Behind the Scenes at Mushrooms Canada: Welcome Michelle Grundy!

I may have hinted yesterday on Twitter that I was giving a special little someone a farm tour, and that you would get to meet her very shortly. I like to make good on my promises, so I am very pleased to introduce you to Miss Michelle Grundy!

A few years ago we took on a work placement student from Conestoga College, and this year we thought “hey, what the heck… let’s do it again!”

Michelle will be helping me out for the next 5 weeks, so make sure you look for her post here every Friday!

So without further ado… Michelle!

Hello, my name is Michelle Grundy and I am currently enrolled at Conestoga College for Advertising. I am doing a 5 week job placement with Mushrooms Canada and will be helping out with the Mushrooms Go Pink 2011 campaign which will give me the opportunity to use the creative skills I have learned in the courses I have taken and it will give me lots of experience on how things work in the advertising/ marketing field once I graduate and am out looking for a job.

I was really interested in this job placement position because I feel that I will learn a lot about advertising and marketing from Brittany and also because we get to spend a weekend in Toronto at the Wine & Cheese Show in March, cooking different recipes for customers. Interacting with so many different people and being able to taste of the good food is just a bonus to this placement!

I would like to thank Brittany and Bill for having me as a trainee. Check out my blog every Friday as I will posting all of the different things I am learning during my 5 week placement.

Behind the Scenes at Mushrooms Canada: Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm

Yesterday I mention on Twitter that I was making a trip to one of our member’s farms, Piccioni Bros, to get some footage for our new series “Fresh from the Farmer“….

I don’t think that I could have asked for a nicer day… although it was -10C with the windchill….

You see, what a lot of people don’t realize is that even though it was -10C mushrooms are still grown fresh, 24/7/365. This is because they are grown in a building like this….

How many of you would have guessed this was a mushroom farm?

Let’s take a little snoop around Lorenzo’s farm….

Like that last picture? It’s mandatory that you sport a hairnet as soon as you walk in the front door… and you have to remove all jewelery.

Lorenzo was a good sport during filming, even though I know he hates being in front of the camera!

The Farmer profile was not my only reason for a trip to Piccioni’s, I also had to pick up 100lbs. of white button mushrooms to be delivered to Guelph Food Technology Centre for some research. Ever wonder what 100lbs. of mushrooms looks like crammed into the trunk of a Toyota Corolla?

Watch for the new “Fresh from the Farmer: Piccioni Bros. Mushroom Farm” coming soon!

Behind the Scenes at Mushrooms Canada: London Wine & Food Show

Good Monday morning! How was everyone’s weekend? Good I hope… How was mine?

Well, if you follow Mushrooms Canada on Twitter, then you would know that I just spent the past three days down in London, Ontario, cooking fresh Ontario crimini mushrooms at the London Wine & Food Show!

To kick off the my weekend in London, I was invited by the lovely crew at Rogers TV London to cook two of my favourite recipes on their live TV show “Daytime.”

Since it was first thing in the morning I choose an easy Breakfast Mushroom Bagel, and then followed it up with a lunch idea – Warm Chicken and Mushroom Salad.

Then it was off to the show!

Wine & Food shows are always fun. You get to try lots of different types of food, mingle & meet people, and of course get introduced to new wines and beers…

Working at a show is a bit different… You get to try the food that gets brought to your booth by other exhibitors, you get to meet & mingle with people who come to your booth to try a sample, and of course, you get introduced to new wines and beers by listening to people comment “you should try this wine!”

Slightly different, but none-the-less, still fun!

On Sunday, fresh mushrooms took over the Food Network Cooking stage! I prepared my favourite recipe, Sweet & Spicy Stir-Fried Mushrooms

and of course the audience ATE. IT. UP!

We even gave away one of our stylish Mushrooms Canada apron’s to a lucky audience member…

Following our presentation was none-other than Chef Corbin Tomaszeski. He made a mouthwatering nut-crusted lamb served over a portabella, shiitake, and oyster mushroom duxelleYum!
I also had some great help over the course of the weekend. My two sisters, Amanda and Nikki, and mushroom farmers, Murray and Chantelle Good.

I want to thank all of you who came out, asked a question, entered our draw, and simply ate our mushrooms! We hope to see you Londoner’s next year!

Behind the Scenes at Mushrooms Canada: Cooking Videos

Welcome to Behind the Scenes at Mushrooms Canada! I will be hosting this ongoing special, giving you a peek at what goes on Behind the Scenes here at Mushrooms Canada.

This first edition of Behind the Scenes will take you into the world of shooting a mushroom cooking video. On we go!

Despite the bitter cold weather this morning, the cooking team and arrived bright and early at the Hamilton Spectator “Go Cooking Kitchen” to film our latest set of Mushrooms Canada Cooking Videos. After six or seven trips back and forth from the car (in the freezing cold) we had all the supplies and gear inside, ready to be set up.

A lot goes into the set-up of this pretty simple kitchen. After only 1 hour the crew has set up three HD cameras, some very bright lights, and dressed the set to make it look more homey. You would be surprised what a little greenery, colourful bowls and a pepper grinder can do!

IMG_1335_WEBOnto the cooking! The agenda was pretty full with three great mushroom recipes; Grilled Mushroom, Cheese and Spinach Panini, Fragrant Thai Curry Dinner, and Mushroom, Walnut, and Barley Pilaf.

First up, the Panini.

Clare and Meriel got straight to work on this one, managing to finish in just a few takes. And it’s a good thing to, because it was breakfast time, and we were starving! There’s nothing like a warm mushroom panini in the morning! While the camera crew and I stuffed our faces, Clare and Meriel set-up for the next video, Fragrant Thai Curry Dinner.
Fragrant-Thai-Curry-DinnerIf you haven’t tried this recipe, I would highly suggest you do, it is fantastic! By the end of the shoot the room was filled with the aromatic sense of mushrooms and curry, yum!

As always, when we are nearing the end of the day, a slight sense of panic always comes over the crew, “Are we going to have enough time to shoot the last video?” Luckily with some cooking video magic, and some sleight-of-hand thanks to Clare, we were able to “cook” the mushroom pilaf recipe in only 7 minutes.

IMG_1370_WEBSo what’s our secret? It’s simple, bringing in a cooked version of the recipe and quickly switching it out for the uncooked. And with some simple camera magic, we have a fully cooked Mushroom, Walnut, and Barley Pilaf in 7 minutes flat. It’s a good thing to, we finished up the video with only 5 minutes to spare, just enough time to enjoy a bowl of fresh pilaf!

IMG_1366_WEBCurious to see how the videos turned out? Well stay tuned, because the finished cooking videos will be posted shortly!

Thanks for stopping by and enjoying this edition of Behind the Scenes at Mushrooms Canada.

– Brittany