Redefining Winery Dining

Posted July 23, 2010

July 23, 2010 - Flat Rock Cellars unveils a new twist on a hot culinary trend.  Every weekend El Gastrónomo Vagabundo, a retro-fitted courier truck with a full commercial kitchen, will be serving globally inspired street foods like gourmet tacos, tapas, Southeast Asian dishes, and garden fresh salads to diners on the Flat Rock Cellars Green Roof patio.

Although chefs from Michelin-starred eateries have been joining the surging mobile food revolution in the United States, El Gastrónomo Vagabundo is the first of its kind in Canada. Highly trained chefs serving aggressively gourmet fare operate the new breed of rolling kitchen free of location constraints. "Even with all the success down south, we're the first to realize how perfect the gourmet food truck is for a winery. Surrounded by all this natural beauty, we can choose any part of the estate as our dining room," says Ed Madronich, Proprietor of Flat Rock Cellars.

El Gastrónomo Vagabundo is the brainchild of partners Tamara Jensen and Adam Hynam-Smith, owners of Peapod Cuisine.  "We've been watching the increasing popularity in mobile street food in L.A. and across the States.  We think the Canadian diner is ready for high-end fare served from the window of a kitchen on wheels, and we wanted to be the first to bring it to them" says Hynam-Smith, an Australian ex-pat and the Chef of El Gastró.  For some time now Ed Madronich, Proprietor of Flat Rock Cellars, has been looking for an innovative solution to his dilemma, "our wines are made to be enjoyed with delicious foods in relaxed settings, so our winery visitors have been missing part of the story".  Madronich continues "we've been reluctant to build a winery restaurant because we felt it could distract our focus from the job of making the best possible wines from this idyllic vineyard location."  The decision to work together happened shortly after the two parties first met, Madronich explains "Peapod had catered an event for us last fall and I was immediately impressed with Adam's passion and obvious culinary skill. He talked, while I ate, and by the time I finished my third ‘Thai Fighter' taco it had been decided that they were going to build El Gastró and it was going to be parked at our winery every weekend."

Weekend visitors to Flat Rock Cellars can now dine in a casual and fun atmosphere on the Green Roof.  Madronich says, "We built the Green Roof to be a natural insulator for the barrel cellar, it's a low energy way to keep the temperature constant below. It also happens to provide a huge patio with lush lawns.  You can pass a lot of time here enjoying the natural beauty of the vineyards, and attempting to pinpoint your home if you live across the lake in Toronto."

El Gastró will have a continuously changing menu of gourmet fare sourced from local producers and purveyors. Each menu item will have a suggested wine pairing served by the glass. "We use bold flavours and we're inspired by food that people don't normally expect to eat at a winery," says Hynam-Smith.  "Once people get past the shock of eating five spice pork belly or Moroccan lamb tagine, and they try it with it's intended pairing, like Flat Rock's 2008 Gravity Pinot Noir, I think they realize the pairing is a match made in heaven."

El Gastrónomo Vagabundo will be at Flat Rock Cellars Green Roof every weekend through October. Fridays from 3pm - 7pm, Saturdays from 11am - 6pm, Sundays from 11am - 6pm, and holidays. For more information regarding El Gastrónomo Vagabundo on the Green Roof please visit

About El Gastrónomo Vagabundo
Brought to you by Peapod Cuisine, El Gastrónomo Vagabundo is the first mobile food truck of its kind in Canada. It's a new take on international street food, offering a menu of globally inspired cuisine from locally sourced ingredients. El Gastró is committed to being environmentally and socially responsible, using eco-friendly and biodegrable products.  For more information on menus, local food sourcing, and sustainable practices please visit www.elgastro.com. To find out where we are at this very moment, download the Taco Loco app from iTunes.

About Flat Rock Cellars
Flat Rock Cellars is an architecturally unique, five-level gravity flow winery surrounded by 80 acres of vineyards, located on the Twenty Mile Bench in Jordan, Ontario, specializing in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Flat Rock Cellars was established based on a commitment to quality and the inextinguishable passion of its founders.  The winery is guided by the mastery of modern techniques; where viticulture and winemaking come together with architecture and hospitality to create an experience as memorable as it is enjoyable.

TEL: (416) 729-7883


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