Pasta battle benefits East Ferris nature lovers

It’s a battle of the pasta sauces in East Ferris, as two teams are vying for the top chef spot and to become legends of the local marinara scene. The epic cook-off will raise money for the East Ferris Horticultural Club, and the tasty action goes down at the East Ferris Community Centre on November 12. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the dinner starts at 6:00.

The East Ferris Community Centre is at 1267 Village Road in Astorville. Tickets are $25 per adult, and kids can feast for $10. And feast you will because this is an all you can eat event. Bring the hole punch for your belt.

And savour that sauce, because after dinner, you’ll have a chance to vote for which team has the best sauce. It might be tight (as your pants after dinner), so every vote counts.

Mayor Pauline Rochefort explained how the horticultural club maintains and oversees Memorial Park and other parks within the community. The municipality cuts the grass, but everything else you see in the parks is thanks to the horticultural club, a volunteer group who raise money to buy plants, plant those plants, and tend to them throughout the growing season.

“I would like it to become an annual tradition,” the mayor said of the dinner, “with different chefs battling it out every year.” The team decided to hold the dinner this weekend to tie into Remembrance Day ceremonies, as the funds will help to beautify and maintain Memorial Park, home of the municipal cenotaph.

The Memorial Park Gardeners were the original caretakers of the park. However, after many years of service to the community, some members are feeling it’s time to move on. So, the Horticultural Club is going to take over from the Gardeners, which will ensure a seamless transition in park care.

As for those saucy teams, there are two. The first is comprised of Jim McDonnell and James Bissonette, both members of the Horticultural Club. They challenged East Ferris council to create its own team, and Deputy Mayor Lauren Rooyakkers stepped up to the plate along with Councillor Rick Champagne.

After the Remembrance Day ceremony on Friday, BayToday caught up with Champagne. Of course, we asked about his sauce strategy. He was giving up no secrets – not even a secret spice – “I can’t tell you that,” he frankly said.

“The recipe is ours, mine and Lauren’s, and if you want to know how good it is, show up on Sunday and see for yourself.”

“It’s going to be a fun time,” he said.

Tickets are still available but going fast, with around 100 already sold. The East Ferris library may have some left or email the horticultural society at or try the group’s Facebook page. You can also try to buy them at the door.

David Briggs is a Local

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,