In 2015, he opened his own restaurant, Antler Kitchen + Bar, on Toronto’s Dundas Street West, the name a reference to his passion for hunting and foraging wild Canadian foods. Venison is on the menu in many forms but while some of the dishes are decidedly sophisticated, Hunter is quick to point out that it’s not really a fine-dining place. “It’s very homey and casual,” he says. “We treat people like family here. You can have rack of deer or you can just have a burger or a sandwich and fries.” With antlers and photos of wild plants decorating the room, Antler Kitchen + Bar is almost a shrine to Canada’s wild bounty, so who better than Chef Hunter to provide us with a menu for a special Canada Day dinner party?
Most major grocery chains carry wild mushrooms; if morels are not available, use a mixture of hen of the woods, shiitake and oyster mushrooms.
Buttery rich scallops find a natural counterpoint in asparagus dressed with a tangy vinaigrette. Thick stalks of asparagus are preferable for this recipe.
Spice-Ash-Crusted Rack of Venison with Stinging Nettle & Wild Mint-Scented Pea Purée
This makes enough pastry for 2 tart bases. Freeze one for another use. The chantilly cream is a decadent final touch.
Try this Canadian take on the Rusty Nail. At Antler, they infuse the Drambuie with venison jerky. If that’s unavailable, simply garnish the drink with beef jerky.
First sold in 2000, this Canadian single malt whisky has a definite Scottish heritage and character, making it the ideal component in our Rusty Antler cocktail. Notes of spiced orange, honey, maple and vanilla make this 10-year-old a most delectable dram.