers are positive, outgoing and we hope they feel like family when they come here.”

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and dine-in, take-out or have Amazing Chinese & Thai delivered to your home. They will be open Christmas and New Year’s Day from 3pm so be sure to try Woodstock’s newest and freshest take on homemade Asian cuisine.

Amazing Chinese & Thai Cuisine is located at 676 Adelaide Street, Woodstock. Telephone 519-290-8885 to place your order today!

 

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What is a cheese trail anyways?

It sounds delicious because it involves cheese but what exactly is a cheese trail?

When you hear the words “cheese trail” do you picture a little dirt trail through a beautiful woods with tasty treats of cheese lining the way?  Although not as storybook as that, the Oxford County Cheese Trail can be a picturesque and tasty adventure.

The Oxford County Cheese Trail features over 20 stops throughout the county that feature cheese and dairy products made right here in Oxford County.

Cheesemakers, restaurants, retailers and attractions all make up part of The Oxford County Cheese Trail. Oxford County, being the dairy capital of Canada and home to a long and rich dairy heritage, makes it the perfect place to taste and learn all about cheese and dairy products.

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Meet our award winning cheese makers

The Oxford County Cheese Trail features four cheese makers including Bright Cheese and Butter Manufacturing Co., Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese Ltd., Local Dairy Products and Mountainoak Cheese. You can stop by the Bright’s shop and do some tasting before you buy from the varied selection. If you want the behind-the-scenes experience, Gunn’s Hill and Mountainoak Cheese offer tours as well as tastings and the ability to purchase straight from where the artisan cheeses are created. Then visit a local cheese shop for Local Dairy Products.

Jo at the Cup and Cake Counter Holding a Bowl of Scones

Try a smoked feta and apple scone at The Cup & Cake

After tasting and buying some delicious cheeses to bring home, maybe you have worked up an appetite. There are six restaurants on the Oxford County Cheese Trail that feature dishes on their menus that are made with some of the more than 70 types of cheese and dairy products that are created in Oxford County.  Charles Dicken’s pub has a curry poutine made with Gunn’s Hill cheese. Talk about taking your fries up a notch!

You’re energy has been replenished with a great meal so now it is time to check out some other great stops on the The Oxford County Cheese Trail.

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Culture and great cheese at Woodstock Art Gallery Openings

Browse through shops and galleries like Patina’s in Ingersoll and The Woodstock Art Gallery. See the amazing local hand-crafted pottery and wooden cheese boards, perfect additions to serve your favourite cheeses on.  Attend a gallery opening while noshing on a local Asiago.

 

NorwichMuseumSqueezeToCheese.jpgThe Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum and the Norwich and District Museum and Archives offer great ways to delve into the rich dairy history of Oxford County. What better way to get the full experience then to watch a butter churning demo? You can also learn cool facts like area farmers produce over one billion glasses of milk annually.

Make plans to explore the trail  www.oxfordcountycheesetrail.ca

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4 Artisan sales you need to visit this weekend

Tis the season for  artisan sales.  Take some time this weekend to explore four shows featuring artisans from Oxford County and the region.

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Woodstock Art Gallery 50/50 Exhibition and Sale, Nov 27

The annual Woodstock Art Gallery 50/50 Exhibition and Sale offers a selection of art in various mediums including glass, ceramics, painting and printmaking.  All proceeds are split evenly between The Woodstock Art Gallery’s programming and its artists.  You will also enjoy local cheeses that will be served at this exhibition, as the Woodstock Art Gallery is part of the Oxford County Cheese Trail. Event details….  There is more going on Downtown Woodstock that evening as part of Festive Friday.

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Deck the Halls (Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre), Nov 27-28

Every year members of the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre come together for their annual art sale. Being an arts cooperative home to potters, painters, quilters and fibre artists this show offers a wide variety of artisan goods.  Get that special someone on your list a truly one of a kind piece of art for their home. Event details…

If you come in the evening make a night of it and walk through the winter lights to Santa’s Village at the Ingersoll Cheese Museum.  If you miss Deck the Halls you can still shop the Arts Centre’s Mini Sale .

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Rombouts Pottery  & Floral Arrangements, Nov 27-28

Owner Ienke Rombouts is known for her unique flower arrangements, pottery and decor.  While open by appointment year round she holds a spring (May) and Christmas (November) open house inviting other artisans and small businesses.   This is a great chance to see beautiful floral designs and pick up some great pieces for friends and family. Event details…

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Down Home Christmas Craft Show, Nov 28-29

The Tillsonburg Down Home Christmas Craft Show is a great event for holiday shopping and unique finds.  From beautiful wood works to handcrafted jewellery and fresh herbs, you won’t be disappointed in the vast selection at this juried craft show.  Meander through booth after booth of craft items and treasure hunt for that truly special holiday gift. Event details.

Looking for more holiday ideas? Visit the Tourism Oxford website for boutiques and bakeries, Christmas tree shopping, and special events.

 

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One-of-a-Kind Antique Mall: Canada’s largest Antique Mall


One-of-a-Kind Antique Mall in Woodstock, Ontario is your one-stop shop for all things antique and collectible. With three floors packed with vendor booths, finding the unique item you are in search of is a spectacular treasure hunt.

Located in a historic textile factory, One-of-a-Kind is now known as Canada’s Largest Antique Mall. It’s no wonder why visitors come from afar to visit and collect.The first two floors of One-of-a-Kind feature a smorgasbord of items from fur coats and dishes, furniture, art collectibles, vintage  and antique jewellery. Wander the aisles and you’re sure to find something of interest. On the first floor you can also find a great display of dairy and cheese items that owner Jack and his staff have created for the Oxford County Cheese Trail.

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If it’s home décor you are after, the third floor is the place for you. A change from the first two, this floor provides inspiration for Pinterest projects, decorator and designer booths with kitschy pieces and fabulous taste. It is a great place to find that unique accent chair you’ve been searching for or a rustic table for your family to sit around.

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After your busy shop grab a bite to eat nearby. Enjoy casual fine dining at SixThirtyNine (Feast On certified) or for traditional scratch British pub fare and their popular salads at Charles Dickens Pub (open Sundays) or grab soup and a sandwich at the Dairy Capital Cheese Shop. Afterwards go for a stroll taking in historic downtown Woodstock and the latest exhibit at the Woodstock Art Gallery.

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From Feed To Farm To Table

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Every day Parion Animal Nutrition delivers quality feed to farms in Oxford County and the surrounding area. These farms then send their products market. Parion owners Peter Vanboekel, T. J McDougall and Burt Wilkins saw an opportunity to celebrate these … Continue reading

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It is beginning to look at lot like Christmasfest!

If you are looking for a town in the Christmas Spirit head south – not north. For over 20 years Tillsonburg has hosted an annual Christmas Festival providing six weeks of festivities.  Here are a just a few highlights for 2015.  For a full list of events visit their website www.christmasfest.ca

Tours

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Annandale National Historic Site is decorated for the season. Wander through this historic home to get into the Christmas Spirit. Enjoy their special museum Exhibit celebrating over 100 years of christmas lights.  See lights from decades gone by and the latest innovations.

Make a day of it and take the annual Tour of Homes.  Enjoy wonderful holiday decor and themes highlighting architectural features of the host homes. This tour includes admission to Annandale National Historic Site and the Station Arts Centre Tea Room.  Read more

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Performances

Looking for live entertainment to help put you in the Christmas spirit?   Enjoy the beautiful sounds of the Alleluia Bell Choir performing time honoured Christmas music, Celtic Harpist Jennifer White, a holiday reading of “Young Copperfield” – with Stephen Bourne appearing as Charles Dickens or the iconic Senior Centre Singers. Read more

Down Home Christmas Craft Show

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The Down Home Christmas Craft Show is Tillsonburg’s original holiday tradition. Featuring many vendors, this juried show is celebrating its 31st. anniversary in 2015.  Find handcrafted jewelry, ornaments, pottery, clothing and more.  Wrap up a one-of-a-kind gift for everyone on your list.

Community Celebrations

Join the community to celebrate.  Attend a turkey supper, winter lights, bazzars, the Santa Claus Parade, BIA events, breakfast with Santa and much more. Visit the Christmasfest website and get into the holiday season in Tillsonburg.

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A Heritage of Quality at Bright Cheese & Butter

Bright Cheese and Butter is working hard to ensure the proud tradition of great Ontario cheese and dairy continues. As one of the only heritage cheese-makers left in Ontario, Bright Cheese and Butter have been around since 1874. While a 140 year old company they are progressive and always looking forward.

General manager Stefan Cartmale feels “the community is the essential part our success. Most of our employees reside in or around Bright. Our cheesemaker Spenser Haskett grew up on the neighbouring farm.  Community support has always been there 100% and together we are raising awareness of the heritage, tradition and high quality of Ontario cheese and dairy.”

With the full support of their Board of Directors investment in infrastructure, equipment and product development saw significant changes over the past two years to build a vision for the future and increase brand visibility.

“Changes to our processes, including food safety, redeveloping cultures through research & development allows us to offer a better quality cheese,” said Cartmale. “We provide quality Blue Cow Milk Products that are all natural from local farmer’s dairy and we do not use modified milk products.”

Manager Stefan Cartmale standing in factory at Bright Cheese and Butter

Bright Cheese & Butter’s Asiago and Aged Cheddar both became finalists at the Great Canadian Cheese Grand Prix 2015. They also worked with ADW/Acostca to provide local Costco with Bright Brand Havarti. The dedication to quality, food safety and tradition has recently garnered the company a Premier’s Award.

Integral to the ongoing achievement of Bright Cheese & Butter are partnerships established with local small dairies to develop and promote new cultures made by heritage cheesemakers. Their partnership with Monforte Dairy in Stratford has produced a Providence cheese which is like a mountain cheese from Switzerland.

Bright Cheese & Butter and Monforte are also working with St Brigid Dairy in Burgessville to launch an organic cheddar in May 2016. Organic cheddar is a rare find in Ontario and Cartmale suggests pre-ordering.

Recently Bright Cheese and butter has paired up with local artist Cathy Groulx to develop a new logo to refresh their branding while recognizing their heritage.  Cathy visited an area farm to find the right bovine model. Having local farms represented in the brand was important as it reflects the premium product made with local milk.

Check out their new products, award winning cheeses and new packaging. Visit Bright Cheese & Butter at their original location at  816503 County Rd 22, Bright ON. Plan a trip to Bright on the Oxford County Cheese Trail and taste cheese made at its finest with old fashioned customer service at its best!

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Home of the Big Ass Panzerotti Celebrates Cheese

Louie’s Pizza and Pasta is known for their hearty portions and laid back fun roadhouse atmosphere.  The place is always full of locals and regulars that make the trip from out of town.

You get the feeling that the staff and customers are one big family.  From the recent “Get well Norm” message on their sign,  to menu items created and named for staff. Most recently this included a Walking Dead inspired menu (a show loved by many on their team) – Darryl’s ears sounded particularly tasty.

louiesdiningroomOwner Cindy Skater and her father Louie built this business from a take-out pizza company into the booming restaurant it is today.  If you love a thick crust pizza with a sweeter homemade sauce and oodles of cheese – put this restaurant on your bucket list.  Their iconic menu item is their “Big Ass Panzerotti” and Panzerotti challenge (think of the Ole’96er on the Great Outdoors).  I expect when they made this menu item they were inspired by Ingersoll Cheese history as the home of the Mammoth Cheese.

A large fully loaded panzerotti can weigh 8lbs

Therefore it is quite fitting that they are a new stop on the Oxford County Cheese Trail.  Their Cheese Trail menu includes great items to share with friends including Gunn’s Hill with Charcuterie, Coney Island Curds (beer bathed deep fried curds with chili), Steak “Queso”-dillia, and the pizza of the month (featuring local cheeses). You will want to stay and order a main course – view the full Cheese Trail Menu.

Executive Chef Mike Gibbons getting creative in the KitchenMike whipping up a dish of Coney Island Curds

The trail is a great fit for executive Chef Michael Gibson who loves cooking tex-mex. He has plenty of options using La Vaquita cheeses made in Ingersoll by Local Dairy Products (including their award winning Oaxaca).  The menu also has items featuring Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese and Bright Cheese and Butter.  Also check out the daily and weekend chef specials, which often feature local cheeses, ingredients from their garden and local produce.

One of the many local cheese inspired specials

Louie’s Pizza and Pasta is located at 440 Bell St in Ingersoll Ontario and is open 7 days a week, including most holidays.  Make plans to try their new Cheese trail menu for a meal out, or make a day of it visiting the next stop on the Oxford County Cheese Trail.

Oxford County Cheese Trail Logo

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