The Grove (1214 Dundas Street West) is now open. Chef Ben Heaton is offering a menu of contemporary (and very pretty) English cuisine.
BBQ joint Stack will open on March 27th at 3265 Yonge Street.
Did anyone actually think that The Saint (227 Ossington Avenue) would ever really open? Three years after local magazines and websites were writing previews about the decor and the menu (jumped the gun a little there, huh, folks?) it appears that the place will indeed open on April 9th.
Church Street icon Reither’s Fine Food International (530 Church Street) has closed its doors – owner Peter Reither has retired.
The big food news this past weekend was that chefs Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth will be taking over the Niagara Street Cafe(169 Niagara Street) as of April 1st, renaming it Edulis. Caballo was the chef at Niagara Street until a few years ago when he and partner Nemeth (she was the chef de cuisine at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar) left Toronto to travel. After working at restaurants around the world, including in Tuscany and California, they’re returning to the city to run their own place.
Ici Bistro (538 Manning Avenue) is closed until March 21st for staff vacations.
Greg Clow got the scoop about Mill Street Brewpub opening a location in Pearson Airport. Basically, there will be no beer brewed onsite, but there will be a 130-seat pub with 10 Mill Street brands on tap. Get the full story at Canadian Beer News.
I am spending this week watching holiday specials. Not the cartoons and tired old movies of yore (Come on admit it, It’s a Wonderful Life is three hours of tedious, sentimental schlock.), but holiday food and cooking shows, specifically of the UK variety.
As it turns out, holiday cooking shows are the big thing for UK chefs, and anyone with an existing series, or a cookbook, or a well-known restaurant, is there on the screen, setting fire to booze-soaked puds and making the holiday hassle look easy. But because there are so many shows, so many chefs competing for viewers’ attention, they’ve all got to do something different, to jazz up the traditional Christmas dinner in some way to make it unique.
Stuart Heritage of the Guardiansees the mass of holiday cooking shows as a as testament to gluttony in the “so… much… foooooood” vein. Because, he claims, it’s all about the watching and not about the cooking. But isn’t that really the saddest part? By which I mean, I bet that your Christmas dinner this year will be exactly like the Christmas dinner you had last year, and the year before that, and the year before that… there will be no trying of new dishes from Jamie or Nigella or Gordon. It’s fun to watch, sure, but hey, don’t fuck with Christmas dinner.
Let’s hope they love Ramsay more in Montreal where he’s taken over the old Laurier BBQ. He’s going to have to fight off all the folks with nostalgia and convince them that the place still has life, even without Trudeau and coconut cream pie. [National Post: The Appetizer]
Okay, let’s see how long it takes Toronto to jump onto the trend of teeny tiny restaurants. They’re doing it in NYC, we’d better do it too! [Wall Street Journal]
Dear restaurants, please don’t go thinking that hundreds of posts about your restaurant in the matter of a few hours, all using the same hashtag and (if you retweet every single tweet) flooding the twitter feed of everyone who follows you, is necessarily a selling point to make your place seem hot and vibrant and trendy. In fact, it’s annoying as hell and a real turn-off. Although that hashtag does make it easy for the rest of us to mute all the tweets and never have to see anything about your tweet-up (and possibly your restaurant) ever again. Social media can be a fabulous tool, but only if you use it judiciously. [The Grid]
It’s almost CNE time. You can tell because the ubiquitous (and horrifying) food-on-a-stick articles have started. Seriously, fudge? Why do you need a stick for fudge?? [National Post: Posted Toronto]
Fish-eaters – you know that all of these great promotions to get us to eat more sustainable species of fish really only work if you switch from the typical cod, salmon, tuna, right? Eating more fish overall, because you’re still eating just as much cod, but now are also eating mackerel, really defeats the purpose, yes? [The Guardian]
Okay, seriously, what restaurant manager doesn’t know that they have to allow service dogs? That’s always the excuse trotted out in situations of discrimination – and, no, you can’t know the law and then discriminate because there are too many dogs, either. [The Consumerist]
The food scene in Toronto is abuzz this week with distress over UK chef Marco Pierre White’s decision to become the face of Knorr bouillon cubes. Disregarding the fact that White has been the face of Knorr in the UK for a few years, food writers and chefs seem genuinely distressed that White has “sold out” for the corporate big bucks.
Known as one of the best chefs in the world, White’s decision to become the face of Knorr (and his insistence that all of his restaurants use the product in place of real stock) is confusing, amusing, and to his fans, especially other chefs, understandably upsetting.
The world may never know White’s real reasons for taking the endorsement, but in an era when even successful chefs don’t make a lot of money from cooking, branding yourself has taken on a much greater importance, especially for chefs coming to a point in their careers when it’s no longer enjoyable to work the line every night.
Chefs everywhere are in big demand – for cookbooks, personal appearances, television shows, and yes, endorsement deals. But it’s not as easy as one might think to hook up with the big players, and it’s not always a good idea for chefs to try and broker deals on their own.