Author: Tiffany Mayer
Follow her on Instagram: @eatingniagara
Photo Credits for Shot of Christine and her daughters: Nataschia Wielink
Name and Occupation: Christine Flynn, Proprietor Good Earth Food and Wine
Home city: Beamsville
Christine Flynn is a Renaissance woman. She’s the proprietor of The Good Earth Winery and a partner at The Good Earth Farm. She’s executive chef and partner at iQ Food Co., a restaurant group with multiple locations in Toronto. The celebrated chef, writer, food stylist and photographer is also co-author of the candid and endearing cookbook How to Eat with One Hand: Recipes and Other Nourishment for Expectant and New Parents. And her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Wired and Bon Appètit, among others. She’s also chef-partner with Zing Pantry Shortcuts and her Buzz Hot Honey is available nationally. Oh, she’s also mom to twins. Somewhere in between all of that, she manages to squeeze in some down time. Here’s how she likes to spend it in Niagara.
Essential caffeine pitstop?
I make coffee at home using Signal Coffee Co. They roast right here in Port Dalhousie and as someone who drinks large volumes of coffee, I appreciate the care they put into making great coffee. I also am a bit of a nerd and I really love their branding. It has a bit of an 80s Miami vibe to it, and seeing a bag of Signal Coffee Co. beans in my cupboard always puts me in a good mood.
Favourite place to pack a picnic (and what’s in the picnic basket?)
I am devoted to Bushel and Peck on Lake Street in St. Catharines. Cait and Jess do an amazing job of curating local produce and products as well as the occasional specialty item like tinned fish from Portugal. They also offer local delivery and over the past year and a half have really lifted my spirits and made it easier to be a mother to two toddlers since it’s not always possible for me to get to the store. My ideal picnic would be a loaf of De La Terre bread, a block of Emerald Grasslands butter, cured meats from Pingue, a few cans of Scout Tuna some Buzz Hot Honey and Dispatch Hotsauce, all of which you can order at B&P, plus a six-pack of City Seltzer Cool Melon!
Go-to for lunch with friends?
I love eating on the patio at Westcott Vineyards. Ricky and Olivia have created a beautiful restaurant with dishes that are simple, but inspired. My daughters and I have eaten our way through the menu several times and they love the oysters and the wood oven-roasted fish, while I usually go all out and order the steak with chimichurri. Ricky and Olivia pay special attention to sourcing and for me it’s an added bonus that they are supporting local farmers and showcasing the best in regional produce and proteins.
If you were to spend an afternoon shopping in Niagara, where would you go?
I’m not much of a shopper because I have a very small house so I mostly stick to things that can be consumed. I do, however, have a soft spot for Mercantile 17, which is a beautiful housewares shop in St. Davids. The shop is really well curated with lots of eco-friendly and sustainable options, and great gifts. I love their candles and soaps, and I always seem to walk out with a new plant friend every time I visit.
Best spot to find writing and creative inspiration?
Anyone who knows me knows I walk a lot. I wear through shoes regularly, and during the rare times I’m not working or parenting, you can find me in the woods exploring the Bruce Trail. We are so lucky to live here, and I try to take full advantage of the trails and to tune in to the lessons nature has to teach us about resilience and patience. I’ve written many essays and recipes in my head while stomping around the Short Hills and the Louth Conservation Area and while I don’t want to give up all my secret spots, I do encourage everyone to get out and unplug in green-space as often as they can. It does wonders.
An evening out looks like?
I’m a decent cook so for me to go to a restaurant I really am looking for a compelling menu that I can’t make at home. Dispatch never disappoints and almost always surprises me with a new technique or idea. The proprietors, Adam and Tam, are wonderful people, and Gizem, their chef, is hands down one of the chefs I look up to most in the region.
“Everything she makes amazes me with bright flavours paired with old-world techniques that have been passed down through generations. Whether it’s burnt yogurt or her carrot tarator, I find her cuisine both exciting and craveable.”
Favourite hidden gem?
We recently launched Good Earth Farm Niagara and I’ve been spending a lot of time there with my daughters. There’s pick your own pumpkins, hayrides, a corn maze, fire pits and food trucks, and we’re adding new activities as we continue to grow.