New Island partnership landed catering gig on DADA movie set during recent filming

Christine McNaughton, left, and Erin Dean.

PROVIDENCE BAY—If there is one thing that Evansville’s Erin Dean and Tehkummah’s Christine McNaughton love it is cooking up a storm in the kitchen. That passion led the duo to strike up a partnership after a serendipitous meeting before a bridal shower, although they are both from Ontario, the pair initially met in Montreal several years ago before both winding up on the Island.

“I knew Christine had a flair for presentation,” said Ms. Dean, who had started the company that was to become Island Freezer Foods and Catering after assisting an Island family who had lost a member and finding an increasing number of people reaching out to her to cook for people in need of assistance. When the bridal shower were looking for spring rolls as part of the menu, Ms. Dean recalled the beautiful work of Ms. McNaughton and her colourful Filipino spring rolls.

“I was attending the shower as a guest,” said Ms. McNaughton, “but I was happy to help.”

“We both love feeding people,” said Ms. Dean, “so what can be better than doing what you love?”

Both women have had many years of experience as food bloggers on the internet, with a many-faceted convergence of interests that it would be no surprise that the pair had such a good time working together that they decided to pool their talents and Ms. McNaughton came on board as a partner in the business.

Independent film producer Aaron Poole, whose feature film DADA is being filmed in Providence Bay reached out to their company to provide catering services to his film crew. “We got the phone call and sent him sample menus,” recalled Ms. Dean.

Apparently, the producer was planning to engage a number of local catering outfits to supply services, but once he saw the menus it was a lock. “We wound up being booked for the whole deal,” said Ms. McNaughton.

The duo plan to grow with managed growth and suggested a cap of 50 to 60 patrons as an ideal number. “But we have done 70 and we are able to go up to 100,” said Ms. Dean. Both she and Ms. McNaughton have their food safety certifications and note that they have a diverse and eclectic menu on offer.

“There’s lots of room on Manitoulin,” said Ms. Dean. “There is enough business on Manitoulin Island for everyone,” agreed Ms. McNaughton.
With the Christmas season fast approaching, the duo have published a potential dinner menu perfect for the family gathering. Island Freezer Foods and Catering are ready for the colder weather with mouth-watering options such as chicken pot pie soup and beef barley soup. “We change up our menu offerings regularly,” said Ms. Dean. “We know that people don’t want to be eating the same thing all the time.”
Each month the company prepares a special frozen meal option as a fundraiser for Manitoulin Pet Rescue with funds going toward helping wayward pets find new homes.

Full disclosure, The Expositor was bribed to attend the interview in Providence Bay with the offer of potato soup topped with a mini cheesecake for dessert. Our verdict? Delicious!

Island Freezer Foods and Catering can be reached at 705-282-0441 or through their Facebook page online.