Thursday, October 14, 2010

McKeown’s Ready Made Meals and Catering, Saskatoon

I’m a workaholic – just ask my family! And that doesn’t leave much time for cooking. So I was delighted to hear about McKeown’s Ready Made Meals and Catering. Restaurant-quality meals that I can just pull out of the freezer and stick in the oven? Sounds heavenly!

Gourmet Shepherd’s Pie
There is nothing more reassuring and familiar than [vegetarian] shepherd’s pie. But Mike McKeown takes it up a notch or two on the gourmet scale. There are nuggets of goat cheese nestling in the mashed potato topping and whole chanterelle mushrooms from northern Saskatchewan are a flavourful surprise in the filling. In addition, there’s fresh tomato chutney that is tangy and refreshing. And I paid $16.50 for a two-pound container. It’s good value.

Spin
Mike is offering both ready-made meals and in-home catering. “I want to make healthy meals that are rustic but upscale,” Mike says.

I asked Mike to describe an ideal meal that he would cater, and he described enchanting items like potato and rosemary waffles with butternut squash whipped cream and homemade doughnuts with chilled coffee and homemade chocolate gelato in coffee cups topped with kahlua whipped cream. “I want to make eating an experience and to put some spin on things – like coffee and doughnuts or savory whipped cream,” explains Mike.

Fishing Camp – the Ultimate Cooking Challenge
Mike’s first full-time job after completing his apprenticeship was cooking for a fishing camp up north. “I’d never done desserts or high-end dining before,” Mike says, “and here I was by myself feeding 18 guests and 6 staff three-course meals from scratch.” It was 12-18 hour days for 55 days in a row.

Mike says he became addicted to working up north and did it for 6 summers. “You had to rely on an airplane every 4 days for your supplies,” says Mike. “It really makes you think on your feet as you have to work with whatever is available. Now that I’m back in the city, I really appreciate being able to run out and grab something if I need it.”

Local Food
Mike has worked with Chef Anthony at the Saskatoon Club for the past couple of years. “Anthony has been a big influence,” says Mike. “He treats food as it should be.” Mike’s goal is to source as much food as possible locally, and Chef Anthony has opened the door for Mike to some of the local suppliers.

“I go to the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market first thing Wednesday and Saturday mornings,” says Mike. “I see what is available and go with it.”

McKeown’s Ready Made Meals and Catering
Mike offers fresh weekly specials based on the produce he’s discovered at the Market, or you can order any frozen dishes that are still on hand. The specials are normally posted on his website by Thursday afternoon and are available for pick up or delivery on Saturday afternoon. One convenient way to find out the weekly specials is by following McKeown’s Catering and Ready Made Meals (note the rearrangement of the name) on Facebook. Then you can find out right away what is available.

Mike promised me (only limited amounts of arm twisting required!) that there would be a vegetarian special each week. He is also hoping to cater to people with gluten allergies. Each meal is two large servings, but if families are interested, they can pre-order larger quantities. And Mike is already looking ahead to Christmas to see what side dishes he can offer that will add to your holiday meals.

Catering
Mike is also available to cater weddings or in-home dining. Mike has been satisfying American fishermen for the last 6 years – now it’s our turn to enjoy his great cooking!

4 comments:

andrew said...

The shepherds pie was great!

Joel said...

awesome food, great value
thanks Mike!

Anonymous said...

Awesome food, great price
thanks Mike!

Susie said...

The food is imaginative, delicious and nutritious. Hard combination, but Mike does it every time!