Monday, June 27, 2016

Toronto's Festival of Beer #tasteTFOB Tickets Giveaway

I'm giving away ONE PAIR of tickets to Toronto's Festival of Beer taking place at Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place, from July 22-24. The winning tickets are valid for Sunday, July 24 only, and do not include sample tokens.


It's time to #tasteTFOB at Toronto's Festival of Beer ("TFOB")! On July 22 to 24, Toronto's longest running and most legendary summer beer event returns to Bandshell Park at Exhibition Place. Boasting over 60 brewers and more than 300 brands from all over the globe, TFOB will showcase everything from lagers to stouts, fruit beer to ales (click here for the full list of breweries). The Festival also features more than just beer; there are several non-malt based beverages available including cider and ready-to-drink beverages.


This year, Toronto's Festival of Beer (Twitter/Instagram: @TOBeerFestival, Facebook: Toronto's Festival of Beer) welcomes a roster of chefs, food purveyors, and the Club House / La Grille Grilling Tent to help take the beer sampling experience to new heights. The Grilling Tent is presented exclusively by Club House / La Grille and is in partnership with Labatt Breweries of Canada, Thirst for Knowledge Inc., Broil King, Ted's World Famous BBQ and curated by Afrim Pristine of The Cheese Boutique.

Chefs scheduled to appear in the Club House / La Grille Grilling Tent include:


Food purveyors include:


TFOB tickets for Saturday are already sold out! For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit: www.beerfestival.ca (use code VARIETY to save $5 off General Admission tickets).

HOW TO ENTER
1) You MUST be following me (@foodieyuon Twitter
AND
2) Tweet the following sentence, exactly as shown, nothing before or after it: 

I've entered for a chance to win a PAIR of @TOBeerFestival tickets from @foodieyu & you can too! http://bit.ly/28ZtRUm #fjcTFOB #tasteTFOB

1. For your entry to be valid, you need to tweet the above sentence exactly as shown
2. You may tweet once a day for the duration of the contest. Re-tweeting others do NOT count as a valid entry
3. Contest is tracked by the #fjcTFOB hashtag. If you don't see your tweet in the hashtag stream it means there is no entry from you. Read this to find out the possible reasons why your tweets are not showing up
4. Tickets are valid for Sunday, July 24 only, and do not include sample tokens. Doors open at 1:30pm and festival ends at 8:00pm. This is a 19+ event.

CONTEST DURATION
Contest starts on Monday, June 27, and ends on Monday, July 4, at 12PM. 
One lucky winner will be chosen randomly from www.random.org and I will announce the winner shortly after.

GOOD LUCK!!! ^_^



Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Winners of the Teara Lab Giveaway are...

@JubleeW
@herbs_to
@RichTeaMedia360
@SilverbergDave
@MUSHYSPAPPY

Congratulations! You've all won a pair of sandwich combo vouchers to Teara LabPlease email your name, Twitter handle and mailing address to foodjunkiechronicles@gmail.com.


A big THANK YOU to the 32 contestants who participated in this contest! 

Here's a snapshot of the Excel spreadsheet where I tracked the #fjctearalab hashtag from day one of the contest. The tracking was done using chronological order, as in, #1 was the first person to enter the contest. To enter, the person had to tweet "I just entered for a chance to win a pair of @TearaLab vouchers from @foodieyu! http://bit.ly/1rtwFzA #fjctearalab". Each person could tweet once a day for the duration of the contest. Once the contest was over and everybody's entries were accounted for, I checked to see if they followed me (@foodieyu) on Twitter. Below are the 71 valid entries:


I used "True Random Number Generator" from random.org to pick five winners for me.




Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Chef's Plate: Cooking Made Easy + 3 FREE Plates with Referral Code #CHEFSTELLA

Since a year and a half ago when I first wrote about Chef's Plate, the meal delivery service has expanded significantly. Back then, Chef's Plate only delivered within Ontario, however, because of its amazing success, people in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba can now also enjoy Chef's Plate (Twitter: @chefsplate, Facebook: Chefs Plate).

If you've never heard of or tried Chef's Plate, this is your chance, especially if you use my super awesome referral tag (more about that later). In a nutshell, Chef's Plate is a subscription service that delivers chef-designed recipes and fresh ingredients right to your door step each week. The best part is that there is no subscription or membership fee to join, and you can skip a week or cancel anytime. You can choose the delivery date that works best for you too, and you don't have to be at home to receive the delivery either. Their refrigerated boxes are packed with ice packs and insulated liners to ensure your ingredients will stay fresh for the full delivery day, even if you're not home to accept the delivery.


Chef's Plate's recipes begin at $10.95 per plate for the 2-Person Plan, which features 7 unique, chef-designed meals each week, and $9.75 per plate for the Family Plan, which features 4 unique family-friendly meals. New recipes created by Chef's Plate's culinary team and guest chefs are introduced every week, and feature land, sea and veggie options. For ingredients, all you need is salt, pepper and olive oil. For cooking equipment, all you need are standard pots, pans and knives. Chef's Plate will provide everything else.


All their dishes are balanced and nutritious. Chef's Plate uses farm-fresh ingredients sourced from local Canadian business. Meats are antibiotic and hormone free, and ingredients are pre-portioned for each recipe so there's no waste. All of their packaging, including gel packs, is also 100% recyclable. 


Already want to give Chef's Plate a try? Then head over to Chef's Plate and use my referral tag #CHEFSTELLA to get 3 plates FREE on your first order! If you still need convincing, then read on to see the two delectable meals I made from my recent Chef's Plate delivery. I'm confident that you'll be convinced :)




Saturday, June 18, 2016

Celebrating Ontario VQA Wines at Winetario

On Thursday, June 16th, I attended the inaugural #Winetario at George Brown College. Presented by Ontario Wine Awards, George Brown College Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts and iYellow Wine Club#Winetario showcases the best of Ontario VQA wines including many award winners.


Founded 22 years ago, the Ontario Wine Awards (Twitter: @tonyaspler, Facebook: Ontario Wine Awards) is an annual event that is recognized as "the Oscars" of the Ontario wine industry. The awards recognize VQA varietal quality in 25 different categories and acknowledge winners in Bronze, Silver and Gold Medal levels. There are also distinctive awards given out honouring the Winemaker of the Year, White Wine of the Year, Red Wine of the Year, Wine Journalism Award, and Best Label Design.

This year, 71 wineries entered 473 wines that were assessed by 30 judges. The awards ceremony was held on June 1st at Niagara College, hosted by celebrity chef and TV personality, Michael Bonacini. Below are all the Ontario Wine Awards winners this year. Find yourself squinting? You can also see the full list here.


After grabbing my wine glass, I made my way to the grazing station. Wine tasting with an empty stomach is never a good idea! A variety of beautiful cheeses, fresh fruits and chocolates were made available to all #Winetario guests.


My boyfriend and I both started our evening with a glass of EastDell Estates Black Label Viognier 2014 from Diamond Estates Winery and a small plate of cheeses and fruits.




Friday, June 17, 2016

Teara Lab Giveaway - CLOSED

I'm giving away FIVE PAIRS of Teara Lab vouchers to FIVE lucky winners. Each voucher gets you ONE FREE SANDWICH COMBO to Teara Lab, the city's first Japanese Fusion Sandwich Shop.


Opened on May 20th, Teara Lab is a casual sandwich shop located on 181 College Street across from University of Toronto. Helming the kitchen is chef Frank Liu, who is also responsible for the menu at KAKA All You Can Eat, a popular AYCE restaurant located in Markham. Read all about my experience at Teara Lab here!


HOW TO ENTER
1) You MUST be following me (@foodieyuon Twitter
AND
2) Tweet the following sentence, exactly as shown, nothing before or after it: 

I just entered for a chance to win a pair of @TearaLab vouchers from @foodieyu! http://bit.ly/1rtwFzA #fjctearalab

1. For your entry to be valid, you need to tweet the above sentence exactly as shown
2. You may tweet once a day for the duration of the contest. Re-tweeting others do NOT count as a valid entry
3. Contest is tracked by the #fjctearalab hashtag. If you don't see your tweet in the hashtag stream it means there is no entry from you. Read this to find out the possible reasons why your tweets are not showing up
4. Vouchers expire on December 31, 2016.

CONTEST DURATION
Contest starts on Friday, June 17, and ends on Friday, June 24, at 12PM. 
Five lucky winners will be chosen randomly from www.random.org and I will announce the winners shortly after.

GOOD LUCK!!! ^_^



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Teara Lab: Japanese Fusion Sandwich Shop

Opened less than a month ago on 181 College Street is Teara Lab, the first Japanese fusion sandwich shop in Toronto. Helming the kitchen is chef Frank Liu, who is also responsible for the menu at KAKA All You Can Eat, a popular AYCE restaurant located in Markham.


The modern and casual sandwich shop is conveniently situated across the street from University of Toronto, making it an ideal spot for students, whether it be quick grab-and-go lunches or sit-down meals in between classes.


Which is your favourite ramune flavour? Mine are "Original" and "Melon" :)


At Teara Lab (Twitter: @TearaLab, Facebook: Teara Lab), diners have the option of getting a sandwich or a sandwich combo, which comes with seasoned fries and a drink. Teara Lab's drinks selection is pretty impressive so don't go for just soda. Customers can choose from a variety of fruit teas (passion fruit green tea, mango green tea, fresh watermelon juice), slush (mango or match red bean), milk teas and creamas.

My boyfriend and I ordered a Hokkaido Milk Tea ($5) and a LemonDada ($5). Both were fantastic! I would actually consider just dropping by the sandwich shop for a drink if I'm ever in the area.




Monday, June 13, 2016

Biff's Bistro's Prix Fixe Menu

Back to back Biff's! I know I just wrote about Biff's Bistro (Twitter: @BiffsBistro, Facebook: Biff's Bistro) but I thought it'd be nice to share another one of recent my dining experience there with you guys. Unlike the previous post where I wrote about some of the restaurant's a la carte offerings, this post will only focus on the "Biff's Fixe", or Biff's "3 courses for $37.95" prix fixe menu. 

Looking back on last week's Biff's post, I realized I didn't include any patio photos! Silly me, especially when we are well into patio weather now too. Well, here they are :)


I really like the rustic French charm of the patio. The trees, the details like the mix of textured wicker and leather chairs, the awning, and the patterned table cloths all contribute to the French bistro setting. Super cute!


We didn't end up having dinner on the patio, though, since the reservation was made a couple of weeks beforehand and we weren't sure if it would be warm enough. So, back inside we go...

Complimentary bread


The five of us all decided to go with the Biff's Fixe since it's such a great deal at three courses for $37.95. And to be honest, prix fixes are the best way to go when dining out with a group of friends because it makes splitting the bill so much easier (I'm also the worst at math so this is really important to me).

For Biff's Fixe, diners can choose from four appetizers, five mains and three desserts. Both the appetizer and main includes a vegetarian option. With the five of us, you would think that there would be a variety of dishes ordered that evening, but on the contrary, we all ordered the same appetizer. I guess that's why we are friends :) Mains were a bit better with three different plates, and desserts we picked two out of the three options. The food blogger in me was really hoping that I could try and get a photo of each and every prix fixe dish, but meh, no luck.

APPETIZER
CHICKEN LIVER PARFAIT
with cornichons




Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Look at the Newly Revamped Biff's Bistro

After a two-month-long renovation, Biff's Bistro on Front Street finally reopened its doors in April. When the modern French bistro encountered a burst pipe earlier this year, the restaurant took the opportunity to temporarily close up shop to revamp itself. How so? Think new specials, new interior, new website, and even new social media handles (since we're at it, it's @BiffsBistro on Twitter/Instagram and Biff's Bistro on Facebook).


I realized my first visit ever to Biff's Bistro was a long time ago, an embarrassingly long time ago. After checking my trusty "Dining Out" page, I discovered my Biff's blog post from August 2010 when "Tweetups" were still at thing. That's six years ago, guys. This is precisely why I feel ancient in the food blogging world sometimes.

Sorry, I digress. I can't say I noticed too much of a difference in decor but then this is solely based on my very vague memory of the room from six years ago. What I do know for sure is that I love the casual French bistro vibe and furnishings at Biff's.


The bar has noticeably changed for sure. It is a lot more open and spacious now compared to before.


Because of the warmer weather, all I want is rosé nowadays. So, instead of my usual cocktail I ordered myself a glass of sparkling rosé to start. My boyfriend also had a lighter cocktail than usual. I guess we both wanted to start with something light and refreshing :)

BIFF’S 75 ($14)
Beefeater gin, Crème Yvette, Prosecco
SPARKLING ROSE ($11)
2014 Hinterland 'Borealis' Rose, PEC, ON




Friday, June 3, 2016

Filming at Real Sports Bar & Grill

Ever since chef Matt Sullivan took over the Real Sports kitchen in 2014, I find myself really enjoying the food there. Believe me when I say Real Sports Bar & Grill is not your typical sports bar; you'll never have to tolerate boring pub grub just because you want to watch the game with your friends. Instead, you'll find yourself wanting to order food there because dishes like their Popcorn Chicken, Southern Fried Cauliflower, RS Classic Nachos, Quinoa Salad and Fish N Chips are all pretty darn tasty. And I'm not just saying that either - I've been to Real Sports for dinner several times now, even during the off-season. This speaks volumes, guys.


It shouldn't be surprising that Real Sports serves good food; after all, it has made a name for itself by being voted "The Best Sports Bar in North America" by ESPN. Sure, the two-story, 25,000 square foot space equipped with 199 TV screens and a ginormous 39-foot HD projector (the biggest one in any sports bar in the world) is incredible, but stillReal Sports wouldn't have gotten the title of "The Best Sports Bar in North Americaif it didn't serve delicious food as well, 'cause at the end of the day, it's about the entire experience. You can't possibly enjoy Real Sports if you were served mediocre food even if it has the best TV screens EVER. It is that simple.


So, what brings me back to Real Sports this time around? Lucky me, I was asked by Real Sports whether I'd be interested to take part in a shoot for their promotional video. Not only that, but I'll be fed as well. This was not a tough decision. Not at all :)

I had so much fun filming with these guys!! From left to right: Frankie, Jon, me, Mark (from Marquis of Fashion), Rob and Aaron.



There was a film crew taping us most of the night while we stuffed our faces. I'm good with that.




Monday, May 30, 2016

Inspired to Taste Canada featuring Derek Dammann & Chris Johns, and their cookbook "True North": A Recap

As promised from my previous post, here is a quick recap of my experience at Inspired to Taste Canada last Thursday, May 26th. The evening - which featured Derek Dammann and Chris Johns, authors of the cookbook, "True North" - was the last of three Inspired to Taste Canada (#HBxTasteCanada) events held at Hudson's Bay Queen Street.


Presented by Taste Canada (Twitter: @TasteCanada, Facebook: Taste Canada - The Food Writing Awards), in partnership with Hudson's Bay Company in Toronto, that night's Inspired to Taste Canada event began promptly at 5:30pm at the Hudson's Bay located at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Guests were invited to mingle, walk around and enjoy food & drink tastings before chef Dammann's scheduled cooking demo. Since I arrived early, I took the time to visit each booth...

Bellosound spinning beats with a live DJ.


Angels Gate Winery poured their 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay and 2013 Cabernet Merlot. I had a glass of their crisp and refreshing Chardonnay.


Healthy Crunch served samples of their organic local kale chips.