Over the past few years the popularity of “Pop-up” dining experiences has exploded, as increasingly discerning consumers demand not only quality food but also a memorable setting to match. These Pop-up offerings can take on many forms, perhaps the most common one making use of food trucks to serve freshly prepared meals in locations that would generally be prohibitive. Events like outdoor festivals are an obvious benefactor to the food truck movement, with concert goers now often provided with a bounty of unique culinary choices in lieu of the overpriced pizza and French fries of the past.
While mobile kitchens have certainly facilitated better Pop-Up dining options at existing events, by design, these type of experiences often lack a larger sense of purpose and celebration in regards to the meal and the venue itself. This is what the Niagara Parks Culinary team set out to achieve in 2017 with our ambitious Pop-up Dinner Series. Over the course of the summer, three historic outdoor Niagara Parks venues (Mather Arch, Niagara Glen & Oakes Garden Theatre) were transformed to accommodate on-site food preparation, dining and live entertainment, resulting in unforgettable evenings for attendees.
Exploring the use of our extraordinary spaces in new ways creates a palpable sense of wonder at these events. Whether enjoying locally sourced charcuterie under the striking art deco columns of Mather Arch, or sipping Niagara VQA wine at the “city beautiful” Oakes Garden Theatre with the falls as your backdrop, our taste of place isn’t just undeniable, it’s literal.
Having the chance to step out of their traditional kitchen setting to prepare and serve amongst their patrons was an exciting opportunity for our Niagara Parks chefs. Throughout the venues, attendees were invited to explore themed food stations serving everything from Spicy Szechuan Grilled Summer Squash to Ontario Pork Tenderloin on Zucchini Corn Rosti. Yet, one thing remained consistent: Niagara Parks’ commitment to fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
The Niagara Parks Culinary and Heritage teams could not be more excited to welcome our guests to Old Fort Erie for the first Pop-up Dinner of the 2018 season! Learn more about the event including our exciting menu and featured suppliers here!