Lucky Dip – Monday, November 28th, 2011

Oh, hippies… Occupy Toronto protesters have taken over the basement of St. Patrick’s Market, a building owned by the city but leased out to various food shops, and the soon-to-be home of The Grove food emporium. The hippies occupiers swear to run a food strike and then a hunger strike unless they can become legitimate tenants of the space. [Toronto Star] [Globe and Mail]

Let it be noted that we are the architects of our own demise. Canada and Mexico are arguing that the US’s super-awesome Country of Origin Labelling laws violate the free trade agreement our countries have all been roped into. Which means that, besides forcing the US to stop labelling the food it sells so that consumers can know where it comes from, the chance of getting similar laws here in Canada (which local food advocates have requesting for years) is pretty much screwed. [Food Safety News]

Poor weather in the US south means that peanut butter is now too expensive to stock at food banks. [Village Voice: Fork in the Road]

You know how it just takes some people a while to figure out where they’re supposed to be and what they’re supposed to be doing? Writer Sarah B. Hood finally found her “thing”, cooking in the historic kitchen at Fort York. [Toronto Tasting Notes]

Yet again, this holiday season, Brits are in the aisles of Waitrose fighting over the last Heston Blumenthal Christmas pudding. [Independent]

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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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Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Taster Too?

As the food charity season winds down, we finish off with the biggest of the lot. Last night, Second Harvest’s Toronto Taste took over the lobby of the Royal Ontario Museum, as well as much of the street along Queen’s Park as 2000 guests descended upon 60 chefs and restaurants, and over 30 beverage purveyors for a night of eating in support of one of Toronto’s most beloved food charities.

There is no possible way the average person can sample every item, and even though Greg and I tried to share things, we still couldn’t get to even half of the things on offer. But here’s an idea of what we came across.

Above: steamed pork buns from All The Best Fine Foods and 100km Foods

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SalivAte – September 2010

 

Oh we ate some tasty things this month, my friends. Despite being sick for the past month, I’ve managed to drag myself out to a few places for a bite to eat (I know, the sacrifices I go to for this website), and have documented them all for you lovers of the food porn.

The above dish is not a pizza, or a tart. Rather it’s the very intriguing presentation of the duck and foie gras ravioli at Scarpetta (550 Wellington Street West). Drizzled with a marsala reduction, it was earthy, homey and sweet all at the same time. Possibly my new most favouritest thing.

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Stirring the Pot with Chef Jesse Vallins

Jesse Vallins is a native of Toronto and has spent the last 12 years working in some of the city’s best restaurants. He has spent the last four years as the chef at Trevor Kitchen and Bar (38 Wellington Street East).

What inspired you to become a chef?

For as long as I can remember I’ve fallen asleep and woken up thinking about food. I love eating and sharing food with people and the experience of restaurants. I don’t care if it’s Canoe (66 Wellington Street West) or a dive in Chinatown, all restaurants are as much about experience as eating. I’ve always loved that and wanted to be a part of it.

What is your favourite dish at the restaurant where you cook and why?

The bacon and tomato salad with avocado ranch and crispy shallots. I love it because it’s got a great mix of different flavours and textures that really work together…and it’s absolutely lousy with bacon.

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