From The Farm Cooking School presents Cynthia Peters’ Local Food Heroes, a series of posts on the innovative food and wine producers of Prince Edward County and the delicious things they make. Click here to see all the posts.

Colin and Lisa Williams at their Picton Diner

Paying it forward with food…

Sharing of food in one’s community is practiced everyday around the world, predominantly through food banks and other non-profit programs .Privately initiating local food sourcing and turning it into healthy meals for children and seniors is unique, and happening right here in The County.

Thanks to Colin and Lisa Williams, two chefs transplanted from Ottawa, a “made from scratch” message is being echoed in the halls of one of the local elementary schools in Prince Edward County.  Seniors are smiling too with their comfort meals being delivered by the local meals on wheels programs.  Since the Williams got engaged with the seniors, the word has spread and they have had to double the volume.  Getting that “made from scratch” message out to the youth, families and seniors is key in fostering better eating habits and is more important than ever in a time when fast food and convenience still prevails.

The Williams wanted to give back to their new community in a meaningful way right from the get go. They were taken back on how friendly and accommodating people were in helping them start their new life in the County.  With a combined experience of 45 years in the kitchen, this dynamo couple, set out to find the right place for their family diner concept – locally focused, all home made and priced right for families to enjoy.  Hence, the Williams Family Diner was born.  Set in the heart of Picton, this casual diner has an easy, laid back vibe with a busy lunch crowd and an early dining audience.  Menu items can range from traditional fare to internationally inspired dishes. Real clubhouse sandwiches (with slow roasted chicken done on the premise) to one of their most popular dishes, Pad Thai, create the backdrop to more than 40 plus entrees and appetizers.  Since their opening two years ago, they have served just over 4,000 plates of Pad Thai – pretty impressive for a small rural diner.

Williams Family Diner Salsa

For their community efforts, the homemade goodness continues. Real chicken noodle soup from scratch to mashed potatoes and gravy. Tots to seniors couldn’t be happier. Recently they added the local Hospice to their list.  As Lisa pointed out, they are in the kitchen cooking these items everyday, adding a bit more volume onto the work load is not a huge effort and it means a lot to so many to get real comfort food on their table.
Farmers and citizens are learning more about their altruistic activities and are also stepping forward in donating food from their gardens and fields.  From 120 pounds of squash just last week to bushels of apples for applesauce.  The crops keep coming.

At the end of the day, it is a testament to what can happen when a good act by a few can turn into a wave of goodness and impact the lives and meals of so many.

Cynthia Peters’ From The Farm Cooking School in Prince Edward County is a Certified Good Food Fighter. Please support the business and organizations that support Good Food Revolution.