September 28, 2010

Chef Chris McDonald of Cava Chef, a restaurant consistently lauded as one of Toronto’s finest, opened nearly 2 years ago.  Since it opened it has been voted “Toronto’s best gelato” by the Globe & Mail, “Toronto’s best chocolatiere” by Toronto Life, in addition to many other accolades.

The store is located in a quiet pedestrian alley near Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue in Delisle Court very close to

The truffles are definitely one of its notable features; items like chorizo, rosemary & honey and marzipan oddly make its way into the square-shaped heavenly treats.

Other items, like the pistachio and citrus white chocolate, salted earl grey milk chocolate, varieties of brittle, churros and ice cream are sure to please even the most picky eaters.

Xococava is located at 1560 Yonge Street. Phone: 416.979.9916. Image kindly borrowed from Xococava.

September 24, 2010

Wristbands, check! Headband, check! Reebok Hi Top Pumps, check! Adidas short shorts, check! I’m ready to hop in my DeLorean and head back to the 80’s, Michael J. Fox style.

Tonight Maison (15 Mercer Street) is turning back time.  The event entitled “The pARTy: FAME!” will transform the venue into a 1980’s playground.

The event is organized to raise money to support Artbound, a non-profit volunteer initiative in support of Free the Children. Free the Children is a group of passionate individuals who believe that the arts have the power to help create real and sustainable change in the lives of underprivileged children.

Tickets to the event are $95 and can be purchased . There’s only a few left, so hurry! Ticket gets you entrance to the pARTy, open bar and, my favourite, food.

For more information, or to brush up on fashion and lingo from the 80’s, visit the Artbound site .


The Ritz-Carlton Introduces Rainer Zinngrebe & Tom Brodi

September 23, 2010

Yesterday the Toronto invited esteemed guests to the sales centre to celebrate and introduce the official chefs of the complex.

Chef Rainer Zinngrebe (above left) joins the Toronto team as the Director of Food & Beverage and Culinary. He comes from the Ritz-Carlton Cancun (welcome to winter!) where he oversaw the property’s two 5-diamond restaurants.

Chef Tom Brodi joins the team as Chef de Cuisine. He is a Toronto native with a strong desire to promote authentic, seasonal sustainable ingredients. He has worked at Canoe amongst other fine restaurants and has appeared on several television programs including the Food Network’s “Cook Like a Chef”

They served the following:

Spiced Bison Tartar

B.C. Dungeness Crab Ceviche

Cream of Lobster Cappuccino

Texel Lamb Slider (people still do sliders?)

Yarmouth Lobster a la King

Cheese selection from the Cheese Boutique

In addition, a selection of wines were presented and poured by the owner of Flatrock Winery. They served sparkling, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir.

Seamus O’Regan, David Rocco, newly appointed Editor of FASHION Magazine Bernadette Morra, Raymond Girard Publisher of EnRoute magazine, socialite Catherine Nugent and other notable chefs and guests were in attendance.

This event was part of the kick off to the opening of the complex slated for Early 2011.

As I quietly exited, the speeches were nearly finished. I did overhear “The Ritz is within walking distance of offices on Bay Street, world-famous restaurants, the subway…” I quietly thought to myself, yes, the people buying $3 million residences are sure to take the subway. However, I was put in my place later that evening while talking with a friend. She mentioned that her parents had looked at them and the proximity to the subway was a big deal. I stand corrected.

Photo credit: Phil Birnbaum –

September 22, 2010

Have you secured your tickets for show tonight at Massey Hall? If not, you really should.

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Bourdain last night at a private party for about 80 people at . All of Toronto’s culinary heavy hitters were there; David Rocco, Cowbell’s Mark Cutrara, Zane Caplansky, Chris McDonald of Cava and XOCOCAVA chocolatier (more on them next post) amongst so many others.

Bourdain briefly entertained the audience with why he decided to write this “Sort of follow-up to No Reservations.” He entertained us with stories about where his fundamental hatred for Emeril Lagasse comes from, his confusion and consistent annoyance as to why some traditional Italian restaurants in North America “…can’t sauce a pasta properly” or “The last time I checked they didn’t serve cheddar cheese on food in Mexico.”

The crowd laughed while enjoying oysters, platters of sushi, cheese platters from Cheese Boutique, including a selection from , pork sandwiches, marinated roasted tomatoes and so much more. had a varga-style girl walking around serving its signature truffles in cigarette trays.

After his speech guests mingled and then attacked him from all angles. After 30 minutes and some beer, Bourdain signed books for the guests, took photos with them, and continued to be a true gentleman;  much calmer, confident and collected than the way he described himself in his Kitchen Confidential days nearly a decade ago.

When asked about the change to his well-known “bad boy” attitude he simply said “When my daughter was born, out came the piercings, the cigarettes, wore the leather jacket for a day and then tossed that out…” Smiling from ear-to-ear he continued “Everything changed when she was born”

Again, if you have the chance, do go and see Bourdain tonight. If you were one of the lucky ones to get VIP tickets ($175) for after the show, enjoy some of the dishes by Chef Scott Vivian of I hear from they may be serving things like dirty rice fritters, crispy lamb brains and veal sweetbreads, beef tongue and bone marrow to name a few…

***A huge thank you to Ivy Knight of 86′d Mondays at the Drake Hotel for organizing such an intimate and wonderful night. Her attention to detail was noticed and her charming speech introdcuing Anthony Bourdain was hilarious.***

Bobbette & Belle Macarons

September 21, 2010

Looking for the perfect macaron? Though is always a great option, Bobbette & Belle may have them beat.

I had the pleasure of viewing Parisian designer jewelery last night at an event catered by Bobbette & Belle. When I asked Luc what he thought of the macarons, he simply said, “close to ones I buy in Paris” (en français, of course).

The meringue is perfectly shaped, flavourful and light, while the filling is rich and adds a lovely texture to the experience. They come in countless flavours ranging from pistachio to lemon and strawberry to chocolate.

was started in early 2009 by Sarah Bell and Allyson Merideth here in Toronto. Sarah a pastry graduate of George Brown College who’s traveled and worked all over Europe as well as for Canoe and Biff’s here in Toronto, and Allyson, a graduate with a Bachelor of Science from University of Toronto who was a former teacher with a passion for cake decorating.

Their success with cakes and macarons has blossomed into a lucrative business which will be expanding into the Leslieville area in the upcoming months.

For more information, pricing or menu items, please visit the Bobbette & Belle website .

September 20, 2010

Anthony Bourdain, best known for his television show No Reservations and best-selling book Kitchen Confidential will visit Massey Hall on Wednesday, September 22, 2010.

Bourdain will be sharing funny stories of his travels, intriguing and comical memories of his work in the kitchen and will also take part in a question and answer period.

The event is part of a promotional tour in conjunction with the release of his new book Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. The book is a collection of essays detailing everything from his travels, to his favourite restaurants.

Tickets are still available for the event and cost $30-$50. There were VIP tickets available for $175, but not at the time this article was published.

Indie Coffee Passport

September 13, 2010

Twenty four independent coffee shops have signed on to be part of the Indie Coffee Passport program here in Toronto.

Here is how it works:

You can buy the passport at any of the participating shops from to , or if more convenient, you can purchase the pass online, .

The pass costs $20 if purchased before October 1st, 2010 or $25 afterwards and will get you a coffee or a tea (up to a $5 value) at all of the 24 participating locations. That works out to $120 worth of coffee!

The pass is valid between September 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011. Be sure to get one and show your support for our local businesses.

Pssst, while you’re at it be sure to enter my Bodum Coffee set giveaway by “liking” my page on !


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