Another year with our pals at Hillside Festival! We’re in the final stretch of preparations. Homemade kettle cooked African peanut stew is simmering and sending beautiful smells throughout our kitchen. Funny how such familiar smells can take you back to memorable places. I’m always so happy to return to Hillside every year, to have happy patrons come back looking forward to peanut stew and some of our other familiar dishes! It’s an honour, really.
It’s Hillside Festival’s 30th year. We’ve been part of the festival for 8 years now (easy to remember, as my first daughter Isobel was also born that year). I still remember our first year like it was yesterday. I arrived on site at night and walked up to the Food Pavilion lit up with lanterns and amazing smells calling me toward the booths. The music was exhilarating and the people so happy to be there. It was great. My feelings were mixed as I witnessed the line-ups at our booth — “how amazing and yet, are we really ready for this?” We were not as well-prepared as we could have been, admittedly, and yet that seems to be part of being initiated into the Hillside community. It sure helps to have amazing, curious and patient patrons who understand what it means to make food with love.
I believe that Hillside Festival has helped us build a name in our beloved community of Guelph. For this we will be forever grateful.
Here’s to another fabulous year at Hillside! I look forward to reporting back on the other side with pictures.