| FREE | FALL 2011
with BarChef’s Frankie Solarik and a whole lot of booze (p26)
A Toast to Fall 3 comfort recipes from:
Jesse Vallins + Trevor Kitchen and Bar Howard Dubrovsky + L.A.B. Tara Sachs + Parts and Labour
A Taste of Toronto at Victor in Hotel Le Germain
John Szabo on Ontario’s Stellar 2009 Pinot Noirs
Plus! Michael Smith + Labels on Meat + German Beer + Food Blogging
From THE the EDITOR editor FROM At CityBites, love as much food. It’s fall season!we Time tomusic eat, drink and allasthat That’s why we’ve written a lot about music good stuff. CityBites is once again presenting the in restaurants. I’veFestival walked in outMay—you of restaurants Salut Wine + Food can because of full badschedule music and walkedsection into peruse the in I’ve the centre of the magazine—with a selection ofchefs intriguing restaurants for good music. A lot of and seminars, tastings dinners. We’re to hospitality peopleand are special musicians, testament excited and hungry to inherent get out there andartforms. eat! the creativity and joy in both It’s fitting, then, that this is our annual wine Canoe’s Anthony Walsh cites his guitar (p.5) issue. We like to take the time every year to celas a relaxation object of choice. Our wine ebrate exemplary wine and winemakers, someditor John Szabo is a renowned skiffler. meliers and, of course, the brilliant chefs and Even your humble editor gets down weekly restaurants that recognize the joys of wine and for a bout of noisemaking. work so hard to elevate the wine-food experience. We’re lucky have a vital scene As always, wetohave the wine music “newbie” in in mind.
Toronto. Andnever like the food scene, itand relies on the Wine should be intimidating overly passion of the people. I’d like to give and a nod competitive, and so weSo strive to educate to guitarist producer Luke Doucet, inspire withand all of our wine coverage. Inwho’s this
organized firstto annual Sleepwalk Guitar issue, we’rethe proud support several initiatives— Salut, Somewhereness, (the chardonnay Festival, happening at i4C the Great Hall on Queen summit)—that are pushing the boundaries of West Nov. 4-6, with jams, performances and great wine, and making it accessible to all. workshops (J Mascis, Amos Garrett, Ian Blurton, So please raise a glass of your favourite grape Richard Lloyd, among others). I asked Doucet juice and toast to wonderful times, wonderful where he’ll be hanging out for a bite and drink wines—and many more to come. during the fest. His picks: The Dakota Tavern, $ICK 3NYDER %DITOR s email@example.com The Gem, Mitzi’s Café and 3 Speed. Check out our Facebook page for more; and don’t forget to hit the festival! Visit sleepwalkguitar.com. Dick Snyder, Editor • firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Dick Snyderemail@example.com
Art Director Craig Sinclairfirstname.lastname@example.org Wine John Szabo EditorEditor Dick Snyderemail@example.com Director of Vinous airs Zoltan Szabo Art Director Craig Aff Sinclairfirstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 7, Issue 6
Features =\Xkli\j5K_\=Xcc@jjl\ 17 Chef’s Dinner: 3 Autumn Recipes Comforting dinner dishes to make fall 21
more palatable, by to topsay, local chefs Jesse Get Vallins (Trevor Kitchen and Bar), Greek Wines Hard easy to drink. Greek lessons at Maléna. Howard Dubrovsky (L.A.B.) and Tara Sachs (Parts and Labour). 22 Tiny Bubblies Get bang for buck at these small Champagne houses. 20 Truth and Consequences Ill-defined terms on meat labels like “naturally 23 Same wine, erent daycause Thinkconsumer outside the “house.”at best and all-out raised” and diff “free range” confusion deception at worst By Kelly Ward 24 Chianti Kudos Once a joke, now a serious force.
Cool Climate Chardonnay Canadian chardonnay is making international waves.
31 Somewhereness A funny word for a stellar local wine event. Regular Bites 12 Urban Farmer Extend your 5
Wine Editor John Szabo Contributors Jen Agg, Stephen Beaumont, Andrew Brudz, Director of Vinous Affairs Zoltan Szabo Pamela Cuthbert, Deacon Dr. Fresh, Sean Deasy, Konrad Ejbich,
Purveyors The Matchbox Garden & Seed Co. is growing.
Maia Filar, KaitStephen Fowlie, Marc Green,Andrew Sarah B.Brudz, Hood, Ivy Knight, Contributors Beaumont, Rebecca LeHeup, Kate More, Zoltan Szabo, Stephen Tempkin Pamela Cuthbert, Howard Dubrovsky, Deacon Dr. Fresh,
13 Biodynamic 14 Viticulture Books Read ’em and eat!
Sean Deasy, Konrad Ejbich, Maia Filar, Kait Fowlie, Arlene Hazzan Photography Laura Berman, Ann Gagno, Mike McColl, Green, Sarah B. Hood, Tara Sachs, Tamara Stieber, Zoltan Szabo, Dick Snyder Stephen Temkin, Jesse Vallins, Kelly Ward Publisher Paul Alsopemail@example.com Photography and illustration Ann Gagno, John Gundy, Sr. Account Manager Wendy Lyall Gardnerfirstname.lastname@example.org Pierre Lamielle, Dick Snyder Account Manager Alexander McCarthyemail@example.com Publisher Paul Alsopfirstname.lastname@example.org Email email@example.com or visit www.citybites.ca Sr. Account Manager Wendy Lyall Gardnerfirstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Inquiries email@example.com Account Manager Alexander McCarthyfirstname.lastname@example.org Account John Walkeremail@example.com City BitesManager Media Inc., 24 Dalhousie St. Suite 200,
PHOTO: photo:XXXXXXXXX john gundy
Toronto, ON, M5B 2A5, 647-827-1705. City Bites is published Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.citybites.ca six times a year by City Bites Media Inc., a division of IDMG Inc. Advertising Inquiries email@example.com City Bites Media Inc., 24 Dalhousie St. Suite 200, Toronto, ON, M5B 2A5, IDMG Management 647-827-1705. Paul Alsop, City Bites
Starters Toronto vs. Montreal: Anthony Walsh and Normand Laprise.
Crumbs CityBites Restaurant news Starters loses a dear and rumours. friend, Liz Bolton of Pantry.
Out & About re-born Crumbs SpotsVictor that are hot. in the Hotel Le Germain. 7 Bits & Bites A little bit of news. 8 NewsBites Stephen Beaumont on Crystal vodka; 8 Stuff Toys Head and gear for Ingredients your wine. from Chinatown; edible Tidbits 9 The fromGourmudgeon around town. Stung by rudeness at a new restaurant 9 The Gourmudgeon If hat culture 10 Smells like victory Wineset Tasting is enjoying a wave, let’s some Challenge winner Evan Saviolidis. ground rules.
growing season into winter.
winemaking in Niagara.
15 Blogging Clotilde Dusoulier on 14 Fresh Spot prawns—delicious food writing in the digital age. cold-water darlings
16 Chef 10 good things about 15 Wine Dine The Intercontinental Michael Smith. Hotel’s BYOB surprise
22 Szabo on Wine Why is John Szabo 16 Books Readexcited and eatabout these
2009titles Ontario pinot noirs? tasty
24 The Ej 32 The Ej
Konrad Ejbich reveals on provincial Konrad politics, the LCBO and you. an Amarone imposter.
11 10 Foreign Head toCorrespondents Head Zoltan Szabo on
Pancakes make world the wonders of the pinot noir.go ﬂat.
25 Libations Libations Whisky To Stephen Beaumont, 33 and wine, say
Urban Farmer A container is all Flavours Autum melancholy, you to get withneed Deacon Dr. growing. Fresh.
26 One Last Bite Bite Meet BarChef’s Frankie 34 One Last Featherstone
German is anything but boring. Stephen beer Beaumont, are divine.
Solarik invokes autumn in a glass. Winery’s grape protector.
is Donald published times G. six House a IDMG year byPartner City Bites Media DickInc. Snyder
Cover photo by Gundy. Cover subject: Frankie Solarik of BarChef. Cover illustration byJohn Pierre Lamielle. Fall 2011 =Xcc)'((
the starters Side by side By Dick Snyder
Montreal’s Normand Laprise and Toronto’s Anthony Walsh come together for a onenight culinary spectacle
The CityBites Team Pierre A. Lamielle Pierre A. Lamielle is the author and illustrator of Kitchen Scraps: A Humourous Illustrated Cookbook, which won the prestigious World Gourmand Best Illustrated Cookbook award in 2009. He trained at the French Culinary Institute
in New York and can be found in Calgary teaching cooking classes, drawing pictures and having seconds. Follow his blog at the kitchenscraps.ca. He is currently working on an Alice in Wonderland Cookbook with coauthor Julie van Rosendaal. His illustrations have graced many issues of CityBites, including The Gourmudgeon column this issue (p. 9).
Pamela Cuthbert Pamela Cuthbert, a food writer
Normand Laprise of Montreal’s Toqué and Anthnoy Walsh of Toronto’s Canoe have maintained a level of quality and dedication that has remained unwavering over a period of notable longevity. At Toqué in Montreal, founded in 1993, Laprise forged a culinary identity around local, fresh ingredients crafted into inventive dishes that paid homage to classic French techniques, yet revealed an almost laissez faire attitude designed to let the ingredients sing. At Canoe in Toronto, Walsh joined a Anthony Walsh and burgeoning culinary force as saucier in 1995, and soon Normand Laprise at Canoe took command of the kitchen and its mission to use the The two chefs will create a multipurest local and regional ingredients to demarcate the course meal with wine pairings notion of Canadian cuisine. Success, awards and accolades and champagne reception. Tickets have rewarded both chefs’ efforts, and as they prepare available to Visa Infinite cardholders. for a spectacular collaboration at Canoe later this month, $175/person. Call 1-888-711-9399 or visit visainfinite.ca. we invited them to muse on their muses.
and editor based in Toronto, is published in Macleans, The Toronto Star and elsewhere, including Saveur and Common Dreams. She’s the author of Frommers Toronto. As a volunteer, she founded Slow Food Toronto alongside a group of like-minded individuals. She joins the CityBites team with the regular Purveyors column (pg.13) — a task that sends her on the hunt for good food sources in our fair city.
photo: (top left) Hans Laurendeau
Andrew Brudz got to indulge both his love of food and his
At the moment it is buckthorn. Favourites change with the seasons.
Great olive oil or sriracha chili sauce.
Bâtard-Montrachet with potatoes and smoked eel. Always, oysters and champagne.
Slow wood grilled three-inch thick short rib, medium (no less), salsa verde, macerated chillies on the side. Inky malbec from Argentina.
menu (p. 7). He calls branded-content agency
Dish from your menu
BLT Toqué! — in season.
Duck Tourtiere, Simmered Foie Gras with Beluga Lentils.
he can be found in junk shops or getting into
Country for food
At the moment, Scandinavia, in tune with our Nordic climate and challenges.
Argentina, Vietnam, Canada.
Restaurant in another city
Too many to choose from.
Blue Smoke; Brasserie T!
Golf but unfortunately never enough time…
Golf and guitar; the only time its just me and him….
Kids, always, for their honesty.
Anyone who is open-minded about food, and willing to pay for it.
love of Toronto with Victor’s restaurant’s recently revamped, neighbourhood-based tasting Totem home, and also contributes regularly to Toronto Life. When not behind his keyboard, trouble in Detroit.
Get in touch! Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or snail mail to CityBites, 24 Dalhousie St., Toronto, ON, M5B 2A5. Letters may be edited for space and accuracy. Fall 2011
By Kait Fowlie
... Splendido owners Carlo Catallo
... Chef Susur Lee is planning to turn the former Le Corner (777 Dundas St. W.) into a family-operated dinner spot. His sons Levi
and Kai will run the front of the house ... Christopher Scott, former chef
de cuisine at The Bohemian Gastropub (571 Queen St. W., 416-361-6154, thebohemiangastropub.com) leaves for a gig in the Caribbean, and executive chef Paul Boehmer revamps the menu with a few winter comfort
dishes ... Tina Leckie, previously of Celestin, and her partner Alex Chong,
Some news bites formerly of Didier, started up Cafe Fiorentina (236 Danforth Ave.,
and chef Victor Barry take over the old Oddfellows space with The County General (936 Queen St. W., 416-531-4447, thecountygeneral.ca). The menu offers sandwiches by day and down-home-style sharing plates in the evening
town favourite Provence Delices Restaurant closes after 32 years and
The County General
makes room for F’Amelia (12 Amelia St., 416-323-0666, familia.com), a family-oriented Italian restaurant
offering pizza and pasta prepared with local produce ... The Food Cabbie (Queen and Jarvis, 647-227-2628), a comfort-food-dealing
416-855-4240) earlier this summer. Occupying Dash Kitchen’s old space, it
food truck, has been supplying George Brown students with
features house-made sourdough pizzas, paninis, baked goods and preserves
poutine, burritos and grilled cheese sandwiches. Owner Spiros
416-861-9977, modusristorante.com) sets up shop in the Financial District,
... Rodney Bowers of The Citizen and The Rosebud sets up a more
... New upscale Italian restaurant Modus Ristorante (145 King St. W.,
owned by Sam Genkov, formerly of Bravi Ristorante, and chef Bruce Woods, formerly of Brassaii. Responsible for the 300-bottle wine line-up
Drossos is the former owner of Vaughan’s Chicago Pizza Kitchen casual food stop, Hey Meatball! (719 College St., 416-546-1483, heymeatball.ca). Toronto’s first quick-service meatball restaurant
is sommelier Ruben Elmer, who has honed his skills at Canoe and Auberge
serves custom meatballs and sides all made from 100-mile-sourced
of Lazy Daisy’s Cafe (1515 Gerrard St. E., 647-278-3966, lazydaisycafe.ca)
Country Inn (64 Third St., Collingwood, 705-444-1522, beildhouse.
du Pommier ... Coxwell and Gerrard is about to liven up with the opening
It will feature local and handmade farm-fresh food, micro-roasted Te Aro coffee, St. Urbain bagels and house-made jams
... Summerhill Market
(1054 Mt. Pleasant Rd., 416-485-4471, summerhillmarket.com) opened a second location this summer in the old Sherwood Market. Smaller than their original location on Summerhill Ave., the little sister store still offers over 800 items made daily in-house, from prepared entrees to pantry items
... Chef Eric Madden is back at the Beild House
com), after a stint teaching at the Pretty River Academy, also in Collingwood. Madden whips up multi-course dinners from locally sourced ingredients, as well as a killer breakfast
... The Counter
at the Thompson Hotel gets rebranded as the Thompson Diner (51 Bathurst St., 416-601-3533) Kait Fowlie is a food writer living in Toronto.
bernardin ad city bites_Layout 1 11-09-28 3:23 PM Page 1
Whole or Halved Tomatoes Tomatoes • lemon juice or citric acid • Salt, optional • Place the required number of clean 500 ml or 1 L mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner; cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Heat SNAP LID® sealing discs in hot water, not boiling (180°F/82°C). Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use. • Wash and blanch tomatoes. Slip off skins; remove cores and any bruised or discoloured portions. Leave whole or halve. • Place tomatoes in a large stainless steel saucepan. Add just enough water to cover; bring to a boil; boil gently for 5 minutes. • Add quantity of lemon juice or citric acid specified below to each hot mason jar before packing tomatoes. If using, add salt to jar prior to filling. Jar size
500 ml 1L
1 tbsp (15 ml) 2 tbsp (30 ml)
1/4 tsp (1 ml) 1/2 tsp (2 ml)
1/2 tsp (2 ml) 1 tsp (5 ml)
• Pack tomatoes into a hot jar to within 3/4 inch (2 cm) of top rim. Add hot cooking liquid to cover tomatoes to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more tomatoes and hot liquid. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining tomatoes and hot liquid. • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process–boil filled jarsJar size Processing time* • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, 500 ml 40 minutes then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected 1L 45 minutes work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands. • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
For more great recipes and ideas on home canning, visit our website at www.bernardin.ca or call 1-888-430-4231 6
photo: Nikki Leigh Mckean
By Andrew Brudz
Delicious Food Show
A brand new culinary show for demos, workshops, tastings and talks that promise the latest on kitchen design, food trends, tips for home cooks and new cocktails. The opening night party benefits The Stop Food Community Centre. $10-$45; children under 12 free. Better Living Centre, 416-960-9161, deliciousfoodshow.com
DEFINING HOTEL DINING WITH A TORONTO-INSPIRED MENU The Story Since taking over Victor as co-owners in 2009, general manager Michael Sullivan and chef David Chrystian have transformed both the space and the menu. Housed in Hôtel Le Germain, one of Toronto’s most elegant boutiques, the restaurant shut down for a complete overhaul on this past Christmas Eve. Rethinking and reconfiguring the space in ways that were simultaneously stylish, smart and comfortable, the new Victor remerged better than ever after its four-month metamorphosis.
What’s On The Table
Join the party for The Stop’s annual fundraiser with chefs from JK Kitchens, Scaramouche, Parts and Labour, Luma, Beast and more; and local wineries and breweries! Proceeds support programs that help feed Torontonians in need. $225. Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St., 416-652-7867, wott.thestop.org
Co-owners David Chrystian and Michael Sullivan in the revamped Victor.
The Space Inspired by grandiose European spaces like train stations, lobbies and even airport lounges, Sullivan collaborated with interior designer and architect Jenny Francis. Her passion for architecture is revealed in structured, brass-embellished sofas, limestone tabletops, geometric carpeting, and her decision to keep the over-size, smokestack-like light fixtures, highlighting the dining room’s 22-foot-tall ceilings.
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
The grande dame of Toronto’s food shows. Marvel at giant pumpkins, tiny piglets, butter sculptures, tottering cakes and more. The horse shows are a major draw. And what fun: everything’s a competition. $16 and up; kids under 4 free. Exhibition Place, 416-263-3400, royalfair.org
The Scene After 5 p.m., the bar is lined with after-work tipplers sipping Bourbon Cosmos ($12), Clase Azule Manhattans ($18) and other cocktails from head bartender Nick Leverty’s signature menu, while hotel guests and locals alike enjoy dinner before a night on the town.
Little Kitchen at Olliffe
Join one of Matt Kantor’s communal dinners — limited to just a dozen diners — for generous feasts of five courses or more with beer pairings. Details TBD. Tickets: on sale soon. 1097 Yonge St., 416-928-0296, littlekitchen.ca
photo: John Gundy
Chrystian, Victor’s chef since 2006 when it was known as Chez Victor, rethought the entire menu. His inspiration: Toronto itself. In addition to à la carte choices, Chrystian presents a Toronto Tasting Menu of seven unique creations inspired by some of Toronto’s 140 lively neighbourhoods. From Chinatown’s plum and chili braised tofu to Roncesvalles’ Polish comfort food, it’s the perfect way for hotel guests to experience the city and for locals to discover something new about a place we often take for granted. (Each dish is $14, or create your own combination, up to all seven dishes for $79.) Even the dessert menu celebrates events around town, like the Farmers Market peach crumble ($10) and the Caribana crème brulée ($10) with coconuts, tropical fruit compote and plantain chips. Want to take a little Victor home Victor Restaurant At Hôtel Le Germain with you? You can buy a jar of Chrystian’s creation, The Original 30 Mercer St. Toronto Spice, a combination meant to replicate the city’s 416-883-3431 eclectic makeup ($9/100g; $16/200g). victorrestaurant.com
Gourmet Food and Wine Expo Sample from 1,500 fine wines, spirits and beers from around the globe at this massive food and beverage show. And don’t forget to eat. Tutored tastings are led by top sommeliers, winemakers and writers. $18 and up. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, 1-866-414-0454, email@example.com
ANNIVERSARY! Ontario’s 1st Certified Organic Retailer! Specializing in organically grown, Non-GMO and environmentally safe products. NEW COOKING CLASSES • FREE NUTRITIONAL STORE TOURS • FREE EVENING LECTURES
Natural Food Market 416.466.2129
Wholistic Dispensary 416.466.8432
Organic Juice Bar 348 Danforth Avenue 1 block west of Chester subway Mon-Fri 9-9 • Sat 9-8 • Sun 11-6 Fall 2011
The Skull has Arrived!
Bitter not Better
But is it worth the price?
Spooky spirit: Crystal Head vodka ($59.95).
Once banned by the LCBO, the vodka famously owned by paranormal junkie Dan Aykroyd is finally available in Ontario, and just in time for Halloween. But at $59.95 a bottle, the question is whether Crystal Head is worth the cost. I blind tasted it alongside a utilitarian Polish brand and an organic, craft distilled vodka, and it fared quite well. Smoother than the Polish but less unctuous than the organic, it emerged my favourite, with a gentle spiciness and just enough sweetness to make it smooth on the palate. I’d love to know less about the filtration and more about the grains — something that drives me nuts about the marketing of “luxury vodkas” — but for straight-up sipping, Crystal Head is an admirable choice. That said, I suspect most of this vodka will be bought as a gift or because it comes in a cool bottle, and then obscured by all sorts of mixers. Which is a pity, because the stuff in the glass skull is actually pretty good. — Stephen Beaumont
Tidbits >> ...
The Academy of Culinary Arts (1703 Bayview Ave., 416-486-1859) celebrates 40 years of
supplying food enthusiasts and chefs with the tools and books of the trade
Alise Matos’ recently opened Velouté Bistro & Catering (2343 Queen St. E., 416-696-7392) offers cooking classes with chef Fawzi Kotb (ex-Centro, Peppino’s on the Beach, private chef to the royal family of Arabia) every Monday. Fall menu coming soon: veloutebistro.com
chefs (Daniel Boulud, Lorenzo Loseto, Victor Barry, etc.) and 70 wine estates (Chateau Margaux, Bourgognes Faiveley, etc.) meet at the 7th annual Grand Cru Wine Festival hosted by Todd Halpern to raise funds for the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation. A live auction and 27 private dinners take place Oct. 27 to 29. Details: grandcru.ca
The 2nd annual Group
of 7 Chef’s Vegetarian Dinner at Beast takes place Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m., featuring Scott Vivian (Beast), Bertrand Alépée (The Tempered Chef), Chris Brown (The Stop) and more. $60, 4 courses; optional wine pairings. Reservations: 647-352-6000
The 3rd annual Lamb
“Head to Toe” Dinner is at Treadwell Farm to Table Cuisine in Port Dalhousie Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. $120, 6 courses with wine; 905-934-9797, treadwellcuisine.com
By Maia Filar
If you’ve never tried to cook with a bitter melon, don’t start now. This was one of the many ingredients I decided to explore at Oriental Harvest on Spadina. It looks like a cross between a cucumber, gourd and cactus, but it’s actually a vine fruit widely grown in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Its consistency is similar to green pepper and it can be found in just about every produce section in Chinatown ($1.49). Its bitterness is used to foil sweet sauces and complement salty ones. But when we prepared it raw in a salsa it was completely inedible. Cooked, it kept its crunch in a curry but was still acidic and sour. Toronto’s China Town has been burgeoning since the 1870’s, first near Union Station, where Chinese immigrants were stationed to help build the railroad. The community was relocated to Spadina/Kensington when Toronto decided to develop City Hall. Produce is sourced from the Ontario Food Terminal, with specialty items shipped daily from Asia. Like the preserved duck egg and sea cucumber. The woman at the cash said to crack the egg open and eat it, and I thought I would give it a go (39 cents). It takes on a blue-grey colour after sitting in clay, ash, salt, lime and rice hulls for weeks. The flavor is subtle. I could see using it repeatedly, in a big noodle soup or grated onto a summer salad. The sea cucumber ($9.99) is said to lower blood pressure and ease joint pain. The creature has very little flavor and absorbs whatever you are cooking with it. I couldn’t stomach it. Maybe I would have had better luck with cloud ear fungus or douchi. Next time. Oriental Harvest, 310 Spadina Ave., 416-581-8666
Now open for Dinner!
B!tro 416.504.5787 638 Queen St. West firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday Friday Saturday
By Stephen Temkin
Hats off Etiquette for wearers and restaurateurs Allow me to get straight to the matter and issue this directive: Gentlemen, when dining, please remove your hats. There was a time when all men understood this basic gesture of courtesy, but not anymore. For the first time in centuries, the Western world has traversed almost two generations of mostly hatless men. Consequently, certain manners have been nearly forgotten. But hats — I’m referring to real hats such as fedoras and panamas, not tuques and baseball caps — are creeping back. Many of us are rediscovering the sensible functionality of a good hat, not to mention its effectiveness as an element of style. I’m hardly a model of punctiliousness, but I do think that a certain amount of etiquette, social ritual and courtesy are welcome in this increasingly rude and slovenly world.
illustration: Pierre Lamielle
When I see a man at a table wearing a hat, I feel squirmy. I started wearing hats about 20 years ago. No one had to teach me that when eating in a restaurant you take off your hat. I knew it instinctively: keeping one’s hat on is somehow offensive. When I see a man at a table wearing a hat, I feel squirmy, like I need to go over there, rip the offending lid from his greasy head and give him a good tongue-lashing about how to behave in public. Some will, of course, consider this an arbi-
trary edict dictated by the ruling snobs (oh dear, excuse me while I yawn). But unlike women’s hats, men’s hats are outerwear. They are not ornamentation, or at least shouldn’t be. So think of it this way: any place where you might irk others if you kept on your overcoat, is a place where you should also remove your hat. Here’s another problem: too many restaurants are behind the curve. This magazine’s editor tells the story of checking his coat and fedora at a restaurant, only to find the hat missing upon leaving. When he put on his coat, he discovered his hat crudely shoved into the sleeve. That’s not good. For restaurateurs who may be clueless, here are a few tips concerning hats: First and foremost, have a place to put them where they won’t be soiled or molested. A shelf above your coat rack is fine. If you don’t have a coat rack, please get one, or at least get some hooks. A customer should not have to take his hat to the table only to find nowhere to set it down but the floor beneath the chair. Restaurant floors should never be touched by anything except shoes and cockroaches. If you have a coat check, advise your staff how to handle a hat. It should never be held by the crown, only by the brim. Sure, the crown of a good quality felt hat can withstand a lot of abuse. I bash mine around mercilessly — it gives it personality. However, such bashing is the sole prerogative of the owner. As for straw hats, they can be fragile and must be handled gingerly. If you do check hats, it never hurts to have
a small horsehair hat-brush at the ready. If a felt hat does pick up some loose dirt, dust or fibers from other garments, you can give it a quick brushing before handing it back. Women are not required to remove their hats. But when a man arrives wearing a hat, always offer to check it. If he says he wants to wear it while dining, provide him with directions to the nearest chip wagon. CB When not eating, drinking, or writing about eating and drinking, Stephen Temkin makes fedoras. email@example.com
The Better Baker Bowl Maker available at THE COOK’S PLACE 501 Danforth Ave. Toronto ~ (416) 461-5211 www.thecooksplace.com ~ @thecooksplace on Twitter Sign up for our newsletter. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
T H E
COOK’S PLACE Fall 2011
Head to head
By Zoltan Szabo
The Pinot Noir experience It’s purple haze time with the world’s most beguiling grape SUPPLE
Weightier style with more black fruit and sweet oak toast nuances, supple tannins and a very pleasant spicy finish. Ideal with roasted game birds or peppercorn crusted tuna. Winery
Oregon’s rockiest vineyard: elevation 700 feet. Ripe and meaty with sweet smoke. Flint/ mineral and barnyard accents mingling with black-fleshed berry fruit. Great composition and depth.
Complex yet elegant, with great density of savoury black fruit and floral nuances. Fermented and aged in 500L barrels. 250 cases only. Winery
Stoney Ridge 2009 Pinot Noir ‘Excellence’ Niagara Peninsula | $35
Le Cadeau 2008 Pinot Noir ‘Diversite’ Willamette Valley, Oregon | $59
Jackson Triggs 2008 ‘Puncheon Pinot’ Delaine Vineyard Niagara Peninsula | $44.95
Legend has it the nuns who made this wine considered the texture to be “silky as the robe on the back of baby Jesus.” This is lovely, ripe yet bracing, floral and smooth. Absolutely pleasing.
Light and bright with very good purity and juicy acidity. Sour red berry notes dominate the palate, this is a delicious and extremely food-versatile pinot. Winery
Bouchard Pere & Fils 2009 Beaune Greves Vigne de L’enfant Jesus 1er Cru Burgundy | $109
Cattail Creek 2009 Pinot Noir Four Mile Creek, Niagara Peninsula | $19.95
Rosewood Estates 2009 Pinot Noir Reserve ‘Natural Fermentation’ Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula | $40
Blueberry and raspberry notes with oak toast and earth/barnyard underneath the fruit core. Fuller style with remarkable freshness and round, soft tannins. Winery
Your night starts here... Crush Wine Bar is your wine destination with more than 60 wines by the glass paired brilliantly with Executive Chef Michael Wilson’s cuisine. Experience an eclectic menu for lunch or dinner in the main dining room or gather for drinks in our adjacent bar. Ask about our private dining options for your next event.
CRUSH WINE BAR • TORONTO
455 King Street West
By Deacon Dr. Fresh
Melancholy Medicine A boy’s tastes turn to autumn One of the many advantages of living in this great city is the obvious change of seasons. Yes, summer warmth is wonderful, but I couldn’t have a steady diet of heat and ultraviolet, anymore than I would enjoy endless spring flowers or eternal blizzards, black ice and moronic drivers. That being said, it’s fall that has the distinction of being enjoyably melancholic. The ancients saw autumn as the impending death of the year, and the bitter-
melancholic fumes. I have favourite haunts that I love to explore on foot, especially when the turbulent depth of fall emotion begins surface, and I find it therapeutic to grab my iPod and wander aimlessly through Queens Park, the University of Toronto campus and then on to the ROM, and eventually Harbord Street and Bloor. And as the miasma of sadness and loss takes hold, I find no more efficacious medicine
Warm by the fire with a pint of the black stuff and then move on to meat pie and chips with a hearty bottle of Italian or Spanish red. sweet sadness it engendered was viewed as a poisonous vapour that needed to be driven out with emetics, purgatives and cautious bloodletting. Fortunately, we’ve progressed somewhat and have better solutions for the
than good food and wine. A couple of hours of mindless strolling during a brisk autumn day will stoke the appetite, rendering the most jejune foods and simple flavours, deeply satisfying. As I walk, delicious fragrance wafts
from Yorkville bistros and restaurants, but the simplest foods are what beckon me as the year winds up. Fall is much more than pumpkin pie and turkey. It’s a time for rich red wines, and nourishing cream ales. Butternut squash soup with artisanal bread, and roasted root vegetables. It’s the season when the brisk chill in the air can cause the street vendors’ sausages to smell as delectable as the finest foie gras. So, a little advice. Limber up for the evening’s delights with a walk through this city of neighbourhoods, or one of our many vast parks and ravines. Warm by the fire with a pint of the black stuff and then move on to meat pie and chips with a hearty bottle of Italian or Spanish red. Then you’ll be sufficiently fortified to wind down with Irish whiskey and a Sylvia Plath book as you listen to Mary Coughlan, or perhaps Tom Waits. Life doesn’t get any better than this. CB The musings of Deacon Dr. Fresh live at deaconwinelist.blogspot.com.
the urban farmer
By Arlene Hazzan Green
beds, which make the installation of tunnel cloches a snap and often more successful. Keeping an in-ground garden warm when it’s surrounded by frozen earth can be a challenge. Another option is a cold frame — basically a box with a transparent lid on a hinge that covers an area of the garden. You can build your own out of old windowpanes and a few pieces of scrap wood.
Some ideas for extending the growing season
What the heck is a cloche? “Cloche” is a French word for bell. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I’ve seen people saw off the bottom of a large pop bottle and place it over the plant. A tunnel cloche works in much the same way but covers a larger space. Think of a mini greenhouse right on your garden bed. We place homemade bamboo arches along the length of the bed and cover them with a thin layer of clear plastic. We like to use raised
What to Plant Hardy vegetables include most Asian greens like bok choy and tatsoi, a huge variety of lettuces, Swiss chard, kale, radishes, peas, spinach, arugula, beets and more. In Toronto, which is hardiness zone 6, the first frost comes around Oct. 10. Late July to mid-August is the ideal time to sow your seeds for a winter harvest, but many of us still have other plants bearing fruit and we’re not ready to give them up. Try direct sowing seeds now anyway. We had good success last year and I didn’t plant until mid-October. Or look for seedlings that were started in a greenhouse. Try Fiesta Farms, Evergreen Brick Works or your local farmers’ market.
When the nighttime temperatures start to dip below about 5 degrees, cover with plastic sheeting or your cold frame. Surround the cloche with straw mulch, which is an excellent insulator. Choose a location in the garden that gets maximum sun and is a good distance away from a fence or other shadow-casing structure. Remember that the sun path travels much lower in the sky in the fall and winter. Planting against a south facing wall can be ideal as the wall absorbs quite a bit of heat. Watering Water as usual until it’s time to cover up. Once the cover is on for most of the day and night, reduce your watering. Keep the soil most but not sopping wet so it doesn’t freeze. CB Arlene Hazzan Green co-owns The Backyard Urban Farm Company (bufco.ca).
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photo: Mark Green
If you’re suffering from the end-of-summer gardening blues, you need to know that you can extend your growing season beyond summer. Many hardy vegetables love cooler temperatures and grow relatively quickly. Even when the frost comes they can stay warm and cozy inside a cold frame or a tunnel “cloche.” These old fashioned systems really work, and allow you to harvest fresh food well in to December and beyond.
By Pamela Cuthbert
Out of the Box Slow and steady, Matchbox Garden AND SEED CO. is blossoming I remember the first time I met Hannah Jacobs. It was midday in sweltering August and Queen Street West was rank, thanks in part to the busy neighborhood slaughterhouse. A sandwich board advertising an herb garden promised an escape. Following the sign’s directions, I turned on to Niagara Street and then down an alleyway. Tucked in behind a clothing store was Matchbox Garden & Seed Co., a bricked back garden that had been transformed into an oasis of floral fragrance. Hannah, snippets in-hand, stood amid pots and tiny plots of lush herbs that she had grown from seed and tended with evident care. The idea was simple yet brilliant: choose your herbs and the urban farmer cuts individual bunches to take home.
one of a handful of seasonal markets she attends, Jacobs casually said, “The end goal has always been to have a farm.” At McVean, Matchbox experimented with a small CSA program of just 20 members because, as Jacobs explains, “It’s a big commitment to say you can feed people for a summer. We had to be sure we could do it.” The success of the CSA led to new contacts that in turn landed them where they are now. The Matchbox Farm has blossomed into a 10-acre property, with a two-acre apple orchard and, at its core, a four-acre garden plot. Seedlings are grown at the Downsview Greenhouses, in Downsview Park. It’s all part of a partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation at the Living City Campus at
photo: Jason Inniss
It’s a big commitment to say you can feed people for a summer. We had to be sure we could do it. Since that early start in 2006, Jacobs has become a “real” farmer, graduating with Matchbox partner Eric Rosenkrantz to a threeacre organic garden plot at McVean Farm in Brampton through the FarmStart incubator initiative that helps new farmers get a start by assisting them with access to land and equipment. “It’s expensive to try and get a farm,” said Jacobs, who grew up on a horse farm. Last month, at the Tuesday Trinity Bellwoods market,
Kortright, in Vaughan. “We are one of their four pilot projects for sustainable farming on TRC land,” says Jacobs. There, the two farmers with the help of interns use organic, biodynamic practices to grow more than 100 varieties of heirloom and open-pollinated fruits and vegetables. The aim is to develop cost-effective business models for small, innovative farms. The CSA, which grew to 86 members and will be trimmed back next growing season,
Hannah Jacobs sells her herbs and produce at Trinity Bellwoods on Tuesdays.
will continue alongside market sales and a CSG (Custom Growing Services) program that offers wholesale prices for commercial clients such as Niagara Street Café, Toca by Tom Brodi in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Beast restaurant and Jason Inniss Catering. Throughout the winter, Matchbox’s beautiful root vegetables will also be sold at the Evergreen Brick Works winter market. The focus continues to be on traditional varieties of greens, beans, tomatoes, peppers, squashes, potatoes and other root vegetables. “Pretty much everything grown in a traditional French or English garden,” says Jacobs. And, naturally, there are the herbs. CB Pamela Cuthbert, a food writer and editor, is published in Macleans, Saveur, The Edible City, Slow Food Almanac and elsewhere. She’s on a hunt for good food suppliers.
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1703 Bayview Avenue 1 1/2 blocks south of Eglinton Tel. 416.486.1859 Mon. - Sat. 10am - 6pm Sun. 11am - 5pm
By Dick Snyder
Read ’em and eat
Mark McEwan’s Fabbrica By Mark McEwan
The Ontario Table
The Top Chef judge offers a book replete with lovely photography to make you hungry and complementary recipes delivered with concise instruction and a master chef’s valuable insight. The recipes sound easier than they will likely prove to be for most cooks. The techniques are sublime, and the recipes demand only the finest ingredients. Therein lies the challenge. (Viking Canada, $39)
By Lynn Ogryzlo
Cook: Fresh, Flavorful Family Meals
Soup: A Kosher Collection
By Deborah Anzinger
By Pam Reiss
As much a resource and guide to farmers, producers and Ontario’s food regions as it is cookbook, Ogryzlo’s tome is indispensable for any serious locavore. Filled with photos and mouth-watering recipes, all concentrated around the ingredients and people who make local eating possible. At bookstores and ontariotable.com. ($29.95, Epulum Books)
Updated with 20 new recipes, this paperback edition of Reiss’s 2004 national bestseller is packed with the kind of hearty and warming recipes you’d expect from its subtitle. It’s attractively laid-out, easy to follow, and has a section on technique, which makes all the recipes easy for the beginner. Nutrition and calorie info for each recipe is a nice touch. (Whitecap, $24.95)
This intimate and approachable collection of healthful meal recipes is a welcome and reassuring book for anyone who struggles to feed his or her family fresh, nutritional and tasty meals from scratch. A professional home economist from small-town Ontario, Anzinger makes it easy with tips on technique, pantry advice, and hints on getting the whole family involved. A fun read! (Whitecap, $24.95)
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By Tamara Stieber
The Wired Cook Paris food blogger comes to Stratford Now a celebrated cookbook author, Clotilde Dusoulier ditched a career in software engineering to submerge herself in the pleasures of cooking. In 2003, her Chocolat & Zucchini blog made her a one-of-a-kind online presence. Now, with two cookbooks under her belt, Dusoulier has been selected the 2011 Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence at Stratford Chefs School. She will spend two weeks there from Oct. 31 and she will also make two appearances in Toronto. (Visit stratfordchef.com for information.) CityBites chatted with her from her home in Paris. Q: Why did you start your blog? A: I found myself wanting to talk about food
long after the meal had been eaten and this was a way to prolong the conversation and the pleasure that food and the idea of creating something can bring. It was also a way of sharing that conversation outside of my circle of friends where I could document my daily cooking process.
Q: What advice would you give to an
aspiring blogger? A: The key is in developing a strong voice
that has a unique point of view. As well, create a writing style that is unique to who you are and always be honest. Honesty is really the key. No one expects perfection and people will want to read what you have to say when it comes from an honest place.
Food and social media writer Clotilde Dusoulier.
Dusoulierâ€™s Favourite blogs 101cookbooks.com
Q: What would people be most surprised
to know about you? A: I was a late bloomer when it comes to cooking and eating. I was a picky eater and was not an adventurous eater at all. I didnâ€™t like cheese and didnâ€™t like bread that wasnâ€™t square and white. It wasnâ€™t until I was 21 that I really began to explore my own appetite.
Q: The utensil you canâ€™t live without? A: A Japanese mandolin. I use it all the time. Cutting vegetables differently completely changes their flavours. Q: If you could invite anyone for dinner
Q: Favourite ingredient?
who would it be and what would you serve?
A: Lemons. There are an endless amount of
A: David Eggers, American writer, editor and
ways to use lemon juice and zest in cooking and baking.
publisher. I would serve chicken and bread crust and a pear or apple tart. CB
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1>>:H>DA?02:064C>30H Enjoy a magical night out at the AGO with the Chagall exhibition and complimentary audio guide topped with a 3-course Chagall-inspired dinner at Frank restaurant. All for only $65.
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4/0 4 Col Process
By Andrew Brudz
10 Favourite Things about
Chef Michael Smith A few of our favourite things, in honour of the PEI-based chef and The Food Network star’s latest bestselling cookbook, Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen: 100 of My Favourite Easy Recipes. HE LOVES LOCAL Smith believes that using locally sourced food creates a greater responsibility for those eating it. He says, “If someone in your community worked hard to make it, you will respect it more than buying a frozen package of broccoli at the supermarket. There’s a story attached to it.” HE’S AN AMBASSADOR FOR CANADIAN CUISINE “Canadians have a great reputation around the world, but not many people know about our cuisine,” Smith says. He notes one of Canada’s greatest advantages: as one giant land mass with so many types of cuisine, we’re in a unique position to draw on new flavours, styles of cooking, and fresh ideas in the kitchen.
HE CREATES USER-FRIENDLY RECIPES Speaking about his latest cookbook, Smith says, “The underlying theme is simplicity. All you need is big, bold flavours!” Starting with over 150 recipes, he workshopped them with friends and neighbours to make sure each one worked. He eventually narrowed them down to 100 personal favourites that he loves to make at home over and over again.
HE CAN ADMIT HIS MISTAKE Two words: Pizza Pudding. (Look for a tonguein-cheek reference in the liner notes of his new book.) HE’S A FAMILY MAN He loves cooking for the family, including his 9-year-old son Gabriel, who likes watching Dad at work in the kitchen, partner Chastity, and her 3-year-old daughter Ariela.
HIS TRAVELOGUE WRITING STYLE More than just a list of ingredients and some instruction, every Michael Smith recipe is a story, featuring its origins, its evolution, or a personal anecdote. He says, “We all have the desire to gather and prepare and share food. It’s what unites us all as people. It’s how society developed in the first place.” HE LOVES TORONTO He cites friend Patrick McMurray’s seafood mainstay, Starfish, and the rustic Italian cooking at Grazie as his two favourite places to eat whenever he’s in town. HE STILL COOKS ON HIS SHOWS While some of his contemporaries have foregone instructional-style cooking shows for the reality TV route, Smith has stuck to his style, with shows like The Inn Chef, Chef at Home, Chef At Large, and Chef Abroad. Next up is a web series, debuting this fall, called Chef Michael’s Kitchen, where he teaches viewers what works, why it works, and how to take it to the next level. HE LIKES TO GIVE BACK Smith recently hosted a chef festival and steak dinner in PEI that raised funds for both a local food bank and a cookhouse in Kenya that will feed 1,000 children. THIS RECIPE: Leftover Roast Chicken Broth With a Few Extra Things Thrown In. (Yup, it’s in there. Check it out on page 80.) If there’s one recipe that encapsulates Smith’s kitchen philosophy, this is it. It’s not about measurements and precision—it’s about getting dinner and having fun! CB
How to Buy Wine from an Agent
Buying consignment wines from an agent is easy. Go online and get their list. Phone or email your order. Wait for delivery. Repeat.
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Chef â€™s Dinner: 3 Autumn Recipes Mulled-Wine Braised Venison Shoulder with Red Cabbage, Turnip Fondant and Peppercorn Sauce By Jesse Vallins
This is a great warming recipe for fall, and the ultimate do-ahead dish, as everything is best made the day before and warmed just before serving. Serves six. For the venison shoulder 2 lb venison shoulder 1 bottle red wine 75mL cognac (about 1/3 cup) 500mL chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth (2 cups) zest and juice of one orange 1 cinnamon stick 1 star anise pod 5 juniper berries 8 black peppercorns
Trevor Kitchen and Bar
Remove from pot and set aside. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic to the pot and cook over medium-high heat until browned, add the venison back in, along with the mulled wine, chicken stock, bay leaf and herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven for 3 hours or until the venison is tender. Allow to cool in the liquid. Cut the shoulder into six equal pieces. Strain out the vegetables and reserve the liquid, set 500mL of the liquid aside and pour the remaining over the shoulder. Cool overnight in the fridge.
For the red cabbage
1 carrot, chopped
1 small head red cabbage,
1 small onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 shallot, finely diced
1 head of garlic, cut in half
1 apple, finely grated
1 bay leaf
500mL apple cider (2 cups)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
150mL brown sugar
kosher salt and black pepper
photo: Ann Gagno
canola oil for cooking
2 large turnips 250mL chicken stock (1 cup) 100g butter (about 1/4lb
2 allspice berries
1 sprig fresh sage
For the turnip fondants
(1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) 375mL sherry or red wine vinegar (1.5 cups)
Heat the oven to 325Â°F. Pour the wine, cognac, orange and spices into a pot and warm gently (do not boil) for an hour to infuse the flavours. Strain and reserve. Season the venison thoroughly and, in a Dutch oven or ovenproof pot, sear in the canola oil until brown and crusty on all sides.
Warm the butter, sugar and vinegar in a pot until the sugar has melted. Add all the remaining ingredients, season with salt and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the cabbage is soft and slightly sticky and all the liquid has been absorbed. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
or 1 stick)
Before serving, put the reserved braising jus, cognac and cream into a pot and reduce until sauce consistency. Add the green peppercorns and keep warm.
kosher salt canola oil for cooking
Peel and slice the turnips into 1-in. thick rounds. Season with salt. Heat a wide frying pan, add a little oil and sautĂŠ the turnips until brown on both sides. Add the chicken stock and the butter and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook slowly until all the liquid has absorbed and the turnips are soft. Allow to cool and store in the fridge overnight. For the peppercorn sauce Reserved braising jus 1 Tbsp ground green
to finish the dish
Re-warm the cabbage and the fondants and set aside. Place the venison shoulder and the braising jus in a pan. Over medium heat, reduce the liquid until almost dry and the meat is nicely coated. Taste for seasoning and add a knob of butter. Place a spoonful of peppercorn sauce in the centre of six warm plates. Place a mound of red cabbage, a turnip fondant and a piece of venison on top. Serve with with a good pinot noir or a spiced porter like Black Oak Nutcracker.
peppercorns 25mL cognac (about 2 Tbsp) 100mL 35% cream
Jesse Vallins is the chef at Trevor Kitchen and Bar. Fall 2011
XXXXXXXXXX By xxxxxxxx Rapini Risotto
with Crème Fraiche Sphere L.A.B.
Ginger Molasses Cookies By Tara Sachs
Parts and Labour
This dish is an example of how we like to blend classic techniques with a little modern flare. In this case we’re playing up the approachable bitterness of rapini. Our dish features a very simple trick using a seaweed extract called alginate (or sodium alginate) to execute the technique of spherification. The goal is to take a loose, almost liquid solution — in this case crème fraiche — and give it the texture and body of a raw egg yolk. The bath is a blend of sodium alginate and water in a ratio of 1 tbsp alginate to 1 cup water. All you need to do is spoon in some loose crème fraiche and a minute later you’ll have a sphere of cream surrounded by essentially a clear aspic. It sounds complicated, but it’s easy for anyone to do. Like all “molecular” techniques,
These are my favourite cookies of all time. Every year when the leaves start to change I crave these cookies and a hot cup of tea. Soft, chewy and rich, I have never met someone who didn’t love them. Ingredients 3/4 cup butter, room temp 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 large egg, room temp 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp cloves 2 tsp baking soda 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger 1/2 cup crystalized ginger (chopped into small chunks) 1/2 cup granulated sugar for dipping
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment,
the best thing is just to play around. Note: Alginate or sodium alginate can be found at online gourmet shops. We get ours from l’Epicerie in New York. Ingredients 2 cups Arborio rice 2 Tbsp olive oil 6-8 cups vegetable broth 1/2 cup shredded parmesan 1/2 to 1 cup rapini purée (or to taste) salt and pepper to taste
For the rapini purée
Blanch one bunch rapini in salted water, then shock in an ice bath. Keep a few florets for garnish. Purée the rapini until smooth. For the crème fraiche garnish
Drop spoonfuls of crème fraiche
cream butter, sugar and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add egg and molasses and beat until incorporated. Scraping sides of bowl as needed. In a separate bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and ground ginger. Break up candied ginger in flour mixture to ensure cubes do not clump together in batter. Add to butter mixture in thirds until smooth, careful not to over mix. The cookie dough will be thick. Using a 1-inch scoop, portion dough on a baking tray. Refrigerate at least an hour to set. Remove tray from fridge and roll scooped dough in hands to make smooth balls. Coat each ball in granulated sugar and place on baking tray 3 inches apart. Bake in a 350oF oven 10-12 minutes until tops begin to crack. Cool slightly, but they are best warm. And enjoy!.
photos: Ann Gagno
By Howard Dubrovsky
into a bath of alginate water (1 tbsp: 1 cup). Let sit 1 minute, then place in water to store. Method
Sauté the rice in the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the stock, one cup at a time, letting the stock absorb before adding the next cup. The risotto is ready when the rice is al dente and there’s a creamy sauce in the pot. Add the puree. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. To garnish, top with a few rapini florets, parmesan slices and the crème fraiche sphere. Howard Dubrovsky is a published writer, photographer, kick boxer, food stylist and world traveler. He owns and cooks at Live and Breathe (L.A.B.) restaurant in Toronto.
Tara Sachs is the Pastry Chef at Parts and Labour. If Tara Sachs could have dinner with five people, dead or alive, she would pick Martha Stewart, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Douglas Coupland, Isabella Blow and Paul Newman. Fall 2011
Something new has popped up at butchers’ counters across the city. A chicken is no longer just a chicken. A steak is no longer just a piece of beef. Friendly, familiar descriptors like “breast,” “thigh,” “roast,” and “flank” are being qualified by vague terms like “free range,” “antibiotic-free,” “traditionally raised” and “organic.” Problem is, endless permutations of these terms have opened up a new frontier that might be good for marketers, but is decidedly confusing for the average omnivore. This new gastronomic space is all about the way an animal is raised and what it eats. But just what does it really mean for a chicken to be “antibiotic-free”? What is the difference between “corn-fed” beef and “grass-fed”? Do “organic” and “traditionally raised” basically mean the same thing? How in the world would you — the innocent and hungry consumer — be expected to know? Decoding the facts behind the labels can be daunting. In Canada, any food item bearing the label “certified organic” must conform to certification requirements outlined by the Canadian General Standards Board. This means that any questions regarding the production and treatment of organic meat can be answered by a 51-page document called Organic Production Systems General Principles and Management Standards. Certified organic meat producers are forbidden to feed their animals anything but certified organic feed. That means it’s free of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers, and contains no antibiotics or genetically modified organisms. Animals must have access to a regulated minimum amount of open space, both indoors and out. The use of growth hormones is forbidden.
Truth and Decoding the facts behind the meat label
Henry and Sarah Bakker raise pastured beef in the Kawarthas.
establishment. But, unlike the definitive requirements of organic certification, these protocols are regulated on a per-facility basis. There is no detailed definition of these terms made available to the consumer. Interested consumers must do some significant digging to find out what protocols establishments have put in place to warrant the approval of their claim. These types of claims often apply only to one aspect of the farming process, but some labels can inform the consumer about the producer generally. For example, anti-
‘Certified organic’ is the only label with rigorous, government-sanctioned oversight. “Certified organic” is the only label with this level of rigorous, government-sanctioned oversight behind it. Producers that use other terms to define their means of production need to prove their validity to a regulating body, either the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or the provincial government. Claims like “antibiotic-free,” “raised without growth hormones,” and “grain fed,” must be reasonably backed by the protocols and processes of the
biotics are fed to animals on large-scale industrial farms for many reasons, not the least of which is to counteract the effects on the animals of being kept, generally, in unhealthy environments. “Animals are often standing in mud or manure. They can’t move around. It’s not a healthy environment, so they’re fed antibiotics prophylactically to keep them healthy,” says Sarah Bakker of Field Sparrow Farms, a “natural” farming operation in
the Kawarthas that specializes in grass-fed beef production. Farmers who raise their animals without the use of antibiotics must pay careful attention to the health of the environment — which, in the end, can benefit the health of everyone from farmer to animal to consumer. So, “antibiotic-free” carries some weight as testament to a farmer’s commitment to a purer path. The terms “traditionally raised,” “naturally raised,” and “free range” are more complicated. “Everyone has their own terminology,” Bakker says. And the differences in definition from farm to farm can be vast. For Bakker, “naturally raised” means tending her livestock without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, or genetically modified organisms. It also means no corn. Corn gives beef that rich marbling that chefs and consumers enjoy faster than any other form of feed. Corn “finishing” — where corn is fed to cattle in the final stages before slaughter — is used in conventional farming to increase the saturated fat content of the meat. But it can also contribute to the incubation of E. Coli bacteria that need to be carefully controlled to ensure they don’t pass to humans. Bakker sources calves, lambs, and chickens only from local farms whose production
photo: Nathan Payne
By Kelly Ward
Consequences practices she’s familiar with and agrees with. Field Sparrow Farms is not certified organic, mainly because the farm doesn’t have enough land to grow all its own hay. If the farm were to be certified organic, any purchased hay would have to come from other organic farms, which would mean bringing materials from farther away, increasing the farm’s carbon footprint. The same would go for the purchase of calves and lambs. Bakker chooses to call her method of farming “naturally raised” because “traditional” is a problematic term that, she points out, can mean almost anything. “It depends how far back you’re talking about,” she says. “Corn-fed beef could be considered traditional because it’s been around since the 1950s.” Each self-described “traditional” farm has its own definition. In these cases, personal research into the source farm is the only way to fully understand what the term means to each farmer. Farmers markets provide an opportunity to speak directly to “traditional” farmers. And Metro currently carries “Fresh Obsessions Traditionally Raised Beef” that has a corresponding website that lists the names and locations of the supplying farmers. “Free range” is similarly difficult to define. A consumer hears the term and imagines an animal raised in an unrestricted outdoor setting. But, Bakker points out, “You can’t really have free-range chickens in the winter because they’d be frozen prior to ever getting to the butcher… so if some-
thing says ‘free-range’ in January, I’d start asking questions.” Some would argue that, given these complexities, consumers should look only to certified-organic producers. But Tony McQuail of Meeting Place Organic Farm, who has been farming organically for more than 25 years and was among the farmers who helped set up the original organic certification process in Ontario in the mid-1980s, disagrees. Before the mid-eighties, he says, “all you had to do to make something organic is rewrite the label.” But, even as a pioneer of the organic movement, McQuail maintains that it’s open discourse — rather than label and logo recognition — that makes for informed meat purchasing. “Certification is a verification system that has a third-party inspection and documentation to make sure the farms are meeting the organic standard,” he says. “However, the consumer should talk to the producers of antibiotic-free, free-range, or naturally raised meats to find out the details of their production practices. They may be raising their livestock in an acceptable way…. It just takes personal communication.” It may seem like a daunting task to investigate every cut of meat before you buy, but it’s actually not difficult. Supermarkets like Metro are finally getting on board, and their efforts are, at the very least, a sincere start. Loblaw’s “Free From” line of antibioticfree chicken lists the names of supplier farms on the packaging, and includes photos of the farmers. And farmer’s markets across the
GTA provide the opportunity for urbanites to chat with producers and ask what their process is all about. By closing the gap between farm and table, savvy consumers can unlock a world of better-tasting, healthier meat options. The future of what we see at the butcher’s counter is really up to us. The more consumers educate themselves and push for better, more transparent access to alternative meat products, the more we will see the quality and health of our meat options improve. CB
The “Corn-Fed” Truth Corn-fed ruminants are sick animals. Cattle and sheep have a stomach, the rumen, specifically designed to digest grass. An all-grain diet halts the natural processes of the rumen, and these animals then need veterinary drugs daily to keep the rumen from bloating and potentially suffocating them. Corn-fed ruminants can incubate bacteria. Corn changes the pH of a ruminant’s digestive tract, which allows bacteria, such as E. coli 0157, to incubate where they naturally would not. These can pass to humans through farm run-off. Corn-fed beef is higher is saturated fat. Sarah Bakker compares a steer eating only corn to a human eating only chocolate. It makes for an animal that’s not only unhealthy internally, but also higher in “bad” fats.
Szabo on Wine
By John Szabo MS
The Year of Ontario Pinot Noir The 2009s are here… and they are spectacular Top 2009 Ontario Pinot Noirs 2009 Le Clos Jordanne Le Clos Jordanne Vineyard 92 pts | $45
The church at Closson Chase
We’ve waited, we’ve tasted, and we’ve waited again for that bloody grape to perform the way we all believed it could. Like a bunch of anti-Diogenes optimists we’d wander through bottles, and every blue moon our lanterns would shine on an honest-to-goodness local pinot noir, and we’d exclaim: “Ha! You see, it is possible.” For the rest, unflappable positivism would result in a backhanded slap in the face: “This shows potential….” Now with the 2009 Ontario vintages hitting the shelves, there’s honest rejoicing at long last. The perfect storm of maturing vines, more experienced winemaking, suitable weather and a critical mass of serious producers have converted pinot potential into pretty pinot. “We are really proud of this vintage,” says Sebastien Jacquey, winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne, during a release tasting of his 2009 pinots. “The terroir is there.” That’s the sort of pinot talk that devoted acolytes of the grape get all frothy about. The 2006s are still useful for cleaning windshields; the 2007s, so promising at first, have never outgrown their burly tomboy phase; the 2008s were mostly rotten, literally. But the 2009s? “Quiet, tight, firm and fruity,” says Jaquey, the way pinot should be. It was the coolest season in a half-dozen years, but counter-intuitively, low temperatures kept vine diseases dormant, and a magnificently dry, cool, sunny September delivered fully ripe grapes with thick skins, brown seeds, ripe stems and, crucially, vibrant acids. “The numbers (sugar, pH, acidity) were perfect — what my textbooks from Burgundy say,” said Jaquey, who’s from Burgundy. “We applied classic winemaking principles. There was not much else to do.” Try these for a taste of what local pinot is all about. Some are ready, some need patience.
Delicate on the nose but powerful on the palate, combining weight and flesh with silky texture. Wood is more of a feature for the present, adding a smoky dimension, with brown spice, dried flowers and dark, woodsy, Côte-de-Nuits-type flavours. The best yet from LCJ. Best 2012-2019. Winery; Vintages October 15 2009 Hardie Wines County Pinot Noir Unfiltered Prince Edward County 92 pts | $35
The best yet from Norm Hardie. The texture is pure silk and elegance, with lovely fresh and delicate tart red fruit, vibrant and pure, with energetic acidity, very fine-grained tannins and a wonderfully refreshing 11.5% alcohol. This invites constant sips. Best 2011-2015. Winery 2009 Closson Chase CCV Pinot Noir Prince Edward County 92 pts | $39.95
Closson’s 2009 pinot is a light, herbal, mineral and vibrantly zesty example with terrific persistence and delicate fruit flavours. Pure PEC terroir. Best 2011-2015. Winery, Vintages Dec. 10
2009 Coyoteâ€™s Run Estate Winery
2009 Rosewood Estates
2009 Closson Chase
Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir
Winery Pinot Noir
Church Side Pinot Noir
Twenty Mile Bench
Prince Edward County
90 pts | $35.95
89 pts | $20
89 pts | $49.95
Closed and tightly wound, with considerable structure and grippy tannins. Fruit spans the red and black berry spectrum, and flavour intensity and depth are impressive. Best 2012-2018.Â Winery
Bright, high-toned and juicy red fruit-flavoured pinot crafted in an elegant and refined style. The palate is suave and silky, with light tannins and bright acid; very pretty. Best 2011-2014. Vintages #112177
The Churchside pinot is the burliest and most evidently woody of Clossonâ€™s â€™09 Pinots (if such a thing can be said). Flavours are in the darker fruit spectrum, and chocolate-coffee flavours linger on the finish. Best 2012-2015. Winery
2009 Le Clos Jordanne La Petite Colline Vineyard
2009 Coyoteâ€™s Run Estate Winery
90 pts | $45
Red Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir
2009 Rosehall Run Vineyards Estate
High-toned, with sweet red fruit, wild red cherry, light cinnamon baking spice plus minerality. The palate is beautifully elegant and delicate, like silk, with very finegrained, filigree tannins. Very feminine. Best 2012-2016. Winery
89 pts | $24.95
Prince Edward County
Firmly in the lighter red berry fruit spectrum of flavours, with notable high-toned cherry and a touch of earthy-funk thatâ€™s well within normally acceptable bounds. Tannins are firm and grippy, bolstered by crisp acids, though the wine is well balanced all around. Best 2011-2014. Winery
89 pts | $39
2009 Hidden Bench Estate Pinot Noir
Really lovely and pure red fruit/berry character, red currant, red cherry, with a fine measure of florality. The palate is light and lean in a good way, with brisk but not excessive acidity, moderate alcohol and fine-grained tannins. Solid length. Best 2011-2014. Winery
Beamsville Bench 90 pts | $38
2009 Tawse Winery Growerâ€™s
2009 Flat Rock Cellars
Very open, perfumed, fresh and fragrant, with wood noted alongside highly concentrated, vibrant red and even black berry fruit. Tannins and wood are indeed still marked, and this needs time to integrate, another 1-3 years. Best 2012-2017. Winery
Blend Pinot Noir
The Rogue Pinot Noir
Niagara Escarpment & Twenty Valley
Twenty Mile Bench
89 pts | $30
89+ | $35
2009 Coyoteâ€™s Run Estate Winery Pinot Noir
Closed for now, but reveals a good deal of depth and flavour intensity on the palate. Generous density and weight, while acidity is balanced and crisp, and tannins are grippy and dusty. Will improve over the next 2-3 years in the cellar. Best 2012-2016. Winery
Niagara-on-the-Lake 90 pts | $49.95
2009 Twenty-Twenty Seven Cellars
This is evidently a serious and ambitious example of pinot noir, with generous oak influence, abundant baking spice, chocolate and fresh coffee grounds. The palate is juicy and savoury, with substantial intensity and long, warm finish. A meaty and savoury wine all in all, one of the finest estate pinots yet from Coyoteâ€™s Run. Drink 2011-2015. Winery
Queenston Road Vineyard Pinot Noir
The Rogue, made in honour of owner Ed Madronichâ€™s father, is a pinot noir made white, or at least a little â€œgris.â€? High quality barrel notes and lees make this smell like fine chardonnay. The palate is ripe, creamy, with crisp-balancing acidity, and long finish. Best 2011-2013. Winery
St. Davidâ€™s Bench
2009 Casa Dea Estates Winery
90 pts | $30
All delicate red berry, compost, wet earth and sweet baking spice. The palate is deceptively powerful, with ripe tannins, balanced acidity, quite serious depth and a forceful, lingering finish. Best 2012-2015. Winery
Prince Edward County 88 pts | $19.95
Light, tight, juicy and mineral example of County pinot, in the soon-to-be-classic style. Best 2011-2013. Winery
Wine Cellars, Racking, Cabinets, Stemware and Accessories showroom 339 Olivewood Rd 416.285.6604 rosehillwinecellars.com 5:&B&%$BLQGG
By Konrad Ejbich
Ontario: Yours to recover Our liquor monopoly must get its priorities straight
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Now that the provincial election is over, I expect all promises to be kept exactly as made. Sadly, no promises were made to the Ontario wine industry, so donâ€™t expect much to change over the next four years. Ontario wineries are making the best wines they ever have and weâ€™re thirstier than ever for what they produce. That includes wine aficionados, novice drinkers and everyone in between. The only thing standing between the willing seller and the willing buyer is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO, a.k.a. KGBO). The monopoly has been running its annual GoLocal program, and whoop-dee-do, I say. Of the nearly 2,000 estate wines produced in Ontario last year, a mere 20 or so are featured (for a price) for a whole month. For the other 11 months local winemakers can go suck a cork. Why arenâ€™t they screaming from the rafters? Only the Grape Growers of Ontario made a public peep during the campaign â€” 48 hours before election day â€” a statement to say the outcome of the vote would affect them. From the rest of the industry, nary a peep.
The Ontario government is failing to support its own industry, andâ€Ś is continuing to restrict the sale of locally made wines. Not from the wineries shut out of government-owned stores â€” even those with mouthy owners; not from their lobby group, Ontario Wine Country (formerly the Wine Council of Ontario); and not from the Winery & Grower Alliance, which represents Ontario-based wineries selling or supporting the bulk foreign product that masquerades as local wine. The California Wine Institute did have something to say. In the early days of the election campaign, it threatened to act if any politician tried to give local wineries â€œspecial accessâ€? to the Ontario market. If you find that astonishing, get in line, folks. There was not a word of protest from any Ontario wine organization. Nor did any politician stand up to the bullying to support local winemakers. Iâ€™m not advocating the kind of trade barriers France or the Americans put up to keep Ontario wines out of their precious markets. The Ontario government is failing to support its own industry, and through the KGBO, it is continuing to restrict the sale of locally made wines. For the next four years, expect more barriers that prevent Ontario wineries from flourishing and contributing to the financial recovery of the province. In the meantime, weâ€™ll be able to buy plenty of foreign plonk from posh-looking government-run stores On a lighter note... built, staffed and operated at taxpayersâ€™ expense; Rush singer and bass player Geddy stores that control what we can drink and where we Lee doesnâ€™t just spend his days traipsing all over the world playing can buy it. rock star. When heâ€™s off-tour and During this election campaign, I asked every politician hanging around his Toronto home, I tripped across to justify this sorry state of affairs, and Lee works behind the scenes on the no one had a sensible answer. board of directors of a wine industry charity, Grapes for Humanity. Riddle me this: Why does nobody give a damn? Recently, he and bandmate Alex Four more years? You get what you vote for. CB Lifeson joined charity supporters
on a tour of Prince Edward County wineries. When the celebrity rocker landed at Hinterland Winery, Lee was so enamored of their 2008 Les Ă‰toiles sparking wine, he bought 75 bottles, a thank you for each of the generous donors.
Konrad ejbich is a member of the Wine Writerâ€™s Circle of Canada. He writes for Style at Home magazine and answers caller questions on CBC Radioâ€™s Ontario Today. Heâ€™s currently updating his Pocket Guide to Ontario Wines, Wineries, Vineyards & Vines. Follow twitter.com/WineZone
By Stephen Beaumont
Anything but Boring German beer should be noted for its wide range of tastes In the hierarchy of brewing nations, four stand out as the greatest of the great: Belgium, the Czech Republic, England and Germany. Of these, it’s the last, Germany, that comes readily to mind for most people when the subject of beer is raised. More recently, however, the knock against this Teutonic beer titan is that its stylistic range is limited. Partly due to the nation’s long-standing adherence to its famed beer purity law, which limits ingredients to malted grain, hops, water and yeast, critics charge that Germany has not nurtured the kind of brewing creativity that has, say, Belgium. And certainly, when compared to its neighbour, Germany’s “light lagerdark lager-wheat beer” trifecta would appear to be, well, a little on the boring side. But that view ignores the fact that there is more to German beer than helles, dunkel and weisse. A whole lot more. In Bavaria alone, alternative beer styles abound, beginning with the strong lager known as bock. Purportedly created in the northern brewing town of Einbeck, the name of which, when spoken in the
Doppelbock, that should garner your attention. dialect of Munich, is supposedly the root of the style’s name, bocks are essentially strong and malty, usually dark, lagers. At their best, however, they deliver rich caramel and toffee flavours, with nutty or spicy hoppiness, or perhaps a light roastiness, to keep the sweetness in check. With the cold weather approaching, it’s bock’s bigger brother, doppelbock, that should garner your attention. Literally “double bock,” doppelbock was created by monks to sustain them during fasting periods, their perfectly valid theory being that the use of more malt in the brew would translate into a greater food value. Courtesy of the LCBO, we have in Toronto this fall one of Bavaria’s classic doppelbocks, Ayinger Celebrator, easily identified by the plastic goat hanging from the neck of each bottle. Beautifully balanced, with a rustic, mocha-ish character and warming but not overwhelming finish, it is tailor-made for late autumn nights.
Also from Bavaria, and also “doppel,” we have another classic, Schneider Aventinus Weizendoppelbock. A fusion of two styles, doppelbock and the bottle-fermented wheat beer known as weizen or weissbier, Aventinus adds a fruity, spicy element to the strength and richness of an ordinary doppelbock, making a late night beer perfectly at ease beside a wedge of spice cake or a fine cigar. In the north, the city of Köln, boasts its very own style of often misunderstood beer, kölsch. Blond in colour, fermented warm like an ale but aged long and cool like a lager, kölsches are best understood in situ, which is to say in the kölsch houses scattered at the foot of the massive and foreboding Köln cathedral. If you can’t make it to northern Germany, though, you may satisfy your curiosity and thirst with a more-thencredible local interpretation, Beau’s Lug Tread Lagered Ale, with its restrained fruitiness, faint sulphur note and off-dry finish. And now that we’re on the subject of local versions of Germanic styles, how about Creemore Kellerbier? Sure, it’s Molson-owned and presently engaged in a rather controversial attempt to expand the brewery, but for a classically yeasty and flavourful lager, in a can, no less, you could do a whole helluva lot worse. And returning to the Ottawa Valley, Beau’s offers us seasonal versions of both the moderately strong Bavarian lager style known as märzen (“mare-tzen”), usually associated with Oktoberfest, and the Düsseldorf altbier in, respectively, their Night Märzen and Festivale, the former falling closer to the mark than the latter. Add to this group the plethora of styles not currently available here, from Berliner weisse to gose, plus the always refreshing crispness of northern pilsners like Bitburger and the growing number of variations on the weissbier style, and German beer starts to look anything but boring. CB Stephen Beaumont well understands the complexities of German beer, having had to encapsulate the entire nation in 6,500 or so words for his new book, The World Atlas of Beer, co-authored with Tim Webb and available in the spring of 2012.
One last bite
By Dick Snyder
Fall for Cocktails BarChef’s autumn drinks menu will keep you warm but not necessarily dry
menu of cocktails at Queen West’s BarChef with signature flamboyance, starting with the Eucalyptus pictured here. An olfactory sensation as much as a wake-up call for the taste buds, the drink melds coriander, vanilla, mezcal, eucalyptus, cherry, cucumber solid, smoked cacao and coconut. Now in its fourth year, the internationally acclaimed BarChef, which Solarik co-owns with Brent Vanderveen, is oft-praised for pushing cocktail culture in the city to higher levels. The Queen West haunt recently brought chef Joseph Glassbourg on board to fire up its menu, offering hot and cold dinner and snack options late into the night. Solarik’s autumn cocktail menu includes some past favourites, as well as two other new items showcasing his molecular mixology techniques. The Autumn Rose includes muddled cucumber and coriander, vanilla syrup, chartreuse, gin, rose water spritz and dry vermouth. The Newly Fashioned combines rosemary-infused bourbon, muddled red grapefruit rind, raisin bitter and sugar cube. Is your mouth watering yet?
472 Queen St. W. 416-868-4800 barcheftoronto.com
photo: John Gundy
Frankie Solarik unleashes an autumn
Experience The Taste of
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