Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival

Presenters - Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival

A complete list of this year's fabulous Presenters!

Theresa Albert

“Theresa is a proud transplant to Stratford where she traded her Toronto media career for her Bed and Breakfast, Rosehurst Stratford. Never one to do one thing at a time, she also hosts a garden to breakfast table show on our local Rogers cable channel called Breakfast at Rosehurst and teaches at the Stratford Chef School. She misses Stratford like Dorothy missed Kansas when she has to head back to “the big smoke” to continue her consulting work with food corporations.

She has two books published in Canada and the US: “Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day” and “Ace Your Health, 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck”. Born and raised in Toronto, Theresa is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and has blazed a trail as a nutrition personality in Canadian media, focused on bringing her message of easy, healthful eating to busy Canadian families.

You can find her in real life in the garden at Rosehurst Stratford at 131 Front Street, which is just minutes walk from all restaurants. Her social channels are either under Theresa Albert or Rosehurst Stratford where she shares the humour and beauty of a city girl learning to grow in the country.”


Arron Carley

“In 2006, Arron studied at George Brown College in Toronto. After many years in the casual dining scene, Arron decided to chase his dream, and so, in 2010, he landed a position as Chef de Partie with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment as part of the opening team of “e11even”. To continue his pursuit in 2011, he next achieved a position at Oliver and Bonacini’s “Luma” as a Sous Chef with Chef Jason Bangerter (Langdon Hall) and Chef Michael Wilson (Luma).

Next on his journey was “Noma” in Copenhagen which has held the #1 restaurant spot in the world four times. In 2004, as an intern at Noma, Arron was able to truly understand what it was he wanted to focus his culinary skills on. After Noma, Arron came back to Toronto and landed at Oliver and Bonacini’s “Canoe” as a Sous Chef under Chef John Horne.

Arron was named winner of the 2016 Episodes of Chopped Canada on the Food Network. He commented that it was more stressful watching the televised version than actually competing in real time.

Arron comments that “looking into our past and understanding our roots as well as looking forward into the undiscovered wilderness of our nation, we will forge New Canadian Cuisine”.


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, Dog Lover and Hat Lover.  He performs his smooth jazz, folk and soft rock at weddings, corporate events, private parties and house concerts.

Or you can hear him perform with Singer/Songwriter Ali Matthews with whom he has performed for almost twenty years.

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 third year to do one of his popular presentations in our Presentation Theatre.  Chef Anthony is a native of South Africa and is a trained chef with 17 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.  Chef Anthony has worked his culinary magic in Vancouver, Nunavut and now Stratford as Co—Owner/Chef of The Keystone Alley Café.  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 Bard’s on Market Square, Stratford, where he has revamped the Bard’s menu as well as the menu of The Hub located upstairs above Bard’s on Market Square.  The Kiwanis Club of Stratford is delighted to have Chef Ian Middleton with us for the first 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 this year is 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.


Tracey Pritchard “Perfect Pastry”

Tracey Pritchard is a former Toronto caterer, food writer, restaurateur and consultant with over 30 years’ experience in the food industry.  Now living in Stratford, Ontario, Tracey continues her passion for feeding and educating people about good food and how to prepare it.

Tracey firmly believes that:

  • People want to make their own food
  • Pastry-making is daunting to the average home cook
  • People would cook with pastry much more often if they had a quality product to purchase and a few simple tips and ideas

And that’s how Perfect Pastry came to be!  Come to the 2018 Stratford Garlic Festival to catch some of Tracey’s tips and ideas.  This writer has done two of Tracey’s pastry classes at The Stratford Chefs’ School, and not only does she make them informative, but she makes them so much fun!


Bob Romaniuk,

Brant County Garlic Co.

2018 represents the 40th 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 one of our most popular presentations. Don’t miss him!


Chef Winona Sands

Winona Sands has been a Chef since 2002 after she received her schooling at the Kla-how-eya Aboriginal Chefs’ School in British Columbia.  She has been cooking for most of her life but took a leave from her cooking career from full-time to part-time in order to pursue other careers in her life.  Her love and passion for cooking still draws her into the kitchen today.

During Winona’s five year absence from cooking she pursued a career as a Social Worker and an Addiction Counselor where she could help her community and the people in it.  Winona received her training and education at triOS College in London, Ontario for two years.  She also worked as a support worker for one year working with First Nations women and children at the Zhaawanog Shelter in London, Ontario, and then as a Women’s advocate for Atiohsa Native Family Healing Centre for a further year.  This is where she began her love for the arts, beading and moccasin-making, and soon, she was teaching those around her to do these things along with cooking on a budget and how to use basic knife skills.  Winona’s passion to teach these trades is now leading her into the field of teaching her cultural teachings and arts to younger children.

Winona has been involved in Scouting for the past 10 years, and is also a member of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion.  She is a hunter, and is currently learning how to tan hides in the traditional way.  Winona loves painting and is a fan of the outdoors.  She is a great mother, grandmother and step-mother.  Her enthusiasm, warmth, witticism and her energy make her a joy to be with!

Winona is a part of the Indigenous Bkejwanong Band on Walpole Island First Nations Reserve on Lake Erie.

The Kiwanis Club of Stratford is simply delighted to have Winona share her love of cooking with us at this year’s Stratford Garlic Festival.


Chef 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 this year’s Stratford Garlic Festival to share his love of all things colourful and culinary!


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!


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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.

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