Meet your chefs

In our 8th year of hosting the Terroir Run, we are doing something special and are thrilled to be offering our runners an amazing post run lunch which is going to be prepared by two of our great friends Chef Karin Desveaux and Chef Albert Ponzo.

Beginning her culinary career in Toronto in the mid 90’s, Karin Desveaux cooked in some of the city’s finest restaurants including Ivory, Borgo Antico, Winston’s and Rosewater. From there, she transitioned into high end catering and eventually became a private  chef for a prominent family.

Karin moved to Prince Edward County in 2003 with then-husband Michael Potters to open The Milford Bistro, Harvest and Pinch Gourmet. Together, Karin and Michael worked with local producers and winemakers to celebrate seasonality and terroir through their food and service.

Now in her eighth year of teaching in the Culinary Program at Loyalist College in Belleville, Karin takes great pride in her role of Program Coordinator; together with her team, she weaves creativity, excellence, sustainability and wellness into the program that they share with aspiring chefs of the future.

Albert Ponzo is the Executive Chef of The Royal Hotel in Picton. The historic Royal Hotel has been under re-construction for the past two years and will re-open in 2019.

Albert brings over two decades of food knowledge and experience in sustainable farming and nose-to-tail eating. With a passion for working closely with nature, and sourcing ingredients ethically produced in a sustainable manner, Albert strives to prepare farm-driven food with the best seasonal local ingredients at their ripest time.

Prior to joining The Royal, Albert served as Executive Chef at Toronto’s iconic Le Sélect Bistro, where he was the creative force behind the restaurant’s contemporary rendition of classic French cuisine. He is a strong supporter of SlowFood Toronto and has received numerous awards, including:  2015 Winner of Toronto’s Cochon 555 Heritage BBQ, 2014 Awarded Fellow of the Ontario Hostelry Institute and 2012 Winner of Ocean Wise Toronto Chowder Chowdown. He has also worked at celebrated Toronto restaurants Canoe and Crush Wine Bar.

In his spare time, Albert enjoys teaching nose-to-tail butchery and collaborating with other chefs internationally. He also volunteers with organizations focused on food education and sustainability. Supporting the work of the Second Harvest Food Bank, The Stop (Community Food Centres), The Child Development Institute and many others. His culinary talent won the hearts of eaters at the 2nd annual Hinterlude that took place this past February at Hinterland Winery.

Albert is an avid hobby beekeeper, enjoys gardening and finding wild foods. He draws continual inspiration from his Italian roots, music, books, life experiences, his wife, Marlise, and their three children.

We are SO EXCITED to enjoy their culinary talents on June 2nd and know our runners will love the locally sourced meal they will be serving for all of us!


Hey, where should we stay and when should we book?


Prince Edward County has become one of North America’s fastest growing gastronomy destinations and the island continues to be featured in publications around the world trumpeting the landscape, beaches, food, wine, beer, cider, cheese, architecture, arts, hotels, etc. etc. So, if you’re coming for the run ensure that you book now, today, right this moment! Here are some of our favourites although new accommodations are popping up like crazy and like the County, they’re quirky, innovative and a lot of fun so make a weekend of it and enjoy the Great Canadian Cheese Festival on Sunday June 3rd. A few suggestions to get you started:

  • Angeline’s Inn–Bloomfield, ON, the Fida family members are hospitality legends and their legacy inn is full of stories and beautifully designed accommodations for all budgets and group sizes. Personally, we love the Babylon but the main suites and the Walter motel rooms hold their own unique charms).
  • The June Motel–Picton, ON, this brilliant reimagining of a modern motel rose from the bones of the County’s old-school Sportsmens Motel, and the mind of an original Terroir Run runner. Wine-themed and a little rowdy, your friends will envy each Insta-ready post featuring their rooms, lobby and neat little fire-pit.
  • The Drake Devonshire–Wellington, ON, if you really want to splash out, on the water, in the heart of a vibrant community look no further than the Toronto Drake Hotel’s take on the rural retreat. The “Drake on the Lake” shares a rustic design aesthetic warped through a fun-house mirror of urban fun, art and hospitality. Imagine beautiful drinks, held by beautiful people as they gaze upon a beautiful lake, but swaddled in plaid wool.

This is the quick “three town” list which we’ll add to shortly but also give Airbnb a shot as there are some remarkable places that will make your County experience something even more memorable.

  • Mr. Anderson’s House–Each room in this home is themed after a different film in director Wes Anderson’s repertoire, some more subtly than others. A century home located within a 5 minute walk of Picton Main Street shops and restaurants, and a short drive to Sandbanks beaches.
  • Sanctuary In The County– Our church was built in the 1800s, and we have worked hard to maintain much of its charm. You will live in the ‘Sanctuary’. Your bed is on the altar (king sized!), and we have a lovely pull-out murphy bed with a memory foam mattress for couples or families traveling together.
  • The White House in Hillier–The White House accommodates up to eight people on two storeys with an open kitchen/dining/living area, gas stove and oven, dishwasher, outdoor charcoal BBQ and one large full piece bathroom. French doors open to a large wood deck and surrounding outdoor area. Owner/resident Chef Jamie Kennedy lives in a separate building on the property.

Interested in other rental options? Checkout our transportation partners at Sandbanks Vacations as they manage wonderful properties all around the County and run them as they run our starting-line shuttle–impeccably.

Finally, for those who remember that Prince Edward County as the originally bucolic agricultural area that you drove through to get to some of Canada’s most beautiful beaches (and if the lake-level behaves 2018 will be remembered as a “vintage year” for the Sandbanks) why not dust off your tent and pitch into a classic Canadian camping weekend? Book at Richardson’s campsite and you’ll be as close as you can get to the Sandbanks beach, and maybe you’ll even get invited over for s’mores and a glass of pinot at the Terroir Run Compound. Register online here.

Give the gift of Terroir Love (June 2nd, 2018)


Looking for the perfect gift for the people in your life who love great food, drink and health? Share the Terroir Run experience (2018 tickets are now available at this link). They’ll enjoy:

  • a 10Km fun run through the beautiful vineyards of Prince Edward County,
  • luxury shuttle to the starting line at Rosehall Run Winery from The Old Third Winery,
  • Terroir Run kit including a collection of awesome food/drink/run swag,
  • a limited edition, custom designed Terroir Run t-shirt,
  • seasonal snacks, refreshments at finish line at The Old Third Winery,
  • a very special local lunch featuring Chefs Albert Ponzo (Le Select Bistro, the Royal Hotel) & Karin Desveaux (Milford Bistro, Harvest Restaurant),
  • samples of County wines from participating vineyards, County ciders, local craft beer, (non-alcoholic options including Pluck Teas),

Tickets for each Terroir Run are very limited to ensure the experience all runners have is unique and personal. The run sells out quickly and although we offer a waiting list, it fills quickly and cancellations are rare. Purchase your tickets for friends, family, or co-workers to enjoy a weekend in “Canada’s Gastronomic Capital”, or have them join you in a new County tradition*.


*We encourage our runners to make the Terroir Run a part of a full Prince Edward County weekend but even though it is held at one of the best times of the year before tourism season kicks in we encourage our runner to book their accommodations immediately. Look for our 2018 hotel, motel and BnB rental recommendations, and suggestions for other events and must-visit experiences happening over the June 2nd weekend.

Terroir Run 2018: Bigger, Better, Backward?

With the holidays quickly approaching we’re getting a lot of inquiries about the 2018 run. We’ll be opening ticketing shortly to returning runners and then to the general public so everyone can secure their place or share a place as a unique gift for those lucky experience seekers in your life. Every year we ask our runners for their feedback and introduce tweaks to improve the run and 2018 will be no exception – actually we have a few big changes to share:

  • We’re moving the date ahead a little to accommodate those who run the Ottawa half-marathon, or miss the Ottawa half-marathon. The 2018 Terroir Run will be held on Saturday, June 2nd.
  • For 7 years we’ve run the bucolic backroads of Hillier wine country and arrived at Norm Hardie Winery for pizzas & pinot (and lots of other great local bites and sips) but this year we’re mixing it up, and surprising our runners with a special new County food experience. So many runners who came to 2017’s “Back To The Start” party loved eating, drinking and hanging out with Jens & Bruno so this year we’re reversing our route, and finishing at The Old Third Vineyard.
  • As a result, the start will also be new and the good folks at Rose Hall Run have offered to host our gang. Although we’ll miss Bruno’s usual bird-banger start, Dan and Lynn Sullivan promise something really fun.
  • We’re moving our start time from 9AM to 10AM. This small change will align lunch more with, well, lunch, and this year our runners will be able to enjoy the after-run experience (food, drink, social) into the afternoon.
  • To address a frustration for families, groups and interested new runners we’ll be expanding participation a little to allow for more runners to join. Expansion is something we’ve debates every year as our first objective is to deliver a truly unique experience to all our participants and companions – this will not be compromised.
  • Finally, Rebecca & I founded the Terroir Run to share the our love of fitness, food, drink, travel and discovery but many may not know that all proceeds are directed to supporting community initiatives. Over the years organizations that have received funds include Slow Food The County, The Terry Fox Foundation, Quinte Humane Society, Heart & Stroke Foundation, 99.3 County FM. This year we are simplifying the focus and launching a new Foundation to formalize giving so that our runners can better understand the good their participation does. Stay tuned for more information about our new LARJ Foundation.

These are the high points but runners will also find little changes to their run kits, the run kit pickup options, some new partnerships and the on route experience. We expect the 2018 Terroir Run will be the best ever and hope you’ll join us, or join us again.



Shirts, Runners Kits, Prizes, Food, Drink and Stuff We Actually Want

The Terroir Run was founded on the principal that a 10K run can be much more than an excellent chance for some outdoor exercise. It can have context and help us learn about a place we visit. It can connect us more sincerely with the landscape, people and products that make a region unique. It can entertain, engage and reward us on so many more levels than the typical stale bagel & banana event. To this end we put a lot of energy into designing our runners’ experience. Our shirts are designed to be beautiful, meaningful and actually worn again with pride, while adhering to responsible production practices. Our Runners Kits are thoughtful and contain information and products from our supporters and partners–snacks, samples and useful items abound. Our lunch (for all runners) is a showcase of the wineries, breweries, cideries involved and the products that come from the region, in season–all served by the real people involved in their production. Our Friday and Saturday dinners (optional, additional cost) the same with opportunity to meet and share with fellow runners new and old. Finally, although the Terroir Run is not a race we do recognize enthusiasm and creativity. Each year our excellent friends at Zest Kitchen make the time to attend, judge, and reward runners who dress up in costume with prizes including a generous gift certificate to their brilliant culinary lifestyle store in Picton. This year we also have an unusual, but fun product from the travel innovation folks at Napier Tents. Although we highly recommend each year’s runners spend the weekend and book accommodations early at County properties like our faves Angeline’s Inn and the Drake Devonshire, one lucky runner will be going home with their own solution to the question “where should I stay for the 2018 Terroir Run?”  In their car of course!