I’m not sure how I failed to attend a dinner by the Group of 7 Chefs up until now. Timing, finances, their predilection for odd bits of the insides of animals… all may play a role. But when they announced they would be doing a fish and beer dinner, teaming up with Bellwoods Brewery and serving sustainable fish, Greg and I knew we had to go.
The Group of 7 Chefs is actually comprised of more than seven local chefs. Scott Vivian (Beast), Rob Gentile (Buca), Mark Cutrara (Cowbell), Kevin McKenna (Globe and Earth), Matty Matheson (Parts & Labour), Chris Brown (The Stop), Bertrand Alepee (The Tempered Chef), and Marc Dufour (Globe and Earth) are the main crew, but they have been joined occasionally by local chefs Nick Liu (GwaiLo), Guy Rawlings and others, depending on the specific dinner and individual availability.
The premise is that the chefs get together once a month, on a Monday, when they’re all off from their regular gigs, and work together to create a multi-course dinner. There are a few sous chefs helping out, but most of the work is done by the chefs themselves, with everyone helping to cook and plate each others’ dishes, and a grand sense of fun and camaraderie, despite the stress and hard work.
After opening Le Canard Mort (896 Queen Street East) last fall, the owners of Le Rossignol are combining the two locations to make way for Toucan Taco Bar at the old Rossignol location at 696 Queen Street East. Le Canard will have a special “Le Rossignol” menu, while I’m guessing the Toucan Taco Bar will be serving… tacos.
The Queen and Beaver (35 Elm Street) is expanding northward with a new location in Yorkville called The Oxley, set to open in mid-April.
The College Street location of Mitzi’s (890 College Street) will be serving its last brunch this weekend, shutting down after service on Sunday, February 26th. The Sorauren Avenue location as well as The Sister on Queen Street West will remain open.
Chef Tawfik Shehata announced earlier today via Twitter that he is no longer associated with The Bowery (55 Colborne Street). No word on what he’ll be doing next.
Chef Nick Liu is planning to host a pair of preview dinners for his new Asian fusion restaurant GwaiLo. Dinners will take place on March 6th and 13th, location TBA. Follow GwaiLo on Twitter to find out more details.
While I truly have no objection to street food, it’s still almost always my preference to eat while sitting down, with a knife and fork, and preferably a nice glass of beer or wine to go with it. So while I’ve avoided pretty much all of the recent street food events in Toronto because I’m annoyed by the trendiness of the whole thing, the opportunity to enjoy some traditional street food dishes, all while sitting comfortably, was not to be passed up.
Put together by Scott and Rachelle Vivian of Beast Restaurant, last night they gathered a number of chefs for a dinner in which they each created a course based on a street food dish. Yes, there were forks and knives (along with tasty wine pairings from Fielding Estate Winery), but the only china we were given was a side plate. Everything else came in the traditional wrapping/carrier, or else on paper plates, just as you would get the items from a food cart or truck.