Photos by Kristina Groeger, words by Ivy Knight

Smoked trout from Milford Bay with fresh horseradish from Red’s Chef Mike Steh and Poissonier Matthew Simpson. This salad was responsible for making the sun come out. -Ivy Knight

The queen of local sustainability and biodynamics Lauren Wilton, served a mean minestrone soup from Enoteca Sociale.  Unfortunately for you, her outfit was not see-through or animal print.  – Kristina Groeger

Ivy poses with my favourite Italian Chef (and favourite boss), Rocco Agostino. – KG

Bradford Wagner is the assistant manager at Chippy’s Queen Street location and the man responsible for the vegan curry served over the French fries he’s tossing. The fries were made with Rochdale Gold potatoes from Smoyd Farms. -IK

Mike and Fab are the proud parents of Queen West’s newest baby restaurant, Bar Salumi. Appropriately they served potato croquettes studded with their own house-made salumi. -IK

Ed Rek served up the newest offering from Evelyn’s crackers – Graham Crackers. They were topped with Monforte Chevre and a delicious Damson plum preserve. It tasted like childhood. -IK

Closeup of kitchen crew from Red’s. – KG

Matthew Simpson, he’s on top of things and with 1200 hungry hippos to feed he better be. -IK

Marben went vegan for the Picnic. Carl Heinrich and Ryan Donovan, two of the biggest meat-heads in the city, put away the charcuterie and short ribs for once and whipped up a veggie dish that wowed. -IK

This crumble dessert from the Drake looked fantastic, but my stomach and mouth were too full for the entire portion.  Chef Anthony Rose is SO generous. – KG

He doesn’t believe in small portions, have you had the pasta with crab succotash he has on the menu at the Drake? It could feed a family of four. -IK

The Drake’s newest kitchen hire, pastry assistant Kara Lackie. She must hate being called by her last name in the kitchen, “Hey Lackie, get to work!” -IK

Even Jesus was there! – KG

Albert Ponzo and his team at Le Select hollowed out over 450 baby squash bowls to serve their wild boar risotto in. Garnished with fresh sage it was one of the most beautiful plates at the Picnic. -IK

Matt Choma and crew from Oviinbyrd in Waterloo served up succulent shiitakes and pork belly on bread. I threw the bread away so it wouldn’t take up precious pork belly space in my hollow leg. -IK

The Richard Underhill Trio provided a mellow musical vibe, perfect for picking up. -IK

This bumbleberry vegan tart was elegant and crunchy.  I couldn’t even tell there wasn’t butter in it! – KG

Queen and Beaver owner, Jameson Kerr, inspired by the sultry melodies, goes down on Victor Barry’s pork. -IK

This was the most popular dish of the day, hands down. Maple-glazed pork belly on a stick from Splendido. -IK

Soma Chocolatier asked me if I wanted some chocolate soup.  I said yes. The earth split and there was light.  – KG

Soma chocolate, where have you been all my life? – KG

Adam Colquhon is crazier than a shithouse rat but he is also one of the most important people in making this city’s food and wine industry the most connected and community-minded in North America. Chrystal Porter is a cacao bean pusher who preaches the bean’s healing powers from the Chocosol soapbox. -IK

Oyster Boy Head Chef, Trish Donnelly, deals with crises from her restaurant’s kitchen while slinging sustainable Canadian caviar to the masses as fast as she can. -IK

Only pirates are allowed to shuck oysters. – KG

Dave Givon has his third (or tenth) sliver of delectable ceviche from Oyster Boy.  He hated this photo and I pretended to delete it.  Sorry, Dave. – Kristina.

He is the Tournant Chef in the Drake kitchen, he’ll be heading to Italy this winter to stage. -IK

These two are basically stand-up comedians trapped in kitchen clogs and chef whites. Kristina Groeger and Matt Demille, please quit your day jobs and go fix Saturday Night Live. -IK

Ama and wee Cowgirl, Sloane  – KG

American Apparel’s new ad campaign for tweens. -IK

This is Carla. She works with Jamie Kennedy. She is a very lucky lady. -IK

Scott Bailey,  he’s a Heart Throb. I should also mention that he can cook too. He made a thick, delicious chicken soup with duck fat and bacon roux. He came to the picnic to represent the Ancaster Mill while chef Jeff Crump laid on his couch watching Oprah. -IK

This curry biscuit with chutney and rapini was fantastic. *Bonus: The first person to tell me who made this dish wins a cookbook! – Kristina

Mr. Waupoos (a.k.a. Grant Howes, founder of The County Cider Co.), a man who single handedly invented an alcoholic dish that causes makeouts at my house parties. – KG

The Cider table was across the way from the Cheese Boutique booth. Anthony Westenberg, Communications Director for the Evergreen Brickworks, spent the day crossing back and forth to create a perfect pairing of cider and 7 year old cheddar with apple chutney. -IK

Buddha Dog’s Andrew Hunter called his Picnic wiener the Wham Bam Thank You Lamb. That’s why we love him. -IK

I don’t think you’re ready for this Buddha Dog jelly.  – KG

You do not want to know what Victor Chef David Chrystian just said to me. Anyway, his goat curry was incredible. -IK

A hero of mine, Mr. Andrew Akiwenzie. “To catch speckled trout, all you have to do is shoot a shotgun into the water to startle them.  They come up to the surface, it works every time”. – KG

Anyone who uses a shotgun to fish is tops in my books. See the fishing scene in “Withnail and I” for inspiration. -IK

Amanda Walti missed the Picnic because she was cooking brunch at the Drake, Andrea Toole filled her in over drinks on the Drake Sky Yard patio. -IK

Charles Perrault and Grant Waters geared up for some serious drinking after all that artisanal, organic eating. -IK

Chef Chris Brown is “hangry” (a combination of hungry and angry)! For Jagermeister. -IK

Good food eater vs. Good Food Revolutionist, Charles Perrault and Jamie Drummond take a second from their love making for the paparazzi. – Kristina

This has been a GFR Collaboration by Ivy Knight and Kristina Groeger:

Kristina Groeger is a professional cook, photographer, part time food writer and full time nerd. Her website address is Ivy Knight is a food writer, host of 86’d Mondays at the Drake Hotel, culinary consultant on Food Network’s “Pitchin’ In” and a degenerate ditch pig. Follow Ivy on twitter at