T O R O N T O , O N E B I T E AT A T I M E
wine made by us, moments made by you.
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Suresh Doss ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Jon Hawkins, Mike Gibson WRITERS
Andrea Yu, Jessica Dawdy COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT
Design ART DIRECTOR
Matthew Hasteley LEAD DESIGNER
Abigail Robinson, Emily Black PHOTOGRAPHERS
Ryan Faist, Sandro Pehar, Kailee Mandel, Jeffrey Chen CONTRIBUTORS
Darren Wells, Nicole Aggelonitis, James Dalgarno LEAD DEVELOPER
AJ Cerqueti PRINTING
Krista Faist CHAIRMAN
foodism uses paper from sustainable sources
Recently I had the chance to chat with a family that was visiting Toronto from the United States. Parents and kids fully decked out in baseball paraphernalia and towering ice cream cones, ready to spend the day downtown. I asked what they loved about Toronto. “We love Toronto in the summertime because no matter what weekend you pick to travel up here, there’s so much going on. Toronto always feels like it’s the most inviting and inclusive city. You get a taste of the world in a weekend.” Our sixth issue is our most vibrant one yet as we continue to cover Toronto far and wide. Jessica Dawdy explores Stratford (pg. 72), and with our nation’s 150th in mind, I speak to chef Joseph Shawana about being an ambassador for Indigenous cuisine as it gains steam (pg. 42). Corey Mintz delves into the art of pastry in the city (pg. 36), while Jon Sufrin effuses about one of my favourite restaurants in Chinatown (pg. 90). You might notice that our format is slightly different this issue. We’ve added a mini escapism section dedicated to all things travel (pg. 52). We’ve kicked it off with a beautiful spread of travel photography from Iceland (pg. 64), along with a camping guide by Andrea Yu to help you maximize your outdoor experiences (pg. 54). You’ll be seeing more escapism in the coming months as we’re working on something very exciting for the new year. So stay tuned, and we hope your summer season is memorable. f
FRONT COVER: Photography by Ian Dingle Art direction by Matthew Hasteley
GRAZE 012 THE FOODIST 016 DAYTRIPPER 019 THE RADAR 020 WEAPONS OF CHOICE 025 RECIPES 033 FRANK’S KITCHEN
FEAST 036 THE CULT OF DESSERT 042 BREAKING BARRIERS 048 COCKTAIL HOUR
ESCAPISM 054 OUTER SPACES 062 CHECKLIST 064 A WORLD APART 072 THE INSIDER 074 JUST LANDED
EXCESS 082 BOTTLE SERVICE 091 THE NOSTALGIST
© Foodism Toronto 2017. 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.
093 THE DIGEST 094 THE SELECTOR 098 DECONSTRUCT
We take 102 days to brew and condition Czechvar premium pale lager. About seven times longer than most other beers. Itâ€™s the only way to preserve our unique and unmatchable taste. Czechvar premium pale lager has a beautiful golden colour and rich head, its mild hop aroma balances well with the perfectly synchronised sweet-bitter taste. You will understand why it is the lager for those in the know.
— PART 1 —
GRAZE “WHETHER OR NOT IT’S LEGAL, WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE DRINKING IN PARKS.” THE FOODIST, 012
012 THE FOODIST | 016 DAYTRIPPER | 019 THE RADAR 020 WEAPONS OF CHOICE | 025 RECIPES | 033 FRANK’S KITCHEN
Park drinking may be illegal in Toronto, but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, Andrea Yu writes
TOR ONTO’S TOP F OOD AC T IVISTS
1 JOSHNA MAHARAJ
crackdowns have since eased up and police now generally let the activity slide as long as it’s done respectfully. I’ve witnessed a few reckless park patrons in my time and their behaviour was likely alcohol-induced. Those folks deserve to be slapped with the $260 fine for creating a nuisance and interfering “with the use and enjoyment of the park by other persons.” But the peaceful patrons enjoying a cold pour outdoors? I don’t see what problems they’re causing. There are plenty of people who haven’t consumed any alcohol that create nuisances in the park who should be fined too. Instead of targeting tame tipplers, the police should focus their efforts on those actually disrupting the peace. If you need evidence that easing up on this stuffy bylaw will not result in runaway public drunkenness, we can look to our fair neighbours to the east. In Quebec, alcoholic beverages may be consumed in parks as long as they’re accompanied by a meal. A friend living in Montreal assures me that mass chaos has yet to erupt. I found it only appropriate to pen this piece while sitting on a floral picnic blanket in Christie Pits Park. I’ve got a tallboy in hand, beads of condensation accumulating while I bask in the summer sunshine. Yes, I’m admitting to casually breaking a bylaw. But I’m guessing you’ve done it too, and whether or not it’s legal, we’re going to continue drinking in parks. And as long as we do so responsibly, respectfully and with consideration, Toronto police should continue turning a blind eye to it. f
While passionate about a wide variety of grassroots food causes, Joshna Maharaj is perhaps best known for her work in shifting GTA hospitals away from prepackaged meals and toward fresh ingredients. In 2016 she was nominated for the Basque Culinary World Prize.
Over his impressive 54 years in activism, Wayne Roberts has fought for countless causes. Currently he is a speaker on food security and is manager of the Toronto Food Policy Council, which helps the city develop a health-oriented food agenda.
Photograph by Rob Bye
HE CRUELEST APRIL Fools’ joke played on Torontonians this year came from blogTO. It was a brilliant “news” post claiming the city was piloting a project to make drinking alcohol legal in public parks. The piece was wildly popular, with thousands of shares on Facebook and gullible local websites citing the article as a legitimate source. In fact, I still have friends proudly proclaiming that drinking in parks is legal. They “read it on the Internet somewhere.” Sadly, according to chapter 608 of the Toronto Municipal Code, “While in a park, no person shall: Have in their possession an open container of any liquor,” nor can they “consume, serve or sell liquor unless in a designated area authorized by permit and with the approval of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.” The fine for offending can be hefty. Yet cracking open a cold one has been a summer pastime in Toronto for eons. The park in which you can find this activity at its peak is Trinity Bellwoods, where bare grass becomes hotter real estate than, well, actual Toronto real estate once the sun comes out. Among the shirtless slackliners, devil stick twirlers and amateur softball players sits bylaw breaker after bylaw breaker with tallboys, Mason jars of wine or plastic cups of cocktails at their sides. Granted, Bellwoods can get hectic on a hot summer day. Owing to an increase in complaints from local residents in 2013, the park was subject to police cracking down on drinking as part of Project Green Glasses. While the project has no official end, the
Natural spring water purified by Canadian glacial rocks
LOCAL HEROES 3
In her efforts to spread awareness of Canada’s agricultural bounty and its homegrown culinary talent, Anita Stewart has been second to none. She is the founder of Food Day Canada, an annual celebration of the nation’s food culture. She was named into the Order of Canada in 2012, and she is the author of numerous books, including Canada: the Food, the Recipes, the Stories. She is also a co-creator of University of Guelph’s Good Food Innovation Awards, which recognize inventive approaches to food.
TOP LOCAL P R E SE RV E S
A true civil disobedient, Michael Schmidt has been a longtime advocate for the freedom to sell raw milk. Schmidt is a devout believer in the health benefits of unpasteurized dairy, and he feels the government is hypocritical in allowing the sale of cancer-causing products such as tobacco while banning the sale of raw milk. In standing up to put a limit on what the government says we are permitted to put into our bodies, he has gone on hunger strike, faced hefty fines and risked jail time.
Since its inception in 2012, Community Food Centres Canada has been more than just a food bank. In addition to providing access to quality food for those in need, these centres are also hubs in which people learn how to cook, garden and make healthy food choices. Under the guidance of co-founder Nick Saul – who witnessed food insecurity first-hand as a child – CFCC has expanded to Winnipeg, Calgary and beyond. Saul is a Jane Jacobs Prize winner and is a frequent speaker on issues of social justice.
The time to start thinking about canning and pickling is now, before the weather cools. Here are our faves SCOUT CANNING
KITTEN & THE BEAR
Owned and operated by Toronto chef Charlotte Langley, Scout Canning offers a selection of preserves that changes throughout the year. Langley’s line of canned seafood is her most popular, featuring the likes of local smoked trout with ramp vinaigrette or whitefish with cucumber gelée. She creates dessert preserves, too. @scoutcanning
This family-run operation in the west end works with local farmers to preserve the best fruit and vegetables from around the province, including pears, strawberries and raspberries. Prepare to spend a long time exploring the shelves as the rotation changes often. If you can’t find it anywhere else, Stasis will probably have it. @stasispreserves
Head over to this adorable Queen West store and browse through some of the most interesting spreads you’ll come across in Toronto, each suited for a specific type of pastry. Our favourites include the blend of summer berries for morning toast and the banana and bourbon for scones (try the housemade buttermilk variety). @kittenandthebear
Think Outside the Juice Box Add Kiju juice to your favourite recipe!
Follow us @kijuorganic to see more #cookingwithkiju
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Other must-try spots
Surrounded by some of the best farms in Southwestern Ontario, Kitchener is quickly maturing into a hotbed for local cuisine
PLAN YOUR STAY
Kitchener Market; 300 King St. E. The Saturday farmers’ market here is considered by locals to be one of the best in the region. Great international food stalls too. kitchenermarket.ca
Downtown Kitchener is growing more vibrant by the day with new cafés, artisanal shops and cocktail lounges. At the centre of this boom is the Walper Hotel, Kitchener’s version of the Drake. A proper visit to this evolving community should begin here.
◆◆ The Walper Hotel;
20 Queen St. S. No two rooms are the same at this boutique hotel. The 124-year-old Victorian building exudes charm and is walking distance to Kitchener’s hot spots. Even the in-room coffee is top-notch. walper.com
◆◆ The Lokal; 20
Queen St. S. A gorgeous piano bar is located on the second floor of the Walper Hotel, with one of the city’s best mixologists at the helm. Throw your feet up with a glass of whisky or a spot of Ontario wine. walper.com/lokal
At the heart of Kitchener’s recent gentrification is a small group of talented entrepreneurs looking to create a culture of support for local and seasonal ingredients.
◆◆ Public Kitchen
◆◆ The Berlin; 45
King St. W. Ex-Langdon Hall chef Jonathan Gushue illustrates the benefits of open-hearth cooking at his farmto-table restaurant. The food is bright, kissed with smoke and goes far beyond typical. theberlinkw.ca
J & P Grocery; 8 Queen St. N A new boutique grocer with an impressive lineup of artisanal products. Stop by for locally made ice cream, kimchi and soups. jandpgrocery.com
Photography by Suresh Doss
and Bar; 295 Lancaster St. W. The food at this convivial spot highlights land and sea, and all of the beer is local. Make sure to stop by the bar’s sister market nearby for housemade preserves and pastries. kwpublic.com
The Yeti Cafe; 14 Eby St. N. Part café, part breakfast spot, part community hub. Packed during the weekends. The hibiscus tea is a must-try. theyeticafe.com
I M AG I N E C R E AT E C E L E B R AT E Weddings, Galas, Corporate Development, Vendor Events, Celebrations
ARTSCAPE SANDBOX ARTSCAPE WYCHWOOD BARNS
V E N U E S
DANIELS SPECTRUM ARTSCAPE GIBRALTAR POINT
w w w. Artsc ap eVenues.c a
K ING TA P S
DRINKING GRAZING DINING TRENDING
THE RADAR We take you through the best new bar and restaurant openings from around the city Dining
CAFÉ CANCA N
Photography by Nikki Leigh McKean, Suresh Doss
Victor Barry revives the former Harbord Room space into Café Cancan, a chic French bistro. Here, Barry offers updates on classic fare such as French onion soup with shredded short rib or rainbow trout in beurre blanc. Plus, house-made eclairs. Cancan’s bar menu notably features an affordable array of low-proof cocktails, best enjoyed on the newly opened back patio. cafecancan.com
M OM O SAN
Baldwin Village has a new sushi and cocktail joint with Momo San. Slick contemporary interiors and Asian-inspired drinks set the tone for platters of blowtorched sushi and hand-pressed oshizushi. A signature item is the momo tart, the restaurant’s take on a sushi cake, with layers of sushi, rice and avocado cream daintily sandwiched for a truly enviable Instagram post. @momosantrt
T E NNE SSE E TAVE R N
Grant van Gameren’s ever-growing restaurant empire has a new entrant on Queen West, and despite its Southern American-sounding name, Tennessee Tavern finds inspiration from Eastern Europe. The menu is packed with the region’s greatest hits, including perogies, cevapi and smoked fish. And yes, Tennessee also serves the potent European brandy known as rakia. @tennesseetavern
WONG’S IC E C R E AM & STOR E Ice cream fanatic Ed Wong used to operate the popular Henry Brown’s Small Batch Ice Cream Company in Hamilton before opening Wong’s Ice Cream. The interesting Asian-inspired flavour combinations – such as chocolate yuzu or black sesame with salted duck egg – are winning over the hearts of dessert lovers across Toronto. And even though it’s the social media age, Wong remains more concerned with quality than with over-the-top presentation. wongsicecream.com
The financial district welcomes a sprawling new watering hole with 450 seats and a two-level patio along the base of First Canadian Place. It’s sleek enough for Bay Street’s happy hour, while 50-plus beers on tap should satisfy pickier craft brew fans. Meanwhile, pizzas are the pride of King Taps’ food menu. kingtaps.com
K AY PA CH A
Chef Elias Salazar, who earned serious acclaim for his Peruvian pop-up at Queen West cocktail lounge Rush Lane, has opened a fullfledged restaurant. Located in the former Catch space on St. Clair, Kay Pacha is a natural progression from Salazar’s popup, which means, of course, a menu with lots of ceviche. On Sundays, Kay Pacha also cooks up Peruvian brunch.
M U L BER RY BA R
The owners of Northwood have opened a sister bar just across the street on Bloor. The space is elegantly decorated with plenty of hanging plants, while a backlit glass arcade exudes a vintage Parisian feel. Expect a menu of cocktails inspired by the French Riviera alongside great wines and ciders. mulberry.bar
WEAPONS OF CHOICE Weâ€™ve got all of your summer brewing, growing and spritzing needs covered Photography by Ryan Faist
G OING G R E E N MODGARDEN TINYFARM, $750 ONLINE Become an urban gardener without leaving the house with these mini-farms, available in three sizes to suit your organic needs year-round. modgarden.com
THE GRE AT INDO O RS
QUIC K R E L E ASE
OU T OF T HE F RY ING PAN
T-FAL OPTIGRILL+, $160
T-FAL TECHNO RELEASE PAN, $120
T-FAL ACTIFRY EXPRESS, $330
A pan that’s built to last, and it also comes with a raised pattern on the interior for easier release of food. t-fal.ca
Designed for the healthconscious foodie who loves to deep fry. One tablespoon of oil is all you need. t-fal.ca
If the weather doesn’t cooperate this summer, the solution is simple. Grill your steaks, wings, chops and veggies indoors. t-fal.ca
1 3 2
K ING OF POP
CAF F E INE F IX
SODASTREAM FIZZI, $120
NESPRESSO VERTUOPLUS, $280
With its soft and delicate bubbles, SodaStream’s newest model may be its best one yet. Think of all the summer spritzers. sodastream.ca
Nespresso’s VertuoPlus line combines slick design with a unique brewing method for better-than-average coffee at the push of a button. nespresso.com/ca
IT’S TIME TO GET FRESH
PEAK PRODUCE SEASON IS SETTING DOWN IN ONTARIO, AND WE’VE GOT AN ASSORTMENT OF RECIPES TO HELP YOU TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF IT
HERE ARE FEW better places in the world for summer produce than Ontario. While our winters are mostly limited to root vegetables, summer brings with it the full spectrum of our province’s treasures: clean and crisp peas, sweet and buttery corn, bright and juicy peaches. We had this in mind when choosing our featured cookbooks this month. Joshua McFadden, the acclaimed chef of Ava Gene’s in Portland, Ore., is known as a vegetable guru. His new book, Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables ($44.50,
chapters.indigo.ca), provides plenty of insight
on seasonality and how to choose vegetables at their prime – plus lots of recipes, too. If you like fruit, chances are you’ve noticed that it pairs quite well with yogurt. Hubert Cormier, a nutritionist from Quebec City, offers 75 yogurt-related recipes that highlight a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables in his latest book, Yogurt Every Day ($25, chapters.indigo.ca). So if you’re feeling like some cool and refreshing meals as summer wanes, you know what to do: get cooking. f
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F O O DIS M R E CIP E S, IN AS S OC I AT I ON W I T H R OL L I N G M EAD OW DAI RY
Photograph by ###
Rolling Meadow Dairy, Canada’s leader in grass fed dairy, works exclusively with small farms in southwestern Ontario that raise their cows outdoors on pastures. These farms believe in quality over quantity with a focus on using traditional farming practices. The result is a product with a fuller flavour and greater nutritional
content than conventional milk. New Zealand and Ireland have traditionally been the go-to sources for grass fed dairy, but thanks to Rolling Meadow, Ontarians can now find it locally. Grass fed beef has long been a favourite choice for discerning foodies, and now grass fed dairy is becoming known for its taste and quality.
ARTICHOKE SALAD THE OUTER LAYER OF AN ARTICHOKE STEM IS FIBROUS, BUT THE INNER, LIGHTER HEART IS SWEET AND SUCCULENT I N GREDI EN TS ◆◆ 2 artichokes ◆◆ 2 lemons, halved ◆◆ Kosher salt and freshly
ground black pepper ◆◆ tsp dried chili flakes ◆◆ cup mint leaves ◆◆ cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves ◆◆ cup lightly packed chives cut into 2-inch lengths ◆◆ cup chive blossoms (if you can find them) ◆◆ cup roughly chopped toasted almonds ◆◆ 15 to 20 shavings Parmesan cheese (shaved with a vegetable peeler) ◆◆ cup extra-virgin olive oil
OUNG ARTICHOKES ARE less fibrous and more tender – but only if you slice them very fine.
1 Pull and snap off the darker outer leaves of the artichokes until you reach the pale green-yellow tender inner leaves. Slice off the top third of the artichoke. Trim the very end of the stem and then peel the outer layers of the stem with a paring knife or a vegetable peeler. 2 Slice the artichoke in half lengthwise and rub the exterior with a
Preparation ◆◆ 15 mins
◆◆ 5 mins
lemon half. Scoop out the hairy choke with a spoon. Squeeze some lemon juice into the choke space. 3 Place an artichoke’s half cut-side down on the work surface and slice it lengthwise as thinly as you can. Repeat with the other halves. 4 Put the sliced artichoke in a bowl. Squeeze in the juice of the remaining 3 lemon halves and add ½ teaspoon salt, lots of black pepper, the chili flakes, mint, parsley, chives, chive blossoms, almonds and Parmesan and toss. Drizzle with the olive oil, toss the salad again, taste, and serve. f
PASTA WITH PEAS THIS TWIST ON THE CLASSIC CARBONARA USES PEA PODS AND TENDRILS FOR A SPLASH OF GREEN
Photography by Laura Dart
1 Put the pancetta and a small glug of olive oil in a skillet or Dutch oven that’s large enough to hold all the pasta. Cook until the pancetta is lightly browned but still slightly chewy, 9 to 12 minutes (or less if you’re using thinly sliced pancetta). Season the pancetta very generously with pepper. Take the skillet off the heat, but don’t drain anything – you’ll want to use that fat. 2 When the water is at a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until almost al dente. When the pasta is almost ready, add the shelled peas to the pasta pot. Put the skillet back over medium heat and reheat the pancetta gently. 3 With a ladle or a measuring cup, scoop out about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and peas. Whisk a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water into the fat and pancetta in the skillet, to make the bacon fat lighter and creamier by emulsifying it with the water. Pull the pan off the heat. Whisk some of that warm fat into the beaten egg to temper it (meaning to gently warm up the egg so that it doesn’t scramble when you add it to the hot skillet), then whisk the egg into the skillet. 4 Dump the pasta, peas, scallions, and pea tendrils (if using) into the skillet. Add both the cheeses and toss everything quickly and thoroughly to blend. Add a few more small splashes of the pasta water and keep tossing until the noodles are cloaked in a creamy sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt or black pepper as needed. Serve right away. This dish does not wait. f
ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ Kosher salt and freshly
ground black pepper ◆◆ 3 ounces pancetta, cut into
small dices ◆◆ Extra-virgin olive oil ◆◆ 8 ounces dried fettuccine,
linguine or spaghetti ◆◆ 1 cup English peas in their
pods, shelled ◆◆ 3 scallions, trimmed
(including 1/2 inch off the green tops), thinly sliced on an angle ◆◆ 1 small handful pea tendrils ◆◆ 1 egg, whipped well with a fork in a little bowl ◆◆ ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ◆◆ ½ cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
Rolling Meadow Dairy Large Pastured Free Range Eggs
Preparation ◆◆ 20 mins
◆◆ 20 mins
BROCCOLI IS ONE OF THE MOST NUTRITIOUS DARK GREEN VEGETABLES, AND THIS RECIPE MAKES USE OF THE STALK – A CLEVER WAY TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE
ING R E DIE NTS cups dried chickpeas cups dried lima beans ◆◆ 1 cup grated broccoli stalk ◆◆ 1 shallot ◆◆ 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley ◆◆ A few fresh cilantro leaves ◆◆ 1 tbsp ground cumin ◆◆ ¼ cup panko bread crumbs ◆◆ ¼ cup chopped pistachios ◆◆ 1 cups Greek yogurt ◆◆ 1 ◆◆ 1
Preparation ◆◆ 15 mins
◆◆ 35 mins
HESE FALAFEL BALLS are baked and become just as crispy as if they were fried – but they remain much leaner. Keep in mind that you should start this recipe the day before you want to enjoy it.
1 In a large bowl filled with cold water, soak the chickpeas and lima beans for 24 hours. Keep the bowl refrigerated while the pulses soak. 2 Once the pulses have soaked, preheat the oven to 375 F.
3 Drain the pulses, then dry them thoroughly with paper towels. 4 Process the chickpeas, lima beans, broccoli stalk, shallot, parsley, cilantro, cumin, panko, pistachios and yogurt in a food processor. 5 Shape the mixture into 20 pingpong-sized balls, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If the mixture is too sticky, add more panko bread crumbs to the mix. 6 Bake the falafel about 20 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes so they brown on all sides evenly. f
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Photograph by Catherine Côté
Rolling Meadow Dairy 0% Greek Yogourt
FRUITS EN PAPILLOTE
FOR A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TASTE AND A UNIQUE WAY TO ENJOY FRUIT, TRY BAKING IT IN PARCHMENT PAPER
◆◆ 25 mins
◆◆ 45 mins
Rolling Meadow Dairy 2% Greek Yogourt
ING R E DIE NTS
1 Preheat the oven to 400 F. 2 In a large bowl, mix together the
fruits, sugar, apple juice, lime zest and Grand Marnier. 3 Line a baking sheet with two sheets of parchment paper measuring 12 × 16 inches. Transfer the fruit mixture to the centre of the parchment paper, then gather all of the sides together to form a bundle. Twist the top of the bundle to seal it closed. 4 Bake for 35 minutes. 5 Set the baked papillote in the middle of the table, along with plain Greek yogurt and slivered almonds, so every guest can help themselves. f
◆◆ 2 peaches, diced ◆◆ 2 pears, diced ◆◆ 1 cup halved strawberries ◆◆ 1 cup blackberries ◆◆ 2 tbsp granulated sugar ◆◆ 2 tbsp apple juice ◆◆
tsp lime zest
◆◆ 2 tsp Grand Marnier (or other
citrus fruit liqueur)
To serve ◆◆ 2 cups plain Greek yogurt ◆◆ 2 tbsp slivered almonds
F O O D I S M .T O
Photograph by Catherine Côté
REALLY ENJOY BRUNCHES and long breakfasts with the family. Less formal than dinners, such meals allow me to share good times without having a drink. This dish is perfect for a brunch spread. Just wrap lots of fruit into a paper parcel (also called a “papillote”) and set it in the middle of the table so that everyone can garnish their yogurt with their favorite fruit.
For the papillote
Frank Parhizgar and Shawn Cooper
THE POWER OF A REVIEW
For the owners of former Little Italy institution Frank’s Kitchen, Yelp is both a blessing and a curse
IGHT YEARS AGO, we opened Frank’s Kitchen on College Street without fanfare or social media. We did not send out a press package, invite bloggers or contact hotel concierges. We did not have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even a website. We are from a different time, a different era, when restaurants succeeded by slowly building up a loyal base of clientele through consistent nightly performance. When Frank’s Kitchen first opened, we sat virtually empty for four months. We retained the guests that did come, and weekends did well, but a restaurant cannot sustain itself on weekends alone. We depressingly observed the lineups at the burger-and-wrap joint beside us. We discussed closing. Once, during a street festival, we talked
about doing street food and making a quick buck. But Shawn insisted that we stick to who we were, fine dining. So we held out and did our menu, and Gina Mallet from the National Post happened upon us during that festival and gave us a stellar review. Our lives changed overnight. Our phone calls quadrupled. We became booked weeks in advance. Then came the other heavyweights: Joanne Kates, Amy Pataki, James Chatto and Chris Nuttall-Smith. It kept us relevant for years. Anyone who thinks that reviews don’t matter is dead wrong. Without them, you are invisible. What happened next was eye-opening, and now we know a natural progression in the life of a restaurant. For the first two to three years, people came because of critical
Photograph by Suresh Doss
acclaim. But by year three and four, people heard about us through Yelp or TripAdvisor. They had no idea that we had been reviewed by prestigious food critics. It’s a brand new game now. The social media craze came up behind us, after Frank’s Kitchen opened. We had our heads down and didn’t notice. In this new social mediadriven world, much had changed and we had not. We will not make the same mistake of underestimating media at our new location on St. Clair, FK Wine Bar. In truth, we want our life’s work as industry professionals to be marked by other professionals. That luxury is sometimes not afforded with Yelp or TripAdvisor. We still get a sinking feeling when a new Yelp review comes up in our email. We know how important they are. We know people base their dining decisions on these reviews. People will also read the negative ones first, and are likely to be motivated to write negative reviews instead of positive ones. It is disheartening that any false move, perceived or otherwise, is reported on. Running a restaurant cannot always be a perfect performance. It’s live, and it’s a show, and if one of 1,000 variables goes wrong, the show is not as good. If the incredible effort that goes into a flawless dinner service was fully understood, perhaps people would be more careful in the stories they report. Some reviews are fair and honest, and others aren’t. Still, the bottom line is that we would not have had our success without reviews. We grow from them. A customer’s perception is everything. You can love reviews or hate them, but never underestimate them. f
A UNIQUE VIEW ON CANADIAN DINING
Join Executive Chef John Morris and Restaurateur Cameron Dryburgh at 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower. Savour inspired Canadian cuisine featuring locally-sourced seasonal ingredients while feasting on spectacular 360-degree revolving views of Toronto with every bite. With a wide selection of wines from Ontario, Canada and the world to complement your meal, your fine dining experience at 360 is sure to find you saying, â€œOh Canada.â€?
To make a reservation visit cntower.ca/360 or call 416-362-5411
— PART 2 —
FEAST “PASTRY CHEFS ARE BECOMING A RARE COMMODITY, AS RESTAURANTS CAN NO LONGER AFFORD THEM.” THE CULT OF DESSERT, 036
036 THE CULT OF DESSERT | 042 BREAKING BARRIERS | 048 COCKTAIL HOUR
RIGHT: Desserts at Richmond Station are multilayered and complex, requiring high levels of skill and labour to produce
THE CULT OF DESSERT Corey Mintz delves into the fascinating – but slowly disappearing – art of pastry in Toronto’s restaurants PHOTOGRAPHY BY SANDRO PEHAR
HEN THE DESSERT order comes into Richmond Station’s kitchen for one Surf n’ Turf, Louis Lim reaches for his bottle of chocolate tea squid ink gel. Out of the tube squeezes chocolate-accented pu-erh, a fermented style of Chinese green tea which the pastry chef has thickened with gellan and blackened with squid ink. Squiggling a design on the plate, a pattern inspired by painter Keith Haring, Lim then reaches for a spoon of “pumpernickel soil,” a crumbled mixture of cocoa powder, cornmeal, brown sugar, rye flour and candied with isomalt, a beet-derived sugar substitute. On top of the dish’s tea-and-toast base flavours, he mounts a couple ragged boulders of chocolate torte and then, perched over the plate with his piping bag, Lim extrudes mushroom pudding, made from steeping dried fungus in cream, the mixture sweetened with white chocolate and thickened with agar (for texture) and egg yolks (for the fat content). “I normally do about six to eight things on a plate,” says Lim, scooping a quenelle of his toasted barley ice cream and planting a flag atop the mountain of earthy flavours, a dried apple chip infused with squid ink syrup. Here’s the problem: the plate sells for $10. In Toronto, $12 is about the most anyone charges for dessert, and Richmond Station’s owners want to keep the menu prices approachable. The low price for this high skill, high labour dish is why hardly any Toronto restaurants can afford to employ a full-time pastry chef anymore. Compare the price threshold of dessert with what can be charged for an appetizer. “I order a beet and arugula salad,” says pastry chef Thomas Haas, the owner of two eponymous pastry shops in Vancouver, “and I get one medium sized beet cut in eight pieces, spread over an 18-inch plate with 12 pieces of baby arugula, a couple drops of balsamic and olive oil and it’s $18.” Haas argues that it’s not feasible to charge as much for dessert. “If [a restaurant] employs a highly qualified pastry chef who is worth the money and they make an intricate, textured, beautifully plated dessert with chocolate, which is $30 a kilo, and vanilla beans, which
IN TORONTO, $12 IS ABOUT THE MOST ANYONE CAN CHARGE FOR A DESSERT are $600 a kilo right now, all the restaurant can charge is $9, or $12 in Toronto.” Because of that, it’s often hard to justify the salary of a full-time, experienced pastry chef, who must not only be a creative fountain, but a multitasker beyond anyone else in a restaurant’s kitchen. Every cook has to prep a half-dozen items at once, but a pastry chef’s projects are all sensitive to barely perceptible degrees of temperature and humidity, requiring a constant, cosmic awareness of the room: the expansion of the sourdough starter, the cooling of a blind-baked pie crust and the slowly rising needle of a candy thermometer in a pot of simmering syrup. If a restaurant does make the investment,
the pastry chef has to maximize their output, producing bread while also making attention-grabbing, social-media friendly desserts in a space that usually occupies less than a tenth of the kitchen. It works at Richmond Station, because Lim avoids costly ingredients and manages to produce all of the restaurant’s house-made breads, plus at least 100 milk buns a day for burgers, during his 12-hour shift. In-house bread production – if the pastry chef has the talent, and the business is willing to pay for the hours and the kitchen has the space – can provide restaurants with a better and cheaper product than they could buy. Mamakas Taverna gets the most out of Cora James and her expertise. Every day, the executive pastry chef proofs dough and cuts, stretches and cooks 180 individual pitas, a centerpiece of the Greek restaurant’s menu. This is in addition to conceiving and preparing every element – cakes, ice creams and garnishes – for desserts. “Pastry chefs are becoming a rare commodity, as restaurants can no longer afford them,” says James. “Most pastry chefs, like myself, find themselves in merely a production/creative role, not allowed to see things through to the end because we don’t work service or are unable to hire a pastry team to plate at night.” James also oversees the pastry at Mamakas’s soon-to-open offshoot Agora, and it galls her that she can’t stay for service, that a junior cook will plate all of her creations. →
RIGHT: Richmond Station’s Louis Lim creates intricate desserts that cost around $10 apiece
→ Bob Bermann – former chef/owner of Boba, a landmark 90s Yorkville restaurant – doesn’t see that as such a problem. “Your ego will be perfectly fine if you have a full house every night,” Bermann says. “You don’t ever hear, ‘I’m craving the avocado mousse with the pumpkin seed brittle.’ It’s, ‘I want Scaramouche’s banana cream pie.’ Satisfy the customers and the humility will feed your ego as well.” Lately, Bermann has been working as a jack-of-all-trades at Barberian’s Steak House, a special occasion restaurant where owner Arron Barberian describes the traditional desserts (such as cheesecake, banana split and crème caramel) as: “A cheap way to rent the table for another hour.” Bermann has seen dessert trends come and go and points to a bottom line that supersedes artistic ambitions. With a historic knowledge of Toronto’s restaurant scene (“You mean I’m old,” he says), Bermann remembers when people drank coffee at night and you could sell two profitable cappuccinos with every dessert. Rather than bemoaning the creative limitations of pastry chefs, he offers a long view of dessert trends. In the 1960s, the “golden age of emerging North American culinary awareness,” gussied up fruit dishes like peach Melba and pears belle Helene were fashionable. Then in the 1970s, as chain restaurants took over, outsourcing pastry became common.
HARDLY ANYONE IN TORONTO CAN AFFORD TO EMPLOY A FULL-TIME PASTRY CHEF RIGHT: Cora James, who oversees the pastry department at Mamakas Taverna, says financial and logistical limitations make her job difficult
IN TORONTO, A PASTRY CHEF CAN’T APPRENTICE IN THE SAME WAY THAT A COOK CAN
ABOVE: Romain Avril, chef at Lavelle, convinced the restaurant’s owners to build the kitchen with space dedicated to a pastry department
“They farmed it out and dessert was no fun,” Bermann says, recounting factory-made mint chocolate After Eight pies. “They came pre-portioned and your waiter Chad would say, ‘How bout some dessert, folks?’ ” The 1980s saw the ubiquity of tartufo, two flavours of ice cream rolled in nuts or coconut or cocoa. And then came the flametorched crème brûlée in the 1990s. “If you had crème brûlée on the menu, you sold nothing else. It would outsell every other dessert four to one. I remember constantly going to Canadian Tire to get more gas canisters for the torches.” While crème brûlée is still popular, there are restaurants making exceptional desserts, and restaurants breaking the price barrier.
The Ziggy Stardust Disco Egg is probably the city’s most expensive dessert. With the social media presence of a celebrity puppy, the dish, which technically serves four, handily convinces diners to unload $50 for a memorable last course. It’s a big win for La Banane chef/partner Brandon Olsen, who makes it off-premises at his popular chocolate shop, CXBO. So it supports a secondary business and production doesn’t eat up kitchen space. Also, no one breaks open the truffle-filled chocolate ovoid before Instagramming the dish. So it doubles as a promotional tool. At Lavelle restaurant, chef Romain Avril has managed to invest in desserts, but only by getting involved in the development stage, insisting that the kitchen be built with space dedicated to a pastry department. “If I were to buy croissants, I would be paying at least $1.60 to $2. I can make it for 20 cents a piece. Right there is a huge savings.
And it’s the quality too,” says Avril. “But you need an owner who understands the value of the pastry department.” It’s not just the kitchen real estate that makes Lavelle’s pastry department feasible, but a rooftop patio that triples sales in the summer. Most of the increased revenue is from cocktails, so the demands on the kitchen aren’t tripled, allowing Avril’s winter labour cost of 25 to 30 per cent of revenue to balance out as it drops to as low as four per cent in the summer months. But while there are still Toronto restaurants with dedicated pastry chefs, fewer businesses want to or can make the investment. Within one upscale Toronto restaurant group, when the executive pastry chef left, the pastry sous chefs were put in charge without promotion or raise. One of them, burned out on 70-hour weeks for $38,000 a year, now works as a barista. A replacement pastry chef, after refusing to work 60-plus hours a week, was fired. And the rarity of the position creates a vacuum of mentorship. That’s what prompted Stephanie Duong, co-owner of Roselle Desserts, to leave the country. “When I graduated, I wanted to expand my craft,” she says. “But there was no one to learn from. You can’t apprentice the same way a cook can. Not in Toronto.” During school at George Brown she worked at Buca and Luma. She loved the experience, but was disappointed that the schedule didn’t afford her much one-on-one learning time with the pastry chefs. After school, Duong worked at Régis et Jacques Marcon, a three Michelin star restaurant in Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid, France. →
AT RÉGIS ET JACQUES MARCON IN FRANCE, PASTRY HAD A STAFF OF SEVEN → The pastry department had a staff of seven.
ABOVE: Unable to find a satisfactory pastry apprenticeship in Toronto, Stephanie Duong honed her craft in France and Hong Kong
“They made dessert into its own experience. You wouldn’t just get a plate of deconstructed lemon tart. It would be petit fours, pre-dessert and then dessert.” The lack of opportunity and pay for pastry chefs in Toronto has been a big factor in her career shift into retail. “People may not want to pay for desserts in a restaurant,” she says. “But they’ll pay for a dessert experience if they’re going to a place that specializes in it.” Duong and her partner/fiancé Bruce Lee also worked in Hong Kong, where she saw a different culture around sweets. “People go to pastry shops there, to sit down and chill out.” Following a shower of media praise for his desserts at Richmond Station, Farzam Fallah was wooed with a job offer to join Hong Kong’s thriving dining scene. “People who reside in Hong Kong definitely have a sweet tooth,” says Fallah. “It’s easy for dessert restaurants and sweet shops to survive here.” And the booming economy has provided Fallah with opportunities he didn’t have in Toronto. As the pastry development chef for the Black Sheep Restaurants group – which operates 13 restaurants in a variety of cuisines, such as Thai, Italian, Vietnamese, French, Argentinian and Lebanese – Fallah has a long runway to stretch his wings. In Toronto, people order dessert about half of the time. Though Fallah says that dessert sales are higher in Hong Kong, diners favour traditional dishes. Torontonians will order more unusual desserts, but that doesn’t always translate into profit. “Having a pastry chef at a restaurant is a luxury,” says Fallah. f
BREAKING BARRIERS Chef Joseph Shawana opens up to Suresh Doss about finding the courage to serve Indigenous cuisine PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY CHEN
Photograph by ###
LEFT: After more than a decade of working in restaurants across Toronto, chef Joseph Shawana is finally ready to serve the food of his heritage
LEFT: Chef Joseph Shawana grew up on a reserve on Manitoulin Island, where he foraged food and cooked with his family members
cases. We would eat wild berries and wild licorice, which have a purple shoot you can chew on. The elders would teach us some things, but most of it was self-discovery. And that led to being inspired to cook? Growing up, I cooked with my mother and grandmother all the time. They were strong, independent women, and a real inspiration for me. They would cook at local events and I was always in the back helping. My aunts would cook and all my uncles would go hunting. We would stock our freezers for the winter. It was a way of life. I didn’t think much of it. Then, when I moved to Toronto, it was a different story. Everything was measured by how convenient it is. Were you planning on becoming a cook when you moved to Toronto? I was always interested in food but I didn’t know where it would go. I knew that I didn’t really have a future up north so I decided to give Toronto a try. I went to culinary school but dropped out just before graduating.
OR A CITY that seems to flaunt its diversity at every opportunity, it is surprising that Toronto hasn’t had much of a spotlight on Indigenous cuisine. Recently, though, things have started to change with a small collective of Indigenous restaurants opening over the last year, including NishDish and Pow Wow Cafe. This new influx happens to overlap with Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary, for which we’ve started to become more introspective, asking questions about the origins of this country and its cuisine. Chef Joseph Shawana’s goal is to illuminate that topic with his new Indigenous restaurant on Mount Pleasant, Ku-Kum Kitchen. Shawana is Odawa, part of the Three Fires Confederacy, and is from the Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve located on
What was the impetus behind that decision to go out on your own? I felt that I knew the basics of cooking, and I wanted more self-discovery. I prefer to work by myself. My instructors told me that I was a little ahead of the curve. I figured I would just carve the path my way. Manitoulin Island. I sat down with him to hear his inspiring personal journey from the reserve to the kitchens of Toronto.
Back then Toronto had a real obsession with Italian and French cooking.
I hear you’re a natural at foraging, going back to your kid days on Manitoulin Island. Growing up on the reserve, we had a very hard life. There were more downs than ups. My mother and father took turns working, so there was always one parent at home. We would be saving as much as we could and scraping by. So foraging became a very natural thing at an early age. We learned to use most of the ingredients around the place. My food rootings came from that time.
FORAGING BECAME A VERY NATURAL THING FOR ME AT AN EARLY AGE
How often would you forage? When we were growing up, in my early years, we would head out into the bush almost daily and stay out from morning to night in some
You couldn’t escape it. My first real exposure to French cooking and fine dining was at Herbs [now closed]. I was in my early 20s. Prior to that I worked a stage at Bistro 990. It was eye-opening to see that the French style of cooking can really bring out some of the flavours of rare ingredients. I started to think about the kinds of foods I grew up with and how they would work through French cooking. I wasn’t ready to do anything with that knowledge yet, because I wanted to learn more about the industry. So I ended up taking a gig with the Rogers Centre. It’s a strange shift to go from smaller restaurants to big corporate operations. The biggest lesson was that there’s more to a restaurant than your mom and pop operation. There are other ways to chef in the city. I learned about structure, time management, forecasting menus. There were a lot of spreadsheets. I enjoyed it, but I felt like I needed more as a chef. I then went to work at C5 at the Royal Ontario Museum and I would say that’s where my eyes were really opened up about using local ingredients.
I DIDN’T THINK ANYONE WOULD WANT TO EAT THE CUISINE OF MY HERITAGE
Did you feel like others didn’t want to embrace your heritage? Not really. Any barriers I felt were ones I put up myself. I was very standoffish up until recently. I remember working at the Victory Cafe in Toronto, and the entire staff embraced my heritage. I used to take cooks up to the island with me and they would always be very interested. But it wasn’t until I met my wife Vanessa nearly four years ago that things started to change. She is the one that encouraged me to flaunt my wings. She spread that energy on to me. It really is because of her and my fellow colleagues that I gained the confidence to cook this type of food. We’re going through a very introspective period in Canada where we’re finally looking at the cultural roots of this →
BELOW: Ku Kum’s menu includes roasted elk, pan-seared halibut and seal tartare
In what sense? I suddenly had access to a database of smallto medium-size producers throughout the province. The tree was expanding in my mind. At C5 there was more flexibility in changing a dish on the menu, or bringing in something new. It was French-style cooking again, but using seasonal ingredients. You suddenly noticed that the proverbial tree of life had other unexplored branches? I learned about producers that were growing all sorts of small things. Personally, I felt a connection. It reminded me of being a kid and trying things that none of my Toronto friends had ever heard of. But you still weren’t ready to cook the food of your Indigenous roots? When I became executive chef at Snakes & Lattes, I had to keep the menu accessible. I wasn’t ready to do my own food because I felt a barrier that I had put up over the years. I was bullied in school. I had many friends that defended me, but the constant teasing got to me, stripping away my self-esteem. I didn’t think anyone would want to eat the cuisine of my heritage, so I never wanted to cook it. I ended up carrying that baggage with me for a long time. I started cooking at 13, and now at 35 I’m finally opening an Indigenous restaurant.
→ country, and food is a big part of that. Five years ago I wouldn’t have thought of opening a restaurant like this. But now there is a younger generation that is breaking the mould and bringing positive energy and confidence to the scene. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s a noticeable force when you go to other Indigenous restaurants that have recently opened in the city. There is a noticeable spurt in this type of food. It really seems to be finding an audience in Toronto. I think a lot of us are realizing that we need to let go of the past and look at the future. We, as Indigenous chefs, are all on our own journeys through the industry. I know for me, as soon as my son was born, I realized that I needed to let go of the past and think about my future and my culinary legacy. The coming of age, and places like Tea n Bannock that got the momentum going, and others feeling like they could also open a place. It’s surprising and humbling that
THE YOUNGER GENERATION IS BREAKING THE MOULD AND BRINGING A POSITIVE ENERGY BELOW: Everything at Ku-Kum Kitchen, from the food to the decor (including this mural), sheds a light on Indigenous heritage in Canada
everyone is so receptive. And speaking of that, you also didn’t open this restaurant downtown. You picked a specific midtown neighbourhood for it. There can be many barriers for an Indigenous chef to thrive in the city. Like I mentioned, I had my personal barriers, but there are others as well. We’re educating the public when it comes to Indigenous cuisine, so there’s that challenge. But bigger than that is the cost of operating a place downtown. It’s nearly impossible for an independent business to afford the rent. Everyone is slowly moving uptown and around the city. I lucked out because I found a neighbourhood that has embraced this restaurant from day one. How do you define Indigenous cuisine? I see it as a few ingredients on a plate working very well together to create something astonishing. It’s that feeling of being on a boat, catching a fish and then cooking it right there. That unbridled taste. It’s not massproduced. It is the truest essence of terroir. How is the mix of French influence with Indigenous ingredients working out? It’s a great marriage in many ways. We use more or less the same ingredients I grew up with, but we’re using wine and herbs and time to handle proteins and vegetables. We have a lot of Europeans in this neighbourhood that love game meats, and they love seeing elk or venison on the menu. You’ve become a role model for other young Indigenous chefs in the city. Is there a sense of community? It’s too new to tell. There aren’t too many of us that are stepping up and speaking out. We’re trying to get a community together. My wife and I are planning to regularly load up a refrigerated van and tour around various neighbourhoods in Toronto and feed the homeless. We want to give back to the community as much as we can. Are you optimistic about the future of Indigenous cuisine? It’s going in a really good direction. There is a fresh spirit about the cuisine and I’m hoping that it continues in this way. The next step would be to start an alliance or a chef group to create a sense of community. It’s something I’m seriously considering as a way to pay it forward and to help people like I have been helped. f
COCKTAIL HOUR We’ve scoured Toronto’s bar scene for the freshest summer drinks – check out some of our favourites
CARIBBEAN WAVE Noce; 875 Queen St. W. For more info: nocerestaurant.ca
INGREDIENTS ◆◆ 2 oz fresh coconut water ◆◆ 2 oz pineapple juice ◆◆ Fiol prosecco ◆◆ Mint leaf for garnish
Add coconut water and freshly squeezed pineapple juice to a shaker with ice. Shake it and strain it into a coupe and top it off with some Fiol prosecco. Garnish the drink with a fresh mint leaf.
CITRUS THE STINGER SPRITZ Alo; 163 Grey Gardens; Spadina 000 Ave. Tktktk St. For more info: alorestaurant.com tktktk.com
ING REDIENTS ◆◆ 1 3/4 oz Martell VS cognac ◆◆ 1/2 oz Giffard Menthe-Pastille ◆◆ 1/4 oz Branca Menta
Build the cocktail over ice in a tumbler glass. Decorate with a fresh sprig of mint.
THE TAO Parts & Labour; 1566 Queen St. W. For more info: partsandlabour.ca
IN G R ED IEN TS Cocktail
◆◆ 11/2 oz Bombay Sapphire East gin ◆◆ 1/2 oz Hakutsuru sake ◆◆ 1 oz aquafaba (chickpea/bean water) ◆◆ 1/2 oz citric acid solution ◆◆ 1/2 oz coconut syrup (2 parts coconut
water, 1 part sugar) ◆◆ 1 tsp sencha green tea ◆◆ 1 lime leaf, halved ◆◆ 2 small pieces of lemongrass ◆◆ Sesame oil and pepper, for garnish
Photograph by ###
Combine ingredients into a chilled shaker. Keep a piece of lime leaf and lemongrass aside for garnish. Shake over large ice cube, strain, dry shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Dust with fresh cracked pepper, 5-9 drops of sesame oil, lemongrass and lime. leaf pieces.
BLOOD HOUND Bar Begonia; 252 Dupont St. For more info: barbegonia.com
IN G R ED IEN TS Cordial
◆◆ Zest and juice of 4 blood oranges ◆◆ 300 g sugar ◆◆ 1 6-inch cinnamon stick ◆◆ 1 tsp salt
◆◆ 1 oz freshly squeezed pomelo juice ◆◆ 1/2 oz blood orange cordial (below) ◆◆ 1 oz tequila ◆◆ 1/2 oz Aperol ◆◆ 1 oz rooibos tea, chilled ◆◆ Flamed blood orange zest garnish
Put cordial ingredients into Ziploc bag. Let sit for 48 hours, strain.
In a shaker, add cocktail ingredients and shake for 10 seconds. Pour into glass over ice. Garnish with zest.
CHIC BÛCHE 360 the Restaurant at the CN Tower; 301 Front St. W. For more info: cntower.ca
INGREDIENTS ◆◆ 11/2 oz Chic Choc spiced rum ◆◆ 1/2 oz maple syrup ◆◆ Half lime, cut in quarters ◆◆ 10 mint leaves ◆◆ 5 oz sparkling Eska water ◆◆ 1 dash Angostura bitters
At bottom of a tall glass, place the 4 lime pieces and pour in maple syrup and Angostura. Crush with pestle. Pour in rum and add 7 mint leaves, as well as 5 ice cubes. Stir with spoon for 10 seconds. Fill rest of glass with ice and top off with sparkling water. Stir gently with spoon while trying to bring the mint leaves up to the surface from bottom of the glass. Decorate with remaining mint leaves.
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For more information: appletonestate.com
THE BEN DOWN COCKTAIL Shameful Tiki Room; 1378 Queen St. W. For more info: shamefultikiroom.com
ING REDIENTS ◆◆ 2 oz Appleton Signature Blend ◆◆ 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice ◆◆ 1/2 oz pineapple juice ◆◆ 1/4 oz falernum ◆◆ 1/2 oz orgeat
Photograph by ###
Build all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and shake. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with an edible flower.
ESCAPISM 54 OUTER SPACES 62 CHECKLIST 64 A WORLD APART 72 THE INSIDER 74 JUST LANDED 75 REAR VIEW
MADE IN JAPAN: Big changes are coming to the city of Tokyo as it takes major steps to prepare for the 2020 Olympics. In a significant move, it will be relocating the venerable Tsukiji fish market, which has been open for over 80 years (p. 74).
W Photograph by Andre Benz
e get it: you love to travel. You’re an intelligent human being, curious and open minded. Always looking to learn new things, question your preconceptions and expand your horizons. So over the next few months, we’re going to be working on something big. What you’ll see in the following pages is just a small taste of escapism, a travel magazine for those who want to get much more out of their next holiday. We’ll have features by top writers, vivid photo spreads, gear guides, travel tips, recommended destinations and way more. If you like what we’ve done with foodism, keep following along. The ride has only just begun. e
OUTER SPACES With a little preparation, camping is the best way to experience the great Canadian outdoors. Andrea Yu has a complete guide to help you get the most out of your getaway
Photograph by Bobby Burch
here’s a good reason why Canada is called the Great White North. Past our city skyscrapers and suburban neighbourhoods lie breathtaking landscapes surrounding fresh lakes, verdant forests, snow-peaked mountains and beautiful wildlife. These postcard-perfect scenes have become iconic to our country’s identity, and camping within them is a favoured pastime. Among the evergreens, we pare life down to its simplest necessities: a nylon tent for shelter and a meal cooked atop a campfire. This year, Parks Canada is celebrating our country’s 150th with free entry to all national parks, so the woods are beckoning. We’ve assembled The free 2017 Parks this guide to inspire Canada Discovery you in your next Pass initiative is camping trip. extremely popular: over six million Herewith, there is online orders have a list of campfire been placed for it. cooking tips to The pass usually help you whip up costs $136.40 rustic-yet-satisfying meals in the outdoors, a roundup of gear that’ll make you the envy of the entire campground and a primer on basic survival tips so you’re prepared for anything. We’ve also got some guidelines for enjoying the outdoors without inadvertently harming it. So pack up your tent and gear, go forth and explore some of the greatest landscapes the world has to offer. e
WHEN WE CAMP OUT AMONG THE EVERGREENS, WE PARE LIFE DOWN TO ITS SIMPLEST NECESSITIES
WE WILL SURVIVE
You could also buy or rent a satellite phone or an inReach satellite communicator.
Before you head into the wild, arm yourself with the right tools and knowledge in case disaster strikes. Here are a few practical tips from David Arama, founder of WSC Survival School, for your next trip
THE RULE OF THREES
LEAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN If you venture out, let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be expected back. For more extended outdoor trips, leave a detailed trip plan with local authorities like the police, the park warden and friends and family.
STAY CONNECTED Most of us have a smartphone with builtin GPS. When in trouble, dial 911 and if the call gets through, first responders will be dispatched to your location. Other options include a cell phone signal booster (I like Wilson Amplifiers) or a tracking device such as a SPOT.
If you become lost or stranded, don’t panic. Admit that you’re lost and remember the rule of threes: you can survive for three minutes without oxygen, three hours if you have hypothermia or heat exhaustion, three days without water and three weeks without food. Don’t try and find your way out. Instead, stay put to increase your chances of being found.
MAKE A SIGNAL FIRE A fire designed to attract help, unlike a survival fire, needs to be very smoky and visible. Choose a location near (ideally visible from) your camp, in a spot that is high and open. Clear the area of debris. Assemble plenty of tinder and fuel During the daytime, wood, plus a number dark smoke is more visible than white of green (live) branches smoke. To make and boughs. Once your your signal smoke fire is burning strongly, dark, pile on leafy make it smoky by green boughs or a adding green wood or petroleum product evergreen boughs. such as oil
MINIMIZE YOUR CAMPING FOOTPRINT Enjoy the great outdoors without disrupting it. Here are some tips for becoming a smarter, greener camper 1 AVOID PEAK HOURS
When possible, schedule your camping trips outside of peak times. Mid-to-late fall is a great time to camp if you want to avoid crowds and minimize the impact on the environment around you.
2 USE ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS
When possible, make use of biodegradable dish soaps and toiletries. Scatter dishwater onto the ground instead of dumping into bodies of water. Repelling insects can be a challenge, but reach for natural alternatives or use physical barriers like mesh or loose clothing.
3 TREAD GENTLY
Avoid making your own campsites. Instead, stick to dedicated sites and clearings where there is little to no vegetation. Keep your campsite small. When exploring, stick to existing trails and paths.
4 PACK IN, PACK OUT
Whatever you bring, be sure to take with you. Minimize trash by packing food items in reusable containers. Use sponges and rags to clean up instead of paper towels. Pack up all trash and litter when you leave.
5 KEEP NATURE AS-IS
Enjoy the nature around you but leave everything as you found it. Don’t remove any objects including rocks and plants. Don’t build structures or furniture out of found objects – bring your own instead.
7 DON’T GO WILD
Admire wildlife from a distance and avoid quick movements or loud noises which can be stressful to animals. Don’t touch or feed animals. If you come across a distressed animal, notify a park warden.
COOK LIKE A GOURMET CHEF OVER A CAMPFIRE O&B district executive chef and avid outdoor enthusiast John Horne shares tips for cooking with an open flame Photography by Dino Reichmuth, Johan Mouchet, Richard Tilney Bassett, Alexey Ruban
1 KNOW YOUR WOOD. I like to pack light when camping, so knowing what you can use in the woods to light a fire helps. I try and source white birch bark, as it acts like newspaper and is easy to carry. Using dead branches from an evergreen tree will light wet or dry, and the sap helps get the fire going. Driftwood, dry moss and grass work well too. 2 CREATE A STABLE PLACE TO COOK. Before you light your fire, find a patch of even ground with rocks around it, or where you can dig a pit easily. Containing the fire, so heat is concentrated upward, will give you a better heat source. Surrounding the fire with rocks or digging a pit can help give you a stable base to place a rack or other cooking surface. 3 HOT COALS ARE YOUR FRIENDS. A big flame is not always a good thing – you can burn your dinner before it’s even half cooked. A bed of hot coals is your friend. Light your fire early with lots of wood and let it burn down to coals (hardwood is the best for this) before you start cooking. Sometimes I build two fires: one to constantly be burning and creating hot coals and the other to cook on,
which I will constantly feed hot coals to keep the temperature up and the flames down. 4 WRAP IT UP. Layering or wrapping your food helps control the heat getting to it and allows for more even cooking and less burning. Tin foil is a great tool, but using what is around you can work just as well (and then you don’t have to carry it back home). Seaweed or freshwater weeds are amazing. You can throw a layer on the coals and place your food on top. You can also use cattail reeds, ferns, moss or wet wood such as cedar. 5 DO YOU SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING? There are many different ways rocks can be used, other than just for surrounding the fire. Finding a thin, flat rock can give you a base for your pot or pan. When using the wrap cooking style, you can place hot rocks from the fire on top of your food to speed up the cooking process. I have even used rocks hot from the fire and thrown them into my pot of water to help bring it up to a boil quickly. 6 COOKED TO IMPERFECTION. Cooking on a fire is never easy, as your heat source is much harder to control compared to cooking on your stove at home. Be prepared for some burnt bits, undercooked bits (which you can just throw back onto the fire) and even a little bit of charcoal on your food. Charcoal dust It’s hard to beat or burnt things are a a good cast iron pan, but John current culinary trend Horne prefers to among top restaurants use aluminum pots in the world, so just for cooking on a tell your friends that campfire since they you learned your are lighter and transfer heat quickly techniques from Noma.
COOKING ON A FIRE IS NEVER EASY, AS YOUR HEAT SOURCE IS HARD TO CONTROL COMPARED TO YOUR STOVE CORN BY HORNE Here’s John Horne’s favourite way to cook delicious corn-on-thecob over a campfire ◆◆ Soak the husk-on corn in salted
water overnight. If travelling, wrap it in damp newspaper or a plastic bag. ◆◆ I like to get a good bed of coals going and spread them off to the side of the fire. Place the soaked corn directly on top of the coals and, with a shovel, place a layer of coals on top. It only takes about eight to 10 minutes to cook the corn. I usually do a quarter turn on the corn after five minutes to help it cook evenly. ◆◆ The husk will be charred, but peel it back to reveal perfectly steamed – and a little roasted – corn on the cob. Just add a little bit of butter and you’re good to go.
GET COMFORTABLE If full-on glamping isn’t in the cards, the next best thing is to invest in some upgrades to your outdoor equipment. Become the envy of neighbouring campsites with these stylish addons to a typical camping setup.
1 MEC CAMP TOGETHER BLUE RIDGE WOODEN CHAIR, $148 EACH: The two-piece design of this rustic wooden chair assembles quickly but stores flat for compact storage. A side strap makes transport a breeze. mec.ca
2 MEC CAMP TOGETHER PICNIC GROUND SHEET, $25: A TPE coating makes this ground sheet easy to clean up. Great for a children’s play area, or it also doubles as a tablecloth. Built-in straps make for easy handling and packing. mec.ca
METAL GEAR Ditch the bottles and pack these convenient, lightweight canned wines instead. They’re easy to carry and perfect for stealthy park picnics too.
1 LIQUID BULLION SAUVIGNON BLANC A refreshing white with tropical fruit aromas. The quick, dry finish will be appreciated by those who prefer their wines less sweet. $4.80, lcbo.com
2 JOIY SPARKLING WHITE WINE A sweet Prosecco-like bubbly made from cool-climate New Zealand and Australian riesling grapes. Serve with a wedge of lemon or lime, or get creative and mix together a nice sparkling cocktail. $4.85, lcbo.com 3
3 ALITE DESIGNS FIESTA COOLER, $138: A spacious 44-litre cooler in stylish, retro stripes. The waterproof insert is removable for easy clean-up while the soft-side design packs flat to store. mec.ca
4 GOAL ZERO NOMAD 7 PLUS SOLAR PANEL, $130: Maintain your connection to civilization by keeping devices like a GPS or smartphone charged. There is also a built-in kickstand for optimal panel-tosun placement. Photography by Ryan Faist
5 JBL CHARGE 3 BLUETOOTH SPEAKER, $220: Waterproof and rugged, this speaker
This Californian winery now offers a trio of canned wine. Our favourite is the juicy, oaky zinfandel, while the zesty pinot grigio and the rosé with floral, melon aromas are both worth a taste as well. $3.95-$4.15, lcbo.com
provides outdoor entertainment without fear of wet weather. Get 20 hours of play time on a full charge, or power devices with its built-in power bank. bestbuy.ca 6 GSI NESTING WINE GLASSES, $8.50 EACH: The stem of these glasses unscrews and snaps into the bowl to store. Made of BPAfree copolyester that’s nearly indestructible.
3 BIG HOUSE RED, WHITE AND ROSÉ
4 JACOB’S CREEK DOTS MOSCATO 4
A spritzer-like low-proof wine with lots of fruity flavours and an aroma of sherbet. This is an easy-drinking crowdpleaser that’s definitely on the sweeter side. $4.95, lcbo.com
5 ORIGIN AROMATIC SPARKLING The only Ontario VQA in a can. Crisp and refreshing with stone fruits and a lingering sweetness from the addition of vidal icewine. $5.95, lcbo.com
7 GSI STAINLESS STEEL PERCOLATOR, $57: Make campfire coffees in classic style. The clear knob allows for monitoring of the brewing progress for a more precise pour. sail.ca
CHECK US OUT ONLINE AT FOODISM.TO/TRAVEL
NEW-WAVE CAMPING For those that might need a little bit of coaxing to get into the great outdoors, these oneof-a-kind accommodations from Parks Canada go well beyond the traditional tentand-sleeping-bag setup MICRO-CUBE
DOUBLE TENT As the name implies, this site features a small interior tent (equipped with a bed on a platform) nestled in a screened-in larger tent for a bug-proof living space and additional
privacy. A table and chairs add extra comfort. LOCATION: Riding Mountain National Park, Man., and Forillon National Park, Que. MAX OCCUPANTS: 2 COST: $55 per night
COCOON TREE BED Fulfill childhood dreams of sleeping in the trees in this innovative cocoon-like contraption that hangs six metres above the ground. Unzip the hatch to reveal a bed that sleeps up to four (but is recommended for two). LOCATION: Highlands National Park, N.S. MAX OCCUPANTS: 4 COST: $70 per night
OTENTIK History buffs will love this camping structure that combines the look of a rustic prospector tent with an A-frame-style cabin. Inside there are two queen beds, a double bed on a platform and tables and chairs. Outside your oTENTik there is a small deck for lounging along with a fire pit, propane camp stove and a picnic table. LOCATION: Various, including Georgian Bay Islands National Park, Ont. MAX OCCUPANTS: 4 to 6 COST: $120-$200 per night
The traditional structure of Mongolian nomads has recently experienced a resurgence as a hip form of off-the-grid living. These round Parks GOUTTE Dâ€™Ă” Canada structures are insulated and come Inspired by a droplet of water, this whimsical equipped with a wood stove for camping in structure with impressive views sleeps cooler weather, while the roof two adults on a sofa bed and an additional adult or small children on a The circular shape of dome, windows and screen doors open to offer a breath of fresh air suspended hammock loft accessible a yurt is an efficient design since it during those sweltering evenings in by a rope ladder. creates the greatest July and August. LOCATION: Fundy National interior space using LOCATION: Various, including Bruce Park, N.B. the least materials. Peninsula National Park, Ont. MAX OCCUPANTS: 2 adults, with Round structures MAX OCCUPANTS: 5 room for small children as well also offer better air COST: $100-$115 per night COST: $80 per night circulation inside
Photograph by Parks Canada
Mimicking the popular tiny home design, the Micro-Cube measures 10 metres square and is equipped with a double bed and wide windows to take in the surroundings. A small patio set on a built-in outdoor deck completes the setup. LOCATION: Riding Mountain National Park, Man., and Forillon National Park, Que. MAX OCCUPANTS: 2 COST: $90 per night
ABOVE: As its name implies, a double tent is comprised of a tent nestled within a larger tent for some bug-free outdoor relaxation
T H E
ONE EIGHTY 5 1 s t
F L O O R
LUNCH + BRUNCH ATOP THE 51ST FLOOR LUNCH WED-SAT 12PM-3PM SUNDAY BRUNCH 11AM-3PM D I N N E R SUN-WED 5PM-12AM THURS-SAT 5PM-2AM
R E S E R V A T I O N S t h e 5 1 s t fl o o r . c o m
The key to good travelling is proper preparation, so cover your on-the-road needs with this versatile gear set
1 EAGLE CREEK PACK-IT STARTER SET, $60: Keep your luggage organized with this handy packing set. Reduce wrinkling while packing with maximum efficiency of space. eaglecreek.com
2 MEC BROOKS DRY BAG, $49: Whether you’re kayaking, trekking or hitting the beach, this durable dry bag will protect your electronics and valuables in wet conditions. mec.ca
3 ETON RUGGED RUKUS SPEAKER, $90: A solarpowered speaker to ensure that where there’s sun, there’s music. Provides power to your various devices, too. mec.ca
DREAM COAT MPG BEACON FULL-ZIP JACKET, $85 Reflective and water-resistant, this hugely utilitarian jacket will keep you dry and visible no matter how dark or rainy it is outside. It’s lightweight for no-fuss packing, and magnetic snaps allow it to convert into a vest for when the weather turns breezy. mpgsport.ca
4 LUSH SHAMPOO BARS, $12: Ditch messy travel shampoo bottles with these concentrated pucks from Lush. One shampoo bar is good for up to 80 washes.
6 CLEVER TRAVEL COMPANION CIRCLE SCARF, $50: Keep your money and valuables concealed with this stealthy scarf, which contains two hidden zipper pockets inside. @CleverTravelCo
Photograph Photograph by Ryan byFaist ###
5 CANON EOS M5, $1,600: With a compact body that’s compatible with over 70 lenses, this lightweight camera is a high-quality alternative to a bulkier DSLR. canon.ca
7 MEC ROLLING CONTINENT TRAVEL PACK, $250: Is it a rolling suitcase or a backpack? Depending on your travel needs, it can be either. mec.ca
A WORLD APART Toronto photographer Kailee Mandel captures Icelandâ€™s surreal, strange and singular beauty
celand is a world of mind-bending sublimity, of fiery volcanoes and majestic icebergs, of deep canyons and soaring mountains. With its black sand beaches, ancient rock formations and perpetually morphing weather patterns, it looks and feels like an alien planet. This small island was once an underthe-radar travel destination, but word of its appeal has gotten out in a very big way. It has recently become a soughtafter backdrop for fantastical cinematic productions Black sand is formed worldwide, including when lava hits water Game of Thrones, and shatters into Prometheus and tiny fragments. It’s Rogue One: A Star a common sight on this volcano-studded Wars Story. Nordic island And its tourism is proliferating at a rapid pace. This year, 2.3 million people are expected to visit the isolated country, the population of which is a modest 330,000. Still, solace from the crowds can be found for those who seek it. Circumnavigating the small island is the 1,300-kilometre Ring Road, which provides unfettered access to Iceland’s beguiling landscapes and quaint villages. As these dreamlike images from Toronto photographer Kailee Mandel attest, it’s an experience that won’t be easy to forget. e
GETTING THERE Icelandair offers daily flights from Toronto to Reykjavik, and there is also a stopover option for those interested in exploring additional parts of Europe. Meanwhile, great deals can be found through Wow Air, Iceland’s discount airline. icelandair.ca; en.wowair.ca
Photograph by ###
ABOVE: At 454 metres in height, the Vestrahorn mountain stands tall over the Atlantic Ocean, overlooking one of Iceland’s characteristic black-sand beaches
Car rentals are a popular option for exploring the entirety of the island. Happy Campers offers extremely practical camper vans that can sleep two to five people and come equipped with cooking equipment – a great idea for adventure-seeking road trippers looking to navigate Iceland’s Ring Road. happycampers.is
Photograph by ###
ABOVE: Also known as the Childrenâ€™s Falls, Barnafoss is less touristy than other destinations in Iceland. But this pristine, sparkling waterfall is fully worth a side trip
BELOW: The glacial lagoon of Jรถkulsรกrlรณn sees a steady flow of massive icebergs float by, resulting in a landscape that continually changes as the day progresses
Photograph by ###
Photograph by ###
ABOVE: The serpentine Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon is full of nooks, winding rivers and streams that simply beg for a closer look
GETTING THERE Stratford is around a two-hour drive from Toronto. Stratford Direct runs bus shuttles during theatre season, and Via Rail offers train service year-round. stratfordfestival.ca; viarail.ca
CHOCOLATE BARR’S CANDIES
There is much more to Stratford, Ont. than its namesake theatre festival or Justin Bieber, writes Jessica Dawdy
hile most people think of Stratford as either the setting of its namesake theatre festival or (much to the eye-rolling chagrin of many locals and visitors alike) the childhood stomping grounds of Justin Bieber, few recognize it as the location of the illustrious Stratford Chefs School. It’s among the top cooking schools in Canada and is the only culinary institute in the country operated by working restaurant professionals. Which means, of course, that Stratford is home to a lot of darn good chefs. Many of the school’s instructors and students work in local restaurants along with graduates from the program who have decided to settle in Stratford. Combine all of that culinary prowess with the rich farmlands that surround the city and the result is a vibrant food scene that is worthy of a lot of attention. The city’s best dining and shopping
destinations are found in the compact downtown core, which makes it a prime base for visitors. It’s easily explored on foot, with most attractions located within a five- to 10-minute walk of one another. Foster’s Inn is a long-standing favourite choice for overnight visitors, found less than a block away from the city’s newly spiffed-up Market Square and the Avon Theatre. Set in an early 20th century building, the inn’s nine guest rooms incorporate various original architectural elements, including the hardwood floors and 14-foot-high ceilings. The decor is simple, pleasant and homey. The inn’s main floor restaurant offers great breakfast deals and killer steaks, while the patio overlooking Downie Street is a nice spot to hang out for evening drinks. fostersinn.com
Derek Barr trained at the well-respected local chocolate shop Rhéo Thompson Candies before opening his own spot in 2003. Large glass windows at the back of the store give visitors a view into the kitchen, where most of the sweets are made on-site. The real stars of the show are the handmade truffles, which come in an ever-changing array of experimental flavours such as curry and Macallan Scotch. chocolatebarrs.com
STRATFORD ◆◆ Population: 31,000 ◆◆ Area: 26.95 sq. km
◆◆ Also known for: swans
KEEN TO VISIT MORE FOODIE DESTINATIONS? VISIT FOODISM.TO
BACON & ALE TRAIL The Bacon and Ale Trail is one of several self-guided tasting trails offered in Stratford. A trail pass gives you five vouchers to use at your choice of 13 possible stops, where each participating restaurant or shop will provide a signature bacon- or ale-inspired sample (or, if you’re lucky, a bit of both). This indulgent pairing stems from Stratford’s location in Ontario’s largest porkproducing area, as well as the town’s long history of brewing. A stop at Black Swan Brewing Co. should be mandatory: this microbrewery is clearly a bit of a local darling as it’s on tap at almost every bar in the city. Black Swan’s core beers include a malt-forward English pale ale, a smooth porter and a piney pale ale. visitstratford.ca
THE PRUNE Open since 1977, the Prune is one of Stratford’s original fine dining destinations. Set in a restored turnof-the-century house and backed by a prim garden, this restaurant radiates elegance. Led by chef Bryan Steele (who’s also an instructor at the nearby chef school), the menu changes seasonally, but expect mains like charred salmon in a punchy wasabi broth or seared Cornish hen with pillowy herb dumplings. theprune.com
BOOMERS GOURMET FRIES Photography by Jessica Dawdy, Terry Manzo
Boomers is a tiny, quirky eatery with a chalkboard menu and a lone communal table with stools for eat-in customers. The menu includes burgers and other fast food staples, but poutine is the restaurant’s claim to fame. Must-try items include the Poutini Martini (smothered in white cheese curds and garnished with olives) and the goat cheese poutine (topped with goat cheese from C’est Bon Cheese in St. Marys, Ont.). boomersgourmetfries.ca
E S CA P I S M
Before hitting up the traveller’s circuit this summer, take a minute to check out the latest news in travel
UNDER THE SEA In a city known for its over-the-top travel experiences, Dubai’s Atlantis the Palm hotel takes things a step further with its underwater suites, which offer floor-to-ceiling views of thousands of fish. The nauticalthemed resort, located on the Palm Jumeirah archipelago, offers two selections of aquatic suites. Sleeping with the fishes never felt so opulent.
TOURIST TRAP Machu Picchu, one of the most famous – if not the most famous – tourist sites in South America, has introduced new regulations for visitors. Annual tourist numbers to the ancient Inca citadel ballooned to over one million in 2016, intensifying already high concerns about the impact on the ruins. The new regulations, which took effect on July 1, split visitors into morning and afternoon sessions which each allow for four hours of access to the site. All visitors must now also be accompanied by an official tour guide.
Photography by Alex Knight, Abraham Osorio
The legendary Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, a major tourist site and one of the world’s greatest destinations for seafood, is being relocated to make way for a new highway to be built for the 2020 Olympics. The market will move to a controversial area near Tokyo Bay that was previously home to a gas plant. The new site has stateof-the-art refrigeration systems but has had environmental issues with contaminated soil. Tokyo plans to move the market back to a revamped version of the original site after five years. Currently, the market attracts over 40,000 people per day.
E S CA P I S M
BIG TROUBLE Interacting up-close with elephants is a bucket list experience for many travellers, but itâ€™s important to understand the drawbacks. A recent study by World Animal Protection of 3,000 captive elephants across Asia found that 77 per cent were living in appalling conditions. Tourist demand drives the capture of wild elephants and the use of cruel training techniques, so while elephant attractions may look fun, they are probably best avoided.
Photograph by Suresh Doss
— PART 3 —
EXCESS “THE VIETNAMESE-STYLE SPRING ROLL IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE BEST IN THE WORLD. ” THE NOSTALGIST, 090
082 BOTTLE SERVICE | 091 THE NOSTALGIST | 093 THE DIGEST 094 THE SELECTOR | 098 DECONSTRUCT
FROM A LAND DOWN UNDER
With a broad range of styles in its portfolio, Jacob’s Creek – Australia’s most popular winery – offers a wine for just about every meal and moment life has to offer
HERE ARE COUNTLESS occasions that call for cracking open a bottle of wine, whether it’s a backyard barbecue, catching up with friends at home or a special event to commemorate. Jacob’s Creek, Australia’s leading export winery, offers a diverse lineup of wines in its portfolio to suit any of those moments and any meal. And while figuring out which wines to match with a meal you’ve prepared
can be a challenge, Jacob’s Creek makes it easy with Our Table, an online hub for delicious recipes and wine education. There, you’ll discover informative articles on a variety of topics, such as how to pair your wine with cheese, the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio or how Jacob’s Creek gets bubbles into sparkling wine. A great sparkling to try is Jacob’s Creek Dots Moscato, a good option for
getting together with friends or catching up on a TV marathon. Also available in a rosé and sparkling rosé, these wines are light, refreshing and tropical, with a delicate effervescence. Jacob’s Creek Dots Moscato wines pair well with spicy seafood and fresh fruit platters. If you’re hosting the in-laws, Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz complements barbecued red meats and sharp cheeses nicely, while Jacob’s ▶
LEFT: Located on the banks of its namesake creek, Jacob’s Creek was the first commercial vineyard in Australia’s Barossa Valley
WINE IS AN ADVENTURE – IT IS ENCHANTING, INTRIGUING AND EXCITING – AND ALL OF THAT SHOULD BE REFLECTED AND CELEBRATED IN EACH GLASS ▶ Creek Reserve wines are made solely with grapes from one specified region to better appreciate its character. Available in Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the Reserve line makes a great match for cheeses, pastas and grilled and roasted meats. For a nice everyday sipper, Jacob’s Creek Classic wines are excellent options and pair with pizza, burgers and grilled chicken. Jacob’s Creek Classic wines are available in a Shiraz-Cabernet, Shiraz and Chardonnay. Jacob’s Creek is Australia’s most popular winery, but its rich heritage dates back to 1847, when the first vines were planted along the banks of the namesake Jacob’s Creek, eventually becoming Barossa Valley’s first commercial vineyard. Today, Jacob’s Creek can be found in over 70 countries, and an impressive 1.2 million glasses of Jacob’s Creek wine are enjoyed every day. Talented chief winemaker Ben Bryant is currently at the helm of Jacob’s Creek’s portfolio. “Every wine should tell a story,” says Bryant. “When I taste a wine, I want to taste where it’s from and be captivated by the experience. Wine is an adventure for me – it is enchanting, intriguing and exciting – and that should be reflected and celebrated in each glass.” ● For more information on wine education, food pairings and the latest in Jacob’s Creek news, head to www.jacobscreek.com/our-table.
ORGANIC EATING MADE SIMPLE
Using traditional cooking methods and no additives, GMOs or preservatives, Amy’s Kitchen’s meals are organic, vegetarian and taste as good as homemade
ONVENIENT EATING AND satisfying eating used to be mutually exclusive entities. That meant making tough decisions at mealtime: giving up on nutrition in exchange for less effort or spending hours in the kitchen to craft a homemade dish. But all that has changed with Amy’s Kitchen and its preprepared frozen meals that are vegetarian, delicious and use organic ingredients. The story of Amy’s Kitchen is as wholesome as its products. When cofounder Rachel Berliner was pregnant with her daughter Amy, she was given orders to rest and stay out of the
kitchen. She and her husband Andy relied on frozen dinners but were disappointed with the results. Realizing they could make their own high-quality meals, they set out to establish a market for organic frozen foods. It all started in 1987 with a humble broccoli pot pie that was lovingly developed in the Berliner family kitchen. Now, Amy’s Kitchen boasts over 250 prepared meals that taste just as good as homemade. Amy’s uses traditional cooking methods, shaping pizza crusts by hand and slowly simmering soups. Sauces and gravies start with an old-fashioned roux. To make it all happen, Amy’s purchases
over 100 million pounds of organic vegetables, grains and dairy each year. Discerning taste buds won’t get bored with Amy’s diverse lineup, which includes wraps, soups, veggie burgers and full entrees. Amy’s Kitchen spans cuisines too, from Indian curries to lasagnas, burritos and teriyaki bowls. Amy’s also makes it easy for those with restricted diets, with clear labelling of items that are vegan, low in sodium, lactose-free, gluten-free or kosher. After 30 years in business, Amy’s Kitchen is still committed to being a private, founder-driven operation. The family remains deeply involved in the business, especially product ▶
WIN A $6,000 TRIP FOR TWO TO SAN FRANCISCO
Visit an inspirational mecca of wholesome eating first-hand with this exclusive contest from Amy’s Kitchen. One lucky foodism reader and a friend will WIN embark on a three-day trip to San Francisco including airfare, accommodation and a specially curated food-lover's itinerary designed by the team at Amy's Kitchen. This trip is valued at $6,000. For a full list of terms and conditions, and to enter, visit: foodism.to/competition
▶ development. Both Andy and Rachel take part in tastings, working closely with the culinary team. Even Amy’s grandparents have had input in the company from its inception, and today, Amy herself is influential in the company’s direction. So choosing Amy’s Kitchen at mealtime not only means enjoying a taste of delicious food. You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing what you’re eating has been sourced carefully, is made with honesty and is just plain good for you, too. ●
BOTTLE SERVICE There is no season like summer for sipping cider, white wine or craft spirits PHOTOGRAPHY BY RYAN FAIST
1 NO BOATS ON SUNDAYS. A great introduction to the dry cider game. Light-bodied with ample apple and orange notes on the palate. Destined for a backyard party. $4.95, noboatscider.com 2 SOUTHBROOK WILD FERMENT CIDER. A lively European-style cider that has been wild fermented with five types of apples to produce wonderful effervescence in the glass. One of the best ciders to come out of Niagara. $15.95, southbrook.com 3 APPLE FALLS CIDER CO. HERITAGE. This cider is made with apples from Campbell’s, one of Prince Edward County’s most cherished orchards. Slightly sweet with hints of honey and cherries. $8, applefallscider.ca 4 TAWSE SPARK APPLE CIDER. From one of Niagara’s top vintners comes an exuberant cider that sings of apple pie and citrus. Fresh and fun, with a layering of fruit. $13.15, tawsewinery.ca 5 SULKER’S CIDER SUPER DRY. Crisp and dry, with pear and stewed apples on the nose followed by a mouthful of citrus. If you’re tired of sickly sweet ciders, try this one. $3.95, sulkerscider.com 6 WEST AVENUE LEGEND OF THE FALL. A mix between a Spanish sidra and a classic English farmhouse cider, this is all about sour notes mixed with hints of grapefruit and orange. $12.50, westavenue.ca
1 SIEMPRE TEQUILA PLATA. A wickedly smooth drink made from blue agave in the small town of Tequila, Mexico. Skip the shot glasses and slowly sip this one. $69.95, siempretequila.com 2 ESPOLON TEQUILA REPOSADO. Anyone looking for a complex tequila should start here. Made from blue agave and aged in oak. Subtle flavours of caramel and pie, with a nice buttery mouth feel. $40.15, equilaespolon.com 3 GEORGIAN BAY VODKA. With its notes of juniper, pine, caramel and nuts,
this vodka is guaranteed to amp up your cocktail game. $32.95, georgianbayspiritco.com 4 BEATTIE’S FARMCRAFTED VODKA. Made from potatoes, this new craft vodka from Ontario is smooth and sweet with a warm, lingering finish. $32.95, beattiesdistillers.com 5 SIPSMITH LONDON DRY GIN. One of London’s most popular craft gins is finally available here in Ontario. A beautiful bouquet of summer florals follows up with notes of marmalade, honey and citrus. $49.95, sipsmith.com
1 3 4
F O O D I S M .T O
1 ADAMO ESTATE 2016 RIESLING. A summer wine that will pair with nearly everything on the picnic table. Well-rounded with underlying stone fruits dominating the palate. $29, adamoestate.com 2 ROSEHALL RUN JUST ONE ROSE 2016. A drystyle rosé made from gamay and pinot noir grapes, which gives it a complex body of ripe berries. Great for grilled foods. $17.95, rosehallrun.com 3 TRAIL ESTATE CHARDONNAY 2015. A full-bodied, elegant wine to go with those late
summer sunsets. Richly structured with notes of almond, stone fruit and vanilla. $32, trailestate.com 4 ROSEWOOD ESTATES ORIGIN RIESLING 2014. One of Niagara’s best rieslings delivers again. Nice minerality with a bouquet of lemon and green apple. For any and all summer seafood feasts
– but not limited to that – grab a few of these bottles. $15.95, rosewoodwine.com 5 CREEKSIDE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2016. Explodes with bright grapefruit and acidity. A lively and aromatic expression of sauvignon blanc best suited for the last weeks of summer. $21.95, creeksidewine.com
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DISCOVER THE TERROIR OF SPAIN Whether you’re looking for an introduction to the world of Spanish wine or are already a connoisseur, Lolo Albarino and Castano Monastrell belong on your radar
PAIN IS NOT only one of the world’s largest producers of wine, it also makes some of the world’s best. Experience the taste of two distinctive Spanish regions with Lolo Albarino and Castano Monastrell, a pair of wines that provide an excellent introduction to Spain. These wines take us to opposite ends of the Iberian Peninsula: the cool Atlantic coast and the warm Mediterranean. Albarino is a variety of white wine grape that pairs wonderfully with seafood. It’s therefore fitting that this wine is produced in the Atlantic
coastal Rías Baixas region of Spain. Lively, tropical and citrus-driven, Lolo Albarino borrows traits from New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Ontario Riesling. It also pairs beautifully with salads, chicken and other lighter proteins. Toronto’s own master sommelier John Szabo calls Lolo Albarino “a nicely aromatic, floral, citrus/lemon blossom-scented Albarino, clean, vibrant and engaging.” For a captivating red wine, Castano Monastrell takes us 1,000 kilometres southeast of Rías Baixas to the highaltitude steppes of Yecla in the Spanish province of Murcia. Here, in one of Spain’s smallest wine regions, the Castano family – now in its fourth generation of winemaking – produces a bold and seductive Monastrell.
This wine is distinguished by the age of the vines from which its grapes are harvested, which averages around 35 years. The result is an especially powerful Monastrell that was awarded an impressive 90 point score by internationally renowned wine critic Stephen Tanzer, who called it a “vibrant, insanely inexpensive wine.” Castano Monastrell is a perfect pair for grilled pork or beef, but it goes well with almost any meat. Vegetarians can try it with hearty sauces as well as dishes that incorporate wild rice or mushrooms. It’s also great with cheeses like smoked gouda, edam or muenster. Both of these enchanting wines are available now at the LCBO. ● Lolo Albarino, $14.95, #483933 Castano Monastrell, $10.95, #143743
TORONTO’S GOURMET GROCER Celebrity chef Mark McEwan brings four decades of cooking experience to the table at his high-end grocery stores, which offer some of the world’s best ingredients
L Photography by McEwan Group
AUNCHED IN 2009, McEwan Fine Foods has established itself as Toronto’s go-to source for the finest gourmet goods. When creating McEwan Fine Foods, chef Mark McEwan wanted to bring the best local and international provisions under one roof for a high-end shopping experience. With his creativity, energy and his famous palate, McEwan has been a leading force in the restaurant scene in Toronto for many years. He draws from over four decades of cooking experience to create a gourmet food purveyor that speaks to the importance of using highquality ingredients. McEwan has recreated the great marketplaces of the world by incorporating an on-site butcher, fishmonger, bakery, patisserie, deli, produce section and grab-and-go counters, plus a café and dining area. Whether you’re cooking a family feast or grabbing a quick bite to go, McEwan and his team have carefully
selected the best-of-the-best ingredients for a grocery store that caters to foodies and chefs alike, whether you’re shopping for the freshest seasonal produce for a delicious home meal or are looking to stock your pantry with the world’s best olive oil. The result is a finely curated taste of the world. McEwan Fine Foods brings Torontonians unique international culinary finds and amazing local products, including cheese and charcuterie selected by Afrim Pristine from the much-loved Cheese Boutique. McEwan also presents fresh-pressed juice, along with a changing lineup of prepared foods from the McEwan Group’s award-winning Toronto restaurants, including North 44, Bymark, One, Diwan and Fabbrica. Chef McEwan is also thrilled to announce the upcoming opening of his newest store. Set to open in 2018, the new McEwan Fine Foods will be a two-storey, 18,000-plus square-foot shop located at One Bloor East. ●
WIN A $250 SHOPPING SPREE
You can win a grand culinary shopping adventure with the world’s absolute finest ingredients under one roof. Simply follow @TheMcEwanGroup and @ChefMarkMcEwan and visit foodism.to/competition to enter.
A NIGHT WITH APPLETON ESTATE We spent a magical evening at Saks Fifth Avenue with Susur Lee and a cohort of Toronto rum enthusiasts for some cocktails, gourmet food and great conversation
APPLETON ESTATE RUM PARTY Earlier this summer we hosted an evening of great vibes inside the Appleton Estate Rum Lounge pop-up at Saks Fifth Avenue Toronto Eaton Centre. We amassed over 100 foodism readers and VIPs for a night to remember. Appleton Estate Rum, of course, provided delicious cocktails, while LeĂąa put out some truly gourmet food. Our surprise guest, chef Susur Lee, sat down for an intimate Q&A with the crowd.
Photography by Gus Protopapas
Two international whites and a luxurious Champagne for those warm evenings of eating and drinking
THE NOSTALGIST Open for around 20 years, Pho Pasteur is one of the city’s best 24-hour joints, Jon Sufrin writes
Photography by Jon Sufrin, Ryan Faist
T’S 4 A.M. and you’re wandering the debris-strewn streets of Chinatown in search of sustenance. Probably you’ve been up to no good, and you need fuel. Your very existence depends on it. Things are looking grim, but then you see the neon halo of Pho Pasteur on Dundas West. You walk inside and find a table, amply equipped with sriracha and hoisin. You take stock of the carnivalesque set of characters surrounding you: languid, solitary midnight snackers; cross-dressers; late-night partygoers on the verge of their comedowns. Then the food comes, and you eat it, and you start to feel normal again as it counteracts whatever was keeping you up that late in the first place. Pho Pasteur: always open, always an adventure. Toronto has a mostly mediocre selection of 24-hour restaurants, but to me, Pho Pasteur will always be the best. For many years it has been a beacon of Vietnamese deliciousness when the witching hour hits and good food is hard to find. The fact that 24-hour joints exist at all is confounding to me. The mere thought of orchestrating a restaurant’s operation, staffing and maintenance without any downtime is panic-inducing. And you can be sure that the monetary payoff is not huge, otherwise our streets would be a sea of perpetually open restaurants. So really, if you were ever wondering whether or not altruism truly exists, look no further than the 24/7 restaurant. They – and the hardy staffers who work them – are there to serve wayfaring humans in need.
Admittedly, Pho Pasteur is not an objectively great restaurant. It’s not the first place you’d recommend out-of-town friends to visit, and its pho would not rank highly on a “best of” list. My love for this place stems from its extreme usefulness, its divey character and the fact that the food is pretty good in the context of 24-hour restaurants. I’ve been a night person for most of my life, so I’ve spent a lot of time exploring Pho Pasteur’s expansive menu. I’m talking nearly 150 items, where you’ll see pho holding hands with congee, curry, stew, chow mein, grilled pork chops, Vietnamese sausage, fried octopus, milkshakes and crab soup. Pho Pasteur has been a place of many firsts for me. This is where I first learned that you can put a fried egg on pretty much anything to make it better, as if by magic. This is where I tried my first durian: pungent, perplexing, pointy and far too peculiar to have originated here on earth. And this is where I first came to the conclusion that the Vietnamese-style spring roll is quite possibly the best in the world. I’ve often declared that Pho Pasteur’s chubby, crispy, bubbly spring rolls are unrivalled in Toronto, even if many people would disagree with me on that front. I imagine that places like Pho Pasteur will slowly become relics of the past as food costs and wages go up, and as people become more cognizant of workers’ rights. So the next time you’re wandering downtown in a haze, desperately searching for a meal that is not McDonald’s, remember Pho Pasteur – and be thankful. f
1. L A C R E M A M ONT E R EY C HAR DONNAY 2015 An unusually dry winter followed by a warm spring paved the way for this complex chardonnay from California. It drinks incredibly bright with loads of tropical fruit flavours. Citrus on the nose followed by peach, papaya and a zip of acidity. $27, lcbo.com
2. M AT UA HAW K E’S BAY SAUVIG NO N B L ANC 2016 Mauta’s 2016 sauvignon blanc is fully tropical. A taste of the coast pops out of the bottle along with bright summer fruits, from peaches to apricots, all connected by a spine of palpable acidity. Set it on the table for guests with a cheese board. $17, lcbo.com
3. DOM PE R IG N O N 2006 SPE C IAL ED I T I O N A gorgeously decadent vintage from one of the world’s top producers of Champagne. Bright, balanced and floral, with layers of citrus, a subtle minerality and a neverending stream of pillowsoft bubbles. Bonus: comes packaged in a box designed by artist Michael Riedel. $232, lcbo.com
INCREDIBLE LATTE ART
We hosted a night of cocktails, bites, great music and unbelievable latte art made with Rolling Meadow Dairy
GOING GRASS FED
Photography by Sandro Pehar
We rang in the first day of summer with a latte art party featuring Rolling Meadow grass fed dairy at Calii Love on King West. Instagram sensation Barista Brian created mind-blowing customized lattes throughout the night. Those wanting a little extra were treated to cocktails featuring Rolling Meadow Dairy. To round it out, Ace Hill provided beer and 13th Street Winery took care of wine.
F O O D I S M .T O
We’ve got Toronto’s food and drink news that’s fit for sharing
BIRD’S THE WORD MOVING ON UP Eatertainment, a juggernaut of the restaurant and catering industry in Toronto, has expanded to a new head office in the east end that also functions as a cooking
facility and a state-of-the-art test kitchen. Eatertainment hosts over a hundred events per year throughout the GTA, and the brand also owns the One Eighty, the posh and newly renovated restaurant located high atop the Manulife Centre.
Toronto’s city council is considering a pilot project that would allow urban chicken farming in four wards of the city. A vote on the motion is expected to take place this fall, and if passed, the pilot project would launch in the spring.
TORONTO’S NEW BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Photograph by Andrew Millard
Station Cold Brew Coffee Co. is known for blurring the lines between coffee and beer, offering its coldsteeped java in stubbies, growlers and kegs. Earlier this summer, the Toronto-based company toed the beer line again with the launch of a nitrogenated cold-brew coffee in a can. Nitrogen provides a viscous, bubbly texture, not unlike Guinness (which pioneered the use of nitrogen back in the 1950s).
It’s been a long wait, but the 126-yearold east-end landmark that once housed Jilly’s strip club has been revitalized as the Broadview Hotel. Opened in late July, the boutique hotel has 58 rooms plus dining and drinking experiences befitting of the neighbourhood. The ever-changing spot has undergone many transformations over the years, from a retail space to its more notorious time as a strip club and boarding house. Regardless of its past, this Toronto heritage property has taken quite a step up. Each room features a king-size bed along with a vinyl record player to set the mood. The new hotel will have a café, a bar and an 80-seat restaurant with food from chef John Sinopoli (Ascari Enoteca, Hi-Low Bar). That, along with the rooftop lounge’s 360 degrees of uninterrupted city views, will give east-enders a whole new piece of history to enjoy.
Snack bars have proliferated across Toronto over the past few years, and these are the city’s best
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
Hungry in the city? So are we. Happily, Toronto has a superlative selection of bars and restaurants that’ll provide whatever you’re after – whether it’s a hip snack bar, a chill ice cream shop or a specialty grocer
1 Bar Raval 505 College St.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars went into the build of Grant van Gameren’s College Street tapas bar, resulting in what is possibly the most beautiful eating and drinking establishment in the city. And while the Gaudí-esque interior is a work of art, the food is equally as stunning. There are numerous ways to find satisfaction here, regardless of the time of day: jamon croissants in the morning, Spanish preserves at lunch or a pintxos spread with amontillado-spiked cocktails in the evening. Little Italy is peppered with great restaurants these days, but none are quite as memorable as Raval.
BEST OF THE REST
Photography by Suresh Doss, Gizelle Lau
2 416 Snack Bar
4 Kanpai Snack Bar
181 Bathurst St.
252 Carlton St.
Adrian Ravinsky and David Stewart opened 416 in 2011, before “snack bar” was a household term in Toronto. Since then there have been countless imitators, but 416 remains one of the city’s best destinations for small bites with big flavours. The menu takes inspiration from Toronto’s multiculturalism, with long-standing favourites including Korean fried chicken, a mini reuben sandwich and Momofuku-style steamed buns. This hipster enclave is also notoriously cutlery-free, which resulted in a bit of social media hilarity earlier this year when a customer couldn’t figure out how to eat the deconstructed Caesar salad.
Kanpai takes inspiration from Taiwanese xiaochi – cheap snacks – for its sharable menu. Playfully named small plates like Piggie Smalls (deep fried chunks of pork belly) and Cabbage Patch Kids (a Brussels sprouts salad with citrus-sesame-soy vinaigrette) make for easy nibbling alongside the cocktails and craft beers. Kanpai’s most substantial dish is also its most famous one: the crispy, juicy, flavourful TFC (Taiwanese Fried Chicken). With a hip hop soundtrack and a decor that features plenty of reclaimed wood, the vibe is trendy but approachable enough that it’s not uncommon to see families early in the evening.
3 Bang Sue Bar
11 Charlotte St.
90 Ossington Ave.
When Khao San Road owner Monte Wan moved his popular Thai eatery to more spacious digs earlier this year, he transformed the second floor mezzanine into a standalone snack bar with its own menu. The caramel corn, fried chicken and pork jowl are all dangerously addictive, and the cocktails get some serious kick from the likes of Thai chili tincture and ginger syrup. Save room for the coconut custard – you will want seconds.
Five years on and Oddseoul is still packed with soju-sipping, snack-scarfing patrons. Owner Leeto Han draws upon his KoreanAmerican heritage for the menu of comfort food mash-ups. Traditional Korean dumplings are fried to a crisp and filled with smoked pork belly, while the cheesesteak sandwich is one of the city’s best. And despite how good everything is, the Big Mac-inspired Loosey alone is worth coming back for.
1 Put A Cone On It 633 Bloor St. W.
Amid the crush of Asian-inspired ice cream shops to have opened up in Toronto as of late, Put a Cone On It stands out. The flavour selection is a dream come true, featuring the likes of chocolate malt, black sesame and pink peppercorn. The sorbet lineup, too, is impressive. And if that isn’t enough, the shop is decked out with a wall of imported Japanese candy and snacks that you won’t find anywhere else in the city. @putaconeonit
CREAM OF THE CROP Find relief from summer heat in Toronto with these top frozen dessert purveyors BEST OF THE REST 2 Bar Ape
4 Sweet Olenka’s
283 Rushton Rd.
A few years ago, Toronto entrepreneurs James Carnevale and Nick Genova came up with the quirky idea to sell bars of handmade gelato out of a three-wheeled Piaggio Ape, and the concept has clearly been a hit. Last year they expanded operations with a shop near St. Clair and Christie that draws lineups for its seasonally inspired gelato and sundaes.
Vegans flock to Sweet Olenka’s for the generous spread of dairy-free ice creams that use coconut milk in place of traditional milk. But the roster of non-vegan treats is highly in demand, too. This shop excels at incorporating local, seasonal fruit, such as Ontario strawberries and peaches, resulting in scoops that are in-your-face fresh.
3 iHalo Krunch
5 Kekou Gelato House
915 Queen St. W.
394 Queen St. W.; 13 Baldwin St.
As the foodie obsession with charcoal takes over Toronto, iHalo Krunch sits at the centre of the craze. This dessert bar sees Asianinspired flavours such as matcha bean and charcoal-infused coconut served in black waffle cones. Yes, black cones made from activated charcoal. All gimmicks aside, the ice cream is actually delicious.
Italy meets Asia at this downtown sweets purveyor, which uses traditional gelatomaking equipment and Asian ingredients to create flavours such Hong Kong-style milk tea, durian, Vietnamese coffee and black sesame (the latter of which is one of the best we’ve tried in the city). All of Kekou’s dessert bases are made from scratch.
BEST OF THE REST 2 Forno Cultura
609 King St. W.; 77 Adelaide St. W.
730 Queen St. W.
Forno Cultura is foremost known for its aweinspiring lineup of daily baked breads, but it doubles as a great place to find imported Italian goods, such as tomato sauces and high quality olive oils. The store also produces exceptional preserved peppers, vegetables and meats (do not miss the cacciatore).
Open since 1968, Sanko has long been Toronto’s go-to spot for Japanese staples. Pantry goods range from dried soba noodles to cooking sake, along with a very high variety of soy sauces. The shop also carries prepared foods, mochi cakes and an impressive selection of snacks and candies.
5 Good Rebel
6103 Yonge St.
1591 Dundas St. W.
There’s no better introduction to the cuisine and culture of Iran than this grocery store. The preserved fruits and nuts section is a highlight, along with the hot counter, which provides regional Iranian delicacies such as sheep’s head stew, biryani and a dizzying amount of charcoal-cooked meats.
Billing itself as a 100 per cent all-vegan grocery store, Good Rebel offers vegan versions of meats, fish, sauces and just about every other food imaginable. There are two fridges dedicated to vegan cheeses, as well as a freezer packed with vegan variations of snacks such as chicken nuggets and beef tips.
FINDING A NICHE
These top specialty grocers ensure well-stocked pantries across Toronto 1 Alimentari 325 Roncesvalles Ave.
Photography by Suresh Doss, Brian Wong
Christopher and Sarah Terpstra opened their Italian gourmet shop earlier this year in the former Hopgoods Foodliner space on Roncesvalles. A fanastic selection of pantry goods such as canned tomatoes, olive oil and spices is sourced locally or imported from Italy, while other ingredients, including pickled veggies, are made in-house. The Terpstras are known for their fresh pasta, which is a staple here. They also sell sandwiches served on house-made focaccia, along with prepared dishes such as braised beef tortellini and pork ragu. alimentarito.com
ROASTED COCONUT: Shredded coconut meat brings a sweet and savoury element.
LEMONGRASS: Finely sliced lemongrass provides the aroma of citrus but with less bite. SUNFLOWER SPROUTS: Whole sunflower sprouts add nutritious green appeal.
KAFFIR LIME LEAF: Finely julienned kaffir lime leaves have a bright, complex lime flavour. CUCUMBER: With their sweet flesh, slightly bitter skin and high water content, cucumbers are quite complex.
STAINED RICE: The star of the show gets vibrant colours from beet juice, tumeric and some butterfly pea flowers.
POMELO: A relative of grapefruit, this white variety creates a burst of sweet and sour with each bite.
EDIBLE FLOWERS: Chef loves flowers and these edible ones are her signature addition to this dish. ROASTED CHILIES: Added to the diner’s preference, these enhance the salad’s sweet and sour flavours. Kiin, 326 Adelaide St., W., 647-490-5040
LONG BEAN: At Kiin, long beans are used for their distinctive flavour and crispness.
Photograph by ###
Chef Nuit Regular’s rice salad at the newly opened Kiin has become an instant sensation, presenting a new way to enjoy some of Thailand’s key ingredients
WHITE TUMERIC: While it looks similar to and is often replaced by ginger, white tumeric is milder.
SAWTOOTH CORIANDER: Adds brightness along with a light and citrusy herbaceous element.
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Foodism - 6 - Toronto, food and drink