Eating-up Stratford
Bite by Byte

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Factory163: Fun, Friends... and Food!

All summer my wife Lisa and I have been looking forward to one night:

Rick & Heather's Wedding Party!

Ricky is an old friend of Lisa's, and has been one of my favourite folks in Stratford since long before we began running into each other daily at the Screaming Avocado Cafe during my recent stint working with Paul Finkelstein and the Stratford Northwestern Culinary Arts kids this past spring (Rick is a teacher who enjoys a good student-made lunch). 

Heather and Rick are a fantastic couple, and when they decided to throw a party to celebrate their marriage, they chose a venue that reflected their comfortable style and vibe: 


When I arrived, I was dabbling with the idea of blogging about the event... after all, Factory163 is a phenomenal three-floor space where Stratford artists, such as my previous photographic collaborator Irene Miller, have incredible studios. In fact, just last week I'd checked-out a post from my brother-in-blog Matty Ian about an impressive art exhibit he'd reviewed there.

But I really knew it was time to throw-down a Stratford food blog when I walked through the artistically-decorated party space, peeked around the corner of the DJ booth, and discovered that the caterers for the night were none other than:

The Slow Food Perth County All-Stars! 

As it turns out, completely unbeknownst to me, some of my most talented Slow Food brothers-and-sisters-in-food had been not-so-coincidentally hired by Factory163 and the bride and groom to serve-up some fresh local flavour to the attendees of the Party of the Year!
The local goat cheese and tomato bruschetta was perfect in seasonality and seasoning with its ruby-red chunks and fresh herbs over creamy chevre.
The vegetarian salad rolls with house-made peanut sauce, balsamic teriyaki and sweet miso being offered by the circulating servers were often snapped-up before they could pass the busy dance floor!
Janet Cox and Maryann Wilson Co (above) are the two creative sisters who operate Factory163. This was in fact their first wedding event, and I don't think they could have delivered a better party! As Lisa and I were provided a special tour of this funky converted industrial space by Janet, she expressed her and her sister's desire to incorporate local food within the programming they offer, "The food thing is really big to us as a theme... we want to promote the fabulousness of local food!"
Besides the great food everyone enjoyed - which also included chicken and steak satays, pork sliders and mini beef burgers, gourmet pizzas, and carmelized apple and pear crostinis - the party also featured some killer dancefloor music (sorry, no Chicken Dance here) spun courtesy of DJ Wigs (above).  
But above all, the night was a celebration of Rick and Heather's love, and an expression of all their friends' and family's support for their great relationship. 

Which most of us demonstrated by drinking and dancing ourselves silly. Nothing wrong with that: when I asked Rick late in the night about the experience at Factory163, he summed it up perfectly, "It's a great place to have a really, really good party".

Rick and Heather, may every day be like your wedding party: full of fun, friends... and food!

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