A Foodie’s Paradise in a most unexpected Ontario county

Prince Eduard County
Chef Kelly gathering herbs for our cooking class
Prince Eduard County
Barbara in the kitchen with recipe

Only 2-3 hours, depending on traffic, from Toronto, Ontario (about the same time from Montreal, Quebec) is the best kept secret in Ontario. Prince Edward County is a well known foodie’s haven. Our first outting was dinner at The Devonshire Inn on the Lake, in Wellington, one of the small towns in the county, which is attached to a stunning hotel (with Jacuzzis and wheelchair accessibly dining room).

Overlooking Lake Ontario, that dreary, rainy evening, it looked more like the Atlantic Ocean as the white capped waves smashed against the shore making us feel a lot farther from home and was surprisingly picturesque. The restaurant lived up to its reputation and from the starter of Pork Pate and Fool on the Hill Wine Terrine with Huff Estates Merlot jelly to our main dishes. My choice was pan seared sea scallops with spiced lavender honey, and my husband opted for char-grilled Rib Eye Steak brushed with date and tamarind chutney and some local red wine. Alhtough sated we had to ‘taste’ the desserts which looked too good to pass. Although we tried not to consume the entire crème caramel and the lemon tart, we didn’t leave a trace. Our conclusion was this meal could compete with any large city eatery.

Prince Eduard County
Our Sunday morning playground at
the cooking school
Prince Eduard County
The colorful grounds at The Devonshire

Even though I’ve taken cooking classes around the world from Hong Kong to Bangkok, from Santa Fe to Manihi in the South Pacific, after driving through Picton, only about 20 minutes away from Wellingston, I went to the cooking class at The Waring House where I had pre-enrolled in a three hour cooking class. This grand property also has a hotel with 49 luxury rooms and suites a, conference centre, Amelia’s restaurant and pub and a banquet hall. Our class took place in the kitchen of banquet hall where the young 35 year old chef Kelly, gave the 6 of us different recipes while he oversaw our hands-on preparation. Kelly was born in Picton but had spent the past 11 years in ‘kitchens’ out west where he learned to use local produce. Travelling the world gave him major an opportunity to learn about fusion cooking and an insight into food and preparation of various cultures -his favourite being Japanese. Since this was only his third class, he didn’t stray from his predecessors recipes but intends to plan his own in the near future. The theme was Nordic staring with Pea Soup with fresh mint picked by us in the hotel’s large herb garden, a Cobb Salad with smoked apples, pan seared salmon and crumbled goat cheese, after preparation of the Scandinavian gravlax which needed a few days in the frig before eating, it was securely wrapped for us to take home, and my contribution was Finnish Cardamom Tea Loaf topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

Finnish Cardamom Tea Loaf

Ingredients serve 5

L cup unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon freshly ground Cardamom

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

¼ cup sugar

½ cup sour cream

5 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat over to 350 degrees

Smear butter in a loaf pan, then dust with flour.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside

Beat the eggs and sugar together until creamy.

Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Mix in sour cream and melted butter.

Pour batter into prepared pan, baking until done, about 1 hour.

Cool in pan for 15 minutes then place on a rack and finish cooling.

Dust with powdered sugar.

Slice and place on a plate and top with favorite custard or fresh berries. Another choice is to add orange flavored liqueur to orange slices and decorate the tea loaf.