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LIDAY IS S U E

T.G. Haile’s

Authentic Ethiopian at T.G.’s Addis

Ababa Restaurant and Featuring

The Raja

Fine Indian Cuisine, in London

Limbo Lounge & Sideways Classic Grill PLUS

Our Annual

Epicurean

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Sarnia Siblings Unique Innovations in Baking:

• Downie Street Bake House • Lindsay’s Bakery • Organic Works

ALSO: Holiday Wines | The Flavour Principle by Lucy Waverman & Beppi Crosariol


Savouring the magic of STRATFORD Come enjoy Stratford’s heritage district wrapped in fresh cedar boughs and sparking lights as you wander the Victorian Christmas Trail collecting stocking stuffers along the way.

Take an international gastronomic journey at dinner with the Stratford Chefs School students. Celebrate the upcoming season with gourmet ideas for the holidays and special tastings from our popular Scotch and Chocolate to Blue Cheese and Port or Tea and Chocolate. And lots of Christmas family cheer - from the musical pageantry of Starbright, a Christmas family tradition, to a fresh adaptation of the holiday classic, A Wind in the Willows Christmas. Renew your holiday spirit on horse-drawn carriage rides and strolling the Chocolate Trail.

NOVEMBER

Tue-Sat Stratford Chefs School dinners at The Prune 16

23-24 23-24

Savour Stratford Tutored Tasting – The Milky Whey Fine Cheese Shop

Heritage Downtown Christmas Open House

Yuletide Tour of Homes, Festival Jubilee Chapter IODE

DECEMBER

Tue-Sat Stratford Chefs School dinners at The Prune 8

Starbright, Festival Theatre

15

A Christmas Carol, St. James Church

14-29

A Wind in the Willows Christmas, Factory163

For all our holiday events visitstratford.ca/christmas


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OUR COVER: Chef/Restaurateur T.G. Haile and a traditional injera platter in her T.G.’s Addis Ababa Restaurant. Photo by Steve Grimes.

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contents

ISSUE № 44

november/december 2013

f o o d w r i t er at l a r g e 8

12 16 20

R E S TAU R A N T S

12

Eating Ethiopian at T.G.’s Addis Ababa Restaurant

16

Sarnia Siblings: Limbo Lounge and Sideways Classic Grill

By TANYA CHOPP

By SUE SUTHERLAND WOOD

C U LI N A RY R E TAIL

24

The

eatdrink Epicurean Gift Guide

By LORI MADDIGAN

K i t c h en Des i g n

28

Lighten Up!

24

By NATALIE NOVAK

Fa r m ers & Ar t i s a ns

36

Unique Innovations in Baking: Downie Street Bake House, Lindsay’s Bakery and Organic Works By BRYAN LAVERY

N E W & N OTA B L E

42

The BUZZ

WI N E

THE BUZZ

48

Wines for the Holidays

B eer m at t ers

50

By JANE ANTONIAK

Harvest Ales and Late Season Brews By THE MALT MONK

t h e at re 53

Donald DISHES on Local Theatre By DONALD D’HAENE

53

B OO K S

56

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson

56

By BRYAN LAVERY

20 Some Like it Hot ... The Raja Fine Indian Cuisine

48

By BRYAN LAVERY

28 36

A Reminiscence of My Culinary Life ...

Review by DARIN COOK

C OO K B OO K S 58

The Flavour Principle by Lucy Waverman & Beppi Crosariol Review and Recipe Selections by Jenna Gagel

TH E LIGHT E R S ID E 62 Christmas Mousetrap By Sue Sutherland Wood

58


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№ 44 | November/December 2013

food writer at large

A Reminiscence of My Culinary Life in 1,200 Words or Less By Bryan Lavery

W

hen I was a young teenager, our friends and relatives reacted like we were moving to Mars when we left Toronto to move to our cottage on Rice Lake. Our parents fulfilled a long-held dream when they purchased the hilltop cottage with an acre of cedar forest backing on to the Ouse River. The site had pre­ viously been part of much larger farm acreage. The cottage was a prefabricated shell with no amenities, in my unformed mind a zeitgeist in the back-tothe-earth spirit of the times, a handyman’s special that we idealized and that had the potential to be transformed into our dream home. At first, I thought we had landed in paradise, taking a cue from my parents who behaved like we had inherited heaven on earth. It was a convincing gambit that betrayed no hint of the hardships and sacrifices ahead. We briefly emulated the type of television family that enjoyed the solidarity of breaking bread together and took deep satisfaction from cooking meals over an open-fire in the moonlight. Our parents purchased an old cast iron, wood-burning stove at a farm sale auction that had to be moved on a flatbed pulled by a trac­ tor. The stove was connected by a stove pipe to a temperamental flue that vented the smoke outside. The stove was both a heat source and cooker and would rarely burn unattended for more than a couple of hours. Gathering and chopping wood became a necessity that seemed to dominate our lives. If the embers were allowed to extinguish no amount of stoking, bellows work or fanning with a news­ paper would resuscitate the fire. It was on this volatile stove that I became a fledgling cook. I was most in my element in the kitchen, or hunting and pecking on an ancient typewriter in my bedroom with a thesaurus by my side.

The experience of moving to our cottage was like going camping for an extended period of time. Like any make-believe, reality often crushes expectations. When the honeymoon ended, practicality took over, and after several months our pioneering spirit was replaced by the “everything is awful” phase. For a teenager accustomed to the independence of urban life and navigating a large city on transit, the realization that we were isolated came as a culture shock, the effects delayed but inevitable. At fourteen, I proved myself equal to stand a full day’s work. My first job was pumping gas and clerking at Heffernan’s, which was the only general store and one of few gas stations along a stretch of Highway 7 between Peterborough and the village of Norwood. Heffernan’s served a captive audience of hardworking farmers who purchased their weekly foodstuffs and farming supplies as well as other passersby en route to small towns or the near north. It was as a sidekick in the kitchen at the back of the store that I was indoctrinated into the art and science of baking and those experiences contributed to my life-long interest in cooking. My formative years were spent managing the kitchens of the Keg and the Corkscrew chains, learning the business side of the indus­ try when salad bars and steak and lobster were the very definition of middlebrow cuisine. Despite the lack of innovation in these kitchens I became an avid reader of cookbooks; the recipes were precise and I attempted to follow them to the letter. In my early twenties I was fortunate to have several mentors with a dedicated interest in gastronomy and was given the opportunity to work with talented chefs and restaurateurs, all with difficult temperaments and strong skill sets that helped me develop a culinary backbone. My real education and


№ 44 | November/December 2013

passion for the culinary arts began while working at a series of French restaurants in Toronto that were bastions of haute cuisine. The way I saw it, French seemed to be the only serious way to dine. Initially, I was an ardent student of regional French cuisine but after trips to Italy, I had to acknowledge that I was more inspired by regional Italian cooking and eventually I moved beyond France as my primary focus of interest. As far as I can remember, travels in Europe and my introduction to food writers MFK Fisher and Elizabeth David were how my pas­ sion for food writing was incubated. In any case, it was Italy where I first encountered giant turtles fated for soup pots, wild game, a variety of unusual feathered birds and truffle hunting dogs. I enjoyed scouting the open-air food mar­ kets in Pisa and Florence and the Rialto market on Venice’s Canal Grande. The Italian market was my nirvana, with its abundant varieties of fresh and saltwater fish and shellfish, and the night markets piled high with seasonal pro­ duce, fresh fungi and local cheeses. I was cooking at a dinner club in Chandler’s Ford in Hampshire, England, just as mad cow disease was evolving from a cryptic veterinary

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conundrum into an epidemic affecting 120,000 cattle. Speculation about mad cow’s relationship to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans had created a state of panic. I realized that I had been naive to put my confidence in the perceived safety of our food chain. It was about this time that I became politicized about food security and began questioning our food and farming policies. A decade later I was chosen as part of a contingent to partake in a culinary journey with seven Canadian chefs to the region of Emilia-Romagna. This was my first introduction to “slow food” and the movement to safeguard traditional regional specialties, time-honoured techniques and farm-to-table cuisine. It was on this trip that I had an epiphany about food that boasted of its regional authenticity, and became a dedicated proponent of culinary tourism and our own homegrown terroir. I have had a rewarding career in the culinary arts and am grateful to be have established, owned and been in partnership in many great restaurants that became a way of life and, more importantly, an ideol­ ogy. More recently my involvement with the

№ 44 | November/December 2013

Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Mar­ ket gave me a platform to lead and support innovative initiatives in the community dur­ ing a transformational time. It was not that long ago that we lacked dedicated local food media to report on our culinary community. The food media, including eatdrink, have an important role in sustaining, mentoring and promoting a healthy culinary community. I have learned a couple of things over the years. The first is that if you are patient and dedicated enough a transformational ecosystem of innovation will emerge organically over time. This has happened in the London, Stratford and surrounding agricultural and culinary communities. The other is that a sustainable vision more articulate than any blueprint you can draw, or business plan you can write, will occur naturally if you are collaborative and surround yourself with dedicated innovators with lots of knowledge based capital. BRYAN LAVERY is eatdrink’s Food Writer at Large and Contributing Editor.

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restaurants

An Authentic Taste of Ethiopia at T.G.’s Addis Ababa Restaurant, in London By bryan lavery

|

Photography by Steve Grimes

D

ining at T.G.’s Addis Ababa is characterized by the ritual of breaking injera (the traditional yeast-risen flatbread which is spongy in texture, crêpe-like in appearance and has a sourdough tanginess) and sharing food from a communal platter, signifying the bonds of loyalty and friendship. For more than a decade, T.G.’s Addis Ababa Restaurant has offered a tour de force from the Ethiopian culinary repertoire. The modest restaurant is tucked away off the beaten track, in an unassuming brick building on the south side of Dundas Street, near the corner of Burwell and Maitland.

T.G. Haile Chef/restaurateur T.G. Haile is dedicated to supporting important cultural and charitable initiatives and events, despite the fact that she is a hands-on owner who does all of the cooking at the restaurant. T.G.’s Addis Ababa has been a stalwart participant in the Taste for Life campaign to support the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection. T.G. supports the efforts of local student organizers at Brescia University during their annual Multicultural Show, as well as the London Black History Coordinating Committee. Recently, T.G. was selected as An unassuming building facade disguises a uniquely original interior


Gather around and sip a taste of Africa with an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony one of “I am London’s” successfully settled immigrants from various countries that have chosen London as their home. Having avoided the Eritrean-Ethiopian conflict in 1998, with little more than determination and a leap of faith, T.G. was eager to resettle her life in London. It was a tough route that included being detained in the United States for five months before she received refugee status in Canada. Initially, T.G. was employed at a variety of jobs, attending classes to expand her English at G.A. Wheable Centre for Adult Education and training to become a hair stylist. She dreamt of opening a restaurant. Her passion for cooking was ignited as a child; both her mother and grandmother were restaurateurs. T.G. is pleased to make her home in London. “I chose to start my business in London, but more importantly, I chose to start my family here. It is a safe and welcoming community, and there is nowhere else I would rather build a future.” Ethiopian cuisine has emerged as a significant international cuisine in recent times due to scholarly interest and the re-interpretation of complex regional culinary traditions to create and popularize an Ethiopian national cuisine by middle class Ethiopians in places of emigration and diaspora. The cuisine has garnered repute for being blistering-hot, but truly authentic

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A medley of dishes arranged on the traditional injera (left) offers an enjoyable communal introduction to Ethiopian cuisine, but a wide variety of other dishes are available.

Ethiopian cuisine is characterized by a blending of flavours in order to produce a harmony of ingredients. T.G. is a skillful chef and her signature dishes from the repertoire of Ethiopian cookery comprise permutations of sweet, bitter, sour, salty, hot and fragrant. These flavour contrasts are the hallmark of T.G.’s cooking. In recent times, T.G. had hoped to bring her youngest sister to Canada to help her with the demands and challenges of cooking a labour-intensive ethnic cuisine that requires specialized training. Initial approval was given to T.G.’s sister but because of her limited English there are still obstacles with the Canadian consulate in Ethiopia. T.G. hopes this will be resolved so that she will be able to spend more time with her young daughter. At present she would find it difficult and uncomfortable handing over the reins of her kitchen to an outsider. T.G. is acutely aware that there would be consequences to employing someone who is not culturally indoctrinated in the nuances of the cuisine. Customarily made out of fermented tef, injera is used as both the serving platter and eating utensil. Decorum decrees tearing pieces of injera off with your right hand,

pinching up and then wrapping it around the meat or wat, and then popping it into your mouth. No other utensils are required. Various dishes are placed decoratively and served directly onto the injera, allowing it to absorb individual flavours and spices. Dishes are always accompanied by additional injera to scoop up the food with. Sharing a medley of delicious dishes that have been expertly arranged on a common platter — the traditional way to eat — is an enjoyable introduction to the cuisine. During a meal with friends or family, it is a common practice to feed others in the group with your right hand by putting the pinched up injera into another’s mouth. This is called a gursha, and I have been told that the larger the gursha, the stronger the relationship or bond. Berbere is the brick-red blend of 17 ground spices which is an essential ingredient in Ethiopian cooking and adds a fiery heat and stimulating boost to many of the dishes that reflect its national culinary identity. Meat dishes fall mostly into two distinct categories: red stews (wat), which include berbere, and green stews (alicha wat), which do not. Wats are properly prepared with a African beers, of course!


№ 44 | November/December 2013

generous amount of chopped onions, which the cook simmers or sautés in a pot. Onions are fried without oil, which gives them the distinct taste central to Ethiopian cuisine. T.G.’s menu includes several types of meat dishes, such as zsil zsil tibbs which are strips of beef sautéed with green onion and spices. Ethiopian cuisine does not include pork. Another of T.G.’s signature dishes is dulet kitfo, which consists of freshly minced lean beef, mixed and cooked with clarified butter, onion, jalapeño and the traditional spice mixture mitmita (a dry chili blend containing ground cardamom seed, cloves and salt). T.G. is a born communicator and guides the uninitiated to select from a menu that has been designed so you can order à la carte or eat communally. There is a large repertoire of vegetarian dishes, with a diversity of deftly spiced preparations based on lentils, split peas, chickpeas and other pulses. It should be noted that Ethiopian culinary staples like injera and wat are immortalized as a metaphor for prosperity and security in the various writings of

nineteenthcentury travellers. Hospitality is imperative in Ethiopia, and at T.G.’s Addis Ababa Restaurant it is supreme.

Simple but evocative touches ... T.G.’s Addis Ababa Restaurant 465 Dundas Street (at Maitland) 519-433-4222 www.tgsaddisababarestaurant.com tuesday–saturday: 11 am–10 pm sunday: 2 pm–9 pm BRYAN LAVERY is eatdrink’s Food Writer at Large and Contributing Editor.

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restaurants

Sarnia Siblings Limbo Lounge and Sideways Classic Grill By Tanya Chopp

F

or those who have exhausted their bar-hopping days but aren’t yet ready to settle into the world of fine dining, it can be a challenge to find the middle ground between those worlds. Instead of seeing this time in limbo as purgatory, Sean Barlow chose to focus on the opportunity it presented. In 2007, he opened Limbo Lounge & Martini House on 196 Christina Street North in Sarnia — and carved out a unique space downtown for the up-and-coming demographic that appreciates inspired food at affordable prices. “We call it classy-casual,” says Front of House Manager, Melissa Cameron, who has over 16 years of restaurant industry experience in Toronto’s competitive market. Cameron is visibly passionate about the business and it’s evident that she and Barlow have a shared vision and mutual respect that has paid off for the establishment. Limbo’s interesting fusionstyle menu and enticing promotions keep patrons coming back for more. An extensive martini list is updated to reflect the season and Ontario craft brews are kept on tap. The menu is inspired by the cosmopolitan

travels of Barlow and his employees, who have been influenced by their time in Australia, Southeast Asia, Korea and throughout Europe. The space, which seats between 50 and 60, is complimented by a back room with seating for another 60. In the summertime patio space opens up for an additional 35 customers. The restaurant is a popular place for private functions:

The bar at Limbo Lounge & Martini House in Sarnia Christmas parties, bachelorettes, rehearsal dinners and even small weddings. According to Cameron, Salt & Pepper Shrimp (an Asian style dish with the shrimp flash fried and seasoned with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and served with a sweet chili cream) is a popular appetizer. And Chef Brian Hall adds that a frequent dinner favourite is the Beef Tenderloin — which is grilled, topped with gorgonzola and finished with a port reduction before being served over roasted potatoes alongside grilled vegetables and crispy onions. One of the creative fusion salads at Limbo Lounge


№ 44 | November/December 2013

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creative fusion-style inspiration, but with a different slant. “I consider Limbo and Sideways to be like brother and sister locations,” says Cameron, who oversees both restaurants. “We’re like family, we share staff and resources, but they’re very different too.” Sideways is so named because it is diagonally located to Limbo Lounge (at 154 Front Salmon scented with ginger and lime, served with mixed vegetables Street North), and offers its own And just to ensure that there is some­t hing unique take on English pub-style fare. The restaurant has earned a name for for everyone, a green menu also offers veg­ etarian, gluten-free and low calorie options. itself with the way it has put a twist on the “The chefs are classically French trained, but we offer a variety of everything here,” Asian Chicken says Barlow. Wonton Nachos Limbo is a participant in “First Fridays” — a downtown revitalization initiative that offers special incentives for downtown exploration on the first Friday of every month. To keep things fresh, Limbo also regu­ larly offers live musical entertainment along with regular weekday incentives, including date nights on Wednesdays, where two can dine on appetizers, a main course and a dessert for only $60. Thurs­ day nights are “girls’ nights.” Patrons are offered the chance to enjoy four appetizers and four martinis for only $40. traditional. From wonton nachos to curry Chef Hall, who hails from Stratford and poutine to chicken wing flavours that break was trained at Lambton away from the usual College, says that growing mild, medium and hot up in the innovative and include Korean foodie town played a huge BBQ, dill pickle, salt role in shaping his ideas & vinegar and Caesar of what food should be. cocktail, Sideways He regularly watches for dresses up comfort food inspiration from other in exciting new ways. chefs and sums up his The bar offers a more style in the kitchen as extensive beer menu than never cooking anything Limbo, and large screen that he wouldn’t want to televisions have been enjoy himself. added to keep sports fans engaged. If Limbo Lounge isn’t quite The restaurant’s space your style, Barlow recently is elongated with high opened up another ceilings. The building restaurant just a stone’s was originally erected throw away. Sideways in the 1870’s and many Classic Grill was founded of the original elements on the same brand of have been restored by Barlow, to reveal their Sideways lights up Front Street vintage splendour. Tin


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№ 44 | November/December 2013

ceilings, millwork, wood floors and exposed brick give Sideways Grill a homey atmosphere — and the buzz of conversation that lifts above the packed tables indicates that many people feel the same way.

at Limbo Lounge, and in February at Sideways Grill, as each business celebrates its respective anniversary. .

Take-out menus are available for both Limbo and Sideways, and Barlow offers catering services out of his restaurants as well, so fans of the fare can enjoy great taste, no matter where their function might be. A poutine bar, a s’mores bar and draft beer on wheels are examples of the creativity available through the catering service. Whether you live in Sarnia, or are thinking of making a special trip through this border city, stop in to their convenient downtown locations for a meal that’s sure to revitalize you. As a special note: look for special promotions in November

Limbo Lounge 196 Christina St. North, Sarnia 519-344-6097 www.limbolounge.ca mon–thurs 11:30 am–10 pm fri–sat: 11:30 am–1 am sunday: 11:30 am–9 pm Sideways Classic Grill 154 Front Street, Sarnia 519-491-0157 www.limbolounge.ca mon–sat: 11:30 am–midnight sunday: 11:30 am–10 pm TANYA CHOPP is a London-based marketing communications specialist and freelance writer whose work is focused on the promotion of health, wellness and support of the arts. She cooks with wine, and sometimes she even adds it to the food.

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№ 44 | November/December 2013

restaurants

Some Like it Hot … The Raja Fine Indian Cuisine, in London By SUE SUTHERLAND WOOD

T

he bond between British and Indian food is complex and well documented (soccer fans may recall that whilst playing for Manchester United, David Beckham would celebrate a victory with a post-game curry at his local ‘Indian’) but even so, the relationship has evolved greatly and continues to do so. Historically, the Brits have been fond of putting their own (often unfortunate) spin on India’s regional dishes and creating new “mainstream” dishes such as curry and chips or Chicken Tikka Masala spread thickly in a sandwich. There’s even a strange tendency to draw other cultures into the mix which is how it somehow becomes acceptable to find (Russian) Chicken Kiev in the UK freezer section — but with a creamy curry filling! Even curry powder itself, with its distinctively pungent taste, is another entirely British invention never actually used in any authentic Indian cooking. So if you don’t like curry powder, don’t assume that you won’t care for Indian food — because almost certainly, there will be no ‘curry powder’ involved. Nowadays true Indian cuisine in all its myriad forms is being recognized and lauded for its diversity and also for an increasing ability to shine all on its own. The Raja, located on Clarence Street here in London (and an older sister establishment on George Street in Stratford) will appeal to customers who are seeking an upmarket Indian cuisine experience or indeed, a superior meal. Restaurateur Zahirul Chowdhury breaks down the success formula for Raja into three basic points: “excellent food, service and

A richly varied menu is offered, including extensive options for vegetarians. Chef Nurul Islam, who brings over 35 years of experience in Indian cuisine, ensures The Raja’s food matches the restaurant’s high level of service and atmosphere.


Holiday Treats & Seasonal Specials

The Raja offers a respectable wine list, with elegant “wine racks” on display in the dining area atmosphere.” The restaurant can seat 116 people in total — this includes seating on a patio outside — and there is also a separate lounge which is popular for smaller office parties or private get-togethers. On both New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, special dinners are offered and are well attended. Chowdhury, who also credits “always listening carefully and appreciating what customers have to say,” shows impressive attention to detail, visible throughout the restaurant from the elegant Sant’Andrea flatware to the white linen cloths that cover the tables. Rich yellow-gold and warm reds — perhaps echoing the spices that are used in the meals — are used to great effect on walls and fabric and contribute to the feeling that one has gained admission to a private club. As well as a respectable wine list, Raja offers a thoughtful and varied selection of beverages ranging from specialty cocktails (Asian Pear martinis are popular) to beer, with Indian brands Kingfisher and Cobra being firm favourites. Chowdhury is currently investigating the introduction of British beers on draught, which are often regarded as a natural accompaniment to curry and, again, a nod to the high UK demographic of London diners. The nonalcoholic lassi (a rich but refreshing yogurtbased drink) is available in a variety of flavours such as mango. The Raja menu is extremely varied and features chicken, fish, seafood, lamb, beef

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There are two Tandoors (clay ovens) in operation at Raja and all breads are baked fresh in house. As well as the more familiar naan flatbreads there are also whole wheat roti and a Peshwari naan which boasts an almond and apricot filling. Local ingredients are used whenever possible and the meat sources are exclusively halal. Desserts can sometimes be unin­ spired or a bit predictable at Indian restaurants but the Raja counters this nicely by offering a variety of simple but elegant sorbets — an ideal way to conclude a meal of many courses. Although Raja strives to make dining a regal experience they are also eminently pragmatic. Dur­ ing the weekday lunch hour, when time may be at a premium, there’s a guarantee that lunch will be served within 20 minutes of being ordered. A similar nod to real life is reflected in their menu for children. It offers a friendly introduction to Indian food in the form of mild dishes such as Chicken Tikka or chicken fingers. The Raja buffet — available on Sun­ days — also gives a very affordable sampling of some of the more popu­ lar dishes and is useful to those who might be unsure about what they might enjoy. Chowdhury’s simple trinity of excellent customer service, out­ standing food and superior staff is definitely working, because this Raja certainly rules! The Raja is equally well-suited for intimate dinners or large groups, with private rooms and business meeting amenities available and one of the unique house specialties, Bengal Duck. Vegetarians have an extensive selection to choose from and there are also pre-selected meals and appetizers to inspire or share. Portion size is more than reasonable. For those who are concerned, the level of spiciness and heat is very clearly identified on the menu — although a great many dishes (such as Korma) are mild and creamy — but the staff is extremely helpful and affable in this regard so there is no reason to be shy about asking.

The Raja Fine Indian Cuisine 428 Clarence Street, London 519-601-7252 www.rajafinedining.ca   tues–sat: 11:30 am–2:30pm & 5 pm–10 pm sunday buffet: noon–3 pm & 5 pm–9 pm closed mondays  SUE SUTHERLAND WOOD is a freelance writer who also works in the London Public Library system. She lives in London with her teenage sons and a floating population of dogs and cats.


№ 44 | November/December 2013

Dine

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№ 44 | November/December 2013

culinary retail

The eatdrink Epicurean Gift Guide Adventures in Kitchenware By Lori Maddigan

T

he temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter — ’tis the season to retreat to the kitchen! Whether you are looking for something for holiday entertaining, for

hosting simple family gatherings or to provide the perfect gift, local retailers offer plenty of new and exciting products to choose from this season.

Items for Every Kitchen

Without a doubt, the hottest new item in kitchenware comes from Charles Viancin. As an alternative to plastic wrap, these silicone lids suction to any bowl or drinking glass, are heat resistant, and come in a variety of designs and colours. “We can’t keep these in stock!” says Carrie Wreford, owner of Bradshaws in Stratford. Wreford also loves another ecofriendly storage solution: Bee’s Wrap, touted as “the ‘new’ old-fashioned alternative to BEE’S WRAP (16.95 a set) plastic wrap”. CITRUS SPRAY ($19.95)

Made of beeswax and cloth, these re-usable wraps come in three sizes and can be molded to create a seal around just about anything. Who doesn’t enjoy a splash of fresh citrus? Tapping into the juice is easy with the Lekué Citrus Spray. “Plug this sucker into a lemon, lime or orange and spritz away!” says Wreford. Every kitchen needs a good grater. Lawrence Burden, owner of Kiss the Cook in London, equips his in-store kitchen with the Cuisipro Dual Grater, coarse on one end and fine on the other. “It’s good for garlic, zesting, chocolate, cheese, nutmeg, ginger. It’s easy to clean — just rinse under water,” says Burden. Priced at $14.99 it makes a great (pun intended) stocking CUISIPRO DUAL GRATER stuffer too. ($14.99) VIANCIN LID ($9.99–$16.99)


№ 44 | November/December 2013

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[Swiss Diamond] do — “The knife is the most EDGEWARE OVAL CERAMIC they just do non-stick and used tool in a kitchen,” says SHARPENING ROD ($21.95) they do it well,” says Carey. Burden. “Properly honed, you might only have to bring it in SWISS DIAMOND once a year for professional NON-STICK sharpening.” Burden recom­ COOKWARE mends the Edgeware Oval (from $59.99) Ceramic Sharpening Rod ($21.95) for maintaining knives at home.

Drinks Anyone?

“Coffee is huge right now,” says Burden. “These Le Creuset cappuccino and espresso cups and saucers bring vibrant colour and life to the kitchen when you are LE CREUSET CUPS ($40-50 a pair) having your coffee at the beginning or end of the day.” Burden also loves the Ravi Wine Vacuum Stopper he discovered at a recent gift show. “Until now they’ve always come in two pieces,” says Burden. “With this one, you just pump out the air and leave it on the bottle. A simple idea — all in one.” This functional item comes in a variety of colours and RAVI WINE VACUUM STOPPER also makes a wonderful ($5.95) stocking stuffer.

For the Serious Culinary Artist

Epicurean creations require functional and reliable cookware. “Nonstick cookware has become so evolving, from Teflon and the scares of PFOAs [perfluorooctanoic acid],” says Burden. Kiss the Cook equips its kitchen with Le Creuset’s forged hard-anodized pans. “Trust me, my chefs put them to the test!” says Burden. This product has proven LE CREUSET itself HARDso well ANODIZED FRY that it now PAN (from $99) comes with a lifetime warranty. Heather Carey, manager at Jill’s Table in London, agrees that non-stick is going to have a big challenge. Jill’s Table has recently re-introduced Swiss Diamond Non-Stick Cookware. “This is all they

Carey also recommends Emile Henry pizza stones as an excellent gift. “They go on the barbeque as well as the oven,” says Carey. The stones come in round and rectangular shapes and sizes and can be used with the specialty pizza flours and sauces available at Jill’s Table. EMILE HENRY PIZZA STONE ($49.99–$64.99)

Although expensive, ranging from $500 to over $750, the Vitamix blender has become a popular item. It is powerful enough to turn cooked food into hot soup and frozen fruit into ice cream in seconds. “Most blenders are good for maybe 2 years — this comes with a seven year warranty, almost unheard of in electrical goods,” says Burden. “It’s a huge investment, but more and more people, concerned about what’s going into their bodies, are committed to that fast, powerful machine in their kitchen — and the seven-year warranty makes it easier.” VITAMIX BLENDER (from $500)


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One-of-a-Kind Gifts

Beautiful wooden salad bowls and ­char­ cuterie boards hand-crafted by Trevor Ewert of Once Upon a Tree are available in London exclusively at Jill’s Table. Each one is unique and they come in a vast range of sizes. “It’s a fabulous piece for Christmas,” says Carey. “The very big boards are lovely for the centre of the table — [Trevor] calls them entertaining boards.”

“ONCE UPON A TREE” BOWLS & BOARDS (39.99 –$120) Bradshaws & Kitchen Detail 129 Ontario Street, Stratford 519-271-6283 www.bradshawscanada.com    Jill’s Table 115 King Street, London 519-645-1335 www.jillstable.ca   Kiss the Cook 551 Richmond Street, London 519-850-5477 www.kissthecookonline.com

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For The Clean-Up Crew

Epic meals often produce epic messes. Avoid cooktop spills with the Charles Viancin Overboil Ring. This heat-resistant silicone device VIANCIN OVERBOIL RING prevents food (24.99) and liquid from splattering and boiling over. It is also microwave and dishwasher safe. Make cleanup easier with Scrubbies. These colourful SCRUBBIES ($2.95) little cloths are only $2.95 each. “They’re great at the sink — great anywhere, even a ceramic stove top,” said Bur­ den. “They last longer than anything you’ll find at the grocery store and you just clean them in the top shelf of the dishwasher.” With so much to choose from, it is sure to be a season of Happy Shopping and Merry Cooking in and around London this year! LORI MADDIGAN is a fresh market aficionado from London. Recently becoming ‘too-young-to-be-retired’, she is happily devoting more time to her second career as a freelance writer.


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№ 44 | November/December 2013

kitchen design

Lighten Up! Use lighting to get the most out of your kitchen design By Natalie novak

I

f you are renovating or refreshing your kitchen this year, says Cynthia Rouse, “Perhaps the most important aspect of your project will be the decisions you make about lighting. It can dramatically influence the feel of a room, making it warm and inviting, cozy and comfortable, or cold and distant at the flip of a switch.” Rouse, owner of Cynthia Rouse Interior Design and a lighting consultant for Guildwood Lighting and Fireside, recommends layering the lighting in a kitchen. There are three kinds of lighting you will need to consider — general, task, and accent — and a successful plan will involve all three. Older homes might have just one light fixture in the centre of the kitchen, which creates a ‘cave’ effect says Rouse, because there is not enough reflective light on the ceilings and walls. It is better to have mul­ tiple lights which can be turned on or off, and brightened or dimmed, depending on what they are needed for

London’s Kitchen Renovation Specialists

A kitchen layered in three types of lighting: task lighting over the sink and island, general lighting over the table, and accent uplighting over the cabinet. All photos supplied by Guildwood Lighting and Fireside

Task lighting is usually installed over an island or counter, where you need good lighting while you work. Pendants, undercabinet and track lighting are common choices for task lighting. Track lighting can also be used to spot­ light the stove, sink, pantry or other areas of the kitchen. And it can be used to direct

Kitchens Bathrooms Large Additions Victorian Restorations 519.860.9640 www.old-castle.ca


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№ 44 | November/December 2013

the eye to a piece of art or to highlight a focal point, for example an architectural feature in an older home. Accent lighting can add drama to a space. “By illuminating the top of the kitchen cabinets, adding under-counter lighting or hanging a coloured pendant over the kitchen island, you can create islands of light that bring the grain of the wood, the print of the wallpaper or the colour of a wall to life,” says Rouse. When working with a lighting consultant, it is best to bring a floor plan that is drawn to scale, with the layout of cabinetry and existing electrical, and also to know the ceiling height. “It is important to plan your lighting even earlier than other decorating ideas, because there are frequently decisions that need to be made relative to the location and type of electrical outlet installation during construction,” says Rouse. Each light will have its own switch and often its own dimmer, enabling you have light where and when you need it, and at the proper level of illumination. Rouse calls dimmers an inexpensive trick of the trade. They can be manipulated to create dimension or to set a special mood. Once you have an idea of where you want to have lighting, you will need to decide on what kinds of fixtures to install. Do you want mini-pendants or one large fixture over the kitchen island? A chandelier or a cluster of pendants over the table? Are you interested in a decorative piece that will make a design statement? Do recessed cans for general lighting appeal to you? One of the quickest and easiest ways to update a kitchen is to use drum-shaped hanging fixtures. The transitional design provides clean lines and is like a chameleon

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A cluster of pendant lights and a collection of candles augment a space blessed with abundant natural light that adapts comfortably to traditional, modern or contemporary décor, says Rouse. “Whether you decide to go with recessed cans, lamps, chandeliers or pendants, decorative lighting is probably the most important accessory you can buy,” says Rouse. Choosing unique, artistic fixtures is one of the major trends that Rouse has noticed. People are opting for clean and sleek but upscale, with brushed brass, oil rubbed bronze and satin nickel as popular finishes. “Mini-pendants placed over islands are being replaced with larger decorative accents, and they frequently match or at least compliment the chandelier in the dining room, particularly if the rooms are close together,” says Rouse. The threependant configuration is disappearing, with a move to either larger and fewer (one or two, depending on the size of the island) or to a cluster of smaller but more pendants together. Another trend Rouse notes is towards more energy efficient lighting choices. “These days people are greener than ever before. Lighting

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Drum lighting works well with traditional, modern or contemporary décor. manufacturers are adapting their most popu­ lar designs to LED lighting, using warm light, which is closest to incandescent light, and ensuring the LED is dimmable,” says Rouse. Although they have come down in price, the cost of LED bulbs continues to be a drawback for some consumers. As their popularity grows and technology matures however, the price of bulbs will continue to drop. Also, Rouse notes, it is not necessary to purchase fixtures made specifically for LEDs (which can be quite expensive); LED bulbs can be used in most regular housings. Most LEDs offer a 30,000-hour lifespan, compared to the 8,000-hour life of a traditional compact fluorescent lamp, she says, which you may want to consider when you are installing a chandelier, recessed lighting, or other fixtures in hard to reach places. Rouse recommends hanging pendants 30 inches above the island or counter top in a kitchen with an eight-foot ceiling. For higher ceilings, add one inch for each additional foot of height, to a maximum

of 32 inches. Any higher, and the light will dissipate too much, she says. “Give lighting as much consideration as other decorating decisions,” says Rouse. Create a master plan of how you want the finished kitchen to look. Think about how and when you use this space. Is it a place where children do their homework? Where you entertain guests? What kind of general lighting, task lighting and accent lighting will you need for each purpose? What kinds of fixtures will best suit your kitchen? Fixtures can influence the look and feel of a room as much as a piece of artwork, says Rouse. “No matter what your budget, opt for timeless materials like hand-forged iron, bronze and glass over their plastic counterparts. Timeless designs in top materials will always look right and can become family heirlooms.” NATALIE NOVAK is a happily transplanted northerner who enjoys living in and writing about London.

Amaryllis

Bare bulb & Pre-Potted 13 Varieties! Amaryllis are the perfect gift to give or receive. Beautiful & Easy to Grow.


Gourmet Hand-Made Sausages Authentic Hungarian Foods Pork • Beef • Lamb • Chicken

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519-601-5525

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Christmas Trees starting at $30

Nature’s Image

519 204-9144 or 519 317-6631 artisanbakery@rogers.com facebook.com/The-Artisan-Bakery

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The Finest Fresh Coffee and Teas

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№ 44 | November/December 2013

Artisan Cheese

Fresh Eggs

Talk to Carmela! 519-850-7806 carmels@sympatico.ca

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• The Produce Guy •

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Saturdays & Sundays: 9am–4pm 1331 Hyde Park Road, London Just North of the tracks and Crossings Pub

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№ 44 | November/December 2013

farmers & artisans

Unique Innovations in Baking Downie Street Bake House • Lindsay’s Bakery • Organic Works By Bryan Lavery

Really Good Bread From the Wrong Side of the Tracks

T

he sale of artisanal premium breads — high quality, hand-crafted and free of artificial additives and preservatives —continues to be on the rise. Alan Mailloux, a trained chef from Stratford Culinary School with nearly 30 years’ experience baking bread, has the skilled hands of a practiced baker who knows how to perfect the ideal crust and crumb. Kneading, long rises, multiple rises and sourdough starters produce complex artisanal, specialty breads of great diversity. The latest incarnation of Alan and Barb Mailloux’s baking career, Downie Street Bake House, has allowed them the opportunity to experiment with long

Cinnamon Walnut Raisin, Sour Chocolate Cherry Sourdough and Olive & Oregano. Mailloux started baking at the age of 24, “when my wife (the lovely Shop Girl) politely suggested that I might want to get a hobby. I was newly married; I thought that I already had a hobby.” They opened their first B&B in Windsor, in Mailloux’s grandparent’s old house on the main street. They did some baking for a local coffee shop in the evenings after Alan finished work at his “day job.”  They relocated to Stratford in 1990, so that Mailloux could enrol in the Stratford Chefs School. “Cooking was going to be my thing, but something kept pulling me back to bread mak­ ing. We had an opportunity to take over the Orbit Bakery in Stratford when it came available in 1993, but thought I needed to practice my cooking instead (so I trained the eventual owner how to make bread) and moved on.” “After cooking around for a couple of years, we ended up back in Stratford in 1996 to open a B&B. Baking bread on Friday nights to sell

Alan Mailloux (above) and his wife Barb are hands-on owners of Downie Street Bake House and cold fermentation times for their breads (giving better flavour and keeping qualities) and expanding the selection. On offer is a variety of bread baking that includes: Whole Wheat Rye, 12 Grain Sourdough, Plain (not boring) White, French Country, Stratford Sourdough, Walnut Sourdough, Mini Me Miche, Potato Currant, Rye Sourdough,

at the Stratford Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings was going to be a temporary thing to do until the B&B became a success. Instead, the bread making became a success, something we could do year round and that people enjoyed.” “Our first bakery was located in Sebringville and it suffered from four problems: location,


№ 44 | November/December 2013 location, location and our impatience. No one wanted to drive five minutes out of Stratford to buy a loaf of bread and we just couldn’t wait for the number of new and good farmers’ markets to sprout up and provide us with an alternative platform for selling our bread from such an obscure location. So we sold up and moved back to Stratford and hunted around for two years to find the ‘right’ next location.” In 2011, “the right location” became available and the Maillouxes helped the landlord fix it up. Alan was still working with Max Hollbrook at The Parlour at the time. They began to research the area farmers‘ markets that have become an integral part of their success. “The Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market had an opening for a bakery. We applied and were accepted. Our business there has grown by over 50% since we started there two years ago. The Sunday Slow Food Market was also now located in Market Square in downtown Stratford, just behind City Hall. Lindsay Reid, of Lindsay’s Bakery, was kind enough to offer us some of his space at his stall to help us get estab­ lished. The Garlic Festival and Savour Stratford came soon after we opened and offered us the opportunity to let a whole lot of people know that we were back baking again.” The Maillouxes have built a stellar reputation as one of the best bakeries in the region. It is no wonder that they share super-hero personas. Alan is Baker Boy and Barb is Shop Girl.

Celebrating our 20 th Anniversary

481 Richmond St., London, ON 519.432.4092 dine@garlicsoflondon.com www.garlicsoflondon.com

Downie Street Bakehouse 388a Downie Street, Stratford facebook.com/DownieStreetBakeHouse The Bake shop is open Thursdays: 10 am–4 pm; Fridays: 9 am–8 pm & Saturdays: 8 am–2 pm Markets: Thursdays: 3:00 pm-7:00 pm (June to October) Uptown Market Square near King and Erb Streets, Waterloo; Saturdays: 8 am-3 pm (year ‘round) Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market (900 King Street, London) Sundays: 10 am-2 pm (May to October) Stratford Slow Food Market (downtown, behind City Hall)

Sun–Tues 11am–midnight, Wed/Thurs 11am–1am, Fri/Sat 11am–2am


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№ 44 | November/December 2013

Heavenly Hand-Crafted Baked Goods from Lindsay Reid’s Sebringville Kitchen

L

indsay Reid’s motto is to “share really good baking” that is made from scratch in small batches, using high quality ingredients. This requires patience and precision — something he appears to have in quantity in the bake kitchen in the cellar of his Sebringville home. Reid incorporates only pure natural ingredients, unbleached organic flour, local eggs, honey and butter in his baking. On offer are handmade croissants, squares, tarts, muffins and seasonal specialties. Reid has asked me not to call his baking iconic — he and my former London Free Press editor, Linda Barnard, have recently declared a moratorium on “the ridiculously overused pet adjective of lazy writers.” So let’s call his delicious baking emblematic. Reid has been employed in just about every job in the “food biz,” beginning with an initial stint at age fifteen, as a busboy at the Church Restaurant in Stratford. “A traumatizing experience to say the least. At the time I vowed never to work in the food biz again.” High school jobs included night and weekend baking at Buns Master Bakery and working in the kitchen at the local A&W drive-in. Reid attended

the Stratford Chefs School after a two-year stint studying journalism at university. Reid says, “I felt the desire to follow a career path that involved creativity and working with my hands. A strong appreciation for food and entertaining was nurtured at home, so a career in food seemed a natural choice.” “My imagination and cre­ ativity didn’t seem to be ade­ quately fired, being in my early twenties where everything in life seems to be either black or white. I was much less experienced than the majority of the apprentices when I began the school. I remember Jim Morris (co-founder of Stratford Chefs School) telling me to not move around from job to job, best to stay in one place for a while and learn absolutely everything you can from the situation. ” Reid apprenticed with Chris Woolf at Woolfy’s (first incarnation) in Stratford. “Thanks to divorce and my ‘All About Eve’ phase, (a reference to the overly ambitious ingénue that insinuated herself in to the life of an established stage star and circle of theater friends in a ruthless climb to the top, in the film All About Eve) I ended up running the kitchen for Woolf’s ex, who became sole proprietor.” In 1992, Reid’s sister Mari-Jane (M.J.), and her family returned to Stratford and they decided to go into business together. “We purchased Tastes on Wellington Street and turned it into Lindsay’s Food Shop, offering deli, bakery, and catering in 1997 and 1998. I also ran Lindsay’s Restaurant where Pazzo Taverna is now located.” Since leaving chefs school, Reid has been employed as a break­ fast cook at the Westin Harbour Castle, server at Canoe, and catering and event manager at Senses Catering in Toronto. There was a stage at Grano with

Lindsay Reid (centre) and some of the delicious baked goods


№ 44 | November/December 2013 Ellen Greaves when she was briefly the chef at Winston’s. “In Montreal, I was a sandwich maker at Café Titanic in Old Montreal until I took over the kitchen at Olive et Gourmando.” Reid enjoys the interaction with his regulars and clients. “Relationships that are built through weekly visits give meaning and feedback to a baker; it helps me with my product consistency and refinement.” It is essential to Reid to produce consis­ tently tasty baking that he would want to eat himself. “My boss Dyan Solomon of Olive et Gourmando in Montreal and I would test items for inclusion in our selection of fresh baked goods. We would go over and over a particular Lindsay describes his sister item, i.e. brown­ Mari-Jane (M.J.) Lobodycz ies, until we got (above) as “essential to the exact result we the business“ as agent and wanted. And when sales clerk on market days it went on the menu we would not vary the item. The customer expects and should receive the exact same quality of a particular item every time they purchase it. ” Crocks of mincemeat, made with locally har­ vested apples, have been marinating since early fall, and fruit mixtures in brandy and rum have been baked into cakes and puddings. Reid finely grinds whole almonds to make the almond paste for the dark fruitcake. Again this year Reid has prepared a selection of his and his family’s personal favourites: Christmas fruit cakes, pud­ dings, mincemeat pies and tarts, panettone and gingerbread cookies. “Small business depends on many variables lining up. Sometimes your concept gets adapted to fit the variables. My initial concept was to supply other businesses. I soon realized that I could better control the quality of my product by selling directly and that I could sell directly for a much better price than wholesale. So, I began doing farmers’ markets.” Reid has decided to forgo the indoor Sunday Market in Stratford this winter. He will rejoin the Slow Food Market when it returns to Market Square in May 2014. In the meantime, you will find Lindsay’s Bakery at the Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market in London on Saturdays from 7 to 3 pm.

Lindsay’s Bakery 519-276-0686 www.lindsaysbakery.com

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№ 44 | November/December 2013

Great Bread: Soho’s Alternative Ethical Bakery and Organic Café tion’s Gluten-Free Program (GFCP) to verify that the bakery meets all requirements allowing it to use the GFCP mark on product packaging and in marketing and advertising materials. “The bakery started out with very basic breads and five years ago converted to exclusively gluten-free products,” says Cuddy. ‘‘A large part of what we have done right is that we have designed a product that has all the needs and requirements of allergenfree status that tastes good.” Clients who want organic, lactose-free, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and aller­ gen-free products are often more knowledge­ able and demanding than their mainstream bakery purchasing counterparts. They gener­ ally also want stringent reassurances about the origins of the ingredients and the prod­ ucts employed in the bakery. Peter is on hand to talk to his customers to educate, to assuage Organic Works Photograph by Steve Grimes

P

eter Cuddy is a maverick, innovator and passionate entrepreneur with deepseated ethical convictions. Cuddy has built the reputation of Organic Works Bakery on integrity in several areas relating to ecology and health. Whether engaging customers in conversation in the Organic Bread Works café, doing demos at trade shows as a means of promoting his brand, undertak­ ing the leg work required for having the bakery certified organic and allergen-free, or learning from his team of bakers on Saturday mornings, Cuddy remains

Owner Peter Cuddy (above) ensures every aspect of his business is “compliant with every possible standard” while producing delicious and wholesome products. Executive Chef Kat Charlebois (right) runs the popular organic café and retail operation. focused on the business at hand. He strives to “keep Organic Works compliant with every pos­ sible standard,” which is both time-consuming and expensive, but ultimately gratifying. Baking was never Cuddy’s vocation and he still does not self-identify as a baker despite his vast knowledge on the subject and his hands-on approach to the business. He leaves the baking operations up to head baker Lori Juric, who leads a team of four full-time commercial bakers and two retail bakers. Juric was trained by master baker/ pâtissier Roland Hofner, of the Tourism and Hospi­ tality program at Fanshawe College. Cuddy is quick to point out Hofner’s success as an educator and says, “I would gladly hire any graduate of Hofner’s baking program.” The busy organic café and retail operation is headed up by Chef Kat Charlebois. One of the most time consuming and chal­ lenging aspects of the business is the necessity to deal with the volume of paperwork required for allergen-free certification. The bakery has organic certification from Pro-Cert Canada Inc., which is the overseer group accredited by Cana­ dian Food Inspection. The bakery has recently been audited by the Canadian Celiac Associa­

their concerns, and to talk about how the ingredi­ ents are sourced and how the products are made. “Customers want to see ‘a clean ingredient deck,’ meaning keeping ingredients to as bare a minimum as possible.” Organic Bread Works is a nut-free facility and does not retail any wheat products.  Gluten-free products have become increas­ ingly popular because more people are learning that celiac disease can be managed effectively if wheat products are eliminated from their diet. Wheat-free or gluten-free are not just for those with a wheat or gluten intolerance. They are also delicious alternatives catering to a demand for more global, authentically produced artisanal varieties of bread. The building was originally purchased as a new location for Gielen Design but those plans changed. Cuddy’s wife is Kate Gielen, owner of Gielen Design. She conceptualized the retail area and café. The café has an earthy, natural vibe with a touch of industrial aesthetic. A wall of reclaimed doors separates the public area from the main floor production facilities. The seating


№ 44 | November/December 2013 options include an eclectic selection of chairs, leather couches and elevated seat­ ing by the large windows that face the street. There is additional seating outside on the patio, and the café has wi-fi. “Originally I was going to put the bakery on the main floor, but my wife convinced me otherwise,” says Peter. “Putting the bakery underground was more good fortune than scientific research. The bakery is practically her­ metically sealed and when combined with seven tons of air forced through the room, it makes an excel­ lent environment for leav­ ening breads.‘’ Besides the breads, Organic Works’ gluten-free offerings include banana bread, brown rice buns, raisin cinnamon loaf, scones and cookies. “I have been blessed with good staff, good fortune and certainly a good partner in life. You can strive to make all the money in the world but this type of work gives me a deep satisfaction and I find it is as much fun as it is work. We continue to walk the talk; we do the certification to make sure that we are safe from any allergens,” explains Cuddy, “Buying and sourc­ ing local is critical and it separates our products from [those of] other people.”

Celebrate at the Lake! Perch Dinner • Famous Pie Country Breakfast 5 Star Accommodations $99.00 p.p.*

Your Hosts

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205 Main Street, Port Stanley ON

519-782-3006 www.telegraphhouse.com *based on double occupancy Special includes three-course dinner, king ensuite room and full breakfast. Does not include wine or HST.

TRADITION. QUALITY. RESPONSIBILITY.

Organic Works Bakery 222 Wellington St, London 519-850-1800 www.organicworksbakery.com Monday–Wednesday, 7:30 am–7 pm; Thursday & Friday, 7:30 am –8 pm; Saturday, 8:30 am–8 pm; Sunday, 10 am–4 pm Bryan Lavery is a eatdrink’s Food Writer at Large.

Visit our website — www.laschicasdelcafe.com — to find the nearest retailer or call us at 519-652-3642


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№ 44 | November/December 2013

The BUZZ ... new and notable

T

he London Wine & Food Show will be held January 16–18 at the Western Fair. The space allocated will expand in response to the huge increase in attendance last year. Celebrity Chef Bob Blumer will be featured, and look for something special at the eatdrink booth. Tickets $12 in advance. www.westernfairdistrict.com Here at eatdrink, we are currently preparing London’s Local Flavour, the 2014 Culinary Guide. The updated guide continues to confirm that Londoners are not just advocating eating and drinking locally and eating seasonally. More and more sustainable and ethical options such as sustainable seafood, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and organic are being offered. From farm to table, London’s culinary culture continues to cook with local flavour. Kathryn Banasik and Robbin Azzopardi’s Byron Freehouse continues to receive rave reviews. The Freehouse opened to accolades this past summer. It offers a sophisticated and dynamic menu featuring global influences and contemporary comfort foods. 1288 Commissioners West. www.byronfreehouse.ca Chef Dave Lamers and business partner Rob D’Amico of Abruzzi offer Italian cuisine with the authentic gastronomic spirit that makes cooking and eating absolutely central to family life. For the second year, Lamers and D’Amico are donating a portion of sales in the month of November to the LHSC and

Book now for an

exceptional Holiday Party or

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519-601-7252 428 Clarence Street, London www.rajafinedining.ca

prostate cancer research. Last year they donated $3155.47 to the cause. 119 King St. www.abruzzi.ca Tamarine by Quynh Nhi is London’s sophisticated and adventurous contribution to the evolution of South Vietnamese cuisine. Tamarine is celebrating its third anniversary with a $9.99 lunch menu with lots of new dishes. 118 Dundas St. www.tamarine.ca Yoda Olinyk from Yoda’s Private Catering has recently joined the culinary team at The Only On King. Olinyk is known for specializing in customized menus for vegans and vegetarians, and those with dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance and allergies. Goodwill Industries recently celebrated the opening of a new food services venture in London’s SoHo community (south of Horton), part of an expanding dining scene. Edgar and Joe’s Café is located in the front entrance of the Goodwill Centre at 255 Horton Street at Wellington. Fifteen new jobs have been created since the Café’s soft opening earlier this summer. The Café, open daily to the public, compliments several other meeting and gathering spaces in the Goodwill Centre which are available for use by non-profits groups and others in the community. “Edgar and Joe’s Café serves several social purposes including a focus on fresh, local and healthy ingredients at affordable prices, combined with the opportunity to develop people on their


№ 44 | November/December 2013

journey to work through training and skills development,” says Goodwill CEO Michelle Quintyn. “At Goodwill we change lives and communities through the power of work and Edgar and Joe’s helps us employ and train for the food and hospitality industry.” Goodwill is collaborating with neighbours and other non-profit partners who share common goals, including serving as a venue for co-op placements for school boards. On November 30, Chef Jerman Nunez of Che Restobar is presenting a Taste of Peru which will be held above Edgar and Joe’s Café on the 3rd floor of Goodwill Industries. A percentage of the proceeds will sponsor the Canadian Latin American Association (CALA). Tickets are $65, which includes a trio of ceviche, an authentic Peruvian buffet and a Latin Jazz Band. Be prepared to tango the evening away! www.latintaste.ca Ogilvie’s Food & Artisan Market will feature an Outdoor Christmas Market with great gift ideas, crafts, art, decor items, food and more, Nov 16–Dec 22, every Sat & Sun 9-4. Christmas trees are also available Mon-Fri 12-7. 1331 Hyde Park Road, just the other side of the tracks from Crossings Grill & Pub. Over the last 3 months Justin Wolfe of The Early Bird has been completing a stagiaire, apprenticing and studying under Master chef Graham Elliot at his Michelin-starred restaurant graham elliot, learning new methods and techniques. Then Wolfe was off to study butchery at Publican Quality Meats. Wolfe is currently building a “greener” vegetarian-friendly takeout bar at Fresh N Wolfe.

Your love of all things Italian begins at

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226-376-6328 • erin@saucymeats.com

Open from 11am Monday–Saturday Closed Sunday

791 Dundas St. at Rectory • London

519 601-8448

Dine-in • Take-out • Delivery • Catering


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№ 44 | November/December 2013

The Old East Village has added another new member to its burgeoning “foodscape” and the restaurant has added Vietnamese cuisine to the increasing culinary options in the area. Chi-Hi (translation: eldest sister) is the most recent food business to open its doors in the OEV, just west of Rectory and beside True Taco. The traditional Vietnamese fare includes black bean tofu subs, beef subs, pad Thai, vegetarian Singapore noodles and black bean tofu vermicelli. Sarah Merritt, Manager of the Old East Village BIA, credits the renaissance in the area to entrepreneurs like the Huynh family who have seen the opportunity in the OEV and invested. “Good business people and in the case of

Chi-Hi, good cooks too, are enticing customers to come and try the phenomenal meals. The OEV has such an eclectic mix of food styles and menus that diners are very pleased with the options and the tasting outcomes.” Merritt also notes the spacing of the food businesses and restaurants on Dundas Street is creating a very walkable food district.

A Taste of Europe since 1974

Marcel Butchey decided recently to sell the Idlewyld, billed as London’s historic boutique hotel with guest rooms, banquet facilities and restaurant. Butchey rebranded the hotel’s restaurant as Avenue Dining, bringing in a series of chefs that included Alfred Estephan, Julie Glaysher and Jeff Fortner.

True Taco owner Luis Rivas continues to wow guests by providing the authentic flavours of both Mexican and El Salvadorian cuisines at both his restaurant on Dundas Street and every Saturday at the Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market. Rivas’s expansion into new premises across the street has been temporarily delayed.

Tim Kingsmill, president of Kingsmill’s department store, is the descendent of Thomas Frazer Kingsmill, who, in 1865, founded Kingsmill’s on the same Dundas Street location where it sits today. Kingsmill recently announced that he is retiring and the business is for sale.

AS CHRISTM Dinners

Luncheonsfor&up to 85 guests 3 Private Rooms

Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre

$39.99 per person includes a Mystery Unlimited performance, salad, main course, coffee/tea, dessert, and gratuity. See our website for more details. Book Your Mystery Now! Nov. 29 & 9 Shows in December 122 Carling Street (at Talbot, around the corner from Budweiser Gardens) Open Daily for Dinner 519-679-9940 Lunch Monday–Saturday www.marienbad.ca

Auberge du Petit Prince’s chef Kyle Rose has been working in professional kitchens since he began washing dishes at 13 years of age and quickly worked his way up the ranks in various styles of restaurants. After completing his apprenticeship through Fanshawe College, he continued his studies in England, France and Japan. At the Auberge, Rose focuses on contemporary French food, using local ingredients with a combination of modern and traditional techniques. Auberge’s new general manager, Mat Bennett, is also an alumnus of Fanshawe College. After five years managing several London franchises, Bennett is excited to be part of a growing and talented team at the Auberge. www.aubergerestaurant.ca Fire Roasted Coffee is creating a signature coffee and chocolate bar that will be available for AIDS Awareness Week in November. The company is still working out the details but watch the website www.hivaidsconnection.ca. Sue Brooks, Director of Community Relations, Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, asks, “Start thinking now about ways you could

Upbeat Lunches | Intimate Dinners | Dietary Needs Accommodated | Ample Free Parking

bistro & caterer 46 Blackfriars Street, London | 519-667-4930 | www.blackfriarsbistro.com


№ 44 | November/December 2013

use either the coffee or chocolate, or both, as gifts that would keep on giving, as a portion of the sales will help us support programs and services here at Regional HIV/AIDS Connection. “ For the second time, cancer has found another one of the Fire Roasted Coffee family. Please join Fire Roasted Coffee and the Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market (WFFAM) community in supporting their co-worker and friend by purchasing a bag of specially-marked Pink Ribbon Blend coffee, and know that the proceeds go towards a wonderful person who means the world to many. Erin and Andrew Jardine, who purchased Saucy: Meats & So Much More! from Jane Antoniak, continue to provide premium meat products available through the trusted, local suppliers of Saucy’s. They saw the purchase of the business as a natural extension of their commitment to sourcing local food for their family. After only a year of operations at WFFAM, Saucy has built a loyal following and the Jardines look forward to continuing to grow the customer base by providing high quality meat and sauces as well as exceptional, friendly service.

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Chocolate Barr’s Anniversary Open House: On November 15, Derek and Jacqueline invite you to raise the “barr’”and celebrate a decade of making great candy in Stratford. Stop by to say hello and taste complimentary samples. www.chocolatebarrs.com A tasty new school year has begun at the Stratford Chefs School. Explore different menus each night, created by student chefs. Dinner reservations are available from 6:30 pm to 7pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays. The Prune Restaurant, 151 Albert Street, Stratford. www.stratfordchef.com Savour Stratford Tutored Tastings: Blue Cheese and Port, one of the classic food and beverage pairings will be discussed and

Allan Watts and Rick Weingarden’s Anything Grows SEED Co. is now a permanent vendor at the WFFAM on Saturdays. Hard-to-find seeds and organic sprouting seeds will be available all year. More to come for the holiday entertaining season — amaryllis and paperwhites, both bare bulb and potted arrangements. Local organic garlic has been a specialty for years — buy for eating or growing. www.anythinggrows.com Monforte Dairy has won the Premier’s Award for AgriFood Innovation Excellence. The innovative capital-building plan that allowed the company to establish itself in Stratford has been recognized with a $75,000 award that was presented to Ruth Klahsen by Premier Kathleen Wynne on October 6 at Queen’s Park. Plans are to use the money to open a school to teach cheese-making in Stratford in 2014. Bradshaws Christmas Open House: Mark this date in your calendar and bring along a few of your friends for a fun night out and the first look at Bradshaws in all its Christmas glory! Delicious food samplings, hot new product demos, an assortment of holiday giftware, kitchenware and entertaining items, and door prizes. November 7, 5–8 pm. www.bradshawscanada.com

thurs 10-4 Fri 9-7 sat 8-2

western Fair Farmers’ market 8-3

London’s Latin American Hot Spot & Cocktail Parlour!

NEW Mexican-Inspired Menu Dinner Dinner Monday−Saturday Monday−Saturday || 225 225 Dundas Dundas St. St. || 519 519 601 601 7999 7999 | www.cherestobar.ca


Local is better TM

№ 44 | November/December 2013

tasted with several variations of blue veined cheeses and three different ports. Saturday, November 16, 3–5 pm. The Milky Whey Fine Cheese Shop. www.visitstratford.ca/tastings Christmas Cookie Classes: Does the sound of Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies, Gingerbread Biscotti and Salted Caramels make your mouth water? Visit Stone Maiden Inn and make 5 different cookies (one gluten-free) with Chef de Cuisine Erin Delarge in this hands-on class. Take your goodies home to share with friends and family during the holidays. Private classes available for gr0ups up to 10. November 30 and December 7. www.visitstratford.ca/tastings

Our Quinoa Maple bread is made with fresh, locally-produced Ontario maple syrup, and Quinoa milled daily at our gluten-free bakery.

Celebration of Culinary Arts Seminar: Join Fay Telfer and Janis Fread for an exploration of food trends, changing tastes and food habits from the early days. They will be showing examples of kitchen utensils from the Museum’s artifact collection and providing tasty recipes. Saturday, November 16, 9–11 am. St. Marys Museum, St. Marys. 519-284-3556 museum@town.stmarys.on.ca

222 Wellington St. London ON N6B 2L3 519-850-1800 www.organicworksbakery.com

Mercer Hall Presents the SUPPER CLUB, a long table dinner with a themed menu; guests are encouraged to dress up to match the theme. Mad Men 1960s: ‘Home Cooked’ Ham Dinner, November 23, 6pm. Grinch Who Stole Christmas: Roast Beast & Who Pudding, December 21, 6 pm. www.mercerhall.com/supper-club Also enjoy Oyster Night at Mercer Hall: Fresh shucked oysters and $6 glasses of sparkling wine.Year Round, Thursdays 8 pm until they sell out! www.mercerhall.com/oysternight

Vegetarian

“Reasonably priced, fresh, well-executed Ethiopian cuisine ...” — Bryan Lavery, eatdrink magazine

• Vegetarian Options • Takeout • Catering Reservations •Recommended

ALWAYS a 3-course prix fixe menu option

ADDIS ABABA Restaurant

432 Richmond St. at Carling • London

Tues–Fri 5–1pm • Sat 12–1pm • Sun 2–1pm

465 Dundas Street 519 433-4222 www.tgsaddisababarestaurant.com

www.davidsbistro.ca www.davidsbistro.ca


№ 44 | November/December 2013

Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre: A gastronomic 3-course dinner teamed with a night of humour and entertainment! Saturday, Nov. 30, Dec. 7 & 14, The Parlour, Stratford. www.theparlour.ca Birtch Farms and Estate Winery offers many experiences such as pick your own apples and pumpkins, a children’s playground and a small corn maze. The winery features fruit wines and gift baskets made from locally grown products as well as tours, and tastings. Nov 1 to Tue. Dec. 24, Daily Birtch Farms and Estate Winery, Woodstock. info@birtchfarms The local producers of good, clean and fair goods in the Slow Food Perth County Sunday Market have moved inside Local Community Food Centre, Stratford. Sundays from Oct. 19– May. 4, 2014 from 10 am–2 pm. www.slowfoodperthcounty.ca A Wind in the Willows Christmas – Enjoy the holiday season in a fresh adaptation by Alternative Theatre Works of A Wind in the Willows , a delightful “family friendly’” adventure to Mole End. Dec. 10–29, factory163, Stratford www.alternativetheatreworks.com

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STORE

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Days a

Week FEATURING local natural & organic meats wild-caught salmon & seafood a variety of gluten-free products local cheeses & deli meats gourmet oils, sauces & preserves Tues–Fri 10–6 • Saturdays 9–5 • Sundays 11–4 • Closed Mondays

“Merry Christmas and All the Best in the New Year”

twitter.com/eatdrinkmag

Our readers want to know, so send us info about culinary events, fundraisers, and regional news. With BUZZ in the Subject line, send to: bryan@eatdrink.ca.

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EST. 1996

Canning Classes Wedding Favours & Gift Baskets Available London, Ontario 519-680-7912 • surelyhomemade.com


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№ 44 | November/December 2013

wine

Wines for the Holidays By JANE ANTONIAK

W

hether you are looking for something to sip while wrapping presents, a perfect pairing with your holiday meal, something to uncork on New Year’s Eve or a gift for your boss, the eatdrink Holiday Wine feature is here to help! Our focus this year is on delicious, affordable and local. ’Tis the season to support our Ontario growers and producers!

A favourite wine road trip this time of year is to Pelee Island Winery in Kingsville, where the building is decorated for the holi­ days and the selection of off-list LCBO wines is certainly worth the drive. (Although their sales reps will also make deliveries to London-Stratford.) The Vinedressers series is what Pelee calls “the best of the best” and some, such as Vinedressers Cabernet Sauvignon, Red (a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Lemberger), and White (a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Chardonnay) are available at some LCBO outlets. The series includes Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc Viognier. They are all under $16 and provide smooth, ripe, full fruit flavour. The Red is rich with a shaved chocolate finish. These are crowd pleasers that are a step above your house wine but still affordable. The elegant gold label celebrates Pelee’s historical connection to winemaking on

the Island, going back to the 1800s. Ontario shines with rieslings which is especially great news during the holidays as the fabulous floral, honey and fruit flavours go well with a variety of cheeses, sushi, poultry, ham and, if you are like us, the Chinese food you order on New Year’s Eve. Some wine drinkers shy away from rieslings, thinking they will be too sweet. Certainly, German rieslings are known for their sweetness. The Ontario (and New York State rieslings) vary from dry to sweet and are wonderful for sipping or at parties where cheesy, spicy treats, and charcuterie are on offer. Try the Cave Spring Estate Riesling from the Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula which is dry, clean and refreshing. Cave Spring also offers a Medium-Dry Riesling and Dry, both LCBO listed for under $15. If you like lobster or


№ 44 | November/December 2013

crab at Christmas, and are not crazy about chardonnay, this is your wine! The great thing about riesling is that nearly every Ontario winery offers it — from Prince Edward County to the EPIC trail near Windsor. The vibrant acidity of the wine combined with pear, apple sweetness makes this a “can’t miss” pur­ chase for white wine drinkers — even for those who say they only like dry! Check out listings like Flat Rock, Featherstone and Fielding. House wines are important at Christmas when the neigh­ bours come over, your cousin drops by or you want to uncork for yourself while baking, wrapping gifts or watching some favourite Christmas shows. Palatine Hills Estate in Niagara-on-Lake has some fun and delicious wines like their 1812 series. For $13 you can have a Cuvée first place award winner with the Merlot Cabernet, which is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc. Palatine also offers a new white blend, Quattro — as the name implies it contains four grapes: Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Chardonnay. This is a nice sipper and goes well with a variety of cheesy snacks. For a lighter, drier house white give Singing Moon from Pelee Island a try. This Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is a crowd pleaser and under $13. Formerly known as Alvar, Pelee Island changed up the label to a more attractive blue, aimed at the younger audience. But these Singing Moons appeal to all ages and budgets. If you’re looking for a nice gift in

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the $20 range consider Chateau des Charmes Old Vines wines. The Cabernet Merlot is estate grown using the best grapes, hand selected on the property. Chateau des Charmes is also known for its Pinot Noir which is also offered in the Old Vines series — estate grown and handled with care by winemaker Paul Bosc. Another interesting gift is Ontario bottled mead. This honey based wine is not quite as sweet as late harvest and is nice to sip with desserts — which we tend to have plenty of during the holidays! Rosewood Estates in Niagara is owned by third generation bee growers who first brought mead to the Niagara area. They offer five different meads ranging up to $40 a bottle. It is light and lovely and if you can afford it go for the sleek 2007 Ambrosia for a truly unique gift. Holidays are not complete at our house without Buck’s Fizz on Christmas morn­ ing and more of the bubbly on New Year’s Eve. While we were spoiled by enjoying champagne caves in California this year, we do support our Ontario wineries for “sparkling” wines — espe­ cially if it is going to be mixed with orange juice or tippled late on December 31st. Secco, from Pelee Island, won me over sev­ eral years ago. It is light, crisp and not too sweet. The bubbles rise rapidly in the glass. Enjoying it makes me think of my friends in Australia who taught me to enjoy sparkling at all times of the holidays. Cheers and Happy Holidays! JANE ANTONIAK is a regular contributor to eatdrink — particularly the drink side. Jane is also the Manager of Communications & Media Relations at King’s University College, London.


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Beer matters beer matters

Harvest Ales and Late Season Brews By The Malt Monk

L

ocal craft brewers are beginning to release their fall seasonals — fest beers, wet hop ales, pumpkin ales and big porters. This Oktoberfest season saw a lot of great locally brewed seasonal releases which rivaled the fine selection of imported artisanal beers in the LCBO fall release. I had a splendid time sampling the many great seasonal beers at the many fall festivals. The appearance of three new craft brew­ ers coming on line and the increasing diversity and innovation of styles are indicators the local craft beer culture/ community is expanding and matur­ ing. Selection is up and so is the qual­ ity.

Notable Fall Releases:

Here are my impressions and recom­ mendation of a few notable brews available this fall. Amsterdam Autumn Hop Harvest Wet Hop Ale (lcbo 337261) — One of the welcome pleasures of the early fall harvest season is the appearance of this year’s wet hop ales. Wet hop ale is made with green hop cones, freshly harvested and brewed the same day. Amsterdam has come in with a great wet hop offering this year. This is a deep gold ale with an aroma of floral-pine, hints of peach and sweet pale malt. Medium bodied with a bright fresh hop character. The flavour profile has succulent hop humulones (pine, herbal) in front with a sturdy pale malt spine in a support role — goes to a clean bright increasingly bitter finish with herbaceous green hop bite at the end. Great harvest time sipping. Central City / Flying Monkeys Red on Red Imperial Red Ale (lcbo 360099, and on tap) — The progenitor of this big double red ale debuted at the Flying Monkeys tap takeover at Milos Kral’s old London craft beer venue Gambrinus. It was love at first sip

for me. The commercial release of this big imperial red ale came together at last year’s Toronto Session beer fest, when Flying Monkeys’ brewers hooked up with west coast wonder-kid brewer Central City of Surry BC. Dubbed a “collaboration ale”, the Ontario release of “Red on Red” was rolled out in late summer on tap, and early fall in bottled product at the LCBO. This is a brew well worth seeking out — decants a shimmering copper-red with a rich frothy cap that laces the glass. Aroma is complex — big in tropical/ exotic fruits, earthy pine notes, sweet malts — wonderful nose to it. Silken delivery but super robust — the palate is deluged with lush tones of guava and papaya married to rich red malt sweet toastiness. The finish is slow and silky accented by increased bittering — very lush and satisfying. Making a single hop double red ale with the new Mosaic hop and Munich red malts was a stroke of genius. Flush with mango, lemon, citrus, earthy pine, tropical fruit, herbal and stone fruit notes, this great red ale has a triple whammy of hop presence in aroma, flavor and bittering which perfectly complements the malts chosen. I love this big red ale and I’m hoping it will be made available on a more frequent basis. 8 Wired iStout (lcbo 328039) — Crafted in collaboration with Kiwi artisanal brewer Renaissance Brewing Company in Blenheim New Zealand, 8-wired iStout is one of the richest, most viscous stouts on the market. Pours a deep black that seems to defy light. A wicked creamy mocha cap lasts the whole drink. Aroma is pungent and complex — cocoa, coffee, dark dried fruit, roasty malts, floral, citrus, hint of licorice — a great amalgam of aromas. Body is big and robust, rich viscous mouth feel. Flavour follows aroma with more punch from the hops, giving a decadent cocoa-dark fruit-piney discernment — leads to a long lush finish where roast malt and hop battle for dominance. I’ve seldom sampled imperial stouts that rivaled this for richness or mouth feel. It’s definitely


www.eatdrink.ca an artisanal stout to warm your winter repose with a good cigar or to create the most decadent dessert in beer geekdom: the Imperial Stout Float (a half glass of rich stout with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on top). Enjoy! Amager Rugporter (lcbo 330381) — This rye porter is the result of hard roasted barley malts and 16% rye. I’m partial to rye Amager Rugporter beers because of the spicy character. This is a Danish craft brew which combines rye spiciness with the deep roasty-sweetness of a porter and robustness of an imperial strength ale. It pours a turbid unfiltered black with a three-finger sticky mocha cap lacing the glass. Aroma is a wonderful blend of cocoa/ coffee roastyness balanced with an underlying piquant spiciness. Flavour has big chewy malts in the front which dissolve into a decent roasty-spicey-herbal bittering balance, long rich finish where the malts give way to a complimentary penetrating bittering. Great lush porter with a big spicy rye character — highly recommended. Howe Sound Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale

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Howe Sound Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale (lcbo 303610) — I have sampled this big west cost pumpkin beer on a few occasions and it’s wonderful to see it available in the Ontario market. A hazy dark orange-amber high gravity (8% abv) ale brewed with Vertical Wcoast x 3.935 H amber malt, freshSize: roasted2.375” pumpkin, west hops, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise.or Rich and spicy, it dries in the finish — a superior well-crafted big pumpkin ale. Comes Size: 4.875” x 1.905” inHorizon a one-liter capped swing top bottleW so you can finish it inH two sittings. This beer is produced in very limited quantities each fall so if you see it on LCBO shelves snag it. It cellars fairly well.

“Barhopping into History is a delicious brew of art, heritage and London bar culture.”

Book available at select downtown London retailers and on-line at www.barhoppingintohistory.blogspot.ca


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New Brewers on the Block

The quaint Mennonite Village of St. Jacobs is hiding a secret. St. Jake’s is now the home base of Block Three Brewing Company, one of the region’s newest and most promising artisanal micro breweries. Once again we see a commercial craft brewing enterprise started by a group of friends who were home brewing mavens, who decided to take their passion for fresh natural beer to the public. This is a small 1.3 hectoliter brew operation with seven hectoliter capacity; head brewer Bryan Maher says the size works well for both experimenting and ensuring fresh beer. Block Three produces well crafted, fullflavoured unfiltered natural ales. The brewers ran out in their first week, supplying local draft accounts and meeting bottle demand from their walk-in retail store. I sampled both flagship brews — King Street Saison and Sugar Bush Brown Ale. Both were incredibly fresh, flavourful and invigorating renditions of these styles — very drinkable, prime quality craft session beers. They will also offer a rotating series of special brews — rumour has it there is an Oktoberfest Marzen bubbling away in their spare fermenter right now. I can certainly recommend their brews, and a trip to this rustic Mennonite village brewery has its rewards. Block Three Brewing Company 1430 King Street North, St. Jacobs ON www.blockthreebrewing.ca

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Malt Monk’s Pick of the Month

First Draft 1812 Butler’s Bitter (lcbo 34907) — It isn’t often I’m impressed with an English Bitter or mild ale. These are good sessioning pub styles but they’re usually a tad wanting in body and mouth feel for my tastes. Enter the current offering from First Draft — Niagara College’s Teaching Brewery. Butler’s Bitter (4.4% abv) is a mild bitter in name only. It pours a clear shimmering redamber with a sticky off-white cap and a good cap retentivity, which laces the glass wall as you drain it. Moderate carbonation as per an authentic pub/sessioning ale. Aroma is demure but distinct sweet amber malts over spicy-earthy hops and a hint of fruit. Creamy mouth feel, malty-fruity character, medium-light body. Flavour has hints of caramel, succulent fruit tones, spicy hopping and a solid malt back bone — goes to a clean lightly bitter finish. This is a well crafted English-style session bitter with Canadian crafted character. I could tilt a few of these in a sitting — mild but flavourful, very drinkable. THE MALT MONK is the alter ego of D.R. Hammond, a passionate supporter of craft beer culture. He invites readers to join in the dialogue at maltmonksbeerblog. wordpress.com/


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Beer matters theatre

Donald DISHES on Local Theatre By DONALD D’HAENE

“I

blues — and everything hate comedy!” a local thespian in between — that is known to opine. Now that’s shape our lives will funny. Especially after some of the come alive in the sto­ “dramas” I’ve sat through. ries we tell.” Sounds One of the most celebrated actors who like a rainbow of fun at ever lived, Edmund Kean, is often credited Covent Garden Mar­ with this take: “Dying is easy, comedy is ket’s resident theatre. hard.” I know something harder. (And no, Speaking of a colourful season, this fall is it is not keeping a straight face during one proving to be one of the busiest for thespi­ of those dramas just mentioned.) Pulling ans and theatre goers alike. off an absurdist, existentialist tragicomedy! At the McManus Studio the fourteenth That isn’t stopping Passionfool Theatre. season of The London They’re taking on Tom One Act Festival has Stoppard’s Rosencrantz a four-day long and Guildenstern Are competition of short Dead — the playwright plays of any genre at his intellectual best running 30 minutes (Nov. 8–23, The ARTS or less (November Project). If you’re tired 6–9), immediately of fluff but still want a followed by a missing meaty good time, this link theatre’s produc­ play is a worthwhile bet. tion of Vigil by Morris They’re not the only Raymond Moreau, Sarah Green and Chris Kevill in Panych (Nov. 12–23). ambitious troop in the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead Last time London saw Forest city. The Hobbit, Our Town, and Joseph and the Amazing Tech- this dark comedy produced was back in ’97, upstairs on the Main Stage.  nicolor Dreamcoat are just three of six Origi­ By the way, if you’ve been keeping tally, nal Kids Theatre Company’s shows running so far our friend cited at the outset will be at Spriet Theatre before year’s end!  Aptly named the “Season of Many Colours,” hard up for drama this season. On stage, it will be “a celebration of the colours and the anyway. Let’s see what else we have on the make-up theatrical horizon.  Well, the rest of us have a couple of in the colourful old gems to consider: Musical world Theatre Productions kicks off their 25th around Anniversary Season with the 70th Anni­ us,” promises versary of Oklahoma at the Palace Theatre Artistic (Nov. 14–24) and Empty Space Productions offers A Woman of No Importance at The OKTC’s Cast of Little Mermaid by Dana Couvillon Director Andrew ARTS Project (Nov. 29–Dec. 7).  Tribe. In theatre, he continues, “We breathe Who knows if any of these will be in the life to the words on the page and bring them running for my Fifth Annual Theatre DISH onto the stage. We transform the black and Awards? I attend all comedies and dramas white text into a fresh, expressive landscape in London each calendar year, and I have of colour. The limitless tints and tones of the a team of judges who take in the musicals. characters in these plays will excite or calm Deliberations take place in December. Check you, warm or cool you. The reds, yellows, my web site later that month (donaldsdish.ca/the-


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№ 44 | November/December 2013

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DISH Awards photos by Richard Gilmore

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awards/) to see if some of your favourites will make the nominations list. Last January, we gave away a special Ham DISH Award to the greatest ham of all — Art Fidler. This time we have created the best Drama Queen Award in honour of Taylor Nesseth, who passed away in 2012. When Taylor’s parents Jane and Tim learned of my fun DISH Awards they approached me with the thought of creating an award that would honour Taylor’s passion for drama by honouring those who “play” all the time. Two awards will be given out with a $200 bursary attached to each. “We have the honour of an award more befitting of the way in which Taylor lived and how we wanted it to be earned,” says Jane, “based on character more than the academic.” Sure the award Best Drama Queen might at first glance appear silly (as awards do to many). But trust me, it means a great deal to two special people.  The last two shows I’m featuring this issue are not eligible for my awards (as one is professional, the other, out of town) but, personally, I want to torture our comedy-

Art Fidler holds his special Ham award (above). Kaitlyn Rietdijk and Whitney Bolam (left) won for Best Costumes at the last year’s DISH Awards. hating Scrooge friend with a Christmas gift of tickets to these two laugh-filled holi­ day shows: The Grand Theatre’s Elf (Nov. 20–Jan. 4,) and St. Thomas’s Elgin Theatre Guild’s Aladdin the Pantomime by Peter Denyer (December 5–15). Of course, I jest. To be fair to our theatre friend who “hates” comedy, I do realize as Woody Allen said, “When you do comedy, you are not sitting at the grownups’ table.” I knew there was a reason why I never grew up! Donald D’Haene is Editor of donaldsdish.ca. Twitter @ TheDonaldNorth and email: donalddhaene@hotmail.com.


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№ 44 | November/December 2013

books

For the Love of Kitchen Gadgets Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson Review by Darin Cook

W

e all know someone who loves kitchen gadgets: those people who walk into a kitchenware shop and instantly start drooling, as if utensils for cooking are as tasty as food itself; those people who are infatuated with the latest hardware that will get things done better and faster. I can’t say for certain, but I suspect that some days my wife loves her KitchenAid mixer more than me. Those kind of people — the home cook and professional chef alike who take pleasure in having excellent kitchen supplies. A book by Bee Wilson called Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat has just been released in paperback by Basic Books and could be a handy gift this holiday season for any gadget lover in your life, especially if that special someone already has four colanders in different shades of green. Unlike our ancestors who, until the eighteenth century, made do with a single cauldron to cook everything (the original one-pot meal), modern kitchens are perhaps overly equipped with an assortment of utensils, tools, and accessories for cookery — some everyday essentials like knives and wooden spoons, others for special occasions like the turkey roasting pan that may only make an appearance once a year. Julia Child herself approves of using excessive equipment; in Mastering the Art of French Cooking she wrote, “A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use

all the pans, bowls and equipment you need.” Wilson starts her book by talking lovingly about wooden spoons as the most useful of kitchen implements, even if they are unsophisticated compared to the buttons, levers, and flashing lights of modern equipment. Along with knives, wooden spoons are the most rudimentary of utensils, but have been designed with all sorts of engineering and technological properties in mind — concave shape and length of handle for spoons; thickness of steel and serrated blades for knives. Still very simplistic compared to state-of-theart cookware that can seemingly turn a kitchen into a laboratory these days, like the sous-vide machines for cooking vacuum-sealed food in temperaturecontrolled water with delicious results, or the next big thing in refrigerator technology which boasts of “a self-cleaning fridge that would also do a constant inventory of its own contents, moving goods nearing their use-by-date toward the front.” In contrast to these ultra-modern inventions, some old standbys that are still useful are really quite old, like the ancient mortar and pestle to get ingredients pulverized Bee Wilson


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just right, and the medieval invention of the hourglass as an egg timer to achieve a perfectly soft-boiled “three-minute” egg. Wilson reports that an increased interest in kitchen gadgets occurred shortly after the first Cuisinart processor appeared on the market in 1973. This mixing machine was so successful in revolutionizing how home cooks viewed work in the kitchen, by replacing time-consuming knife work with the press of a button, they sought out as many gadgets as possible to continue making their cooking efficient and fun. The right tool for the right job is usually the order of the day for gadget lovers and that is why kitchens have esoteric utensils that seem to have only one purpose. Many utilitarian tools are multi-functional, like pots and blenders, but we also have oyster shuckers, escargot dishes, and lemon zesters which all take some creativity to use for something other than their intended purpose. There is also the question of functional versus decorative kitchen tools. The first known pots have no archaeological evidence of being used as vessels for cooking over fire, but were rather used for religious rituals or decorative purposes. Most modern kitchen enthusiasts are in the market for gadgets that are highly functional but also sleek, funky-looking, and colourful. Le Creuset cookware is known as much for its trendy colours as for its high quality. The inundation of gadgets gave us many insights into the kitchen experience from the luxurious (bean-to-mug coffee with a handheld bean grinder and espresso machine instead of instant crystals and boiling water), to the redundant (melon baller — why not just scoop with a spoon?). Even though it’s highly unlikely that such a kitchen enthusiast

will ever have all the handy tools they need for their dream kitchen, this book is for all those people who love their mandolin slicers, meat thermometers, rolling pins, muffin tins, and pizza stones, and have an interest in learning how these tools have influenced the food we eat and cook. Darin Cook is a regular contributor to eatdrink who works and plays in Chatham-Kent, and keeps himself well-read and well-fed by visiting the bookstores and restaurants of London.

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cookbooks

The Flavour Principle By Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol Review and Recipe Selections by Jenna Gagel

L

ucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol have long been columnists for the Globe and Mail, writing about food, and wine and spirits, respectively. Now they have paired their love of food and drink into a book, The Flavour Principle, the new standard for anyone who sumptuously enjoys flavour. “Every great dish has a centre of gravity, and overarching flavour or essence that pulls together other ingredients into a compelling whole,” say the authors, explaining the inspiration for their new book. The Flavour Principle contains over 30 eclectic menus, organized around 11 different core flavours, such as earthy, spicy and umami (one of the five basic tastes, savoury but activating distinctly different receptors on the tongue, as defined by Japanese chemistry professor Kikunae Ikeda — who, not coincidentally, patented the manufacture of monosodium glutamate). Well beyond wine, Crosariol gives us advice on how to stock his version of a bare-bones bar. Waverman weighs in with the basic ingredients of a global pantry. Between the two are the makings of a flavour extravaganza. Wake up your taste buds with an old Venetian favourite (but a new and trendy cocktail in Canadian circles), Aperol Spritz. We are warned not to deviate from the brand name liquor. “Substitute an imposter and the deceit stands out faster than a Prada logo spelled with two d’s. It’s in the colour. Nothing delivers the electric-orange dazzle of Aperol, except maybe for orange Kool-Aid.” Their notes preceding the recipes are a pleasure to read, conversational and full of humour. Tired of turkey but don’t want to break too far from tradition? From the

Mediterranean comes the inspiration for Caramel-PecanDusted Sea Bass with Cranberry Wine Sauce. “The nutty coating has a sweet-hot taste that, when contrasted with the soft flesh of the fish, gives an unbeatable flavour and texture profile.” Crosariol recommends taking a cue from the red wine sauce and serving a pinot noir. “The ideal red for fish, medium-bodied pinot keeps things light while delivering berry-like fruitiness to complement the smoky paprika in Lucy’s sea bass.” Brussels sprouts are experiencing a trendy revival, and Waverman’s Shallot and Brussels Sprout Compote will have even fussy eaters coming back for seconds, especially when paired with Crosariol’s suggested nutty white Burgundy. Throughout the pages, the authors take us on a global gastronomic journey, photojournaled by Ryan Szulc, a Toronto-based food photographer who has worked for such major publications as Chatelaine and Maclean’s and won numerous awards. This is one of the best cookbooks Canada has to offer and an excellent gift for any home cook. The recipes and beverages are completely professional, while the tone is as welcome as an old friend. “We’re honoured to be partners in your kitchen. We’re just sorry we can’t be there to help with the dishes.” This holiday season tour the world via your taste buds with Waverman and Crosariol’s culinary passport to flavour. JENNIFER GAGEL is a freelance writer and can be reached at jennagagel@ gmail.com.


№ 44 | November/December 2013 Recipes from The Flavour Principle © 2013 by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol. Photography © Ryan Szule. Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Shaved Root Vegetable Salad Young, fresh vegetables give a whole different look and taste to salads. Use whatever root vegetables you can find for this one, such as baby turnips and baby carrots. Bunches of baby beets also work beautifully, but don’t mix red ones into the salad until the very end or you’ll turn everything red. The squash I call for is not a root vegetable, but it adds another texture to the salad. If you go with larger vegetables, use a mandoline for shaving them. With the smaller ones, a vegetable peeler works well. Serves 4 Vegetables: 1 bunch baby white turnips, peeled 2 bunches baby carrots, peeled 1 bunch yellow or red beets, peeled 4 baby pattypan squash Salt and freshly ground pepper To finish: 3 thin slices pancetta 2 cups peppery greens ½ cup shaved Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Shallot Vinaigrette: 1 tbsp chopped shallots 1 tsp Dijon mustard 2 tbsp lemon juice 1⁄₃ cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley Shave turnips, carrots, yellow beets and pattypans using a vegetable peeler or mandoline into a bowl. Shave red beets (if using) into a separate bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir shallots, mustard and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley. Fry pancetta in a skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels and finely chop.

Place peppery greens on a platter. Drizzle over a little vinaigrette. Toss root vegetables, including red beets, with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Place on top of greens. Sprinkle pancetta over salad and finish with shaved cheese. PAIRING: Sancerre I’m accustomed to eating radishes and carrots straight fro the ground after giving them a quick splash with my garden hose. But raw beets and turnips were unknown to me until I tasted this salad. I love the bitter earthiness, and if, like me, you need a little liquid courage to give it a first shot, make the wine a crisp, lean, citrusy Sancerre from France, based on sauvignon blanc.


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Slow-Baked Arctic Char with Crisp Potatoes Slow baking fish is not timeconsuming. I like slow baking fish because you get a very even colour and a slightly softer texture than when you use high temperatures. The vegetable accompaniment cooks on top of the stove. The herb butter, with its refreshing lemony saltiness, makes the char even better. Leftover herb butter will keep refrigerated for a week or frozen indefinitely. Serves 4 Crisp Potatoes 1 tbsp olive oil 2 oz (55 g) bacon or pancetta, diced 4 cups diced unpeeled red potatoes 4 oz (115 g) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and diced Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley Herb Butter ¼ cup chopped shallots 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 2 tbsp chopped chives 2 tbsp capers 2 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme 1 tsp grated lemon zest ¾ cup butter, softened 4 skin-on Arctic char fillets (8 oz/225 g each) Preheat oven to 250°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté for 1 minute. Add potatoes and sauté, stirring occasionally, until a few potatoes start to brown, about 2 minutes more. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Uncover skillet, add mush- rooms, season with salt and pepper and stir everything together. Cover again and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and potatoes are golden. Sprinkle with parsley. Reserve. Combine shallots, parsley, chives, capers, lemon thyme and lemon zest while potatoes are cooking. Mix into butter. Place char fillets skin side down in an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush each fillet with about 1 tsp herb butter.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until white juices are just beginning to appear. Place fish on serving plates and dot with remaining herb butter. Reheat potato mixture and serve with the fish.

PAIrING: Pinot gris This is the alter ego of pinot grigio. With the popularity explosion of easy-sipping Italian pinot grigio, a naming convention arose. Crisp, simple quaffs tend to get slapped with the grigio moniker, while more substantial “serious” wines are called pinot gris (though there are exceptions). The “serious” version is a specialty of Alsace in France as well as Oregon and British Columbia. The medium weight and subtle fruitiness find their mark with this delicate fish and earthy potato-based side.


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Caffè Latte Panna Cotta with Decadent Chocolate Cookies If you don’t have a hand blender or frother to make the froth, you could easily just whip some cream for the topping. The number of servings will depend on the size of your coffee cups. Have any leftovers for breakfast the next morning and the caffeine will perk you right up. Serves 4 to 8 Panna Cotta 1 cup cold strong coffee 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tbsp gelatine ½ tsp kosher salt 1 cup whole milk 1 cup whipping cream 1 tsp vanilla Froth ¼ cup whole milk ½ tsp gelatine ½ tsp granulated sugar Combine coffee, sugar, gelatine and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add milk, cream and vanilla and continue to stir until mixture is warm. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally to make sure gelatine is well distributed. Pour into espresso or coffee cups. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until set. Heat milk for froth with gelatine and sugar in a small pot over low heat until gelatine has dissolved. Pour into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until it just begins to set. Froth mixture with a hand blender until frothy. Spoon froth on top of panna cottas. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate if desired. Chill until needed, and serve with Decadent Chocolate Cookies. Decadent Chocolate Cookies These soft, ultra-chocolaty bites complement the taste of the panna cotta. Use very dark chocolate (70% cocoa) for the biggest flavour hit. These can also be made as larger cookies using a heaped table- spoon of dough, which will yield 20 cookies. Bake them for 12 minutes. Large or small, they keep well. Makes 70 small cookies ½ cup butter 4 oz (115 g) dark chocolate (70% cocoa) 2 eggs 1 cup granulated sugar 2 tsp vanilla 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp kosher salt 70 small (or 12 medium) squares chocolate Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Melt butter and dark chocolate in a medium, heavy pot over low heat. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir together eggs, sugar and vanilla. Blend into melted chocolate mixture. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Fold into chocolate mixture. Place heaped teaspoons of dough on prepared cookie sheets about 1 inch apart. Press into rounds with the back of a spoon. Cookies should be about ½ inch thick. Top each one with a square of chocolate. Bake for 7 minutes or until the inside is still soft. Cool on racks. The cookies harden a little as they cool. Sprinkle with icing sugar. PAIrING: Recioto I love the name recioto. It comes from recie, Venetian dialect for “ears,” a reference to the tendency of certain grape clusters to form two little lobes that dangle from the main bunch. The exposed lobes receive the most sunlight, yielding super-ripe grapes that for centuries have been used to produce a sweet wine in the Veneto region of Italy, the precursor to a now more famous dry red called Amarone. Recioto today is more typically made using the whole cluster, left on mats after harvest to dry and concentrate sugars. If left to ferment to complete dryness, the wine becomes Amarone, but when fermentation is halted part way, it becomes recioto. Alternatives: California black muscat or espresso coffee.


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the lighter side

Christmas Mouse Trap By sue SUTHERLAND WOOD

T

here’s no shortage of advice on how to combat holiday stress, including directives to think ahead, make lists, delegate and above all, keep it simple. But even after distilling this strategy (and an alcoholic verb seems appropriate here) the core issue for me remains either doing what I already know is too much, or else forfeiting a cherished tradition and thereby disappointing someone. Anyone. And let’s be honest, family members know how to select the skewer devised especially for the heart and will use it ruthlessly if shortbread — or lack of — is at risk. “But how can it even be Christmas without [insert labour-intensive baked goods of your choice here]. You always make that!” This, delivered in a winsome Tiny Tim voice, can usually unsettle most mothers even if the reclining someone is conversing with you in between festive blasts of Grand Theft Auto (Of course Tiny Tim had a crutch instead of a controller but I’ll leave that comparative analysis alone for now.) The enemies of the exhausted cook during the holiday season are many. But social media in its varying guises is the worst. Take Pinterest: an enjoyable hour here and there allows us to create the sumptuous illusion of being productive, creative and ahead-of-thegame but ultimately there’s the (cranberryvanilla infused) rub! Rather than actually making that Christmas cake with the lemonbased royal icing and artfully scattering some tiny silver balls (it’s like they’ve been shot from miniature muskets, I always feel) we are slowly becoming overwhelmed by more and more (albeit extremely cool) things to do while not having the time to actually follow through. Facebook is equally unhelpful. We’re taunted by perfect photos of other people’s apparent realities. Everyone else’s family is “kicking back with mulled wine and the

whole house smells of cinnamon! Life is good.” Am I the only one still folding laundry at 9:45 in the evening so that my children don’t have to dress by the light of the dryer? There’s also a strange hollowness in all this documentation. Lately, I have watched many people carefully “styling” their meals before posting online and I can’t help but feel how much it detracts from the whole experience. Similarly, seeing a neon shovel-full of Andy Warhol-hued chestnuts on Instagram will never rival buying them from a genuine vendor on a bitingly cold afternoon and singeing fingertips as you walk along eating them in the street: hot, meaty and fragrant from a striped paper cone. There’s also the allure of the wide open internet itself. The quest begins legitimately enough when I’m searching for a misplaced recipe. But before you know it, I’m obsessed with learning how to make my own soap from violets, which leads quite naturally to a fascinating piece on how wearing more stripes will allow me to acquire Parisian chic, and then a quick look-see just to confirm that actor Chris Hemsworth is going to be roadworthy as James Hunt. He is, by the way, but it’s now 12:30 in the morning…. Stories abound of traditional dusty fruitcakes still being desperately passed around years later but mine is not amongst them. I’ve heard family scorn about “those store-bought cakes” only containing traces of cherry DNA. Perhaps these so-called inferior cakes have not enjoyed the meaningful relationship that mine have with Sailor Jerry. I cannot say — but I do know that the Facebook status of my Christmas cake tin will be “Just Crumbs Now.” SUE SUTHERLAND WOOD is a freelance writer who also works in the London Public Library system. She lives in London with her teenage sons and a floating population of dogs and cats .


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eatdrink #44 — The Holiday Issue