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Get the most out of every local market you visit, at home and around the world, by learning to shop like a chef. BY SHAUN SMITH | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LIAM MALONEY

Whether you’re buying local strawberries or free-range fowl, The Fairmont Royal York chefs, such as executive chef David Garcelon, can show you how to find the very best ingredients. He leads Shop With a Chef tours to nearby St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, as part of an Apprentice-Trip available to guests.

IMPROVISE Arrive early, when stalls are full, advises the chef, and don’t rigorously plan your menu ahead of time. “Stroll through the market,” says Garcelon. “See what fruit and vegetables are in season, what meats look top quality, and build your menu as you go. Good vendors can recommend products that will go well together.”

BUY LOCAL Organic is not always optimal, especially when it comes to meats. “Organic simply means it has been certified by a third party,” Garcelon says, “but it could have been shipped a long distance, which is not best for the environment. Find butchers who deal with local suppliers who follow healthy, sustainable practices for raising beef, pork and chicken.”

SPEAK UP The golden rule for market shopping, according to Garcelon? Ask lots of questions. “The market vendors know their products intimately. Talk to them and find out how fresh their goods are, where they came from and if they are sustainably produced.”

GET FRESH Freshness is paramount, and nowhere more so than with fish. “Fish should be displayed on ice,” says Garcelon. “They shouldn’t have any fishy smell and the whole fish should be shiny, with bright eyes and blood-red gills. Always buy fish whole and have them fillet it for you.”

TRUST YOUR TASTE Sampling is a smart strategy, especially when buying cheese. “Let’s say you love Stilton,” says Garcelon. “Ask a cheese vendor if they have any other blue cheeses you might like. They should offer you samples to taste on the spot. The market is a perfect opportunity to explore.”


Trade in your molecular gastronomy gadgets for classic kitchenware with a legacy. Le Creuset 20-oz. Mortar & Pestle US$38

Expand your culinary savvy with The Fairmont Southampton’s Chef for a Day Apprentice-Trip. Choose one of three menus (seafood, steakhouse or Italian) and later sample your work with a well-deserved dinner for two.

Alessandro Mendini’s clever design features stainless steel, pear-wood and chrome-plated zamak. Alessi Anna Cheese Grater US$108

Impress gadget-obsessed foodies and brunch guests alike by serving up your very own yogurt. Williams-Sonoma Automatic Yogurt Maker US$60



Fairmont Magazine - winter 2012  

Fairmont Magazine winter 2012, International edition

Fairmont Magazine - winter 2012  

Fairmont Magazine winter 2012, International edition