Smoke on the Water: A Festival of Food and Drink on the Silver Bridge

Sip and Sample

Downtown Bracebridge will be a lively, fun-filled destination on Saturday, September 30, as people stroll through the ‘Smoke on the Water’ Food & Drink Festival on the Silver Bridge, with food vendors, a culinary marketplace, and special activities. Purveyors of fine foods and beverages will sell their wares and showcase their gourmet talents, with a focus on the innovative art of the barbecue.

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Conjure up, for instance, the taste of double-smoked mac and cheese, gourmet burgers, bacon cheese bread, grilled cheese with pulled pork – and, for the herbivores, a vegan burger with cashew cream-cheese sauce. Stock up on piquant dressings and sauces, savoury olive oils, local maple syrup, and country meats. And Muskoka is famous for its butter tarts – always a welcome addition to any barbecue meal. Beverages include Gin and Vodka Smash from Georgian Bay Spirits, selections from local craft breweries, samplings from Tea Infusions, and cranberry and blueberry wines from Muskoka Lakes Winery.

Watch and Learn

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There’s a lot to see and do at ‘Smoke on the Water’. Celebrity chef Matt Basile, the creator of the Toronto street-food brand Fidel Gastro’s, host of the TV show ‘Rebel Without a Kitchen’, founder of Toronto’s Lisa Marie restaurant, and author of ‘Street Food Diaries’ will be in attendance. This cookbook, subtitled ‘Irresistible Recipes Inspired by the Street’, honours the vibrant culture of street fare: delicious, imaginative, and fun. Matt gets glowing reviews for the interesting flavour combinations that make his dishes memorable. And his personality matches his zest for food: down-home, hospitable, and entertaining. The Festival’s demo stage will include his treatment of grilled picanha steak (a Brazilian specialty) served with guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa verde, shaved jalapenos, queso fresco, and cilantro, all presented with his characteristic wit and energy.

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Think back … at any point in your childhood, were you ever told: “don’t play with your food?” Well, here’s your chance! ‘Let the Cat Go’ Fine Art & Craft Studio is encouraging kids and adults to get down and dirty with food – stamping, print-making, and sculpting. There’s also a ‘make your own BBQ rub station’, where you choose your recipe and take home your creation. Giant board games, a photo booth where you can be the chef and the upbeat sounds of the Karla Crawford band contribute to the festive atmosphere.

Relax and Enjoy

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The festival takes place on the iconic Silver Bridge in the heart of downtown Bracebridge on September 30 from 11 am to 4 pm.

Muskoka is renowned for its picturesque waterfalls, and Bracebridge is particularly proud of its many scenic cascades. The Bracebridge Falls at the bridge is the last drop on the north branch of the Muskoka River, with the water spilling over a natural rock face. Several sitting areas overlook the town and the falls, where people can take a break, eat, drink, and feed their other senses with the sights and sounds of the landscape.

Click here for details on the ‘Smoke on the Water’ Festival (advance online tickets are just $15, kids 12 and under are free), and click here to check out all the other events at What’s Cooking Bracebridge. A great time to visit Muskoka in its spectacular fall season.