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.
Dark Horse Espresso Bar has taken over the old Smokeless Joe’s location at 125 John Street and opens today.
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 Guardian sees 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.
The more warts, the better the flavour. Why you should be considering funky-looking heirloom pumpkins for your Thanksgiving cooking. [Toronto Star]
The two flavours of hogtown – might meaty and virtuously vegan. [NOW]
Could you eat for just $30 a week? That’s the equivalent that an American on food stamps is working with. [KETV Omaha]
How sweet it is. Mostly from amounts hidden in processed foods, Canadians consume 26 teaspoons of sugar every day. [Globe & Mail]
Foods that should be aphrodisiacs, but aren’t. [Funny or Die]
When you hear about the CNE’s “30 food on a stick”, you never really consider eating all of them. Or do you? My hero Jennifer Bain and the lengths she’ll go to for a story. [Toronto Star]
Did you know that Alex James of rock band Blur owns a farm and makes cheese? It’s so popular, he’s signed a deal to sell it in UK supermarket ASDA. [Orange News]
Crinkly bag = crunchy potato chips. Not that simple? It could be to our brains. [Good]
Biscuits, waffles, pickles and red velvet cake batter. The sometimes wacky things served with and done to fried chicken. [Eatocracy]
Food that fight fatigue. For when the 3pm coffee and donut and the 4pm crash and burn just aren’t on the schedule. [Toronto Star: Health Zone]
Good things grow in Ontario, and now the Provincial government is giving local growers and distributors a boost. [Globe and Mail]
Dear vodka companies… no, just no. Nobody needs “wedding cake” flavoured vodka. If they tell you they do, they’re lying with the intention of making you look foolish. [Village Voice: Fork in the Road]
Sorry Gordo, if it comes down to a choice as to who can be the face of anything, especially gin, my boyfriend Phillip Glenister wins every time. [Daily Mail]
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]
This will get your goat – Ontario’s goat industry (milk, cheese, tasty curry) is booming. [Toronto Star]
Some Toronto bars have taken up brewing their own beer - with great results. [Open File]
I gripe sometimes about living in a building where I have no yard and no balcony. But then I read pieces like this and remember just how gross it was to live in a house and have to smell someone else’s BBQ stink wafting over the fence. [CNN Eatocracy]
Looking to lose weight – avoid the diet soda. [Toronto Star]
And this is what happens when you sign a contract with a discount coupon company and then ignore all the clauses – like the one that says to not do the same deal with another company for 90 days. I don’t think anybody has any sympathy for The Butchers and the coupon mess they got themselves into. [Toronto Star]
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]
But, everybody’s doing it! Supermarket listing fees and why that competitive nature means hard times for small independent food manufacturers who can’t afford to pay them. [Toronto Star]
Allergies, special diets, concerns about sustainability… have we all become impossible to please when eating out? [Boston.com]
The best eats of the coming summer, from burgers, BBQ and brunch to Thunderin’ Thelma. Use it as a to-do list and hit them all. [NOW]
10 restaurant trends that are dead in NYC. Which means Toronto can still beat some life out of them for another couple of years. [Eater]
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.
That’s where Carmen Correia and Chef Network Inc. (CNI) come into play.