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taste D E L I C I O U S

L I V I N G

W E S T

VOLUME 1 NUMBER 1

O F

T H E

C I T Y

SPRING • SUMMER 2012

in season

asparagus summer sippers

sea, sand & chefs at

Cayman Cookout

recipes:

Creamy Asparagus Soup Asparagus with Bacon & Eggs Asparagus & Prosciutto Sandwiches Cucumber Martini Red Sangria Lemon Infused Gin

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taste

CONTENTS SPRING • SUMMER 2012

14 asparagus Enjoy some of Ontario's finest while it's fresh and in season with these recipes.

street food phenomenon

18

Savour the latest food trend with these on-the-go gourmets.

the cook's kitchen

issue 07 amuse bouche tasty bits for food lovers

29

Dream kitchens for the home chef.

32

in every

summer cocktails Tasty summer sippers to toast the season.

10 books the latest cookbooks

11 grapes ontario's world class wines

12 meet the chef matt kershaw of the alex & rapscallion

44 edible events events for food and wine lovers

46 have you tried kohlrabi

03_Contents.indd 11

36 gourmet getaway Get your fill of sun, sand and celebrity chefs at Cayman Cookout, the ultimate foodie event in Grand Cayman.

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Cake Pops Baking Pan, available at:

taste VOLUME 1, NUMBER 1

SPRING • SUMMER 2012

general manager DAVID HARVEY director of publications VICKI DILLANE editor-in-chief HOLLY CRAWFORD hcrawford@westofthecity.com art director SCOTT MACDONALD editorial assistant CHRISTINA MACMILLAN contributing writers SURESH DOSS, REBECCA DUMAIS GORDON STIMMEL, SHERRI TELENKO director of photography RIZIERO VERTOLLI photographers CHANTAL AYOTTE, STACEY NEWMAN, BRIAN REILLY, NIKKI WESLEY account representatives SUE BARTHOLOMEW, GERMANA CLEMENTI, ADELE COSCO, ALISON LINK

182 Lakeshore Rd E • Downtown Oakville • (905) 338-0275 www.tosetatable.com

production manager RHONDA RIDGWAY editorial graphic designer BRIAN ROBERTS advertising co-ordinator LINDA CLEGG contributing graphic designers DAVE KNATCHBULL, MARIA RODRIGUEZ TANIA SAGRISI, CRAIG THOMSON distribution manager ALEXANDRIA ANCHOR circ@formulapublications.com

Italian t li FFrenchh Bi Bistro t

assistant office managers DONNA ALLEN accounts receivable coordinator SILVANNA BOGDANOVSKI business manager SANDRA PARE

In the heart of trendy Kerr Street Village

Metroland West Media Group Specialty Publications - a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd. - is publisher of West of the City, Taste, Shopaholic, Boatguide, Boating Business, PORTS Cruising Guides, Carguide, World of Wheels, Canadian AutoWorld, Ideal Home.

Metroland Media Group Group Publisher - NEIL OLIVER Director of Production - MARK DILLS Statements, opinions and points of view expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher, advertisers or Taste. Editorial and sales office: 447 Speers Rd., Suite 4, Oakville, ON, L6K 3S7 Tel: 905.845.8536 • Fax: 905.842.4432 www.westofthecity.com Editorial contributions: We welcome submissions from writers and photographers, new or established, but can assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. Contents copyrighted: All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article, photograph or artwork without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

Taste is published twice per year: Spring/Summer (May), Autumn/Winter (October)

379 Kerr St., Oakville

905-582-2664

www.jacsbistro.com

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EDITOR'S letter

welcome to taste! The first seeds of the idea for this, our first issue of TASTE, were sown nearly a year ago. It was mid-June and in a summer lull we dreamt up plans to celebrate the tenth anniversary of our flagship title, WEST of the City Magazine. With our heads high in the clouds, plans for a huge celebratory year and the launch of a new title began. Creating a magazine devoted to food had long been on our wish list, but the timing was never quite right. With a milestone approaching, and readers increasingly hungry for food and drink content, the planning went into high gear. And so now, nearly a year later, we are pleased to present this premiere issue of TASTE. We've compiled a "taste" of everything a gourmand might want for the summer months. A collection of recipes for both a seasonal local ingredient – asparagus – and delicious summer drinks. A sampling of new products and news, the latest cookbooks, a wine column by none other than Gordon Stimmel, a chef bio and lots of local events that celebrate food and wine. I was honoured to be invited to the incredibly posh Cayman Cookout earlier this year to prepare an article for this issue. The weekend of cooking demos and tastings offered up by Chef Eric Ripert and a number of celebrated and celebrity chefs is what food lover's dreams are made of. If you didn't have a reason to visit Grand Cayman already, you will now. See the story on page 36. While on that journey, I had the pleasure of meeting and travelling with fellow writer Suresh Doss. For those in the know, Doss' name is synonymous with the street food and food truck movement in the GTA. With food truck sightings becoming more and more regular, I went straight to the source for an article on the state of street food. See what Doss has to say, in his own words, on page 18. This issue of TASTE has come to fruition with the assistance of two valued partners. To assist with the celebration of WEST of the City's tenth birthday and the launch of TASTE, we have partnered with the Cayman Islands to create a series of fine dining events. These evenings will be celebrations of fine food and wine, with Cayman flavour. The first event is planned for Thursday, September 20, hosted by Oliver's of Oakville. Save the date! To assist in delivering TASTE into your hands, we are pleased to have Whole Foods Markets as one of our exclusive points of pickup for the magazine. You will find future editions of TASTE at Whole Foods Oakville and Square One locations. I hope you’ll take a little time to savour this issue, and that you find something perfectly suited to your taste.

H O L LY C R AW F O R D editor-in-chief h c r a w f o r d @ w e s t o f t h e c i t y. c o m

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Working up an appetite. Rum Point, North Side. Cosmopolitan Grand Cayman.

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VITED YOU ARE INLUSIVE TO AN EXC INNER CAYMAN D

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amuse

BOUCHE P R O D U C T S ,

T I P S

&

T R E AT S

F O R

F O O D

L O V E R S

Sweet and Salty Snacks When it comes to snacking, healthier options also tend to be the least flavourful, and when you want to satisfy that sweet or salty craving that just won’t do. With Popcorn, Indiana, you won’t have to choose between nutritious and delicious, just between sweet and savoury. Made in real kettles, popcorn is naturally low in fat while being gluten and cholesterol free as well as being a high source of fibre and whole grains. Popcorn, Indiana is allnatural, with zero trans fat, no artificial flavours or preservatives and is available in a variety of artisan flavours including Original Kettle Corn, Bacon Ranch, and Cinnamon Sugar. Also try Popcorn, Indiana’s Chip’ins, with all the benefits of popcorn, and the chip crunch you crave. Popcorn, Indiana popcorn and Chip’ins are available for $4 to $5 at major grocery stores. popcornindiana.com

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AMUSE BOUCHE TA S T Y BI T S

Cake Pops at Home The latest trend in tiny baked goods is the cake pop, a little morsel of cake served on a lollypop stick. Make your own at home with ease with a cake pop baking pan. Simply use your favourite batter, pour in one half of the pan, attach the top half of the pan and bake. Batter bakes into a perfectly rounded shape, ready to decorate. Nordic Ware Cake Pops Baking Pan, available at To Set a Table, Oakville.

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Harbourside Organic Farmers Market moves Harbourside Organic Farmers Market will now take place every Saturday from June 16 through October at Whole Foods Market Oakville. Visit the Oakville Whole Foods Market terrace at the south entrance for delicious organic and local produce. Harbourside is the only organic farmers’ market in Oakville, promoting sustainable, healthy foods and environmentally friendly products, all while helping to promote the local economy. wholefoodsmarket.com oakvilleorganicmarket.com

Handy Helper Stand mixers do what most hand mixers can’t, but some jobs are perfect for the handy little tool. Thanks to Breville’s new Handy Mix Digital you will no longer have to sacrifice quality for counter space. With a 200W motor offering 16 speed settings and a turbo button for a quick burst of power, the Handy Mix Digital comes equipped with a built-in timer to ensure your ingredients are never over-mixed. A mixing guide, conveniently located on the side of the body, ensures that you mix ingredients at the ideal speed, while the three attachments, including flat beaters, dough hooks and a wire whisk allow you to properly mix the unique ingredients that make up your at-home culinary masterpieces. Available across Canada for $100. breville.ca

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Rock Salt For those who love exotic finishing salts, the next step in flavour are blocks and bowls of solid Himalayan pink salt. Created by Salt Rox based in Lexington, Kentucky, the company makes large flat blocks used to cook food on, as well as shot glasses, bowls and serving blocks. They suggest using a large Salt Rox right on the BBQ to grill meat, seafood or veggies. Available at To Set a Table, Oakville; saltrox.com

A Culinary Experience in India Cook, taste, shop, and explore your way through India with Liberty India Travel’s Culinary Experience. Go on rickshaw tours with a spice expert through ancient spice markets, take part in hands-on cooking at The Spice Route and Lodi Restaurant, and even get the chance to go live on Indian TV, one of the country’s most popular food-focused shows, to take part in a cooking demonstration. From September 21 until February, 2013, travelers will have the opportunity to take advantage of this amazing package, valued at $7,625 US per person with double occupancy, including all luxury heritage accommodations, tours, most meals, culinary experiences, ground transportation, and internal flights within India where indicated. libertyindiatravel.com

Made in Canada condiments Spice up your condiment rack with homegrown chutneys, jellies and spreads made in Manitoulin Island, Ontario. The century-old Hawberry Farms produces a wide variety of gourmet products including jams, flavoured oils, honey, hot sauce and nut butters. Shown Caramelized Onion Chutney, Curried Pineapple and Ginger Chutney, Fruit Tomato Chili Sauce and Red Pepper Jelly. From $6 each, available at Dietrich’s Meat Warehouse, Oakville.

Ravine Vineyard’s newest Chef Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery is pleased to welcome Chef Nathan Young to their culinary team. Formerly the Sous Chef at Hillebrand Winery Restaurant, Young brings with him an esteemed past, working in highly regarded kitchens such as Kitchener’s Walper Terrace Hotel, Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon, England, and Toronto’s Canoe Restaurant. Ravine Vineyard is a family owned organic winery located in the St. David’s region of Niagara, and named as one of the Worlds 20 Best Winery Restaurants of 2011 by Wine Access Magazine. “Cooking is an art,” says Young. “The lessons taught to me over the years, and my own passion will be reflected in the canvas that is Ravine.” And we can’t wait to taste what he has in store! ravinevineyard.com

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BOOKS FOR COOKS

BOOKS

Cook, grill and smoke your way through summer with these new releases

Canadian Living: The Barbeque Collection by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Garde Manger by Chuck Hughes

Montreal’s Chuck Hughes, star of Food Network Canada’s Chuck’s Day Off, won the silver award for Garde Manger in the French-language cookbook category of the 2011 Canadian Culinary Book Awards. Now released as Hughes’ first-ever English-language cookbook, those of us who are not bilingual can finally revel in the wondrously laidback culinary masterpieces seen both on television and tasted in person at Garde Manger restaurant in Montreal. Unique dishes like Lobster Poutine accompany homemade works such as Hughes’ mother’s famous Pecan Pie. The chapter titled “Amaaazing!” includes 19 dishes Hughes describes with the word used when “a culinary expression surpasses my expectations.” Beautifully photographed, inspired by local ingredients and a passion for cooking with a laid back mentality. $24.99, harpercollins.ca

In My Mother’s Kitchen by Trish Magwood

Early century recipes like Tomato Butter and Crab Apple Jelly blend harmoniously with modern meals like Mock Butter Chicken and Miami-Style Barbecued Beef Short Ribs in Trish Magwood’s second cookbook. Based around familial values, old classics and new favourites are combined to help preserve the tradition of the family table. Inspired by her father’s garden, Magwood celebrates a fresh take on local ingredients with easy recipes and recipe card visual appeal. $24.99, harpercollins.ca

Canadian Living’s highly regarded test kitchen is back with an updated cookbook based entirely around our warm weather favourite: the barbeque. Containing exciting new recipes and old favourites, the 500+ page book contains more than 150 mouthwatering colour photos, tips and advice, and a full nutritional analysis of each recipe. Each chapter is broken down into a specific type of grilled food such as Brochettes & Kabobs and Fish & Seafood, and contains skill levels from beginner to expert. Prepare a time-honoured favourite or experiment with expert-level recipes to prove who really is the top chef in your kitchen. $32.95, randomhouse.ca

Beerlicious

by Ted Reader with Tasting & Pairing Notes by Roger Mittag From classic beer can chicken (Foster’s King Can Turkey to be exact), to the unexpected Beerlicious BBQ Cake, Ted Reader has your barbequing bases covered with his latest cookbook Beerlicious. The award-winning chef and food entertainer uses bold photos and easy to understand recipes to help promote one of the best aspects of summer: barbequing with a cold beer in hand. Using a different beer for each recipe, this playful cookbook breaks recipes into easy to manage sections such as Sides, Birds, Sandwiches and Desserts and Breads, to only name a few along with tips on grilling and aiding you in making your own rubs and sauces. $29.99, mcclelland.com

Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbeque by Jeff Phillips

Smoking meat, however delicious, can be a bit overwhelming. With the help of Jeff Phillip’s well known website, smoking-meat.com, lovers of this classic barbeque item have been inspired to get grilling. For the first time, Phillips’ expertise is available in a convenient book, Smoking Meat: The Essential Guide to Real Barbeque. With step-by-step instructions on how to choose, set up, and modify your own charcoal, gas or electric smoker, Smoking Meat covers all areas including tried-and-true recipes for everything from chicken and ribs to quail and frogs’ legs. $29.95, whitecap.ca

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GRAPES ON TA R IO'S BE S T

RATING

ONTARIO'S worldly wines B Y

G O R D O N

91 RATING

92

S T I M M E L L

+

Ontario now produces world-class wines with prices to match. In tasting through 265 local wines recently, both as a judge and wine critic, six emerged that can go toe-to-toe with the best from around the globe. The latest trend is to capture “somewhereness” in wines, our equivalent of the French word terroir. The producers are dedicated to showcasing wines that express the exact soil, microclimate and natural conditions that make a single vineyard unique. These are our ultimate wines of distinction.

Flat Rock Cellars

Stratus

The Flat Rock is a sleeper among Ontario’s sparklers made using the real Champagne method. It shows yeasty, lemony lime and slivered roast almonds aromas, and a full-bodied, lemony hazelnut and biscuit-flavoured core that is absolutely seductive. The finish is rich and long with a hint of peach and a super fine bead of bubbles. $35, winery only or online. Only 174 cases produced. Rating: 91

This vintage dropped Riesling, opting for an exotic melange of 37 per cent Chardonnay, 28 per cent Semillon, 23 per cent Sauvignon Blanc and 6 per cent each of Gewürztraminer and Viognier. Aromas of buttery creamed corn, coconut and golden apple are quite bewitching. The flavours unfold with big butterscotch, yellow apple and white peach, overall, simply delicious. $44.20, Vintages (#660704) or winery. Rating: 91+

2027 Cellars 2011

Closson Chase

2007 Sparkling Brut

Fox Croft Vineyard Riesling Virtual winemaker Kevin Panagapka – although he doesn’t yet own a winery of his own – is making stunning Rieslings. This single vineyard example is gorgeous, with aromas of jasmine, white peach and lemon drops. The flavours dish up lime candy, pine nuts, peach and candied ginger leading into an extremely long finish of candied citrus, lime blossoms and minerals. $25, available online at 2027cellars.ca Rating: 92+

Tawse

Quarry Road Vineyard 2010 Chardonnay Heady aromas of toasted hazelnuts and almonds, with lemon drop, fresh golden apple and minerals that captivate the senses. The flavours show refined lemon meringue, spiced apple and a gently buttery and silky citrus-rich texture. The prolonged finish unveils wet stones and lemon zest. Created from a vineyard rich in limestone on the Vinemount Ridge. $34.95, replaces the 2009 (#111989) at Vintages stores. Rating: 93

2008 White RATING +

RATING

93

91

2009 Churchside Pinot Noir As with many Prince Edward County reds, this is light in style, but very flavourful. Aromas of beetroot, black cherry, vanilla and exotic earthy spice. The flavours are inviting with lilacs, black cherry, cedar and vanilla in a mellow style marked by gentle smoky finesse. Tiny production from famed winemaker Deborah Paskus. $49.95, available at the winery or online. Rating: 91

Hidden Bench

Terroir Caché 2008 Meritage

RATING

91

This Beamsville Bench winery has luxury wines above this level, but this 47 per cent Merlot, 22 per cent Cabernet Franc, 21 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 10 per cent Malbec Bordeaux style blend is available and luscious. Big black cherry, tar and blackberry aromas lead into mellow cherry, vanilla and cedar accented flavours with a hint of charcoal on the finish. A marvel with charred meat from the barbecue. $35.20, Vintages and the winery. Rating: 91

RATING

91

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FOOD MEET THE CHEF

meet the

CHEF

Matt Kershaw, The Alex and Rapscallion B Y

S H E R R I

T E L E N K O

PHOTOS BY CHANTAL AYOT TE

Matt Kershaw is that new breed of 30-something chefs and restaurateurs: easy going, understated, and remarkably confident that his innovative ideas about dining out and foodie tastes will be successful. There’s a remarkable lack of pretension at The Alex, Kershaw’s dinner/bistro blend restaurant on Brant Street in downtown Burlington – somewhat surprising considering frogs legs, pickerel cheeks, braised lamb shank and ox tails are practically staples on the menu. Some might say this former Hamilton Golf and Country Club chef who apprenticed at the Royal York in Toronto followed in the footsteps of his brother, owner of the posh Rousseau House in Ancaster. But food lovers would likely argue that he’s forged his own path, rejecting stemware and table clothes for a down-to-earth love of all things perfectly peeled, poached and prepared. The Alex is about loving to eat – not scarfing down large quantities – and savouring smaller portions for reasonable prices, allowing patrons to sample a number of offerings, tapas style, rather than committing to one entree per evening. Now the meat-centric Rapscallion, a self-proclaimed “rogue eatery,” on Young Street in Hamilton further embraces Kershaw’s culinary passionate and irreverent dining concept.

Considering you grew up in Hamilton and worked as a chef in Toronto, why choose Burlington as the site of your first solo endeavour? The Alex has been in Burlington for about two years. I first wanted to open in Hamilton. When I was looking for locations, I sat in my car for hours watching people go by and asked myself, “Can I picture these individuals walking into my restaurant?” It wasn’t encouraging. Then I came to downtown Burlington and realized this is a happening place. I did the same thing: watched everyone walk by and realized about nine out of ten people I saw would walk into the type of restaurant I had in mind. So I renovated an existing space, keeping the booths to maximize 12 taste | spring 2012

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seating. I did end up opening Rapscallion in Hamilton as well, primarily because the buildings there are so affordable.

people over they might expect an over-thetop menu, but they soon learn it’s more about the company.

When you eat out, what do you order?

Have television shows improved customers’ food education?

When I go to other restaurants I look for something I haven’t had before, or something prepared in a different way. I have a tendency to choose the meatiest, fattiest dish that is most unhealthy like short ribs or anything with bacon. I’m not kidding.

What is your favourite dinner party dish? I don’t get invited out for dinner much. People seem to think my expectations will be too high. But the truth is, I grew up on overcooked lamb with potatoes and gravy and that’s still one of my favourite dishes. So is macaroni and cheese... When I cook for people at home, I don’t care about burning anything. It’s more about having fun. The first time I invite Two dishes from The Alex menu: the trio known as Bacon Wrapped Bacon and Mango Slaw with Cashew Crusted Shrimp (background).

Definitely. Yes. I literally have kids come into the restaurant and order medium rack of lamb and know what they’re talking about.

What was the most important lesson you learned at chef’s school? I’m not a fan of going to school to learn how to cook. Are you the right person for the job? Do you love food? Who did you cook under? These are questions asked when hiring chefs... Do you have a natural love for food and – it sounds corny – but can you add that ingredient to the dishes you create? School is ok, but you only do everything once. I encourage people to get paid to learn, because if you’ve done something for 10,000 hours, you know how to do it.

What’s next? Possibly a food truck. I’m going to Niagara Falls next week to look at one. Will it happen? I don’t know. But I love the idea.

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FOOD A S PA R A G U S

in season ASPARAGUS The best time to enjoy asparagus is now! The tender green Ontario crop of asparagus is at its peak, perfect to enjoy in a vivid green soup or salad or simply grilled with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. Asparagus packs a nutritional punch of vitamins A and C and is a great source of folacin. One-half cup contains only

24 calories, so pile on a side of green. Look for straight crisp spears with tight heads, and use within a few days. Store in the refrigerator with ends wrapped in damp paper towel and the bundle tightly wrapped in cling film, or standing in a few inches of water. To prepare, rinse under cold water and snap off the woody ends.

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Ontario Asparagus with Bacon & Eggs with Herb Dressing

Creamy Spring Asparagus Soup

Three Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto

Grilled Goat Cheese, Asparagus & Prosciutto Sandwiches

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Creamy Spring Asparagus Soup -courtesy Whole Foods Market, Oakville & Mississauga 1 tbsp butter 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), woody stems snapped off and discarded, spears cut into 1-inch pieces 1/3 cup low-fat sour cream 1/2 tsp sea salt Ground black pepper 2 tbsp chopped chives

MELT butter in a medium pot over medium low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes. ADD broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. REDUCE heat to medium low. Add asparagus and simmer gently until potatoes and asparagus are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

REMOVE pot from heat and set aside to let cool slightly. Carefully transfer soup to blender in batches and purée until smooth. Return soup to pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, whisk in sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with chives and serve.

SERVES 4.

Ontario Asparagus with Bacon & Eggs with Herb Dressing -courtesySpencersattheWaterfront, Burlington 24 spears 4 4 slices 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp

TIP Serve this delightful spring soup with crusty bread or top with homemade croutons.

asparagus soft boiled eggs smoked bacon mayonnaise

POACH four eggs and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm. BLANCH

asparagus, drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

GRILL or fry bacon until very crisp. MIX mayonnaise with chopped herbs and thin out with water to reach proper dressing consistency. To serve, arrange 6 pieces of asparagus flat on each plate, place egg on top and coat with mayonnaise, then lay the bacon on the egg.

SERVES 4.

Freshly chopped herbs (chives, parsley, tarragon) Olive oil Salt & pepper

PHOTO COURTESY: WHOLE FOODS MARKETS

TASTE MAY 2012

RECIPE

Grilled Goat Cheese, Asparagus & Prosciutto Sandwiches -courtesy Whole Foods Market, Oakville & Mississauga 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and halved crosswise 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp fine sea salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto 16 slices Health Starts Here® Whole Grain Bread 1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto (8 slices) 1 (8-ounce) log Wellspring™ Creamery Cranberry Orange Goat Cheese Olive oil spray

PREHEAT oven to 425°F. On a large baking sheet, toss asparagus with oil, salt and pepper, and then roast until just tender, about 10 minutes. SPREAD pesto onto 8 slices of bread, and then spread goat cheese onto remaining 8 slices. Top goat cheese with prosciutto and asparagus and then with pesto-covered bread. Generously spray sandwiches on both sides with olive oil.

HEAT a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook sandwiches, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and hot throughout, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board, cut in half and serve. SERVES 8.

PHOTO COURTESY: WHOLE FOODS MARKETS

TASTE RECIPE

PHOTO BY: ASHLEY WESSEL

TASTE

MAY 2012

MAY 2012

RECIPE

Three Mushroom

SAUTE mushrooms and onion in butter until tender, about 2 minutes.

& Asparagus Risotto

ADD sundried tomato, vegetable stock and rice, and stir to blend. Cover pan, and cook until rice is tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.

-courtesy The Open Cork, Mississauga

SERVE immediately, drizzled with white truffle oil

1 medium or half one large portobello mushroom, sliced 6 small oyster mushrooms, sliced 8 small button mushrooms, sliced 1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter 2 tsp (10 mL) red onion, diced 1 tsp (5 mL) sundried tomato, diced 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable stock 2/3 cup (175 ml) long grain rice 2 tsp (10 mL) basil pesto 10 asparagus tips salt, pepper to taste 1 tsp (5 mL) white truffle oil 1/4 cup (60 mL) padano parmigiano shavings, or to taste TASTE RECIPE

ADD pesto and asparagus, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. and sprinkled with padano parmigiano shavings. Serves one. Recipe may be doubled.

PHOTO BY: ASHLEY WESSEL

MAY 2012

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I take caviar with Champagne and tacos with whatever is open. See why pairing wine with food is so easy, even a fox can do it.

Follow the fox to WINEFOX.ca

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A lineup of eager patrons at the SEW Hungry food truck rally last summer in Hamilton's Ottawa Street area.

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FEATURE FOOD TRUCKS

If you want to know about the state of street food in Ontario there is just one person to ask. Suresh Doss, a food and wine writer and publisher of Spotlight Toronto, has become the doyen of gourmet to-go for those looking to buy, and sell. Skillfully spreading the word via social media and navigating city permits, he has become a beacon in the culinary darkness, and red tape. Here he tells it like it is, and how it should be where street food is concerned. - HC

T

H

E

STREET

FOOD phenomenon

PHOTO BY: CLAUDIO CUGLIARI

B Y

S U R E S H

D O S S

About 15 minutes into the first Food Truck Eats event, I realized that we were in for a roller coaster ride. July 2, 2011, a few minutes before 11 a.m. in the sun-soaked Distillery District space, I directed the last truck into its spot. It was a cupcake vendor, Cupcake Diner, and since all of Natalie Ravoi’s goods are prepared in advance in a commercial kitchen, she just pulls up, opens the order door, and is ready to go. Ironically, an hour later, all her cupcakes were gone. All 1,000 of them. For the first Food Truck Eats event, we expected about 800 people to show up. Instead, the numbers were close to 3,800. It was chaotic. The food truck phenomenon had arrived to Toronto. “Post-recession inspired eating” has swept through America in the last six years as chefs of all culinary interests have taken to the road, opening mobile eateries to offer elevated, affordable street food without compromising on flavours and ingredients. Food trucks have been around since the ’50s in the U.S., but this was different. It was globally-inspired, cheap, inventive, and it piggybacked on another social phenomenon: social media. Twitter and Facebook drove foodies mad as they scrambled to track down these trucks. It spread like most culinary trends; fast and ferocious. Los Angeles, Portland, Miami, Austin, New York, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore. The unique landscape of each state also played a pivotal role with the trucks as some cities have room for curb side trucks, some don’t. The “food truck rally” concept took things to the next level as groups of trucks banded together and took over parking lots and other spaces. These rallies not only allowed the masses to plan their attack ahead of time, but they also gave foodies the opportunity to understand food truck culture city to city. 1 spring 2012 | taste 19

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FEATURE FOOD TRUCKS The Gorilla Cheese truck; signs to help the crowd at SEW Hungry; and the Cupcake Diner truck.

Food Truck Eats

{

After being inspired by Miami, I hosted Food Truck Eats (FTE) last July at the Distillery District in Toronto. A month prior, The Toronto Star unveiled my plans for a three-part festival, something the country had never seen before. I had a specific idea in mind when planning the event: food trucks and restaurants (and popups) sharing the same space and celebrating the diversity of Ontario with good street food. In one case a city employee said that the idea was “completely ridiculous, no one wants anything other than hotdogs for street food in Toronto”. Thankfully, the response was anything but. In a city so restricted by what’s available on the street to eat, we drew a large crowd. The #foodtruckeats hashtag trended nationally within 10 minutes, and continues to be used on a daily basis. Subsequent FTE events have attracted anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 attendees and we’ve taken the trucks to cities like Mississauga and Stratford to demonstrate that trucks can co-exist with restaurants and the changing landscape.

City Red Tape

The criticism from the city represents the general tone on street food. While neighbouring cities like Hamilton, Burlington, Mississauga, and Kitchener are planning to implement some sort of street food program, the city of Toronto is still recovering from the bitter aftertaste of the "A la Cart” fiasco. The program was put in place to increase the variety of street food on Toronto streets, and to foster entrepreneurial spirit. Instead, it was overregulated and riddled with red tape. Sadly it was a poorly

street eats

by the numbers

Food Truck Eats 1: 3,800 people Food Truck Eats 2: 10,000 people Food Truck Eats 3: 20,000 people Food Truck Eats Mississauga 2011: 800 people Food Truck Eats Stratford: more than 2,000 people Currently there are more than 15 trucks but only a few operate in Toronto.

Average price of a food truck eats item, $6. Best way to attend FTE. Bring three friends, divide and conquer.

executed initiative that resulted in large amounts of debt and bankruptcy for the vendors. As a result of this embarrassment, the city is still very sensitive about anything street food related, and no new vendors (trucks or carts) are allowed to set up on public property or curb side. So instead, we rally on, and the trucks are drawing large crowds that other cities in Canada can only dream of. There are currently more than 15 active food trucks in Toronto with another dozen expected to pop up in the GTA. “We’re not going to wait for the City of Toronto to change its rules. There’s enough action to go around,” seems to be the general response I get when I encounter a new food truck owner. Between weddings, private events, corporate functions, and food truck rallies like Food

PHOTOS BY: CLAUDIO CUGLIARI

1

Truck Eats and SEW Hungry in Hamilton, everyone wants to be in the presence of a food truck.

More Diversity

Food Truck Eats has also functioned as a platform to see how far we can take street food. With a province as multicultural as ours, it’s important – and fun – to think about how great our street food scene can be. Personally, I’d love to see a food truck that specializes in Filipino food, South Indian or vegetarian fare. We’re starting to see this, as the new breed of trucks this year will offer oysters, ceviche, lobster rolls, Jamaican street food, and raw foods. What’s missing? For city hall to pay attention to the consumer, step back, and give the entrepreneurs the opportunities to push food forward.

Upcoming Events Ontario Craft Beer Week with Food Truck Eats, June 2 and 3, Distillery District Food Truck Eats The Tuneup, our summer end party, September 9, location to be announced

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LOOK INSIDE FOR A

TA STE OF WHOLE FOODS MARKET Discover a variety of new tastes, ideas and sensations in a spectacular grocery shopping experience! Marketing Spotlight

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a taste of whole foods market® Marketing Spotlight

produce: a visual FEAST OF COLOUR Devotion to quality is what sets Whole Foods Market apart. Every day, our Produce team selects and handstacks our fruits and vegetables to ensure they’re are at their peak and meet our rigorous standards of flavour, appearance, quality and freshness. Our buyers seek and support local produce suppliers, traditional family farms and growers who use sustainable methods. We are committed to expanding the market for organics and are proud to allocate more space to organic produce than any other supermarket. Whether you’re looking for old favourites—like apples—or something exotic— like mizuna—you can count on Whole Foods Market to bring you the very best in-season produce from around the corner and around the world.

Photo: Whole Foods Market sources at least 20% of its products from local producers, like Pfennings farms.

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a taste of whole foods market® Marketing Spotlight

DISCOVER WHAT ISN’T

in our groceries Everything on our shelves supports the reputation we’ve carefully built on quality, purity, passion for food and being responsible to our planet. Pick up any package in grocery, and more than likely you’ll be able to pronounce every single ingredient. That’s because everything we sell is created without artificial sweeteners, additives, colourings or preservatives. And don’t worry; our team of experts does the homework for you.

Whole Foods Market’s grocery aisles offer the highest quality pantry items, from the very best in quick and easy frozen dinners and organic chips and salsas to artisan pastas and delectable sauces. This is in addition to ecofriendly cleaning products, bulk items, housewares and pet food. Our aisles are also home to a passel of products created for people on special diets. Whether you’re a diabetic, glutenintolerant or simply choose to follow a vegan diet, we have a selection of products you won’t find anywhere else.

Photo: From chips to sandwich breads and condiments, our Grocery department offers the best ingredients at everyday low prices.

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a taste of whole foods market® Marketing Spotlight

show your OCEAN DEVOTION Welcome to your neighbourhood fish market, featuring our incredible selection of wild caught and farm raised, fresh and frozen seafood. All of our seafood is under close scrutiny from the water to our seafood case to ensure we create solid partnerships with farmers and fishermen who are committed to using sustainable methods. Once the seafood hits our stores, our passionate fishmongers take over. They will: • Educate you about seafood choices • Provide cooking tips and recipes • Marinate your seafood while you shop • Expertly fillet your fish to your specifications • Suggest marinades, sauces, seasonings, herbs Best of all, we recently stopped selling wild-caught seafood from unrecommended fisheries, demonstrating our commitment to sell responsibly caught seafood, through collaborations with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and SeaChoice. Stop by our seafood counters to learn more. Photo: Now you can take home delicious seafood and peace of mind that you are doing your part to ensure fish for future generations.

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a taste of whole foods market® Marketing Spotlight

committed to animal welfare FROM RANCH TO PLATE At Whole Foods Market, we’re dedicated to helping you make informed choices about the food you eat. All our beef, poultry and pork are raised with no antibiotics, no added hormones and no animal byproducts. Recently, we’ve taken a step further by adopting Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating, which outlines specific welfare practices in steps 1–5+. This innovative program is transforming the industry, encouraging producers to improve their welfare practices to attain higher step ratings. Interested in learning more? Our meat counters combine quality products with superb customer service. Whether you’re looking for more information about the 5-Step system, a special cut or cooking tips, our butchers are prepared to help!

Photo: We’re here to help you make informed and healthy meat choices.

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a taste of whole foods market® Marketing Spotlight

delicious foods MINIMAL ASSEMBLY REQUIRED Whether you’re looking for a quick meal on a busy weeknight or to feed an army for weekend brunch, Whole Foods Market is here to help. Our chef’s case and catering department make a wide variety of appetizers and meals perfect for any occasion. Plus, all the ingredients are natural or organic and many are locally grown. That means no artificial flavours, colours, sweeteners, preservatives or

All natural, 100% fruit, not from concentrate Flavour combination is unique to the category Bursting with irresistible tropical taste

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trans fats, just food that is pure, fresh, flavourful and just plain wonderful. Also, all of our prepared foods are created by trained Team Members under the supervision of experienced chefs. They’ll work with you to ensure you get exactly what you need. This can include a visit to our cheesemongers to finish off your meal with a variety of local Ontario cheeses. Did that whet your appetite? Welcome to Whole Foods Market, now grab a fork and dig in. Photo: Looking for cheese to complement your dinner? Both our Prepared Foods and Specialty Departments carry only the finest.

Pineapple Coconut

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a taste of whole foods market® Marketing Spotlight

baked goods and coffee: A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN At Whole Foods Market, we know you have discerning tastes. Our breads, pies, muffins and cakes are crafted by hand with the freshest ingredients, including cage-free eggs, natural butters and the best quality unbleached, unbromated flour. Our Bakery departments also feature outstanding selections from the top pastry shops in the country. As always, everything we sell is free of trans fats and artificial colours, flavours or preservatives—so you can relax and enjoy truly great baked goods. We are passionate about providing our customers the best cup of coffee in the world. Our buying experts taste hundreds of samples before choosing just one or two coffees from the top growing regions.

Photo: Pairing our delicious pastries with our fresh coffee is a perfect match.

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the world’s leading NATURAL AND ORGANIC GROCER Whole Foods Market offers the highest-quality products that are sourced locally whenever possible. Beyond just selling the highest-quality natural and organic foods, • we believe that food in its purest state – without artificial sweeteners, additives, colourings or preservatives – is the best tasting and most nutritious food available • we are passionate about offering only the freshest, most healthful, minimally processed products • we believe that organic food is better for the environment and the sustainability of our farming communities • we have an exceptional customer service team and a variety of experts, including chefs, fishmongers, butchers, bakers and specialty food buyers Whole Foods Market is passionate about great tasting, quality food and the pleasure of sharing it with others. Visit our stores, and taste the difference.

WHOLEFOODSMARKET.COM YORKVILLE 87 Avenue Road, Toronto Facebook–Whole Foods Market Yorkville • Twitter–yorkvillewfm

OAKVILLE 301 Cornwall Road, Oakville Facebook–Whole Foods Market Oakville • Twitter–oakvillewfm

SQUARE ONE 155 Square One Drive, Mississauga Facebook–WFMSquareOne • Twitter–WFMSquareOne

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FEATURE KITCHENS

the cook’s KITCHEN B Y

R E B E C C A

Things have come a long way since we were awed by Mrs. Brady’s kitchen, with the built-in wall oven and fancy Formica island. Granted, built-ins are still extremely popular, but what I wouldn’t give to trade my had-its-heyday microwave shelf for a coffee cen-

D U M A I S

tre, a pullout recycling station or a microwave drawer. People are now looking for transitional kitchens: not too modern, not too traditional. It features clean lines, professional appliances and gives the space the look of being filled with furniture. 1

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FEATURE KITCHENS

Above: soft gray tones in the floor tiles soften the contrast of rich, dark woods and creamy white in this elegant kitchen. Left: a large dining table plus seats at the island offer loads of seating and a view to the television in a kitchen made for family entertaining.

1 "Contrast is a big feature – lights and darks,

nothing in between," says Brenda Baranowski, Kitchen and Bath Designer of Selba Kitchens Inc., in Oakville. "I think because people are using their kitchens more every day, so they're looking for that furniture feel so it blends with the rest of the house," she says. By incorporating a light kitchen with an element such as a dark island it adds a more restaurant feel into the kitchen. Each piece looks more like elegant furniture rather than cabinetry. "Lots of people are bringing the chandelier look into

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exotic woods, professional-grade appliances and elegant design converge for the ultimate cook's kitchen. the kitchen, something that at one time would have been reserved for a dining room," she says. When it comes to entertaining and everyday living in such a fine space, Baranowski says many clients save space in their kitchen, such as a wall, to mount a flat screen TV. Kitchen cabinetry is featured in rich, darkly stained wood, but Baranowski says that they are using more exotic woods such as zebra and wenge (African Rosewood). Wenge is a tropical wood, very dark in color and a strong partridge wood pattern. Zebrawood (looks just like it sounds) features blond and dark stripes. “When we stain it in a dark colour it has a tone on tone look but more of an exotic feel," says Baranowski. Slab doors and glazed finishes are also popular. Long-gone is the appliance garage, replaced by hutch cabinets that extend down to the countertop. "You still have that storage at counter level. It gives you additional storage and sometimes you can bring them out a little deeper than the rest of the cabinets," comments Baranowski. It's a great place to store small appliances that you don’t want to exhibit on the counter. "Many people are going with higher-end, stainless steel appliances and keeping them on the counter as fixtures," she adds. Glass cabinet doors are implemented in various looks: wire mesh doors, clear glass, beveled, frosted, glass with a waterfall effect, and reeded glass. What's different now is the interior finish behind the glass: a white kitchen with a dark chocolatecoloured island might feature glass doors with a chocolate interior. Cabinet hardware varies, says Baranowski. "It’s really personal. There's still a lot of stainless steel to compliment the appliances – some with more of a brushed antique finish, a lot of oil-rubbed bronze." Polished chrome is becoming more popular as well as clear glass knobs. Kitchen islands are now a fully functioning, independent part of the kitchen. "A flush style is the most popular because it gives you the biggest prep area rather than having a tiered island with a raised breakfast bar," notes Baranowski. "They're great for entertaining and putting out appetizers. A lot of people are making the island more a part of their kitchen and getting rid of their table and chairs and incorporating a family-style eating area within the island." The addition of chunkier posts and decorative toe-kicks imparts the up-

scale furniture look. Large islands can also accommodate a prep sink with a gorgeous polished chrome faucet. What may be even more desirable are the options in microwaves with and under-counter or microwave drawer options. "For people with less of a budget, microwave drawers are amazing," she says. Think pot drawer that opens easily for you to put your food in, heat and remove. With the microwave moved off the counter and into the island, what other options are available? "A lot of people are looking for secondary ovens, whether that's a range with a wall oven or a double wall oven," says Baranowski. And imagine starting your morning at your kitchen's coffee centre. "It basically an espresso machine that's built into a wall oven-type cabinet." Garage recycling centres, pantry pullouts, rollouts and compost bins are becoming somewhat of a standard. A pot-filler faucet above the stove is an excellent option for foodies who want to avoid the hassle of carrying heavy pots of water from one end of the kitchen to another. Counter depth, flush fridges pair well with the transitional kitchen. The sacrifice in depth is made up for in width and or height. "More people want a wider fridge – starting at 36 inches, going up to 42, even 48 inches," reveals Baranowski. Those with larger kitchens may appreciate a full floor to ceiling fridge and full freezer side by side. Warm grays are the hot tones for kitchens now, whether it's in a stain, a glazed finish or a solid colour. "The focal direction is moving out of beige tones and into the warm gray tones," says Baranowski. "Tiles that have a gray undertone but still have browns and beiges mixed with it. In that way the kitchen still goes with any other beige tones throughout the home.” Granite still remains the most popular choice for countertops, however Baranowski says quartz is coming on strong. It offers durability that you won’t get from a natural stone. Backsplashes are being finished in Calcutta marble or glass tile mixed with natural stone. What’s more, tile is no longer just for the backsplash; it can also be carried over to the range and placed all the way up the wall to create a focal point. "You can use backsplash tile to finish an entire wall spaces,” states Baranowski. Even a separate wall in the kitchen might have the same stone and mount a flat screen TV.

Enjoyed in all the finest backyards

1260 Speers Road, Unit 13 Oakville • 905.847.5295

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DRINK C O C K TA I L S

Patio season has arrived and with it a thirst for creative cocktails. Embrace your inner mixologist and stir – or shake – up a batch of tasty tipples with your favourite flavours. My go-to summer drink is often a mojito, tweaked with fresh ginger or melon. Be ready for summer entertaining with your own version by keeping a stash of

simple syrup in the fridge. Just bring to a boil equal parts of water and sugar in a saucepan, cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Add roughly chopped fresh ginger root to the hot mixture to steep (don’t forget to strain) and you’re on the way to an easy ginger-infused cocktail.

summerSIPPERS

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S

Lemon Infused Gin

19th Hole Martini

Cucumber Martini

Red Sangria

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19th Hole Martini

ADD a splash of Cassis, and pour into glass.

Lemon Infused Gin

GARNISH with a twist.

-courtesy Tipicular Fixins’ & Victoria Gin

ADD all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake.

-courtesy Lowville Bistro, Lowville

SLICE the lemons in 1/2-inch slices, place in a large glass jar with a sealable lid, add sugar and pour gin over the top. SEAL and store in a cool dark place, turn or roll the jar occasionally. This would be ready in as little as 12 hours, but could be left longer for more lemon flavour.

SERVE 4 Lemons 2 cups Victoria Gin 1 cup sugar

1oz Sky Vodka or Gin ½ oz Dry Vermouth ½ oz Cointreau Crème de Cassis

in a collins glass over ice, topped with soda water and garnished with a lemon slice

TIP This recipe requires some planning to make the lemon-flavoured gin in advance, but is well worth the effort for the fresh citrus taste.

PHOTO BY: STACEY NEWMAN

TASTE

PHOTO BY: CLAUDIO COUGLIARI

TASTE MAY 2012

RECIPE

Red Sangria -courtesy Ten Restaurant & Wine Bar, Mississauga

Cucumber Martini

FILL a large wine glass half full with ice. ADD fruit. POUR liquids slowly over the fruit and ice in this order.

MAY 2012

RECIPE

-courtesy Purple Heather Gastro Pub, Burlington

MUDDLE three cucumber wheels with simple syrup in the bottom of a martini shaker. TOP with ice, spirits and lime juice or sour mix. SHAKE

and strain into a sugar-rimmed martini

glass.

TIP If you build your sangria like this you should reach a beautiful sunrise layered effect. 2 1 2 1 1 1 ¾ oz ¾ oz 4 oz ¾ oz ¾ oz

GARNISH with cucumber slice and enjoy. 2 oz gin 1 oz Sour Puss Apple Liquor 1/2 oz sour mix or fresh lime juice 1/4 oz simple syrup 4 slices cucumber

blueberries orange slice raspberries lime slice strawberry (cut in half) blackberry Pama Liquer Triple Sec red wine orange juice pineapple juice Lemon lime soda

RECIPE

MAY 2012

simple syrup by mixing equal parts water and sugar. Bring water to a boil, add the same amount of sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and let cool.

PHOTO BY: STACEY NEWMAN

PHOTO BY: STACEY NEWMAN

TASTE

TIP Prepare

TASTE RECIPE

MAY 2012

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Go Cooking The reason we have five senses... Enjoy an intimate evening in our state-of-the-art kitchen, and watch one of the area’s leading chefs prepare a delicious custom menu before your eyes. Savour a sample plating of each course, perfectly paired with a beverage tasting, hand-picked by our professional sommelier. Go Cooking is all about enjoyment of great food, beverages, learning and entertainment. See, touch, taste, smell, hear and love every amazing second!

gocooking.ca Go Cooking is featured by, and located at, The Hamilton Spectator, 44 Frid Street, Hamilton

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G O U R M E T G E TA W AY T H E CAY M A N I S L A N D S

Sea, sand A N D

T H E

CHEF Soaking up sun and celebrity sightings in Grand Cayman B Y

H O L LY

C R A W F O R D

mid afternoon of another perfect day in Grand Cayman. I shift in my beach chair and nudge my sunglasses back into place. It’s then I notice Eric Ripert strolling along the water’s edge – not 10 metres from my spot in the sand – casually walking the beach, taking an occasional puff from his cigar. What is uber-chef Eric Ripert – best known for New York’s La Bernadin – doing on this Caribbean beach? This is where Chef Ripert mans the helm of Blue, the fine dining marquis at The RitzCarlton Grand Cayman. And on this particular day in January, Ripert, along with some of his closet chef pals and culinary celebrities, are hosting the ultimate posh foodie getaway: Cayman Cookout. I’ve visited Grand Cayman in the past, and found it lived up to its reputation as a gourmet mecca stocked to the gills with fine dining restaurants and some of the best wine cellars in the Caribbean. So when the invitation arrived to check out the Ritz-Carlton and Ripert’s interpretation of a food and wine event, I started packing. Cayman Cookout is a four-day food extravaganza. And that’s putting it mildly. The weekend is a food and wine lover’s paradise, where the only thing in more abundance than the Champagne is the celebrity chef sightings. 1

Oysters prepared by Chef Richard Blaise. The "pearls" are tequila frozen with liquid nitrogen.

PHOTO BY: DAVID AND MELISSA WOLFE

It’s

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G O U R M E T G E TA W AY

The chefs pose at The Ritz-Carlton pool for the official Cayman Cookout 2012 photo. José Andres, Eric Ripert, Francois Payard, Paul Rogalski, Chris Hanmer, Laurent Gras, Anthony Bourdain, April Bloomfield and Richard Blaise.

1 The event is in its fifth year (2013) and is a joint partnership of

the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, The Ritz-Carlton and Food and Wine Magazine. Chef Ripert hosts and invites a few of his closet friends, who happen to be Anthony Bourdain and José Andrés, along with a changing cast of all-stars from the culinary universe. For the 2012 event invitees included Richard Blaise, April Bloomfield, Laurent Gras, Cindy Hudson, Ray Isle, Ron Jacobson, Francois Payard, Andrea Robinson, Michael Swartz, Aldo Sohm and Chris Hanmer. A Canadian chef also made the roster with Ripert tapping Chef Paul Rogalski of Calgary’s Rouge Restaurant. So with the day’s itinerary reading like a Food Network programme guide, I set out for the first of a slew of seminars and tastings on the schedule. Seminars, demos and tastings are hosted in a variety of locations across The Ritz-Carlton’s massive grounds, but many occur in a pair of beach pavilions on the hotel’s stretch of Seven Mile Beach. Two huge white canopies dot each end of the beach, each fitted with all the gadgets and tools the chefs will need, plus sound and video feeds so each guest can hear every word, and see each stroke of the knife. Guests walk to the beach pavilions with bare feet, and so do the chefs.

PHOTO BY: DAVID AND MELISSA WOLFE

T H E CAY M A N I S L A N D S

I settle into a seat for the first demo of Cookout Day One: Canada Meets Cayman with Paul Rogalski. What becomes apparent from this first demo is that the chef seems to honestly be having a good time. I learn later that each chef has travelled with family members and is staying at The Ritz for a few extra days. So, relaxed and tanned, with the stunning blue sea making a backdrop behind him, Chef Rogalski charms the crowd, talks about Canada and Rouge, all the while whipping up delicious dishes for the crowd to sample. The impeccable service and choreographed timing that is a hallmark of everything with the name Ritz-Carlton made its way onto the beach to support the chef. Refreshments are offered as quickly as each guest chooses a seat, and as Rogalski completes a dish onstage, a team of servers delivers an individual plate of the creation to each guest. With the demo drawing to a close, attendees are sent away with a thoughtful token of the islands. Some Cayman Sea Salt on this morning, on other occasions some spices or a fragrant parcel of wood chips for grilling. My next stop during Cookout Day One is lunch. This time off the grounds of The Ritz, a handful of events are hosted at nearby restaurants. The Imperial Lunch is being hosted by The Brasserie 1

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PHOTO BY: DAVID AND MELISSA WOLFE PHOTO BY: DAVID AND MELISSA WOLFE

PHOTO BY: SURESH DOSS

Clockwise from top left: a sweet treat on the dessert table; Chef Ripert and Anthony Bourdain during their popular beach chat; Chef Ripert during a ceviche demo; Chef Richard Blaise during a demo; the souffle created by Chef Paul Rogalski during his demo.

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G O U R M E T G E TA W AY T H E CAY M A N I S L A N D S Chef Eric Ripert with the day's catch on the beach in front of the Ritz-Carlton. At right: the chefs, including Anthony Bourdain man the grills to serve guests at the highlight of Cayman Cookout events: Barefoot BBQ.

must try Osetra Bay

This elegant, fashionable restaurant is a little out of the way, but well worth the cab fare. Cool SoBe style dĂŠcor compliments a stellar menu created by Canadian Chef Joseph Watters.

Luca

World-class Italian fare inside the beachside luxury condo hotel the Caribbean Club. Impeccable menu and wine list and service to match.

Blue by Eric Ripert

The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman's fine fining restaurant Blue by Eric Ripert should not be missed when visiting the island. Ripert sets the tone for Cayman Cookout and this is where his work is at its finest. 40 taste | spring 2012

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has been seamlessly arranged by the hotel. It seems like the staff knows where I am going before I do. So a quick drive to this local seafood restaurant, and I have my first glass of Moet in hand as we explore the restaurant’s garden. Believing in local and sustainable products, La Brasserie’s garden is growing everything from radicchio to rhubarb. Another twist to their menu is that they have their own fishing boats and catch fresh fish each day for service. The first formal meal of Cookout is nothing but spectacular, with each course paired with a different vintage from Moet & Chandon. Starting with Cayman Spiny Lobster Cannelloni, then moving to Cayman Sea Salt Crusted Snapper and finishing with Local Apple Banana Mousse with a delicious pineapple beignet, the meal is marvelously Caymanian. Along with the Champagne pairings, the only word to describe the meal is indulgent. I am known to be a bit of a baker, finding simple satisfaction in turning out perfect pastry crust and delicately lofty cakes. So, I rush back to The Ritz to make it to Chocolate Epiphany with Francois Payard. The French master did not disappoint, turning out a demo on the beach in searing Caribbean heat with the requisite butter, eggs and chocolate. With my toes digging into the warm sand, I enjoy every scrumptious bite of the chocolate cookies that are served. A Payard creation containing no flour or butter, made lofty by egg whites beaten into sweet submission. There’s just time for a quick swim and a

little refreshment at Bar Jack, the hotel’s poolside bar, before getting ready for what is rumoured to be the best event of the weekend: Barefoot BBQ. I have been told it will be the best party of Cookout, and simply, it was. Hosted by Tiki Beach and packed with revelers come to enjoy the food, the wine, the chefs and the destination; Barefoot BBQ did not disappoint. Guests strolled barefoot in the sand from station to station, sampling food, wine and cocktails. Needless to say the biggest crowds were for grilling stations manned by the three big guys themselves: Ripert, Bourdain and Andrés. The convivial spirit – and chefs – kept the crowd happy and enjoying the scene well into the night. Oddly, due to the previous night’s engagement, the first stop of Cookout Day Two is a 10 a.m. talk entitled Good vs. Evil: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert. The two friends, after a late night, begin the day entertaining fans with shoptalk and sarcasm, as only Bourdain can. This seems to be the weekend’s hot ticket, seats packed and some standing to eavesdrop on the hour-long conversation. They put each other in the hot seat, take questions from the audience, slam Paula Dean and end it all with a rousing round of applause. Lunch on Cookout Day Two is courtesy of Chef Laurent Gras. Served at Periwinkle, on the inland side of the resort (overlooking the man made bay and boat launch) Gras promises a few lucky guests a taste of his seafood mastery. Gras, a Michelin-starred chef has sold out guest engagements in New York 1

no corners cut

PHOTO BY: DAVID AND MELISSA WOLFE

1 and Moet & Chandon and transportation

Elm Hill Cookies is a handmade cookie shop located in Oakville. Our cookies are created in a unique square shape as a reflection of our “no corners cut” philosophy, from how they are made to what we put in them, to what we leave out. Our beautifully wrapped cookies make a wonderful: hostess gift thank you gift custom wedding favour corporate gift We invite you to drop by and pull up a seat at our cookie and milk bar, we look forward to seeing you.

250 kerr street, oakville 905 582-7400 www.elmhillcookies.com hours tues to sat 10-5 sun 11-4

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G O U R M E T G E TA W AY T H E CAY M A N I S L A N D S

Want a Taste? For a taste of Grand Cayman, reserve your seats for an exclusive Cayman dinner at Oliver’s of Oakville presented by WEST of the City and the CAYMAN ISLANDS. Save the date: Thursday, September 20. Watch for more details in WEST of the City and westofthecity.com

PHOTO BY: SURESH DOSS

Clockwise from top left: Fruitwood cooking chips and sea salt produced in the Cayman Islands; Chef Eric Ripert sharing a laugh during lunch at Periwinkle, at the Ritz-Carlton; Tortuga rum.

1 in just 60 seconds.

I’d like to say the dishes were the highlight of this meal, but Gras’ star faded beside Ripert’s. A stunning starter of Conch with Fresh Coconut and Caviar became secondary when Ripert decided to join the media table for lunch. Suddenly a dozen journalists from across Canada and the U.S. were spellbound by the warm smile – and I think the French accent didn’t hurt – of Chef Ripert. Sorry Chef Gras. Cookout Day Two is topped off by a huge dinner party hosted concurrently by three restaurants at Camana Bay, a lovely outdoor shopping and entertainment centre a few minutes from The Ritz. The entire community of Camana Bay is taken over by the event, with outdoor cocktail and hors d’oeuvre service along with

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book signings by Bourdain and Michael Schwartz prior to dinner. Chef Rogalski and his crew have moved into the kitchen at Abacus for the night’s service. They have brought along a number of uniquely Canadian and personally meaningful ingredients with them, as Rogalski explains to diners with each course. The highlight of the meal is the main of Wapiti Tenderloin with Oxtail Perogie and Sweet Corn Panna Cotta (that’s elk for the uninitiated). Or it was the highlight until Rogalski sent guests off with a snow cone of Knob Creek Bourbon and Canadian Maple Syrup. A massive chocolate buffet ends the evening, with guests sipping Champagne and sampling the tiny, perfect creations in the warm night air. My Cayman Cookout comes to a close, but the memories are delicious enough to savour for a lifetime.

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gourmet TAKEAWAYS Cayman Sea Salt

This salt is made from two of the islands most abundant resources: sea and sun. Made by a family-owned and operated business, the salt is derived from purified and solar evaporated seawater. The newest offering of the company is a smokysweet BBQ rub. caymanseasalt.com

Cayman Smoke

Created from the dead branches of the sea grape tree, this fruity wood chip adds smoky taste and aroma to your BBQ. The product of resident of Little Cayman and barbecue champion Elizabeth McCoy.

Sticky Toffee Cake

Rich, decadent cake studded with chocolate and dates. Packaged in a gift box with extra toffee sauce. This was eaten so quickly we didn’t get any photos! It’s that good. stickytoffeecake.com

Tortuga Rum

Tortuga Rum Cakes have been produced and sold to visitors for close to 25 years. Visit one of the retail outlets for private label rum, the infamous cakes, and other gourmet products including coffee, jellies and chocolates. tortugarumcakes.com

Seven Fathoms Rum

A premium rum crafted in small batches in Grand Cayman. The twist is the rum is aged in oak barrels underwater. The makers believe the constant push and pull of the tides “massage” the rum into a better tasting spirit. TIP: Toast the island farewell with a “Fathom Rum Punch” at Owen Roberts International departures lounge. sevenfathomsrum.com

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Cayman Cookout 2013

The next Cayman Cookout takes place January 17 to 20, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. Joining Chef Eric Ripert for this cookout are Anthony Bourdain, José Andrés, Anthony Giglio, Ray Isle, Daniel Humm, David Kinch and Top Chef Canada winner Dale MacKay. More guest and details to be confirmed as date approaches. Visit caymanislands.ky for updates.

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EVENTS SPR I NG/SU MM ER

EDIBLE events THE GREAT CANADIAN CHEESE FESTIVAL June 1 to June 3 Crystal Palace at the Picton Fairgrounds, 375 Picton Main Street, Prince Edward County cheesefestival.ca

01 june

Showcasing cheeses from across Canada, The Great Canadian Cheese Festival lives up to its name. Talk, taste, buy, and learn about one of diaries most diverse food products, discover delectable cheese-based recipes, and learn how to master the art of cheese and drink pairings.

BREAD & HONEY FESTIVAL June 1 to June 3 Village of Streetsville breadandhoney.ca

01 june

Back again for the 39th year, Streetsville’s Bread & Honey Festival will feature live entertainment, a large selection of games and rides, and of course, free bread and honey! Start your festival experience with a Rotary Pancake Breakfast, followed by the infamous village-wide parade, and numerous hands-on educational demonstrations across three stages. This free event offers fun for the whole family.

GALLERY IN THE GARDEN & STRAWBERRY FAIR

03

june June 3 Benares Historic House, 1507 Clarkson Road North, Mississauga museumsofmississauga.com

Once the Strawberry Capital of Canada, Clarkson carries on the tradition with Gallery in the Garden & Strawberry Fair. Delight in strawberry shortcake while wandering the beautiful grounds of the Benares Historic House and taking in the artwork of various local artisans. From jewellery to blown glass, woodcarving to pottery and so much more, the works featured in Gallery in the Garden will be showcased as well as up for sale. Admission is free.

1000 TASTES OF TORONTO June 9 & 10 The Distillery District luminato.com/ events/1000tastes/

09 june

As part of Luminato's opening weekend, President's Choice and the City of Toronto take the city's best chefs to the streets. Highlighting Toronto's unique and diverse food culture, 1000 Tastes of Toronto will feature hand-crafted food made for on-the-go eating, priced at just $5.

NIAGARA NEW VINTAGE FESTIVAL June 16 & 17 / June 23 & 24 Various Niagara Wineries niagarawinefestival.com

16 june

The Niagara New Vintage Festival is so impressive that it had to be spread across two weekends. Sip internationally acclaimed wines, nibble on fresh produce, all while getting an exclusive preview of the 2011 vintage. Witness a demonstration of what buying local really means, and realize the bounty that we have right in our own backyard.

OAKVILLE FAMILY RIBFEST June 22 to June 24 Sheridan College, Trafalgar Road Campus, 1430 Trafalgar Road, Oakville oakvillefamilyribfest.com

22 june

The Rotary Club of Trafalgar in Oakville is hosting its inaugural Ribfest on June 22 to 24 at Sheridan College. Organizers are expecting more than 15,000 to attend the weekend-long event featuring international ribbers, celebrity judges, children’s village, artists, live entertainment and more. Parking, admission and entertainment are free thanks to the Budds’ Group, the event’s Platinum Sponsor. Donations welcome at admission gate.

Looking for something unique? Make y your next event one to remember! The

Grinning Gourmand

Boutique Catering Services, menus and pricing to suit any occasion. 905-633-7185 www.grinninggourmand.com

Follow us on Facebook for a chance to win a gourmet food basket.

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24TH ANNUAL CANADA DAY STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL

01

july July 1; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Caledon Fairgrounds, 18297 Hurontario Street, Caledon Village caledonfairgrounds.ca

Celebrate Canada’s birthday and the start of the strawberry season with the 24th Annual Canada Day Strawberry Festival. Run entirely by community volunteers since its launch in 1988, the festival features a strawberry pancake breakfast, tea room, and a food booth that include hamburgers, strawberry shortcake and more. Along with the foodie aspects of this festival, there will be a Canada Day celebration ceremony, silent auction, car show, crafts, vendors and so much more. Admission is free.

SUMMERLICIOUS Daily from July 6 to July 22 150 restaurants across Toronto toronto.ca/summerlicious

06 july

Sample a wide variety of deliciously diverse cuisine at Toronto’s Summerlicious. In its 10th year, the beloved event features more than 150 restaurants across Toronto as a way to celebrate the city’s ever-growing restaurant industry. Prix fixe menus offer the best value from top restaurants ranging from $15 to $45 per meal, based on the restaurant. Participating restaurants and menus to be announced.

HOT AND SPICY FOOD FESTIVAL

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July 20 to July 22 Harbourfront Centre, july 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto harbourfrontcentre.com/summer/hotandspicy

THE MOVEABLE FEAST: BRUNCH ON THE BENCH

22

July 22; 10 a.m. to 2p.m. july Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery, 1366 York Road, Saint David’s Bench, Niagara coolchardonnay.org

More than 10 mouthwatering food stations and 24 exceptional cool chardonnays round out this event, back for its second year. Wander the grounds of Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery and interact with purveyors while breathing in the comforting, aromatic smell of freshly baked bread, baked on-site in the stone oven. Fire-pit roasted meats will please the lovers of a well-smoked meal while lovers of organic fruit and veg can relish in the fresh produce picked from the on-site garden while artisan cheeses, cured meats, and specialty sweets round out the meal. Only 250 tickets are available for this event so buy your tickets today to ensure you don’t miss out on the great Moveable Feast.

Food, music, dance, and film are just a few of the things that make the Hot and Spicy Food Festival the sizzling event that has delighted GTA residents for the past 15 years. This year’s highlights include the 9th Annual Iron Chef Competition, a performance by French-Chilean hip-hop artist Ana Tijoux, and the Taco Takedown Competition, where festival-goers choose Toronto’s best tacos.

TASTE OF BURLINGTON July 22 to August 6 various Downtown Burlington locations tasteofburlington.ca

22 july

Experience the eclectic styles and flavours of the world, as several of Burlington’s finest restaurants will again be offering prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner options during this exciting program drawing patrons from near and far. Lunch and dinner menus include an appetizer, entrée, dessert and coffee/ tea. Reservations highly recommended.

LAKESIDE À LA CARTE August 12; 1 p.m. Spencer Smith Park, Burlington lakesidealacarte.com

12 august

Delight in your favourite local chefs and vintners at Burlington’s Lakeside à la Carte as white tents take over Spencer Smith Park housing delicious dishes and wonderful wines. Alongside the mouthwatering culinary items find your chance to bid on silent auction items and enter for the chance to win Air Canada or Via Rail tickets!

No compromises. No bull7777 Quality driven since 1986

Bill Rechter

Just an Olde Fashioned Butchery and Seafood 165 LAKESHORE RD. E., OAKVILLE

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Kkohlrabi

Kohlrabi, German for "cabbage turnip" is a member of the cabbage family. About the size of an orange, it's easily recognized by its peculiar shape: a bulbous base covered in offshoots that grow in all directions. Large leaves grow from the base, and are also edible. Kohlrabi can be very light green, white, or crimson. It is covered

with a thin edible skin. The flesh is sweet and crunchy and tastes a little like radish, stems taste like cabbage. Choose kohlrabi that is smooth and has no spots, if the leaves are attached they should be firm and richly coloured. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and is in season in Ontario in July and August.

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KITCHENS & BATHS • 2501 Third Line, Oakville • Tel 905.825.0575

www.selba.ca Selba.indd 1

12-05-03 8:36 AM


Gluten-free never tasted “so good�

Organic, Dairy-free, Peanut-free, Egg-free, Soy-free ...soon to be Kosher Certified

www.kellychilds.com

399 john street (at lakeshore just east of brant street)|905.637.2700 |burlington

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