Bulli For You

I’m late to the game in posting my recap of Chef Matt Kantor’s tribute to El Bulli dinner series. Initially, I decided to hold off posting until the 3-night series was done, so as not to potentially ruin the surprise for people who were attending on the 2nd and 3rd nights. Then I got busy with other stuff, and here we are, a full week later.

The dinners took place at The Cookbook Store, with the dining table set up in the middle of the shop and Kantor and his crew cooking in the brand spanking new deluxe kitchen in the back. The space is way swank, and it required knocking out a wall at the back of the shop, but it’s quite beautiful and allows The Cookbook Shop to host many more events and demos than they have in the past.

We were greeted by Cookbook Shop owner Alison Fryer and she introduced Matt who explained a bit about the premise of the meal.

It should be noted that while the menu is considered to be 23+ “courses”, every course was actually just a taste, ranging in size from a single piece of popcorn to a sea scallop with garnish. So while we left at the end of the night sated, we were not, by any means, too full. We started with a cocktail…

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Lucky Dip – Friday, October 28th, 2011

Remember that nice lady on your street who always made the awesome candy apples every Halloween? She wouldn’t hurt you with poison or razorblades. Why trick or treating for homemade goodies isn’t all that scary. [Globe and Mail]

What the candy you give out for Halloween says about you. [My Food Looks Funny]

Tipping part 2, when to be generous. [Inside Toronto: Menumental]

Dear restaurant-goers – if you can’t afford to order a drink other than the free tap water, please stay home. [Nation’s Restaurant News]

Chef Matt Kantor did a Tribute to El Bulli dinner 3 nights this week at The Cookbook Store; Jennifer Bain recaps the 23-course meal. (I hope to have my own recap up this weekend.) [Toronto Star]

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Lucky Dip – Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Dear fellow women… don’t. Just don’t. Seriously, remember how our mothers and grandmothers fought for all that good stuff like equal rights? That included not having to drink shitty pink beer in a box designed to look like a purse because marketing people don’t think we’re bright enough to make choices beyond that which appeals to our “girly” side. Be better than pink beer ladies. Please. [Eater]

I discovered Benjamin Bridge Winery on a trip to Halifax a few years ago, and am so happy to see them getting the recognition they deserve. One of Canada’s best wines, indeed. [Globe and Mail]

Why buying fruit is a lot like gambling. [Bon Appetit]

Dear David Chang, it’s called “overexposure”, and you’re perilously close to the edge. [Grub Street New York]

Aw, nuts. There’s a big recall on walnuts. [Toronto Star]

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Lucky Dip – Monday, August 1st, 2011

If you’re one of the millions of people who tried to get a reservation at El Bulli and never could, looks like you’re outta luck. The current incarnation of Ferran Adria’s restaurant is now closed. [Toronto Star]

No dogs on chairs! Marco Pierre White has been buying up pubs across the UK with plans to turn them into authentic ale and cider houses. The locals of one such pub, in business since 1420, are unimpressed by his move to stop selling Strongbow and Foster’s. Among the other things he’s banned – swearing, tattoos and dogs on chairs, making “down pub” right boring innit? [Caterer Search]

Does your server know enough (and by that, I mean “anything”) about beer? [Toronto Sun]

More on kids being banned from certain restaurants – seems the trend is spreading. Other things I’d like to see banned from restaurants: guys who don’t remove their hats indoors; large groups of shrieking women; hipsters. [Bites]

A lot of folks are calling foul on McDonald’s addition of apple slices to all Happy Meals. But you know who thinks it’s a great move? Apple growers. [Chicago Tribune]

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From Away

You’ve gotta give Marco Pierre White credit – his whole career has been about stirring things up and being in the spotlight, even if it hasn’t been all positive. He was in town last month to promote Knorr stock cubes, a product that he’s shilled in the UK for a few years. When challenged on their use, he gets defensive, insisting that he uses the product in all of his restaurants. Okay, whatever.

The fuss this time around comes from a piece in The Atlantic that basically skewers a couple of Toronto food writers for gushing about White and his stock cubes when he was in town, making the writers (newspaper writers, mostly) out to be bumbling hicks. My opinion of newspaper food columns is not what I’m on about today, though. In defense of the individuals – it *was* Marco Pierre White. And whether you like stock cubes or not, there’s no arguing that he’s the original rock star chef. It would be like a bunch of music writers being invited to a private jam session with the Rolling Stones. Even if you hated their last album, you’re not going to pass up the experience to meet them. You might have less respect for them because of that last album, but you overlook it compared to their lifelong body of work.

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