In 1993, tired of the compromises of celebrity chefdom, Toronto chef Michael Stadtländer—who, along with fellow young gun Jamie Kennedy created the fine-dining beacon Scaramouche—waved goodbye to all that. He moved with his Okinawa-born wife Nobuyo to a 100-acre spread in Singhampton, Ontario and named it Eigensinn Farm. The New York Times dropped in on one of the couple’s intimate 18-guest farmhouse dinners four years later and proclaimed Eigensinn one of top three restaurants in the country. Stadtländer’s multi-course dinner “projects”—part art installation, part eco-activism, and brimming with culinary wizardry—are now cult happenings for those in the know. The chef’s most recent venture was “Pine Spiel,” a 12-course feast in the forest and celebration of all things pine. Raised on a farm near Lübeck Germany, Stadtländer says, “I grew up on the rivers and in the forest, so I have a great appreciation for the natural world.” When wine-collecting Toronto barrister Philip Anisman bought out a Pine Spiel and invited a number of friends to help celebrate his birthday, we guests were the ones who felt like it was our big day, not the other way around. The Stadtländers will be holding dinners for 12 at their farmhouse, weekends only, through October 22. Eight courses, $300 (CAN DLRS), BYOB, 7-11 p.m. For reservations: (519) 922-3128 —Nancy Matsumoto

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