When most people think of mustard, they think of the yellow condiment they put on their hot dog. However, at Sunday’s Great Saskatchewan Mustard Festival in Wascana Park, many were relishing all types of mustard-infused creations — like ice cream.
The mastermind behind that sweet-meets-savoury concoction is Casino Regina’s executive chef Ryan Katchuk. When brain storming what to whip up at this year’s Mustard Fest, he said the frozen treat seemed to just make sense.
“I just thought, everyone in this province likes honey mustard or honey dill sauce with their chicken fingers, so why not turn mustard into ice cream,” he explained.
First-time festival-goer Keley Whittle waited in line with more than 100 others to put his brown sugar mustard ice cream to the test.
“It’s actually sweet — it’s not too bad,” she said. “It’s kind of like frozen mustard out of the jar.”
As for Peter Branetzki, a Mustard Fest veteran, he said he couldn’t even taste the mustard.
“It almost tastes like coconut with chocolate,” Branetzki said. “It’s like a light custard.”
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Chef Katchuk and his team have had a food booth at the 10-year-old festival since its inception, and was hoping the ice cream would help him take home the coveted yellow chef’s coat — the people’s choice prize for the best food. He ended up winning third place.
London Belle won second place, and Regina’s Industrial Park Cafe took home first, along with the beloved French’s mustard coat.
Around 20 local restaurants took part in the festival and more than 1,500 people turned out to taste test the mustard-infused chili, grilled cheese, brisket, cakes and sandwiches, among other dishes.
Erin McLellan, a Mustard Fest event coordinator, said she still can’t believe how much the event has grown over the past decade.
Two years ago, the festival moved from its initial location on the balcony at the Willow on Wascana to Queen Elizabeth II Lawn West, north of the Saskatchewan legislative building.
Since Saskatchewan produces about 75 per cent of the world’s mustard, McLellan said it deserves to be celebrated.
“We are so fortunate to be able to produce (mustard) here in Saskatchewan, as well as to showcase the culinary talents of the chefs who are here,” she said. “I believe mustard symbolizes Saskatchewan.”