Last week I was invited to a Manitoba Canola Growers event where a group of all walks of life got together to learn about foods, agriculture and make connections with one another. The common goal that brought us there: our love for food.
It was held at the infamous Benjamin’s Gourmet Foods in Selkirk, owned by Chef MJ Feeke, who recently brought home a silver medal form the World Culinary Olympics. She is also this year’s winner of the Canola Award of Excellence and was named one of Ace Burpee’s Most Fascination Manitobans of 2011. I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in MJ’s gourmet foods before, but had never ventured out to Banjamin’s, so I was delighted to go.
MJ has quite the operation going on at Benjamin’s. She is a pastry chef, so it operates as a bakery, restaurant, catering service, and learning centre where she teaches cooking classes. Don’t forget about the courtyard popular in the summer months for its wood-fired pizzas an artisan breads. On top of all that the recently renovated lower level will be open for private functions in the new year. The building is a converted bank, and they have kept the stone and brick walls which are 0ver 100 years old. The bank vault is still there too. They’ve added a fire place and the welcoming cozy space is the perfect venue for private functions or small weddings.
It’s worth the drive to Selkirk, make a night of it and enjoy the town. It’s close to the waterfront and a beautiful place to visit in the summer, the wood-fired pizza is a must-try, but make sure you make reservations first if you’re going in the summer.