A drizzle that turned into a real rainfall wasn’t enough to stop two chef’s from their shootout.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  September 21, 2012  It would have been great – as it was it was very good.  The rain spoiled the public participation but it didn’t stop two chef’s from Spencer’s on the Waterfront from showing a small crowd that huddled under umbrellas as Chris Hayworth and Andy McLean put together two really fine meals at an outdoor location in what the Farmer’s Market called Street Fight # 1 with Hayworth vs McLeod.  The knives were out.

You don’t see hand drawn type like this very often

It was promoted as a Street Fight # 1, indicating that this would become an ongoing event. The first pitted two experienced chef’s from one of the better, if not the best, restaurant in the downtown area.

While the rain certainly dampened the public attendance the event was clearly something that could be done fairly frequently next season.  If promoted effectively it could become an event to which day tourists travel to Burlington to take in.

The crowd that was on hand last Friday certainly enjoyed themselves even if they had to huddle in the rain under umbrellas tasting the results.  Hayworth’s cauliflower soup was especially nice.

While the competition was to have two chef’s competing the event turned out to be a battle with the elements.  With just drizzle, one umbrella was enough; but when it turned into real rain – Barry Imber went looking for as many umbrellas as he could find.  His finds and what others had on hand kept most of the rain off the audience.

Chef Hayworth on the left and Chef McLean next to him take their recipes through the final stages of preparation before letting the crowd taste the meal – and it most certainly was a meal.

Chef Chris Hayworth on the left with chef Andy McLean to his left prepare food for individual tastings.  There wasn’t nearly enough to go around.  The original plan was to have people sitting on benches observing; but the rain had people huddling around the cooking tables, while the chefs worked in very cramped quarters constantly hoping the electrical cables wouldn’t short out.

The Farmer’s Market will shut down sometime in October and has to be seen as a success – not a raging success but a very positive addition to life in the downtown core.

Our Burlington supported the event from its very beginning and we will be reminding you about its return in the Spring.

Barry Imber is the driving force behind the concept and the guy who did much of the hands on work to make it happen.  He was the guy who made the phone calls to get people to take part; he was the guy who chased down umbrellas and put them up as the rain moved from a drizzle to a real rainfall.  He was the guy who went looking for additional electrical extension so the chef’s could continue cooking.

One of the vendors teaches children at the Farmer’s Market some hand clapping dances

There were different vendors throughout the year with Featherstone and Plan B on hand consistently.   Some vendors were on the site when they had product – Gibson’s Honey who sold out every time he was there.

There were people from the Tourism office watching the event which many thought could be something done several times during the season and promoted as a destination event.  There people who would love to make a day trip to Burlington to attend an event likes this, stay for the day and drive up into the Escarpment.  As an event – it has potential.

The market is intended for those people who are purely organic.  If you want pure food with nothing added, no preservatives or colouring to make the food look nicer.

What many wondered as the two chef’s worked away was – who was doing the cooking at Spencer’s while Hayworth and Mclean were at the market.

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