In Toronto:

The Cheese Boutique has announced the line-up for their annual Festival of Chefs, which takes place each weekend in May. The event features local chefs including Rocco Agostino (Enoteca Sociale, Pizzeria Libretto), Victor Barry (Splendido) and Rob Gentile (Buca) doing in-store demos and samplings. Check the website for the full schedule.

Just opened – Bazaar Global Food (692 Mount Pleasant Road), where Amaya‘s Hermant Bhagwani has transformed the old Lai Toh Heen location into a family-friendly restaurant with a globally-sourced menu. [Full coverage at The Grid.]

Woodlot (293 Palmerston Avenue) has been given the go-ahead to proceed with its tiny 5-person patio, but other restaurants adjacent to residential areas and seeking patio permission will have to wait. Campagnolo, Dark Horse (Queen West) and Cafe Stella‘s applications have all been deferred to March or April.

Vegetarian restaurant Buddha’s Vegetarian Foods (666 Dundas Street West) will be closed from February 23rd – March 7th for renovations.

You should go:

It’s Mardi Gras, and tonight at The Depanneur (1033a College Street), owner Len Senater is cooking up a big pot of jambalaya for the drop-in dinner from 6 – 8pm. The price is $9 (includes seconds if you want ‘em) and a side salad will run you $3. Check The Depanneur’s twitter feed for updates.

Friday, February 24th is Surprise Party night at Cardinal Rule (5 Roncesvalles Avenue). Go, have dinner, enter your name in the draw and if they pick your name at midnight the whole party is for you – cake, presents, free drinks, the whole shebang.

Tickets are now on sale for Brewer’s Plate, the annual event that pairs local food with local craft beer, to be held at Roy Thompson Hall on April 18th. This year’s chefs include Brad Long, Mark Cutrara, Lora Kirk, Michael Steh and more. Tickets are $125 per person with proceeds going to Green Thumbs, Growing Kids.

Today’s food news:

Eat some nuts! Turns out that most of us aren’t getting enough magnesium and the best way to do so is with a simple handful of nuts. [National Post]

Don’t be scared, the sommelier is your friend. [Serious Eats]

Used to be, dessert was what you got for eating all of your vegetables. Now the darn things are hidden in there with the chocolate and the sugar. [Wall Street Journal]

The 10% – vegans, vegetarians and lacto-ovo vegetarians make up somewhere around 10% of the population. [Grist]

Banning foods like foie gras doesn’t stop them from being produced or sold. They just go under the counter and require a secret password to be purchased. [Daily Mail]

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