Janice and I went for our annual trip to Canada this past weekend to visit our friends Dick Chin and Anita Kunz at their cottage in Honey Harbor on Georgian Bay - one of the most beautful spots around, and Dick and Anita are wonderful hosts.
Anita got the idea to arrange for a dinner at the famous chef Michael Stadtlaender's place, Eigensinn - an eccentric and top notch restaurant/farm he runs in the middle of the Canadian countryside where he lives. Only 8-10 people can dine there each evening, and the food is phenomenal (he's apparently ranked as one of the the top 10 chefs in the world). He's also a folk artist of sorts, and wandering around his farm before dinner was a real experience.
Clockwise: the farm impliment sculpture; the birthing oven; the pig grill; the chef sculpture
First of all, this guy knows his grills. He has all sorts of sculptural ovens and just nutty objects placed in fields and at the ends of paths where you just stumble across them; they apparently have events throughout the year where folks can wander around and dine in various spots on the farm, so he has set up "field kitchens" to accomodate them.
Catch! This oven definitely has attitude.
As you get further into the property, you find some real "Blair Witch" style areas, including this teepee, some wooded eating areas, and some sections where signs carved in boards have all sorts of deep and obscure quotations.
Here are a few more spots, including a "winter house" that's really a round hut that seemed like a cross between Hundertwasser and Howard Finster (upper left), an "Oyster Pavillion" entirely lined with oyster shells, another oven adorned with moose antlers, and piles and piles of wine bottles lining the pathways - dead soldiers from the many dinners over the years (it's a BYOB place, and they fax you the recommended wine list the day before based on what they'll be serving).
Anita, Dick, me and Janice, contemplating nature - and what's for dinner!
The meal was great, the experience and the artwork inspirational, and once again we had a wonderful time in Canada. These folks have it figured out!