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Top 3 of 2012: Edible Matters 

Hammonds Plains hits the jackpot with this community-focused, local-inspired homestyle kitchen.

click to enlarge Chef Chris Burton - SCOTT BLACKBURN

"We want to evoke nostalgia," says Chris Burton, executive chef at Edible Matters. "We try to mix traditions of old with some of the flare of the new, and capture what Nova Scotia is really about."

Edible Matters is like your mother's kitchen, if your mother was Alice Waters. From family dinners to casual lunches and quiet brunches, there is a buttery, home-cooking richness to the food, elevated by the skillful hands and locally focused minds of chefs Chris Burton and Jamie MacAuley.

The restaurant, which Burton and MacAuley teamed up with entrepreneurs Ed Webber and Matthew Webber to realize, is the product of 10 months of renovations and 10 years of drives down Hammonds Plains Road.

"I live out this way in Tantallon, and the primary objective was to fill a void in the area," says Burton. "There seemed to be a lack of homemade and handmade type foods in the area. It's nice to have a place where you can feed your family food that is healthy and locally sourced."

A window in the bright dining room looks down on the talented kitchen staff as they perfect buttery biscuits, dishes like fried chicken and waffles, delicious sandwiches and fresh, crisp salads. Combined with The Pantry, a small market that sells preserves, soups and breads, there's a folksiness to the place that makes it almost feel like a home.

"There is a saying that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that 'little extra,'" says Burton. "We spend our little extra on food sourcing."

The restaurant is committed to the local food community. Edible Matters uses fresh sausages from Highland Drive and free-range chickens from Blue Barn Farms, and works with Pelley Foods to create its in-house market, The Pantry. "Every time you buy something from Nova Scotia, you're supporting a better world," says Burton.

And it's also committed to its own neighbourhood's community. "We want to be a vital part of the community here and we've had great support from people. It's been a progression: we started off a bit more of a cafe, but our community has been telling us that they want it to be more of a sit-down restaurant. It morphed into what the community was looking for. We really want to provide what people are asking for." --MB

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