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EATS & ENTERTAINMENT The perfect combination. Whether you’re eating with friends, meeting a date, catching a show or setting a high score, it’s all happening at The Rec Room. Inspired by Canada’s vast and varied landscape, The Rec Room’s THREE10 restaurant offers a menu that is a true expression of what it means to be Canadian. Handcrafted dishes with flavours as diverse as our nation, from coast to coast.
Plan your visit at TheRecRoom.com
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ew things peek my anxiety like the month-long “meatless eating pact” I agreed to some years ago with a small cadre of friends. I went into it excited, hoping that putting vegetables as the main focal point to my dining would open my world to new tastes and textures. It did, but it was also a disaster because I was so thoroughly unprepared. I went into it thinking the meat-and-veg scales were balanced on restaurant menus. This was almost a decade ago. Toronto was a big meat-addicted city and finding places to eat that had good vegetarian options was one of the most challenging things I had done as a diner. Asking the kitchen to serve you something “vegetarian” off menu was equivalent to playing the lottery. That brief triumphant feeling once you ordered was often squashed when a plate of flavourless steamed vegetables arrived. It resembled the food I imagined was served to steamship steerage passengers in the late 19th century. Thankfully things have improved. I’m easy about agreeing to a food challenge these days as long as it seeks to improve overall eating. Look at some of your favourite restaurants and how their menus are evolving. Restaurants that would have been “meat only” are now more willing to cater to meat-free diners. In our second sustainability guide, we tackle the city’s diverse dining options head-on. The editorial team takes on a challenge to eat locally, waste less, and use minimal food packaging in the Green Team (pg. 35) – which proved more difficult than we ever imagined. Meanwhile, Jon Sufrin heads to an animal rights protest to find out why there’s so much animosity between vegan activists and restaurateurs right now in Meat of the Matter (pg. 40). And Katie Bridges chats to three bartenders who are making the booze world more sustainable in Cocktail Hour (pg. 55). f
WHAT’S IN STORE
WEAPONS OF CHOICE
THE GREEN TEAM
MEAT OF THE MATTER
Suresh Doss Editor-at-Large foodismto
RECIPES JASON BANGERTER
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d ery e r Thte of ev i. r n o a e r g h Ne Visit NegroniWeek.com
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— PART 1 —
GRAZE “I’VE KILLED COUNTLESS PLANTS BECAUSE I TRULY BELIEVED IF THE SOIL WASN’T DRIPPING WET MY PLANTS WERE THIRSTY.” THE FOODIST, 010
010 THE FOODIST | 012 DAYTRIPPER | 014 THE RADAR | 016 WHAT’S IN STORE 018 WEAPONS OF CHOICE | 023 RECIPES | 031 JASON BANGERTER
Eating thoughtfully includes getting your hands dirty and Katie Bridges has a plot for your indoor garden.
HEN YOU LIVE in a country like Canada where five months of winter give way to a debilitatingly hot and humid summer, it’s easy to assume that the weather is trying to kill us. So just imagine how our plants feel. To keep them from being encased in ice as frost looms, we shuffle plants indoors for the winter, only to watch as they perish in their new ecosystem. Obviously, we need to be a bit strategic about what we plant indoors. However, it’s not just succulents and hardier plants that thrive in urban spaces. With a combination of direct sunlight and the right amount of watering, edible plants can prosper within your apartment. Herbs are a great place to start and will quickly yield usable dinner ingredients. Basil, thyme and sage, as well as salad greens like arugula, parsley and chives are ideal since they spring back quickly after you cut them. One of the easiest ways to condo-garden is to regrow vegetables like scallions, lettuce
or carrots from their discarded ends. Simply put the roots in water, change every day, and watch as your veg replenishes itself. Do your research – I’ve killed countless plants because I truly believed that if the soil wasn’t dripping wet, my plants must be thirsty. By figuring out how often a plant needs watering, you can make your thumbs a little greener. Appearances are deceiving, so if in doubt, buy a moisture sensor to assess how much liquid is actually getting through. Take things one step further by investing in a smart garden, which expertly controls how much water, oxygen and nutrients your plants are receiving. And why stop at food? Check out our Sustainability Special Cocktail Hour (pg. 55) to find out how you can repurpose your spent herbs in mixed drinks. I'm not suggesting that you can grow your entire shopping list, but with a few choice purchases and a little extra thought into repurposing waste, you can enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labour. f
Herbs like basil and mint are the obvious choices when it comes to growing your own ingredients, but there are many more options for you to try your green thumb at. Kale, lettuce and spinach can all be grown in your home garden, whether a lush backyard or a few pots on the window sill in an apartment. Salad greens differ in harvest time and maintenance, so choose carefully.
2. B E AN SPR OUTS These crunchy veggies can be grown just about anywhere – all you need is the beans, a mason jar and cheesecloth. For beginners, try alfalfa or mung beans. If your living conditions are short on sunshine this is the perfect plant for you – bean sprouts actually taste better when they’re grown in the dark. Best of all, they’re ready for your bowl of soup after just three to seven days.
3. AVOCADO T R EE After you’ve enjoyed your avocado toast, growing a plant from the leftover pit is relatively simple. Use toothpicks to suspend the seed over a cup of water with the fat end submerged and the top dry. Once the sprout reaches about six inches you can pot that sucker and watch it grow – and wait about fifteen years for it to fruit. Or for the impatient, buy a potted avocado tree from a nursery.
Photography: Garden by Daria Minaeva; Greens by Deyan
1. SAL AD G R E E NS
Georgiev; Sprouts by Maliao; Avocado by SirilukOk
Start your agricultural adventure with these easy options that will add a splash of homegrown to your diet.
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DAY TRIPPER Markham offers a culinary tour of the world, only 30 minutes from Toronto.
What's the vibe?
If you’re a fan of dim sum, there is no better street to eat on than Highway 7. Whether you’re in the mood for old-school cart service or elaborate platters, here are our favourites for feasts on late, weekend mornings.
1 Yang’s Chinese Cuisine; 8432 Leslie St. #110 The bustle of dim sum is on full display at this banquet-style restaurant. Yang’s offers better prices at tea time before 11 a.m. Cart-served steamer baskets are complemented with celebratory specialties like Peking duck.
Getting there Located 30 km from the downtown core, Markham is accessed by Highway 7 via the Don Valley Parkway and then the 404. You can also drive up Yonge Street to see its western strip of restaurants and cafés. GO trains run from Union Station to the Unionville GO Station and YRT serves Markham. f
2 Ding Tai Fung; 3235 Hwy 7 #18B Go here if dumplings are more your thing. “DTF” to regulars, features a menu of steamed, boiled and fried dumplings stuffed with all kinds of fillings. Pork and chive dumplings and wontons in chili sauce are favourites.
Markham is a sprawling suburb with many different corners and cultures. The city has recently seen growth in Latin cuisine and also forays into fine dining. Here are two examples of how it’s showing versatility while it grows.
Don't miss An introduction to Markham begins on Highway 7. To truly appreciate how quickly the city has grown, exit the 404 at Highway 7 and go for a drive west to Bayview. Also, check out First Markham Place – a giant mall that’s managed to maintain its could-be-in-Asia ambiance. Here you’ll find a variety of great eating options in the food court.
3 Frilu; 7713 Yonge St. John-Vincent Troiano chose Markham to open his new tasting menu restaurant. A meal at Frilu transports you from Italy to rural Japan to the edges of Norway. It is kaiseki, minimalist and rustic Italian woven into one. frilurestaurant.com
4 The Toston; 35 Karachi Dr. The husbandand-wife team behind the Toston present food and coffee from their hometowns, Cali and Armenia in Colombia. A good start is the fried toston – a smashed plantain acts as a bed for meat and vegetable stews. the-toston.com
Photography: Yang's by Rob Hyndman; Ding Tai Fung and Toston by Suresh Doss
Markham’s reputation as home to one of the largest Asian communities in the GTA was originally anchored to their Chinatown North neighbourhood. But over the years, the uptown city has sprawled out at a rapid pace, and has become home to many different cultures. Today Markham’s culinary scene is more diverse than ever.
A LA CART
THE RADAR These are the new and exciting bright lights on Toronto's eatingand-imbibing scene. C RU RESTAURANT Once home to popular seafood spot, lbs., the space at 100 Yonge St. now houses CRU, a modern, fine dining restaurant with a focus on Canadian cuisine. The ever-changing menu of contemporary dishes spotlights seasonal ingredients while the cocktail list also rotates for an endless supply of new things to try. Given chef Jon Williams’s background in charcuterie, it’s not surprising that the offerings are meatforward and include a sharing plate of cured meat and terrines. Drawing on the team’s globe-travelling experience, mains range from Canadian angus to Australian wagyu beef and from braised artichokes to seared scallops with spaghetti squash and Brussels sprouts. From every seat, enjoy views of an intricate wall-wrapping mural. crurestaurant.ca
HUTAO L I
F ET Z U N The latest addition to Anthony Rose and Rob Wilder’s Dupont empire, Fet Zun takes on Middle Eastern tapas and comfort food in Bar Begonia's former space. The mezze portion of the menu is loaded with small dishes meant for sharing, like massahaba, a chunky lima bean hummus, and babaganoush, a traditional cooked eggplant dip. Be sure to try their chicken shawarma, and one (or several, no one’s judging) of their house-made fluffy pitas. @fet_zun
GREEN TEA After opening the first overseas location of this Chinese chain in Markham last year, Green Tea has finally landed downtown. The Spadina-and-Dundas spot will be serving the same Hangzhoustyle food, like salted egg yolk chicken wings, barbecue pork and fire shrimp. For this show-stopper, cooked skewers of seafood are presented to your table in a tinfoil pyramid before being covered in alcohol and set alight to create a smoky and delicious flavour. @greenteacanada
L AISSE Z FAIR E Formerly Home of the Brave, this King West spot has been transformed into a Frenchinspired restaurant that feels like dining in the living room of the world's coolest grandma. The menu offers a mix of casual dishes like arancini and pork belly, all of which have been given the all-star treatment. Or book a seat at the chef’s table – a rotating, seasonal tasting menu that allows Michelintrained chef Zachary Barnes to flex his fine dining muscles. laissezfairetoronto.com
Think of Rainforest Cafe but with Chinese banquet-style dining. Canada’s first outpost of the mega-chain from China opened earlier this year. A night out at Hutaoli is a full sensory dive into fiery Sichuanese with live Chinese music and lush fern and flower arrangements. Hutaoli is a perfect outing for groups, just make sure you book a table ahead of time. hutaolitoronto.com
M IL KY’S This Instagramfriendly café looks to transform your morning coffee experience from a grab-and-go rush into a moment of calm. Its tiny interior features soothing wood panelling and circadian rhythm lighting that changes with the natural cycles of the sun. Milky’s is aiming to be wastefree by the end of its first year and already uses biodegradable cups and recyclable packaging. milkys.ca
SUSHI M ASAK I SAITO Toronto has its share of celebritychef outposts, but it’s about to get a fully fledged home base. Masaki Saito fell in love with the city after visiting chefs Jackie Lin and Tsuyoshi Yoshinaga and is leaving NYC to set up permanently here. The 2-star Michelin chef will bring edomae-style sushi to 88 Avenue Rd. masakisaito.ca
TIP THE SCALES
WHAT’S IN STORE
Katie Bridges talks to Kristin Donovan of Hooked to find out why thoughtful has replaced sustainable.
because people misunderstand it so frequently. We prefer to say responsible or thoughtful.” Translation? Hooked has very determined catch methods and will only support small boat fisheries and communities. “We have zero interest in dealing with large boats and trawlers that go out for days.” Customers concerned that their purse might take a hit needn’t worry. Hooked regularly comes out on the lower price side. “We don’t carry tilapia or conventionally farmed salmon. So if you’re looking for $9.99-a-pound-fish, you can’t compare it to what we’re selling,” says Donovan. In summer, as much as 75 per cent of their fish comes from B.C. and the Great Lakes. But Hooked also sources shrimp from Vietnam and whole tuna directly from the Philippines. The bottom line is that they know where their fish was harvested, how and why. While that sounds like a lot of work, the intent is simple: “Our mission is to get people to eat good fish more often,” says Donovan. f
Classes “Our Leslieville location has some great basic classes. We teach Fishmongering 101 and by the end of it, people have butchered two of their own fish, pan-fried them and made a sauce. Fish Cooking is another great one for people not comfortable cooking fish who want to learn.”
Smoked Fish “We do a bunch of pâtés and spreads, but we also smoke our own fish in house. We sell cold-smoked salmon, two kinds of gravlax and smoked trout. Even if you don‘t want to cook a whole fish, we make entertaining easier with things like a hot crab dip.”
Photography: Adrianna Madore
HEN HOOKED OPENED in 2011, there was very little in the way of local, let alone sustainable, fish available in Toronto. Aside from fishmongers like those at St. Lawrence Market and Taro's Fish, consumers struggled to find information about their seafood – exactly the catalyst needed to inspire the couple behind the ‘Knowledgeable Fish Store’. “I could find fresh fish but I couldn't find fresh fish that was local or fished responsibly. There was zero traceability,” says chef Kristin Donovan, who opened their first store in Leslieville with her husband Dan shortly after the pair started a family. “Fish is such a multi-layered item and it’s the last wild food,” says Donovan. “We felt that we could do something great – it was opportunity, desire and a lack in the market.” While Hooked is known for its commitment to sustainable seafood, Donovan admits that she prefers not to use the catch-all term. “We don’t even use the word [sustainable]
“We offer about 15 different sauces and they will make a big difference to your dinner. We have a really good tartar sauce that we make like a gribiche so it’s not sweet. We also make a chimichurri, a caper salsa verde and a Vietnamese-style scallion sauce.”
IF YOU LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT FOOD AND WINE... YOUâ€™RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
VISIT US TO DISCOVER MORE
WEAPONS OF CHOICE From bento boxes to bottles to boozy flasks, consider this your reusable round-up. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAILEE MANDEL STYLING BY APRIL TRAN
PAST EL PACK E D LUNCH BENTO BOX WITH BAMBOO LID, $12 Upgrade your snacking style game with these soft-touch lunch boxes with natural bamboo lids. Keep sandwiches, crackers and fresh fruit secure with the matching nylon band.
BEN TO B ITE S MB SQUARE BENTO BOX - LITCHI, $45 Compartmentalize your lunch with these dishwasher and microwave safe bento boxes. Each container has an airtight lid and comes with a smaller inner container to keep your snacks separate.
F LOWE R POWE R
W INE C OOL E R
S'IP POPPY CULTURE WATER BOTTLE, $35
CORKCICLE INSULATED CANTEEN, $54.95
Fans of the double-walled and stainless steel S'well water bottles will love this spring edition to the S'ip lineup. Keep water cooler for longer and look cute in the process.
This triple-insulated canteen can transport a full bottle of wine and keep it cold for an entire day. Perfect for picnics and the beach – or those work weeks that stretch on forever...
HOM E ST R ETC H QUE BOTTLES, $29.95 Don't want an empty bottle taking up space in your bag? This handy collapsible option is perfect for those who like to hydrate on the go – plus, it's entirely plastic free.
TINY TRAV E LLE R CERAMIC PORTER TRAVEL MUG, $34.50 For those who need a pint-sized pick-me-up, this petite travel mug is a great alternative. The eco-friendly vessel has a sliding lid so you can sip on the move.
E A RN YO UR STRIPE S HBC STRIPES THERMOS, $45 Our obsession with coffee never gets old, and nor do the iconic Hudson's Bay stripes. Enjoy on your commute or use the twist-andpour stopper feature at your desk.
GO F ISH SEA LIFE FLASK, $34.99 Study while you sip with this charming aquatic-inspired flask, complete with the Latin names of various sea creatures.
“Choose Cavit, drink responsibly.”
CAMPAIGN FINANCED ACCORDING TO (EC) REGULATIONS NO. 1308/13
The Cavit Collection Pinot Grigio is steeped in the flavours of Trentino, a unique Italian region. Discover the Pinot Grigio: elegant, crisp and refreshing, with a delicate floral aroma and notes of citrus, apple and pear. CAVIT. LOVE IT. SHARE IT.
CONSCIENTIOUS COOKBOOKS Books from The James Beard Foundation and Timothy Pakron give us four practical and delicious recipes for reducing our environmental food-print.
F THERE’S ONE thing we’ve learned from binging on food podcasts, it's that the agricultural industry is undergoing a paradigm shift. The topic of becoming a more mindful consumer, particularly when it comes to how we eat, has emerged as the culinary zeitgeist of the day. Phrases like “plant-based food” and “food waste” and “full-use cooking” have become common today, but what exactly do they mean? For our annual sustainability issue, we’ve picked two books that can assist in your quest to become a more conscious eater. The James Beard Foundation's Waste Not
($47.93, amazon.ca) aims to teach cooks and eaters on how to be better at managing food waste. With recipes from acclaimed chefs across the country, the book dissects how to shop more attentively and how to use every bit of what lands on your cutting board. We were immediately drawn to Timothy Pakron’s new cookbook, Mississippi Vegan ($38.03, amazon.ca) for a few good reasons. His prose on Southern cuisine is inspiring and he draws inspiration from the diverse cooking cultures of the South so you can expect traces of Creole and Cajun including a fantastic vegan take on classic gumbo. f
FOODISM RECIPES, IN ASSOCIATION WITH CAVIT COLLECTION Cavit winery is set in Italy’s northern Trentino region, a picturesque area known for its spectacular mountain-scapes and lush wilderness. Here, the vineyard benefits from a warming lake effect that naturally protects its grapes from moisture and disease. The region’s warm days and cool evenings create idyllic conditions for producing wines with
intense aromas and flavours, a signature characteristic of the Cavit Collection. Cavit is committed to eco-friendly vineyard and winery practices, aiming to make the production process as sustainable as possible without compromising on quality. This stellar range of high-quality, foodfriendly wines is perfect for any occasion.
James Beard Foundation's
Charleen Badman of Scottsdale’s FnB restaurant builds a salad featuring ripe peaches and heirloom tomatoes on the foundation of day-old bread.
I N GREDI EN TS Vinaigrette ◆◆ 2 cloves garlic, grated
◆◆ 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp lemon juice ◆◆ 1½ Tbsp red wine vinegar ◆◆ ½ tsp Dijon mustard
◆◆ ½ tsp fennel seed, toasted
◆◆ ¼ tsp red chili flakes
◆◆ ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil ◆◆ ½ tsp sea salt
◆◆ ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
Salad ◆◆ 4 thick slices day-old, dry,
rustic sourdough bread
◆◆ 1 clove garlic
◆◆ 4 juicy heirloom tomatoes,
cut into 1-inch pieces
◆◆ 2 heads little gem lettuce,
washed and torn into bitesize pieces ◆◆ 2 green onions, thinly sliced ◆◆ 2 ripe peaches, cut into 1-inch pieces ◆◆ 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into 1-inch half-moon pieces ◆◆ 3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted ◆◆ 1 handful basil, torn ◆◆ 1 handful mint, torn ◆◆ 1 handful parsley, torn ◆◆ Salt to taste
1 Make the vinaigrette: in a large bowl, combine the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, fennel seeds and chili flakes. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. 2 Make the salad: in a toaster oven, toast the bread for about 1 minute on each side (the goal is not really to get any colour on it but to wake the bread up a bit). While still warm, rub each slice of bread on one side with the
garlic clove. 3 Tear the bread into pieces about the size of a quarter and dump them into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, lettuces, green onions, peaches, cucumbers and pine nuts and mix together. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss, and set aside for 15 minutes to ensure that the bread soaks up as much of the vinaigrette as possible. Toss the basil, mint and parsley on top and season with additional salt to taste. f
Cavit Pinot Grigio 2018 This bright white pops with citrus and stone fruit characteristics, making it a lovely complement to a fresh salad. LCBO #99218
James Beard Foundation's
A combination of carrots and scallops star in this wastenot-want-not recipe by Chopped winner Jay Lippin.
ING R E DIE NTS Roasted Baby Carrots ◆◆ 1 bunch small carrots, tops
◆◆ 1 Tbsp thyme, chopped ◆◆ 1 shallot, chopped
◆◆ 1 clove garlic, chopped ◆◆ 3 Tbsp olive oil
◆◆ Salt and pepper to taste
Carrot Gastrique ◆◆ 2 cups carrot juice
◆◆ 1 Tbsp granulated sugar ◆◆ 1 tsp kosher salt
◆◆ ½ cup Champagne vinegar or
Cavit Moscato 2018
white wine vinegar
A pronounced bouquet of stone fruit and orange rind, plus refreshing sweetness on the palate make this a great pairing for seafood dishes.
Carrot Top-Pistachio Pesto ◆◆ 1 bunch carrot tops, cleaned
and blanched, large stems removed ◆◆ ¼ bunch dill ◆◆ ½ cup toasted pistachios ◆◆ ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil ◆◆ 1 clove garlic ◆◆ Salt and pepper to taste
Scallops ◆◆ 2 lbs sea scallops (about 20
scallops) ◆◆ Salt and pepper to taste ◆◆ 2 Tbsp olive oil
◆◆ Delicate carrot sprigs for
Photography: Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis
1 Make the roasted carrots: preheat the oven to 375 F. Place all the ingredients together on a baking sheet. Mix well to ensure that the carrots are seasoned evenly. Roast the carrots in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until tender. 2 Make the carrot gastrique: place all the ingredients in a saucepot over medium heat. Cook until the liquid has reduced to a syrup-like consistency, about 30 minutes. Set
aside until ready to serve. 3 Make the carrot-top pesto: in a pot of boiling water, boil carrot tops for 30 seconds. Immediately plunge in an ice bath to cool. Drain carrot tops. Put carrot tops, dill, pistachios, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Note: this pesto can be made in advance and held for a day or two.) 4 Make the scallops: season the scallops with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the oil to an ovenproof sauté pan. When the oil is smoking hot, place the scallops in the pan and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Flip over and cook for 1 more minute. 5 To serve, place the carrot-top pesto on the shell (if using) or on a plate. Place the scallops on top of the pesto, and a few slices of roasted carrots next to the scallops. Pour the gastrique around the scallops and garnish with the carrot-top sprig. f
POTATO SANDWICH A marinade including liquid smoke sets up thinly sliced potatoes to stand in for bacon on a mouthwatering PLT. INGRE DIE NTS Potato Bacon ◆◆ 1/3 cup nutritional yeast, plus
more for sprinkling
◆◆ 1 tsp smoked paprika ◆◆ 2 Tbsp maple syrup
◆◆ 1 tsp liquid smoke, plus more
◆◆ 1/3 cup tamari or coconut
◆◆ ¼ cup peanut oil
◆◆ 1 lb russet potatoes, rinsed
and dried ◆◆ Sea salt and freshly cracked
Assembly ◆◆ 1 large sourdough round (or
desired loaf of bread), sliced ◆◆ Vegan mayo
◆◆ 1 head iceberg lettuce, leaves
rinsed and separated
◆◆ 1-2 large heirloom tomatoes,
rinsed and sliced
CAMPAIGN FINANCED ACCORDING TO (EC) REGULATIONS NO. 1308/13
◆◆ Avocado (optional)
The Cavit Collection Pinot Grigio is steeped in the flavours of Trentino, a unique Italian region. Discover the Pinot Grigio: elegant, crisp and refreshing, with a delicate floral aroma and notes of citrus, apple and pear. CAVIT. LOVE IT. SHARE IT.
“Choose Cavit, drink responsibly.”
1 Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 2 Make the potato bacon: in a bowl, mix together the nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, maple syrup, liquid smoke, tamari and peanut oil to create a marinade. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, carefully slice the potatoes lengthwise into thin, ovalshaped slices (about 1/16 inch thick). Toss in the marinade and let sit for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft and pliable. 3 Arrange the potato slices close together on the baking sheets. Using
Cavit Pinot Grigio 2018
With a light body and zingy flavours of citrus and green apple, this dry white is a versatile pair for your main course. Served well-chilled. LCBO #99218
your fingers, squeeze and crinkle the slices, replicating the shape of cooked bacon. Drizzle the remaining marinade on top, sprinkle with a little nutritional yeast, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully flip the slices. Squeeze the potatoes again, to encourage crinkling, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the bottom baking sheet on the top rack, and vice versa, to promote even cooking. Bake the potatoes until crispy, yet slightly
chewy – much like cooked bacon – another 20 minutes. 4 To assemble the sandwiches, toast the bread slices, spread on the vegan mayo, and add the lettuce, tomatoes, potato bacon and thinly sliced avocado, if using. Serve. 5 Depending on which brand of liquid smoke that you are using, you may be able to add more, which will give your “bacon” a smokier flavor. Just be careful, as some brands are stronger and more bitter than others. f
Photography: Timothy Pakron
CAVIT. LOVE IT. SHARE IT.
“Choose Cavit, drink responsibly.”
CAMPAIGN FINANCED ACCORDING TO (EC) REGULATIONS NO. 1308/13
The Cavit Collection Pinot Grigio is steeped in the flavours of Trentino, a unique Italian region. Discover the Pinot Grigio: elegant, crisp and refreshing, with a delicate floral aroma and notes of citrus, apple and pear.
LEMON GLAZED CAKE
Cavit Moscato 2018 Featuring notes of orange blossom, apricot and sage and a slight fizz, this moscato has just the right amount of sweetness to match this spiced dessert. LCBO #277210
Hummingbird cake, a classic Southern dessert, incorporates banana, pineapple and pecans while a (vegan) cream cheese glaze completes the pretty picture.
I N GREDI EN TS Hummingbird Cake ◆◆ 1½ cups all-purpose flour ◆◆ ¾ cup sugar
◆◆ ½ tsp baking soda
◆◆ ½ tsp ground cinnamon ◆◆ ½ tsp sea salt
◆◆ ¾ cup vegetable oil
◆◆ ½ cup unsweetened
◆◆ 1 cup mashed ripe bananas ◆◆ ½ cup canned crushed
◆◆ 1 tsp vanilla extract
◆◆ ½ cup chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Lemon Glaze ◆◆ 2 oz vegan cream cheese ◆◆ 2 tsp grated lemon zest ◆◆ 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
◆◆ 1¼ cups sifted powdered
1 Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and lightly flour a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan. 2 In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the vegetable oil, applesauce, mashed banana, crushed pineapple and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the applesauce mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and mix with
a fork, scraping down the sides as needed, until everything is barely incorporated. Fold in the pecans. (Please do not overmix.) Transfer to the prepared loaf pan. 3 Bake in the centre of the oven for between 50 minutes and one hour, until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is springy to the touch. Cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack
for at least 30 minutes before pouring the glaze over top. 4 While the cake cools, prepare the cream cheese glaze: Mix together the cream cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice. Slowly sift in the powdered sugar, mixing constantly. Depending on desired thickness, add more lemon juice to loosen. Using a large spoon, drizzle desired amount of glaze over the cake and serve. f
FOR A CREATIVE PERSON IT SUPPLIES INSPIRATION also had the opportunity to teach my cooks that. We built the garden a few years ago where we get a lot of the produce, and we are constantly foraging in the forest.
On his new cookbook
When we started entertaining the idea of a cookbook, I was conflicted on how I wanted to present it. I wanted it to be something beyond just a list of recipes. I spoke with a lot of authors. I really admire David Kinch and his book Manresa. It’s all coastal and terroir-driven, and I drew inspiration from that. He inspired me to design a cookbook that highlights the seasonal cuisine that we do here at Langdon Hall all year, which I find so unique. So we’ve had a team of photographers and journalists that have spent each season with us. It’s taken multiple visits and it's been a year-long process to follow the micro seasons we have here in the forest. What we’re ending up with is a book that is based on ingredients and shows you how we present the things that we find here around the property.
On finding a home at Langdon Hall
On Michelin and Top 50 lists
Jason Bangerter reflects on Langdon Hall's local style, intros his upcoming cookbook and talks Michelin.
Photography: Justyna Sokolowski
I started cooking in Toronto in 1994, and while I worked at many restaurants of all shapes and sizes, I really feel that coming to Langdon Hall was a way to reinvent myself and go back to my roots. Being situated in the middle of a forest brings your ingredient source right outside of the kitchen door. Foraging and walking becomes a daily routine and that becomes how you discover things. This is a smaller, more artisanal and more farm-to-table approach than anything else I’ve done in my career.
On how far he goes for his ingredients The early 2000s was a turning point in my career. I was obsessed with European cooking and we were constantly bringing ingredients
into the kitchen from international places: Dover sole, Cornish oysters, Scottish langoustines. But all that seafood wasn't great by the time it arrived. That’s when I made the decision to focus on local farmers, and moving to Langdon Hall amplified that ethos. Every year we get deeper into the hyper-seasonality of our surroundings. We’re always finding something new around the property. My chicken, pigs and eggs are 15 minutes away. Pheasant, quail and partridge are about 40 minutes away. Even the butter – we go through 50 litres of local cream to make our own butter once a week. Not only does it help create a more sustainable environment, but for a creative person it supplies infinite inspiration. I’ve
I think Canada is very underrated as a culinary destination. We have incredible talent, but I think an international programme like the Top 50 or Michelin will help put us on the global map. It will also light a fire in the industry. I don’t think chefs push themselves, and I think there are a lot of lazy chefs. A guide will encourage competition. I also think that if Michelin ever comes to Toronto, it will be one of the most affordable experiences in the world. The price will be very appealing to someone that wants to travel to Toronto for three to four days for a Michelin tour. It has worked for other cities. I believe it will enrich our culinary landscape and offer an education on what that type of dining and cooking is about. f
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Photography: Kayla Rocca
OOD IS ABOUT so much more than the ingredients on our plates – it’s community, travel and history, all rolled into one delicious forkful of flavour. It’s why we never tire of eating out, because every dish rewards us with a new set of memories and a lesson in other places and cultures. Fortunately for our bank balances, you don’t have to eat out to enjoy the world's best cuisine. Riserva’s new line of authentic pasta sauces, inspired by different regions of the iconic foodie destination, brings Italian flavours to your kitchen. Riserva sauces come in four delicious flavours – Arrabiata, Roasted Garlic, Marinara and Roasted Vegetables – all of which use tomatoes
— PART 2 —
FEAST “I PROCEEDED TO CHALLENGE HER ON SEVERAL POINTS, AND TO MY SURPRISE WE HAD A CIVILIZED DISCUSSION.” MEAT OF THE MATTER, 050
035 THE GREEN TEAM | 040 MEAT OF THE MATTER 046 MAGIC MARK | 055 COCKTAIL HOUR
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THE GREEN TEAM Our editorial staff walked the walk on zero-packaging groceries, reducing food waste, vegan eating and going local for a couple weeks. Hereâ€™s how they fared. ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARIAH LLANES
AST YOUR MIND back over the past month. We bet you’ve eaten out at a restaurant or two. You’ve probably also ordered takeaway a few times when you really didn’t feel like cooking. And there’s a good chance you let your coworkers cajole you into visiting the food court even though you had a perfectly good lunch waiting in the fridge. Taken individually, these habits might not seem like a big deal. But the impact of feeding every foodie in the world goes well beyond our expanding waistlines – it’s actually damaging to our planet. In addition to all that food waste, when you factor in the carbon footprint associated with the produce that’s flown into our grocery stores, plus the use of plastic in packaging, few of us can hand-on-heart say we couldn’t do better. The Foodism team set out to become more conscious diners, tasking ourselves with eliminating certain elements of our everyday consumption. From meat-free meals and local-only produce to zero plastic and reducing our weekly waste, we looked
into how sustainable it was to make some eco-conscious switches to our diets.
Jessica Huras on zero-waste groceries THE CHALLENGE
I set out to minimize the amount of food packaging I use. I’ll admit that I went into this challenge feeling pretty confident that it
I FIGURED I COULD JUST STOP PUTTING MY VEGETABLES IN PLASTIC BAGS
wouldn’t be a significant departure from my current routine. I bring my coffee to work in a reusable cup (although that’s more about saving money than a commitment to the environment). I usually have a canvas tote in my purse for shopping, and I typically cook from scratch at home, which means I tend to buy a lot of unpackaged veggies. I figured I could just stop putting my veggies in plastic bags at the grocery store (which would actually be a relief because it generally takes me five minutes of fumbling to open up one of those sticky nightmares anyway) and I’d be good, right? THE STRUGGLE
Once I made a more detailed assessment of how much food packaging I was buying in a typical week, I realized it was way more than I had estimated. At my local grocery store, dry goods are only available in boxes and cans. Meat is the worst offender, sold in styrofoam containers and sealed with plastic wrap. Bulk Barn turned out to be a pretty easy solution for dry goods – they have a reusable container program that allows customers
to bring jars from home. Unboxed Market, a new zero-waste grocery store, kicks this bring-your-own-container concept up a notch, allowing you to fill your from-home containers with goods like olive oil, milk and even household products such as multipurpose cleaner and laundry detergent. Shopping at Bulk Barn and Unboxed was sustainable (pun intended) for the duration of the challenge, but I knew even as I was doing it that it wasn’t something I could see myself keeping up permanently. THE TAKEAWAY
As much as I wish I could claim that my sense of environmental responsibility is always top priority for me, I know that cost and convenience are more likely to take precedence. Bulk Barn and Unboxed Market are less accessible from my home than the local No Frills, and prices at Unboxed are (understandably) higher. One thing I learned shopping at Unboxed, however, is that even a zero-waste grocery store struggles to avoid using packaging for certain products, so they ensure the packaging they do have to use is recyclable. While completely zero-waste grocery shopping may be an overly ambitious goal for me personally, taking the time to look at packaging and choosing recyclable options wherever possible is something I can do regardless of where I’m shopping.
I HAD TO FORCE DOWN A ROTTEN ZUCCHINI THROUGH TEARS rotten zucchini through tears and had to throw an entire package of ground beef straight into the garbage. For week two, I knew I had to come up with a game plan so I called on the most
utilitarian person that I know – my father. We narrowed down a list of dishes that I have the (very limited) skill set to make, planned out each day, meal by meal and determined which ingredients could be used for multiple recipes. I allotted one lunch and one dinner for dining out and bought just enough groceries to make all of my other meals. At the end of the second week all I had left was a quarter of an onion and some sour cream – and neither of them had to go in the trash. While it wasn’t perfect, compared to week one, I would call that a huge success. THE TAKEAWAY
Planning really is everything. I was able to cut down my food waste and my grocery bill – it turns out overbuying wasn’t as costefficient as it seemed, surpise, surprise – by simply planning ahead before I went to the store. While it may take a little extra time and thought, it’s well worth it to take this step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. →
Taylor Newlands on less food waste THE CHALLENGE
I, and many other people I know, tend to overbuy. I stock up on produce because it’s a better deal to buy a bag of six avocados for $3 rather than a single avocado for $1.47. But (spoiler alert) more than half of them go bad before I get the chance to eat them. (This millennial can’t eat avocado toast every day.) So, in order to reduce my food waste, I set out to only buy enough groceries for one week at a time and consume all of the items without any leftovers or unnecessary wastage. THE STRUGGLE
My first mistake was making the arduous journey to my not-so-local No Frills on a Saturday just as the mid-afternoon hunger pains were setting in. I tore up and down the aisles in a ravenous frenzy, grabbing whatever caught my eye. When I got home, I realized that I had purchased a bizarre assortment of items that didn’t really go together. The first week was a disaster. I shamefully admit that I forced down a slightly
→ Katie Bridges on going vegan THE CHALLENGE
With evidence stacking up that our excessive meat consumption is environmentally unsustainable, this card-carrying carnivore committed to join the growing vegan community in Canada (850,000 at last count) on a fully plant-based diet. THE STRUGGLE
Despite convincing myself (but none of my colleagues) that this would be a breeze, the assignment threatened to unravel on the first morning. No milk in tea for a Brit is tantamount to a human rights violation, plus the absence of butter or cream cheese on my bagel, or even a yogurt for breakfast was almost enough to make me throw in the
proverbial towel before 9 a.m. The importance of planning became evident. I went back to the drawing board, mapping out my meals for the week with all the intensity of a hangry woman scorned. I stockpiled fruit and vegetables, planned snacks with military precision and crossexamined every food label for rogue dairy (hello, 99.9% of grocery store soup!) I quickly discovered that with meat and, importantly, cheese out of the picture, potatoes were the real MVP. On Valentine’s Day – an event usually characterized by gastronomic excess – I found myself nursing a plate of fries, pining for a perfectly pink steak and a decadent dessert. Though I was wary of thrusting my selfimposed veganism on others, the roster of
I FOUND MYSELF NURSING A PLATE OF FRIES, PINING FOR A STEAK excellent plant-based options like Rosalinda, Vegandale Brewery and Virtuous Pie meant that there are now plenty of great choices for dining out with friends in Toronto. Like the moral of all good movie montages, I learned that the biggest hurdle came from within – my FOMO. My protein bowl from Kupfert & Kim might be delicious, but as soon as I saw my colleagues scarfing down poutine, my heart grew heavy with cheese-curd longing. My assignment wasn’t without digressions – to the surprise of absolutely no one, cheese was my undoing. One evening at a gathering, I strode, in a fugue state, straight up to a platter laden in dairy and inhaled several crackers worth of gorgonzola before I realized my mistake. I regret nothing. THE TAKEAWAY
One of the biggest surprises was how sluggish I felt. I had assumed that cutting out meat would reward me with boundless energy, but in my panic to find something suitable, I often fell into a pasta-bread-junk hole. There are plenty of grey areas here, and several vegans I spoke to confessed to drawing the line at honey and wine (bees are living creatures and the vino filtering process often involves animal by-products). With a longer commitment, I may have felt a healthier change – but even my short spell as a vegan pushed me to my limits. By contrast, going meatless was relatively easy and something I’ve since implemented for a few meals a week.
Suresh Doss on eating locally THE CHALLENGE
My goal was to try and stick to a “local only” approach to shopping for ingredients when
cooking meals at home. Whether it was the protein or vegetables, the objective was to try and source within the province. THE STRUGGLE
I’ll admit, when I was first asked to espouse on the experience of creating meals with only locally sourced ingredients, I felt my anxiety level rise noticeably. Asking a food writer to live off only locally sourced ingredients, during the final throes of a cold Ontario winter is a cruel sentence. A good chunk of my meals come from external sources, restaurants and takeout places. I couldn’t control those meals, no matter how hard I tried to stick to “local only” restaurants. So I decided to turn my attention to the meals at home. Trying to source locally grown ingredients only can be very limiting. Unlike any other season, there are few farmer’s markets that operate from the end of fall to the first weeks of spring. The two best that I found are at the Brickworks and in Leslieville. But that wasn’t the hardest part, the trick was the selection of ingredients.
The abundance of root vegetables and some hardy greens meant that my biggest challenge was to avoid the boredom of eating turnip-kale soup five times in a week. Locally raised meat, on the other hand, turns out to be easy to find. Because we’re such a meat-addicted city, I was easily able to
TRYING TO SOURCE LOCALLY GROWN INGREDIENTS CAN BE LIMITING
source Ontario chicken, pork and beef, from both the national grocery stores and smaller vendors at the St. Lawrence Market. THE TAKEAWAY
There are many reasons why we should try to shop as locally as possible when we’re getting the ingredients we need for our home cooking. The obvious benefit is that it gives the local economy a boost when you support farmers and producers directly; the valuable dollars that you would be otherwise giving to a big box chain ends up in a good place. Supporting local is also an education in learning the biodiversity of our province. From one corner of Ontario to another there is a plethora of ingredients waiting to be discovered – the gateway to discovering it all is regular market visits. The biggest difference is in the planning. Shopping local is rarely convenient, you need to sketch out your grocery trips because many of them will revolve around farmers’ markets or trying to figure what is actually local from your favourite vendors. f
MEAT OF THE MATTER
Jon Sufrin looks into the rising animosity between vegan activists and restaurateurs who believe we have the right to eat whatever we want. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SANDRO PEHAR
N THE WINTER of 2012, Shamez Amlani, co-owner of La Palette, a French bistro on Queen West, received a letter from a man named Harold Michaels in Los Angeles. Scrawled out with the penmanship of an eight-year-old boy, the letter expressed frustration, shall we say, that La Palette serves horse meat on its menu. “Dear executive director,” the letter begins, civilly enough. “Me and my family will never come to your restaurant if you serve horse meat!” Then, the tone darkens. “I hope you and your bastard family die the same way those horses died!!!” Michaels then indicates that he’d like to see the restaurant burn down, with Amlani inside of it. Amlani has served horse meat for nearly all of La Palette’s existence, as tartare and as part of a cheeky pairing with duck known as “quack and track.” He believes it’s an important part of French culture, and that it also just tastes good. The horses, he says, were raised for labour and are slaughtered when they can no longer work. But his decision has drawn plenty of ire, including from protestors who, at the time I spoke with him, had been gathering in front of his restaurant once a week for seven months straight, holding signs, chanting and passing out pro-vegan propaganda. These animal rights activists seem to have latched onto horses as an easy jumpingoff point for convincing others that eating meat is unethical. After all, horses are noble, beautiful creatures, and they often display
qualities like loyalty, courage and playfulness to which we as humans can easily relate. If we can admit that eating horses is wrong, perhaps it’s not such a stretch to admit that eating cows, pigs and chickens is wrong, too. Increasingly, the question of animals, and whether we should be eating them, is becoming a topic of heated interest in Toronto. Not too long ago, in the Black Hoof era, everyone suddenly became obsessed with offal and all things carnivorous. Nowadays, forward-thinking restaurants such as Dandylion, Alo and Montgomery’s are overtly making an effort to serve less meat and showcase more vegetables. Even Grant van Gameren, the former meat maestro at
FAR LEFT: Shamez Amlani says horse meat is an essential part of French cuisine. LEFT: Marni Ugar wants diners to make ethical choices
the Black Hoof, is diving into veg-forward territory with Rosalinda and Quetzal. Amlani says he doesn’t have a problem with veganism. He actually respects it. But the protestors are not engaging in meaningful debate, he says, and are instead shaming, guilting and berating his staff and his customers. This kind of moral grandstanding has become a vegan stereotype, and Amlani wonders whether such tactics ever effectively precipitate change. “Why are they protesting a small business?” he asks. “Interestingly enough, there’s a Taco Bell on this corner, and a McDonald’s on that corner.” For Amlani, getting angry in the name of compassion is ironic. The letter he received is an apt symbol of that: sometimes in the process of defending the weak, basic human empathy gets thrown to the wayside. “I don’t like the confrontational element,”
he says. “I’d love to see if there’s some sort of middle ground, rather than painting everything in broad strokes, black and white, us versus you.” A few blocks away on Dundas West, chef Michael Hunter has dealt with the same group of protestors at his restaurant, Antler, primarily as a result of serving venison. He understands and sympathizes with their viewpoint. He says they target restaurants like his because he tries to offer ethically sourced meat, which, from their perspective, is a contradiction. Still, like Amlani, he disagrees with their approach. “I don’t think screaming at customers is the way to inspire change,” he says. “If we didn’t call the police, they’d bang on our windows, harass our customers and scream profanities into the restaurant.” As an advocate for eating wild and foraged food, he says he has more in common with
vegans than they might think. Like them, he is also frustrated with factory farming and the modern industrial food system. If he had things his way, he’d only serve animals harvested from the wild, where they would probably die a horrible death anyway. But →
I DON’T THINK SCREAMING AT PEOPLE WILL CAUSE CHANGE 43
→ in most parts of Canada, it’s illegal to serve wild game in a restaurant. Last year, after losing patience with the protesters, Hunter pushed back by butchering a leg of venison in his window, directly in front of them. The stunt went viral, earning him worldwide attention in People magazine, the Guardian and the Joe Rogan Show. As a result, his restaurant got busier than ever — and meat sales went up. Hunter admits it’s difficult to imagine how a frustrated vegan might otherwise vent their concerns, but one Canadian food personality has managed to move the discussion forward — perhaps inadvertently — by serving vegetables in a staunchly apolitical fashion: Amanda Cohen, founder of the popular Manhattan vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy.
“I don’t espouse any political ideology, advocate for a lifestyle or make health claims for my food. All I do is cook vegetables,” she says. “If a chef cooking meat doesn’t have to declare any particular goal or cause greater than delivering amazing food, why do I?” Taking a similar approach is Toronto’s David Lee, chef of plant-based restaurant Planta. He says that by simply opening his restaurant and serving vegetable-centric food to vegans and omnivores alike, his patrons end up thinking about ethical eating and talking more about it. “I’m not preaching, I’m not telling anyone to go plant-based,” chef David Lee says. “I believe that everybody has the right to eat what they want.” For him, the appeal to going plant-
I DON’T ESPOUSE ANY POLITICAL IDEOLOGY, ALL I DO IS COOK VEGETABLES based is about sustainability, health and challenging himself creatively as a chef. “It’s been one of the greatest challenges that I’ve had in my career,” he says. “How do we make cauliflower into a great main course? Do we have to sous vide it, brine it, smoke it? What do we do? There are more steps, there’s more food for thought.” It’s a prickly topic, because while those gentler forms of persuasion can be effective, there is also a danger in not pushing hard enough. Nathan Kowalsky, an associate professor of philosophy at University of Alberta, says it’s a fine line to walk. “Any ethical stance that one might take on any issue has the potential for being dogmatic,” he says. “But the other danger is not taking a stance, and being inconclusive and uncommitted.” Making things even more difficult is the fact that choosing the most ethical approach to eating is a philosophical labyrinth. How does one become a truly ethical eater, free of moral culpability? What seems good from one perspective (limiting suffering in animals) ends up being not-so-good from another perspective (now we’re saying plants don’t have an equal right to exist). “Are there rights to ecosystems? Is there a right for species to function in predatory ways on other species?” Kowalsky wonders. “Maybe it’s a sad fact that this is how life is – things get eaten by other things.” In February of this year, I went to La
LEFT: Chef David Lee’s career has included tasting menus at Splendido, power lunches at Nota Bene and now vegan cuisine at Planta
Palette on a Friday night to watch a protest in action. Based on what Amlani and Hunter had told me, I was prepared for intense confrontation. Several protesters had taken posts around the restaurant’s entrance, holding signs that read “Don’t Buy While They Die,” or “Ethical Flesh is a Myth.” I approached their leader, Marni Ugar, who runs activist groups such as Grassroots Anti-Speciesism Shift and Everyday Vegan. I told her I was writing an article. She was more than happy to answer my questions. I proceeded to challenge her on several points, and to my surprise we had a civilized discussion. I wanted to know why she was singling out a small business; she responded that enough people protest large corporations like McDonald’s, and that everyone knows fast food is unethical. I reminded her that certain vegan products — such as palm oil, avocados and almond milk — are environmentally destructive; she agreed, and said they should be avoided. I suggested that for some people, such as Indigenous communities living off the land in the far north, veganism is literally impossible, to which she reminded me that right now, we’re in Toronto, and we have the opportunity to avoid meat.
She takes a more hardlined approach because the way she sees it, the issue is hardlined, and she wants to get people out of their comfort zones. Being vegan is the ultimate step in eating ethically, she says, and killing animals is always wrong, regardless of where they were raised or how. “People are looking for the right way to do the wrong thing,” she says and then bottomlines her argument: “How do you ethically kill a being who doesn’t want to die?” Later that evening, inside La Palette, I saw something interesting happen. A chef behind the pass donned one of those novelty horse
HOW DO YOU ETHICALLY KILL A BEING WHO DOESN’T WANT TO DIE
ABOVE: Anti-meat placards are a common sight, on a weekly basis, outside the windows of La Palette on Queen West near Portland
head masks and placed his New York Yankees baseball cap on top of it. In full view of the protesters outside the windows, he mimed a little horse gallop with his hands. To the people braving cold weather to support a cause they believed in, it must have seemed a little, well, confrontational. Part of me couldn’t help but wonder whether that was a good way of creating meaningful debate. But as tense as it gets sometimes, there does seem to be a sort of discussion happening here, an exchange of ideas and opinions. A few days after the protest, Ugar let me know that she had met with Amlani and that he had agreed to tweak his menu to put more focus on vegetables. (For his part, Amlani says he was planning to make the veg-friendly changes anyway). For those of us on the outside, who don’t run a restaurant or protest outside of them, perhaps it’s best to just pay attention to what’s happening, and consider whether our habits of consumption are really as good as we think – or hope – they are. f
The king of Canadian cuisine heads into the kitchen with Suresh Doss to share three recipes that have shaped his career and his future. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAYLA ROCCA
IKE THE FOOD version of the parlour game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, pick any cook in Toronto and I bet you can draw a culinary line to chef Mark McEwan. With his 40-plus-year culinary career in Toronto covering restaurants and gourmet food supermarkets, McEwan has mentored a generation of hospitality professionals. Toronto’s dining scene has evolved, changed and shifted numerous times since the 70s and very few chefs have been able to enjoy the kind of repeat success and citywide reception that McEwan has managed. I believe this is largely due to the chef’s uncompromising approach to detail and a core dedication to the art of hospitality. “I like to think I have an understanding of what the customer wants; we are here to entertain, we’re here to present theatre,” he says. The Buffalo native set his sights on Toronto in the late 1970s when he was hired on by the Regal Constellation Hotel in various kitchen roles. Since then, McEwan has embraced Toronto as his own, establishing modern icons of Toronto’s dining scene with restaurants like North 44, Fabbrica and ONE Restaurant. Even if you only spend a few minutes with the seasoned chef, a few things are immediately apparent: McEwan is a workaholic who stresses over the finer elements, and oozes charm with a quick witted-sense of humour. He treats his restaurants like a cook’s mis-en-place: only what’s needed, everything in its place and as close to perfection as possible. The charm was a key ingredient in transporting his career out of the kitchen and into the role of hosting shows like The Heat and Chopped and now becoming the head judge on Top Chef Canada. There’s a lot on McEwan’s plate these days. (We chatted a few days before the new season of Top Chef Canada was announced.) He reflected on his career and how he seeks refuge at his Georgian Bay cottage where he hosts dinner parties with his wife Roxanne. He also shared how his diet has evolved to keep up with his fast-paced lifestyle. “I’m in my 60s now, aside from working out five days a week I’ve started to pay close attention to how I eat. This is also reflected at our restaurants; diners are more aware about their meals” McEwan said. I sat down with the chef at his flagship restaurant ByMark to chat about his changing tastes and what inspired these three recipes that are part of his new-found love for “healthy-ish” cooking. f
SPRING VEGETABLE SLAW WITH LIME-YOGURT DRESSING When he’s not overseeing his Toronto restaurants, McEwan spends a lot of time at his cottage in Thornbury. “My cottage provides me with all the elements I need to get inspired,” says McEwan. During the summer months he flexes his green thumb in the backyard with a vegetable and fruit garden. “It’s my refuge, if I’m not on my laptop, I’m knee-deep in the weeds.” McEwan rotates his crops and grows a wide variety of tomatoes, leafy greens and fruit. This salad is inspired by the bright colours of his garden and the changing seasons. McEwan suggests the core ingredients can change with whatever you have at hand. “Try to mix it up with the colours and textures.” The sauce is the star of the plate, the lime yogurt dressing livens up the salad with the pomegranate and grapefruit bringing acid, sweetness and zest to the plate.
SLAW INGREDIE NTS
M ET HOD
◆◆ ½ ripe avocado
To assemble the lime yogurt dressing: Whisk everything together until well combined.
◆◆ 3-4 grapefruit segments ◆◆ 2 cups shaved vegetables (see below) ◆◆ ½ pomegranate ◆◆ ½ cup sweet peas ◆◆ ½ cup cooked red quinoa ◆◆ Pea shoots
To assemble the spring vegetable slaw: Carefully mix all vegetables together in a bowl with the quinoa. Cover lightly with dressing and season with salt and pepper.
◆◆ 1 red chili, sliced thinly (optional) ◆◆ Fresh mint and parsley, torn
SHAV E D V E G ETAB L E INGRE DIE NTS ◆◆ 2 each of red, yellow and candy-cane beets ◆◆ 2 radishes, mixed colours or shapes
Arrange the mixed vegetables on a serving plate and tuck the avocado slices and grapefruit sections into different spots. Drizzle more of the dressing over the salad and finish with sea salt and olive oil. Serve.
◆◆ 1 mixed bunch orange, yellow and purple
baby carrots ◆◆ 5-6 asparagus, shaved with a vegetable
LIME YO GURT DR E SSING INGRE DIE NTS ◆◆ 1 cup plain yogurt ◆◆ 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar ◆◆ 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice ◆◆ 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil ◆◆ Salt and white pepper to taste
If using purple carrots and red beets, wash under cold water until water runs clear. Use a mandolin for shaving.
SEA SCALLOP CRUDO Scallops are one of the biggest sellers at ByMark. McEwan’s team sources sustainably harvested scallops from B.C. and has them shipped to the restaurant every week. “They’re these precious little things, very plump and have a natural sweetness that you have to respect,” McEwan says. The scallops are available two ways on the menu: raw as a crudo or seared and served on a bed of grits with Argentinian shrimp and mushrooms. “If you source good-quality scallops they are best enjoyed raw,” McEwan says. The crudo dish evolves a few times throughout the seasons at ByMark, but is designed for quick preparation. Try to balance the sweetness of the scallops with an acidic ingredient like tomatoes, and balance the creaminess with something vibrant like the strawberries. The two key ingredients in this recipe are the vinegar and a generous drizzle of good quality olive oil. The scallops can handle a little heat; McEwan recommends thinly sliced red chilies to kick it up.
SCALLOP CRUDO I N G REDI ENTS ◆◆ 1 lb dry-packed sea scallops (U10)
◆◆ 2 thin slices of Seranno ham, thinly sliced ◆◆ 2 Tbsp marcona almonds, crushed
◆◆ 6 oz macerated green strawberries, thinly
◆◆ 8 oz heirloom cherry tomatoes, thinly
sliced ◆◆ 1 red chili, julienned ◆◆ ¼ cup Spanish muscat vinegar ◆◆ Juice of ½ a lemon ◆◆ ¼ cup good-quality Spanish olive oil ◆◆ Smoked Maldon sea salt ◆◆ Handful of cress, basil, arugula or red sorrel (depending on preference) ◆◆ Kosher Salt If green strawberries are unavailable, substitute with good-quality seedless red grapes
M ET HOD Place sliced tomatoes and strawberries in a small bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Add vinegar and lemon juice; keeping everything submerged. Leave bowl at room temperature for 30 minutes. With a very sharp knife, slice each scallop crosswise into thin slices. Distribute slices onto six chilled plates; lay them in an angular pattern. Scatter the tomatoes and strawberries over and around the plated scallops. Lightly drizzle the liquid over top (making sure not to use all of it). Scatter a pinch of smoked salt over each plate. Scatter the ham, chilies and crushed marcona almonds evenly among the six plates. Garnish each plate with a little cress and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on top.
THYME AND MUSTARD GRILLED CHICKEN McEwan was first introduced to this dish when his wife Roxanne cooked it for him for dinner. “Ever since she made this for me years ago it has become a staple in our household,” he says. Roxanne is noted for her Italian cooking, but there is one dish that stands out for McEwan. A simple dish of grilled chicken served with a horseradish-spiked potato salad, it has become a standard for McEwan dinner parties. “It’s Roxanne’s signature dish, I’m just borrowing it from her.” For McEwan, the dish is nostalgic and also easy to prepare. He suggests you choose your chicken wisely, try to seek out pasture-raised poultry for optimal juiciness. You can marinate it ahead of time (store it in the fridge in the morning or night before) for maximum flavour. This is a versatile plate, you can swap out the potatoes for a green salad or just go with the grilled beans.
GRILLE D C HIC K E N INGRE DIENTS ◆◆ 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
◆◆ 2 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
◆◆ 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
◆◆ Salt and freshly ground black pepper ◆◆ 4 sprigs thyme
PO TATO SAL AD INGRE DIENTS ◆◆ 2 Tbsp grated fresh horseradish ◆◆ 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar ◆◆ 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
◆◆ ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
◆◆ Salt and freshly ground pepper ◆◆ 2 lbs small red potatoes ◆◆ ½ cup sliced celery
◆◆ 15 green and yellow wax beans, blanched,
refreshed and trimmed to 1-inch pieces
◆◆ ½ cup of freshly shucked sweet peas,
blanched and refreshed
M ET HOD To marinate chicken: Combine olive oil and mustard in a small bowl and brush onto chicken. Season the chicken with pepper and place in a resealable bag with the thyme sprigs. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. To prepare potato salad: Whisk horseradish, vinegar, thyme leaves, and olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 - 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and allow the potatoes to cool slightly. Quarter each potato and toss with the celery and ½ cup of the vinaigrette until well-coated. Add the beans and sweet peas. Keep warm until ready to serve. To cook chicken: Heat a grill until it is mediumhot. Season the chicken with salt and grill for 4 - 5 minutes on each side or until done. Slice each chicken breast on the diagonal. Layer the chicken slices, overlapping them on one side of each plate and spoon potato salad next to it. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the chicken and top with freshly ground black pepper. f
Join us soon at Maison Selby this spring for stiff cocktails and classic French dishes with a modern twist â€“ all enjoyed within a gorgeous heritage space.
Coming soon to Bloor & Sherbourne. @maisonselby â€˘ maisonselby.com
COCKTAIL HOUR Katie Bridges talks to Toronto bartenders to find out how they’re making low-impact cocktails without sacrificing the quality. PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEVEN LEE
HILE WE’VE LONG been aware of the shift towards sustainable models of food production, Toronto’s bar scene has lagged behind in the mindfulness department. However, when you consider how many single-use ingredients go into every cocktail, not to mention the disposable accoutrements that quickly find their way into the trash, the waste easily adds up. While campaigns like the Last Straw took aim at the plastic consumption in bars, few have been working towards any meaningful change in their day-to-day habits. However, when we dug a little deeper below the discarded orange rinds and pineapple husks, we found a growing number of eco-conscious cocktail slingers in the city who are making it their business to reuse and recycle ingredients as well as to incorporate environmentally responsible practices into how they run their drinks programmes. From homegrown garnishes plucked from their backyard and minimizing bar waste right up to macro changes like helping larger scale companies and distillers rethink the way they do business, the city’s bartenders are reducing their environmental footprint. We spoke to some of Toronto’s top cocktail shakers to find out how the changes they’re making – both big and small – are contributing to a more sustainable future.
CHEAP THRILLS C OCKTAIL ING REDIENTS ◆◆ 45 ml Altos blanco tequila ◆◆ 15 ml fino sherry ◆◆ 10 ml avocado pit orgeat ◆◆ 10 ml grapefruit juice ◆◆ 2 dashes orange bitters
AVOCADO PIT ORGEAT ◆◆ 4-5 avocado pits ◆◆ 750 g sugar ◆◆ 750 ml water
For the avocado pit orgeat: Let your avocado pits dry out either under heat or overnight. Blitz in a Vitamix or blender until they’re pretty fine and consistent. Toast over mediumhigh heat in a dry pan, moving them around constantly. Add your toasted pits to the sugar and water and stir, then leave to infuse overnight. Blend again and strain. To assemble Cheap Thrills: Serve over crushed ice and garnish with a slice of grapefruit.
The Travellers: Trash Tiki When Iain Griffiths and Kelsey Ramage met working at a bar in London, they could never have imagined where their sustainable journey would lead. What began as a oneoff, pop-up event quickly snowballed into Trash Tiki, a zero-waste movement that has seen the pair tour the world in the pursuit of garbage-free cocktails. “Everything being said about sustainability was, honestly, incredibly fucking boring,” says Griffiths. “When in actual fact, we viewed it as an exciting opportunity for bartenders to bridge the gap between the bar and the kitchen.” What began as an innocent mission to provide recipes and a platform where people could chat eco-conscious bartending, graduated into a cocktail clinic in which the pair create menus made entirely of ingredients the venue normally throws out. Trash Tiki has also started to work with large-scale distillers and distributors to change their habits. “Working with these corporate overlords might not seem very punk, but we figured we’d get a lot more done if we could work with them,” says Griffiths. After touring extensively, the pair are finally putting down roots with their first ever permanent bar landing in Toronto this spring – but it won’t be called Trash Tiki. “Very few people want to drink garbage made cocktails while listening to angry punk music at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday,” says Griffiths.
RIGHT: Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths, who met working in London, U.K., created Trash Tiki, an anti-waste pop-up
The Humanist: PrettyUgly Bar
With a degree in social theory, Robin Goodfellow was never going to be your average bartender. The cocktail wizard counts top spots like Bar Raval and PrettyUgly on his resume – but it was back at Ursa, a nowclosed Queen West spot known for its highlyforaged menu, when things came into focus. “I was finally able to apply my academic background to my passion for social justice and sustainability,” says Goodfellow. While working at Bar Raval, he began growing mint in his mom’s garden. Noticing that the less garnish-worthy herbs were being discarded, he created the Awesome Sauce, a dark juice used in cocktails at PrettyUgly. Despite his passion for waste reduction, the bartender refuses to manipulate the guests’ experience and is not about to lecture anyone who frequents his bar. “Cocktails are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sustainability practices,” admits Goodfellow, pointing out that it’s up to the government to implement macro changes. “Using ingredients that used to get thrown out five to 10 years ago isn’t saving the planet, but it can have a huge ripple effect.” It’s not just environmental sustainability that Goodfellow is passionate about. He believes that financial and mental wellbeing is just as important for bartenders. “I work every day to make sure my employees have a way better lifespan in this industry than I did.”
COCKTA IL IN G R ED IEN TS ◆◆ 60 ml Beefeater gin ◆◆ 23 ml bianco vermouth ◆◆ 23 ml Awesome Sauce ◆◆ 30 ml lime juice ◆◆ 2 dashes wormwood bitters
AW ES OM E SAU CE
◆◆ 150 g ugly herbs ◆◆ 100 g sugar ◆◆ 100 ml water
For the Awesome Sauce: Blend herb ends and water, strain through cheesecloth to separate solids from liquid. Add sugar and blend until dissolved. Bottle and refrigerate. To assemble Phantom Power: Add all ingredients plus ice to a cheater tin, shake until bone cold and frothy. Strain into your favourite fancy coupe. Garnish with a mint top floating on a dehydrated lime wheel.
LEFT: Robin Goodfellow has brought some hyperlocal elements into his bartending, like herbs from his mother’s garden
EAST YORK SOUR C OCKTAIL ING REDIENTS ◆◆ 1.5 oz tequila ◆◆ 0.5 oz mezcal ◆◆ 1 1/4 oz Bar Lime ◆◆ 1 oz simple syrup ◆◆ Orange peel (thumbnail size) ◆◆ Red wine
BAR LIME (Makes 33 oz) ◆◆ Limes ◆◆ Water ◆◆ Citric acid ◆◆ Malic acid ◆◆ Sugar
For Bar Lime: Wash the limes and juice at least a litre of fresh lime juice. Save the skins. Refrigerate the fresh juice in an airtight vessel. Put all the skins in a tall-sided pot. Cover by 2 inches with water. Bring the water to a rolling boil. At 5 minutes use a strainer to scoop out all the solids. Reduce the liquid by roughly half. While the liquid is still hot, stir in a combination of malic acid, citric acid and sugar. With the flavour and colour extracted from the lime, the result will be a preserve that resembles the flavour of lime juice. The ratio is 0.02% malic acid, 0.03% citric acid, 0.07% sugar of the liquid weight. While citric acid is widely available, malic acid can be found at a specialty dry goods store such as Herbie’s Herbs on Queen West. Once the stock has cooled, fresh lime juice can be mixed with the lime stock in equal parts. Not only is the result delicious and sustainable, but the stock will extend the shelf life of your fresh lime juice. To assemble East York Sour: Measure and add all ingredients (except red wine) into a shaker. Fill with ice, shake, and strain over ice. Make sure there is a finger of space left in the glass. Take a spoon and hold it bottom side up directly on top of the ice. Very carefully pour the wine over the spoon and let it fall on top of the drink to fill a quarter of the glass. Use whatever wine you were going to serve with dinner, but a full bodied red works best.
Eastern Promises: Poor Romeo It didn’t take long for the team behind Pinkerton Snack Bar, which opened in 2016, to start scoping out their next venue. “We always said that if the old Chinese restaurant across the road ever became available, we would love to do Poor Romeo,” says Marc Baglio, one of the owners. The follow-up, an American-style spot named after a Thin Lizzy song, is a local bar with the requisite Cheers vibe that doesn’t take itself too seriously. “There are definitely no molecular cocktails here.” Whereas Pinkerton Snack Bar is slowly working towards removing plastic, Poor Romeo embraced sustainability from the get-go having been inspired by Trash Tiki workshops. “There has never been a plastic straw here because we opened with that mindset,” says Baglio. Poor Romeo also puts their money where their mouth is by working with suppliers with a similar ethos. “It’s easy to say it and promote it,” says Baglio. “But just banning straws is a bit like quitting smoking on your deathbed. We try to think bigger picture.” Cocktails like the East York sour use bar lime, a juice made from repurposed citrus zest, to ensure a longer shelf life. Minimizing waste has been an important measure across their properties. Pinkerton Snack Bar, a small space with no walk-in fridge, forces them to be tight on inventory. “We are wasting nothing,” says Baglio. f
RIGHT: Marc Baglio, Nick Holm and Adam Graham from Poor Romeo have never used a plastic straw at their east end bar
Responsible farming within our country means that every time you purchase chicken raised by a Canadian farmer, you’re buying protein that’s sustainable for everyone.
HEN IT COMES to protein, chicken is one of the most versatile options in our cooking armoury. From full roast chicken and chicken wings to a chicken salad or aromatic butter chicken curry, there are endless possibilities with this meat. We’re often encouraged to eat less meat, of a higher quality – but because of responsible chicken farming practices in Canada, choosing this popular protein
is actually a sound option for ethicallyconscious eaters. Since chicken is often a go-to for meat-eaters, it’s important to align our shopping habits to ensure we’re making sustainable purchases. Luckily for us, that’s as simple as making sure we're buying Canadian farmed chicken. Canadian chicken farmers deliver every time thanks to animal care, food safety and sustainability excellence
programming that all farmers are required to follow. From farm-to-table, regulations govern everything from ensuring conditions in the barn are just right for the arrival of chicks, to health care and bird-handling, all the way through to transportation. All chickens raised for meat are “free-run,” meaning they are able to move around freely, and never raised in cages. They have unlimited access to
Photography: Chicks by UfaBizPhoto
food and water and are often raised in climate controlled barns, which allows farmers to produce chicken year round. You needn't worry about picking "hormone-free"chicken. The use of hormones and steroids in raising poultry has been banned in Canada since the 1960s – farmers have other ways to protect bird health and welfare while creating safe and affordable food. The way your chicken is raised matters, not just because we care about what goes into our food. Over the last 40 years, Canadian chicken farmers have implemented practices on the farm to reduce their environmental impact, resulting in a 37 per cent lower carbon footprint, a 37 per cent reduction in nonrenewable energy consumption and 45 per cent less water consumption. Canada is leading the way for sustainable chicken farming practices – per kilogram of protein, Canadian chicken has a lower footprint than that of the other livestock commodities produced in North America, and it has the smallest environmental impact when compared to chicken in different regions across the world. Plus, that same kilogram of Canadian chicken is created using 62% renewable energy, making it a smarter choice for the environment. And it’s not just sustainable for the planet – chicken farming in Canada is postively affecting the livelihood of its workers, too. Over 90 per cent of Canadian chicken farms are family owned and operated and 90 per cent of Canadian chicken farmers pay their staff a salary over the provincial minimum wage. Buying Canadian chicken is not just a better choice than the alternative – thanks to farmers' hard work and commitment to ethical and environmental standards, it's the sustainable and responsible choice. The next time you’re shopping, look for the ‘Raised by a Canadian Farmer’ label to ensure that you’re buying fresh, safe, highquality Canadian chicken that you can feel good about. ● To learn more about Canadian chicken, head to letstalkchicken.ca
FAIR IS FAIR
One of the first internationally acclaimed spirit brands to be Fair Trade Certified, Flor de Caña supports their employees and environment while producing premium rum.
S THE MOVEMENT towards more sustainable and ethical practices marches forward, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of what they consume – choosing products that are sustainable over those that are familiar. Luckily, when it comes to delicious tasting, premium rum you don’t have to quiet your conscious or compromise on your morals to imbibe. Fifth generation, single family estate rum producer, Flor de Caña has become one of the first internationally acclaimed spirit producers to receive the Fair Trade Certified seal. This prestigious certification is only awarded to companies who uphold
rigorous social, environmental and labour standards. In their push towards a more sustainable future, Flor de Caña focuses on three core values: Supporting employees, empowering the community and sustaining the environment. For more than 100 years, Flor de Caña has offered free education to children of their employees. At the company hospital, employees and their families receive free medical care. Since its opening in 1958, more than 2,500 babies have been delivered at the hospital. A large contributor to not-forprofit organizations, Flor de Caña supports APROQUEN and the American Nicaraguan Foundation
– helping Nicaraguans get access to medical services and poverty relief. Flor de Caña has been distilling their rum with 100 per cent renewable energy for more than 10 years. To further support the environment, the rum producer’s employees have been planting 50,000 trees annually for more than a decade. Flor de Caña is naturally aged at the base of Nicaragua’s most active volcano, the San Cristóbal, resulting in an incredibly smooth rum. It was named “Global Rum Producer of the Year” by the IWSC in London in 2017. Fair Trade Certified, Flor de Caña is a rum you can enjoy and feel good about. ●
— PART 3 —
EXCESS “WINNIPEG’S LOWER COST OF LIVING MAKES IT EASIER FOR CHEFS TO TAKE RISKS AND EXPERIMENT. ” INSIDER, 076
066 CAY-MAN MADE | 076 INSIDER | 080 BOTTLE SERVICE 091 FOODISM’S FINEST | 093 THE DIGEST | 094 THE SELECTOR | 098 DECONSTRUCT
Jessica Huras finds out how restaurateurs and resorts on the Cayman Islands are shifting their menus to use locally sourced ingredients.
Photography: Photography: Heather Holt
ABOVE: The greenhouse at the Brasserie restaurant grows dozens of fruit, vegetables and herbs on-site
HEN I IMAGINED the kind of nature I might find in the Cayman Islands, I didn’t picture this. Instead of the sunny day on a palm-tree-lined beach I had envisioned, it’s nighttime and I’m standing in an enclosed greenhouse. A string of fairy lights overhead is illuminating brick pathways connecting neat rows of garden beds. Potted plants hang from the ceiling and small trees reach up to meet them; and in other areas, leaves of different shapes and sizes emerge from layers of soil. It all looks remarkably like the type of plant-fringed patio space where I might find myself sipping beer on a summer
evening in Toronto; but Toronto is over 2,000 kilometres away. The aforementioned beach isn’t particularly close either: we’re in Georgetown, the main business district of Grand Cayman, a few kilometres away from the nearest stretch of coastline. What I’m discovering instead reflects the new reason why tourists and expats alike are heading to the Cayman Islands – not for the sun and sand (though there’s plenty of that to go around, too), but for the food. Perched between Cuba and Central America, the Cayman Islands are an autonomous British Overseas Territory. The country consists of three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. As its name suggests, Grand Cayman (the setting for my exploration) is the largest of the three,
WE KNOW WHEN IT WAS CAUGHT, SO WE HAVE THE BEST FISH ON THE ISLAND
ABOVE: Kimpton’s restaurant Coccoloba complements its serene setting with local cocktails
Photography: Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa
at 196 square kilometres and home to a population of around 50,000 people. Thanks to its lovely weather (and wellknown tax haven status), the Caymans have become popular with expats from around the world, with over 135 different nationalities represented on the islands. The Brasserie restaurant – whose greenhouse I’m wandering around – is at the forefront of a growing farm- and sea-to-table dining scene that’s further adding to the Caymans’ appeal. Not only has the Brasserie been embracing local cuisine for longer than most (they’ve been open since 1997), but if there’s a way to grow or source any given ingredient on the island, you can pretty much bet they’re doing it. The Brasserie grows dozens of fruits,
vegetables and herbs in their on-site greenhouse. Arugula, carrots, tomatoes, callaloo and herbs like basil, thyme and mint are just some of the produce I spot as manager Corey Blohm walks me through the glass-enclosed space. And the greenhouse is just the beginning – avocado, mango, guava, starfruit and too many other plants to name are grown elsewhere on the property. The Brasserie also has a chicken coop with around 60 laying hens, plus it cultivates over 50 beehives around the island. As we round the corner, exiting the greenhouse, I’m introduced to another aspect of the Brasserie’s wide-ranging locavore dining programme: Freshly caught wahoo, mahi mahi and yellowfin tuna are laid out in large coolers filled with ice (the ice is swapped out regularly to ensure the fish stays fresh and never needs to be frozen). The Brasserie’s two fishing boats bring a steady stream of seafood from the waters off Grand Cayman and nearby Cayman Brac. “We know when it was caught, where it was caught and that it was caught and handled correctly,” says Blohm. “So we pretty much have the best fish on the island.” The seafood, like the produce grown onsite, vary with the seasons and the restaurant switches up its menu daily to reflect what’s freshest. My dinner that night was delicatelyseared tuna served on a bed of zucchini noodles, but on another day the menu might feature lobster risotto or grilled wahoo with roasted beet gnocchi. While the Brasserie takes a growyour-own approach to the farm-to-table movement, other restaurants on Grand Cayman, like the Kimpton’s Coccoloba, are looking for new ways to work with the produce from local farmers’ markets. Coccoloba’s beverage manager John Stanton, who moved to Grand Cayman from Chicago, says that learning to adapt his mixology techniques to highlight the island’s locally grown ingredients was a welcome challenge. “I was really excited about working with local fruits and produce,” says Stanton. Stanton visits the farmers’ markets at least once a week to hunt down potential new cocktail ingredients for Coccoloba’s menu. “Last week we were working with soursop, which is something I’d never even heard of before coming here,” says Stanton. Coccoloba doesn’t use any bottled ingredients, instead making their syrups, fresh juices and other cocktail components in-house in a bar prep kitchen. In addition to
using mainly local ingredients, Stanton says the team also aims to minimize waste – for example, they mash citrus peels left over from making fresh fruit juice, extracting the flavourful oils to create oleo saccharums that can be mixed into cocktails. Stanton and the team at Coccoloba aren’t the only ones using Grand Cayman’s fresh, local produce to make creative cocktails. The next afternoon sees me in the middle of a more typical Caribbean island scene: sitting on the sun-drenched, oceanfront patio of Cayman Cabana restaurant, sipping a cocktail (albeit a booze-free one). This particular drink features brown sugar, lemonade and locally grown bitter orange. The restaurant, run by Luigi and Christina Moxam, has been open for six years, but shifted focus four years ago to emphasize →
ABOVE: Cayman Cabana restaurant sources its food from multiple farmers and fishermen on the Island
→ farm-to-table cuisine. Luigi was born and raised in the Cayman Islands (his wife Christina is from Vancouver) and grew up with an appreciation for the region’s farming community. “We don’t have massive farms; we don’t have massive production, but the fruits and vegetables have always been abundant,” says Luigi Moxam. As more restaurants begin to focus on locally sourced cuisine, however, it poses
notice. A failure to source enough of a particular ingredient, or unexpected access to another often causes their entire menu plan for the day to change. “It’s all part of being a farm-to-table establishment,” says Christina. “You have to be willing to think quickly on your feet and modify your dishes based on availability.” As the demand for locally sourced cuisine in the Cayman Islands grows, the Moxams say that local farmers are rising to meet the challenge. “Our farmers have grown exponentially in the last five years,” says Christina. “Places that used to be two or three thousand-square foot greenhouses are now five, 10, 30 thousand square feet.” She says also that more local farmers are beginning to experiment with vertical farming operations – a perfect solution to the problem of growing produce on an island where the amount of land to grow on is finite. “Earlier this year, our farmer said: ‘is there anything I can plant for you guys this season?’” says Christina. “They’re willing to work with us because we’re substantially influencing their business.” f
Photography: Janet Jarchow
IT’S HARD FOR ONE FARMER TO SUSTAIN WHAT WE NEED
obvious challenges for a small island with limited available farming land. “You want to be able to facilitate dinner for 100 [people], but can I get enough carrots for one dish for 100?” says Christina Moxam. The pair source food from multiple farmers in order to keep up with the demands of their busy restaurant, supplementing these regular farm deliveries with visits to local farmers’ markets – they sometimes turn to friends and family for fresh produce. “It’s hard for one farmer or a couple of farmers to sustain what we need for the whole restaurant,” says Luigi. Almost all the fruits and veggies they serve are picked within 12 to 24 hours of arriving on diners’ plates. Most of Cayman Cabana’s fish comes from a fresh market located next door to the restaurant. Luigi jokes that he often helps the fishermen unload their boats so he can claim the freshest options. He also reaches out to fishermen over Instagram, where some locals will post photos of their recent catches. Serving the freshest possible food, however, means the Moxams have to be ready to make menu changes on very short
OF FOODIE EXPERIENCES Take some of Canada’s most productive farm land and fresh water and add a generous helping of families who are passionately committed to producing world-class products in the region they love and what do you get? A recipe for flavours, experiences and adventures that are truly one of a kind. In Ontario’s Southwest you’ll find can’t-miss stops for beer, wine and farm-to-table cuisine around every corner and friendly folks who are happy to point you toward interesting new finds. The Next Stop: Taste video series will show you unforgettable food, wine, craft brewery and farm-totable experiences. No matter what corner of Ontario’s Southwest you travel to, there is a full crop of farmers, chefs and producers ready to share the delicious fruits of their labours.
— CITY OF TORONTO —
LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE A FOODISM GUIDE
More than half of all household food waste in Canada is avoidable. We need to radically change the way we value food – we'll show you how.
E’VE ALL ENDURED that heartsinking feeling as we open our Green Bin to throw away a whole pound of beef or a bag of carrots no longer in their prime. Sure, it’s a bummer – but it’s unavoidable, right? The answer in most cases is no. More than 60 per cent of all household food waste is unnecessary and, with just a little planning, completely preventable. We throw out more food than we
realize – food that could, at one point, have been eaten. Inevitably, some food waste is unavoidable – this is the food that can’t generally be eaten, such as bones, vegetable peelings, egg shells and fruit cores. We often waste good food unnecessarily because we buy too much, cook too much, or don’t store it correctly. This has a significant impact on our wallets – wasted food costs an average Canadian household over $1100 per year,
meaning we're literally throwing our money away. Unfortunately, it's not just a needless expense – it takes a toll on our environment. Food waste incorrectly placed in the garbage takes up valuable landfill space and releases greenhouse gases when it breaks down, which contributes to climate change. When placed in the Green Bin, food waste will become compost, but this requires significant resources. In response to this, the City of Toronto’s
Over 60% of household food waste is avoidable in Canada. Here's how to make the most of your food: BEST BEFORE? While most foods have a best before date, many are still edible after it has passed. Canned goods can be eaten one year after the best before date, and perishable goods like butter is good for two more weeks.
SHOP CONSCIOUSLY The majority of our waste comes from overbuying. It might seem convenient, but bulk buying is a big cause of food waste. Make multiple trips, map out meals, and don't shop while hungry.
REVIVE YOUR FOOD Meals and produce can almost always be salvaged. Soup too salty? Add lemon juice. Overcooked your veggies? Add cream and stock, blend et voilà – soup to the rescue!
KEEP IT FRESH Photography: Roots by Cary Bates; Peas by Iomiso; Frozen veg by Victoria 43; Smoothie by Photographee.eu
Storage is key to extending the shelf life of your food. Use tricks like keeping veggies that wilt in your crisper drawer, separating fastripening produce, or peeling bananas and freezing for use in smoothies.
L O V E F O O D H AT E WA S T E
Long Term Waste Management Strategy prioritizes waste reduction. Reducing avoidable food waste lowers the amount of waste to be managed ensuring a sustainable use of resources for processing food waste that can't be avoided. The City of Toronto has partnered with the National Zero Waste Council and other partners on a national effort to reduce food waste across the country. Canada’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign aims to cut household food waste in three key ways. Keep It Fresh helps increase your food's shelf life. Fruits and vegetables are the most commonly wasted foods by Torontonians – but they shouldn’t be. If your fruits have gotten too ripe to enjoy, blend them into a delicious smoothie – the ripe fruit will make it sweeter. You can also extend the life of fruits and vegetables for
eight to 12 months by putting them in the freezer. Properly storing fruits and veggies in the fridge can help them last longer. Apples, sweet potatoes and citrus fruits can all be kept in the fridge for much longer than on the counter or pantry. Use It Up puts the emphasis on utilizing the food you buy. Decoding the dates on food labels will help you use up more of the food you buy. A best before date is the anticipated amount of time that an unopened food product will retain its freshness, taste and nutritional value, when stored under appropriate conditions. The date indicated on a label tells you when its quality is the greatest, and is not an indication of product safety. If a package has remained unopened even after the best before date, it can still be of good quality and freshness, as long as it has been stored
properly. A best before date is not the same as an expiration date, which is actually only required on five different types of foods, such as meal replacements, nutritional supplements and infant formula. Plan It Out gives tips for meal planning and shopping smart. To preserve freshness, use perishables like seafood and meat earlier in the week and save longer lasting staples like pasta, dairy and eggs for later. Some greens, like kale and chard, stay fresh longer than others. Frozen foods have nearly all of the nutrients and sometimes more than their fresh counterparts – and they don’t go bad. Let frozen vegetables fill in the gaps and buy fresh vegetables in smaller amounts so you don’t end up veggie-less at the end of the week. ● To learn more about food waste, head to lovefoodhatewaste.ca
TIPS AND RECIPES
TOP TIP Food scraps always go in your Green Bin. If you live in an apartment or condo building try freezing your food scraps and then disposing of them in your building's organic waste disposal. This will help eliminate any odours.
Think before you consider throwing away the edible food in your fridge – then get cooking with these leftover recipes.
SQUASH PANCAKES Ingredients
◆◆ 250 g leftover roasted squash
◆◆ 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated ◆◆ 1 cup milk
◆◆ 150 g flour
◆◆ 1 large egg
◆◆ 1 sprig rosemary ◆◆ 1 tsp nutmeg
◆◆ Maple syrup to top
1 Peel skins off of the squash. Mash into a large bowl with a fork. 2 Remove rosemary from sprig and mix into the squash. Whisk in remaining ingredients until blended. 3 Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Using a ladle, add the mixture into pan. Cook 2 min on each side until golden and the edges are crisp. Stack on a plate and keep warm at 150 F low heat in the oven until ready to eat. 4 Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.
BRUISED-CHETTA Ingredients ◆◆ 2 cups overripe or bruised tomatoes,
chopped ◆◆ 1/2 cup red onion, diced ◆◆ 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped ◆◆ 2 tsp fresh jalepeno pepper,
chopped ◆◆ 1 clove garlic, minced finely ◆◆ 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced ◆◆ 1 Tbsp lime juice ◆◆ 1/4 tsp ground cumin ◆◆ 1/4 tsp kosher salt ◆◆ 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Stir together everything in a bowl. 2 For optimal flavour, leave in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving. 3 Slice your stale baguette and toast in the oven. Top it with the tomato mixture, and garnish with cilantro.
Every single day, Canadians throw out: ◆◆ 450,000 eggs ◆◆ 550,000 bananas ◆◆ 1,000,000 cups of milk ◆◆ 2,400,000 potatoes ◆◆ 750,000 loaves of bread Photography: Pancakes by Anna Pustynnikova; Bruschetta by Karpenkov Denis; Jam by Shebeko
In Toronto homes alone, we create almost 100,000 tonnes of food waste per year. This equates to about 200 kg of food waste per household. Here's how you can make big difference:
BERRY FREEZER JAM Ingredients
◆◆ 3 cups crushed berries ◆◆ 5 1/2 cups sugar
◆◆ 2 oz pectin crystals ◆◆ 3/4 cup water
1 Add sugar to crushed berries and mix thoroughly. 2 Let stand 10 - 15 minutes. 3 In a small saucepan combine pectin crystals and water. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 1 minute. 4 Combine with fruit mixture and stir for
at least 3 minutes. 5 Ladle into containers and cover tightly with lids. 6 Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. 7 Store in freezer. (Freezer jam is not shelf-stable, for long-term storage, it must go in the freezer. Keeps for two weeks in the refrigerator or 1 year in the freezer.) 8 Notes: Stone fruit, cherries and blueberries also work well, though you may need to adjust the amount of sugar called for. Use a pectin that works with no-cook freezer jam and follow the specific instructions.
Plan your shopping to buy just what you and your household are likely to eat. Check best before dates on items in the fridge and see what needs to be used up before making a meal. Have the fundamentals – grains, spices and "hero" sauces – on hand so you can bring life to old meals Think double duty; if you have too much rice or too many wraps, think about how to reuse them that week. Don’t throw coffee grounds out – use them for fertilizer if you have a garden.
PASSERO Scott Bagshaw, one of Winnipeg’s most celebrated chefs, is behind this hip Italian restaurant. Although it’s part of the market, a separate sit-down dining area with distinctive wood-slat decor makes this restaurant feel like an intimate space all its own. The small-plates dinner menu is divided into six sections (antipasto, salad, raw, pasta, meat and seafood, and veggies) – the seafood and pasta options are particularly exceptional. Start with the roasted meatballs topped with tomato sauce, parmesan and crème fraiche. During lunch, Passero doubles as Corto, a casual takeaway counter with Italian sandwiches and coffee. passerowinnipeg.com
Winnipeg’s food and drink scene has grown up and now is the time to visit, writes Jessica Huras.
INNIPEG’S FOOD SCENE has been on fire for the better part of 10 years, yet tell anyone you’re travelling to the Peg and you’re likely to be met with some confused looks and jokes about the weather. Chalk it up to the city’s remote location perhaps, but Winnipeg can’t seem to fully shake the misconception that its culinary offerings are as flat as its landscape. Locals and travellers who have visited Manitoba’s capital recently, however, know that it’s one of the most interesting places in Canada to eat right now. Winnipeg’s lower cost of living makes it easier for chefs to experiment and take risks without making big financial investments; while its isolated location fosters a strong sense of community and a drive to support locally owned restaurants.
The Forks Market is a prime spot to start eating your way through the city. The market is named for its location at the Forks National Historic Site, which sits at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. The site has been a meeting place for more than 6,000 years, first used as a trading point by Indigenous people and later by European fur traders. Over the past 30 years, it’s been transformed into a popular recreational and cultural site that’s enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. The Forks Market sees a pair of early 20th-century rail company stables renovated into a multi-level dining and retail space. On the upper floor, you’ll find eclectic local boutiques and souvenir shops; the ground floor has a food hall with over a dozen vendors. After you’ve had your fill at the market, work off those excellent eats by exploring the rest of the Forks National Historic Site. f For more great travel content, check out our sister magazine, escapism Toronto. escapism.to
Air Canada and WestJet both offer nonstop flights from Toronto to Winnipeg and take just under three hours. The Inn at the Forks, across from the market, is a great base for exploring the area with bright, minimalist rooms and a seasonallydriven restaurant. aircanada.com; westjet.com; innforks.com
RED EMBER COMMON
The bricks-and-mortar location of the popular Winnipeg food truck serves Neapolitan-influenced pizza with crispy-chewy crusts. Pizzas are made-to-order in an electric Forza Forni pizza oven, which can reach up to 750 F and cook a pie in about 90 seconds. Toppings like free-range pepperoni, roasted mushrooms and turkey sausage are sourced locally and the pizza dough is made with organic Manitoba flour. Unlike many pizza joints, their delicious salads definitely aren’t an afterthought either. Watch the action from the marble bar. redembercommon.com
Photography: Forks Market; The Common by Veronique Rivest; Passero by Jenny Eaglesham
THE COMMON A drinks kiosk with 20 craft beers on tap and over a dozen wines available by the glass or flight is at the centre of the food hall. The beer lineup is ever-changing but always includes at least five regional brews (as Winnipeg’s craft beer scene grows, so does the Common’s roster of local taps); while the wine list is curated by one of Canada’s top female sommeliers, Véronique Rivest. The market’s food vendors encircle the Commons, so you can grab whatever you want to eat, order drinks and then enjoy it all at one of the communal tables in the fully licensed ground floor of the market or while you browse. theforks.com
TALL GRASS PRAIRIE BREAD COMPANY
Tall Grass Prairie is a Winnipeg legend thanks in part to its whole wheat cinnamon buns, which have fostered a culinary cult following – seriously, you’ll have to arrive at the market early to snag one fresh out of the oven because they sell out most days. Their grains are organically grown in Manitoba and ground into flour onsite at the market. They also do some good house-made prepared meals like chilis, stews and savoury pies, most of which are made using local ingredients. tallgrassbakery.ca
FIT FOR A KING (STON)
The fertile farmlands surrounding Kingston are at the heart of the city’s thriving locavore food scene.
S FARM-TO-TABLE DINING continues to be at the forefront of the food scene in cities around the world, it’s easy to overlook the smaller communities who pioneered this popular approach to eating. If you want to taste some of Ontario’s best homegrown cuisine, go to the places that have been honing and perfecting the locavore dining philosophy long before it was on trend. Located less than a three-hour drive from Toronto, Kingston is a convenient destination for a food-focused weekend getaway, or a culinary pitstop en route to Ottawa or Montreal. The rich rural landscapes surrounding Kingston are the driving force behind the city’s exciting locavore dining scene, with the city’s chefs eager to showcase the area’s seasonal bounty. Relationships with farmers and producers are the foundation of Aquaterra’s seasonally-driven menu. Patchwork Gardens in Battersea, Enright Cattle Co. in Tweed and Elginburg's Limestone Creamery are just a few of the suppliers this elegant restaurant works with to source vegetables, meat and dairy products for its ever-changing menus. This gem located in the Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront also keeps things local with its VQA wine list, which features bottles from some of Ontario’s top wineries, including Rosehall Run, Huff Estates and Closson Chase. Aquaterra’s executive chef Brent McAllister is known for bringing a contemporary Canadian approach to bold Indian and Thai flavours – opt for the Chef's Test Kitchen menu to sample some of the most inventive dishes chef McAllister and his team are currently creating. Endorsed by
Ocean Wise and recommended by the Vancouver Aquarium as ocean-friendly, the restaurant’s daily fish features are another fan favourite. Locally-sourced ingredients also take centre stage at Chien Noir, a French bistro located in downtown Kingston. The restaurant updates classic bistro fare like duck confit and mussels provencal with farm-fresh ingredients. As the weather warms, their sunny courtyard terrace is an inviting spot for sipping craft beers from breweries like the city’s own Skeleton Park Brewery and nearby farm-based brewery MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Co. For a lunch or lighter meal, head to the Juniper Cafe in the Tett Centre, a charitable arts hub set on the scenic Lake Ontario waterfront. The cafe sources over 80 per cent of their ingredients from local farms and producers throughout the year, with many highlighted on their weeklychanging menu so customers can know exactly where their food comes from. From a savoury breakfast melt made a Bekings Poultry Farm poached egg to a Wallace Co-Op roast beef sandwich with Wilton Cheese Factory's cheddar sauce, fresh, Ontario ingredients are key to the cafe’s tasty dishes. Wherever your explorations take you in Kingston, you’ll find chefs embracing the diverse, beautiful produce and proteins grown and raised in the nearby farmlands, and transforming it into meals that you won’t soon forget. ● To learn more and plan your own Kingston culinary getaway, head to visitkingston.ca
CLOCKWISE FROM THE LEFT: Juniper Cafe; downtown Kingston; Aquaterra; MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Co.
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We’ve picked our favourite clear spirits and white wines for light, springtime sipping. From milk vodka to a brewery’s gin, you’re guaranteed to find a gem. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAILEE MANDEL ART DIRECTION BY APRIL TRAN PROPS SUPPLIED BY TAP PHONG
1 GREY GOOSE: Only two ingredients go into making this French vodka – single-origin winter wheat and natural spring water. Known for its smooth and silky mouthfeel with a warm, spicy finish, Grey Goose can be sipped on the rocks or enjoyed in a simple cocktail like a martini. $49.95, lcbo.com 2 HOUNDS BLACK VODKA: Billed as the only black vodka in North America, Hounds gets its colour from being enriched with a secret formula of immune-boosting fulvic minerals and humic acid. Made from Ontario corn, this Canadian vodka
has aromas of wheat, vanilla and citrus. $39.60, lcbo.com 3 STOLICHNAYA GOLD VODKA: Stoli Gold is filtered twice – first, through shungite, a carbon-based mineraloid found only in Russia, and then through coils of gold thread. This gold filtration process enhances the depth and softness of the vodka. With hints of apricot and vanilla, Stoli Gold makes the perfect Moscow Mule. $34.95, lcbo.com 4 VODKOW: Made from milk sugar, a dairy by-product usually discarded during the milk filtration process, this Canadian vodka is helping to
reduce the environmental impact of the dairy industry. Don’t let its origin fool you – there’s no milky taste. Vodkow is slightly sweet on the nose with a smooth finish. $36, dairydistillery.com 5 REYKA SMALL-BATCH VODKA:: Creamy in texture with a citrus aroma, this Icelandic vodka is made with water from an Arctic spring and filtered using lava rocks. The environmentally-friendly distillery where this small-batch vodka is made is powered using geothermal energy from underground volcanoes. $35.05, lcbo.com
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1 SPIRIT OF YORK GIN: Crisp but still delicate, bright and citrusy with peppery notes, this gin made in Toronto’s Distillery District continues to surprise and delight all the way through to its juniper finish. $49.95, lcbo.com 2 ISLE OF HARRIS GIN: This eyecatching spirit from Scotland’s Outer Hebrides Islands is distilled locally in a small copper gin still. While it’s made with nine botanicals, it’s the sugar kelp that gives this gin its uniquely maritime flavour. $88.45, lcbo.com 3 DILLON’S ROSE GIN: A London dry gin with a difference, this beautiful concoction has been infused with rosehips and rose petals to give it a distinctive hue and floral-citrusy aromas. Serve as an aperitif or add a splash to your cocktail. $24.95, lcbo.com 4 MUSKOKA LEGENDARY ODDITY GIN: Long known as a beer producer, Muskoka Brewery has been dabbling with small-batch spirits since 2015. This gin is infused with bitter hops as a wink to its brewing roots. $44.95, lcbo.com
What happened when a Canadian Expat fell in love with an Italian Temptress...
We invite you to come visit , taste and hear our story We are known for our award-winning portfolio of full-bodied red wines and elegant white wines hand-crafted in the Appassimento method. Our tasting room is inspired by the warmth of Italian hospitality. Located on the picturesque grounds of the Vineland Research & Innovation Centre in the heart of Niagara wine country.
foreignaffairwinery.com 4890 Victoria Ave. N, Vineland On, L0R 2E0 905.562.9898
1 HIDDEN BENCH FUMÉ BLANC 2016: From the well-known Beamsville Bench in Niagara, this barrel-fermented sauvignon has notes of grapefruit and gooseberry. You could put this terroir-driven white wine in your cellar and save it – or enjoy it when it’s released in the spring. $29.95, lcbo.com 2 HENRY OF PELHAM ESTATE CHARDONNAY: One of only a handful of Wine Council of Ontario-certified sustainable winemakers, this prestigious producer has created a wine with vanilla flavours that’s as refined as its name suggests. $21.95, lcbo.com 3 INNISKILLIN LATE AUTUMN RIESLING VQA: This off-dry, fruity riesling is the perfect balance of sweet with a tart apple finish. Pair with a chicken or fish dish that has some firepower to offset the sweetness of the apricot and honey. $13.95, lcbo.com 4 CAVE SPRING PINOT GRIS VQA: Cave Spring is historically known for their expressive and elegant rieslings and the pinot gris is equally as nuanced. This is for you if you prefer your PG tropical with a backbone of citrus acidity to complement its honeydew melon flavour. $16.95, lcbo.com
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Prepare for the Final Battle
available in stores and online at lcbo.com GAMEOFTHRONESWINES.COM
Game of Thrones TM & Â© 2019 Home Box Office, Inc.
Wüsthof’s Urban Farmer knife collection is made with grow-your-own dining in mind, transitioning easily from your garden to your kitchen.
ANY OF US are starting to think about how we can eat and cook more sustainably. We might buy local ingredients, seek out recyclable food packaging or consider growing some of our own herbs and vegetables at home. But there’s one area of eco-conscious eating that’s easy to overlook: the kitchen tools we use to prepare our food. Wüsthof’s Urban Farmer knife collection was designed with environmentally-friendly eating in mind. The knives feature handles made from sustainably-grown roasted European Beechwood, and transition seamlessly from outdoor use in the garden to indoor use in the kitchen to make enjoying your homegrown produce easier than ever. A non-slip bolster at the end of the knife handle helps to provide a secure grip, even when your hands are wet (a convenient feature whether you’re working in the kitchen or the garden). As with all Wüsthof knives, you can expect exceptional performance
(they’ve been making knives for 200 years, so they know a thing or two about craftsmanship). The Urban Farmer collection features blades made from stainless steel with a high carbon content and cut with a precision laser. They’re well-balanced and made to stay sharp for as long as possible. Use the Pruning Knife to harvest and peel small fruits and vegetables. The serrated Bread Knife is ideal for slicing through crunchy bread without compressing the soft interior layers, while the Machete, which features a combination of serrated and smooth edges, is sturdy enough to be used for harvesting produce from your garden. Fill out your collection with the Paring, Serrated Utility, Cook’s, Santoku and Steak knives and be prepared for reaping and preparing almost any type of food. Make your kitchen a little greener and celebrate homegrown produce with Wüsthof’s Urban Farmer knife collection. ●
WIN AN URBAN FARMER KNIFE SET
Embrace garden-to-table dining and take your knife game up a notch by winning five Wüsthof Urban Farmer knives. One lucky foodism reader will win a set valued at $700, which includes the Pruning, Paring, Cook’s, Bread and Hollow Ground Santoku knives. For a full list of terms and conditions and to enter visit: foodism.to/ competition
IN GOOD TASTE
Tastemaker returns this May, giving you access to food and drink from some of Toronto's best purveyors for a single, all-in price.
S FULL-BLOODED FOODIES, we all look forward to food festival season. But many of Toronto’s festivals are overcomplicated and pricey – you pay a hefty fee to get in, only to be bogged down by a ticket or token system that makes you pay even more once you're inside. Then, to make matters worse, the food offerings are (let’s face it) the same items that you could have bought from the vendor’s restaurant, without paying the steep
admission fee. Tastemaker is less like a festival and more like a party hosted by your favourite food and drink purveyors. Under one roof, some of the city’s best chefs and mixologists will be brought together to cook, create and share – and party with you. More than 30 restaurants, wineries and breweries will be keeping you satiated while a lineup of DJs will be cooking up the best beats. Best of all, you only pay for admission – all of your food, drinks and experiences
are included in the price so you can keep the party going. In the Tastemaker Kitchen, some of Toronto’s best chefs will collaborate in unlikely pairs to create unique menus that you won’t find anywhere else. Some of the chef duos we’re most excited about include Paula Navarrete (Momofuku Kojin) with Anna Chen (Alma); Rob Rossi (Guilietta) with Carl Heinrich (Richmond Station); and Brandon Olsen (La Banane) with Patrick Kriss (Alo). Michael Hunter
WIN TWO TICKETS TO TASTEMAKER
Want to come visit us at Tastemaker? We’re giving you the chance to win two tickets for you and a guest to enjoy all of the culinary delights that Tastemaker has to offer – including the foodism lounge. To enter head to instagram.com/ foodismto
Photography: Tastemaker; Caesar by Toni Osmund
(Antler) and Rob Bragnolo (Labora) will be grilling a whole roasted wild boar served with rioja potatoes, and a Chinese mashup of a Filipino Kamayan feast will be provided by Nick Lui (DaiLo) and Danny Cancino (Mineral). But the lineup of chef partnerships doesn’t stop there – plenty more of our favourite culinary pros will be blending their styles to create one-of-akind dishes. Tastemaker will take place from Friday May 10 to Sunday May 12 at Evergreen Brick Works. Until the end of April use the code FOODISM to get your all-inclusive tickets starting at $45. ● For more information and to buy tickets, visit thetastemakertour.com
CAESAR THE DAY The best accompaniment to a Sunday brunch and Canada’s national cocktail, the Caesar is enjoyed from coast to coast. In anticipation of National Caesar Day on May 17th and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Caesar, Foodism Toronto will be hosting a Caesar-themed party in our lounge at Tastemaker. Whether you make it with the basics or piled high with accoutrements, every Caesar starts with quality vodka – so of course, we’ve partnered with Smirnoff Vodka to bring you an exceptional Caesar experience. You’ll be able to sample the perfect concoction, served with a wide range of Canadian inspired garnishes. Stick around for some fun with foodism and other surprises.
WHEN IN ROMAGNA
Made from 100 per cent Albana grapes grown in Italy’s Romagna region, Campodora is a crisp white wine that’s golden in colour with a smooth, stone fruit flavour.
HERE’S NEVER A bad time for a good glass of wine, but whether you’re out celebrating or having a cozy night at home, great wines are best enjoyed with delicious food. Known for being possibly the best gastronomic region in Italy, Emilia Romagna produces Parmesan cheese, Parma ham, hand-made pasta and excellent wines. Turning 90 this year, Poderi dal Nespoli estate and winery was established by the Ravaioli family in the Romagna region in 1929. While their winemaking may be stoked with tradition from the past, the Ravaiolis are focused on the future. Their winery
is eco-friendly and self-sustaining with solar panels, water recycling and a heat recovery system. In addition to being good to the planet, Poderi dal Nespoli’s wines also taste good. The first white wine in Italy to receive the DOCG appellation in 1987, Campodora is made with 100 per cent Albana grapes. Native to the Romagna region in northern Italy, Albana grapes have a rich history of being connected with the tradition of winemaking in this area. Crisp yet smooth, the fresh flavours of peach, apricot and acacia flowers make Campodora the perfect wine for sipping as we coast into patio season. Pair it with seafood, a light risotto or white meat. ●
WIN TWO SPOTS AT AN EXCLUSIVE WINE TASTING
Win two spots at an exclusive summer soirée. On June 19th you’ll get to taste your way through the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy including five different wines from the Poderi Dal Nespoli winery. Mix and mingle at Berkeley Field House pairing wines with delicious bites and try your hand at making pasta. For a full list of terms and conditions and to enter visit: foodism.to/ competition
The bites and sips (mainly sips) we’re really digging right now in Toronto.
T RY, TRY A G IN
WHIS K ED AWAY
HEAV EN’S SA K E
Katie Bridges Staff Writer
Jessica Huras Contributing Editor
Suresh Doss Editor-at-Large
Locally produced gin has taken Ontario by storm in the last couple of years, but it was exciting to get a sneak peek at some of the U.K. spirits seeking to enter the Canadian market. We spent a tipsy afternoon at the Chefs’ House, nibbling charcuterie and sampling gins from across the pond. Curio of Cornwall will be available on LCBO shelves while 6 O’Clock is sold online only.
I nurtured my ever-growing appreciation for whiskey at a tasting dinner that saw three Woodford Reserve whiskeys paired with a trio of dishes from Constantine. The standout was their Double Oaked, which won me over with its slightly sweet flavour of fruit, vanilla and caramel (it didn’t hurt that it was paired with a duck breast drizzled with a Woodford Reserve sauce).
The Consulate-General of Japan’s office hosted a memorable dinner with sake as the centrepiece. Japan’s incredible biodiversity and growing conditions are the canvas for a wide range of rice varieties and sake production. We’re getting a better representation of these products here in Toronto and the dinner was a dive into a variety of sakes created through different milling processes.
F L AVOUR OF THE WEEK Arthur’s Restaurant; 12 St. Clair Ave. E. The Chase Hospitality Group (The Chase, Kasa Moto, Planta) gets personal with its latest venture, drawing inspiration from president Steven Salm’s late father, Arthur, for its throwback food and decor. Cocktails are the focus of the drinks programme, with 26 grouped into signature martinis, classics and Arthur’s originals. The menu takes a cue from classic American
restaurants, updating time-honoured dishes like matzo ball soup and lobster thermidor. Like the Chase’s other restaurants, one-quarter of the dishes at Arthur’s are plant-based, which means the steak tartare and veal chop are balanced by veggie-friendly options like mushroom pâté and PB eggplant parm with cashew mozzarella. The shrimp and avocado salad, a creamy avocado stacked with Fogo Island shrimp, cucumber, celery and chives, is impossible to eat without toppling over the presentation. If you want to add theatrics to your meal, the caesar salad and Dover sole are both prepared and served tableside. arthursrestaurant.ca
The Food District at Square One brings together some of the city's best food vendors and specialty shops.
OOD HALLS ARE having a moment in Toronto. Shoppers at Square One are now able to get a literal taste of this exciting, multivendor dining concept with the opening of The Food District. The Food District combines this popular food hall set-up with a classic food market for an innovative hybrid concept that allows visitors to enjoy both fresh and prepared fare in one space. The Food District offers 40,000 square feet of space dedicated to buying, eating and discovering local, handmade food. This imaginative concept features over 25 gourmet food vendors and specialty shops, all centered on The District Kitchen, an interactive space that hosts cooking
classes and other food-focused events. The Food District kicked things off with a media preview event in March. Guests were able to sample eats from the excellent vendors that all visitors can now enjoy with the concept's official launch. Dine on traditional Neapolitan pizza at MiDiCi or try Niagara’s best wines at The Wine Shop & Tasting Room. Elevate your home cooking by picking up Indian spice blends at Arvinda's or Kingston Olive Oil Co.'s fine cooking oils. Dozens of engaging food and drink experiences await you at The Food District. Plan your visit at shopfooddistrict.com ●
WIN A PRIZE PACKAGE FROM THE FOOD DISTRICT
To celebrate the opening of Square One’s new food concept, we’re giving away a $100 gift card to use in The Food District, giving you a chance to experience its offerings first-hand. The winner will also get a cooking class for two in The District Kitchen. For a full list of terms and conditions and to enter visit: foodism.to/ competition
From the new Canada Food Guide to 9 a.m. pick-me-ups, here’s the latest food news.
Canada’s Food Guide underwent its first major overhaul in a decade this year. Unrecognizable from the abstract rainbow or pyramid-shaped guides from the past, the new regime has done away with food groups all together. As well as killing jokes about bacon being its own food group, four recommendations are offered to help Canadians make healthier food choices – prioritize fruits and vegetables, eat highprotein food, choose whole grain and drink plenty of water.
SEAFÜD BÅLLS IKEA Canada is adding to their lineup of Swedish and veggie meatballs by introducing salmon balls to their café menu. These sustainably-sourced morsels are made with smaller cuts of salmon that cannot be used in fillets, which cuts down on food waste during production. The small nibbles are seasoned with seaweed and lemongrass, and come with seasonal side dishes like mashed potatoes and tomato spinach ragout. Now available nationwide for $6.99.
GRANDE GIVING After a successful pilot project with Toronto’s Second Harvest, Starbucks is now partnering with the charity in an effort to reduce food waste across Canada. The popular coffee franchise is committing to donate 100 per cent of their unsold, donatable food to Second Harvest to provide meals to those in need. Starbucks will ensure that the breakfast sandwiches, paninis, protein boxes and other perishable items stay in good condition while they make their way to the charity’s end users.
Photography: Brunch by Dulin
Toronto’s city councillors want mimosas, caesars and other alcoholic beverages to be served at 9 a.m. (instead of the current 11 a.m.) on weekends. Ontario’s serving hours are the latest in the country and compare unfavourably to provinces like New Brunswick where you can tie one on as early as 6 a.m. We’re just waiting on the go-ahead from the AGCO before the regulation change becomes legal.
Consciously eating a plant-first diet and shopping with a light touch are now de rigueur. From vegan restaurants to smoothies to groceries, these are your best bets.
HETHER YOU’RE LOOKING to eat more thoughtfully or have gone full vegan, options in Toronto have never been better. Suddenly, sustainably-focused and green eateries have broken out of their respective niches and into the mainstream.
Many Toronto chefs have moved on from an era of token veg items on the menu to give their food a vegan focus and some have even gone as far as opening entirely plant-based restaurants. So whether you’re on the hunt for faux meat or want to indulge in Indian brunch without the guilt, follow our vegetrails to planet-friendly goodness. We all lead hectic lives, but a full day
shouldn’t mean you neglect those inbetween eats. Smoothies are a great way to squeeze in a snack. We present our favourite places for a healthy slurry in a hurry. For those who want to scrub their own beets and only grill grass-fed beef, we’ve included our favourite forward-thinking vendors. Many are cutting back on packaging and keeping additives off their shelves. f
1. P LANTA BURGE R The menu at this burgers-and-shakes joint has no animal products but you won’t miss a meat – sorry, a beat. Planta Burger’s mushroom and lentil-based patties are loaded with plant-based toppings like avocado, pickled peppers,
red onions, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and a squirt of magic sauce. Milkshakes are a blend of oat ice cream and salted caramel, chocolate, strawberry or lemon almond milk. Planta Burger’s offerings could fool even the most carnivorous diners. plantarestaurants.com
3. APIE CALY PSE N OW! Recently, vegan pizza parlour Apiecalypse Now! added more than 10 new items to their menu of plantbased bites. The list itself is full of punny – and delicious – food items like their “pepperphony” pizza with tomato sauce, caraway seeds, vegan pepperoni and “notzzarella”. apiecalypsenow.com
2. HELLO123 Queen West’s neighbourhood health food spot specializes in plant-based bowls, sandwiches and interesting apps like their pulled pineapple sliders or watermelon ceviche. Served every day, Hello123’s brunch menu offers breakfast
bowls, avocado toast and vegan takes on breakfast classics like an omelette made from chickpeas and kale. Wash it all down with one of their freshsqueezed or cold-pressed juices. Find Hello123 on most delivery platforms. hello123forever.com
4. UDU PI PAL ACE Named for a town on the southwest coast of India known for its temples, Udupi Palace is a vegetarian spot that also offers vegan, gluten-free and nutfree options. Specializing in South Indian dishes, the menu has items like spongy idlies served with house-made sambhar and chutney. udupipalace.ca
GIVE PLANTS A CHANCE
These Toronto eateries drop the meat in favour of vegetarian eats without sacrificing flavour.
5. K ING’S CAF É While not entirely plant-based, this vegetarian spot in Kensington Market is known for its noodle soups and vegan versions of usually meaty meals. King’s Café’s vegan char siu, a Cantonese dish that usually showcases barbecued pork, has a surprisingly close texture to real meat and is packed with flavour.
Is it a drink? A meal? Vitamin delivery system? These are the city’s best cure-alls in a cup. 1. CA LI I LOVE This health food hub, inspired by both California and Hawaii, takes a different approach to food-to-go. With a menu organized by mood, it has something for everyone, whether you’re vegan, a chicken lover or dairy intolerant. After
you’ve taken one of their wellness classes at their King West location, try their vegan post-workout smoothie, “Limitless”, made with cold brew, raw cacao and bananas. It’s made with nut milk, perfect for anyone who is allergic to dairy or gluten. caliilove.com
3. L IQU ID NUT R IT I O N Spouses Chantal and Greg Chamandy created this hybrid retailer of fresh-pressed juices, vitamins and supplements. Their menu is organized into different categories to best suit what you’re looking for in a smoothie, whether it’s a superfoods shot or one packed with protein. liquidnutrition.com
4. B OLT F R E SH BA R
2. N UT BAR Owner Kate Taylor Martin takes a holistic approach to her healthy-first café. Located in both Summerhill and Assembly Chef’s Hall, most of their drinks are made with nutbar nutmilk, a custom blend of cashews, almonds
and coconut. Order their citrusy, orange smoothie made with superfoods like tumeric and ginger. Or for something simple and familiar, try the vanilla smoothie with an espresso shot. It’s like a healthier version of an ice capp made with chia seeds and cashews. nutbar.co
Just steps away from The Drake Hotel rests this snug juice bar on Queen West. Try a house-made smoothie like the Chocolate Thunder made with coconut milk, dark chocolate, gooey maple syrup and chia seeds. If you can’t make it there, get it delivered to you by UberEats. boltfreshbar.com
5. DE K E F IR Navigate your way through the PATH to the Bay Adelaide Centre to find this health-conscious fro-yo joint. Kefir is a fizzy, fermented dairy drink from Eastern Europe that Dekefir makes into frozen yogurt soft serve. Have yours with fresh, seasonal fruit or add house-made cereal for a parfait-style bowl. dekefir.ca
1. UNBOX ED MA RK ET Opened in February, this grocery store at Dundas and Dovercourt encourages customers to bring their own reusable containers for their groceries. Unboxed Market has a zero-waste ethos – produce, meat from the butcher
and dry goods are all sold without packaging. Their ready-made meals are served without single-use plastics and customers bring their own reusable mugs for coffee. Even liquids like soap and shampoo are sold in returnable glass bottles. unboxedmarket.com
3. BAR E M AR K ET This pop-up has body and household products sans single-use packaging. Reusable or recyclable vessels are used in some cases and a container-lending programme covers everything else. Bare Market’s lineup will soon include food and both an online store and permanent location are in the works. baremarket.ca
2. O RGANI C GARA GE With three locations across Toronto and two more on the outskirts of the city, Organic Garage specializes in healthy, organic and all-natural food products. Their “Dump It List” names specific ingredients you won’t find in their store
like certain artificial sweeteners, flavour enhancers and preservatives. The health food store has also made a commitment to sustainability with biodegradable plastic bags and partnerships that see produce and meat by-products recycled or reused. organicgarage.com
4. F R E SH C IT Y FA R M S At Downsview Park, Fresh City Farms grows organic produce on two acres of land and in a 3,000-square-foot, solarpowered greenhouse,which uses a raincatching system for irrigation. They have two stores in the west end and deliver their groceries, meal kits and prepared foods to your door. freshcityfarms.com
These Toronto grocers are adopting the low-packaging, ethics-first philosophy from farmers’ markets.
5. R OW E FAR M S With grocery items, pre-seasoned meat and ready-made meals, Rowe Farms is committed to local, organic and minimally processed food. Their animals are raised in humane conditions with a low-stress environment, a vegetarian diet and open access to food and water. rowefarms.ca
CHILIES: To add some kick to each roll, Que Ling serves a combination of sliced red and green chilies. Careful, they can be unforgiving.
Banh cuon is a popular breakfast in Northern Vietnam. When prepared fresh, something so simple can feel luxurious. At Que Ling in East Chinatown, itâ€™s been the signature dish for 20 years. 98
DIPPING SAUCE: No plate is complete without a bowl of sweet and tangy nuoc cham, a dipping sauce made with sugar, lime juice and fish sauce.
SHALLOTS: To add crunch to the velvety rice rolls, youâ€™ll find a thin layer of fried shallots which add texture and a tickle of sweetness.
RICE ROLLS: Banh cuon takes skill to prepare. Fermented rice batter is steamed in a cloth over boiling water to produce the silky and slightly transculent texture.
Que Ling. 248 Boulton Ave.
VIETNAMESE SAUSAGE: Que Ling serves a version of banh cuon known as banh cuon thit, with slices of housemade Vietnamese sausage to accompany the rice rolls.