Chowing Down for Change


Last week I had the chance to attend a fantastic dinner event called Chefs For Change. Yes, there are a variety of these types of events taking place throughout the year, many of which are formal with a high ticket price. However, this very reasonably-priced event ($75, drinks extra) not only directed funds to a very worthy cause, it was one of those great occasions when guests got to see a gang of local chefs from different restaurants all working together. Food was mostly served family-style with all the chefs and a team of students from George Brown College creating the dishes.

This series of events (there are three more – Jan 30th, Feb 20th & Feb 27th – all sold out) all take place at Propeller Coffee, a spacious coffee roastery on Wade Avenue (Bloor/Lansdowne) that has both a huge prep area and event space.

We attended the first event last week because it had the largest number of chefs whose work we know and love, and it was great to try dishes from them that they might not serve in their own restaurants.

The vision behind the event series comes from Nick Saul of Community Food Centres Canada and Chris Brown of Citizen Catering who met when they both worked together at The Stop. Saul is continuing his mandate of ensuring that good food is accessible to everyone, and Brown managed the back of house, lining up chefs and keeping everything running smoothly.

As I mentioned, most dishes were served family style, so photos were fast and furious so everyone could dig in. Sadly, I actually missed getting a photo of my favourite dish of the night, the Can Ape (get it?) by Charlotte Langley of Groundwork Food and Scout Canning, which was cans of warm trout and mackerel. But holy crap, if you get a chance to try her stuff, don’t turn it down because it’s fantastic.

Shown above: Bun Bo La Lot – English beef in betel with noodles and herbs by Connerin Joerin, The Emerson Restaurant.

chefchange_cauliflowerRoasted Cauliflower
charred eggplant, yogurt and mint, parsley, preserved lemon and pomegranate salad.
Alexandra Feswick, The Drake Hotel

chefchange_sashimisaladHwe Dub Bap
Korean Sashimi Salad with salmon and caviar
Dustin Gallagher, 416 Snack Bar, People’s Eatery

with sweetbreads, dirty rice and trumpet mushrooms
Teddy Corrado, The Drake

chefchange_papasecaPapa Seca
Peruvian sundried potato salad, smoked maiitake mushrooms, poached duck eggs, pickled pearl onions and sherry/verjus vinegar
Jonathan Lucas, The Harbord Room

Chorizo, potato, piquillo peppers, chipotle salsa, goat cheese and scallion
Steve Gonzalez, Valdez

(not shown: 18 Hour Braised Lamb Neck with polenta, crispy lamb tongues and blood orange gremolata by Lora Kirk, Ruby Watchco – I just wasn’t fast enough with the camera.)

chefchange_beets“Feel” the “Beet”
roasted and pickled beets with horseradish cashew cream
Rod Bowers, Hey Meatball
(Rod changed this dish about 5 times between submitting the description and actually serving it, so we mostly have no idea what we ate except tasty beets.)

chefchange_roastlambWhole Roasted Lamb
Fermented wheat berries, honey mushrooms, cress and truffles (sop many truffles!!)
Chris Brown, Citizen Catering

chefchange_dessertThe Classics
Banana Cream Pie, lemon almond sponge cake, pecan candy squares, (not shown: chocolate pudding)
Steve Song, Montecito