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Serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario № 46 • March/April 2014 www.eatdrink.ca

FREE

eatdrink Merging Contemporary & Traditional at

Bradshaws in Stratford FEATURING

Tuscano’s Pizzeria & Bistro Veramente Artigiani in London

North Moore Catering

Quality, Craft and the Discerning Taste of Jess Jazey-Spoelstra (The River Room/Rhino Lounge)

London’s Small-Batch Coffee Roasters

• Fire Roasted Coffee Co. • Hasbeans • Kingfisher Coffee Co. • Las Chicas del Café • Locomotive Coffee

ALSO: Samuels Boutique Hotel in Goderich | A London Fish & Chips Roundup | Grain Power


A delicious new season

springs to life

in STRATFORD

Stratford salutes spring with the annual Swan Parade. Experience sweet tastes on our newest adventure, the Maple Trail. Or take a guided trek foraging for wild leeks and fiddleheads. Bring some friends and join master chefs at a GE Café Chefs Cooking Class. Savour spring’s flavours in Stratford. MARCH

6

Stratford Chefs School Teat to Table Dinner Series, Monforte on Wellington 20 Craft Beer Dinner Series, Mercer Hall 22-23 Spring Foraging Weekend, Puck’s Plenty 23 GE Café Chefs Cooking Class – Robert Rose, Canadian Grub to Go, featured on Chopped Canada 29 Savour Stratford Tasting – Cider & Cheese, The Milky Whey

APRIL

3 5&6 6 17 27

Jack de Keyzer – Dinner Concert, Foster’s Inn Swan Parade Weekend – family fun and food GE Café Chefs Cooking Class – Yva Santini, Pazzo Taverna Craft Beer Dinner Series, Mercer Hall GE Café Chefs Cooking Class – Lora Kirk, Ruby Watcho, Toronto

visitstratford.ca

@StratfordON

StratfordON


Authentic

CULINARY

EXPERIENCES FROM FARM TO TABLE, LONDON'S CULINARY CULTURE IS COOKING WITH LOCAL FLAVOUR

www.londontourism.ca/culinary

TOURISM

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LONDON C A N A D A


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Chris McDonell – chris@eatdrink.ca Cecilia Buy – cbuy@eatdrink.ca Bryan Lavery – bryan@eatdrink.ca ethicalgourmet.blogspot.com Bryan Lavery – bryan@eatdrink.ca Chris McDonell – chris@eatdrink.ca Michael Bell – finance@eatdrink.ca Chris McDonell, Cecilia Buy Jane Antoniak, Darin Cook, Donald D’Haene, Jill Ellis-Worthington, Dave Hammond, Bryan Lavery, Christie Massé, Chris McDonell, Kim Miller, Allan Watts, Rick Weingarden, Kym Wolfe Steve Grimes, Bruce Fyfe, Terry Manzo, Stray Light Photography Kym Wolfe City Media Sportswood Printing, Straffordville ON 519 434-8349 525 Huron Street, London ON N5Y 4J6

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OUR COVER: Bradshaws proprietors Carrie and Jeremy Wreford were creatively photographed in their Ontario Street store in Stratford by Terry Manzo.


contents

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ISSUE № 46

8

F O O D W R I T E R AT L A R G E

By JANE ANTONIAK

Not Just for the Halibut! Jane’s Picks for Fish and Chips Veramente Artigiani at Tuscano’s Pizzeria & Bistro in London

By CHRISTIE MASSE

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Jess Jazey-Spoelstra: Quality, Craft & Discerning Taste

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30

By BRYAN LAVERY

C U L I N A RY R E TA I L

Merging Contemporary and Traditional at Bradshaws

SPOTLIGHT

Samuels Boutique Hotel and Bistro By JANE ANTONIAK

NEW COLUMN!

IN THE GARDEN

Never Too Many Tomatoes!

By ALLAN WATTS and RICK WEINGARDEN

N E W & N O TA B L E

44

36

By JILL ELLIS-WORTHINGTON

36

38

The BUZZ

KITCHEN DESIGN

Z Z U B THE 38

When an “Old” Kitchen Is the Goal By CHRIS McDONELL

WINE

48 Local Biodynamic and Organic Wines

By KIM MILLER

B E E R M AT T E R S

By THE MALT MONK

50

50

By BRYAN LAVERY

R E S TAU R A N T S

16

24 30

A Thirst for Small-Batch Coffee Roasters

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16 20

MARCH/APRIL 2014

Hybrid Beers: Those Marvellous Mutts

T H E AT R E

53

53

Donald DISHES on Theatre: Success Is Its Own Reward

By DONALD D’HAENE

BOOKS

56 From Scratch: Inside the Food Network by Allen Salkin

Review by DARIN COOK

GRAIN

58

Quinoa R e vo

COOKBOOKS

Review by CHRIS McDONELL

THE LIGHTER SIDE

By KYM WOLFE

lu t i

on

58 Grain Power by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming

56

62

Another Emerging Wine Region!

P OW E R

Over 10 Ancient 0 Delicious gl Grain & Supe ut en -f re e rblend Recipes

Bes tse llin g Authors of

PATR CA RO IC IA GR EE LY N HE N MM IN G


navigate great № 46 | March/April 2014

TO

TIMES

in

Lambton County

“Fun in the Sun” Marilyn Hearn

www.eatdrink.ca

7

LAMBTON SHORES

SARNIA & POINT EDWARD

CENTRAL LAMBTON

ST.CLAIR RIVER DISTRICT

TOURISM SARNIA-LAMBTON

LET US GUIDE YOU THROUGH OUR VACATION PLAYGROUND!

March 8-30, 2014 Lambton Heritage Museum, Grand Bend

call or click for your FREE travel guide and map

also available at southwestern ontario visitor centres

1.800.265.0316

www.tourismsarnialambton.com/EatDrink


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№ 46 | March/April 2014

food writer at large

A Thirst for Small-Batch Coffee Roasters and Other Independents By BRYAN LAVERY

T

he emergence of London’s smallbatch coffee roasters emphasizes the passion that exists for fairly traded, environmentally responsible, and ethically sourced coffee beans. The astounding growth of the burgeoning coffeehouse/cafe niche in the intensely competitive coffee market dominated by Starbucks and Tim Horton’s is nothing short of remarkable. Lately there has been an unprecedented increase of upmarket cafés that are part grab-and-go café, part bakery, and part casual dine-in restaurant, some of which are licensed. The quest of coffee drinkers for artisanal, small hand-batched roasts with diverse flavour profiles is unmatched. It has been recently suggested that in addition to its other well-documented effects, a cup of coffee will improve your memory. Hasbeans is operated by the hospitable Smith family, who have been Covent Garden Market merchants for more than 125 years. Their coffee business continues to be hands-on with Paul (third generation), Debbie (fourth) and Joel (fifth). While promoting the distinct qualities that each coffee bean develops in its natural environment, ­Hasbeans’ stalwart ­owners and Joel McMillan, Hasbeans

Fire Roasted Coffee Café staff have become a Covent Garden Market institution for their fair trade offerings and personalized service. Hasbeans’ handselected and imported coffees are offered as both green (raw) and roasted coffee beans. The Little Red Roaster was initially opened in 1995 and operated by former restaurateurs Anne and Archie Chisholm of Anthony’s Seafood Bistro. The Wortley Road location became a local institution and was the original café in what became a chain of independently owned franchises. Kendra Gordon-Green purchased the venture in 2002, adding several franchised Little Red Roaster locations in the downtown core, most notably at the Covent Garden Market and at the Central Library. Entrepreneur Dave Cook started The Fire Roasted Coffee Co. in 2006. He had been roasting his own coffee beans in his garage, and launched Fire Roasted Coffee as a Saturday business at the Western Fair Farmers Market. Cook took over as owner of the market operation two years later and began to build his business portfolio. More recently he opened a flagship café (and his complementary business, Habitual Chocolate) in a renovated heritage building at King and Talbot streets. Just last month Cook opened another satellite Fire Roasted


GCW Custom Kitchens & Cabinetry Inc. and Maple Leaf Prime proudly present

A B ig Italian Kitchen Party Charity Gala

cinque chef

Thursday April 3, 2014

London Convention Centre cinque corsi cosi tanti sapori $ 1 37. (so many flavours !!)

50

ea

Your ticket is a chance to win a fabulous ....Moto Scooter (valued at $3,900)

generously donated by:

Tickets and information please contact:

Lindey McIntyre, Executive Director www.bethanyshope.org

519 858-HOPE (4673)


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№ 46 | March/April 2014

location in Wortley Village, in premises Maria Fiallos & Valeria Fiallosformerly occupied by The Little Red Roaster. Soliman, Las Chicas del Café Cook leverages his expertise, networks and knowledge in order to shape a strong and enabling environment for social enterprise. Cook’s core business belief embraces the philosophy of supporting and mentoring people committed to sourcing quality products and invested in their place of origin. In the interest of global justice, Fire Roasted Coffee has established direct trade with producing countries to benefit the producers in a more substantial way. Fire Roasted had supplied coffee to the nearby Black Walnut Bakery Café but that “Unfortunately we could not find what we affiliation recently came to a halt. Cook were looking for. It seemed our only option approached Gordon-Green of the Little Red was to create our own one of a kind coffee Roaster to give Fire Roasted a sustained roasting company.” This coffee roasting presence and a higher profile in Wortley company would not only service the café, but Village. Cook realizes that this location might would also provide coffee to other business have a limited shelf-life, as there are plans to expand Home Hardware into that space in the and individuals around the city wanting the same characteristics in their coffee. future. In the meantime, he views the Wortley Kingfisher’s mandate is to provide high Road location like a pop-up restaurant where quality coffee blends that are roasted in he is able to create a different niche and new London and ethically sourced. The company identity in the neighbourhood. caters to the individual needs of customers Patrick Dunham, the former general manager and lead roaster for The Fire Roasted and its policy is to demonstrate transparent community involvement. Kingfisher Coffee Company, presided at the Western roasts coffee beans in small batches and Fair Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market location then blends them to achieve tastes and for six years. Working alongside Dave Cook, complexities that Dunham tells me cannot be Dunham traveled to coffee farms learning all found in single varietal options. aspects of the coffee business from roasting Sisters Maria Fiallos and Valeria Fiallosand cupping to selling. Dunham went to work as a sales manager Soliman operate the coffee micro-roaster, Las Chicas del Café, on Exeter Road, which for Imperial Coffee in opened in 2005. The Fiallos February 2013. Wilson and family has been defined Mandy Etheridge, owners Mandy Etheridge by coffee for generations, of the Black Walnut Bakery & Patrick Dunham, starting with their greatKingfisher Coffee Co. Café, approached Dunham grandfather on the family’s to partner with them in coffee plantation in Las setting up Kingfisher Sabanas, Nicaragua. The Coffee Company as a family was forced to flee wholesale coffee roaster Nicaragua in the 1980s and business. The Black during that country’s civil Walnut Bakery Café built war, finally settling in its reputation specializing London, Ontario in 1988. in organic fair trade coffees The sisters’ parents were and teas, seasonal soups, eventually able to return to savoury quiches, bread, Nicaragua and re-establish scones and squares, salads the family’s coffee grow­ and light meals. ing tradition with their Mandy explained that mission of “quality, tradi­ they were looking for a tion and responsibility.” niche that they felt was Today, plantation workers absent in the marketplace.


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hand-pick, sun-dry wide thirst for local, and manually bag independent coffee bars their annual harvest serving the highest qual­ of dense, flavourity beverages. Its direct packed beans and trade beans will be fea­ send them to Lon­ tured along with other don to be roasted. “visiting” roasts from Charles and Jill similarly skilled roasters. Wright recently Locomotive is located at opened Locomotive the corner of Pall Mall Espresso in a build­ and Colborne at the ing that has been a railroad tracks, in the neighbourhood vari­ Locomotive Espresso at former Helen’s Variety. ety store for 45 years. More and more, it Pall Mall & Colborne Locomotive baristas is worth embracing have received strict training in Pilot Coffee independents and small-batch artisanal Roaster’s Toronto espresso laboratory. Pilot coffee roasters. These types of businesses took top honours in this year’s Roast Maga­ provide core commitments to quality, zine’s annual Roaster of the Year competition relationships and hands-on service. The saying, “Pilot’s exemplary marketing practices coffee trade appears to be further inspired and dedication to offering quality coffee — to leverage economies with social enterprise evidenced by its education practices and con­ and environmental responsibility by their struction of a state-of-the-art coffee-tasting lab conduct, rather than driving profit by how — propelled the company to a win.” they market themselves. Locomotive Espresso opened its doors mid-February, looking to fill a growing world­ BRYAN LAVERY is a coffee drinker.

EXPERIENCE DOWNTOWN LONDON

519.663.2002 | www.downtownlondon.ca 123 King Street

@Downtown_London

DowntownLondon


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restaurants

Not Just for the Halibut! Jane’s Picks for Fish and Chips in London By JANE ANTONIAK | Photos by BRUCE FYFE

Y

ou’d think that in a city called London, with a Thames River, a Covent Garden Market and a Victoria Park, people might know a thing or two about serving up England’s favourite treat. You’d be right, but in this London, you can also look to the Dutch, Greeks, Albanians, Algerians and Canadians for a selection of some of the finest fish ‘n’ chips available — crispy battered halibut, haddock and cod alongside chips, coleslaw, tartar sauce and lemon slices. Just don’t call these places “chippies” — they have so much more to offer!

The Original

By all accounts, Kipps Lane Fish & Chips is the longest continuously owned and operated (by the same family) fish and chips shop in London. The late John Arp emigrated here from Holland and bought a failing take-

Archie’s Seafood Restaurants

out pizza and fish shop on Kipps Lane in 1972. The Arp family built a loyal following for their ultra clean and cheery premises, hand-cut halibut, and cooked-to-order, lightly battered and crispy fish and chips. Lovingly known as the “Codfather,” John devoted most of his life to serving fish to Londoners. Daughter Jacqueline Arp, now runs the shop for the dinner run Tuesday to Sunday. “This is my tribute to my parents. They opened this when I was a little girl. Running this place helps to keep their memory alive,” she says while wrapping white boxes in newsprint for take-out. There is seating for about a dozen but ninety percent of the business is take-out. The menu now includes seafood poutine, scallops, chowder and more, but it’s the halibut which continues to bring in customers. Good Friday orders are sold out two weeks in advance. Loyal staffers Terry Gurnett and Lorrie Emery come in daily at noon to prep the same way John Arp did — making tartar sauce, coleslaw and chowder from scratch. “We are small but mighty,” smiles Jacqueline. “Our customers are our friends.” www.kippslanefish.com 1050 Kipps Lane, London 519-673-6606 Jacqueline Arp with staffers Terry Gurnett (left) and Lorrie Emery


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№ 46 | March/April 2014

Chan Dieu & Tony Arroyas of Archies hoist huge frozen halibut, which are hand-cut into 4-ounce fillets, battered (below) and deep-fried

The Biggest

With four locations, Archie’s Seafood Restaurants sells 10,000 pounds of Alaskan halibut a month. Huge, whole, frozen halibut are processed by longtime staffer Chan Dieu, who expertly hand cuts 4-ounce fillets. Known for its family-friendly dine-in atmosphere with a nautical theme, wood paneled walls and consistent offerings,

Archie’s is a hit with seniors, young families and everyone in between. It even offers a drive-thru. Alain and Donna Arroyas opened the first location on Wharncliffe Road 28 years ago. He emigrated here from Algeria. Donna brought her love of fish and chips from Newfoundland. Together they built the business that now employs 100 people and is operated by their son, Tony. Their daughter Nicole is a wellknown and talented pastry chef who supplies pies and desserts to Archie’s from her own shop, Petit Paris. The family also owns Auberge du Petit Prince restaurant (there is halibut on the menu there, too). Expect large portions and unsalted hand-cut chips from Huron Chief, potato producers in Grand Bend. Tony says he’s trying to help keep things healthy by letting customers apply their own salt. We did, and everything was delicious! www.archiesseafood.ca 1146 Commissioners Road East, London, 519-680-1144; 153 Wharncliffe Road South, London, 519-438-8287; 1173 Wellington Road, London, 519-668-2060; 1348 Huron Street, London, 519-659-3100

Try Our NEW Grilled Seafood Menu Items!

ENJOY

Authentiinces Greek Weer &B

OPEN LATE! SUN & Holidays 11–9 MON−SAT 11–11

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EAT-IN OR TAKE-OUT

572 Adelaide Street, London 519-434-6736

www.mykonosrestaurant.ca


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www.eatdrink.ca

The Unique

Every Tuesday and Friday, a Deluxe Fish ‘n’ Chips at Irene’s Seafood Grill on Wellington Road South comes served with creamy, smoky, hearty Albanian Bean Soup. Luan Jonuzi took over the former Irene’s Seafood 21 years ago as a new arrival from Albania. The soup is now so popular that people now phone ahead or request it frozen for later pick-up. The soccer player turned restaurateur has energy to spare, and it shows in the newly renovated dining area and in his menu (he’s added such items as grilled fish in tarragon sauce). Luan loves to serve crowds of young people who often request Bloody Caesars with their fish. He also caters to a loyal following of seniors looking for a cozy getaway for their weekly meal of lightly battered Alaskan halibut, haddock or cod. Luan believes in generous helpings along with friendly service. He can be seen cooking through an open window and he often pops out of the kitchen to greet people. His enthusiasm is evident in the jumbo take-away deals such as family dinners that include seven large pieces of halibut, double fries and double salad for $56. Take your kids and their grandparents. Have yourself a glass of wine. Everyone will be happy. Especially Luan. 315 Wellington Road, London 519-439-6121

At Mykonos, Heidi Vamvalis serves up fish and chips, as well as Greek cuisine

At Irene’s Seafood Grill, Chef/Owner Luan Jonuzi delivers generous helpings, along with friendly service

The Atmosphere

Some people are surprised to hear that when Bill and Heidi Vamvalis started Mykonos 40 years ago on Adelaide Street, it had been a fish and chip shop since 1951. “We had fryers where the bar is now and three tables,” recalls Heidi. “Fish is still a staple on the menu.” Now halibut and chips at Mykonos comes with a side of Greek salad, a basket of bread and house-made tartar sauce. The meaty halibut has a delicious crispy coating. The cod has a rich, full flavour. All of it goes very well in the romantic, Greek island themed setting which includes candle-lit tables, clouds painted on the ceilings and strings of lights along the blue walls. With a glass of wine and a hug from Heidi, a trip to Mykonos is a perfect date night or a place to relax over an extended fish and chip experience, which might also include calamari and baklava. www.mykonosrestaurant.ca 572 Adelaide Street, London 519-434-6736

The Pub

We’d be hard-pressed to find a pub in London that doesn’t offer fish and chips. What we like about The Waltzing Weasel is that fresh beer is served with the beer-battered haddock and halibut. The beer in the batter changes daily depending on the whim of the bartender. With 18 drafts on tap that makes for some interesting


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Well Served!

We salute these hard working and dedicated purveyors of comfort food for maintaining — some for decades — quality food which has satisfied generations. Whether your fish and chips comes wrapped in newspaper, with bean soup or Greek salad, consider yourself well-served in this London. We’ve taken this British classic to new levels.

fish. Flaky and piping hot, served with both malt and white vinegar on the tables, fish and chips at the Weasel is a great “local” experience. www.thewaltzingweasel.com 1324 Adelaide St. N., London 519-663-9194

Other Notables

Walker’s Fish and Chips on Wellington at Horton, and Robbie Walker’s in Sherwood Forest along with HeyDayz downtown are all Enjoy the “local” experience, at owned by the same group The Waltzing Weasel JANE ANTONIAK is an and offer three different eatdrink writer as well as Manager, presentations on popular Communications & Media Relations, King’s University College, fish and chips. Walker’s, a long-time London original, has changed hands but remains at the Western University. Her favourite fish ‘n’ chips can be found at the end of a rod, caught in Lake Shebandowan, northwest of Thunder Bay. same downtown location with black & white awning. The Sherwood Forest location is takeBRUCE FYFE is a regular contributing photographer to eatdrink. out only and serves families in the west end. HeyDayz is geared to hungry students and pub He is also Librarian, Weldon Library, Western U. Bruce was impressed by the 68-pound halibut he photographed in Archie’s freezer. crawlers looking for some late-night food.

Introducing...

Pleased to feed you. 1288 COMMISSIONERS RD W, LONDON • 519.601.3300 • byronfreehouse.ca


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restaurants

Veramente Artigiani at Tuscano’s Pizzeria & Bistro in London By CHRISTIE MASSÉ

W

hen travellers reminisce about their most memorable dining experiences abroad, it is common to hear praises over the gems upon which they stumble while straying from the downtown tourist track. Having lived through this exact cliché during my recent sojourn in Milan, I am familiar with the thrill of accidentally discovering authenticity. Following a number of uninspired meals at overpriced Americanized tourist trap “ristoranti.” I finally got to experience the most delicious cliché imaginable; a meal with handmade artisan levains, pastas, and pizzas, and wines to complement every flavour, all for a fraction of the prices I’d been paying and with triple the ambiance. This sought-after experience can be found at Tuscano’s, a family owned and operated pizzeria and bistro found off the beaten path on Oxford Street, right across from Fanshawe College. Tuscano’s offers a great

Tuscano’s is conveniently located on Oxford Street, right across from Fanshawe College dining experience without facing traffic, parking wars, or the event congestion that sometimes fills our streets. As Bryan Lavery, eatdrink’s Food Writer at Large, mentioned in the last issue’s article, “Has ‘Artisan’ Lost Its Meaning?” the term artisan comes from the Italian artigiano. In a food world often driven by buzz words, Robert and Shannon Donati prove that artisanal food is alive and well in London, not by following trends, but by maintaining the quality and standards to which they have always subscribed. They have been in the business for 22 years, beginning with Little Rocky’s Pizzeria on Dundas, and have Anthony Donati and Dani Woods are flanked by Robert and Shannon Donati


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invariably held quality as their highest priority. Luckily for London’s diners, the couple denotes quality with old world methods, fresh ingredients, handmade products, and small batch production — the very definition of artisanal. In this truly family-run business, Robert’s 80-year-old mother even joins the kitchen crew on a regular basis to hand make their gnocchi, Nona-style. Shannon not only holds her post as co-owner/operator, she is also the Tuscano’s offers a wide selection of pizza toppings, available restaurant’s skilled and dedicated on regular or thin crust, in small or large sizes pastry chef, beginning each day with from-scratch bread, pasta, and dessert preparation, only to switch gears and tend front of house for dinner service. Her desserts might seem familiar in description, but stand out amongst competitors in creativity, skill, and presentation. Items such as sticky toffee pudding, flourless chocolate cake, and tiramisu cheesecake recalibrate your impression of how these somewhat common items can and should taste. The same can be said of other menu items as well, all of which are mindfully Pastas are all house-made developed and executed by the restaurant’s Chef Dani Woods, assisted by Sous Chef Mike Kerslake. For example, the local beet salad featured during Londonlicious sells itself, with the spinach and goat’s cheese accompaniment garnished with candied pecans and dried cranberries. The orange-maple brûlée dressing ties all of these compliments together with an unanticipated love tap to the taste buds. The savoury and sweet flavour notes perfectly support each other in this dish, as well as on the goat’s cheese and grape pizza. Shannon Donati prepares a variety of desserts daily Another Londonlicious feature, worthy of the regular menu, the pizza’s sweet which are picked and then packed within grapes, caramelized onions, and roasted four hours, were specially selected as well. It garlic are countered by the salty goat’s is clear, based on the team’s articulation of cheese, crispy prosciutto, and specially all aspects of the restaurant, from the menu sourced Galati mozzarella. This pizza is to the DIY (though you would never know it) finished with a vincotto drizzle. Vincotto fine contemporary décor, that every minute (cooked wine) is an artisanally produced, detail is given serious contemplation before dark, sweet grape must reduction, which being settled upon. they get from Jill’s Table. The Galati cheese Following training from Chef Steve James was specially chosen following a tour of the at the London Training Centre, Chef Dani Windsor factory. Another family business, (who happens to also be the girlfriend of the Galati Cheese Company creates allShannon and Robert’s son Andrew — it truly natural whole mozzarella as well as a is a family affair) has fully embraced her selection of other cheeses. The tomatoes, passion in the kitchen. She thrives in creating


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drink features are created in season, such as strawberry lemonade using Heeman’s strawberries, to be enjoyed on the spacious 24-seat patio, which opens in May. As I swirled and sipped, I caught the sound of the blues playing through the speakers and enquired about the (spot on) choice in music. This was the influence of their children, Andrew, Rebecca, and Anthony, all of whom are very involved in the restaurant as well. Both Chic and modern pizzeria decor, with a casual bistro atmosphere boys take care of many of the odds and ends while features Thursday through Saturday, making Rebecca, a student, serves part time. Robert vinaigrettes and sauces, and braising meats says, “We’re only scratching the surface here.” using only the right wines for the task. “We They plan to build a bright future for their give you the best quality we can for the fairest children at the restaurant, setting them up to price,” explains Robert. Appetizers range in one day take over the family business. It’s a price from $4.50 to $12, and the individual business worthy of London’s attention. mains don’t exceed $16. “We never cut corners and we always try to do better,” adds Tuscano’s Pizzeria & Bistro Robert — words of a dedicated and passionate 1579 Oxford Street, London restaurateur. 519-452-3737 Robert oversees every aspect of the 80-seat www.toscanoslondon.com restaurant and takes care of much of the monday–thursday: 11 am–10 pm business side, but seems most at home friday & saturday: 11 am–11 pm working behind the bar. After introducing me closed sunday to my new favourite red wine, an Argentinian malbec that is featured in their house-made sangria, he explained to me that they purchase CHRISTIE MASSÉ is a Stratford Chef School graduate, a through an agent as opposed to buying local chef, and food consultant. For enquiries, call 519-494-1061. through the LCBO. This allows them to carry estate wines, of which only 10 to 15 000 cases are produced, all available by the glass. I enjoyed a grillo as recommended to me by our attentive server, Amy. The grillo is an Italian green grape varietal, which presents itself as a crowd pleaser. It is dry with medium acidity and would appeal to the riesling lover and the pinot grigio crowd alike. The beer drinker can expect to see Cracked Canoe, Rolling Rock, Hop City products, Moose Head, and the Italian Berretti. Fresh A cozy corner nook


Eat in or take out

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Dining Guide Hasbean’s International Bakery Kleiber’s Deli Manito’s Rotisserie & Sandwich Shop Nate’s Shawarma Petit Paris Sebastian’s Seoul Seafood Shoppe Tanakaya Taylor Sue’s Thai Delight The Little Red Roaster The Market Deli The New Delhi Deli The Piping Kettle Soup Co. The Rice Box The Salad Bowl Waldo’s Bistro On King

Affordably Fresh, Friendly & Local Market Hours Monday to Thursday: 8am — 6pm Friday: 8am — 7:30pm Saturday: 8am — 6pm Sunday: 11am — 4pm coventmarket.com

/coventgardenmarket


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restaurants

Quality, Craft & Discerning Taste Jess Jazey-Spoelstra is the entrepreneur behind North Moore Catering, The River Room and the new Rhino Lounge By BRYAN LAVERY Photos by STRAY LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY

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orth Moore Catering was born out of a longing. Jess JazeySpoelstra was working at Walkers in Tribeca, corner of North Moore St. and Varick St. (7th Ave), in Manhattan. Disenchanted with the catering at her wedding, Jazey-Spoelstra had an epiphany, and decided to launch a catering company instead of a restaurant. She and her husband Harmen, along with general manager Sandra Doyle-Holden, set about building North Moore’s status as one of the city’s foremost caterers almost entirely on word-of-mouth. Jazey-Spoelstra is a natural communicator with her finger firmly on the culinary pulse. Like any effective entrepreneur, she has a particular charisma and an innate gift for training and mentoring skilled staff that can communicate her vision and deliver it with finesse. When Jazey-Spoelstra was offered the restaurant space at Museum London for The River Room, she and Harmen were initially reluctant. However, the room and the facilities were the proper fit for a caterer with Jazey-Spoelstra’s entrepreneurial vision and creative talents. The River Room quickly became a success. Her latest project is the upscale Rhino Lounge Bakery and Coffee Shop, in the premises previously occupied by the gift shop

Jess Jazey-Spoelstra and her husband Harmen Spoelstra in the new Rhino Lounge within Museum London.

Photo by Jesse Gibb

at Museum London. The café is named after Tom Benner’s White Rhino sculpture that has stood watch on the grounds of the museum since 1987. There are plans to place patio tables on the well-manicured front lawn and guests will also be able to sit by the beautiful pond on the west side of the Museum. Jazey-Spoelstra’s sophisticated design sensibility is reflected in all her projects. It is about delivering elegance, and paying attention to detail. Smoky crystal


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chandeliers, with dozens of multifaceted hanging crystals, and custom-made black leather banquettes set the tenor. Designed to be multifunctional, the space can be repurposed for special and private events. The in-house scratch bakery is set to showcase pâtisseries, pies, croissants, handmade doughnuts and hand-rolled bagels. Pastry chef Michele Lenhardt’s chic dessert offerings include goat cheese cheesecake, cherry and lemon tarts and her signature chocolate pâté. The café will be licenced and the kitchen will turn out grab-and-go sandwiches, paninis, and charcuterie, and there are plans to make tapas available on Thursday nights. Jazey-Spoelstra focuses on providing innovative and cutting edge food experiences combined with extraordinary service which is her hallmark. She does not source products from the standard food suppliers but instead selects each food item to ensure quality and freshness at each event. She has a penchant for adding her own signature style by reimagining food styles and cultures. “Quality has always been my number one priority, even if it means that my prices are higher than some competitors. At caterings, we still cook all the food fresh on site with a portable kitchen. Everything is made from scratch and if we can’t keep our standards because of budget constraints or venue constraints, then we won’t do the event.” Most ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible, but some iconic staples such as smoked salmon, caviar, bagels and cream cheese are express-shipped by courier from the famed Russ & Daughters in New York. This is a testament to Jazey-Spoelstra’s desire to bring nothing but the best to her client’s table. Last May, Jazey-Spoelstra invited me to the River Room to sample Russ & Daughters hand-sliced smoked salmon, which is only available once a year (the year prior it wasn’t available at all). The coldsmoked Gaspé Nova is a primal experience due

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The array of North Moore Catering photos on these pages can be likened to Jess JazeySpoelstra’s entrepreneurial achievements. Like any successful caterer/restaurateur, she has a particular je ne sais quoi combined with an innate talent for mentoring professional staff who can communicate her culinary vision and deliver it with aplomb and finesse. Both the range and execution are impressive.


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to the combination of the fattiness of the fish and the mild smokiness. She served this delicacy with double hand-whipped, eat-itby-the-spoonful, scallion-cream cheese and proper hand-made chewy bagels. We also sampled the complex and sensual mouth feel of Osetra caviar from sustainably raised Californian sturgeon. On another occasion she invited me to sample some new dishes. Well, nobody in this city does bone marrow the way the River Room does — oh, the deep and satisfying pleasure of eating pure rich hot bone marrow. Speaking of Russ & Daughters, Jazey-Spoelstra told me about an independent documentary called The Sturgeon Queens. Its recent release was timed to coincide with Russ & Daughters centennial this year. The documentary features an extensive interview with two of the daughters for whom the lox and herring emporium was named. One hundred-year-old Hattie Russ Gold and her sister, 92-year-old Anne Russ Federman, both share anecdotes that encapsulate the Jewish immigrant

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experience: “hard work, humour, romance, and a little tsuris (aggravation).” Other participants include the fourth generation family members who operate the shop today. The film also features Herman Vargas, aka “The Artistic Slicer,” longtime employee, now manager, who represents the new wave of immigrants behind the Russ & Daughters counter. North Moore caters cocktail parties, weddings, post-wedding brunches, dinners at your home, corporate events or any other occasion that requires a caterer. Past events have included cocktail parties with guest lists of 1500, as well as intimate dinner parties. “We are a full service catering company that takes care of the rentals, linen selection, floral, decor, backdrops, head table decor, wedding cakes and favours,” says general manager Sandra Doyle-Holden. “We assist with timeline, floor plan and planning. We take great pride in everything we do and do our best to ensure every event is perfect.”


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presents

North Moore Catering 519-697-2560 Venues: The River Room / Rhino Lounge www.theriverroom.ca; Museum London www.londonmuseum.on.ca; Mercedes London;  Farhi Farms; Civic Garden Complex www.london.ca/civiccentre; Centennial Hall www.centennialhall.london.ca; Michael Gibson Gallery www.gibsongallery.com;  Children’s Museum www. londonchildrensmuseum.ca; The Grand Theatre www. grandtheatre.com; Fanshawe Pioneer Village, Fanshawe Conser­ vation Area, Old Century Barn.

Rhino Lounge Bakery & Coffee Shoppe Museum London, Ridout Street North 519-850-5111 monday–sunday: 9 am–5 pm thursdays: 9 am–9 pm The River Room Café Museum London, Ridout Street North 519-850-2287 www.theriverroom.ca monday—friday: 9 am–4 pm sunday for brunch The River Room is also open evenings for private dining events.

BRYAN LAVERY is a well-known chef and eatdrink’s Food Writer at Large.

Hope

made delicious APRIL 23 in partnership with

Reservations Recommended List of Participating Restaurants at:

www.atasteforlife.org


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culinary retail

Merging Contemporary & Traditional at Bradshaws, in Stratford By JILL ELLIS-WORTHINGTON Photos by TERRY MANZO

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hepherding a century-old business through economically challenging times could be a big challenge, but Jeremy and Carrie Wreford are up for it. In fact, the couple is actually enjoying the process of modernizing a venerated retail icon. Starting as a fine china and crystal shop, Bradshaws was founded in 1895 by John Bradshaw. The Wreford family took over from three generations of Bradshaws in 1975 when Bill and Gordon, Jeremy’s father and grandfather respectively, purchased the store. Progressing beyond their roots is how Jeremy and Carrie are updating the store. “Reassessing lines in the store is a continuous process,” explains Carrie. “Making sure we have the right assortment of products is a constant evolution.” Part of that evolutionary process has involved adding jewelry to the store’s stock and deleting some items that have gone by the wayside over the years. “If 1 — Proprietors Carry & Jeremy Wreford 2 — Authentic Models Sky Hooks 3 — Railway Spike Knives

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we’d just continued as a crystal and china store, in this marketplace we’d be in very big trouble,” explains Carrie. “It’s just not in demand the way it used to be.” Choosing to add the Pandora Jewelry line was “the best decision we ever made,” according to Carrie. It is now their best selling line, and customers who come into the store to buy bracelets, charms and watches notice the wide array of other products and become Bradshaws shoppers. Besides having an innate under­ standing of the business, having grown up with the Bradshaws’ heritage, Jeremy brings his experience as a set designer in the film industry. He has a great feel for what works visually for displays and the store in general. Carrie worked in the Roots Canada head office as a graphic artist, so her strength in marketing is paying off for Bradshaws. Maintaining their offerings of quality kitchenware is an emphasis for the couple. Presently, Emile Henry and Le Creuset are top-sellers, but the continuing trend toward home cooking and entertaining has convinced them to look at adding more to feed the growing demand for distinguished products. With an open concept design of kitchen/living room spaces the norm in contemporary houses, home cooks don’t want ugly pans and worn tools on display for all to see. “We stock items that look good and are very functional when you buy quality,” says Carrie. She adds that more people are following the European habit of “buying once and having it (cookware) forever.” This is a motto that the Wrefords can get behind, as they “curate” all the cookware and kitchen

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4 4— Michel Design Works Soaps & Lotions 5 — Umbra Venus Jewellery Stands 6 — Pottery Canoes by Susan Robertson 7 — Hand Bookends by Indaba 8 — Bodum Bistro Blenders

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9 9 — Menu Jewellery Trees 10 — Bohemia Crystal Hand Made Glass 11 — Belvoir Fruit Farms Cordials 12 — Once Upon a Tree Serving Boards & Bowls 13 — Assorted Salad Bowls; 14 — Turkey Hill Maple Syrup

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items sold at Bradshaws. Admitting that they have “an embarrassing amount of cookware,” the Wrefords love to cook, and many of their personal favourites are offered at the store. Travelling extensively, the couple use their trips as research and for professional development. “In Paris or London, or wherever we travel, we are always going to culinary stores. Or when we dine and something is served in a vessel we really like, we take note,” says Jeremy. Though the core of Bradshaws will always be its Ontario Street store, according to Carrie, the duo knows that the world is quickly moving toward web-based shopping. In September of last year, they launched their online store. “This is a huge opportunity to service our current customers and gain new ones instead of opening more (bricks and mortar) stores,” says Carrie. “This will be a big push for us.” Recognizing that the introduction of Wal-Mart and Target into Stratford’s retail mix will change its complexion, the couple emphasizes that whether customers are once-a-year visitors from

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Bradshaws 129 Ontario Street, Stratford 519-271-6283 www.bradshawscanada.com JILL ELLIS-WORTHINGTON leads the talented team of communicators at Write.On Communications, and she loves to write about life’s great joys, like food, drink and shopping.

15 the U.S., folks from southwestern Ontario that visit during the theatre season, or locals who stop in weekly, providing excellent, personal customer service is top of mind for the Wrefords. “There are lots of places where you can go and buy a knock-off, but the shopping experience is very important and we want to give our customers the best experience they are going to have.”

TERRY MANZO is a Stratford-based photographer with a diverse and impressive client list. www.terrymanzo.com

Meats & So Much More!

15 — Breville Espresso Machines 16 — Quality Serving Tools, Utensils & Gadgets

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We are your London outlet for Metzger Meat Products, The Whole Pig, Blanbrook Bison Farm and Lena’s Lamb, with sauces and spices from The Garlic Box, Pristine Olive, Stonewall Kitchen, and Traditional Portuguese Sauce. Western Fair Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market: Saturdays, 8am–3pm

226-376-6328 • erin@saucymeats.com

Anything Grows SEED Co. www.anythinggrows.com

See us online or at The Western Fair Farmers’ Market — Every Saturday

Over 600 varieties of SEED


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BEER Each Beer Dinner features Dinner Series samples from the brewery, paired with a 4-course 4 Courses — $60 each chef-inspired menu. Book all 4 nights in advance for $200 Limited seating. Jan 16 – Lake of Bays Meet the brewery reps and talk about craft beer!

Feb 20 – Muskoka Mar 20 – Silversmith Apr 17 – Beau’s

BRUNCH • LUNCH • DINNER • EVENTS 104 Ontario Street, Stratford | 519.271.92 02 | www.mercerhall.com Get up-to-date info on our series of exciting events!

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Holiday hours: Open evenings ’til 8 pm all Easter week long. Good Friday: closed. Open Easter Sat. from 8am to 6pm.

Stratford is more than great theatre ...


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spotlight

History & Hometown Values Samuels Boutique Hotel and Bistro, in Goderich By JANE ANTONIAK Photos by BRUCE FYFE

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oderich’s newest boutique bistro The results she has achieved would make and hotel, ­Samuels, is named both Samuels proud to have their names after local men who worked attached to the enterprise. Samuel Bisset in the production of salt, milk and ice cream. Owner Kim Burgsma, with the help of her husband (and contractor) Hugh, transformed picturesque dairy farmland on the Maitland River just north of Goderich into a property with a lovely 14-room contemporary boutique hotel. Now, three years later, Burgsma has grown the culinary offerings at Samuels to include casual fine dining, sushi nights and culinary classes with Chef Scott Baechler Goderich native and Fanshawe College Chef/instructor Scott Baechler.

Photo by Glenn Hubbers (www.hubbers.ca)

Kim Burgsma, chef/owner of Samuels Boutique Hotel


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and his family produced award-winning dairy products on the land for 70 years in the 1900s. The Burgsmas transformed his former silos into their unique home. Inspired, they then bought an adjacent former banquet hall and transformed it into a single hall hotel, with half the rooms facing the river — in fact you can walk to the banks and enjoy fishing or hiking. A Garden Room, which was originally Colborne Public School — a two-room late1800s school — became a breakfast room with exposed brick walls juxtaposed with Nevada Red walls and stone accents. It is now Samuels Bistro, with full service dining and seating for 28. The other Samuel was Samuel Platt, who is credited with discovering salt in Goderich in 1866. The result was that Sifto became the town’s main industrial employer; the mine head can be seen from the hotel. Guests can hike to the Goderich harbour for a closer view or to enjoy a famous Lake Huron sunset. Continued on page 34 ...

Every tastefully decorated room is accessible and has a gas fireplace, and some have Jacuzzi tubs. A secondstorey Schoolhouse Suite (below) has two bedrooms, full kitchen and a large balcony.


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Dine

• Shop • Stay • Play

Enjoy Ontario’s West Coast

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519-238-5515 BREAKFAST

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Private Room Available


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2013 Paint Ontario Best in Show painting by Donna Andreychuk

PLAN TO ATTEND Canada’s premier juried show & sale of representational art

March 8 to 30 LAMBTON HERITAGE MUSEUM 8km south of Grand Bend Open 11 am to 5 pm daily

Seasonal Hours Always Closed Monday Reservations Recommended 519.238.6224 42 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend www.finearestaurant.com

PaintOntario.com Grand Bend Art Centre: 519-872-7824 Also during March, enjoy the

RETURN OF THE TUNDRA SWANS Visit the museum to learn about their annual migration

A Fresh Take on Tradition Come for dinner or a romantic getaway on the Huron Shore

Named one of Ontario’s BEST “Destination Restaurants”

Stylish German Cuisine Distinctive Accommodations Join Us for our Spring Wedding & Event Fair the last weekend in April!

ning Re-Ope nds Weeke IL in APR

www.hessenland.com “Evidence that you don’t have to be in a big city to create great things!” — The Globe & Mail

527 Main Street, Exeter 519-235-3030 30 min North of London • 20 min East of Grand Bend 30 min West of Stratford

www.eddingtons.ca

RR #2 Zurich ON Hwy 21, north of Grand Bend, 1 hour from London 519-236-7707 or 1-866-543-7736


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Continued from page 31 ...

Bringing International Experience Home to Goderich Samuels has recently joined Ontario’s Finest Hotels, Inns & Spas. Every room has a gas fireplace. Some King Riverside suites have Jacuzzi tubs. All rooms are tastefully decorated and are accessible. A secondstorey Schoolhouse Suite has two bedrooms, full kitchen and a large balcony with a view of Goderich and the sunsets. This is where Chef Baechler offers culinary classes in the winter and spring. Baechler has over 20 years experience as an executive chef in inter­ national five star hotels across Canada and the world, including Rimrock in Banff (the only five diamond in Western Canada), The Four Seasons in Whistler, and Fairmont in Dubai. Most recently, while teaching at Fanshawe, Baechler

Diners are seated in the newly renovated Garden Room (above), with its Nevada Red or exposed brick walls or, in season, on the Patio Café (below).

1 2

3

Fifty percent of the Samuels Bistro menu changes seasonally, with a creative use of local products and a love of seafood apparent. Examples (above) include: 1 Coconut Curry Prawns with Basmati Rice 2 Seafood Chowder with Scone 3 Apple Crumble Tart


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was part of Culinary Team Canada, winning top honours in Europe. Baechler says that Samuels’ small size creates the perfect balance. “I am a Goderich boy, it’s a great untapped destination, and people who live in Goderich work hard to protect that.” Baechler says he was drawn to Burgsma’s love of gardening and culinary. “Over the summer we have a full farmers’ market in the downtown core. It’s simply the place to be. Kim and I are hoping to do a dinner together at some point, so keep an eye out,” he teases. Burgsma is the chef at Samuels and it’s a job she clearly enjoys and excels at. Her playful approach with local Perth Pork Products results in such items as wild boar ragu and sweet candied bacon in fennel salad. Burgsma’s apple crumble pie made with Arva Four Mill flour is light and flaky. In season, she makes peach and berry pies. Fifty percent of the menu changes seasonally. She also loves seafood and features large shrimp in her chowder and in her coconut curry prawn with basmati rice. Samuels serves VQA wines and is fully licenced. The Bistro Garden Room can also be used for private functions and meetings. “I’m careful what I choose to put on the menu,” says Burgsma. “Small is not bad.” Clearly, she loves her sense of place and its history. The family has lived on the site for 33 years and daughter Holly Dalton is a local photographer. “It’s a beautiful area we have here.” Burgsma has also teamed up with another Goderich restaurant, Thyme on 21, offering guests a Culinary Adventure which includes a two-night stay, and dinners at both locations. Given the skills of Thyme’s Chef Terry Kennedy, that sounds like a delicious get-away. Samuels Boutique Hotel 34031 Saltford Rd, Goderich 519-524-1371 www.samuelshotel.ca

Trust... Taste... Quality... Award-Winning PRIME BEEF Burgers

It’s True! Spring is around the corner and it’s time to plan your BBQ season! Also watch for new creations for the BBQ throughout this spring and summer. .

Open six days a week.

Hensall, Ontario JANE ANTONIAK has covered Huron County for eatdrink magazine for five years. She is also Manager, Communications & Media Relations, King’s University College, Western. BRUCE FYFE enjoys culinary photography for eatdrink. He is a Librarian at Weldon, Western University.

Available in London at Saucy: Meats & So Much More at Western Fair Farmers’ Market on Saturdays!

Just off Hwy 4, 45 minutes north of London.

www.metzgermeats.com 519-262-3130 Local Beef • Pork • Lamb • Poultry Specialty European Meat Products


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in the garden

Never Too Many Tomatoes! Time to Get Started on Your Tomato Garden By ALLAN WATTS and RICK WEINGARDEN

N

othing beats the flavour of a fresh picked tomato. Fresh heirloom tomatoes are so good, I am no longer tempted by any grocery store offerings—at any time of the year. Savour the flavour of the tomato while they’re in season. Out of season, the best way to enjoy tomatoes is in your own homemade sauces, either frozen or canned. These are welcome memories of summer in the middle of winter! With so many varieties of tomatoes, how can you choose? For best flavour look for heirloom seed varieties. You will not end up with the perfect, unblemished, round, tasteless tomato that grocery marketing has presented for years. What you sacrifice in looks you make up in flavour.

Heirlooms

What is an heirloom? An heirloom is pollinated naturally, and its seeds come up true unless cross-pollinated by bees. Some types, with names like Violet Jasper, Mortgage Lifter, Black Krim and San Marzano, have been passed down through generations. The diverse selection now available is exciting. Just a few years ago many of these varieties were almost forgotten. If you want to experience these tempting fruits at their best, you can grow them yourself. Each type offers a unique, delicious flavour profile. You can save your own tomato seeds for next year. Like peppers and eggplants, tomatoes are self-pollinating. But to avoid cross-pollination you will need to plant them with at least 50 feet between varieties — if you have the space.

Red Cherry

Black Krim

Mortgage Lifter

Colour

Colour is another variable. There are beautiful reds, dark reds that are almost black, yellows, oranges and even green striped. There are different nutrients in each

Beefsteak


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colour so the best choice is to eat them all! A colour mix also adds beauty to your food. Remember, we eat with our eyes, too!

Varieties

There are four main categories of tomatoes: beefsteak, mid-size, paste and cherry. Choose beefsteaks for the perfect bacon and tomato sandwich (just add mayo). Mid-size are a great salad size, paste offers the best texture for sauces, and cherries are ideal for braising, salads and snacking. For a continued supply of tomatoes look at maturity dates. Some varieties ripen earlier than others. Stagger maturity dates so they don’t all show up at once! This will also extend your tomato harvest season. If you find tomatoes labeled “determinate,” they are a bush variety. Determinates are also good for growing in containers. When you see “indeterminate” the plants grow more like vines and will need support. Indeterminates will produce fruit until frost brings them down.

The Tomato Needs …

Tomatoes like full sun, 6 to 8 hours a day. They require good soil; whatever soil you have, add compost and composted manure to ensure a well-drained, rich, open soil. Give them space to grow. Two feet apart is ideal. If your space is limited, consider container gardening. Use a large deep pot and a container soil mix with added composted manure. To finish the container, underplant your tomato with salad greens, Swiss chard or beautiful edible nasturtiums.

Roma Sungold Cherry

Indigo Rose

Brandywine

What to Start Soon

If you want to grow tomatoes, peppers, melons, onions or eggplants from seed they are best sown indoors from late February early March. To start seeds indoors you need to create an environment suited for seedlings to grow. Light, temperature and humidity are variables that are important to manage for best results. A south-facing window offers good light, but for these sunloving plants and for good healthy growth, invest in a grow light. If you want just a few plants, they are available from retailers mid-May, but don’t plant them outside until after the last chance of frost, usually May 24th. Heirloom varieties can be found at farmers’ markets. Fresh picked truly means growing your own, and it’s worth it! Whether you grow

your own from seed or purchase a quality heirloom plant, the value is incredible. And did I mention the flavour? RICK WEINGARDEN and ALLAN WATTS own Anything Grows SEED Co. (www.anythinggrows.com). They can be found at the Western Fair Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market on Saturdays, and at various gardening events around the region.


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The BUZZ ... new and notable

T

he 2014 London’s Local Flavour Culinary Get your copy; it’s a keeper. For a view of the guide and more, go Guide is hot off the press. A project by eatdrink to www.londontourism.ca/culinary magazine for Tourism London, the guide London’s Garlic’s of London and La provides a rich overview of the Casa are both celebrating 20 years in ’S city’s breadth of exciting dining business. Marienbad and Chaucer’s ONDON L and shopping opportunities. Pub will be celebrating their 40th 20 14 The guide goes out to Ontario anniversary this June. Heartfelt Travel Centres, London’s Tourism congratulations all around. Information Centres, and major Retail y ar lin Cu ts • ls Restauran od Festiva entry points to the city, such Wen Bei Li’s Chinese Five rkets • Fo Farmers’ Ma as the London International Fortune Club Restaurant and Airport, the VIA Rail station, the arts and culture centre is expected London Convention Centre, the to open in early March at the Downtown London office, as well southeast corner of Richmond and as at dozens of local businesses, King Street. The cuisine will be a libraries and the farmers’ markets. It’s combination of Yunnan, Sichuan Local also available online, with links both and Guizhou influences. Flavour Served Here on the Tourism London website and the eatdrink site. For information on The Japanese-inspired Sakata outstanding local restaurants, culinary Bar and Grill has opened in .ca ism londontour retailers, and our farmers’ markets, there is the premises that Blue Ginger no more comprehensive resource available. previously occupied on Richmond Street.

2014

calr Loo Flav u

SINCE 1819

AT THE

ARVA FLOUR MILL

6

Days a Week

Closed Mondays

Local, Artisan & Natural Products from producers such as The Garlic Box & Gunn’s Hill Cheese

Local Natural & Certified Organic Frozen Meats Beef • Poultry • Pork • Bison • Water Buffalo • Deli Meats Wild-caught Salmon, Halibut, Scallops & Tuna Coffee • Tea • Frozen Wheatgrass Juice A Variety of Gluten-free Products OUTLET Local Cheeses • Certified Organic Frozen Vegetables Gourmet Sauces • Olive Oils • Preserves • Natural Soaps & Skincare Products

2042 Elgin St, Arva ON • 519-601-6456 www.arvamillhouse.com


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Meals on Wheels will be holding their annual event, called “Walk for Wheels,” at Covent Garden Market, upstairs on the Mezzanine on March 28th from 2-4 p.m.

and gluten-free options. The focus is on flavour, not heat, but home-made hot sauce is available. 561 Southdale Rd Unit 9c., 226-663-8452

The Covent Garden Farmers’ Market operated by Christine Sheer is London’s only 100% producer-based market. This means that every vendor at the market sells what they grow, raise, bake, and preserve themselves. For more info about The Covent Garden Farmers’ Market, including recipes and special events, go to the farmers’ market blog, at www.coventgardenfarmersmarket.com

The Curry Garden Restaurant has relocated. It is now south of King Street on Richmond in the premises formerly occupied by Los Comales. The Asian Buffet is relocating in the premises formerly occupied by the Curry Garden Restaurant.

UpFront at the Market, in the southwest corner of Covent Garden Market, and Café One on Richmond Street both closed in February.

The 2014 seed season has started. Rick Weingarden and Allan Watts, from Anything Grows SEED Company, a permanent vendor at the Western Fair Farmers’ &

The new brain child of The Wolfe Brothers, “Rock Au Taco,” next door to the Early Bird Diner, is serving up delicious and authentic tacos and Mexican cuisine, ice cold cervezas, and smooth tequila. www.theearlybird.ca The Root Cellar, an organic café, bakery and juice bar in Old East Village is expanding into the neighbouring premises at 621 Dundas Street. The cafe is an offshoot of On the Move Organics, a local company that unites people to local certified organic food producers through its home delivery service, its operations at Western Fair Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market, and the Dundas Street café. When completed this spring the dining room will have tripled in size. In warm weather diners will be able to enjoy the sidewalk patio. www.fb.com/TheRootCellarOrganicCafe

ALWAYS a 3-course prix fixe menu option

Locomotive Espresso opened their doors mid-February and is looking to fill a growing worldwide thirst for local, independent coffee bars serving the highest quality beverages. Locomotive is located at the corner of Pall Mall and Colborne (at the railroad tracks), in the former Helen’s Variety. Los Comales, known for its Mexican and Latin American food, has reopened for casual dining or take-out with delivery to be offered in the future. It offers many vegetarian, vegan

432 Richmond St. at Carling • London www.davidsbistro.ca www.davidsbistro.ca

London’s Celebration Destination

31 Lunch Weekdays Dinner 7 Nights a Week

1 York Street

(just West of Ridout)

MICHAEL’S ON THE THAMES Continental cuisine – with a 519-672-0111 contemporary twist! – and Tableside Cooking. Baby Grand Pianist Nightly From an amazing Caesar Salad to flaming coffees, Complimentary On Site Parking Michael’s makes your celebration an event. www.michaelsonthethames.com


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Artisan’s Market on Saturdays, have hard-to-find seeds and organic sprouting seeds available year round. With a larger space, anything grows has expanded into other categories: bird feeders, gloves, potted arrangements, flower bulbs, sprout growers and hand-weeders, just to name a few. This spring, enjoy the Anything Grows advantage: A choice of five great seed suppliers — along with their favourite gardening supplies — all available in one spot. Whether you are a discerning veteran gardener or an enthusiastic beginner, get the seed varieties you’re looking for quickly and easily. www.anythinggrows.com

STUNNING VIEWS EXCELLENT FOOD AMBIANCE GALORE CAFÉ OPEN TUES TO FRI, 11–4 SUN BRUNCH, 11–4

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Hope made Delicious. A Taste for Life Participating Taste restaurants open their doors on Wednesday April 23rd and donate 25% of the evening sales to AIDS Service Organizations in the community. Support the men, women and children in your community by going out to dinner. A Taste for Life serves the regions of Perth, Huron, Oxford, Elgin, Lambton and Middlesex counties. Monforte on Wellington will be joining Molly Blooms and Foster’s Inn in Stratford this year. www.atasteforlife.org/london.htm Chef Brian Magee will be opening FLAVURS Artisan Kitchen & Bar in the premises formerly occupied by SmokeN-Bones on Wellington Road South at Southdale. The locallysourced menus will find inspiration in updated versions of globally inspired street food. FLAVURS will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Owner Jim Agathos’s The Dancing Greek (formerly the Huron House) has closed. Agathos’s grandson Zack is opening the Icarus Resto Bar in the premises formerly occupied by the Coffee Culture on Richmond Street. The Mediterranean-themed restaurant will have an open kitchen and is expected to open in late March or early April.

Food Trucks

Last year London City Council agreed to get public feedback on a proposed program to allow new-style food trucks. The current bylaw was drafted to deal with catering trucks, hotdog carts and other vendors that have traditionally been confined to private parking lots and special events. The City has revised their initial food truck plan, and proposed a much less restrictive version that balances the interests of stakeholders and encourages a vibrant street food experience for the public. However, there are restrictions. There is expected to be a 25-metre buffer zone separating food trucks from existing restaurants. They will also be required to stay clear of schools, which have healthful-food guidelines. In the meantime, an impartial food truck advisory review panel made up of volunteer representatives (based on London’s Urban Design Peer Review Panel) is being formed to Enjoy a FREE Tasting Experience Freshly milled extra virgin olive oils from our award-winning producers, sourced directly by Olive-Me.

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provide expert opinion and recommendations regarding food truck strategy in London. In addition, the panel will be charged with encouraging culturally diverse and original menu offerings, and endorsing the promotion of healthy eating. Vendors would be encouraged to be innovative and consider focusing on a variety of nutritious, seasonal, fresh and local ingredients. At the moment it appears that there will be no selection criteria based on proposed menu offerings, business plan, innovation, and level of vendor experience or overall impact to London’s food truck/street food culture. However, it is too early to try to define what that culture should look like, and consumers will ultimately determine its future and success.

LONDON ARTISTS’

STUDIO TOUR

Out-of-Town

Chris and Mary Woolf have returned to St. Marys. Little Red’s Pub and Eatery opened in mid- February, at 159 Queen Street. The Woolfs always made a trip to the former Woolfy’s well worth the drive. www.woolfys.com Paint Ontario is a project of the Grand Bend Art Centre and runs March 8–30. This 18th annual juried show of representational art is a competition, an exhibition, and a sale, and is being held in the Lambton Heritage Museum in Grand Bend. www.paintontario.com Chef Gus Merkies from the Schoolhouse Restaurant in Grand Bend has introduced a new menu and added a Prix Fixe dinner menu. He will also be participating in the second annual Arts, Eats and Beats weekend featuring local artists, chef-inspired eats and live music, in May. www.grandbendschoolhouse.ca

May 2, 3 & 4 www.londonstudiotour.ca Contact: Beth Stewart 519 668-6743

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

The Hessenland Country Inn reopens for the weekends in April, with their annual Spring Wedding and Event Fair the last weekend of that month. Hessenland, famous for Chef Frank Ihrig’s innovative German-style cuisine, is located along the shores of Lake Huron between Bayfield and Grand Bend, just outside the hamlet of St. Joseph. www.hessenland.com Chef/Owner James Eddington advises us that his Eddington’s of Exeter restaurant will be closed March 9–24 for renovations. Selected by the province of Ontario as one of our best “destination restaurants” in the Days Out Ontario program, Eddington’s has long been satisfying appreciative diners with seasonal menus using local producers, and is well deserving of this honour. Exeter is a pleasant 30-minute drive north of London. www.eddingtons.ca While the past few months of severe winter weather have put a damper on things for a number of restaurants, Rich Hunter of The King Edward pub in Ilderton reports especially brisk business, in part due to their proximity to an excellent snowmobile trail. Glad to hear it, Rich! www.thekingedward.com

• Vegetarian Options • Takeout • Catering Reservations •Recommended ADDIS ABABA Restaurant Tues–Fri 5–1pm • Sat 12–1pm • Sun 2–1pm

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


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Your love of all things Italian begins at

Stratford

The Bakery at Pazzo closed in mid-February. The owners of Pazzo are looking forward to unveiling a brand new Pazzo experience this April. Rundles has announced that it will be open for its 37th season from May 23 to September 20, 2014. www.rundlesrestaurant.com The Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival, usually held in September, will take place earlier this year, on the weekend of July 18–20.,This has become one of Ontario’s largest food festivals, and celebrates local cuisine, talented chefs and passionate food producers. www.savourstratford.com The restaurant and lounge are now open at The Bruce. The hotel will be opening May 24th. The Restaurant is open for dinner Thursday through Saturday at 5:00 pm with the last reservation at 9:00 p.m.; The Lounge is open late night. www.thebruce.ca There’s always a lot going on at Mercer Hall. The Craft Beer Dinner Series continues, with Silversmith on Mar 20th and Beau’s on April 17th. Includes a 4-course chef-inspired menu & four 10 oz. craft brews! Limited seating, meet the brewery reps and talk about craft beer. www.mercerhall.ca Savour Stratford Tutored Tasting: Cider and Cheese. Sample some of the newest offerings from the LCBO, perfectly paired with a selection of exciting cheeses. The Milky Whey Fine Cheese Shop, 118 Ontario Street. Saturday March 29,

Celebrating our 20 th Anniversary

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2014 themilkywhey@rogers.com www.themilkywhey.ca Craft Beer Dinner Series: Taste and learn about some tasty local craft beer. Keith from Beau’s All Natural brings his knowledge and love of beer to the long tabled dinner of 4 courses paired with 4 craft brews. Mercer Hall, 104 Ontario Street. Thursday, April 17 2014 www.mercerhall.com

From the Field

to Our Kitchen to Your Table

Take a self-guided taste of maple delights at various food shops and restaurants on the Savour Stratford Maple Trail this spring. More info at www.visitstratford.ca/mapletrail GE CAFÉ Chef Cooking Class Series is back. Join celebrated chefs in the kitchen for an exclusive hands-on cooking experience. Pairings of alcoholic beverages are served with each lunch. Take-home recipes are included. Overnight packages are available and tickets can be purchased online at www.visitstratford.ca/gechefs

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kitchen design

When an “Old” Kitchen Is the Goal Keeping your kitchen design consistent with the rest of your home By CHRIS McDONELL

O

ld Castle Renovations specializes in old house — and century home — renovations and restorations. “Your home is at the centre BEFORE of your family’s life,” says 1960s renovation Old Castle President Mike Hodgson. “And the kitchen is the centre of your home.” Over 80% of the houses Hodgson renovates are 50 to 120 years old, which brings unique challenges. Many homeowners are not looking to plunk a modern, minimalist kitchen into their traditional home. They want a consistent style that enhances the look and feel of the rest of the house, but of course they don’t want to sacrifice the benefits of contemporary technology and equipment. Cast iron and galvanized plumbing needs to be replaced, jacking, levelling and underpinning of foundations is sometimes necessary, and plenty more, and that’s before addressing the other important issue of what the final project will look like. “Building modern kitchen amenities into an old or historic home without disturbing its original architectural integrity is one of the most difficult tasks A wall oven, the height of fashion when this century home was in a home renovation,” says renovated in the 1960s, went out of favour for awhile. While large restaurantHodgson. “We seamlessly style ranges are centrepieces in many modern kitchens, this microwave/ incorporate these technologies double oven combo works beautifully in this traditional space.


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A built-in dinette with inviting curves fits perfectly at the head of basement stairs, with the half-wall making a vast improvement over the railing that was there previously. Millwork matching the cabinetry finishes the look, and under-seat storage drawers are accessible from the ends of the bench. A ball-footed pedastal table

with a beautifully simple top eases access to the seating and custom-made damask-covered cushions reflect the cabinet and wall colours. A rustic pendant light, Persianstyle carpet and simple drapes and wall accents add character and charm to this inviting corner of the kitchen.

into your older home without destroying its irreplaceable identity.” Repairing or replacing period mouldings, recreating historic casings to match existing woodwork, refreshing antique hardware ... all can be critical to the result. “It is possible to enjoy the comfort and modern conveniences while living in a period dwelling,” says Hodgson, who confesses this work is his passion. “Alternatively, we have modernized the look of many older houses

into open, free-flowing environments that maximize the use of space.” Understanding the challenges involved in any renovation, and working to minimize those, is Hodgson’s responsibility. But before that begins, he first needs to get the contract for the job. A free in-home design consultation is part of the process, and Hodgson is glad to offer this to anyone exploring a kitchen or home renovation, but

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Black and White is a timeless design motif, but in an older home, a slightly softer palette proves more fitting. The off-white low-sheen paint on the cabinetry contrasts effectively with the deep grey quartz countertops buffed to a high gloss. A white subway tile backsplash bridges the two surfaces effectively and adds a further textural element to the space, as do the placement of just a few glassfronted upper cabinets. A family-friendly hardwood floor completes the classic combination of materials. The cabinetry features a simple profile and appropriate brushed nickel hardware. The dishwasher and cooktop hood are tastefully concealed, letting small but elegant details such as the arches above the “barely there” cooktop and double sink (mimicked in the island’s open shelving) shine. The large corbels that define the two work zones are the grandest statement in the room, but they too are tastefully discrete in style, as are the small flares in the countertop edge that parallel the corbels. Crown moulding not only looks good in its own right, it can also mask the variances in ceiling height and crooked walls that are so common in older homes. Craftsmanship is key to disguising the issue rather than highlighting it with unseemly gaps.


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he encourages homeowners to take the lead initially. “If you are interested in renovating your kitchen, buy yourself a binder and start filling it with ideas. You will be amazed how quickly the style you are looking for comes together, followed by a wish list. Once you have the style and your wish list in hand, the next item on your list will be the budget.” A work-area needs analysis and establishing a budget are key to developing a proposal. How much to spend is the big question for most homeowners, and Hodgson encourages them to consider how long they intend on living in their home, and how much they can reasonably expect to get back when selling the house. Once the homeowner is comfortable with a figure, the detailed kitchen design process can begin. “There is nothing to gain by giving a client a design that they cannot afford,” says Hodgson. If everything is a go, then complete site measurements are taken and a design development with 3D renderings is completed. Product selection consultations ensue, and before any work begins, itemized project costing ensures everyone is on the same page. Expectations are clearly laid out, and while unforeseen issues can crop up, particularly when renovating an older home, the goal is “no surprises.” Hodgson is frank. “Be prepared for your life to be interrupted during this process,” he says. “But remember what the goal is, and it will all be worth it in the end.” Hodgson includes a gallery of past projects on the Old Castle website (www. old-castle.ca), and each have their own story. The kitchen shown in this article is in part a restoration of work that was done over a century ago. This Old North London

London’s Kitchen Renovation Specialists

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home “suffered” a 1960s renovation, but Hodgson talks excitedly about the inspiration he got seeing the original blueprints for the home, first built for one of the Blackburn family, founding owners of the London Free Press. “They were beautiful,” he says earnestly. It is clear the past is important to him. CHRIS McDONELL is the publisher of eatdrink. His binder of ideas for his 50-year-old kitchen is getting dated.

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


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wine

Biodynamic and Organic Wines Discover them in Ontario By KIM MILLER

I

t seems as though the technological age may have come full circle. As a society we are looking back to our roots in many different areas of our lives. We seem to be more aware of the cycles of nature and the importance of taking care of our planet. In the realm of viniculture, three grape producers in Ontario are certified to sell organic wines and two are able to market their wines as biodynamic. To be certified ‘organic’, you must prove that your farm is free of synthetic pesticides and preservatives, chemical fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms; demonstrate the humane treatment of animals and the preservation of ecological integrity; and maintain and record these practices for 36 months prior to certification. In addition, an application for certification must be made 15 months before you intend to market your first wine. If that doesn’t sound complicated enough, there are five different certifying bodies in Ontario to choose from. Each is recognized by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and certifies all kinds of products, not just wine. Oddly, our three wineries are each certified by a different agency.

Fruits o;f the vine, at Frogpond Farm

Frogpond Farm Organic Winery

This renowned Niagara-on-the-Lake property was the first winery in Ontario to be certified organic. The producers chose to be represented by “The Organic Crop Producers and Processors.” Frogpond’s tagline is “Harmony in nature is the prerequisite for truly authentic wine.” It’s obvious they take this mantra to heart — they have been Bullfrog-powered since 2006, using 100% green electricity which is produced by wind and low-impact water power.

Southbrook Vineyards and Tawse Winery

Southbrook Vineyards green commitment includes using sheep for weed and bug removal in the spring and early summer

The next two wineries are certified as both organic and biodynamic. One must first be certified as organic before transitioning to biodynamic. Biodynamic farming was the brainchild of Rudolf Steiner, the father of the


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Waldorf Schools. Biodynamic farming is practised in over fifty countries worldwide. It encompasses all of the properties of organic farming, and then some. Biodynamics takes organic farming to the next level. The whole farm is treated as a living entity and holistic ecosystem, from the rumbles of the earth beneath to the stars far above. Biodynamic farmers track the movement of the stars and the moon to determine when to sow and when to reap. In Berlin, Germany, in 1927, Demeter International became recognized as the one and only governing body for biodynamic certification worldwide. This organization is named after Demeter, the goddess of the harvest in ancient Greek religion and myth. Both Southbrook Vineyards and Tawse hold dual certification. They’ve earned two different Ontario organic certifications, and also hold worldwide designation for biodynamic farming. Southbrook Vineyards is a sprawling 150-acre estate in Niagara-on-the-Lake, owned by Bill and Marilyn Redelmeier. Their mission statement is “To make the finest wines possible in a respectful, local, light-on-the-land fashion.” Their organic certification board of choice is “Pro-Cert Organics.” Southbrook has the distinction of being the first wine estate in Canada to earn both organic and biodynamic certification for vineyard and winery back in 2008. Southbrook has been awarded LEED® Gold certification for its buildings, grounds and activities, including the creation of a bioswale with native wetland plants to break down pollution from stormwater draining off the access road and parking lots. And yet another first for this scribe: Bioflavia. It is an Organic Red Wine Grape

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Tawse Winery, from the vineyard endposts Skin Powder considered new and innovative on the market. This product is an excellent source of antioxidants required for the maintenance of good health. It was featured on the Dr. Oz show and is made and sold right here in southern Ontario. All the health benefits of red wine in powder form in a jar, with no alcohol! Wait a minute ... Tawse Winery’s organic certification was provided by Ecocert. With winemaker Paul Pender at the helm, Tawse has won a bedazzling number of prestigious Ontario wine awards, including 2011 Winemaker of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards. Maybe this is because Pender treats the whole farm as a single living organism. Composts are specially prepared for each crop, herbal teas are added to the soil, and the activity of his farm is aligned to that of the earth, the moon and the stars. And it works! Organic and biodynamic wineries are consistently winning more and more medals in the international wine community. The quality of the product speaks for itself. Consider reducing your carbon footprint by enjoying organic and biodynamic wines grown right here in Ontario. Frogpond Farm Organic Winery 1385 Larkin Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake www.frogpondfarm.ca Southbrook Vineyards 581 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake www.southbrook.com Tawse Winery 3955 Cherry Avenue, Vineland www.tawsewinery.ca

The view from the back of Southbrook’s LEED-certifed building overlooks the vines

KIM MILLER lives in London with her spouse and two children. This is why she studies the many attributes of wine...


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BEER MATTERS beer matters

Those Marvellous Mutts The Wonders of Hybrid Beers By THE MALT MONK

A

t a favourite craft beer oasis recently I was presented with a prime sampling of what I had been craving for a while. It was a hybrid style not often seen on tap and it hit the spot! It also got me thinking about this whole genre of beers, which do not get the esteem due them nor enough exposure in the local craft brew market. Many ale purists pass these styles by, the same way a mongrel dog is shunned by pedigree fanciers. For my tastes the hybrid beers are wonderful mutts that just need an opportunity to become a best of breed winner. Hybrids are beers that, unlike Kim Mitchell’s dilemma, don’t make you “choose between lager and ale.” They are both. Some were born out of necessity, some from fine tradition, some the result of brewer innovation. Hybrid beers sometimes have lager character with ale flavour, and sometimes ale character with lager flavour. In any case, they are in a unique niche that straddles the line between the two macrocosms of the beer universe. Hybrid beers can be a good choice for beer drinkers who like the flavour of big ales but not the sharp character, and for ale drinkers who want a smoother alternative which drinks well in a sitting. Let’s look at what makes hybrids so special, avoiding an eye-rolling microbiology lesson. Simply put, a hybrid is the result of changing either the traditional brewing method for a given style, or the type of yeast used in an ale or lager recipe. Lagers have a process which requires a long cold secondary fermentation and a coldtolerant yeast. Ale is brewed at warm temperatures and uses yeast which performs best at warm temperatures. It is finished in a warmer environment, and ready sooner than lager. This gives it some wonderful fruity tastes and

aromas, but also a sharp and distinctly fresh character. Lager’s cold fermenting and long cold conditioning gives a mellow rounded brew with malty-earthy character and no fruity aroma. So, when a brewer pitches warm fermenting ale yeast at cooler lager temperatures or pitches a cold fermenting lager yeast at warm temperatures, or cold ages an ale or warm conditions a lager, we get hybridization and a beer which displays elements of both types of beers. Some common hybrids in the lighter end of the genre are Kölsch, cream ale, and American pilsner. Kölsch is a cold lagered German pale ale made with Pilsner malt. Cream ale is a North American innovation —a golden ale is cold fermented or pitched with a hybrid strain of yeast. American pilsner is listed as a hybrid in the style guides but from my perspective it is just a debasement of Czech pilsner that uses gristed corn and/ or rice adjuncts. The local craft beer market has a number of examples of these the lighter hybrids but not the darker, more robust hybrids. My preference gravitates to the darker, more substantial side of the hybrid genre. One of these darker hybrids is the copper coloured historic brew from the Dusseldorf region of Germany called Altbier. The other is “California common” aka “steam beer.” Both are among my preferred pub quaffs because they are balanced, flavourful and drink wonderfully alone or paired with a wide variety of foods. Altbier is a long time favourite and I have


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written about the style’s origins at length here, so I won’t dwell on that aspect as much as the character of the style, and a wonderful sub-class called sticke alt. The word “alt” means old in German, so altbier refers to an old style of beer that traces its origin to the days before lager brewing in Germany. Alts are amber ales, from the use of Munich malts. They have a bit of rich complexity in their malt profile similar to a Dunkel but with distinct nut-like earthy flavours. Alt is usually dry finishing and has a good amount of bittering hops, with some examples showing relatively potent hopping. This is essentially an amber ale fermented cold (with hybrid yeast) and cold conditioned (aged) like lager — thus the mellow malty flavour, yet dry and hoppy. A firstrate quaff and very easy drinking. Commonly available examples are Duckstein Alt, Beau’s great Festivale Alt, True North Copper Altbier and Creemore’s excellent Collaboration Altbier. A variation called sticke or “secret alt” is bigger and bolder in flavour and strength. It was historically called a secret beer because it was usually an exceptionally good batch of Altbier the brewer held back for himself and friends. Later it was released to customers (only twice a year) but the recipe was “secret.” Sticke alt is altbier on steroids, originally a brewer’s mistake in using too much malt and hops, sticke alt is a more intense dose of all the traditional alt facets — full-bodied, well-hopped, perfect balance between bitterness and nutty-malty sweetness, strong notes of chocolate and toasted grains, deep copper colour with

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complexity of an ale, aromatic hop aroma and the heading of a pilsner, yet the clean dry finish and sturdy body of an Oktoberfest marzen. It is to amber ale what bockbier is to lagers. I love this beer style and buy up all I can when it is available. We have only a couple of sticke altbiers made domestically — Beau’s Festivale Plus (which is a superbly balanced malt bomb) and Les Trois Mousquetaires S.S. Sticke Alt from Quebec — a highly-rated beer available in limited quantity once a year.

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For even more intense sticke altbier tastes there is a “dopplesticke.” A double altbier brewed to imperial strengths (8–9% abv) in small batches (comparable to a Dopplebock lager), this rare hybrid brew usually is not available except through import. Too bad — I think it would give a lot of imperial ales some major competition in this market. Finally we come to another North American hybrid — “steam beer” or California common. This style was the result of necessity and pio­ neer brewer innovation, born in the era of the California gold rush when lager was the new rage and the frontier lacked the ice, cold water and cold cellaring to make lager properly. Frontier brewers used large open fermenting pans to cool the beer wort quickly to pitch the heat-intolerant lager yeast. Lots of steam escaped from these pans. They then fermented the lager yeast at warm temperatures and aged it at warmer temperatures. This warm aging made a very effervescent brew with profuse carbonation that gave the beer a large frothy head. It was also well hopped to cover some

Malt Monk’s Taste of the Month

Northwinds Brewing Kingpin Steam Beer — This Collingwood microbrewer has been impressing me with a steady output of solid offerings. The latest is their rendition of the steam beer style called Kingpin. I sampled this recently on tap and was impressed enough to order a couple because it drank well and it filled a craving I have for the style. Believe me, it pairs well with smoky barbeque and sharp cheese. This is a light amber beer with a big frothy white cap — hints of fruit in the

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of the nasty tastes in frontier water. The style was almost defunct until resurrected by mod­ ern west coast craft brewers. The new crafted variation of steam beer genre is referred to as “California common” and was pioneered by Anchor Brewing of San Francisco. Generally, crafted steam beer is light amber to copper in colour, lightly fruity, moderately malty with firm hop bitterness. The malt character is usually toasty and caramelly. Hop qualities feature woody, rustic, minty discernment. Medium bodied, malt pronounced with clean crisp pilsner character which finishes fairly dry with a hop bite. Has both ale fruitiness and lager malty complexity and clean crispness. Steam beer is underinterpreted by local craft brewers and that is our loss, but there are some good examples available. The prime examples are Anchor Steam — the benchmark of the style and my personal go-to session brew — and Flying Dog Old Scratch (sometimes seen on special order). Recently, I’ve added Kingpin Steam Beer from Northwinds Brewery to this list.

aroma, medium bodied, toasty-caramel malt is well balanced with woody hops, mildly complex with a crisp dry finish and hop bite. A very decent representation of the style. I’ll order it any time I see it on tap. 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

Success Is Its Own Reward Donald DISHES on Theatre By DONALD D’HAENE

“W

hy don’t you do awards for professional theatre in London?” a Toronto director asked me two years ago. I informed him that, “One theatre would be nominated in every category!” He then suggested some of our amateur theatre groups should consider moving into professional waters. “Then they wouldn’t get any awards!” I joked. But since then there has been some movement in that direction. Tempting Tree Theatre Collective debuted its first professional production Reasons to be Pretty last month, and A Missing Link Theatre Company (AMLTC ) has their sixth on the boards (Billy Bishop Goes to War at the McManus Studio until March 8).

Rick Kish told me he started AMLTC “to create opportunities for members of Canadian Actors Equity Association to work in London.” Luckily for us that, while some might think his company is a ‘bridge too far’, Kish assured me the company is also within reach of non-pros. It “was designed to bring together pros and non that want to experience the way a company works under professional union standards.” When I asked Kish if he felt he’s had the support of his peers, he assured me he had. “Over 55 community members, including artists and volunteers ranging from 15 to 75 years, have found AMLTC within their reach.” Kish has also had the encouragement of The Grand Theatre, the granddaddy of professional theatre in London. “They have

been very supportive of this initiative and really want us to succeed!” Encourage your competition ... now that sounds like a great motto! And so I spoke to The Grand Theatre’s Artistic Director Susan Ferley, who is in the middle of her 13th season at the helm. I asked Ferley the secret of her success — besides her evident positive and supportive spirit. “I guess the secret is there is no secret. Stay curious, stay tuned to your community, keep listening.” How does Ferley keep challenging herself? “I love what I do. I want to keep learning and growing as a human being and as a theatre artist.” As for next season she promises “There will be laughter, there will be music, there will be drama.” That formula is probably another secret to her success. It is showcased this season with two very different shows on deck.

The drama Other Desert Cities (February 18–March 8) is intriguing. A daughter returns home to announce she is about to publish a memoir that will reveal a family secret.


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Wanna bet something’s going to hit the fan? The script was written by the creator of the hit television show Brothers & Sisters. Then a local favourite follows: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (March 18–April 12). Can you spell H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S, as in musical comedy? Ferley did flag it as perhaps a bit racy for children. (Okay, I’ve passed that along Susan, but I’ll bet that will only help sell tickets!) Six young people in the throes of adolescence compete for the spelling championship of a lifetime. Overseen by grown-ups who have barely managed to escape childhood themselves, these charming overachievers learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing does not necessarily make you a failure. I guess that’s a metaphor for another secret to success, whether amateur or

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professional — risking failure, hoping for success and learning a ton along the way. I’d like to shed some light on a new up-and-coming star on the horizon who is doing just that. A lot of people throw around superlatives as part of an introduction nowadays. Yes, I am stating Londoners are famous for being easily impressed. Personally, I have found a few producers stand out. They are the ones who receive all the press, because they are good at what they do. Although Trish West has only three oneact shows under her belt, and all under the umbrella of other organizations (such as the London One Act Festival at the McManus), she has proved herself a quick study with her upcoming show Skin Deep (April 2–5). Certainly she’d be the first to admit she has learned a ton by performing in a number of shows over the past six years. “I started by writing down my objectives, goals and dreams. Then I asked questions of individuals who have produced shows successfully, and watched how other productions caught my attention on Facebook, social media or by word of mouth.” West has worked overtime to reach high school students in the area, and encouraging them to contribute art works that will be displayed in the gallery of The ARTS Project where her show will be mounted. West was able to arrange sponsors for the exhibit, which echoes themes found within her play. Notwithstanding awards, and professional or amateur status in whatever degree, success is one’s own reward, and something we all can celebrate. DONALD D’HAENE is Editor of donaldsdish.ca. Twitter @ TheDonaldNorth and email: donalddhaene@hotmail.com.


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books

The Culinary Arts From Scratch: Inside the Food Network by Allen Salkin Review by DARIN COOK

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e live in an age where watching cooking shows could take up more of a person’s time than actually cooking. Originally, the culinary arts referred to the skill and artistry that went into cooking real food; now we have the art of showcasing the culinary arts through the media. And no entity has done it with such gusto and success as Food Network. The history of Food Network since its inception in 1993 is chronicled in Allen Salkin’s book From Scratch: Inside the Food Network (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2013, $29.50). The book starts out by stating: “Somehow Food Network captured an audience that did not know that it wanted twenty-four hours a day of food television. Then, having roped in the early adopters, the network figured out how to create an even bigger audience. Food Network is not single-handedly responsible for the ‘food revolution,’ but it took what was happening in some food-forward pockets of the world … and delivered it to everybody.” It is interesting to note that the concept was not the brainchild of passionate chefs, but rather executives making strategic decisions to cash in on the rise of specialty cable stations, following in the footsteps of CNN, MTV, and HBO. The businessmen behind its creation were not epicureans, and it took some imaginative searching to come up with a cast of TV-friendly chefs that could pull off hosting their own shows. Robin Leach, already famous for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, was drawn in

as a recognized personality to host a food-related talk show. The earliest food expert, David Rosengarten, was hired for a regular show called Food News and Views. Salkin writes that Rosengarten’s “marriage of fine cuisine, ego, and vaudevillian showbiz schmaltz would set the tone for what viewers experienced of the network in its early years.” Certain individuals were making it obvious that “chefs had the kind of big personalities and charisma that could lead to show business careers.” Emeril Lagasse, a chef with some renown in New Orleans, was an early import to host a show called How to Boil Water. This first show was not dynamic enough to fit with the larger-than-life persona of Lagasse, but it didn’t take long for Emeril Live to come along, which proved to be a turning point for the network by mixing variety shows with live cooking demonstrations. In the book there is a strong focus on Lagasse, who was the first chef to get a million dollar TV deal. The demise of Lagasse’s ten-year run on Food Network was instigated by the executives’ need to keep up with the changes in food programming with shows that ventured outside the studio kitchen. In fact, cancelling shows and changing with the times were all part of the behindthe-scenes business of the network. Before becoming a money-making machine with food as its fuel, there were Allen Salkin


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early financial troubles. Yanking the cord on the channel was on option during many ownership changes in the first three years of production. But sticking with it resulted in 2007 revenues near $500 million, and by 2012 the network was estimated to be worth $3 billion. A string of business leaders came in to guide the station to success. Most were interested in using food as a business catalyst, not as a way to make a mark in food culture. But that mark was being made nonetheless, due to the dedication of some staff on the lookout for the next big thing to stretch the boundaries of food programming. Quirky shows that strayed from the standard fare started appearing in 1999, like the kitschy Iron Chef out of Japan that developed a cult following, and Alton Brown’s Good Eats, a smart, offbeat, slapstick approach to food education. The ratings for Iron Chef alone were double those of the Food Network average, and after this success the executives decided to use more entertainment food shows rather than the traditional “dump and stir” format normally

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associated with cooking shows. Food Network was also an early adopter of mixing internet and television with a 25,000-recipe library webpage available by 2004. Sharing recipes with the audience brought them even closer to the extended family that was growing all the time, with household names like Rachel Ray, Jamie Oliver, Paula Deen, Anthony Bourdain, and Ina Garten. This sense of family was spread further when competition shows were introduced as a way for anyone to send in an audition tape and earn on-air time as a culinary personality working alongside cooking superstars. It is both these types of seasoned chefs and amateur home cooks who can, from scratch, get inside Food Network themselves, because this media juggernaut continues to provide opportunities for culinary personalities to rise to fame and fortune. DARIN COOK is a freelance writer 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

Grain Power By Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming Review and Recipe Selections by CHRIS McDONELL

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hile definitely on trend themselves, there is no doubt that sisters Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming have also been catalysts in the popularization of the once obscure grain quinoa. The authors of Quinoa Revolution (2012), which followed Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood (2010), were bestsellers that have helped make quinoa almost ubiquitous today. The “Quinoa Sisters” are back again with a new book. Grain Power allows them to broaden their recipe selection utilizing a wider range of “healthy and delicious gluten-free ancient grains.” The results are as promised For those who years ago embraced oat bran as a cure-all for the things things that ail us, in particular our battle with “bad” cholesterol, you’ll be glad to know that Green and Hemming still endorse oats as one of the “superfoods” at the heart of the 100 recipes in Grain Power. Amaranth, buckwheat, chia, kañiwa, millet, sorghum and teff — and of course quinoa — round out the core list of ingredients, and there are clear, straightforward instructions for how to purchase and cook all of them. I was also glad to see the authors encourage looking for Fair Trade brands. I need to interject that this is no earnest-but-bland approach to cooking and eating healthily. The basics of getting nutricious grains into your diet, such as a Creamy Slow-Cooked Steel-Cut Oats, harkens back to my grandfathers’ breakfast of choice, but touches such as the addition of pure vanilla extract and the use of a slow cooker accentuate the flavour and convenience factors. The Breakfast section of the book is actually quite a lively one, with interesting variations on crêpes, waffles

G R A IN P OW E R Over 100 Delicio us glu ten -fr Ancient Grain ee & Superblend Recipes

Bests ellin g Authors of

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and granola (you saw that coming) and dishes such as a Prosciutto & Kale Kañiwa Frittata with Romano Cheese that could easily be served for lunch or dinner as well. Lush photographs of most of the dishes also serve to inspire, and small but significant variations are frequently added, helpful for accommodating personal tastes as well as utilizing what is in your pantry. The book is also well indexed, for similar purposes. An enticing variety of appetizer, lunch and dinner recipes are featured — see the following recipes for examples — and it is easy to imagine some of these ancient grain recipes becoming family favourites. (I can also imagine readers adapting some of their own recipes to utilize these grains.) Convenient one-skillet dinners and whole meal suggestions — with lots of comfort foods — are included. My biggest surprise was how the Desserts section of the book really shines. The Chocolate Torte is a rather decadent example —yes, please!— but there are also lots of simpler cookie, square, muffin and brownie recipes that have great appeal. No one is advocating desserts as a key to healthy eating, but for those with diet restrictions that so often have to pass on treats, and those who believe every step in the right direction is a good idea, there is a plenitude of great recipes here. PAT RIC IA GRE EN CAR OLY N HE MM ING

CHRIS McDONELL is the publisher of eatdrink. He likes quinoa.

“The Quinoa Sisters” Patricia Green (left) and Carolyn Hemming


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Recipes from Grain Power © 2014 by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming. Food Photography by Ryan Szule. Food Styling by Nancy Midwicki. Prop Styling by Madeleine Johari. Published by The Penguin Group. All rights reserved.

Cheddar Cauliflower Amaranth Soup with Sherry & Thyme Enjoy this savory soup with a sprinkle of chives across the top and crusty bread or artisan crackers on the side. Cooked and puréed amaranth makes a luxurious and creamy soup and also provides additional nutrition. Serves 4 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil 1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion 1½ tsp (7 mL) chopped garlic 4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock 2 cups (500 mL) peeled diced Yukon gold or red potatoes 2 cups (500 mL) cauliflower, chopped into 1–inch (2.5 cm) pieces 1/3 cup (75 mL) amaranth seeds ¼ cup (60 mL) sherry 2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme 1 cup (250 mL) 1% milk, or milk substitute 1½ cups (375 mL) shredded reduced-fat aged Cheddar cheese ½ tsp (2 mL) salt (optional) Freshly ground black pepper to taste Sliced chives to garnish (optional) 1 Heat a large saucepan on medium-low heat. Add the oil and onion. Cover and cook for about 7 minutes or until the onion is opaque. 2 Stir in the garlic and heat for an additional minute. Stir in the stock, potatoes, cauliflower, amaranth, sherry and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. 3 Purée with an immersion blender or in small batches with a standard blender until smooth. Stir in the milk and cheese. Add salt (if using) and season with pepper as desired. Heat until cheese has melted. Serve topped with chives if you wish.

• Reserve 1 cup (250 mL) of cooked potato, cauliflower and ancient grain mixture after cooking for 20 minutes and before puréeing. Add it again after the remainder of the soup has been puréed to make for a chunkier version. • If you don’t have amaranth on hand or want a change of flavour, an equal amount of quinoa seeds or 2 cups (500 mL) of precooked sorghum grains are great ancient grain alternatives.


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Oven-Roasted Herb Chicken over Tangy Apple & Cabbage Quinoa Ancient grains, together with the fragrant aroma of herbed chicken, tart apples and crisp cabbage, make a well-rounded meal that is familiar, wholesome and so tasty. Serves 6 ROASTED HERB CHICKEN 1 roasting chicken (3 to 4 lb/1.5 to 2 kg), trussed 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme 1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed or vegetable oil ½ tsp (2 mL) salt TANGY APPLE & CABBAGE QUINOA 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed or vegetable oil ½ cup (125 mL) chopped yellow onion 1 cup (250 mL) low-sodium chicken stock ½ to ¾ cup (125 to 175 mL) water ½ cup (125 mL) quinoa seeds 4 cups (1 L) shredded red cabbage, ½ inch (1 cm) wide 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch (5 mm) thick ½ tsp (2 mL) salt (optional) Pinch of freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar 2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar) 1 Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Dry the chicken with paper towels and place in a roasting pan. Divide the thyme and garlic into four parts and push under the skin to cover the breast and legs as evenly as you can (or put them into the cavity). Rub the skin with oil and season with salt. Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes. 2 Reduce the temperature to 350°F (180°C). Cover and roast for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake, uncovered, until the leg will move freely and the juices run clear, 15

to 18 minutes per pound. Remove from the oven, cover and keep warm. 3 To make the quinoa, heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan on medium-low heat. Add the oil and onion and cook, covered, for 5 to 7 minutes, until onions start to become tender. Stir in the stock, water and quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Lay the cabbage, apples, salt (if using) and pepper on top of the cooking quinoa (don’t stir). Cover and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the apples and cabbage are tender. Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar until sugar is dissolved and evenly distributed. Reseason with additional sugar and vinegar if desired. Remove skin and serve hot chicken over the quinoa with apples and cabbage.


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Chocolate Ancient Grain Torte with Raspberry Chia Sauce Dessert powered with omega-3 nutrition, protein and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Sorghum provides the base for this rich chocolate torte. Top it with the raspberry chia sauce for a soul-satisfying dessert. Serves 6

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3¾ cups (925 mL) water 1¼ cups (300 mL) sorghum grains 1⁄3 cup (75 mL) unsalted butter, melted 1 large egg 3 large egg whites ¾ cup (175 mL) lightly packed brown sugar ½ cup + 2 Tbsp (155 mL) sifted unsweetened cocoa powder 2 tsp (10 mL) pure vanilla extract ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

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RASPBERRY CHIA SAUCE 1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen raspberries ¼ cup (60 mL) white or organic cane sugar 1 Tbsp (15 mL) chia seeds) 1 Bring the water and sorghum to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 60 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, then cool (the sorghum should be very tender). 2 Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan. Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom and lightly grease the parchment. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) with the rack in the center position. 3 Place 3 cups (750 mL) of the cooled sorghum, melted butter, egg, egg whites, and brown sugar in a blender. Purée until smooth and no large pieces remain. Transfer batter to a medium bowl and whisk in cocoa, vanilla and salt. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, until the center is no longer liquid but still moist. Cool the torte for 2 hours. GrainPower-InteriorPress.indd 193

4 To make the sauce, mash the raspberries with the back of a fork in a shallow bowl. Stir in the sugar and chia. Let set for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

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5 Cut torte into desired servings and serve with chilled Raspberry Chia Sauce. • This torte is also terrific with 1½ cups (375 mL) each of fluffy cooked millet and quinoa in place of the sorghum.


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the lighter side

Another Emerging Wine Region! By KYM WOLFE

A

s a young adult in Northern ­Ontario, the only “regional” wine I remember drinking was home­ made vino that someone had liber­ ated from their parents’ basement. I couldn’t tell a merlot from a shiraz, but I did know whose dad made the best wines. Even if it was free, given a choice I’d take a bottle from ­David’s house over Sergio’s any day. But if I were buying … well really, who would take a bottle of Ontario wine to a nice dinner party? It seems that as my palate was maturing, so was Ontario’s wine industry and as an adult I’ve discovered the joy of fine wines made close to home. I had already toured Niagara, Prince Edward County, Pelee Island and Lake Erie North Shore when I read about Ontario’s newest emerging wine regions north of Toronto. When I realized my sister and I would drive through some prime wine country on our girls’ getaway, we had to plan our road trip accordingly. We drove through the Oak Ridges Moraine north of Toronto, and dropped by Willow Springs Winery. Lovely countryside setting, liter­ ally minutes Willow Springs Winery’s Vidal Ice Wine from the north edge of the GTA. Perfect place for a wedding, with a villa by the spring-fed pond where the wed­ ding party can stay. After being sidetracked by visions of our kids’ future weddings, we got back to the task at hand — the wine! During the impromptu tour and tasting we learned that Willow Springs was the first VQA winery in the region. And that the Testa family has a long history of wine making, dating back centuries to its roots in Italy. No one can tell us whether the Testa patriarch who purchased

the land when he immigrated to Canada knew that the terroir of the moraine made it an ideal place to plant his grapevines. Whether it was an informed or an instinctive decision, it is clear now that it was a good one, as confirmed by the silver medals its Vidal Ice Wine and Merlot garnered at the 2012 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. We left with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in hand and quite enjoyed it that evening while sitting on the deck by the lake. Fast forward to our drive home a few days later. Our wine stock now depleted, we were happy to stop at Magnotta Winery, just north of the 401 in Vaughn. We were disappointed to learn the winery’s closest vineyard was actually in Niagara peninsula (hardly an emerging region!) but that let-down quickly paled when we began exploring. Magnotta’s flagship store is worth a visit just for the visuals, from the Italian-villa styled courtyard to the paintings and sculptures indoors. The winery’s label designs are based on their artwork, prompting us to play “find the inspiration for this label,” as we tried to match the wine bottles with the paintings on the walls. Magnotta is like a mini-LCBO, offering 180 different wines. The winery imports raw materials from around the globe to make custom blends, including from the family vineyard in the Maipo Valley in Chile. One claim to fame: Magnotta was the world’s first producer of sparkling ice wines. Some spirits, like the ice grappa and brandy, are produced from its ice wine and icewine grapes. Not content with being a globally recognized winemaker, Magnotta also has a brewery and a distillery. A few samples later we were on our way with a Special Reserve Gewürztraminer, white Zinfandel and another Sauvignon Blanc stashed in the trunk. After all we still had a weekend to enjoy, and two hardworking husbands at home who deserved a special treat! KYM WOLFE is a London-based freelance writer who always enjoys a good road trip and a good glass of wine.


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Eatdrink #46 March/April 2014  

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