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A Glimpse at Westfest 2013: Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Here for the Food

Richmond Road, during Westfest Richmond Road, during Westfest
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With Canada Day fast approaching, it is time yet again to celebrate all things Canadian. In the case of the four days that comprised the tenth annual Westfest, which came to pass almost a month ago, the festival celebrated Canadian artistic expression. So, performance art from music to dance and spoken word.

Westfest was founded in 2004 by producer and artistic director Elaina Martin. The inaugural festival was a one day event, drawing 5,000 people. Thereafter, it grew. A partnership with the Westboro Village BIA paired main and community stage programming with a street party, closing off a long stretch of Richmond Road from McRae to Golden Avenues.

Jim Bryson on the Main Stage

Jim Bryson on the Main Stage

Jim Bryson

Orchestral on the Community Stage

Orchestral on the Community Stage

Alternative on the Community Stage

Alternative on the Community Stage

Still, just as media events and product launch parties are underpinned by the catered nibbles served, concessions at festivals are important. For years, Martin has worked hard to support local independent vendors. She actually has a waiting list of businesses that want to participate, setting up something either at the main stage or along Richmond Road.

Now, There was a bit of drama this year that we’re not getting into in this post, regarding what is more than likely Ottawa’s first food truck “alley.” Suffice it to say, the less than pleasant interactions between Westfest and operator Leo Raguseo, who also owns the Pizza and Panini food truck, resulted in sponsoring vendors being issued signage, identifying them as official concessions.

That said, here is a glimpse of the concessions and dining options along Richmond Road.

Official Concession Signage

Official Concession Signage

More Contemporary Street Food

More Contemporary Street Food

Hot DogHand-Dipped-to-Order Corn Dog

Mr Churritos

Mr Churritos

The Cupcake Lounge

The Cupcake Lounge

Railroad Ribs

Ever been to the Chicken and Ribfest on Sparks Street? Railroad Ribs would fit right in…

Railroad Ribs

Railroad Ribs

Moppin' and Grillin' the Ribs

Moppin’ and Grillin’ the Ribs

Man with a Knife

Man with a Knife

Turkish Gozleme

Ever spend a day the Turkish way? We highly suggest you do during the upcoming annual Turkish Festival.

Ghozleme Makers

Ghozleme Makers

Creating the Dough

Creating the Dough

Rolling

Rolling

Stuffing

Stuffing

Gezellig

A little trivia about the Ottawa restaurant scene, restauranteur Stephen Beckta loves pork belly. There is usually something pork belly on the menu at his three restaurants.

Setting up the Stand

Setting up the Stand

Branded Food Boxes

Branded Food Boxes

Spicy Glazed Pork Belly on Pickled Turnip and Sesame Slaw - $9

Spicy Glazed Pork Belly on Pickled Turnip and Sesame Slaw – $9

Shaved Asparagus Salad w/Edamame, Radicchio, and Maple Vinaigrette - $7

Shaved Asparagus Salad w/Edamame, Radicchio, and Maple Vinaigrette – $7

Chef de Cuisine Che Chartrand

Chef de Cuisine Che Chartrand

Some, “inedibles”

Dairy Farmers' Cow (Milking Demo)

Dairy Farmers’ Cow (Milking Demo)

A Leg....

A Leg….

Free Wine Tasting from the Wine Rack

Free Wine Tasting from the Wine Rack

Roller Derby Gals

Roller Derby Gals

The artists performing on Westfest’s main stage need to eat too.

Platinum sponsor Dish Catering was this year’s primary caterer for the VIP area. Owner Erin Clatney also set up a food showcase, tapping local chefs and food artisans to serve dishes alongside. On Friday, Steve Wall from Supply and Demand was on hand with support from Murray Street Kitchen‘s Steve Mitton. On Sunday, Paul Dubeau of Seed to Sausage provided charcuterie bites. On Saturday, Josh Bishop of The Whalesbone Oysterhouse shucked oysters for grateful guests and performers.

Besides retrofitting a fry truck to retail the same bites to the audience, Clatney and her Chef Ryan Janssens (formerly of Taylor’s Genuine) prepared and served some rather delectable nibbles.

Dish Catering

Dish Catering

Ceviche w/albacore tuna, shrimp, and scallops

Ceviche w/albacore tuna, shrimp, and scallops

Ceviche againJanssens, mixing up a batch of ceviche

Confit Duck Drumettes with hoisin and Sesame Sauce

Confit Duck Drumettes with hoisin and Sesame Sauce

Confit Duck Drumettes - Special Order

Confit Duck Drumettes – Special Order

Bean and Cheese Papusa

Bean and Cheese Papusa

Chef Ryan Janssens

Chef Ryan Janssens

Recognizing one another, the last time we spoke with Janssens was two years ago at a Kelp anniversary event. Like other participants, Janssens served his take on street food, sous vide and smoked ox tongue. He must have moved on to join Dish shortly thereafter.

Here’s to another 10 years of Westfest!

Much love, Elaina!

Elaina Martin, Founder

Elaina Martin, Founder

Jenn, Volunteer

Jenn, Volunteer

The Marc Smith, Travel Blogger Extraordinaire

The Marc Smith, Travel Blogger Extraordinaire

Marc Smith spent thirty days in Ottawa, gathering experiences for his travel blog 30 Day Adventures after attending #TBEX in Toronto. A Vancouverite with a big heart, a healthy appetite for excitement, and a talent for enchanting those around him, he found many things to love about our ever growing food scene. Click here for his post on Westfest. We took him on a tour.

Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.

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