Valley Chef adds spice to quality local ingredients

Creative business partnerships help grow product base, expand opportunities

Valley Chef adds spice to quality local ingredients

Chef Dewar meets with Leanne Hutchinson-Dobrota at Hutchinson Acres, surrounded by barrels of Nova Scotia maple syrup.

“Peter had a real vision for our product. We let his creativity run free and, in the end, we got a great product we didn’t know we were looking for but we’re so happy we did.” ~ Leanne Hutchinson-Dobrota, Business Manager, Pure Infused Maple

Fast Fact

According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 Census of Agriculture, there were 3,905 farms in NS (2011), an increase of 2.9% over the 2006 census. There were 200+ active agri-food processing operations in 2013.

What do hops and maple syrup have in common? To NSCC Chef Peter Dewar, they are key ingredients to the development of something great.

Two Nova Scotia businesses – Pure Infused Maple and Meander River Farm & Brewery – have worked separately with the award-winning chef and culinary arts faculty member to help infuse some new ideas into their already up and coming business lines.

At the Meander River Farm they grow hops which they’ve supplied to Garrison Brewing Company for their use.  Last year, the farm yielded enough of a crop to also produce the farms own line of beer for their micro-brewery. But when the owners wanted to push out their line with new products, Peter helped with the development of hops-infused salt and pepper.

Co-owner Brenda Bailey says, “Value-added is where it’s at.  Peter took it to the next level for us with his expertise.” She notes the importance of linking to talented individuals like Peter, and to fellow businesses such as Garrison Brewery to support and learn from each other in order to grow.

Hutchinson Acres branched into its new Pure Infused Maple line with Peter’s help. Leanne Hutchinson-Dobrota, business manager for the product, says: “He’s brilliant. Peter had a real vision for our product. We let his creativity run free and, in the end, we got a great product we didn’t know we were looking for but we’re so happy we did.”

Pure Infused Maple – a name Peter coined to promote the business’s use of only 100 per cent natural ingredients – is the result of infusing maple syrup with products like lemongrass and chipotle, ginger and star anise, and lavender.

Potential in local resources

The former Culinary Team Canada member praises the businesses and individuals he’s supported. “I just keep seeing so much potential in our community – the richness of our local produce and the drive behind those running the farms and businesses. It’s exciting to encourage them and help them transform their products into something new and unique.”

Leanne notes that thanks to another idea from Peter, Hutchinson Acres is readying for the launch of a new product to, as their promotions say, ‘take maple syrup to a whole new level.’

She adds, “We’re seeing some pretty impressive products coming out of our province. We really do have the resources and talent to make things happen in Nova Scotia.”

20/08/15

“Peter had a real vision for our product. We let his creativity run free and, in the end, we got a great product we didn’t know we were looking for but we’re so happy we did.” ~ Leanne Hutchinson-Dobrota, Business Manager, Pure Infused Maple

Fast Fact

According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 Census of Agriculture, there were 3,905 farms in NS (2011), an increase of 2.9% over the 2006 census. There were 200+ active agri-food processing operations in 2013.

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