Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival

Presenters - Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival

A complete list of this year's fabulous Presenters!

Presenters at the 2019 Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival include:

Rick Francis, Guitarist

Rick is a long-time Stratford resident who began his musical career at the age of five on classical violin and the ukelele.  Rick is a Guitarist, Bassist, Audio Engineer, Music Programmer, Music Producer, Photographer, Cat Lover and Hat Lover.  Rick returns to the Stratford Garlic Festival after many years of participation.  He performs his smooth jazz, folk and soft rock at weddings, corporate events, private parties, restaurants and house concerts.

Or you can hear him perform with Singer/Songwriter Ali Matthews with whom he has performed for twenty years.  Rick not only performs at the Garlic Festival, but is also our Audio Engineer along with fellow audio man Gary Halliwell.  Our sincere thanks to Rick for his ongoing support of all Kiwanis ventures and projects.

The amazing Rick Francis! Thanks Rick, you're wonderful!

Posted by Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival on Sunday, September 10, 2017

Barb Hacking

Barb Hacking has been retired from teaching at Avon School for six years.  She loved raising Monarch butterflies in her classroom each September, but when she retired, her husband (a biology teacher) could only find one caterpillar.  Evidently, the Monarch population had reached an all-time low.  Consequently, Barb has spent her retirement educating people as to what they can do to help not only Monarch butterflies, but all pollinators.  Each February, she has travelled to Mexico to visit the Monarchs in their overwintering grounds.  We, in Kiwanis, support Barb in her efforts to save the Monarch butterfly, and are proud to have her be a part of our 2018 Stratford Garlic Festival.

Anthony Jordaan

Chef Anthony Jordaan (or Chef McDreamy as he has become affectionately known at The Garlic Festival) is returning for a fourth year to do a presentation in our Presentation Theatre. Chef Anthony is a native of South Africa and is a trained chef with 18 years experience in the Hospitality Industry in both Africa and Canada.  While working in Zambia as Manager of a Hotel/Restaurant, he met his partner Kimberly Hurley of Stratford, and after a series of adventures, they settled in Canada.  They have two sons and a daughter, and are becoming an active family in the Stratford community.  Chef Anthony has worked his culinary magic in Vancouver, Nunavut and now Stratford as Co—Owner/Chef of The Keystone Alley Café.  And as if with three small children and a tremendously busy & popular restaurant they still have an excess of energy, this year (2019), Anthony and Kimberly became Owner/Operators of The Little Green Grocery Store on Downie Street and Braai House, their newest endeavour situated above The Keystone Alley Café.  Braai House specializes in the flavours of South Africa and it is simply delightful…great décor, great location, great service but most of all…GREAT FLAVOURS!  We at the Stratford Garlic Festival LOVE Chef Anthony Jordaan!

Ian Middleton

Chef Ian Middleton was born and raised in Thunder Bay.   His culinary adventures began more than 20 years ago while working his way through university.   Having worked in many aspects of the restaurant industry, both in dining rooms and kitchens, Chef Ian felt it was time to hone his skills and enrolled in the Stratford Chefs School in 1999.   Following his graduation from the Chefs’ School, he spent time in London, England, working in Michelin-starred restaurants to gain more experience.   Upon returning to Canada, he has worked in some of Stratford’s best restaurants as a Sous Chef, Pastry Chef, Baker and Chef de Cuisine.   He has been a core member of the faculty at the Stratford Chefs School the past seven years, teaching practical cookery and academic courses.  In Spring, 2018, he left The Chefs’ School to take on the position of Executive Chef of The Hub located upstairs on Market Square.  The Kiwanis Club of Stratford is delighted to have Chef Ian Middleton with us for the second time this year, and hope he’ll return year after year.  It’s of note that the reason we haven’t been able to twist his arm until last year was because, during his years at The Stratford Chefs’ School, he oversaw the prestigious “Long Table Dinner” held in Stratford each year on the same weekend as our Garlic Festival.  The “Long Table Dinner” is the signature fundraising culinary event of The Stratford Chefs’ School.  With all those years of sharing his culinary magic with the students of The Stratford Chefs’ School, you can imagine what a great (and instructive) presentation he does at The Garlic Festival.

Kris Schlotzhauer

Chef Kris Schlotzhauer, a Stratford native, and his partner, Pastry Chef Suzy Schlotzhauer, from Calgary, Alberta, got together while working together in Calgary.  They travelled across Canada before settling in Toronto, Ontario, where they worked in some of that city’s finest restaurants.  They eventually moved back to Stratford to raise their young family and to follow their dream of opening their own restaurant.  AO PASTA (so named after their two children, Axel and Olive) opened in June/2018, and Chefs Kris and Suzy are loving sharing their dream with their clientele that keep coming back again and again.

AO PASTA is a casual, friendly, counter-service Italian restaurant located in the heart of downtown Stratford.  They offer a simple, honest, Italian inspired menu anchored by the pastas and made-to-order sauces.  The menu is complemented by seasonal dishes and salads, and their signature “Arancini” deep-fried risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella cheese…oh yeh!!!

This will be Kris’s first year presenting at the Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival and you won’t want to miss it as he teaches you his signature Pesto.

Bob Romaniuk,

Brant County Garlic Co.

2019 represents the 41st year that Bob and Irene Romaniuk have been in the business of growing fresh produce.  They got into the business in 1978, supplying the Toronto Food Terminal with fresh produce and garlic. They also supplied the local Calbeck’s grocery chain, which at the time had nine stores, including two in Brantford and one each in Paris, Simcoe, Waterford and Port Dover.  He also got into custom agricultural spraying and grew herbs.  From 1991 to 2001 he grew echinacea, Golden Seal and black cohosh, and the Romaniuks saw to it that they became certified organic growers.

Bob stayed with custom agricultural spraying and started to concentrate on garlic. Between 1992 and 2008, the Romaniuks grew a modest eight to 10 acres of garlic for the family and friends.  But as Bob says:  “Then lightning struck and we decided to get into garlic on a larger scale.”

That started the specialized planting regime. They grow five varieties. The largest is called music, the most common variety. They also plant Yugoslavian red, which is about 20 per cent of this year’s 45-acres crop.  The other three are French varieties all in the official French catalogue. They are sabagold, thermador and messidor.

The Romaniuks also have trial plots every year to see if there are better ways of growing each variety. They work with the Ontario Ministry of Food and the University of Guelph.  It’s all to ensure they have the best quality product on the market.

He also mentors a lot of growers who want to get into garlic.  Their website includes an article detailing 20 items growers should know if they want to get into growing garlic.  “We believe in sharing information and helping others grow this crop,” said Bob.

Romaniuk said that between 1,800 acres and 2,000 acres of garlic are grown in Ontario every year, and the average grower plants two to three acres.  That’s a far cry from the known demand in the province, he said.  “Ontario could use 40,000 acres to supply just its domestic needs.”

Bob has been a director in the Garlic Growers Association of Ontario for the past nine years, and a director of the Brant County Federation of Agriculture.

We’re delighted to have Bob and Irene back yet again this year, and are thrilled that Bob has once again agreed to share his vast garlic growing knowledge with you in the Presentation Theatre.  His talks on garlic growing are always fun, informative and always one of our most popular presentations.  If you are wanting to get into garlic production for home use or on a larger scale, Bob is the man you want to know!  Don’t miss him!

Eli Silverthorne

Chef Eli Silverthorne, as his Twitter handle says, is the #truffledchef.

A London, Ontario native and Red Seal Chef, Chef Eli has worked most recently at The Berlin (K-W) and Stratford’s Prune Restaurant.   He was Class Valedictorian for his graduation from The Stratford Chefs’ School in May, 2015, and has staged for Maison Publique, Richmond Station, Scaramouche and Araxi in Whistler, BC., all top restaurants in the country.  Chef Eli also completed his B.A. in history and political science at the University of Western Ontario in 2006 and has worked as an educational aid at Fanshawe College for six years.  Currently, Chef Eli is an Instructor of Practical Cookery at The Stratford Chefs’ School.  Chef Eli tells us that his favourite part of being a Chef is being able to utilize all five senses plus intuition and imagination at the same time.   He is constantly visualizing, smelling, tasting, touching, and listening, whether it be to other chefs or sizzling burners…all the time!   Few occupations demand so much of you at any given singular moment.  He loves the challenges offered by food.

We are thrilled to have Chef Eli join us once again at this year’s Stratford Garlic Festival to share his love of all things colourful and culinary!

Jobsite Brewing & Pizza

Jobsite Brewing & Pizza is a company started by two co-workers from the construction industry during a break at their construction site.  Dave Oldenburger and Phil Buhler had worked together in construction for nine years creating a variety of projects.  After deciding on a brand and its main features, a fellow tradesman suggesting that they contact the owner of the former Pounder Brothers Hardware building at 45 Cambria Street.  Once they had toured the old lumber yard, it was decided that this was the perfect venue for their new brewery!

They quickly came up with a creative layout that would allow full accessibility to both the taproom and the large events area in the production area, while keeping the building as exposed and raw as possible. Because they did much of the demolition themselves, they were able to reclaim and re-purpose much of the lumber for doors and tables, even preserving a full section of wall which now hangs in the taproom.

With the rich history of construction in this building and in their lives, both Dave and Phil are loving constructing beers for each and every drinker, and they invite everyone to drop in and enjoy one of their craft beers and a wood-fired pizza at Jobsite Brewing Co.  This year at The Garlic Festival, they’ll be sharing with you some of their secrets on brewing exciting new flavours in craft beers to enjoy with your Jobsite pizza.

Lorraine Kuepfer

Lorraine Kuepfer is a retired Education Assistant who LOVES all pollinators and has set out on a mission to save them!  She has been particularly active in “Bee City Canada”.  Several years ago it was announced that Stratford had been named only the second Bee City in Canada.  The announcement came just a year after Toronto became Canada’s first Bee City in March 2016. Ninety percent of the world’s wild plants depend on pollinators to reproduce and one in three bites of food we eat is thanks to pollinators.  Bee City Canada’s vision is to protect, promote and celebrate pollinators for a healthier ecosystem.

“Living in an agricultural community, there is an incredible opportunity to bring attention to the importance of bio-diversity in farming.  Bee City allows us to make meaningful change and feel as if our opinions matter. Lorraine feels that this is an incredible program that has been designed by Bee City Canada.  It offers a simple program that all communities across this country can adopt in order that all of us can do something positive for all the pollinators that live in our own backyards.  The Kiwanis Club of Stratford and Lorraine Kuepfer invite each of you to come to the Stratford Garlic Festival and hear how you, too, can turn your own yard into a pollinator garden and help save our bees through this movement that is sweeping the country.”

Lorraine Irwin

Over 7 years ago, on a farm located in Grey County, Lorraine Irwin began growingacre of organic hard-necked garlic called “music” at her BOARS’ ROCK FARM.  Recentlythe side, she has started manufacturing a wide range of garlic products such as garlic powders. Lorraine tells us that when selling her products, she always gets thesame question, “What is added to the powders that make them so good?” andreply is always “Nothing butmusic!”  Join us at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7th in the Presentation Theatre as Lorraine tells us all about making “black garlic”, a seasoning used by many elite Chefs, including Chef Arron Carley of The Bruce Hotel, who favour seasoning their “haute cuisine” with black garlic.

Kim Souch

Much of Kim’s outlook, music and activities echo this lyric from one of her original songs!

From the age of ten, Kim knew that music was a huge part of her destiny. Born in a small community with limited music programming (at the time) Kim was fortunately able to begin developing her interest and skills as a musician, performer and vocalist.

It wasn’t until her twenties however that she was able to return to and truly pursue her passion for music. As Heartfelt Music evolved, her small town, rural routes inspired her to create more opportunities for her student programs as well as more educational opportunities and workshops related to artist organizations, promotion and development.

Now a seasoned performer with many events, compilations, a couple of albums and many performances under her belt – Kim continues that musical journey.

Join Kim for the first hour of the Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival on the Children’s Stage and prepare yourself to be energized, entertained, and enthralled! This performance is perfect for the young and the young at heart. Don’t miss out!


The Stratford Kiwanis Club cares about our community and has worked tirelessly to provide a timely, world-class event that showcases and supports local agriculture. This support has been integral in raising awareness and building markets for garlic growers across Ontario. As our premier event grows, the funds raised from this effort allow us to continue to support the children in our community and provide leadership and funding on many wonderful, community-enriching projects.