In Culinary | By Timothy Charles | April 21, 2022

Imagining the Year to Come

Preparing for a new year  

In April, it is always exciting to start seeing the rocks, lichens, and soil again. As the snow melts and the skies brighten, it feels like we are reawakening from our winter sleep.

At this time, a beautiful synchronicity takes place in our kitchen: we honour the past year while imagining the year to come. In anticipation of new crops and wild edible berries and plants, we celebrate the island’s bounty by encapsulating the previous year of seasonal ingredients in preserves. Pantry items such as rosehip vinegar, cherry-pit oil, fermented beet tops, dried blackcurrants, and blackened squash rekindle our memories and charge our dreams.  

This quiet time is an opportunity to renew our relationships with farmers, fishers, and foragers. We establish a picture of needs for the coming months; then through calls and visits with local growers, we find out what exciting new plantings they have in mind and make some requests of our own, as they leaf through seed catalogues and prepare their orders. We chat with our fish harvesters too, about how much and what kind of fish and shellfish we anticipate needing, such as local snow crab for our shed suppers and salt fish for our fish cakes and brandades.  

Our food suppliers have become friends over the years, and our conversations are enlivened by chatter about things like whether their moose hunt was successful last fall and how their children and grandchildren are doing in school. It’s a wonderful time to reconnect and ready ourselves together for the growing, fishing, and foraging seasons ahead. 


What’s new for 2022 
An initiative we’re excited to share with guests this year is our island-inspired sparkling beverages. We’ve created a house line of natural syrups to mix with sparkling water, as we move away from ready-to-drink sodas. We worked with flavourful wild ingredients that grow here: birch, spruce, sorrel, sea buckthorn. While shrinking our carbon footprint, this new offering is another expression of island flavours and seasonality.  

We’ve been further refining the character that our table settings bring to guests’ dining experience. It’s all about the small gestures that mark the shift from one meal to the next—the colours and materials of our table coverings and napkins (we’ve transitioned from cotton to more earth-friendly linen) and our soon-to-be-unveiled island-made ceramic tableware play their part in bringing quiet definition to our days. We’d sit in our Dining Room, trying out different configurations, imagining the room full of diners at sunset or quietly enjoying the early-morning light, and we’d strive to complement those moments with the perfect table settings. We enjoyed collaborating as a team to hone the dining experience, and we have an inkling you’ll enjoy the end results too.  

Now that pandemic restrictions are relaxing in Newfoundland and Labrador, we are excited to be able to welcome community members to our Dining Room again. We are still being cautious about numbers and the spacing of table, to protect everybody’s health, but hosting island residents in our Dining Room is so very important to us. Fogo Islanders are our neighbours, families, and friends. They are at the heart of why we work so hard to bring authenticity and excellence to our work. They inspire us to share what this place has to offer with guests from every corner of the world.