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Please enjoy our wines responsibly. © 2019 Meiomi Wines, Acampo, CA


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.

TM

Plan your visit at TheRecRoom.com

EATS & ENTERTAINMENT


Please enjoy our wines responsibly.

FOLLOW THE AUDACIOUS HISTORY

THEAUDACITYWINE


EDITORIAL PUBLISHER

Krista Faist ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Katie Bridges

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

Taylor Newlands

PUBLISHER’S

Photography: Ian Dingle Art Direction: Matthew Hasteley and Annie Brooks

WORD

COPY EDITOR

David Ort

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Andrea Yu

CONTRIBUTORS

Jordan Kelly-Linden David Ort Renée Suen

DESIGN ART DIRECTOR

Matthew Hasteley CONTRIBUTING DESIGNERS

Abi Rhodes Gordon Alexander Emily Black Annie Brooks

STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHER

Kailee Mandel PHOTOGRAPHY

Sandro Pehar Sarah Pflug PRINTING

Solisco

CEO

Krista Faist ADVERTISING MANAGER

David Horvatin ADVERTISING

Nick Valsamis Spencer Reynolds MARKETING & PARTNERSHIPS COORDINATOR

Emily Buck

LEAD DEVELOPER

AJ Cerqueti CHAIRMAN

Tim Slee

I

t’s hard to believe that this is our third anniversary and the 19th . I still remember sending the very first one to issue of press in the wee hours of a cold September morning in 2016. I was working with a London colleague and because of the time difference, it meant a 3 a.m. wake up call for me (thankfully, for everyone involved, we do this all on local time now). It was terrifying, exhilarating and, when I held that first copy in my hands two weeks later, incredibly rewarding. I get the same buzz with every new issue that comes into the office – each time I’m more impressed by what our team here is producing. Of course, Toronto, you make it easy for us. The food scene here has not stopped growing since we launched and it’s only getting more interesting. The city’s craft beer and cocktail culture is also ’s expansion to booming. So we’re excited to announce include a dedicated section on all things drink. Profiles on local distillers, the latest booze news, cocktail recipes, non-alcoholic beverage launches and more, will begin to fill 24 additional pages in our next issue, out on streets Nov 26. In this issue, our team takes you through Coffee 101 to learn the basics (pg. 38), Andrea Yu speaks to women leading British Columbia’s wine movement, (pg. 50) and David Ort explores some of the smallest spaces in Toronto serving food and drink (pg. 44). Meanwhile, Taylor Newlands heads to P.E.I. (pg. 80) and Jordan Kelly-Linden visits an Italian winery playing a part in drug addiction rehabilitation (pg. 70). And for all the vino lovers, we’ve got our favourite picks for reds, whites and sparkling (pg. 82). – you’re old enough to drink and Congrats on 19 issues, you better believe we’re going to celebrate. f

GRAZE 012

THE FOODIST

014

DAYTRIPPER

016

THE RADAR

018

WHAT’S IN STORE

020

WEAPONS OF CHOICE

027

RECIPES

035

JESSIE WILKIN

FEAST 038

COFFEE 101

044

LITTLE SHOP OF HONOURS

050

WOMEN IN WINE

056

DINE LIKE A KING

062

COCKTAIL HOUR

EXCESS 070

Krista Faist CEO and Publisher foodismto

facebook.com/foodismto

@foodismto

IN VINO VITA

080

INSIDER

082

BOTTLE SERVICE

091

FOODISM’S FINEST

093

THE DIGEST

094

THE SELECTOR

098

DECONSTRUCT

© Foodism Toronto 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Foodism Toronto cannot accept responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Foodism Toronto a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine. All material is sent at your own risk and although every care is taken, neither Foodism Toronto nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be held liable resulting for loss or damage. Foodism Toronto endeavours to respect the intellectual property of the owners of copyrighted material reproduced herein. If you identify yourself as the copyright holder of material we have wrongly attributed, please contact the office.

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Slow-cooked. Well-seasoned. A bluegrass original. Kentucky Burgoo: It’s more than just a stew.

KentuckyTourism.com


— PART 1 —

GRAZE “IT WILL NEVER REPLACE TEA, BUT THERE’S SOMETHING ROMANTIC ABOUT GETTING COFFEE” THE FOODIST, 012

012 THE FOODIST | 014 DAYTRIPPER | 016 THE RADAR | 018 WHAT’S IN STORE 020 WEAPONS OF CHOICE | 027 RECIPES | 035 JESSIE WILKIN


CONSCIOUS CUP

Get a feel-good boost to complement your caffeine kick with these locally roasted, ethically sourced beans.

1. BAL Z AC’S L AS R OSAS AM B E R R OAST

THE FOODIST

Katie Bridges retracts her pinky finger and puts the saucers away as she jumps from tea to coffee.

T

HERE ARE PLENTY of stereotypes that don’t check out, but one British cliché validated time and time again is the island’s penchant for a cup of tea. So much so, in fact, that uttering the well-worn phrase, “I’ll put the kettle on” is appropriate shorthand as a greeting, celebration or consolation for us verbally stunted Britons. Unfortunately, for my cuppa-loving soul, no amount of tea swilling seemed adequate when I reached adulthood and joined the world of work. Office peers, who shooed coworkers away before 10:30 a.m. while sipping bleary-eyed from mugs that bore slogans like 'But first, coffee,' gave a clear signal that this was grown-up juice. I vowed to pivot my caffeination away from tea and join the league of coffee-addicted TV icons like the fast-talking Gilmore Girls. Like all bad habits, I needed a gateway drug. While a caramel latte seemed like an innocuous choice, with sufficient sweetness to mask the bitter taste my palate hadn’t quite adjusted to, I felt guilty about such a saccharine beverage so early in the day.

12

However, it was enough to whet my appetite and launch my java journey. Through extensive research (and the subsequent jitters), I slowly but surely found the perfect coffee-to-milk ratio. While espresso and macchiato were too strong for my taste buds, the excess of foam and sprinkles in drinks at the other end of the spectrum, like mocha and cappuccino, were too froufrou. My process of trial and error eventually brought me to flat whites and cortados, with just the right balance of steamed milk and espresso. Before long, I had purchased a French press and could not start my weekend without an aromatic cup of freshly brewed local coffee, which, as I informed anyone who would listen, was Fair-Trade, organic and, well, better than yours. While it will never replace tea for me, there’s something romantic about getting coffee. I might not be able to solve the world’s greatest problems by firing up the espresso machine but I can at least find solace in a deep, dark cup of the good stuff. f

This amber roast shows notes of dark chocolate, brown sugar and pomegranate. Best of all, it’s grown, picked and processed by women from the Las Rosas Women’s Group in Colombia. In a partnership with the gender equality group and the Quebecbased roasting consultants RGC Coffee, Balzac’s has been able to support 400 female coffee farmers. balzacs.com

2. M U SKOK A R OAST E RY’S AK I OR GANIC B L E ND Meaning “earth” in Ojibway, Aki is a Rainforest Alliance Certified organic blend that honours the Indigenous peoples of the Muskoka region. It brews a sweet, medium-bodied coffee with hints of honey. The blend was created in partnership with noted Ojibway artist Jim Oskineegish and the Parry Sound Friendship Centre. muskokaroastery.com

3. BAR OC C O’S ALTO M E DIU M R OAST Barocco Coffee Company buys their most popular beans via direct trade – right from the growers themselves rather than from a third party. Their award-winning Alto medium roast is a blend of 100 per cent arabica beans. Full-bodied and nutty with notes of dried fruit, caramelized sugar and chamomile, Alto shines as an espresso, but also works very well for pour-overs. baroccocoffee.com


DAY TRIPPER With an up-andcoming food scene, Cambridge is getting its time in the sun.

What's the Vibe? For a long time Cambridge has been relatively quiet, often overshadowed by its tri-city neighbours, Kitchener and Waterloo. But this up-and-coming, scenic city is having a moment. Cambridge's three distinct areas are Hespeler, Preston and the happening Galt. If you’ve watched The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll recognize the beautiful Grand River waterfront and charming, historic buildings of downtown Galt.

SWISH DISH

Cambridge is home to its fair share of upscale eateries. It's the perfect place to enjoy waterfront views, historic limestone buildings and a hint of European charm with high-end cuisine. Start with these dependable staples.

1 Langdon Hall Iron Chef winner Jason Bangerter is behind the hyperseasonal, farmto-table menu in the dining room of this country house hotel. Spring for the chef’s tasting menu to get the full experience, or just grab a cocktail at Wilks’ Bar and stroll the grounds. langdonhall.ca

3

The GO bus that runs from Square One to the University of Waterloo stops in at the Cambridge Smart Centre. By car, it’s a straight shot west on the 401 to Cambridge. Get off at Highway 24 and head south until you reach the city. The whole trip is about an hour and a half from downtown Toronto. f

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2

OUT OF THE BREW

4

3 Monigram Coffee Run by husbandand-wife duo Monica and Graham Braun, this fair-trade coffee spot specializes in quality roasting techniques and thoughtfully sourced beans. Both of their downtown Galt locations also serve espresso drinks. monigram.ca

4 Rhythm & Brews Relatively new to the Cambridge scene, this craft brewery is outfitted with a taproom where you can try brews like their cherry-lime gose or white stout with coffee, cocoa, coconut and pandan. It also has a stage for live music. rhythmandbrews.ca

Photography: Monigram by Alex Ortega

Getting There

2 The Cambridge Mill One of the most luxurious options in the area, the Mill offers beautiful waterfront views and a chophouse menu. Housed in one of the oldest buildings in the city, this Cambridge institution is known for its Sunday roast and Sunday brunch buffet. cambridgemill.ca

There's something cool brewing in Cambridge – from boutique coffee shops to the diversifying list of new craft breweries. Start sipping your way through the city next to in-the-know locals at these favourite hangouts.

Don't Miss Before getting your nosh on, be sure to walk some of Cambridge’s trails, or head out on the Grand River for canoeing or kayaking. In downtown Galt, the Cambridge Farmers’ Market has been running since 1830 and is a must-visit. If you’re looking to while away an afternoon, grab a table at the Old Marina on Puslinch Lake, and take in the view of Justin Bieber’s latest real estate purchase.

1


WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN Named for the building that was once located on this site, Table Rock House Restaurant presents visitors with an entirely unique dining experience. Recalling the history of the destination, discover dynamic local food stories through expertly crafted menus, featuring VQA wines that pair the untamed tastes of Ontario. And it’s all with a side of one of the world’s most unrivalled views. VISIT NIAGARAPARKS.COM/CULINARY TO LEARN MORE


FOLLOW

FOODISMTO

THE RADAR Rocking restaurants, new brews and intimate eateries are among the city’s latest openings. CAS S AVEN UE Yonge and Eglinton might not be known for anything but construction right now, but underneath the dust and debris, new restaurants are popping up. At the end of the summer, Eglinton East spot Cass Avenue opened its double garage-style doors for business. Named after the street where Jack White’s record label lives, the snack bar is all about Detroit Rock City vibes. The menu from Vittorio Colacitti (the Good Son), is all snackable bites and share plates, divided up into $5, $10 and “baller” sections. Kick things off with shishito peppers in tajin and lime, Caesar bites and Korean fried cauliflower. The pièce de résistance is their 30-day dry aged 16oz ribeye steak, cooked to perfection and sliced for sharing (but we won’t judge if you tackle it on your own). cassavenue.restaurant

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FAVOR I T ES T HAI B B Q

BAR POET The bright, twinkly lights of this foliage filled indoor patio might be the biggest draw at Bar Poet, but there are plenty more reasons to visit the Queen and Dovercourt spot. The bar – located in an old Slavic church which previously housed Church Aperitivo Bar – has traded religious vibes for a menu of $10 pizzas, red and white wine on tap and Skee-Ball machines for good measure. @barpoetbar

T HE F OU RT H M AN IN T HE F IR E Not content with making some of the city’s most popular patties, Shant Mardirosian, the man behind Burger’s Priest, has seen the light and pivoted towards one of our other favourite fast foods – pizza. The Fourth Man in the Fire pizzeria opened in the former Campagnolo eatery and will be a cashless operation, so be sure to bring your Margherita money. thefourthmaninthefirepizzeria.com

If fermented meat and Thai BBQ sound like a match made in heaven, this new collab from the people behind Khao San Road and Paris Paris should definitely be on your foodie bucket list. Head to Ossington for dishes like P.E.I. scallop curry, beef short rib soup and red curry duck sausage, with top wines from beverage manager Krysta Oben to match. myfavethai.com

DASHA On the ground floor of the brand-new King and Portland Centre comes the second spot from chef Akira Back, who brought his blend of Korean and Japanese food to his eponymous restaurant inside the Bisha Hotel last year. The 9,000-squarefoot modern Chinese eatery will feature a spiral staircase, a private dining room and karaoke rooms, all decorated with Chinese architecture to match the cuisine. dashatoronto.com

E ST

B E AC H ES B R EW I N G C O.

Executive chef Sean Macdonald (Hexagon) and chef de cuisine Reece MacIsaac are bringing some of the city's most beautifully plated, home-grown dishes to Riverdale. For an extremely reasonable $90, guests can enjoy a tasting menu, in which every dish has a story – or upgrade to a thoughtful wine pairing with each course. The intimate space seats only 30 people at a time and features a range of dishes from elevated prawn hotdogs all the way up to dry-aged duck breast. estrestaurant.ca

You might recognize Beaches Brewing Co. from their A-Bay pale ale on LCBO shelves, but now there’s a permanent spot to imbibe their brews. Open this fall, the new location includes both a bottle shop and restaurant. The beachy menu combines California fusion with brewpub classics. beachesbrewing.com


Celebrate the Season with Balderson

World’s finest aged cheddar Trademarks owned or used under license by Parmalat Canada, Toronto, Ontario, M9C 5J1. Š Parmalat Canada, 2019. All rights reserved.


FLOUR POWER

Mill

WHAT’S IN STORE Andrea Yu heads to Brodflour, a flour miller and bakery, to learn about its grain-to-loaf approach.

D

ARA GALLINGER WAS puzzled as to why so many gluten-sensitive folks in Toronto can enjoy pasta and bread in Europe without any issues. After touring bakeries in both North America and Europe, she found the missing link – European bakers work closely with their flour millers. “The first thing they talked about was their relationship with the person milling their flour and the traceability of the grain,” she says. Gallinger brought this idea home with her to launch Brodflour in early 2019. Swedish baker Robert Edberg helped design the bakery’s Scandinavian-inspired recipes and techniques, which produce a very moist and sticky loaf. Using grains sourced from organic farmers in Manitoba and Peterborough, Brodflour mills flour on-site for its fresh seeded sourdoughs and challah loaves, along with a popular rotating menu of Scandinavian rye bread like a dark and sweet loaf with molasses and caraway. The bakery also offers toasts and open-face sandwiches for lunch alongside traditional pastries like

18

cinnamon rolls, brownies and cookies. Gallinger says that unlike commercial options, freshly milled flour brings out the unique geographical characteristics of each type of wheat. “There's a terroir associated with these grains,” she says. “The same way you talk about wine or coffee, we can now talk about bread or flour. We’re introducing people to how dynamic and diverse grains are and I find that really exciting.” Bread, and carbs in general, may have fallen out of favour in recent years. But with Brodflour’s approach, Gallinger hopes to reintroduce customers to the idea of bread as local food from grain to loaf. “We've seen this resurgence of good, whole foods in categories like meat, produce, dairy and cheese, but it hasn't touched bread, grains and flour, for some reason,” she says. “I think it's timely. We’re getting people back to bread.” While she can’t give the green light on her products to those with celiac disease, folks with sensitivities may find themselves delightfully surprised by Brodflour’s goods. f

When she was unable to find a source for fresh-milled flour in Toronto, Gallinger purchased her own stone mill from Vermont to mill grains on-site. She sources her grains from organic, sustainably minded farmers in Manitoba and Peterborough, seeking out unusual and ancient Canadian grains like red fife, einkorn and emmer along with hard wheat, rye and spelt.

Flour

Commercial flour processors remove the germ and bran layers of wheat that are nutritious but spoil quickly. In contrast, freshly milled whole wheat flour is wet, sticky and oily. Since fresh flour becomes less nutritious within two weeks, Brodflour uses theirs within a day or two.

Restaurants

While Brodflour supplies fresh loaves to restaurants and grocers like Rodney’s Oyster House, Dreyfus and Unboxed Market, their flour is also a popular ingredient for Toronto chefs. The bakery's freshly milled flour gets taken to Buca, Ufficio and Giulietta for pasta and pizza doughs.


BL ACK FRIDAY SUPER S A LE N o v emb er 2 8 t h to D e cemb er 4 t h

AVAIL A BL E AT T HE LCBO AND LCBO.COM #104299


WEAPONS OF CHOICE Make breakfast a breeze with these early morning equipment essentials. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAILEE MANDEL

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ESPRE SSO YO URSE LF NESPRESSO DELONGHI LATTISSIMA TOUCH

Brew layered espresso beverages like cappuccinos and latte macchiatos with a rich and delicate foam that would make your local barista proud. $549, nespresso.com

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WAF F L EY DE L IC IOUS ALL-CLAD BELGIAN WAFFLE MAKER

A steam release function and deep pocket design pops out topping-friendly waffles with a fluffy interior and a crispy shell. $259.95, williams-sonoma.ca

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A TOAST TO B RE A K FAST SMEG 4-SLICE TOASTER

Extra-wide, bagel-friendly slots on this retro toaster feature self-centering racks that hold slices in place for perfect browning. $299.99, thebay.com

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B L E ND R IG HT IN PHILIPS HIGH-SPEED POWER BLENDER

Using 1,800 watts of power at speeds of up to 35,000 RPM, this blender makes easy work of your morning smoothies, leaving no stems or seeds behind. $492.56, amazon.ca

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Relax Responsibly

NEW FROM LAKEVIEW CELLARS

GOLD A LL C A N ADI A N W I NE C H A M P IONS H I P S

 2 019

What’s your Serenity? Whether it’s in the form of a night at home with friends or a quiet moment with someone special, you deserve some serenity. In the VQA section at the LCBO.

For a limited time, $2 off Baco Noir, $14.95 at the LCBO until October 12, 2019. #688556 Sauvignon Blanc $16.95 #688549


the finish is just the beginning

FI NISH ED I N AGED W HISKY BA R R ELS R ICH ER. DEEPER. SMOOTH ER.


Recipes

FROM FARM TO FALL TABLE Modern Jewish cuisine and seasonal comfort favourites from Amy Rosen and Marcella DiLonardo bring the best of the season's produce to your plate.

W

E LOVE COOKING and baking all year round, but our go-to recipes seem to come alive all the more in the autumn season. Farm-fresh harvests burst with bright flavours while trips to the farmers’ market inspire us to incorporate unexpected ingredients into our cooking. This autumn, we’re finding inspiration from two new cookbooks. In Bake the Seasons ($32, chapters.indigo.ca), by Marcella DiLonardo, the Niagara-region recipe developer and food stylist brings us simple yet delicious dishes inspired by local, seasonal ingredients. Her recipes are honest

and unfussy – they work well in weeknight meals and dinners to impress guests. For Kosher Style ($35, chapters.indigo.ca), Toronto food personality, bakery owner and journalist Amy Rosen brings us recipes to help us channel our inner bubbe. Her recipes may be firmly rooted in Jewish tradition, but these hearty creations effortlessly cross cultures to find a well-deserved place on any modern kitchen table. Ready to get started? Brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee (or, better still, crack open a fine bottle of wine) and dig into these hearty, harvest recipes that were made for sharing. f

FOLLOW

FOODISMTO

F O O DISM RE CIPE S, IN ASSOC IAT ION W IT H J AC OB’S C R E E K With a tradition of Australian winemaking spanning over 170 years, the Jacob’s Creek portfolio reflects a time-honoured dedication to making great quality wines. From its first crop of vines in the Barossa Valley in 1847, generations of winemakers at Jacob’s Creek have maintained a principle of creating excellent wines that speak to the grape. Of

note is Jacob’s Creek’s Reserve range which draws from grape varietals grown in two legendary South Australian regions – the Limestone Coast and Adelaide Hills. Their premium Reserve selections have garnered over 1,500 awards. Fans of Jacob’s Creek know and trust their entire portfolio of wines to express the unique terroir of Australia.

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Marcella DiLonardo’s

BUTTERNUT SQUASH M AC ‘N’ CHEESE Mac 'n' cheese is the universal comfort food. This version has roasted butternut squash, a fall staple.

I N GREDI EN TS inch pieces) butternut squash

◆ 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil ◆ Salt and pepper

◆ 1lb elbow macaroni

◆ 8 Tbsp unsalted butter,

divided

◆ ¼ cup all-purpose flour ◆ 2 cloves garlic, grated ◆ ¼ tsp nutmeg

◆ 2 cups whole milk

◆ 1 cup heavy cream ◆ 2 bay leaves

◆ 2 cups grated aged cheddar

cheese, divided

◆ 1½ cups grated Gruyère

cheese

◆ ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs ◆ 1 tsp fresh thyme, roughly

chopped

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Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay

A full-bodied pour with apple, oak spice and pear flavours. LCBO #270017

Method

◆ 2 cups peeled and cubed (½-

PAIR THIS

1 Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. 2 On the baking sheet, toss the squash with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender. Remove from the oven. Increase the temperature to 375 F. 3 Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and set aside. 4 In a large saucepan over low heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for an additional minute. Add the milk, cream and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. 5 Add 1½ cups of the cheddar and the Gruyère and stir until melted. Add the cooked macaroni and roasted squash; stir to combine. Transfer to a 9- x 12-inch baking dish. 6 For the breadcrumb topping, in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Stir in the panko and thyme. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheddar evenly over the macaroni, followed by the pankoand-butter mixture. 7 Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown and the cheese bubbles. f


Marcella DiLonardo’s

SWEET POTATO AND CHORIZO EMPANADAS Sweet potatoes might not be an obvious empanada filling but they add a touch of autumn to a comfortable favourite.

ING R E DIE NTS ◆ 1½ cups all-purpose flour

◆ 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh

sage

◆ 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar ◆ 1 Tbsp baking powder ◆ 1 tsp fine salt

◆ ½ cup unsalted butter, cold

and cubed

◆ 1 cup mashed sweet potato,

cooled completely

◆ ½ cup whole milk

◆ 1 egg, whisked, for egg wash

PAIR THIS

Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz

Expect aromas of mulberry, chocolate and clove enhanced by cedar and vanilla. LCBO #665471.

Method

1 To make the empanada dough, in a large mixing bowl sift together the flour and salt. Add the butter and shortening. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work in the butter and shortening until the mixture forms pea-sized crumbs. Work in the milk one tablespoon at a time until the dough begins to come together. 2 Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape it into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 3 To make the sweet potato and sausage filling, in a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the

sausage and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the sausage into smaller pieces, until fully cooked and browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a small bowl. 4 Add the garlic, onion, sweet potato, sage and cumin to the fat in the pan, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent and the sweet potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Return the sausage to the pan and cook for an additional minute. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. 5 Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 6 On a heavily floured surface, roll

out the chilled dough into a ¼-inchthick circle. Using a 4-inch cookie cutter, cut out 15 rounds. 7 Spoon one tablespoon filling onto the centre of each round. Brush the edges with egg wash, fold each dough round in half and press together the edges to seal. Working your way from one end of the edge to the other, twist and curl down the dough, pinching together as you go. Brush the top with egg wash and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling. 8 Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the dough is cooked through and the tops are golden brown. Serve warm. f

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$

3 OFF

PAIR THIS

Jacob's Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

A bold, full-bodied wine with intense flavours of cassis and dark berries, a touch of cedar and tight, soft tannins. LCBO #91751

Amy Rosen’s

OCT. 13TH - NOV. 9TH, 2019 AT PA RT IC I PAT I NG L O C AT IONS

MAPLE SOY BRISKET A few ingredient substitutions put a cross-cultural spin on a holiday entertaining classic. 30


$

3 OFF

ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 1 cup pure maple syrup ◆◆ ½ cup soy sauce

◆◆ ½ cup apricot preserves

◆◆ 1 pouch (about 1 oz) onion

soup mix

◆◆ ½ cup tomato sauce ◆◆ 1 (5 lb) beef brisket ◆◆ Pepper to taste

Method

1 In a small bowl, mix together the syrup, soy sauce, apricot preserves, onion soup mix, tomato sauce and pepper. Place the brisket in a roasting pan and pour the marinade overtop. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. If you don’t have that much time, several hours will do in a pinch. 2 When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 325 F. Cook the brisket, still covered with foil, for 3 hours. Remove the foil and cook, uncovered, for an

additional 30 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate so it's easier to slice. 3 When the brisket is cold, skim and discard the fat with a spoon. Remove the brisket from the sauce and slice thinly against the grain. Add it back into the pan with the sauce. 4 About 1 hour before you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the brisket in the oven and reheat, uncovered, for 20–30 minutes, spooning the sauce over top a few times. Serve at once. f

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OCT. 13TH - NOV. 9TH, 2019 AT PA RT IC I PAT I NG L O C AT IONS


Amy Rosen’s

WILDFLOWERHONEY CAKE Wildflower honey and warm, aromatic spices give this cake a seasonally appropriate accent. It will be entirely at-home for any dinner party. Method

1 Remove the top oven rack so that the cake will have room to rise. Preheat the oven to 325 F and spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray. 2 In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. 3 Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, then add the sugar. Continue beating until thicker and lighter in colour, about 2–3 minutes. Add the oil, honey and coffee, blend well, then slowly add in the dry ingredients. Beat until smooth, then stir in the almonds. 4 Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle with 1–2 tablespoons honey and sprinkle with edible flowers (if using). Slice and serve. f

I N GREDI EN TS ◆ 3½ cups flour

◆ ¼ tsp sea salt

◆ 1½ tsp baking powder ◆ 1 tsp baking soda

◆ 1 tsp ground cinnamon ◆ ¼ tsp nutmeg ◆ 4 eggs

◆ ¾ cup sugar

◆ ½ cup vegetable oil

◆ 1¾ cups wildflower honey,

plus extra for drizzling

◆ ½ cup strong coffee, cooled ◆ 1 cup blanched sliced

almonds, toasted ◆ Edible flowers, for garnish

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PAIR THIS

Jacob's Creek Pinot Grigio

A lively pour with notes of white stone fruit, peaches and toasted cashew. LCBO #633578


CRAFTED IN AGED WHISKY BARRELS

RICHER. SOFTER. SMOOTHER.


IT WAS ALL ABOUT TIMING AND RESPECT Wagstaff Drive. Toronto’s coffee scene was growing by leaps and bounds and we were trying to keep up with it.

On the secret to success I honestly believe the key to our success has been our dedication to the core ethos. We started in this business believing that how we source our product, fair wages and transparency are critical to our core values. We’ve stuck to that while growing, which definitely is no easy feat.

BREWED ATTITUDE trying to push the envelope.

It’s hard to classify what the modern Toronto coffee palate is but I can say that it's equal parts educated and curious. We find that consumers are driving a lot of the conversation about what they want to see with Pilot, whether it’s where we are sourcing our beans from or new products, like cold brew. The industry, coffee professionals and baristas are also the ambassadors for Toronto coffee culture and we try to learn from them. It is really impressive and exciting how far we’ve come in a short amount of time. Today there’s great coffee to be had in nearly every corner of the city. Back then, a niche crowd took interest in specialty coffee, but now you can say most people in the city appreciate it.

On piloting the way

On the future

When we saw the reaction to specialty coffee, we had a hard time keeping up with the demand. We opened a second location in the city’s west end a few years later. Within four years we rebranded to become Pilot Coffee Roasters. Te Aro is a special place, it’s our first baby, so we kept it the way it is, but all of our new locations adopted the signature new look, the yellow aesthetics and the wood highlights. We also had to move our micro-roasting operations out of Te Aro to a new production facility in the east end on

We’re finding that there’s more interest in portable coffee products like the canned cold brew coffee and latte products we create. It gives the drinker the chance to have that café experience at home. Recently, we launched the single-serve coffee product, which resembles a tea bag and allows you to enjoy great coffee when you’re travelling. It’s convenience without sacrificing any quality in your cup. I think it’s easy to assume that steeped coffee is always bad. Our challenge has been to prove otherwise. f

Pilot Coffee’s co-founder Jessie Wilkin celebrates how much Toronto’s coffee culture has grown in a decade. On then and now When we opened our first coffee shop Te Aro in Leslieville, Toronto was still getting used to the idea of really good coffee. At least that’s my humble impression. Even if you put aside the coffee chains that have dominated the Canadian landscape for decades, it just didn’t seem like there was any movement or interest in things like direct trade, specialty coffee beans or other forms of coffee drinking. But we knew that we were onto something because the crowd followed us very quickly. This momentum is what helped us grow very quickly. For Pilot, it was all about timing and treating customers with respect while really

On Toronto’s modern palate

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— PART 2 —

FEAST “LIKE WINE, COFFEE HAS DIFFERENT FLAVOUR PROFILES” HAVA JAVA, 038

038 COFFEE 101 | 044 LITTLE SHOP OF HONOURS 050 WOMEN IN WINE | 056 DINE LIKE A KING | 062 COCKTAIL HOUR


COFFEE 101: HAVA JAVA We’ve packed together all the lingo, tips, geography and tasting notes you’ll need to better appreciate this beloved beverage.

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E COULDN’T GET through most days without a cup (or six) of coffee – but how much do we really know about the delicious, brown nectar of the gods? You probably have your go-to order memorized, but you might not know your macchiato from your mocha, your Arabian from your African coffee, or what exactly goes into your rocket fuel. We’re here to demystify your java journey and maybe even give you a lightbulb moment akin to the caffeine kicking

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in with that first cup of the day. Like wine, coffee is a complex beverage that’s very much a product of its terroir. That’s what makes Ethiopian beans taste completely different from Colombian ones. Technique means one bag of coffee brewed in two ways can offer different experiences for the drinker. The result is that no two cups are truly the same and even the most seasoned coffee drinkers have plenty to explore. We chatted with local coffee experts and outlined the bean basics to whisk you through the fundamentals faster than you can say triple, venti, soy, no-foam latte.


GLOSSARY

Confused about all that java jargon? We decode the coffee confusion. Arabica

The world’s most popular coffee variety. Indigenous to the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia, it has a softer, sweeter taste.

Aroma

The fragrance of brewed coffee. This is one of the principal characteristics that drinkers use to evaluate coffee.

Cold brew

Coffee made by steeping grounds in cold-temperature water for an extended period of time.

Cupping

The hot-beverage equivalent of a wine tasting, which judges the quality, flavour and aroma of coffee.

Drip

The process of making coffee by letting boiling water drip through fine grounds. No pressure is used.

Espresso

A type of coffee invented in Italy, brewed by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee beans.

Froth

Milk aerated with hot steam that’s used to top espresso drinks like cappuccinos, cortados and lattes.

Mocha

A small, acidic coffee bean introduced to Europe and the world by Marco Polo.

Pour-over

A coffee brewed for a single cup that’s made by pouring hot water over a filter with coffee grounds.

Roast

The degree to which coffee beans are roasted, affecting their colour from light to dark. Darker roast beans have less caffeine than lighter ones.

Robusta

Used in instant coffee and espresso. A harsher, bitter taste with more caffeine and less sugar than arabica.

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COUNTRIES

Stamp your breakfast’s passport with well-travelled coffee beans. Kenya

This is one of the most bountiful growing regions on the globe. Coffee in Kenya is planted at a high elevation in the volcanic soils around the base of Mount Kenya, south of Nairobi and on the hills of Mount Elgon near the border with Uganda. Colder conditions mean plants grow slowly but produce a more flavourful end product as a result. Beans are wet-processed for a clean taste and a bright, almost wine-like acidity. Expect a fuller-bodied brew with notes of berry, citrus and a fragrant, floral aroma.

Guatemala

The high altitudes, consistent rainfall and mineral-rich soils of this Central American country are excellent coffee-growing conditions, especially in the valley of Antigua which is surrounded by three volcanoes. While rain in this particular region is low, volcanoes have produced soils rich in pumice, which helps coffee plants retain moisture. In Antigua, ample sunshine and cool nights produce coffee beans with a medium-tofull body, spicy flavour and velvety, almost chocolatelike character. The Coban and Huehuetenango regions of Guatemala are also known for their beans.

Colombia

Known as one of the best specialty coffee-producing regions on the globe, Colombia’s mountains, steep ridges and rich biodiversity produce world-renowned coffee. The heat that accumulates in lower-lying zones rises in the night to help balance the colder climate of higher mountain elevations. Mules are still used to help transport harvested coffee beans over rugged terrain.

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TASTING

Jack Aldous, resident bean-slinger of the coffee truck Jacked Up, guides us on a java-tasting journey. Coffee characteristics

Just like wine, coffee has different flavour profiles depending on the region, how it’s harvested and whether it’s natural or washed. And there are a few different stages in between. What method you’re using to brew also makes a difference. If you’re having it at home in a French press or if you’re making espresso-based drinks, that can vary the flavour profiles.

Brazilian beans

Coffees from Brazil tend to be on the chocolatey side and have a nutty flavour that’s really approachable. That’s why coffee roasters often use Brazillian beans for their espresso. At Jacked Up, we use a singleorigin Brazil because it works well both as


GLOBAL CUPS

Coffee is one of the most universal drinks – even if the method varies.

Turkish coffee

Medium-roasted beans are finely ground and simmered in hot water in a jezve, a small steel pot with a long handle. The coffee is then poured, grounds and all, into a small cup. Let it settle before drinking. Try it at Istanbul Café, 174 Eglinton Ave. E.

Affogato

Because all things are better with ice cream, this Italian treat pairs a scoop of gelato, typically vanilla, with a hot double shot of espresso poured over top. This drink’s name comes from the Italian word affogare, which means “to drown.” Try it at Bluestone Lane, 2 Queen St. E.

Vietnamese drip coffee an espresso and in milk-based drinks. There’s this misconception that espresso beans are just for espresso, and filter is for everything else. But it’s the same bean, it’s just roasted for a particular method.

Low-hanging fruit

I love coffees from East Africa because they tend to be more on the adventurous scale. They might have notes of red cherry, blueberries or strawberries. But some of these coffees are so bright and fruity that, as a filter or pour over they’re funky and cool, but they might not work as well in milk-based espresso drinks.

Sweet talk

Coffee beans are actually the seeds of fruit – the coffee cherry. With naturally processed coffee (as opposed to washed), the farmers leave some of the fruit intact when they pick the cherries. During the

drying process, the seeds soak up all the juices and the sweetness from the fruit. By the time they finally get stripped of their fruit, the seeds have soaked up so much sweetness, that after the coffee is roasted, it can taste like blueberry cheesecake. And it’s funny to talk about it that way because a lot of people don’t think about coffee tasting like a fruit pie, but it can.

LIKE WINE, COFFEE HAS DIFFERENT FLAVOUR PROFILES

–Jack Aldous, Jacked Up Coffee barista

To make this Vietnamese speciality, hot water is poured through coarsely ground coffee in a French drip filter positioned on top of a glass or mug. It’s traditionally served with sweet, condensed milk. Try it at Coffee Dak Lak, 283 College St.

Ethiopian coffee ceremony

Fresh green beans are roasted in a pan then ground and brewed in a clay pot (called a jebena) with hot water. It’s poured at a height into small, handle-less cups and presented with burning incense. Try it at Buna Coffee, 1176 Queen St. W.

Cuban espresso

A few spoons of coffee are stirred vigorously with a spoonful of sugar until a froth develops. The rest of the coffee is poured over top and the foam rises. Try it at the Little Havana Café truck, @littlehavanacafe.

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HOME BREWING TIPS

Gabriel Navarro, founder of the coffee consulting firm Napoleon’s Hat, gives us an overview on how to make coffee at home that your barista would be proud of. Palate

I am half-Mexican, half-Italian so I like a bright and fruity coffee, but everyone’s palate is completely different. So pick one that you really enjoy. Within specialty coffee, I recommend trying something that’s a bit different.

Method

The method I enjoy the most is the Kalita Wave – it looks like a pour-over but the bottom is flat. This evens out the odds with all the water, meaning that you’re brewing everything.

ORDERING 101

Filter

White filters are my preference and some companies are coming out with compostable ones. I recommend wetting your filter so it’s ready to go. Coffee has oils that will get stuck on the paper – wetting it ensures that the oil mixes with everything else and goes through.

Dial in the coffee convo you need to get the perfect cup of joe on the go.

Beans

I like to age my beans for 7 to 10 days. Freshly roasted coffee is still degassing so I rest it to give it a little bit of time to prep and avoid foaming. Leave your coffee in a dry space and don’t store it in the freezer because it creates water that mixes with the oil.

Grinds

Grinding is very important, but how you grind it depends on whether you’re making espresso or filter coffee. I use a coarser grind for pour-over coffee. If your grounds are too big, the water is not going to find a lot of resistance, but if it’s too fine the water will over-extract your coffee.

Water

If I was being picky, I’d use alkaline water. It plays one of the most important roles in coffee. If you want your coffee to be more sweet, you can use a special filtration system to remove the zinc or add magnesium.

IF I WAS BEING PICKY, I’D USE ALKALINE WATER

– Gabriel Navarro, Napoleon’s Hat

We’ve all heard one of those orders – the barista calls out a string of words that seemingly have no meaning, and some mysterious stranger steps forward to claim this concoction. But cracking the coffee code isn’t as tough as it seems. The thing to remember when you’re classifying espresso-based beverages is that it’s all about the milk. A latte (shortened from the Italian ‘caffè e latte’ or ‘milk coffee’) is an espresso with lots of steamed milk and a little foam. It can be a popular drink for those uninitiated into the world of espresso, since it mostly tastes of warm milk and hides the stronger flavours. The next step up is a flat white, a similar drink but with less milk and less foam.

Temperature

On the opposite end of the spectrum, an americano does away with the white stuff all together, instead using hot water to dilute the espresso. It has the consistency of drip coffee, but the flavour profile of espresso.

Measurement

The cappuccino is the frothiest of the bunch, with equal parts foamed and steamed milk. For just a small amount of steamed milk foam on top of your espresso, go for a macchiato.

If you go above boiling, you burn the bean. Once it boils, put the water to one side, and wait until it cools to 180-190 F.

It all depends on where the coffee is from, but my sweet spot is a ratio of 1:15. For every gram of coffee, that’s about 15 ml water.

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When in doubt, ask your barista. They can recommend the perfect espresso drink for you.


LO N CA EW TI O N

specialty coffee & expert baristas

PCR BAY + BLOOR NOW OPEN For a list of all our locations visit pilotcoffeeroasters.com


LITTLE SHOP OF HONOURS

Who says bigger is better? David Ort talks to the oneman bands and smaller operations that turn scaling down restaurants into an art form. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SANDRO PEHAR

F

ROM THEIR FIRST day on a hot kitchen line or working their way through the early basics at culinary school, most professional cooks entertain the big dream of owning their own restaurant. Add bartenders and baristas to the mix and you have a lot of potential establishments on the proverbial drawing board. By the time many get off the ground, they’ve taken on investors and bank loan officers who are more concerned with return per square foot than sticking to a certain

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ethos or perfectionist level of quality. Having learned from peers who see their dreams burdened with bloat, or because they fall in love with a tiny space, or for a long list of other interesting reasons, many restaurateurs in Toronto are sticking to a smaller footprint. When their family craft beer bar, Bar Volo, had to move out of its decades-old home to make way for a condo, the Moranas scoured the city for a new spot. “I lived in that neighbourhood for 10 years,” says Tomas Morana about the part of College Street that stretches west of Bathurst. →


BELOW: The Coffee Lab on Spadina operates in an 18-square-foot space that once served as a display window

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UNTIL THE 1960S IT WAS AN ALLEYWAY BESIDE A CINEMA → “I frequented Souz Dal because it was cool and the owner didn’t really care about smoking in the back.” When the property came available, the team that includes his dad Ralph and brother Giulian jumped at the opportunity. The narrow but efficient space is only eight-and-a-half feet wide, goes back 125 feet and makes a dogleg right turn before opening into their back patio that is only slightly wider than the rest of the room. Until well into the 1960s it was an alleyway beside the Royal Cinema. Two brothers managed to put in a pizzeria there and the address went through several changes

before becoming the eclectic tiki bar Morana remembers fondly. Once they had a lease signed, he and Ralph stripped it back to the bare brick walls and created the type of watering hole that might have been gently aging in Spain or Italy for over a century. That means patrons all elbow their way to the bar to place an order from over 20 carefully chosen beer options. “I’m not really a huge fan of big bars,” says Morana. “I know people seek a level of comfort when they go out, but we’re never going to have big cushy stools at the bar.” Food was a matter of making do with what they had. The landlord offered the space between them and the Royal as a kitchen. After a bit of consideration, the Moranas thought it was better to get someone else to take on the space as a standalone business. They had an existing relationship with Pawel Grezlikowski who was looking for a home for the restaurant concept that would become PG Clucks. The Nashville hot chicken nicely complements the tapas-style options that fill out the rest of the menu at Birreria Volo and Morana says many guests find a beer turns into an entire meal. Food trucks have, by their nature, some of the smallest kitchens in the city. And

TOP: Bar Ape sells gelato bars and ice cream from May to September; LEFT: Joshua Campos runs one-man coffee shop the Coffee Lab

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Photography: Sandro Pehar

from their experience running one James Carnevale and Nick Genova must feel that their 300 square feet of prep kitchen and takeout window is palatial. From May to the last weekend of September, Bar Ape attracts a bustling crowd of locals and further-flung gelato lovers to the corner of Rushton and St. Clair West. They’re there for gelato bars that were born out of the need to be as efficient as possible and to make truck service make sense. At peak, they got to the point where they could pass 400 of the premade bars through the generous window of the vintage Piaggio Ape truck every hour. Carnevale thinks they were also first in Toronto to strike out on the idea of serving gelato from a soft-serve ice cream machine. It’s faster to pull a handle than scoop from a tub, they realized. That, plus, a very short list of flavours made from local ingredients in their seasonal peak, keep the time-percustomer down and the line moving. As they’re “trying to get to the point where we can live our lives instead of it consuming everything,” Carnevale says the team is

beginning to plan for an expansion to other locations. “I want people to consider going to [another location] because there are things that are not offered at the original,” he says. “Flavours will always be different and the concept there is different enough to make some go to both.” Even without inventory, storage can be a headache for Carnevale. He has dry goods and custom-ordered cups in his father’s

FREEZERS WERE ELEVATED TO CREATE STORAGE UNDERNEATH

garage; there’s half a skid of coconut sitting in a friend’s coffee shop. Two years ago, they hacked a way to elevate the freezers off the ground and create storage space underneath. Leading-edge coffee has found its way into rooms little bigger than a demi-tasse. It makes sense that if you care more about quality beans and artful preparation you’ll spend less time (and money) worrying about how many overstuffed chairs you can fit within range of your WiFi router. But in typically conservative fashion, Toronto’s municipal authorities were slow to warm to the idea of these tiny cafés. In 2010, when Sam James wanted to open his original, eponymous shop on Harbord, deputy mayor Joe Pantalone was quoted by media outlets saying, “I wouldn’t call them stores. I’d call them cubicles. We’re not in Japan here where people can rent cubicles.” Even with just 200 square feet of space, the coffee bar thrived and Sam James has gone on to open even smaller Coffee Pockets – the one in the Annex is a counter barely as wide as four people. Not long after, Joe Pantalone retired from municipal politics following an →

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ABOVE: Diners at Ten enjoy a level of camraderie not usually associated with fine dining

→ unsuccessful run for mayor. James has been joined by several other strictly joe-to-go spots in the past decade but no one has been more extreme than Joshua Campos of the Coffee Lab on Spadina Avenue at Richmond Street. He managed to fit his entire operation into just 18 square feet. This tiny space once served as a display window beside the building’s entrance. The Coffee Lab is far from a small-forthe-sake-of-it gimmick. Not having to worry about things like staff to wipe tables means that Campos can maintain his focus entirely on the caffeinated fare. He brings in beans from notable roasteries all over North America and beyond. Ordering a coffee “for here” means the Spadina sidewalk or a bench out front, but the serving dishes are still carefully chosen to look like they belong in a modernist museum. But it’s not just the quick-and-casual end of the spectrum that benefits from a minimalist approach. Julian Bentivegna’s Ten, on College Street, only serves that many diners at once (20 total on any particular night). They get a refined, plant-forward tasting menu served directly from his kitchen that is surrounded by a chef’s bar. Bentivegna, just 25, knew that he wanted

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his own eatery to be drastically smaller than average. When he set out to find a space for it, he had a target of 900 square feet in mind. The space he found on College Street is 1,100 square feet. “I really like how it felt like a Toronto space to me – one long shot. I could envision where the bar was going to be.” His resumé is littered with a few of North America’s finest names in dining and working in those places contributed to his motivation to stay minimal. “Grace in Chicago and Alo can fit 60 or 70 people,” he points out. “There, I felt like the nights we were doing 20, I felt better about the food that was going out and the experience that each guest was getting.” And he buys the idea that if your name is

THE RESTAURANT TEN ONLY SERVES THAT MANY DINERS AT ONCE

beside the 'head chef' title, your hand should be on the pan (or plating tweezer). “A lot of the time when chefs do become owners, they’re no longer cooking. And that’s a shame,” he says. A small restaurant not only feels accessible in the emotional sense but it can also be easier to get around. Most establishments in Toronto, west of Yonge at least, put their washrooms in the basement. Bentivegna consciously set out to build them on the main floor – along with a chef’s bar that is mostly at wheelchair height. With the spare focus on the same microseasonal tasting menu every night, diners at Ten enjoy a level of camaraderie you don’t usually associate with fine dining and that means some end up making new friends. But “the nicest part about it,” Bentivegna explains, “is that I don’t have to answer to investors. I have full autonomy over the experience.” Whether it’s that yearning for autonomy, slavish devotion to the product or a hellor-high-water allegiance to a particular neighbourhood, chefs, restaurateurs and other hospitality entrepreneurs seem keen to add minimal and small to Toronto’s dining and drinking options. As the city’s residents and restaurant owners become increasingly squeezed by the cost of operating a business, these smaller-than-a-condo establishments might eventually evolve from being an anomaly to the ordinary. f


VENUES

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The Berkeley Church 315 Queen St. E

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WOMEN IN WINE

Andrea Yu discovers why the Oliver-Osoyoos wine region in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is a forward-thinking locale for women in winemaking.

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G

ETTING SAND IN my shoes isn’t something I’m expecting when visiting a winery. But in the Okanagan Valley, home to Canada’s only desert, summertime temperatures frequently enter into the 40s (degrees Celsius). Here, lanes of sand take the place of the dirt or grass I have come to expect from a grape-growing locale. It turns out that grapes love sand, particularly for its high drainage. Coupled with a high fluctuation in temperatures, the cooling effects of the narrow Okanagan Lake that runs along the valley, and a variation in elevation offered by the towering Rocky and Cascade mountain regions, the conditions are ripe for growing delicious grapes for winemaking. But it’s not only the grapes that are flourishing in the Okanagan. As an upand-coming wine region, akin to Ontario’s Prince Edward County, the Okanagan isn’t tied down by the traditional notions of winemaking where men were in charge and women were relegated to the tasting room. You’ll find the best expression, so to speak, of women in winemaking in the most southerly end of the Okanagan. Here, the neighbouring young wine regions of Oliver and Osoyoos have set the stage for women to prosper, like winemaker Severine Pinte. The French native honed her craft in Montpellier and Languedoc, where an old man’s club of winemakers still prevails. “Production is very, very male-dominated,” says Pinte of France’s wine industry. “I had to work twice as hard to prove I could do the same thing.” →

Photography: ###

LEFT: Winemaker Melissa Smits moved to B.C. after stints working in Niagara, New Zealand and Australia

“I HAD TO WORK TWICE AS HARD TO PROVE I COULD DO THE SAME THING” 51


“THE OKANAGAN IS AN AMAZING, YOUNG WINE REGION. IT’S DYNAMIC” → Pinte recalls a time earlier in her career in Languedoc, when she was working with a 75-year-old male winemaker. “He looked at me when I first arrived in the winery and he said, ‘you know, when you have your period, you cannot come into the winery because the wines are going to turn’.” Pinte didn’t let the offhand comment phase her. Following her experience in France, she spent time in Western Australia before settling in the Okanagan Valley, where she now works as the head winemaker and viticulturist of sister wineries Le Vieux Pin and La Stella Winery. “The Okanagan is an amazing young wine region,” says Pinte. “For me, the reason I stayed here is because it’s

really dynamic.” Pinte says that Canada, in general, has made it easier for women in winemaking to climb up the ladder. Over the decade she has

ABOVE: The Okanagan wine region is located in Canada’s only desert. Hot days and cool nights help grow excellent grapes for winemaking

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spent at Le Vieux Pin and La Stella, Pinte has witnessed more and more women getting involved in the wine industry, and not just in the sales roles or tasting room where women have typically been employed. “When I put an ad in the paper for a cellarmaster, I had maybe 85 per cent of resumes from women,” says Pinte. “That was a surprise.” Over at Oliver Twist Winery, owner Gina Harfman has found herself with an entirely female staff. “It wasn’t by choice,” she says. “I’ve just never really had a male apply here.” Harfman rebranded Oliver Twist’s bottles with nostalgic pinup designs when she took over ownership of the winery in 2012, which may have perpetuated Oliver Twist’s image as being a woman-run winery. But the rebrand actually comes from Harfman’s past life as a hot rod airbrushing designer and a retro pinup enthusiast. Despite Oliver Twist’s female-centric reputation within the industry, general manager Sheila Whittaker says that visitors still maintain traditional notions of what a winery owner looks like. “In our tasting room, a lot of visitors are very surprised that she’s female, that she is a single mom, that she has kids,” says Whittaker. “Most wineries, I guess, are owned either by families or someone

that’s made a lot of money and has a hobby project in the Okanagan. Gina is quite unique in that way.” Harfman attests that everyone she’s encountered in the industry was extremely supportive as she was taking over as owner of Oliver Twist Winery. Instead, as a mother of two children, her challenges come from balancing priorities between work and family. Her greatest test came when her second child came 15 weeks early, three years after Harfman became owner. “Vita, my daughter was born micro preemie,” she →

OLIVER TWIST WINERY HAS AN ENTIRELY FEMALE STAFF 53


ABOVE: The Okanagan Valley is home to diverse wineries like Nk’Mip Cellars, North America’s first Indigenous-owned winery

→ recalls. “So I had to run off to the NICU unit – for about four months I was gone. That was a huge challenge.” Now, Harfman and Whittaker boast a flexible work environment for their female staff that puts family first. Harfman believes it’s her staff’s positive attitude that has created a welcoming environment for customers. “People come in and they just feel the warmth,” she says. “Sometimes they leave with the staff hugging them.” There’s a similar welcoming atmosphere among the Okanagan in general. At Intersection Estate Winery, a boutique operation in Oliver, the small environment means a full-time staff of just four get the opportunity to gain experience in multiple departments – pruning vines and stirring barrels alongside shifts in the tasting room. Melissa Smits is Intersection’s head winemaker and vineyard manager. The Grimsby, Ontario-born Smits got her start

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SHE HAS THE CHANCE TO FLEX CREATIVE MUSCLE AND EXPLORE OFFBEAT WINES THAT TRADITIONAL WINERIES WOULDN’T PURSUE

in Niagara-on-the-Lake, studying at Niagara College and later working at Henry of Pelham. After spending time on harvests in New Zealand, Australia and Penticton, BC, Smits settled down in Oliver as Burrowing Owl’s crew boss, in charge of an all-male, Spanish-speaking group of temporary foreign workers in the vineyards. “I was in the rows with the guys as much as possible,” she explains. “I wasn’t at a distance. Because if I demonstrated that I could work with them, then they would be very keen on working with me.” Smits enjoyed the experience and says she never felt disrespected in her role. After two years at Burrowing Owl, Smits transitioned into her current role at Intersection, where she has the opportunity to flex creative muscle and explore offbeat formulations that more established wineries might not pursue. Last year she was able to develop one of the region’s first orange wines – an orange riesling that challenges the traditional notions (and palates) of wine with a tannic, dry and tart character akin to kombucha. Other wineries might not have let Smits take a chance on such an experimental offering, but her unusual orange riesling sold


out in just one summer – sooner than anyone had expected. “With small, boutique wineries, you aren’t pushed to make things for the LCBO in large batches, so there really isn’t that kind of pressure here,” Smits explains. “You can explore the creative side of winemaking and the small tonnages.” Smits’ experience in the Okanagan, and that of many of the women here, is that the industry has been so supportive and welcoming that they don’t even think about how or whether their gender holds them back. It’s a non-issue, it seems, and if anything, women are a driving force of change in the industry. Smits points to Lynn Bremmer, British Columbia’s first winemaker, whose background in analysis has helped her establish a lab certification to help winery labs keep their equipment calibrated correctly. Sandra Oldfield, former CEO of Tinhorn Creek, has been instrumental in promoting B.C. wines to the world – establishing the wine region’s sub-appellations and sub-geographic indicators to gain better recognition among international and out-of-province markets. Severine Pinte, of La Stella and Le Vieux Pin, is helping to establish a certification program for the sustainability practises of wineries. The welcoming atmosphere here has been fruitful for not only women but other diverse groups that may have otherwise had difficulty establishing themselves in a predominantly white industry. Of note are Nk’Mip Cellars, North America’s first Indigenous-owned winery, which was named second-best winery in British Columbia by WineAlign in 2018. Many of the winery workers are members of the Osoyoos Indian Reserve, including winemaker Justin Hall. Head 20 minutes north of Nk’Mip and you’ll reach Kismet Estate Winery, run by brothers Sukhi and Balwinder Dhaliwal. The pair immigrated to Oliver from India’s Punjab state and found work picking fruit. They soon rose up the ranks to become managers and orchard-owners themselves while the region was gaining more and more notoriety for its grape-growing conditions. After discovering that the grapes they had grown and sold to other wineries were earning top industry awards, they decided to enter the winemaking world themselves and opened Kismet Estate Winery in 2013. Sampling Kismet’s portfolio of wines in their tasting room with Neelam Dhaliwal, daughter of Sukhi and Kismet’s operations

IF ANYTHING, WOMEN ARE A DRIVING FORCE OF CHANGE IN THE OKANAGAN’S WINE INDUSTRY

manager, gives me an understanding of why their grapes have coveted so many accolades. Of note are their rosés which are among the best I’ve tasted during my time in British Columbia. Neelam admits that the rosé style has been more challenging for the winery to master, but they finally nailed down a magical blend for their 2017 Infinity Rosé. Following our sampling, we migrate from the tasting room to Masala Bistro, Kismet’s restaurant, and tuck into a spread of Indian curries, chapatis and tandoori eats. Feasting on Indian food is another activity I wasn’t expecting to happen in the Okanagan, but I’m not complaining. f

BELOW: Winemaker Severine Pinte studied in France but excelled in her craft after arriving in the Okanagan Valley

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RIGHT: The version of ceviche served on Maido’s tasting menu features sashimiquality fish on purÊed zarandaja bean

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DINE LIKE A KING Renée Suen explores the rich array of cuisines in Lima, The City of Kings, and gets lost in Peru’s native ingredients. WORDS AND PHOTOS BY RENÉE S. SUEN

F Photography: ###

OR MOST PEOPLE, Peru conjures images of Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail and friendly looking alpacas. However, Peru should also be celebrated for its food. A product of many cultures, Peruvian food is influenced by Indigenous traditions, its rich history (pre- and post-Spanish colonization) and its diverse, natural pantry. This culinary mecca is a melting pot of flavours from Asia, Africa and Europe. Chifa (Chinese-Peruvian) to Amazonian, and Nikkei (JapanesePeruvian) to Afro-Peruvian, these cuisines are found everywhere in Peru, from casual market-side vendors to some of the world’s best restaurants. →

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→ People like Virgilio Martínez, who is behind Central (currently ranked sixth on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list), are from a new generation of Peruvian chefs. They’re elevating traditional foods in what’s called Novoandina cuisine – a combination of traditional, local ingredients and modern techniques. I sampled these creations and new-to-me ingredients like mashwa (tuber), piranha and cuy – yes, that means guinea pig – on my recent trek to the gastronomic hub. Here’s how I spent four days eating my way through the City of Kings.

But it’s the down-your-arm juicy pepino dulce (cucumber melon) that stops me in my tracks with its honeydew likeness. For quintessentially Peruvian dishes we head south to Surco Market Number 2. I love the slimy, viscosity of the traditional emoliente (herbal, roasted grain tea) that’s thickened with chia seeds, freshly scraped aloe flesh and cooked barley. At Chanfainita Pale, we greedily lap up the chanfainita, an iconic Afro-Peruvian stew that’s chock-full of beef lung, potatoes and hominy, breaking only for gulps of chicha morada, a Peruvian

Day 1: To market, to market

PERU IS A MELTING POT OF FLAVOURS FROM ASIA, AFRICA AND EUROPE

To get my bearings in vibrant and eclectic Lima, I joined Haku Tours’ food-and-arts tour. Our guide took us on a stroll along Agua Dulce beach towards Chorrillos Fish Market. Under the gaze of Lima’s controversial Cristo del Pacífico, we, and a flock of Inca terns, eye the fish stalls where I’m surprised to learn that Peruvians eat more chicken than fish. At Mercado La Paradita, our guide navigates us through the variety of produce harvested from Peru’s 28 climates. We sample starchy lucuma, cherimoya with its fruity bubble gum flavour, plus seed-flecked tuna fruit (prickly pear), learning that greenskinned varieties have a sweet orange flesh.

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ABOVE: The Inca salt mines of Maras, near Moray, feature a series of cascading, shallow pools that are still in use today.

purple corn punch, spiked with cinnamon. There’s ceviche, and then there’s the ceviche at La Picanteria. Made from fish that’s been ‘cooked’ in a citrus juice marinade with ají pepper and other seasonings, we pick our fresh catch from beds of crushed ice flanking the kitchen. Curious why most cevicherias are closed by late afternoon, we learn that Peruvians enjoy fish earlier in the day when it’s thought to be freshest. With the guidance of our friendly waitress, our family-style meal kicks off with a dreamy and complimentary aguadito de pescado, a flavourful seafood stew made with a fortuno (amberjack) head. Priced by its weight, the chita (gilt-head bream) we select is prepared two ways: first, as a lush ceviche that’s served with addictive, fish-skin chicharrones, then grilled and dressed in a mouthwatering ají amarillo sauce with fried yuca. We’re surprised by a final course that uses the fish’s bones in rocoto en chupe, a chowder-like soup that contains chicken and the secret ingredient, ceviche juice.


Photography: Ceviche by ChunChang Wu

Day 2: Cuisines that cross cultures

Day 3: The culinary cult of Martínez

In working-class Santa Catalina, ceviche master Javier Wong fillets a whole sole to the delight of diners at Chez Wong. Known for having no menu, the lunch-only Anthony Bourdain-lauded huarique (a family-run restaurant) serves hot or cold dishes using only the flat fish. It’s pricey, but revellers eating in the living room-turned-diningroom (you’re in his house) have open views of the chef and his flame-licked wok at work. Wong’s ceviche is traditional with chunks of sole and octopus in a leche de tigre (or ‘tiger’s milk,’ the name for ceviche marinade) with plenty of lime juice. His stir-fry is a taste of Chifa, and although it exudes skill – vegetables are tender-crisp, sweet and sour sauces are well balanced – it is reminiscent of Americanized Chinese food. For a taste of Amazonian cuisine, I make my way to Las Brisas del Ucayali. Here, I had cocona for the first time in a dip with fiery aji charapita. It’s a hot awakening before the super starchy tacacho, made from cooked plantains that are mashed with lard. It’s served with juane, a mixture of rice, chicken, olives and egg that’s wrapped in swampgrown bijao leaves and boiled. The latter feels comforting and strangely familiar, until we realize the tamale-like dish is similar to zongzi, glutinous rice packages often found in Chinese cuisine. Next, we head to Pedro Schiaffino’s ÁmaZ for contemporary Amazonian food and devour every moist morsel of the patarashca, a divine dish where bijao leaf-wrapped freshwater fish is cooked over hot coals with a mild chili sauce. Meanwhile, classics like the hen juane and hen inchicapi, a yucathickened stew, seem conservative when consumed after insanely delicious churos pishpirones – a starter of giant Amazonian snail shells filled with conch-like flesh, rich spiced sauce and glistening tapioca pearls. Nikkei cuisine is perhaps Peru’s most internationally recognized and Mitsuharu Tsumura of Maido leads the charge. His Experiencia menu showcases everything from pristine sushi, including aburi scallop topped with lightly blistered uni cream, and tender 50-hour ribs to a refined thimble of cuy (guinea pig). In Cusco, they serve the latter in its most rustic state: whole roasted. It’s lean like rabbit but with a lot of bones.

While in Peru, any food-forward traveller would be remiss to skip out on a visit to one of Virgilio Martínez’s restaurants. Modernized Andean cuisine isn’t new, but Martínez has been the most successful at it. Through 16-plus inventive courses, Central’s tasting experience showcases the country’s biodiversity over every altitude. When the concept launched in 2013, it propelled Central onto the World’s 50 Best list; two years later, the restaurant ranked number four on the survey and has held a spot on the esteemed list ever since. More interesting still is Martínez’s explanation that his menu isn’t dependent on the preparation itself but on traditions and the stories behind rescued Indigenous ingredients. The Andean tradition of roasting potatoes in a huatia oven, for example, is honoured as a tabletop version with a crust of clay and salt from the Maras salt mines which date back to pre-Incan times. “What we do is related to our culture, how we’re related to

WE TRY PRODUCE FROM PERU’S 28 DIFFERENT CLIMATES nature, our farms and the ways we produce food,” Martínez explains. Central transforms shredded yellow mashwa from high-altitude farmlands into marvelous crisp tubes. Paiche, an Amazonian freshwater fish, is succulent. But I fall for the abalone-rich flavour of the scallops from Peru’s marine valley that are served in a frothy macre (pumpkin) soup. Shining →

RIGHT: (Clockwise) Lucuma fruit at the Mercado La Paradita; Javier Wong serves sole ceviche; Roasted cuy (guinea pig) is a specialty in Cusco

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ABOVE: Central’s 16-course tasting menu uses techniques from Andean tradition; BELOW: At Mil, guests learn about the wild, native ingredients

→ alongside the cacophony of new flavours is the restaurant’s elegant juice and South American alcohol pairing, including a Chilean skin-contact wine made using grapes from 200-year-old vines. Continuing our tour of Martínez’s restaurants, we receive the warmest of welcomes at the slightly more casual Kjolle, followed by a parade of thoughtfully composed courses. Chef Pía León, who cooked at Central for a decade, creates dishes that are less high and rigid than the flagship and more seasonally inspired. She mixes and matches ingredients sourced from many ecosystems. Everything on the menu sounds fantastic, so we order it all. The meal is stellar. Dinner launches with an earthy loaf of maca (Peruvian ginseng) bread, whipped butter and an akee-like cocona spread. From our table we see León and her crew behind the kitchen counter; at its other end there are bowls filled with raw produce that are introduced with each course. A split pod of pacae (ice-cream bean tree) is featured on one. When the curious-looking smoked and frozen cottony flesh is served on sliced scallops bathed in leche de tigre, the sommelier encourages us to try the fruit in its native state. We’re glad we did – it’s like a mild, dry, non-tropical mangosteen.

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Tartare made from cured duck is fantastic, especially alongside squid ink-stained kañiwa (a relative of quinoa) bread, with tender curls of lightly poached squid and fried squash strips. We go wild for the squash and crustacean dish, where a chip dusted with salsa-like tomato and seaweed powder hides river prawns and orzo that’ve been folded into mashed loche (squash).

Day 4: More Martínez in Maras Completing my circuit of Virgilio Martínez’s eateries, I find myself 1,000 kilometres from Lima in Maras, near Cusco. I’m here to visit Mil, an ambitious restaurant-meets-foodlab. Every course I dig into from Mil’s tasting menu is a bite of an ecosystem within the Peruvian Andes. It’s focused on ingredients grown at high altitude, many of which my server pointed out moments earlier on a

tour of the property. My taste buds flirt with a fava bean-filled oca (tuber) pancake that’s slathered with soft caramel-like elderberry butter. There’s chuño (naturally freeze-dried potatoes) served as candy-sweet translucent chips, protein-rich tarwi (a bean grown in the Andes) that trumps slow-cooked pork belly and corn presented in every form and colour in the four-part Diversity of Corn dish. This is locality and terroir at another level. Once my second course, a teetering pile of lamb tartare (sweetened with nectar from the cabuya plant) arrives, every eye in the room is on me. The load is precariously heaped under a quivering blanket of dressed mesclun salad greens and delicate elderflowers, and on top of a fragile quinoa-speckled kañiwa cracker. Despite the stares from the other diners, I’m doing a happy dance in my seat. Between bites, I can’t help but admire the incredible view from my table. Here, in a region known as the Sacred Valley, I’m sandwiched between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Views of snow-dusted mountains, fertile plateaus and river-rippled valleys are broken up by the impressive Maras salt mines and ancient Incan ruins like Moray. These pre-Colombian circular terraces are believed to have been used as an agricultural research lab by the Incans. I conclude my stay in Maras with a visit to Mater Iniciativa – a research initiative run by Martínez’s sister Malena. Here, they identify, catalogue and study the way wild ingredients from the Andes, Amazon and the sea can be incorporated into new dishes. In the centre, I see a table laden with Andean ingredients – colours and flavours I’m gleefully associating with the incredible dishes I’ve encountered. Then I spot a selection of Peru’s 4,000 potato varieties in every knob and shade possible. It’s a reality check. I might know more about Peruvian food but I still don’t know much. f

GETTING THERE

Air Canada flies non-stop to Lima from Toronto in approximately 8 hours. Round trip flights start from as low as $650. Alternatively, take a stopover in Mexico with Aeromexico or Salvador when you fly with Avianca. For a guided experience through Peru, G Adventures offers small-group tours through Lima, on the Inca Trail and to Machu Picchu. aircanada.com, gadventures.com


COMING SOON Live-fire cooking & warm hospitality in the heart of York Mills

3 0 5 Y O R K M I L L S R O A D · B A B E L R E S TA U R A N T. C A · @ B A B E L . T O


COCKTAIL HOUR Let’s face it, brunch tastes better in bed. Live for the weekend with these boozy breakfast creations from David Greig at Le Swan. WORDS BY KATIE BRIDGES PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARAH PFLUG

SWAN 75 C OCKTAIL ING REDIENTS ◆ 30 ml gin ◆ 20 ml five-citrus cordial ◆ 10 ml lemon juice ◆ 60 ml sparkling wine ◆ A few drops of absinthe ◆ Lemon and lime wheels for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a flute glass. Add ice and top with a few drops of absinthe. Garnish with wheels of lime and lemon.

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Photography: ###

HEN THE BLACK Hoof closed in the summer of 2018, fans of Jen Agg were keen to know what the future held for the boundary-pushing restaurateur. Luckily, her next tour de force arrived swiftly, ushering in a French-inspired renaissance at legendary Toronto diner, the Swan, with a menu that cheekily juxtaposes classic French bistro dishes with their North American comfort food counterparts. But how would the drink programme fall into place? “We couldn’t really have the split personality with the cocktails,” explains David Greig, general manager and partner at Le Swan. “So I wanted to have drinks that had a fun dinery feel, but also a French element in there too.” After cutting his teeth in London and Brighton, U.K., Greig moved to Vancouver (where he met fellow Le Swan partner and sommelier Jake Skakun at L’Abbatoir) before heading up Cocktail Bar in Toronto. “I’ve been here for six or seven years and in that time I’ve seen the bar scene in Toronto progress like crazy.” That doesn’t mean the bartender is immune to inspirational influence from world-class cocktail cities. It was a recent trip to New York City that formed the basis of Le Swan’s Suissesse, an insanely delicious spiked yogurt for grownups. “I had a drink at the NOMAD Hotel with yogurt and yuzu and knew I wanted to make a drink that could hold a candle to that.” Greig took the New Orleans brunch tipple (with its fittingly French heritage), and removed the classic cream and egg white, adding yogurt in its place. And while no self-respecting Canadian diner could forgo a Caesar, the Brit needed to find a middle ground. “Being from England, I’ve always had more of an affinity for Bloody Marys,” says Greig. The compromise? An Ocean Mary, made with oyster-infused vodka sans salt rim, that’s perhaps the city’s most seaworthy example of the Canadian classic. f

ABOVE: Expat David Greig lends a British accent to the French-influenced cocktails at Le Swan

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OCEAN MARY COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS ◆ 45 ml oyster-infused vodka ◆ 90 ml tomato juice ◆ 20 ml orange juice ◆ 10 ml lemon juice ◆ 10 ml Swan spice mix (horseradish,

Worcestershire sauce, Maggi, grenadine, salt, pepper, green and red Tabasco) ◆ Pickled onions, celery ribbons and cornichon for garnish Build over ice in a highball glass and garnish with celery ribbons, pickled onion and cornichon.

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SUISSESSE COCKTAIL INGREDIENTS ◆ 25 ml absinthe ◆ 20 ml menthe pastille (crème de

menthe in a pinch) ◆ 10 ml orgeat ◆ 3 Tbsp Greek yogurt ◆ 7.5 ml lemon juice ◆ Mint sprigs Photography: ###

Shake all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a flute filled halfway with cubed ice. Garnish with mint sprigs.

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MIMOSA BUT BETTER! COCKTAIL IN G R ED IENTS ◆ 40 ml orange cordial ◆ 120 ml sparkling wine

Fill a chilled champagne glass onethird full with orange cordial. Top with chilled sparkling wine.

Photography: ###

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No purchase necessary. Limit one (1) entry per person per contest period. One (1) Grand Prize and ten (10) Secondary Prizes available to be won. Approximate retail value of Grand Prize CDN$25,000 and CDN$250 for each Secondary Prize. One (1) Secondary Prize winner per province. Must be Canadian resident who is nineteen (19) years of age or older at time of entry. Contest runs from October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on December 31, 2019. Skill testing question must be correctly answered to claim Prize. Odds of being selected depend on number of eligible entries received. For full set of rules visit www.foodnetwork.ca/missionhillwinery. FOOD NETWORK is a trademark of Television Food Network G.P.: used with permission.


— PART 3 —

EXCESS “WINE IS A WAY TO TAKE DIGNITY AND RESPECT IN ONESELF” IN VINO VITA, 070

070 IN VINO VITA | 080 INSIDER | 082 BOTTLE SERVICE | 091 FOODISM’S FINEST 093 THE DIGEST | 094 THE SELECTOR | 098 DECONSTRUCT


IN VINO VITA

Jordan Kelly-Linden visits San Patrignano, Europe’s largest drug rehab centre where residents learn trades, including winemaking. 70


ABOVE: This rehabilitation programme isn’t a walk in the park – residents wake up at 6 a.m. and work 16 hour days or even longer

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B

EHIND THE TREE-CROWDED path, there’s a splash, a round of cheers and, over the happy commotion, the deep dulcet tones of Rag’n’Bone Man. “Some people got the real problems,” wavers the singer’s soulful voice. “Some people out of luck…” It’s an apt soundtrack. We’re in northern Italy, 11 kilometres from Rimini, at San Patrignano – Europe’s largest and most successful drug rehabilitation centre – and it is hot. Even under the shade of the bowed elms and leafy cypress trees, the pavement pulses with the midday Mediterranean heat. Behind the fences and creeping vegetation, a group of residents make the most of a wellearned break in the community’s pool. I’m being shown around by Danny McCubbin. He’s Jamie Oliver’s culture manager, but here, his role is the UK ambassador for San Patrignano. The centre is huge. Beyond the dusty orange buildings, the

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clean, ordered lines of 250 hectares’ worth of vineyards, heavy with the season’s crop, roll up and out almost as far as the eye can see. San Patrignano is one of a kind for many reasons – including (but not limited to) the fact that it’s the only drug rehabilitation centre in the world to use commercial winemaking as a form of therapy. It might seem contradictory, but as it turns out, it’s a method that works. We’re on our way to check out the cantina, or winery, where more than 500,000 bottles of the wine are made each year. As the distance grows, Rag’n’Bone Man’s voice slowly starts to fade away, getting caught up and sucked into the verdant greenery that dominates the community’s grounds: “I’m only human. I make mistakes…” San Patrignano sometimes feels more like a rural Italian town from the future than a drug rehabilitation centre, but there’s no doubt that this is exactly what it is. Last year the social enterprise celebrated its 40th

birthday. It was founded back in 1978 by the late Vincenzo Muccioli and to date, it has helped more than 25,000 people struggling with substance addiction. Residents come from all walks of life and points all over the world. Right now, the community is home to around 1,300 boys, girls, men and women of various ages. There

IT HAS HELPED 25K PEOPLE STRUGGLING WITH DRUG ADDICTION


LEFT: It’s the only drug rehabilitation centre in the world to use commercial winemaking as a form of therapy – but, out of respect for those who have struggled with alcohol, residents don’t get to try it

Photography: Gabriele Bertoni

are some, like Thomas, a sharp boy from Chelsea, who found their way here thanks to the help of ambassadors such as McCubbin; and others who made their way here of their own accord, like Danny, a friendly South African who left his family to give himself and them the best chance in life. At San Patrignano, residents aren’t necessarily treated like they’re sick. Instead, the centre’s approach to rehabilitation draws parallels with occupational and cognitive behaviour therapy, while education, personal growth and trust-building exercises take the lead over traditional medicated ‘treatment’. Residents are encouraged to be open and talk about their problems as they work with and alongside their peers. “It’s a very natural way of learning not to take drugs,” explains McCubbin. “Some might cry for the first time in their life, whereas what they might do on the outside with those feelings is go and take drugs to mask them. The more emotions they can

experience in a safe environment, the more ready they are to be outside the community.” But it isn’t run like Alcoholics Anonymous, and the conventional 12 steps of abstinence don’t get so much as a second thought. In San Patrignano’s eyes, there’s nothing to cure; the community goes by the idea that residents have just made poor choices, and now they’re here to turn the page. The minimum length of stay is three years, but this is clearly a tried-and-tested length of time: San Patrignano’s follow-up drug-free success rate currently sits around 72% – a stat independently verified by a number of universities. It’s the highest in the world, and there are offshoot communities popping up in Scotland, Canada and beyond. The rehabilitation programme is completely free for residents and the taxpayer – funds come mostly from sales of the highquality, often award-winning products and produce the residents put out – but it’s hard work. Days start at 6 a.m. and don’t finish until well after 10 p.m.; unless the room votes to skip that evening’s social activities. There’s no time for napping – even a light doze will land you in trouble. It sounds like tough love – and it is – but everything about the programme is designed to teach self-control and independence, with the aim to equip residents with the necessary skills and experience to not just live within a group, but to live for the group. For this reason, no one is allowed to do anything on their own and often decisions, such as doing without that evening’s film screening so that they can go to bed early rests on a conscientious, democratic vote from the dorm, made up of around 15 to 20 people. Days are spent working in an assigned sector. There are 52 different trades that residents can learn across a number of sectors that could include anything from the dairy, which produces around 4,000 litres of milk a day; the bakery, which claims to make the best panettone in Italy; or in textiles, stitching for the likes of Chanel who worked with the community to create her boundarypushing sustainable collection. The residents don’t just work hard – they work to the highest of standards, too, and for that reason San Patrignano’s clientele base is pretty impressive: they’ve hand-painted hundreds of metres of wallpaper for artist Jeff Koons’ penthouse suite and Kanye West was recently in the community to check out an art installation in the facility’s retired furnituremaking workshop. But if you’re wondering why this drug

“WINE IS A WAY TO TAKE DIGNITY AND RESPECT IN ONESELF” rehabilitation centre is teaching those with a history of substance abuse how to make alcohol, then it’s time to turn to the cantina, a set of huge vaulted buildings on the edge of the community’s grounds. “Wine is a way to take dignity and respect in oneself,” says Claudio, our guide and one of San Patrignano’s winemakers. “When you drink a glass of our wine, you drink our hard work.” He believes that working with the grape gives residents a sense of perspective that other sectors don’t have. “We know the story behind the glass. We know the vines in the winter when it’s very cold and the grapes in the summer under the sun.” He leads us past the tall vats of fermenting must and down into the belly of the winery. “On our body is written the story of wine. For this reason, it is very hard to fall into alcohol.” It makes sense to me. And as Tamsin Peachy, a consultant psychiatrist, later explains, the success of this operation lies in its ability to deliver “the whole package. The peer-to-peer support, the environment and the distraction opportunities get them to realize that there’s more to life than just drug taking.” She also believes that if you took the winemaking out of the equation, it’s likely that the result would be no different: “it’s about appreciating how to make things.” This is a sentiment echoed by Claudio when showing us around the winery’s cavernous church-like aging cellar. “If you stay here for a long time, all your patience with wine, yourself and all the world around you gets stronger.” Pointing to the community’s collection, Claudio explains that when they finish the programme, those who have worked in the vineyards take a bottle of its Avi wine for their parents. San Patrigano’s Avi is dedicated to the community’s revered founder Vincenzo. But more importantly, the vintage of the bottle matches the number of years the resident →

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→ has stayed in the community. They take the Avi’s sangiovese grapes, press them and age them, first for two years in the huge Slavonian oak barrels behind the tasting room, and then for two years in the bottle. The cycle of the grape mimics the resident’s journey, and as the wine matures, so do they. Although we’re standing under the tasting room’s glowing wine glass chandelier, we don’t get to try it. The community stopped serving glasses of wine to the residents around two years ago out of respect for its new intake of residents, people who once

struggled with alcohol, too. But we do get a taste of the Montepirolo Colli de Rimini cabernet sauvignon later that evening at SP.accio, an old post office turned popular pizzeria just a few hundred metres down the road from San Patrignano’s front gates. The restaurant is one of two run by the community (the other, Vite, sits on top of the hill overlooking the cantina). Residents of a certain level can go there to work for a small wage and all the food is made by members of San Patrignano. It’s won the title of best pizza in Italy twice, but it doesn’t take

BELOW: San Patrignano’s 250 hectares of vineyards have won awards for the wines grown and harvested by its hardworking residents

THE CYCLE OF THE GRAPE MIMICS THE RESIDENT’S JOURNEY itself too seriously: SP.accio means ‘shop’ in Italian, but the name is a play on the word spacciatore, meaning drug dealer. The space is cheery and bright, and, as has happened more than once throughout our short time in the community, many of the staff come bounding over to say hello to McCubbin. Among them is a brilliant aspiring pastry chef from Brighton named Naomi. Thanks to her time at San Patrignano she is now fluent in Italian and our dessert – a sharp smack of passion fruit coulis encased in a creamy sphere of coconut mousse – was made by her. It might just be one of the best desserts I have ever tried. But that holds true for most, if not all, of the things I’ve seen at San Patrignano. The centre is full of talented, hardworking people creating incredible products that nod to the community and embody the positive spirit of it, too. Even our glass of Monte Pirolo, ripe with juicy blackcurrant notes and a hint of pepper, seems packed with life. And later, as we stroll back to our cabin through the dusky vineyards and rustling olive trees of the community, the unexpectedness of it all – the quality of the wine, the taste of the food and the resilience of the people we’ve met this weekend – lingers on well into the night. f

WHERE TO GET IT

Want to show your support by sampling the wines that have been grown and harvested by the residents of San Patrignano? Pay a visit to any of Terroni’s Toronto locations, or sister restaurants La Bettola di Terroni, Sud Forno or Bar Centrale. These Italian spots all feature San Patrignano wines.

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Italian

quality,

timeless

“Choose Cavit, drink responsibly.”

CAMPAIGN FINANCED ACCORDING TO (EC) REGULATIONS NO. 1308/13

tradition

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.


PROMOTION

GOING BETWEEN THE VINES

If you’re looking for a unique local wine experience, head to Kingston this fall for world-class wine events, sommelier celebrations and a burgeoning vino scene.

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HEN IT COMES to wine wandering, Ontarians are spoiled for choice with some of the country’s oldest and best wineproducing wine regions. However, if you’re looking to diversify from the usual Niagara-on-the-Lake vino voyages, there’s another spot that should definitely be on your radar. Kingston, Ontario is less than three hours away from downtown Toronto and only an hour’s drive from PEC and its incredible bounty of wine – but you don’t have to travel to the County to experience its vineyards. Canada’s first capital has been working with vintners and wineries from Huff Estates Winery to Rosehall Run Vineyards to organize a number of events and festivals right in the heart of Kingston. Opinionated oenophiles will love the Judgement of Kingston, an annual

celebration of the region’s achievements in the world of wine. The event – based on the famous Judgement of Paris – sees internationally renowned winemakers go head to head with Canadian producers. This year’s festivities, taking place on November 2 at the Residence Inn by Marriott Water's Edge, will conduct blind tastings of pinot noirs from Prince Edward County and pit them against their renowned New Zealand counterparts. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a glass solo, but the perfect pairing can make a wine sing – something the AquaTerra Meet the Maker Wine and Dinner Series knows all about. From late fall to spring, the series will host three intimate evenings of fine food by Chef Brent McAllister of AquaTerra and world-class wines from Prince Edward County wineries. The event kicks off on

November 6 at AquaTerra at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront, pairing seasonal, locally-sourced menus with wine from the County. This spring saw the first ever Corks and Forks International Wine Festival, bringing together the industry’s best and brightest for a weekend of seminars, expert panels, tastings and masterclasses on wine held across the city. The festival is ramping up for the 2020 edition, with plans already underway for more of the same great events and activities for wine enthusiasts and budding sommeliers. Fall is prime time for touring Ontario’s wineries – and with worldclass wines and a growing culinary scene on its doorstep, Kingston is the perfect place to get your grape juices flowing. ● To start planning your Kingston wine adventure, head to visitkingston.ca

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IT’S ALL IN THE FAMILY

The McManis family is driven by sustainability practices that contribute to the health and longevity of their vineyards for future generations.

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HERE’S AN EXTRA special touch that comes to family businesses. When you put your own name on a product, there’s an added level of respect and care for the land you use – and a commitment to stewardship for future generations. You can taste this time-honoured touch in the McManis wines. Having farmed California’s North-Central Valley since 1938, the McManis family knows these lands intimately. While they previously sold all the grapes grown on their properties to other wineries, the 1990s saw husband-and-wife duo, Ron

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TRUE GROWERPRODUCERS, RON AND JAMIE MCMANIS ARE THE FOURTH GENERATION TO FARM THIS LAND

and Jamie McManis venture into their own winemaking business by launching their eponymous label. As true grower-producers of McManis Family Vineyards, Ron and Jamie are the fourth generation to farm this land. The McManis family now owns and manages more than 3,600 acres of estate vineyards located in the River Junction, Borden Ranch, Clements Hills, JahantLodi and Clarksburg appellations, finding the best terroir within these regions for each grape variety they grow. In fact, the McManis family are the only vineyard owners in the River Junction


PROMOTION

ALL IN GOOD WINE These new releases from McManis Family Vineyards will give you three more reasons to love this sustainable, family-owned winery McManis 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, $19.95, Vintages #212126

Full-bodied and smooth, this Cab Sauvignon has flavours of ripe black fruit accented with notes of vanilla, woodsmoke and spice. Pair it with any dark meat or turkey, and grilled or BBQ fare for an exceptional match. Always available in LCBO Vintages.

McManis 2018 Chardonnay, $19.95, Vintages #265983

Golden in colour, this Chardonnay begins with aromas of ripe citrus, lemon zest, Bartlett pear and a hint of toffee. It’s rich and refreshing on the palate, showing a creamy texture, ripe fruit flavours and just a kiss of oak. Available at LCBO: February 2, 2020

McManis 2018 Zinfandel, $21.95, Vintages #256735

Photography: Randy Caparoso and McManis Family Vineyards

AVA – the smallest winegrowing appellation in California. A cool growing area, this region’s conditions allow premium white grapes like Chardonnay, Viognier and Pinot Grigio to reach their full potential. The McManis wines, winery and vineyards are Certified Sustainable under the Lodi Rules – one of the most stringent certifications for sustainable winegrowing and agriculture in California. Ethically-conscious consumers can rest assured that these wines respect the long-term health of the vineyards and vineyard workers. And

they’re vegan-friendly. The McManis family still farms grapes for other wineries, but the most satisfying part of the business for Ron and Jamie is putting their own name on the labels. Their kids, Tanya and Justin McManis, and Tanya's husband Dirk, have joined the family business, becoming the fifth generation of the McManis family to farm this land with the same respect and authenticity as the generations before them. ● Visit TheVineAgency.ca or McManisFamilyVineyards.com for more information on McManis Family Vineyards

Big, bright and juicy, this is Zinfandel at its finest. Ripe, full flavours of black, red and blue fruit, cassis, baking spices and cedarwood linger from aroma to finish. Pair this with colourful salads, beet dishes or your favourite cranberry sauce this season. Available at LCBO: December 7, 2019 Get a sneak peek of the McManis 2018 Chardonnay before it hits LCBO stores in February. Call the Vine Agency at 416-693-7994 or email wine@ thevineagency.ca.

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TERRE ROUGE While fresh lobster, oysters and mussels are plentiful on P.E.I., it’s slightly harder to get your hands, or taste buds, on bluefin tuna – most of the sought-after fish is sent overseas. So the bluefin ceviche at hip Charlottetown spot Terre Rouge is not to be missed. It’s fresher and more delicate than landlocked Ontarians could even dream of. You’d be hardpressed to find anything sub-par on this menu, but we particularly enjoyed the mushroom toast and the red earth burger, an island ground beef patty with pork belly mixed in and topped with smoked bone marrow aioli, bacon and cheese curds. Wash it all down with one of Terre Rouge’s quirky cocktails or a pint of local craft beer.

INSIDER

Taylor Newlands discovers sweeping landscapes and fresher-than-fresh seafood in Prince Edward Island.

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HAT THE NATION’S smallest province might lack in size, it makes up for tenfold with sweeping scenes of rugged red cliffs and sandy beaches; small-town charm; and some of the freshest seafood imaginable. No matter where you are in Prince Edward Island, the ocean is never more than a 20-minute drive away. With such easy access to the Atlantic, it’s no surprise that the island’s culture, and therefore, its food scene, is heavily influenced by fishing life. In P.E.I.’s tight-knit communities, restaurateurs and chefs go directly to local fishers to purchase seafood. Oceanside restaurants are often clustered close to the harbour, so the exchange might happen right as the boat reaches the dock – only a few metres from the eatery’s front doors. Mere hours later, the morning’s catch is on your plate, and you’re tucking into the

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freshest lobster you’ve ever tasted, nestled in a warm, crusty roll. If that’s not enough to make your mouth water, it’s also worth noting that farm-totable dining is hot on the heels of the seafood scene. And almost anywhere you go on the island (restaurants, bars or otherwise), locally sourced is the name of the game. Craft brews, ciders and spirits from island-based distillers are on the come-up and feature prominently throughout the province. Local favourites include Upstreet and Prince Edward Island Brewing Co. The island is even home to its own legal moonshine distillery, the Myriad View. Their strongest batch, dubbed ‘Lightning,’ packs a punch at 75 per cent ABV. P.E.I.’s got all the bases covered; quality seafood, hyper-local fare and a wicked craft booze scene. Genuinely friendly people and laidback island vibes are the cherries on top. f For more great travel content, check out our sister magazine, escapism Toronto. escapism.to

GETTING THERE

Air Canada offers several flights from Toronto Pearson International to the Charlottetown Airport per day. Choose between direct and layover options for the most convenient flight times. Fares start as low as $300 round trip. From there, rent a car to get the most out of your stay and explore the whole island. aircanada.com


CHARLOTTETOWN BEER GARDEN

The heated, canopied patio at this Charlottetown watering hole can seat up to 200 beer enthusiasts – making it one of the best al fresco options in the city. Decked out with string lights and oversized flower arrangements, it’s a relaxed to raucous vibe, depending on the night of the week. Here, you’ll find the best east coast brews, from Nova Scotia’s Chill Street Brewing, Nine Locks and Garrison, to the island’s very own Prince Edward Island Brewing Co., Upstreet and Moth Lane Brewing. For an extra dose of fun, they’ve got giant Jenga and beer pong.

Photography: Charlottetown Beer Garden by @officialhotdan, Blue Mussel Café by Alex Bruce Photography

LOBSTER BARN If you’re after the best lobster roll on the island, look no further. The rustic seaside spot sits right at the end of the wharf in the quaint little town of Victoria-by-the-Sea, about 40 minutes outside of Charlottetown. Open from May to October, the restaurant is run by sisters Jackie and Jenny Myers. Their take on the classic seafood sandwich is simple: large chunks of fresh lobster, with a touch of homemade mayo and a little lettuce, on a buttery toasted roll. For something a little richer, go for the lobster poutine. It has the same quality lobster layered with P.E.I. cheese curds and golden fries, then slathered in a made-in-house creamy Alfredo sauce.

THE BLUE MUSSEL CAFÉ

After living in Toronto for more than 20 years, husband-and-wife duo Steve Murphy and Christine McQuaid left city life behind, fell in love with the view in North Rustico Harbour and opened a seafood restaurant there. Three years later, the Blue Mussel Café sees constant lineups, so try to go outside of peak hours. Start with an order of the citrusy and salty beer lime mussels – they’ll likely have been harvested that morning. Next up, go for the lobster roll or the seafood bubbly bake with lobster, halibut and scallops in a rich cream sauce.

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BOTTLE SERVICE

From Thanksgiving to Halloween, get set for all of your harvest-season celebrations with our red, white and bubbly wine picks. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAILEE MANDEL

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1 GNARLY HEAD CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2017: A big, bold pour bursting with jammy fruit and lasting tannins with lingering spice and earthiness. Aged in oak and stainless steel. $16.50, lcbo.com 2 THE PRISONER RED BLEND 2017: A mix of cabernet sauvignon, petite sirah, syrah, and charbono grapes with notes of cherry, dark chocolate and fig. Smooth with a lingering finish. $54.95, lcbo.com

3 PASQUA PASSIMENTO ROSSO: Red berry aromas prevail in this balanced pour with soft tannins and subtle spice. This bottle comes at an unusually good price for an appassimento wine. $13.95, lcbo.com 4 CAMPO VIEJO RIOJA RESERVA 2014: Made from tempranillo, graciano and mazuelo and aged for four years. Soft tannins balance with ripe red fruit and a subtle hint of spice. $18.45, lcbo.com

5 TEDESCHI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA: A port-like pour made with airdried grapes. Expect intense dried fruit, fig and vanilla. Enjoy with roasted red meat and aged cheese. $44.95, lcbo.com 6 FINCA LOS PRIMOS MALBEC 2018: Succulent and savoury with a full palate, this Mendoza malbec tastes of plum and cherry with earthy spice, leather and tobacco. $12.40, lcbo.com

Photography:

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1 THIRTY BENCH SMALL LOT RIESLING “STEEL POST” 2017: If you’re not acquainted with this Beamsville winemaker, their award-winning riesling is a great place to start. Notes of grapefruit, lemon and apple. $29.95, thirtybench.com 2 STONELEIGH LATITUDE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018: From New Zealand’s Golden Mile, this sauv blanc has the bright tropical fruit notes typical of the grape with a mineral finish for added depth. $21.95, lcbo.com 3 ROBERT MONDAVI NAPA VALLEY FUMÉ BLANC 2017: Taste tropical fruit, citrus and floral flavours with underlying smoke. Its richness and intensity holds up to grilled white meat. $22.95, lcbo.com 4 MISSION HILL RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2017: This creamy chard from BC’s Okanagan Valley is oak-heavy with notes of pear, peach and toffee. Sip with white sauce pasta. $23.95, lcbo.com

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1 CHARTRON ET TREBUCHET CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE 2016: A crisp bubbly made from chardonnay grapes in the heart of Burgundy’s Golden Triangle. Creamy with a rich body and citrus aromas. $20.95, lcbo.com 2 BOTTEGA PROSECCO 2018: Unlike other sparkling wines, this Italian fizz does double duty as an aperitif and food partner. Straw-coloured with notes of apple, white peach and delicate florals. Mix in a cocktail or enjoy on its own. $15.95, lcbo.com 3 HENRY OF PELHAM CUVÉE CATHARINE BRUT: Leading Canada’s sparkling wine revolution, this Niagara blend of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes delivers notes of apple and citrus. Great with oysters. $32.95, lcbo.com 4 FIOL PROSECCO: A budget-friendly bottle of bubbly that needs no special occasion. A fresh fizzer with floral aromas and notes of green apple and pear that’s crying out to be used in cocktails. $16.30, lcbo.com

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Experience wines, perfectly paired with culinary treats prepared by top local chefs at 20 craft wineries.


Did you know? Did you know?

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CONTEST

AND ALL THAT JAZZ

From a pasta and salad bar to freshly baked pastries and made-to-order hot entrées, Ricarda's All You Can Eat Jazz Brunch is the mid-morning meal of your dreams.

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OW THAT PATIO season has come to a bittersweet end, it’s time for Torontonians to turn their attention back to the city's other favourite obsession – brunching. Sweet or savoury, with mimosas or black coffee, there are more ways to enjoy this mid-morning meal than there are stars in the sky (no, not really). But why choose one when you could have them all? Every Sunday, Mediterranean restaurant Ricarda’s offers an All You Can Eat Jazz Brunch that covers all of the breakfast and lunch bases. Listen to live jazz music while you eat your way through the raw bar and salad and pasta bar. Try not to fill up on

the delicious, freshly baked bread and pastries – there's still more to enjoy. At the chef-run stations you can order eggs benedict, a custom-made omlette (with the option to add foie gras) or any other brunch standards of your choosing. Add bottomless mimomas to your meal and you've got a Sunday brunch you'll be leaping out of bed for. The open concept kitchen allows you to interact with the chefs while you dine. If you have any food concerns, let them know – they have options to accommodate most dietary needs. For those who let their little foodies tag along, there's even an adultmonitored play area with a bouncy castle and pint-size snacks. ●

WIN WIN AN ALL YOU CAN EAT BRUNCH FOR TWO AT RICARDA'S We're giving away a spot for you and a guest to try Ricarda's All You Can Eat Jazz Brunch for yourself. Start your Sunday off in the best way possible – with live jazz music and a full buffet of brunch options. Enjoy the raw bar, pasta and salad bar; bread and pastries; and hot dishes from the chef stations. For a full list of terms and conditions and to enter visit: foodism.to/ competition

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PROMOTION

READY TO RUM-BLE As part of our Flor de Caña Mixtronomy dinner series, we tucked into a delicious, bespoke menu complete with rum pairings at Sofia restaurant.

JUST RUM WITH IT For the first event in our Flor de Caña and Foodism Mixtronomy dinner series, we held a rum-focused, fine dining feast at the swish Sofia restaurant in Yorkville. Each tipple centred on Flor de Caña’s award-winning rums and was paired perfectly with a bespoke menu from Sofia’s chef Rob LeClair.

For the perfect Fair Trade Certified pairing, guests received a gift bag of Green & Black’s chocolate to enjoy with Flor de Caña rum at home. ●

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Photography: Sandro Pehar

After mingling on the patio, guests were seated to begin their deep dive into a four-course dinner and rum tasting. Grilled Branzino paired with a Flor de Caña old fashioned made the main event, while a chocolate mousse with a Flor de Caña-infused zabaglione topped it all off.


FOODISM’S FINEST

Here are the eats, sips and food experiences that we’re relishing.

E X MARKS T HE SP OT

MIRA, M IRA ON T HE WA L L

WIZ A RD O F BOOZE

Andrea Yu Contributing Editor

Katie Bridges Associate Editor

Emily Buck Marketing Coordinator

Sure, there are Ferris wheels and roller coasters, but for most of us the highlights of the CNE can be found inside the food hall. I sunk into a guacamole burger from Bub’s Beyond Burgers (and went old-school with a soft serve-topped funnel cake for dessert). My taste buds definitely thanked me but my arteries are still recovering.

We spend a lot of time at the newest restaurants, so I was only too happy to revisit Mira, a Peruvian spot on Wellington which opened back in 2018. In true Inca style, we tucked into ceviche dishes and toasted the end of summer with pisco sours. Our piñata-esque dessert was smashed open to reveal treats like coffee ice cream and honeycomb.

To kick off festival season, I attended the Thompson Toronto’s annual TIFF Cocktails 101 evening. My highlight was the Ruby Slipper, a signature tipple featuring raspberry syrup, lemon juice, mint and ruby sugar crystals, with Bombay Sapphire or non-alcoholic Seedlip gin. The view from the rooftop lounge left us feeling pretty starstruck.

F L AVOUR OF THE WEEK Photography: Chuck Ortiz/Back Of House

Sushi Masaki Saito, 88 Avenue Rd. After falling in love with our city, chef Masaki Saito made the decision to leave NYC and set up permanently in Toronto. The two-Michelin-star chef brings his uberluxe, edomae-style sushi to a $500-a-head restaurant in Yorkville. In the spirit of omakase, which translates to “I’ll leave it up to you,” chef Saito and his team build a menu that changes daily based on what is seasonally available from Japan.

Each meal includes five appetizers, 12 pieces of sushi, miso soup and dessert, and no two menus have been alike so far. Depending on the season, you might find fresh hairy crab, sliced octopus served with yuzu kosho (seasoning made with yuzu peel and chili peppers), or grilled sawara (mackerel) served with soy. Saito’s main draw is the sushi courses – a dozen or so pieces of seasonal fresh seafood flown in daily from Japan. Expect expertly sliced scallops and horse mackerel served from the chef’s hand to yours. Note: Masaki Saito takes reservations two months in advance, so plan your visit accordingly. f

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Sunday Brunch A Niagara institution. A delectable tradition. Awe-inspiring views of the winding Niagara River and local vineyards are matched only by delicious, locally sourced culinary creations at this Feast On certified restaurant, boasting a full VQA wine and Ontario craft beer list. Queenston Heights Restaurant is an award-winning Niagara institution, and our sunday brunches are a Niagara tradition that, starting this year, will once more be served year-round. Make your reservation today.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT NIAGARAPARKS.COM/CULINARY OR CALL 905.262.4274 TO RESERVE


THE DIGEST

We can now buy the bun with a cult following and the PSL gets a cool sibling.

TATER TIME

The producers of Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls have made their beloved buns available for retail purchase in Canada. The Pennsylvania-based bakers have supplied Canadian restaurants like Porchetta & Co. since 2017, but the buns are now available for purchase in specialty grocers such as Pusateri’s, Summerhill Market and McEwan with plans for more. Party rolls, dinner rolls and potato bread are also available here in addition to the iconic burger rolls. These buttery and soft-but-sturdy buns might inspire us to keep our grills in use a little longer this fall.

SLICE OF LIFE Vegetarian pizza lovers can sate their slice cravings in the middle of the night with the introduction of Beyond Meat pizzas to 7-Eleven. Select downtown Toronto locations will be serving hot pies featuring plant-based Italian sausage crumbles, roasted vegetables and cheese, along with take-away options to bake at home. Foodora and Uber Eats will also deliver.

GOURD’S THE WORD Autumn’s most loathed (or loved, depending on who you are) beverage now has a cold-brewed cousin. Starbucks has launched a pumpkin cream cold brew – the company’s newest autumn-appropriate offering following the introduction of the pumpkin spice latte in 2003 and salted caramel latte more recently. The brew, which is described as not overly sweet, features pumpkin, vanilla and cocoa.

COCKTAILS BY THE CONCOURSE

As part of Union Station’s ongoing revitalization, the barware supply boutique Cocktail Emporium will be opening its third location in the Front Street Promenade. Come early 2020, it will feature artistic touches from the interior design firm Iron & Ivory. Customers can expect a similar selection of unique bar and cocktail supplies as what’s on offer at the Kensington and Queen West shops.

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THE SELECTOR

We’re ushering in the changing of the seasons the best way we know how: comforting waffles, classy wine bars and food challenges to bulk up for the winter.

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T’S EASY TO lament the passing of summer. But we’d rather celebrate the coming of cooler, crisp weather. What’s not to like about cozy sweaters and the vibrant shades of autumn’s leaves? If we haven’t gotten you on our side yet, wait until you consider this issue’s Selector lists. We’re not waffling about our love of waffles. While its origins may be on the

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breakfast table, this versatile food migrates easily to lunch, dinner and dessert topped with fried chicken or simply made crisp and delicious in its own right. With the rise of natural and biodynamic wines, bars specializing in these lowintervention bottles have become more prevalent in the city. Let the city’s best somms guide your pours and help you find

your favourite glass at one of these five spots. And if all you want to do is batten down the hatches for winter, then take on one (or all, we’re not judging) of the city’s best food challenges. From the spiciest roti to the mother of all beef burgers, there’s a spot on the hall of fame with your name on it. There’s truly no better, or more appetizing way to get ready for the coming of cold weather. f


1. GRA N DMA MA’S The technicolor food trend lives on in Grandmama’s brightly hued waffles (think purple ube, pink praline and black sesame), which taste as good as they look. Eschewing the trend of using waffles simply as a vessel for toppings

or chicken, these are delicious all on their own. After a brief stint hosting popups at breweries (recent spots include Henderson and the People’s Pint) their permanent home will open in Koreatown this fall at the corner of Clinton and Bloor. grandmama.ca

3. WHIT E B R IC K K ITC HEN This Koreatown diner’s breakfast menu is waffle-forward while also offering items like sandwiches and build-yourown breakfasts to please a picky crowd. Fried chicken and waffles are a sure bet, but save room for the house-made doughnuts. thewhitebrickkitchen.com

2. STARVING ARTIST This mini-chain of seven brunch spots across Toronto and Markham has made a name for itself thanks to its wafflefocused offerings. The menu is cheekily divided into sections like ‘side of waffles’ and ‘beside your waffles’ along

with essentials like dessert waffles. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, savoury options like Cheese N’ Chive hit the spot. The waffles Benedict – two poached eggs perched atop mini waffles – might be our new brunch favourite. starvingartistbar.com

4. WA FEL S & M O R E Sweet seekers flock to this Kensington waffle bar for thick and cakey Belgianstyle waffles speckled with authentic sugar pearls. The owner, a Belgian expat, uses a secret family recipe with waffle irons imported from Belgium so you know it’s the real deal. Plus, they have a list of sweet and savoury toppings. wafelsandmore.ca

Photography: Starving Artist by Chris Bansie

GOD-WAFFLE BREAKFAST

Fancier than flapjacks, more elegant than eggs, waffles from these leading spots deserve top billing.

5. CLUCK CLUCK’S CHICKEN AND WAFFLES Chicken and waffles isn’t a passing fad thanks to this Esplanade spot. Cluck Cluck’s serves nearly ten takes on this combo, including options with parmesan breading and waffle sandwiches. Go big with a Hold the Cluck Up to get fried chicken pieces in a waffle cone. cluckclucks.ca

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BETTER BY THE GLASS

Wine, whether natural or not, is in the limelight right now and these are the best bars to find it at. 1. A PRÈS W IN E BAR Toronto’s culinary elite, including the folks at Canis, are enamoured with natural wine. As its name suggests, their Après Wine Bar is a place to head following a meal on Queen West – or for a pre-meal snack. Natural wines are

showcased here with the promise that all of them were made using ethical farming and production means. Food items focus on wine-friendly shareables but à la carte options and a tasting menu are also available if you’ve arrived with an appetite. apreswinebar.ca

3. PARADISE GRAPEVINE This Bloorcourt spot takes a hipsterized approach to wine (we’re in Toronto, after all) with just bar service, plenty of bythe-glass options and a chill atmosphere. Grab a stem and retreat to the vinecovered back patio, which is open until 2 a.m. paradisegrapevine.com

4. S ENATO R WINE BAR

2. PA RIS PA RIS When a wine list includes sections like “skin contact whites” and ”sweet and/or oxidative,” you know they mean business. In between Dundas West’s dives, this stylish wine bar has a bible-

long list that is heavy on natural options. Jonathan Poon of Superpoint is behind the food menu, with Portuguese-style roast chicken and spicy short ribs plus vino-friendly cheese plates. Expect a bustling atmosphere. parisparis.ca

Head one floor above the Senator diner to find a charming French bistro. The wine list emphasizes Old World options with a few bottles from Ontario and California thrown into the mix. A vintage piano in the corner isn’t just decor – live music starts at 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday thesenator.com/wine-bar

5. A NNEX WINE BAR This boutique hotel’s daytime café transforms into a stylish wine bar at night, serving small plates (Parisian gnocchi, avocado salad) paired with a wine list heavy on biodynamic options. Knowledgeable bartenders can chat about the evolution of orange wines or up-and-coming regions. theannex.com

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1. C H ULA TA BERNA M E XICA N A If you can’t take the heat, get out of the, well, taco shop. Chula’s Inferno Taco Challenge lets you choose between a mushroom or pork taco topped with scotch bonnet, habanero, jalapeno and

red bird’s-eye chilies. And that’s not all – it’s served with a 10 ml syringe of La Muerte (translation: death) sauce, made with scorpion and ghost peppers. Finish the whole thing in under a minute and the taco is free, plus you’ll get your photo on their Wall of Flame. chula.ca

3. HO LY C HU C K With six patties between two grilled cheese sandwiches, the whopping Go Chuck Yourself Burger is a wild ride, even without the time limit. But, finish it in six minutes, along with a milkshake, and you’ll get a t-shirt and your photo on the Wall of Fame. Fail, and it’s the Wall of Shame for you. holychuckburgers.com

2. KINTON RAMEN

Photography: Annex Wine Bar by Matt De Rome, Holy Chuck by Lucas Richarz, My Roti Place by Elaine Fancy Photography

Every few weeks, Kinton holds their Mega Ramen Challenge. You have 15 minutes to completely finish a heaping bowl of soup that’s about three times the size of their regular ramen and piled high with extra servings of noodles

and pork. Polish it all off and you’ll get the $30 meal and a t-shirt for free. The locations and type of ramen vary each time. The kitchen can only put out three mega ramens at once, so even if you’re not ready to jump in, you can always show up to cheer. kintonramen.com

4. M Y R O T I P L A C E Another one for the heat fiends, My Roti Place’s agni (Sanskrit for fire) sauce is made with 11 different chilies, peppers and spices. To beat the Agni Challenge, you have to finish an entire roti with the fiery sauce in under 20 minutes. Winners receive a prize pack, including a $25 gift certificate. myrotiplace.com

ALL FOR THE GLUTTONY

Keep the CNE spirit going into fall with one of these eat-it-all challenges from Toronto restaurants.

5. STA C K Try not to gasp when you see this massive platter heading towards your table. The Great Stack Challenge includes two bacon cheeseburgers, a mountain of fries (weighing one pound) and a milkshake. Finish it in under 30 minutes and it’s free; fail and you’re faced with a $50 bill. stackrestaurant.ca

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MARBL 455 King St. West

SIDE SPAGHETTI SQUASH: Served with brown butter, chillies and pecorino.

SIDE POTATOES: Roasted with onions, carrots, celery, garlic thyme and rosemary. Finished with dill and sour cream.

SIDE CARROTS: Roasted carrots in curry, with cashews sprinkled on top.

LAMB: Rack of lamb, slow roasted in a cast iron pan.

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TOMAHAWK STEAK: 48 oz of on-the-bone USDA prime rib steak corn-finished, from Iowa.

SCALLOPS: Seared east coast scallops from Digby, Nova Scotia. Served with rutabaga, brown butter and citrus.

SIDE BROCCOLI: A simple side dish topped with aged cheddar.

PRAWNS: Sautéed and served with a half lemon.

Photography: Joanna Photography: Wojewoda

MARBL’s share platter ($365) is a meaty affair, showcasing the restaurant’s American bistro-style cuisine. We’ve featured it with some of our fave sides to complete the mix.


Please enjoy our wines responsibly. © 2019 Meiomi Wines, Acampo, CA

MADE LIKE NO OTHER FOR A TASTE LIKE NO OTHER


Please enjoy our wines responsibly. © 2019 Meiomi Wines, Acampo, CA

Profile for Square Up Media Ltd.

Foodism – 19 – Toronto, food and drink