Lucky Dip – Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

If chefs are the new rockstars, does that mean they get to have egos the size of Bono’s? Apparently it means that they think they’re going to change (feed) the world by serving up self-congratulatory elitist dishes that the starving masses could never afford. Remember folks, when it comes down to it, it’s all just cooking. [The Guardian: Word of Mouth Blog]

Pass the Dutchie, and I don’t mean the donut. It seems that pot smokers, despite regularly getting the munchies, are less likely to be obese than non-smokers. [National Post]

Okay, don’t call it “Black Label” because that’s a beer, but Loblaw’s new high-end gourmet food line has labels that are… uh… black.  Also, only PR companies use the term “influencer” with any seriousness. The rest of us use it as a way to make fun of PR companies who think they’re getting away with manipulating bloggers. [Toronto Star]

Think working the floor of a restaurant is easy? Many chefs do, compared to standing over a hot stove for hours. But being a server takes a certain kind of personality. [National Post: The Appetizer]

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Lucky Dip – Monday, June 13th, 2011

If nothing else, the policing of children’s weight and eating habits in schools will at least create plenty of jobs for therapists and psychiatrists as these children become adults and come to terms with how messed up they are because their teachers kept track of their body mass index. This one wins a big “what the fuck”. [National Post]

Chocolate milk is just soda in drag. Stop giving it to your kids. [Civil Eats]

Quebec or Ontario – who makes the better beer? You’d be surprised. [Toronto Star]

The old KISS adage (keep it simple, stupid) seems to have bypassed a lot of chefs lately. Or at least the ones who write dinner menus that read like Anne Rice novels. [Daily Mail]

They may be the cockroaches of the sea, but lobsters sure are tasty. [Toronto Sun]

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SalivAte – June 2010

People always assume because we write about food that we’ve been to every restaurant in the city (all 5000 or so of them), and they’re always disappointed that we haven’t been. Meanwhile, readers tell us that they’d like more photo-essays.

So to satisfy your food porn cravings and what might be an inappropriate desire to live vicariously through us, we’ve started eating out more just for the sake of eating out; to expand our palates, to learn more about our city’s great restaurants, and to give you all something to drool over. Note that these are not reviews – just photos of pretty and tasty food, and that while all the restaurants and chefs knew who we were, all have been paid for out of our own pockets.

Above, from L.A.B. (651 College Street), are chicken pogos; breaded chicken legs that have been Frenched to reveal the bone which doubles as the stick. The creamy puddles are the blue cheese dressing and the red discs are a jelled hot sauce. A shredded celery salad takes the place of the traditional celery sticks that accompany chicken wings.

We visited LAB with a vegetarian friend who was quite delighted to have another slightly upscale place to go for dinner. We tried a number of things on the menu which is about 50/50 vegetarian to carnivore. We all dug the fun tongue-in-cheek sense of humour that chefs Dubrovsky and Scott demonstrate in their menu.

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Market Mondays – Asparagus

It’s one of the temptations of winter. Bunches of asparagus from Peru, tidily displayed in the supermarket aisle. They’re never as tasty as local, but when you’re desperate for a bit of something spring-like, they certainly seem to fit the bill. But now that Ontario asparagus is everywhere, it only seems right to make it a star on our tables.

Related to the lily, asparagus is a flowering spring vegetable that is native to Europe, northern Africa and eastern Asia. Growing from a crown planted in sandy soil, asparagus spears can grow 10 inches in a 24-hour period under ideal conditions. The spears will grow for 6 to 7 weeks with pickings about every 4 to 5 days, until the spears are finally left to grown into a fluffy fern with red berries.

When purchasing asparagus, look for firm, fresh tips. Thin spears are not necessarily better tasting than thick ones. Remove the woody ends by grasping the asparagus at the very end and the very tip and bending it – it will snap off where the woodiness begins. Keep asparagus clean, cold and covered when storing. Asparagus is normally served as a side dish and can easily be frozen on canned. A traditional serving method is on toast, either creamed or cooked and doused in butter. Asparagus is one of the few food  items that etiquette books permit to be eaten with the fingers.

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