Naagan Dining by Chef Zach Keeshig: A Fabulous Feast

Imagine a dinner experience that combines the work of an artist, a chef, and a story teller. You’ll find all that in the Naagan dining experience by Chef Zach Keeshig. He’s the man behind one of the best food experiences in Grey County!

With small intimate dinners in a historic building in Owen Sound, Naagan A Forged Feast is a must for all foodies!

Chef Zach Keeshing
Chef Zach Keeshing

Who is Chef Zach Keeshig?

Chef Zach Keeshig is a celebrated chef from Owen Sound, where he was born and raised. After a part-time job in a restaurant, he knew he wanted to become a chef at the tender age of 17.

He went on to study at Georgian College for Culinary Arts. He then did an apprenticeship under Chef Tim Johnston. Continuing to build on his culinary education, he went on to work in various restaurants across Ontario with many of the top chefs in Canada.

With his roots as an Ojibwa, his mission is to blend his Indigenous culture and cuisine with modern culinary techniques. And he does just that with his Naagan dining experience – Naagan A Foraged Feast!

Naagan: A Foraged Feast

The Naagan A Foraged Feast by Chef Zach Keeshig is a must dining experience in Ontario! His 9 course tasting menu is a fusion of progressive Aboriginal cuisine with a contemporary approach. The menu is made from almost 100% locally sourced ingredients from local providers or foraged from the wild kitchen of Mother Nature.

Naagan dining experience by Chef Zach Keeshing

What Can You Expect From the Naagan Dining Experience by Chef Zach?

His weekly pop-up dinners take place in Owen Sound’s historic Farmers Market building. The building dates back to 1868 and became the location for the Owen Sound Farmers Market in 1935. The Market is one of the oldest farmers markets in Grey County!

If you’re planning to enjoy one of Chef Zach’s dinners on a Saturday, consider coming into town early. That way you can browse and shop the farmers market that takes place year round on Saturday mornings.

Chef Zach has been offering his Naagan dining experience here, and in a few other locations, for around 10 years. However, new this summer he’s added drink pairings to his tasting menu! While they are not of the alcoholic variety, they are interesting nonetheless! I don’t want to give too much away but you’ll be trying things like cedar tea and wild ginger beer.

Fun Fact: Naagan comes from the Ojibwe word for dish!

layered Yukon gold potato
Layered Yukon Gold Potato with Sauce

The dinner includes nine courses that range from appetizers to mains to desserts. While the menu changes seasonally to what is available, there are a few crowd favourites that always make an appearance. A couple of staples include wood-fired Bannock and his classic duck egg yolk ice cream.

The nine-course tasting menu is not just paired with his new drink pairings! Each dish includes a story told by Chef Zach. This is one of the many elements of the Naagan dining experience that makes it unique! You’ll hear stories of his childhood as well as what inspired him to create each plate.

wood-fired bannock
Wood-Fired Bannock with Herbs

Naagan Dining Review

I honestly encourage everyone looking for a truly local experience to book a dinner with Chef Zach! The dinner is so much more than just food! It’s an incredible fine dining meal by a celebrated chef. It’s about trying new things. And it’s about the story!

Some might think the price tag is high. But, when you consider a night out at a fine dining restaurant with drinks plus a show after, it’s definitely on par. One thing to consider is that you are not just getting dinner and drinks, you’re getting a memorable experience!

As with most Indigenous cuisine, there is fish on the menu. This is something to think about if you have any allergies, like myself. With that said, I notified the chef prior to my dinner and he was gracious enough to adapt the two dishes that included fish for me.

Another local component are the dishes used for the A Foraged Feast dinner. Each plate, cup, and bowl are made by Canadian artisans. Like the cedar tea cups are made by Jonathan O’Leary, a talented pottery developer out of Vancouver. Some of the accents and plating are also from the wild, like leaves! It all lends to a very natural vibe and pays homage to the dinner being from the Earth!

Overall, I was thrilled with the Nagaan dining experience. The food was flavorful! He’s a true artist when it comes to plating! And he’s so much more than your chef for the night. Chef Zach becomes your friend and dinner companion.

So, if you’re looking for a unique dining experience in Ontario or want to try some Indigenous cuisine, then I implore you to book at A Forged Feast dinner!

duck egg yolk ice cream
duck egg yolk ice cream

Naagan Dining Details

If you want to add Naagan: A Foraged Feast to your foodie list you’ll find all the details below!

When: Most Saturdays and Sundays 6:30 – 9pm

Where: Owen Sound Farmers Market at 88 8th St E, Owen Sound, ON N4K 1K8

Price: $150 per person

How to Book a Table: You can visit his website here.

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About the author

I'm Stephanie of The World As I See It, the ELO coffee junkie who is always on the hunt for the best cafes, bakeries, donut shops... let's just say that I have a bit of a sweet tooth, shall we? Living in Simcoe County, I'm spoiled for fabulous local eats! No matter where I go though, you'll find me with a cup of caffeine in hand as I explore the beauty of Ontario.

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