Magazine article Sunset

White-Linen Farm: Real Silverware and Cloth Napkins Are Showing Up on Farms as More Chefs Move to the Country to Grow What They Cook-As at B.C.'S Stone Soup Inn

Magazine article Sunset

White-Linen Farm: Real Silverware and Cloth Napkins Are Showing Up on Farms as More Chefs Move to the Country to Grow What They Cook-As at B.C.'S Stone Soup Inn

Article excerpt

fOR YEARS, CHEFS HAVE BEEN GETTING CLOSER TO their ingredients: shopping Saturday markets, having farmers visit their restaurants, and even planting their own kitchen gardens. But chef Brock Windsor planted both feet on the farm when he bought acreage and an inn in Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. He and his wife started tilling the soil and raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, and sheep, as well as serving four-star meals to guests at their Stone Soup Inn, Previously chef at the acclaimed Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island, Brock says the rewardis in getting to grow and serve specialty ingredients not found everywhere else--like King Edward spinach, fresh wasabi, and heritage carrots--and tracking down wild onions and foraged berries. "There's a story behind every vegetable," says Brock. Like these: Asparagus harvested same-day is much sweeter, and oxeye daisies, an edible weed, taste like a mix of sorrel and spinach.






The recipes from Stone Soup Inn

Cedar-steamed prawns and clams with onion mayonnaise


Our version, made in a roasting pan with a grilling plank or wood
chips (but no cedar box or hot rocks), still imparts a woodsy
flavor and aroma. You'll need a cooling rack that fits in the pan.

1 large egg
1 1/2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. each kosher salt and Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
2/3 cup grapeseed oil
2 tbsp. finely chopped green onion plus 2 green onions
cut into 2-in. slivers
1 1/2 lbs. clams in the shell, scrubbed and rinsed
1 1/2 lbs. medium shrimp, shells on (26 to 30 per lb.), snipped
through shell along outer edge and deveined

1. Rinse a cedar grilling plank* or rinse 3 cups alder or cherrywood
smoking chips in a colander. If using plank, set in a roasting pan
and weight with a heavy jar. If using chips, put into a bowl and
weight with a smaller bowl. Add water to cover plank or chips.
Soak at least 6 and up to 24 hours.

2. Crack egg into a blender and add vinegar, salt, mustard, and pepper.
Whirl to blend. With motor running, slowly pour in oil, whirling until
incorporated and mayonnaise is thick. Scrape mayo into a bowl and stir
in chopped onion. Chill until serving.

3. Preheat oven to 500 [degrees]. Drain water from plank or chips,
saving 1 cup. Set plank or scatter chips in roasting pan, then put
a cooling rack on top. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake until
very fragrant, about 20 minutes. Heat reserved water until steaming.
Arrange clams on board or chips and cover pan, leaving a corner open.
Carefully add hot water and close foil Bake 5 minutes. Add shrimp in
a single layer, then bake, tightly covered, until clams open and
shrimp are cooked through in thickest part, 6 to 8 more minutes.

4. Transfer shrimp and clams to a serving bowl, using a slotted spoon.
Scatter slivered onions on top. Serve with onion mayo.
*Find plank or chips at a grocery store with grilling supplies
or at

(2.9 G SAT.); 1.7 G CARBO (0.2 G FIBER); 396 MG SODIUM; 215 MG CHOL.

Rhubarb upside-down cake with rosemary caramel sauce

SERVES 8 | 1 3/4 HOURS

We were intrigued, if skeptical, about trying Brock's dessert of
rhubarb, caramel, and rosemary. But the unusual combo bowled us over.
Though the recipe is time intensive, nothing is difficult.


7/2 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/2-in. slices (2 cups)
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
3 oz. good-quality white chocolate such as Callebaut, chopped
1/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk


1 cup whipping cream
1 rosemary sprig (5 in. … 
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