Ricky and Olivia, the chef duo cooking up a storm around Ontario. I first heard of this duo on Instagram as they were doing pop ups around Toronto, gaining a lot of attention for showcasing some of Ontario’s best through their creative and local inspired plates.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ricky and Olivia at the Terroir Retreat where they were one of the twelve chefs cooking that day. After weeks of following their food on Instagram, I was finally able to try their cooking! All I cam say is, that it was definitely worth the wait and anticipation, they blew me away with their Carrot Parfait dish!
The savoury yet sweet dish, was composed of coal roasted carrots, goat butter + honey glaze, whipped goat yogurt, currant coulis, floral granola, and carrot top sprouts. There aren’t many ways to make carrots exciting but Ricky and Olivia sure found a way.
Even if you didn't attend the Terroir Retreat, this year, it is still possible for you to try Ricky & Olivia's Carrot Parfait but at their summer Patio home at Westcott Vineyards, which I had the chance to visit this past weekend. Continue reading to find out some of the things I tired on their menu!
It was a lovely day and the vineyard has a lovely low key and amicable air to it. The patio setting was simple but with charm. Everything from the chairs to the tables down right to the teacups, plates, and cutlery had character! Plus you were surrounded by nature and the vineyard’s land, creating the perfect relaxing atmosphere for a weekend lunch.
As you sit and enjoy the air around you, you notice the beautiful setting of the Westcott Vineyard patio. On one side you see Ricky and Olivia cooking and plating their service with a big fire wood oven behind them. In front of you, you of course had a glass of Chardonnay or Sparkling White, or maybe even a red, whatever you fancy on a Sunday afternoon.
As you take your first breaths of the fresh air, your server will start you off with some water and kettle popped corn that has been seasoned with with some maple syrup. A perfect starter to get your appetite going if you ask me.
Ricky and Olivia's Westcott Vineyard menu is a very simple, friendly, and approachable menu with some fun twists, which are all of course very delicious. We tried their “Guacamole” made from edamame (a different texture than an avocado but nevertheless delicious) to start with. Then we got a few more sharing plates from their "Carrot Parfait", to their famous Cobb Salad which featured soy based pickled Devilled Eggs, to Fresh Oysters.
We continued on with their "Ontario Hawaiian Pizza," a Detroit style pizza dough with seed to sausage, cheese curds, and Niagara peach preserve (though I think it everyone can agree the dough tastes more like a fried donut...but that makes it even better don't you think?), and the "R+O Burger", made with VG beef patties cooked to medium rare to give it that juiciness , which is then sandwiched between a lightly toasted brioche bun.
For dessert I had to have the "Ice Cream Sandwich", which was R+O's take on Panna Cotta. The simple tart yet sweet dessert featured Vanilla + Hewitt's cream panna cotta, Niagara fruit coulis and topped with a dark chocolate cookie crumble.
I had such a pleasurable evening at Westcott Vineyards, everything from the service to the wine to the views and the food was amazing! I love supporting local and Canadian talent, and Ricky and Olivia make it easy. If you have a chance to go to Niagara on the Lake, make a stope by Jordan and visit R+O at Westcott Vineyards. You won't regret it!