WHAT WE’RE EXCITED ABOUT THIS MONTH
IN THE AIR ms. chatelaine A WOMAN OF STYLE AND SUBSTANCE
MAIN PHOTO HAIR & MAKEUP, JODI URICHUK FOR TRESEMME HAIR CARE/PLUTINO GROUP. OLIVE OIL & FLAMENCO DANCER PHOTOS, ISTOCKPHOTO.
he sandwich board that sits outside Toronto’s Vintage One Wines reads: “Love wine? Come in and talk about it over an espresso.” And owner and founder Alejandra de Miguel isn’t kidding. “You don’t have to be a rich, powerful man to be a part of the world of wine,” she says, gesturing with her silveradorned hands. Alejandra’s own wine education began with her parents, Alejandro and Mabel de Miguel, who met studying oenology and viticulture in Mendoza, Argentina’s famed wine-growing area. (Mabel was one of the ﬁrst women in Argentina to graduate from the program.) “My mother has always been a huge inspiration to me—especially since the ﬁeld is still dominated by men,” Alejandra says. Her parents moved to Canada in 1990 to avoid Argentina’s economic uncertainty. They established themselves quickly as respected winemakers here. But Alejandra wasn’t always keen to follow in their footsteps. Instead she pursued political science at McGill University in Montreal. It wasn’t until she worked on the harvest with her father one year that she fell in love with wine
ALEJANDRA DE MIGUEL Age: 29 Occupation: Winemaker Hometown: Toronto Birthplace: Mendoza, Argentina
Second-generation Argentine vintner Alejandra de Miguel offers city dwellers high-end bespoke winemaking by Alex Laws photography by Roberto Caruso
alejandra’s favourite things TANGO, MY DOG ”He’s a wonderful companion: He’s always there for me, he’s a great listener and he never talks back.”
DRINKING MATÉ “It is an Argentine ritual that brings people together: You share tea from a gourd with a silver straw and pass it around the circle.”
EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL “I love the way the oil coats your mouth when you eat it. And I put it on almost everything, including my skin and hair!”
FLAMENCO DANCING “I’m holding a dance for the school I go to, the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, at the winery on May 7.”
| MAY 2011
MAY 2011 could win! Upload retro photos of your 1 You mom at chatelaine.com/coolmoms before May 5.
Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s 4 The Bright Lights, Big City opens
starring hunky Chris 6 Thor, Hemsworth, hits theatres
THE DISH B.C. spot prawns in coconut masala. THE CHEF Vikram Vij, Vij’s, Vancouver. THE SECRET Cumin adds
complexity to a sour-sweet sauce for this South Indian–inspired appetizer. 1480 West 11th Ave., vijsrestaurant.ca.
NEW ON THE MENU
THE DISH B.C. spot-prawn ceviche with butternut squash and dulse. THE CHEF Andrew Winﬁeld, River Cafe, Calgary. THE SECRET Local butternut squash and crispy
fried Atlantic seaweed season the tangy prawns cooked in sunﬂower oil. 25 Prince’s Island Park, river-cafe.com.
May heralds the start of B.C. spot prawn season. Fishers like Steve Johansen from Organic Ocean Seafood move from their city docks to the bays west of Vancouver to take advantage of the catch, while green gastronomes order away, taking comfort that, unlike most of their Asian cousins, Paciﬁc spot prawns are Ocean Wise–approved, sustainable — and delicious!
THE DISH B.C. spot prawn poached in butter. THE CHEF Dan Donovan, Hooked, Toronto. THE SECRET Simplicity rules at Toronto’s ﬁrst all-sustainable seafood store. 888 Queen St. E., hookedinc.ca. Photo-booth pictures of Alejandra and her business partner, Julian.
So Alejandra opened Toronto’s ﬁrst bespoke winery—their cellar is your cellar. And it happens to have beautiful charcoal walls and crystal chandeliers and is filled with classical music and the smell of wine. Gone are the days of dodgy home brewing. This skilful vintner sells you her experience, her space and her grapes (all from $4 a bottle). Customers can choose from a menu of 20 varietals—ranging from Californian sangiovese to Ontario-grown chardonnay and sparkling Argentine malbec—hand-picked for quality and price. The catch? You have to plan ahead—it takes a minimum of four to six weeks to make a white, and six to eight to make a red. But
MAY 2011 |
THE DISH Popcorn B.C. spot prawn with jellyﬁsh kimchi, chili-popcorn emulsion and roasted-popcorn dust. THE CHEF Nick Liu, Niagara Street Cafe, Toronto. THE SECRET The buttery roasted-popcorn ﬂavour melds with crispy prawn, hot, spicy-sour kimchi and fresh coriander. 169 Niagara St., niagarastreetcafe.com. by Malcolm Jolley, founder of goodfoodrevolution.com
SEXY VEGETARIAN Who’d have thought the humble eggplant or simple green bean could be elevated to this level of food porn? Once you crack the cover of Plenty, you won’t be able to stop: It’s jam-packed with mouth-watering recipes from London, U.K.’s “haute-couture” takeout shop Ottolenghi. Mention it to locals, and they sigh and recount their favourite. Asparagus mimosa, anyone? PLENTY, BY YOTAM OTTOLENGHI, $40, INDIGO.CA.
HOT TYPE: TEXT, ANTONIA WHYATT; PHOTO, ROBERTO CARUSO. PRAWN DISHES PHOTOS, ROBERTO CARUSO. PRAWN PHOTO & BALLET SHOES PHOTO, ISTOCKPHOTO. HEMSWORTH PHOTO, CPIMAGES.
production. And she’s glad she discovered this passion on her own. “I didn’t want to get into wine just because of my dad,” she says. But Alejandra really cut her teeth in urban winemaking when she and her then-boyfriend (and current business partner) Julian Pinder bought a restaurant and installed a microwinery. In fact, that experience prompted her to start Vintage One. “I was shocked by how well our homemade wines competed with the store-bought ones we stocked. That’s when I realized there was a market there.”
MAY 2011 8 Mother’s Day
Flicks Film Festival for young ﬁlmmakers, Saskatoon
to Fight Arthritis in 24 cities 15 Walk across Canada (details on page 100)
IN THE HOT SEAT
total brainiac No coffee table is complete without this stunning new book. The candycoloured pictures look like modern art, but they’re actually images of the brain. We caught up with neurology’s newest intellectual property, 27-year-old New Yorker Carl Schoonover, when he delivered the keynote speech at a brain-health awareness event in Toronto.
alejandra’s telling DETAILS I love my job because . . . I’m at the mercy of nature. It’s very humbling. My ideal day is . . . lounging on a virgin beach under the sun with good company. I wish I were better at . . . time management, and not trying to do too much. My favourite moment of the day is . . . sunset, because it’s perfect lighting and the beginning of the night. The biggest mistake I ever made was . . . not spending more time with Tata, my grandmother, before she passed away. The glass is . . . half-full (of wine).
MAY 2011 |
WHERE DID YOU GET THE IDEA TO TURN THOSE PICTURES INTO A BOOK? I carried images of neurons in my wallet, in the window where you’d typically put photographs of your kids. I’d show them off at parties. By chance, I met the woman who became my editor. She took one look and said, “Oh, we’ve got to put these in a book.”
WHAT DREW YOU TO NEUROSCIENCE? The realization that it was a fantastic game, not just a bunch of facts. I fell in love with playing with nature to help reveal what was once hidden. There is something beautiful about that chase, and it’s very satisfying too — if you get anywhere. THE IMAGES IN YOUR BOOK ARE STRIKING. HOW ARE THEY MADE? Brainbow is an incredible technique that paints different neurons in different colours, helping make sense of an incredibly complex tangle that would otherwise look grey and amorphous under the microscope. It lets us PORTRAITS OF THE MIND, BY CARL SCHOONOVER, $42, INDIGO.CA.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE IMAGE? The ﬁrst image of chapter 2, because it encapsulates everything I love about neuroscience: the process, the careful science, the well-applied technique and the great insight based on good experiments. HAS THE BOOK CHANGED THE WAY YOU THINK? Not scientiﬁcally, but it has changed how I think about my role as a scientist and my place in the world. In the same way that looking up at the cosmos forces you to accept humility, looking at the brain makes you take a step back. WHERE DO ART AND SCIENCE MEET? It’s surprisingly easy for scientists to converse with artists — we’re both willing to give ourselves over to the pursuit of some elegance. Sometimes there’s this click — with an experiment or a work of art — and you’re invigorated, enlightened and completely charmed all at once. — Alanna Glassman
ROSE GOLD The “other” gold is making a comeback. It’s the hot metal of the moment, and with the versatility of a LBD, it looks great on every skin tone. The distinct colour has a vintage feeling, standing apart from the sea of ﬂashy-yellow and bright-white golds. Tiffany and Cartier have led the charge, and it won’t be long before we’re seeing it everywhere. LOCK PENDANT AND CHAIN, $365, TIFFANY.CA.
patience is a virtue, and in this instance one that yields 12 cases (144 bottles) of custom wine that you’ve had a hand in making. In fact, you can even design your own labels, a personal and creative flourish that’s perfect for more than just wedding tables. Alejandra’s passion for wine is now extending beyond the bottle. Starting this month, she will be hosting a web-TV show online at alejandralivingwine.com. She looks so natural when swirling a rich, juicy malbec, we’re sure just watching her will be enough to make you reach for the corkscrew.
TREND SPOTTING: TEXT, TYLER FRANCH. SCHOONOVER PHOTO, ELAINE ZHANG. BOOK PHOTO, ROBERTO CARUSO. BLAKE LIVELY PHOTO, GETTY IMAGES. GIFT PHOTO, DIRECTOR’S CHAIR PHOTO & SHOES PHOTO, ISTOCKPHOTO
differentiate between neighbouring neurons so we can understand how they’re connected.
Alejandra’s plant-ﬁlled home.