Story and photos by Sarah Crookall
Thanks to a restaurant, downtown Oshawa welcomes a new neighbour this week. Oshawa residents will be able to sit, eat and enjoy the unique view from The Table.
With a viewpoint of sustainability and local foods the restaurant, The Table aims to feed customers while teaching them. “Food is a draw to get people to come in to learn things that they don’t even know they’re going to learn,” said owner Carol Vandersanden.
From growing herbs in the restaurant to offering customers a dollar off their meal when they bring their own take-out containers, the restaurant has incentives that embody sustainability. “We’re very big on making sure that there is absolutely no waste,” said Vandersanden.
The restaurant concept comes from a documentary by Vandersanden also titled The Table. The film highlights local farmers and conscious food choices. The final scene ends in Vandersanden’s backyard at an oversized table where Vandersanden hosts dinners.
Similarly, the restaurant’s seating surrounds a replica of a large table in the center of the room. Customers can seat themselves and order from a truly original menu. “I will make whatever inspires me that day and whatever the market has to offer,” said Vandersanden.
Items on the menu will be harvested by local farmers whenever possible. And for ingredients that can’t be bought locally like wheat and oranges, Vandersanden says it is a matter of conscious buying. “We know what fields they come from, the farms they’re coming from and how they’re being grown. So we have ethically, sustainable ingredients as best as we can.”
Teas and coffees served have certification papers that will be displayed in binders for customers to view. Additionally there will be a variety of soups and sandwiches. “I have a big vegetarian clientele that will be coming here,” said Vandersanden.
With nearly 30 years in the food industry, Vandersanden knows the ins and outs of the business. Although The Table wasn’t formally open, soup sampling kept its doors moving all last week. “Quite often the table was full and everyone was talking to everyone,” she said.
The Table’s grand opening is April 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. by invite, with live music from Tam Duong and a wide variety of foods.
Vandersanden hopes for a bright atmosphere. “I want people to not know why they’re coming and not know why they’re not leaving,” she said.