GoodLot Farmstead

Good Spot Kitchen Brings the Fresh Flavours of Spring to YDH – Sustainably

Spring has finally arrived! Patios all over York Durham Headwaters are opening up to welcome visitors for libations and food once more. The best part about spring (besides the beautiful warming weather, of course) is the fresh, seasonal flavours that are making their way back onto menus after a long, cold winter. At the Good Spot Kitchen in Alton, the bold, fresh flavours of Caribfusion cuisine, courtesy of Chef Phil DeWar, are combined with a respect for sustainability and giving back to the earth. Located onsite at Goodlot Farmstead Brewing Company, you can bring the whole family, your very best group of friends, or your special someone to spend time on a regenerative farm, sampling the bounty of the earth in a beautiful rural setting. All things Good can be found here, so settle in for some Good food and Good drinks.

GoodLot Farmstead
GoodLot Farmstead Girl in Field
GoodLot Farmstead

Sustainability is not just a trendy buzz word for Chef Phil. It is a concept that he was raised with. Indeed, he remembers learning to cook outdoors before he ever learned to cook in a kitchen. “I grew up with a food philosophy that was more wholesome,” he states. “Our cuisine is about trying to use as much of the animal as possible, and about letting the season, the garden, and the bounty of the land dictate what we ought to be preparing.” It was because his own culinary philosophy aligned so closely with that of Goodlot’s—which follows a practice of regenerative farming, carbon negative operations and a circular economy—that Chef Phil felt the partnership with owners Phil and Gail Winters would work well. “Their outlook reinforced some of the things I was feeling about how I wanted to approach food as a chef,” he explains.

Goodlot Family

Today, Chef Phil runs the onsite Good Spot Kitchen. Visitors will find all kinds of options, including kid-friendly meals, as well as vegetarian and vegan friendly fare—all flavoured by Chef Phil’s Afro-Caribbean influence and character. “I bring those bold flavours and those techniques to the food program,” he says proudly. And with the Oast Barn (an indoor tasting lounge inside a wonderfully atmospheric and newly renovated 1870s barn), Good Spot Kitchen can facilitate catered events and other special experiences. “It’s been a very good working relationship with Goodlot,” Chef Phil says, “and also just a good partnership in terms of being on the same page about how we see food and beverages.”

GoodLot Farmstead Cheers
GoodLot Farmstead
GoodLot Farmstead Food

Working with local farmers is important to Chef Phil, as it is to Phil and Gail Winters with the operation of Goodlot Farmstead Brewery. It is just one of the many ways they are taking care of the earth. Nearby Everdale Farm supplies much of the garlic and herbs used in the food at Good Spot Kitchen, for example, and food waste from the kitchen is composed in partnership with Wastenot Farms, which turns kitchen scraps into rich, nutrient-dense soil that Goodlot uses in its farm operations. Good Spot Kitchen also provides compostable containers instead of plastic and Styrofoam to reduce the amount of trash being sent to landfills.

“I think when people think sustainability, they think only about where products are being purchased from and whether or not they’re local,” Chef Phil points out. “But if you’re buying your products sustainably and then serving them in Styrofoam, you’re doing just as much damage to the earth, if not more. We’ve taken the whole cycle and incorporated it into our business model, just as Goodlot has done. They grow the hops that make the beer. The spent grain goes to a cattle farmer, who raises the meat, and the food waste from the meals we make is composted by Wastenot Farms, who brings us back good topsoil to grow more hops. It’s a whole loop that happens, and that’s how we’re trying to close the gap in terms of sustainability.”

Chef Phil’s relationship with Phil and Gail Winters goes back a long while, to the time when Chef Phil was operating his restaurant, Soulyve Caribbean Kitchen, in Orangeville from 2009 to 2019. “We were new to the beer industry then,” he explains. “We had just gotten our patio, and Phil and Gail approached us about the possibility of carrying their beer. So we were introduced to them through the industry, you could say.” When the restaurant closed, Chef Phil moved on to being featured as a Guest Chef at Goodlot which, at the time, was offering tastings and pints for patrons. It was such a successful partnership that Phil and Gail approached Chef Phil DeWar about being Goodlot’s full-time food partner. And the rest, as they say, is history.

GoodLot Farmstead Beer
GoodLot Farmstead Patrons

For Chef Phil, operating the Good Spot Kitchen has allowed him to fill a gap that was formed when he closed his restaurant in 2019 – not just in his own career, but in the hearts and minds of the community of Dufferin. Soulyve Caribbean Kitchen was a fixture of Orangeville’s downtown core. Not only was it a favourite spot for delicious food, but Soulyve was also involved in many community events, and was even featured on The Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here. “We were one of the first restaurants on the frontier of Afro-Caribbean fusion cuisine here in 2009,” he explained. “I went to high school here. I went from checking the IDs of people that I knew at 15 years old to catering their weddings at 25. We’ve been a part of the fibre of this town. When we partnered with Goodlot on a more full-time basis, I was able to offer my food experience to people once more. They have been able to see how I’ve grown as a culinarian, and how I’m approaching food differently than I did with the restaurant.”

That is one of the opportunities that Good Spot Kitchen has given to Chef Phil: the space to grow and create as an artist, and it’s something he has taken to heart. In partnership with Phil and Gail Winters, he has been able to help transform Goodlot Farmstead Brewing into more than just a beloved destination for delicious, sustainable beverages. It is now a destination for a full meal and an experience. “Before, people would come to the bottle shop and buy maybe a six-pack to take home, and they’d have a pint while they’re here. Now, people are coming and inviting their friends for dinner. They’re bringing their kids to play some games. They can stay longer now because instead of just one pint, maybe now it’s two because there is more time and a meal in there as well. And that helps support what we’re trying to do here. It’s been pretty special, to be a part of that.”

GoodLot Farmstead
GoodLot Farmstead Music
Goodlot Patio

Goodlot Farmstead Brewing’s patio opens May 11th, so mark your calendars for a taste of fresh, local flavours brought to you by the bounty of the season.

The Good Spot Kitchen

at Goodlot Farmstead Brewing Co.

18825 Shaws Creek Rd., Alton

www.goodlot.beer

Katherine Ryalen is a freelance writer and author based in Durham Region. Visit her online at www.katherineryalen.com.

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