Local Food, Local Chef Demo: Andrew Kirby of Atomica

Chef Andrew Kirby from Atomica demos to a packed audience in Market Square.

Kingston is blessed by a bounty of good restaurants, but sometimes you want that gourmet meal in the comfort of your own home. Fear not: the Downtown Kingston BIA is producing Local Food, Local Chefs cooking demonstrations every Saturday this summer until Labour Day weekend. At each demo in Market Square, a chef from a downtown restaurant will teach you how to recreate one of their dishes at home using local ingredients that you can purchase steps away at the Market. Some of the chefs that have already demoed include Dale Jones from Dianne’s Fish Bar, Derek MacGregor from le Chien Noir, and Steve George from Olivea. Coming up are Clark Day from Aqua Terra, Ian Arthur from Chez Piggy, and others. This weekend, I watched as Andrew Kirby demonstrated how to make apple and Dijon porchetta with potato salad.

Kirby also invited Megan Hamilton from The Kitchen Garden vendor to say a few words about growing a biodynamic garden. “Our focus in the last couple years has been on growing nutrient-dense food,” explains Hamilton. “Since the 1940s with the introduction of synthetic fertilizers, we’ve seen a serious drop in nutrient quality of food.” Kitchen Garden adds micro-nutrients such as boron and fish emulsion to their soil to increase the nutrient quotient, making their veggies some of the tastiest around. “It’s just a really wonderful privilege to be able to grow food for people,” she says.

In case you missed Saturday’s demo, here’s how to replicate the amazing porchetta and salad from Atomica:


  • 1 pork shoulder, butterflied and pounded down to 1” thick
  • Thinly sliced apples
  • Thinly sliced pancetta
  • Pureed roast garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Rub the pureed garlic all over surface of the pork shoulder, then lay the pancetta in strips, finally covering with the apple slices. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and then roll the pork shoulder tightly in on itself. One shoulder will make two rolls; cut in two as you finish one full turn. Truss with butchers twine and then bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. Baste occasionally with a mixture of Dijon mustard and olive oil.

For the green bean potato salad, use cooled baby potatoes (Atomica sources theirs from Ed & Sandy) that are halved. Toss with green bean filets from Kitchen Garden and dress with a mixture of white wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Serve alongside the sliced porchetta.

For more information about the Local Food, Local Chefs demo, head on over to www.downtownkingston.ca.

Kelly Reid

Kelly Reid has retired as a contributor to Kingstonist. Kelly was one of our arts and culture contributors. Her column for Kingstonist explored the city's art galleries, as well as live music, theatre and performance art venues.

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