Cook It Up more than a meal

To the Editor

The following letter was sent to SIRCH about their weekly program which runs Mondays at Baked and Battered in Haliburton.

Jim and I participated in Cook It Up today and we both are glad that we had put it on our calendar and made time to be recipients of all your hard work. Thank you.

We want you all to know that this is a special experience. These are some of the reasons why:
– The food was healthy tasty and had presentation that made everything seem extra special.
– The selection of drinks were excellent. (Our server made the entire experience personable.)
– The appetizers were well chosen and flavourful. We commented on what a great idea the spaghetti soup was. It was inspirational because it wasn’t attempting to be haute cuisine. It made us think that we should try this at home. The bruschetta was also excellent. We enjoyed the names: Double Tomato Bruschetta Steamy Spaghetti Soup.

We really appreciated that we could keep checking our place mats to see exactly what we were eating.
The place mats were an important part of the experience. And they were really well done.
On to the Entree: Super presentation tasty rice and excellent stuffed meatballs. (The only improvement would have been if Baked and Battered had knives with serrated edges to cut the meatballs easier.) Really didn’t matter if the knives were not up to the job; fingers got the job done and that’s all that counts.

We rarely order dessert (calories etc.) so we were quite impressed with the dessert that was great to look at; even better to eat; and yet not so caloric as to make one feel guilty! How cool is that? Such a special meal.
We can only imagine how challenging it would be to work together to plan and execute a meal for the public. Perhaps we all should have this experience just to learn to work together. Kudos to all involved.

Most importantly and the reason to write this letter is to let all of you know that once again we found Cook It Up to be far more than a great meal (and a great learning experience for the trainees).
It is an amazingly friendly local experience which is rarely found when going for a typical meal out. For certain it was a highlight for us last year. The atmosphere where people are offered to sit with other people (with whom they did not come) is wonderful. Each time we have come we have ended up sitting with someone we know of but would probably never make arrangements to go out to lunch with. It is a powerful way to allow small town culture to flourish and to actually promote it proudly as a way of being at times. We thank you for modelling this atmosphere. In fact we feel that other restaurants could copy/model this kind of sharing of tables and visiting (for those who would enjoy that kind of experience).

We know that as tourists elsewhere we find the kind of atmosphere we experience at Cook It Up to be the best kind of tourist advertising one could wish for. It causes word of mouth about an area and repeat tourist visits. Having the cook/chef come out and interact with the folks her or she is cooking it up for is so powerful! Having all the people in the restaurant/cafe/bistro etc. being outwardly friendly is time well spent and translates into good feelings and probably repeat business.
We want to thank all the trainees for demonstrating how capable they are.
We want to thank everyone involved for making Cook It Up an exemplary experience.
We are grateful that this is happening in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands.

Bernie (and Jim) Davis