Jun 18

Come Hungry…

… because The Fair’s got a lot of amazingly ridiculous new food offerings for you to devour!

This year’s Fair food lineup features 30% new food options over 2014! Some of which are mouth-watering healthy and local options and the others are, shall we say, more classic Fair works-of-genius, masterfully crafted for you to salivate over.  But until The Fair arrives on August 22, here’s what you can start dreaming about.

CIN CITY MINI DONUTS – Jalapeño Poutine Mini Donuts

Jalapeño Poutine Mini Donuts

Tasty cheese curds, smothered in gravy, and topped with spicy jalapeño slices over a bowl of freshly made mini donuts. Located in the MarketPlace 


Jurassic Pork

Classic Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese topped with pulled pork and crispy onions. Located on the Main Line

PUB GRUB – Red Velvet Chicken Strips


Already Delicious Grade A Chicken Strips dipped in Red Velvet Cake Batter and cooked again so they’re twice as nice. Located on the Main Line

FUNNEL CAKES – PB&J Funnel Cakes

PB&J Funnel Cakes

Located on the West Food Line


Bacon on a Bun

Canadian back bacon on an open-faced bun loaded with savoury fried onions, fresh tomatoes, and a layer of smokey cheese. Located on the Main Line

SLUSH ZONE – Screamers


Soft Serve Vanilla Ice Cream with Coke Slushies poured over top. Located on the Main Line


Cactus Burger

Authentic Cactus Leaf, black beans, provolone cheese, roasted garlic mayo, roasted red peppers, sauteed mushrooms, lettuce, caramelized onion, tomatoes. Located on the West Food Line



A staple Fair food, with a 21 century twist. Red velvet mini donuts with real cream cheese glazing on a stick. Located on the West Food Line



Slow smoked brisket of beef in steam water and cured with 26 different spices, thinly shaved on Hebrew Montreal rye bread with mustard. Located on the Main Line


Fat Elvis

A stuffed sweet brioche bun with chocolate ice cream, local strawberry jam, crunchy peanut sauce, and sliced banana grilled to perfection to create a warm crisp outside and cold crunchy goodness inside. Located on the Main Line

HOUSE OF GOURMET BURGER – Maple Bacon Donut Burger


Two maple glazed donuts surround a beef patty, american cheese and bacon. Located South West of Playland beside Keepers Doll Factory


View a list of all food vendors coming to this year’s Fair.


Apr 30

PNE Classic Recipe – Potatoes Gratin (Scalloped Potatoes)

Here’s another insider recipe from PNE Chef, Aaron Jeffs.

In the cool winter months another one of my childhood comfort foods that warms the insides is scalloped potatoes or a gratin. When I’m cooking at home I make Classic Scalloped Potatoes because that’s the kind my mom used to make. But here at the PNE, I make Gratin Dauphinois which is gluten free and a little more fool proof when catering large events.


Classic Scalloped Potatoes

With a nice hint of garlic, these potatoes are a delicious addition to any meal and are much lighter than those with a cream-laden gratin. To slice them easily, cut a little piece off the bottom of each potato to stabilize it on the cutting board (or use a V-Slicer or Mandolin Slicer). Serve with your favourite baked fish or chicken.


  • 1/4 cup (60 mL)  butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
  • 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) milk
  • 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, (about 2 lb/900 g)
  • 1 small onion, sliced


In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; cook garlic, stirring for 1 minute. Add flour, thyme, salt and pepper; cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Gradually whisk in milk; cook whisking constantly until boiling and thickened, about 8 minutes.

Peel and thinly slice potatoes.

Layer one-third in greased 8-inch (2 L) square baking dish or casserole dish;

Spread half of the onion over top.

Repeat layers.

Arrange remaining potatoes over top.

Pour sauce over top, using back of knife to ease sauce between layers.

Cover and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 1 hour.

Uncover and bake until lightly browned and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Gratin Dauphinois

This gluten free Scalloped Potato recipe is what we serve groups at the PNE.



  • 3 lbs (1360 g) waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (such as Desiree, Golden Wonder, Maris Piper, Idaho or King Edward)
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1.5 cups (355 ml) double cream
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 -4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/8 cup (30 ml) butter
  • cheese, for topping (optional)


Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C)

Take a heavy-bottomed dish or an ovenproof gratin dish (a Le Creuset is ideal – the potatoes tend not to catch), and grease it will with some of the butter.

Layer the potato slices in the dish, slightly overlapping each other, seasoning lightly with the salt and pepper, and sprinkling a liberal amount of cheese on each layer.

Sprinkle cheese on the top of the last layer.

Put the double cream, garlic and sprigs of thyme in a pan and bring to them gently to the boil, then remove the thyme and pour hot cream over the potatoes.

Dot the top of the gratin with the remaining butter and some extra cheese if you wish, and bake for about 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs, or until the potatoes are soft, and the top is crispy and golden brown.

Serve bubbling hot as a main meal or as an accompaniment.


Root Vegetable Gratin


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large shallots, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) shredded Parmesan or your choice or cheese
  • 1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh herbs (earthy herbs like parsley, thyme, rosemary and sage), chopped
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large beets- red &/or gold
  • 1 medium rutabaga
  • 2 medium white turnips
  • 6 sunchokes (if available)
  • 1 small celery root
  • 2 med parsnips
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup (90 ml) mild goat cheese
  • *All vegetables to be peeled and sliced as thin as possible


Pre-heat oven to 400ºF (200°C). Spray casserole dish with non-stick spray or line entire dish with parchment paper.

*if wanting to remove from pan for pre-slicing parchment paper will help in the removal of the torte from dish.

Layer one variety of vegetable at a time in dish and between each layer sprinkle with garlic, shallots, Parmesan, cream, herbs, salt and pepper.

Continue to alternate vegetables until casserole dish is full.  Try alternating different colours of vegetables for the greatest effect.

Sprinkle goat cheese on top layer.

Cover very loosely with tin foil or parchment paper.

Bake for approx 50-60 minutes or until center of casserole feels tender by inserting fork.  A baking sheet can be placed under casserole dish just in case liquid escapes while baking. Remove from oven and let stand.

This gratin can be served directly from the pan. Garnish with fresh seasonal greens and serve with Quadra Island scallops (also delicious on its own).

Chef Notes:

Casserole can be cooked day before and chilled.  The root vegetable gratin can then be removed from dish, sliced and reheated as in photo.


This recipe can be adapted without using cream or cheese.  Substitute a non-salted vegetable stock in place of cream.

Apr 2

The Must-Have Kitchen Gadget

Tips & Tricks from the PNE’s Chef, Aaron Jeffs.

Aaron Jeffs weighs in on his top kitchen must-have which happens to be a staple gadget here at the PNE.

A Mandoline or V-Slicer should be in everyone’s kitchen! It’s great for fast meal prep or for those times when you need consistency in your presentation. There are tons of options in the market ranging in price from just a few dollars for a plastic model to several of hundreds for a stainless steel version. With so many options to pick from it can be hard to determine how much you really do need to spend. Jeffs comments that for him personally and for use at the PNE, the more economical units ranging from $20-$40 have worked out perfectly. At the PNE we use ours daily for our classic Scalloped Potatoes (look out for the recipe next month!) and the Sweet Pickled Cucumbers on our Braised Beef Short Rib Sandwich.

The V-Slicer is what we use at the PNE. They’re extremely sharp and will stay sharp for several years so Jeffs recommends to always use the slicing guard, no matter what. Ours are over 4 years old and still have a great edge.  Believe it or not, we got them at The Fair’s MarketPlace!


V-Slicer from the MarketPlace at The Fair. Pick one up from this year’s MarketPlace at The Fair running August 22 – September 7.

Hoisin Beef sandwich 3sm

The Sweet Pickled Cucumbers on the PNE’s Braised Beef Short Rib Sandwich are cut using our MarketPlace V-Slicer.

The Japanese Mandoline which can be purchased at most Asian grocery stores, is also very sharp and will stay sharp for many years.  The Japanese model is adjustable to allow you to choose your thickness of slice whereas the V-Slicer and many other kinds are not. Again, always use the slicing guard, no matter what.


Japanese Mandoline


Potatoes Gratin (Scalloped Potatoes) being made using a Japanese Mandoline here at the PNE. Check out the recipe next month on our blog!

To make long thin slices of vegetables, and if you don’t have a slicer of any kind, you can always fall back on a handy vegetable peeler!