Fundy Food Festival

by Michelle


I love when a little piece of magic falls from the sky!

Last week , I received a phone call from Marget Begner. Marget and her husband, MASTER CHEF EXTRORDINARE, Axel immigrated from Germany about 20 years ago. They bought a beautiful historic home on the west side of the city and turned it into The Dufferin Inn.

Somewhere around that time, Ralph and I were out on a Sunday afternoon driving through city neighborhoods. We love to look at the amazing turn of the century architecture. As we were driving through the West side, I saw a chalk board sitting outside the front door of what looked to be a new Bed and Breakfast. I know that chalk boards are very common place throughout the world for advertising restaurant menus; however, 20 years ago in Saint John that chalk board was very exciting to me!

I asked Ralph to stop the car so that I could go and have a look.  There were pots of flowers and herbs adorning the entrance. The front door was open.  I actually felt a little dizzy as I stood there reading the chalkboard.

Hand made spaghetti with shrimps and garlic, (the ‘s’ on shrimps convinced me something special was happening) and Striploin au Poivre

There were a number of other selections, but I remember those dishes specifically because that’s what I ordered that night! 

And so began a long and wonderful relationship. Ralph and I have celebrated almost every significant milestone in our lives, for the last 20 years at Marget and Axel’s establishment. Since that time they have moved from the West side to the City Centre, where they currently own Opera Bistro.

Axel has been a celebrity chef for the past eight years at a local fund-raising event called Fundy Food Festival .  Every year Axel’s skills have been auctioned off to the highest bidder. The prize – he prepares an incredible meal. The money raised goes to our local Boys and Girls Club. This year he invited me to join him. I am over-the-moon excited to be in the kitchen with Axel. He has left the menu to me. We will be preparing a nine course Italian dinner for 12 people.

I am working on the menu as we speak – stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!