Lucky Dip – Monday, February 20th, 2012

Welcome to the revamped Lucky Dip column in which I will be bringing you a daily selection (Monday to Friday) of local food news, upcoming events and links to local and international food news stories. Quantity of content will vary by day (thus the “Lucky Dip” name – you get what I scoop up), but I’ll try to ensure a little bit of everything.

If you enjoy the Lucky Dip posts, please help spread the word by sharing the link via Facebook, Twitter, etc. And if you have info on local restaurant news or events, I’d be very appreciative if you’d send it my way by visiting my Contact Page. Cheers!

In Toronto:

Caplansky’s Delicatessen (356 College Street) is closed this week from February 20th – 24th for renovations.

The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West) has hired Chef Michael Smith (no, not that Michael Smith) as their new Executive Chef. Smith has previously worked at C5, and is in the process of revamping the various menus at the hotel.

Coming soon – This End Up, a new restaurant at 1454 Dundas Street West that will be serving sandwiches and cocktails. What? You need more than that?? Watch for their opening in March.

Both chef Carl Heinrich and butcher Ryan Donovan have announced they’ll be leaving Marben (488 Wellington Street West) (wait, who’s left to run the place?) to open their own restaurant somewhere in the west end. Heinrich is set to take part in the upcoming season of Top Chef Canada.

The Construction Site has opened a second location in Sherway Gardens where they’re spreading the grilled cheese love.

You should go:

Seeds, a play about farmer Percy Schmeiser’s battle with agri-giant Monsanto runs until March 10th at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery District. Tickets are $10 – $25.

This month’s Epicure’s Revue screening at The Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles Avenue) is Casablanca on Thursday, February 23rd at 6:30pm, with a theme of “What would Rick have served?” Host Olga Truchan will share her thoughts on North African cuisine of the era, and there will be samples from local restaurants including Blue Plate, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Lardon and more (check the info for a full list of participants and their menu). Tickets are $10 for members and seniors; $12 for non-members. Alcoholic beverages will be extra, but the food samples are included in your ticket price.

Quince Bistro (2110 Yonge Street) has announced the date for their next Indonesian Rijsttafel dinner – Wednesday, April 4th. This dinner that includes around 20 Indonesian dishes typically sells out fast, so if you want to try it, call Quince ASAP. Cost is $55 per person (does not include tax, tip or beverages) and having been twice, I can guarantee that you will have to roll yourself out of the place when you’re done.

And don’t forget that next Thursday, March 1st, is FoodShare‘s Recipe for Change Event at St. Lawrence Market. There is an outstanding selection of local chefs, restaurants, wineries and breweries serving up gorgeous samples, and the $125 ticket price goes to help fund FoodShare’s work with local schools. (Check out a recap of last year’s event.)

Today’s food news:

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras – check out this great primer with lots of stuff to read about New Orleans’ most-loved festival and the food that goes with it. [Eatocracy]

Here’s juice in yer eye – the annual Battle of the Oranges in Italy. Those things have gotta hurt. [The Guardian]

Hey chcocolate snobs – how do you feel about Nestlé, maker of the KitKat, getting into the bespoke chocolate game? Are you willing to pay $100/pound for their products? [Business Week]

In the US, it’s not only President’s Day/George Washington’s birthday, it’s also National Cherry Pie Day. Of course, cherries are totally out of season right now, so it looks like the folks who make the canned stuff have hit the jackpot. [Eatocracy]

Six years after I first started reading/writing about lab-grown meat, we’re almost at the point where it’s ready for a tasting. The creator is hoping Heston Blumenthal will do the cooking honours when the product is ready in October. Would you eat meat grown in a lab? [The Guardian]