Bistro 990 (990 Bay Street) will shut its doors on March 17th.
Vegan chef Doug McNish‘s first book Eat Raw, Eat Well will be published on March 20th. It’s available for pre-order at various online booksellers already.
Tori’s Bakeshop opens today at 2188 Queen Street East offering vegan, organic and refined sugar-free goodies like pies, cakes, cookies, donuts and more to the folks in the Beach.
You should go:
Tonight at The Depanneur (1033 College Street) the drop-in dinner is tamales by Holy Tamale. Vegan-friendly corn tamales with sweet potato, apple, onion and spices. Plus “drunken beans” and green rice – all for $10. An extra $2 will keep the carnivores happy with some chorizo.
Shoppers who bustle about the south St. Lawrence Market building seldom look up – they’re too busy. But if they did, they’d see that there is a fantastic kitchen and event space at the northwest corner that overlooks the market proper and offers a breathtaking view of the city skyline. Equipped with top of the line appliances, the space is often used to host dinners and cooking demos and this summer a handful of Toronto’s executive chefs are taking part in a dinner series where they’ll cook and interact with guests.
On May 12th, we attended the first event in this series with Chef Andrew Carter from the Queen and Beaver Public House (35 Elm Street). I’ve been a fan of Carter’s since he started at Q&B and he enthusiastically led Greg and I on a tour of his kitchen. That he’s been known to serve up dishes like fried cod cheeks, potted duck and a venison stew made with chocolate also don’t hurt.
His night at St. Lawrence Market featured traditional English fare, and was designed to tie in with the Toronto launch of the Billy Elliot musical.
Christopher Palik was born in Saskatchewan and lived there until graduating high school. He moved to Vancouver and attended the Vancouver Community College Culinary Arts Foundations program. After graduating at the top of his class, he decided he wanted to be a diesel mechanic instead, returning to Vancouver Community College for the diesel technician course. At the prospect of an apprenticeship in the Northwest Territories, he decided to return to cheffing. He discovered his passion for cooking after taking a job at the pub behind his house. He went on to work all over Vancouver, then travelled and cooked in Europe, and ended up in Toronto about 7 years ago where he worked for a variety of restaurants. He took over L EAT catering and Paese restaurants a few years ago.
What inspired you to become a chef?
I kinda always knew that I wanted to work with my hands. After failed attempts at construction and mechanics, I realized that both of those careers lacked the creativity that I was looking for. I was exposed to the business by working as a dishwasher during high school and I fed off the energy of the kitchens.
It’s been a while since we ran an On the Shelf column. I’m not sure why – it’s not like I haven’t been shopping. But in the past month I’ve come across some great finds that I just had to share.
Dark Chocolate with fragments of Rose – Chocolats Yves Thuries
Available at: Domino’s, St. Lawrence Market, $5.99
This is exactly what it appears to be, a 70% dark chocolate bar with little nibs of candied rose. I’ve not heard of this chocolatier before but this is a really nice chocolate with a bright sheen and a good snap, although the flavour, logically, takes a backseat to the rose. There’s also mint and lavender versions of this confection, and the lavendar one is very pretty, and not at all soapy or overpowering.
We didn’t take the dogs to Woofstock, Toronto’s annual dog festival, this year, which sort of defeats the point, yes, but it was way too hot. Hours of walking on hot asphalt is not so great for fluffy black and brown pooches. And in fact, we noticed a significant decrease in the number of dogs, especially larger ones, at the event. Waiting for the streetcar home we encountered a boxer that so hot he was foaming at the mouth. Not good. However, lots of effort was made by organizers and vendors to ensure there was water to be had, plus a cool down station that consisted of a fountain and a bunch of wading pools. Most everyone seemed to be having fun, despite the weather.
It’s October 24th and I ate local strawberries for breakfast this morning. This is crazy.
There are a few farmers who grow a variety of strawberry that is ever-bearing. That is, the plants produce fruit continuously from June until the first frost. Usually that first frost comes in early October, but this year, October has set record high temperatures, with days in the mid to high 20s. Thanksgiving hit 32′C, with a humidex of 40′C. This is good strawberry weather.
I happened across this box at one of the fruit vendors at St. Lawrence Market yesterday. I stopped to buy a fresh fig and ignored the berries, figuring they were from California. Then I noticed the sign that said they were Ontario strawberries, and despite my mostly frugal ways (priced at $4.99, they were considerably more than the $3 to $3.50 I had been paying at the Farmer’s Markets all summer) I figured they would be the last berries I’d get until June, so I splurged.
Usually the ever-bearing berries tend to lose their flavour by the fall. They’re still better that the hard woody imported strawberries from the supermarket, but they’re just not as sweet as the first crop of the summer. These, however, taste like June berries. The warm weather and a decent amount of rain has made them plump and gorgeous and sweet.
We ate them with a vanilla-infused rice pudding sprinkled with grated chocolate. It was the perfect way to celebrate the last strawberries of the year.
Indie Food Artisan – Arvinda’s
The number one most intimidating aspect of cooking Indian food is the spicing. Although every Indian family creates their own masalas for certain dishes, these recipes are often closely-guarded secrets, and for folks who didn’t grow up blending and grinding their family’s special recipe for curry or garam masala or chai, getting the proportions just right can be overwhelming enough to make them want to toss the whole thing and head to Gerrard Street instead.
One woman was confident enough to share her masalas with the world, however, and through her cooking school and a family-run business selling her spices, Arvinda Chauhan’s name has become synonymous with Indian food.