Friday, November 30, 2012

Hunter's Wine Dinner at Ten Restaurant & Wine Bar

In support of Movember, Ten Restaurant & Wine Bar (@tenrestaurant) in Port Credit hosted a Hunter's Wine Dinner this past Tuesday. The fundraising dinner brought together eight talented chefs who each donated their skills and time for a great cause. In case you live in a cave (that is, a cave with internet) Movember is responsible for the sprouting of mustaches on men during November of every year to raise funds and awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer. Personally, I'm not a big fan of facial hair...I like my men clean shaven...makes me kinda glad that today is the last day of Movember :D Sorry I digress...


  The Hunter's Wine Dinner was held on the second floor of the newly renovated Ten Restaurant, a perfect venue for private events and parties.


Rosewood Estates & Winery (@Rosewoodwine) provided all the wines and mead cocktails for the Hunter's Wine Dinner. By the way, I absolutely adore Rosewood! They have such great wines and they throw the best events (I attended All-Stars In The Vineyard and the Bees, Mead & Cheese class earlier this year...both tons of fun).

Krystina Roman from Rosewood giving guests a short intro about their wines and meads.



A stellar line-up of wines for the night. 




The Winner of the Firkin Pubs Gift Card Giveaway is...

@foodinthecityTO

Congratulations Grace =D You have just won a $125 Gift Card to Firkin Pubs! Please email me at foodjunkiechronicles@gmail.com with your first and last name and your address so I can mail you the gift card. 

Congrats again and I hope you will enjoy your time at Firkin!


I also want to say a big THANKS to the 95 contestants who participated in the contest

Here's a snapshot of the Excel spreadsheet where I tracked the #FirkinContest stream from day one of the contestThe tracking was done in chronological order, as in, #1 was the first person to enter the contest. To enter, the person has to tweet "I want to win a $125 Gift Card to @FirkinPubs! http://bit.ly/Uh0H5D #FirkinContest #FirkinRevolution". Once the contest was over and everybody's entry was accounted for on my spreadsheet, I went to check if they follow me on Twitter


Out of the 95 people who entered my contest, 11 people do not follow me on twitter; they were removed from the above spreadsheet. There were also quite a few people who entered my contest more than once... I only counted their first entry.

I used "True Random Number Generator" from random.org to pick the winner for me.





Wednesday, November 28, 2012

InvASIAN: GwaiLo's Pop-Up Finale

GwaiLo and Senses Restaurant wrapped up its month-long pop up dinner series on Monday night with a bang. Sponsored by Senses with all proceeds going to the Stop Food Community Centre (@TheStopCFC), the event, dubbed InvASIAN, brought together six distinguished modern Asian chefs (two of which are from New York) for a one-night only fundraising dinner. A unique culinary collaboration of Toronto and New York, each chef created one course for InvASIAN. Below is a short bio of each chef who showcased their skill and creativity that night:

Chef Nick Liu (@Ninjachefnick), GwaiLo (@GwaiLoToronto)
As Executive Chef and owner of GwaiLo Asian Brasserie, Chef Nick Liu's merging of Asian influences with French techniques has garnered local and international accolades. His dishes have been enjoyed by dignitaries and royalty, as well as at the esteemed James Beard House.

Chef Danny Bowien (@dannybowien), Mission Chinese Food (@Missionstfood)
Chef Danny Bowien launched with Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco and then in New York. His whimsical, responsibly sourced Chinese food has garnered accolades and awards from Food and Wine and People. He is also a James Beard finalist.

Chef Andy Ricker, Pok Pok (@pokpokpdx
Chef Andy Ricker is a James Beard award-winner and owner of Ping, Portland, Oregon and Pok Pok, Brooklyn, New York. He has been recognized by the likes of GQ Eats: Top Ten Best New Restaurants (Pok Pok) and the Oregonian as 2009 Rising Star (Ping).

Chef Nuit Regular, Khao San Road (@khaosanroadTO)
Chef Nuit Regular is the culinary talent of Khao San Road. Stemming from Thailand, Regular has won the hearts of local foodies and critics with her authentic and fiery Northern Thai Cuisine.

Chef Cheska Ang (@CheskaZarah), Actinolite (@actinolitefood)
From British Columbia to Ontario, Chef Cheska Ang has established herself in some of Canada's best known kitchens and is currently sous chef at the recently opened Actinolite.

Chef Robbie Hojilla (@RobbieHoho), Mr. Pong's Bar (@Mr_Pongs)
Chef Robbie Hojilla is the chef behind the Asian-Canadian cuisine of Mr. Pong's Bar. He draws his inspiration from Filipino cuisine and delivers using Canadian ingredients to create unique Asian-inspired dishes.

Tickets for the six-course dinner was $95 per person, with optional cocktail and wine pairings at $35 per person. Pairings were developed by Christina Kuypers (@deKuypers), co-founder of GwaiLo, and sponsored by Ponte Wine and Spirits.

Once seated, each guest enjoyed a Hayman's Sloe Gin Sweet & Sour.


Without further adieu, here is what I had at the InvASIAN dinner:

OYSTER & PEARLS - Nick Liu 
Scallion, egg custard, steamed oyster, smoked beurre blanc, soy lime pearls

Buerre Blanc Bowmore Islay 12yr




Monday, November 26, 2012

Mysteriously Yours...Mystery Dinner Theatre

Mysteriously Yours ... Mystery Dinner Theatre is a professional producer of Interactive Murder Mystery (i.e. plays). Ideal for corporate team building, parties, birthdays, anniversaries, or simply a different kind of dinner date with your significant other, Mysteriously Yours (Twitter: @WhodunitTO, Facebook: Mysteriously Yours Mystery Dinner Theatre) is all about providing guests with a fun and engaging evening. As guests, you can either sit and watch and be entertained, or can go as far as writing down clues and questioning suspects! Either way, it's all in good fun. I was invited to Mysteriously Yours last Friday for a dinner and show. I was pretty excited because although I've heard about Mysteriously Yours ... Mystery Dinner Theatre for years, I've never actually been. I also asked my friend Julia to come with me because she's a big Sherlock Holmes fan :)


Celebrating 25 years of interactive murder mystery theatre, Mysteriously Yours is currently playing The Fine Art of Murder - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

"In the castle of a wealthy Countess, Sherlock Holmes is re-united with his trusted side-kick Dr. John Watson for a thrilling case of murder and deception, when a body is found at the foot of a priceless painting. Can Holmes solve the riddle and crack the case? More importantly, can he solve it in time?"




Complimentary gear from Mysteriously Yours :)




Friday, November 23, 2012

Café Boulud's à la carte

Yes. Yes I did. Merely two weeks after my fantastic tasting menu, I went back to Café Boulud (@CafeBouludTOfor dinner again...this time, for their à la carte menu. I know going to Café Boulud twice in such a short time period seems a bit excessive, but I had a very good reason for my second dinner: a friend from out of town was visiting and it was my job, my duty, to take him around Toronto to eat. I'm telling the truth. I swear ;)

Anyway, here is what we had:

FLUKE CEVICHE - Celery Vinaigrette, tapioca pearls, Persian cucumber and caviar


VITELLO TONNATO - Celery, anchovy, caperberries


CRISPY DUCK EGG - Fricassée of wild mushrooms, duck confit, salsify and celery root




Thursday, November 22, 2012

Firkin Pubs Gift Card Giveaway - CLOSED

I'm giving away a $125 gift card to Firkin Pubs!


After 25 years, Canada’s largest chain of traditional English pubs is getting a makeover with a dramatic rebrand. Firkin Pubs (Twitter: @FirkinPubs, Facebook: The Firkin Group of Pubs Canada) are offering new menu items, a curated list of cocktails, wines and craft beers, and a fresh, contemporary décor with a cool Britannia vibe.

Special features in select Firkin locations include:
*A social mingling area infused with traditional British artifacts;
*Comfy couches and an open seating area;
*Cozy“snug-style” booths; and
*Dedicated sports areas with billiards, darts and televisions.

Goose & Firkin (Photo credit: David Whittaker)

Enter my contest for a chance to experience the Firkin Revolution!

HOW TO ENTER

1) You MUST follow me (@foodieyuon Twitter;

AND

2) Tweet the following sentence, exactly as shown, nothing before or after it

I want to win a $125 Gift Card to @FirkinPubs! http://bit.ly/Uh0H5D #FirkinContest #FirkinRevolution

*Limit one entry per person
*Contest is tracked by the #FirkinContest hashtag stream
*Gift card is valid for the following four Firkin locations:
THE BULL - 1835 Yonge Street
THE GOOSE - 1875 Leslie Street
THE OWL - 7181 Woodbine Ave.
THE QUAIL - 1055 Yonge Street
 *Gift card expires on April 30, 2013

CONTEST DURATION

Contest starts on Thursday, November 22 and ends on Thursday, November 29 at 12PM.

The lucky winner will be chosen randomly from www.random.org. I will announce the winner on Friday, November 30.

GOOD LUCK!!! ^_^



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Red Fish

Red Fish (Twitter: @redfishresto, Facebook: Red Fish) is a restaurant that is all about sustainable seafood. Located at the corner of College and Delaware (previously Mitzi's on College), Red Fish is an Ocean Wise restaurant (Ocean Wise is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program that educates and empowers consumers about sustainable seafood). Because Red Fish only uses seafood that is Ocean Wise approved (i.e. an item which is a good choice for keeping ocean life healthy and abundant for generations to come), the restaurant's a la carte menu changes daily depending on availability. 


Ken (@inyourmouthTO) and I headed over to Red Fish last week for dinner where chef David Friedman (@fishcooker) spoiled us an all-encompassing seafood feast (some back ground info: chef Friedman was trained at a Vancouver culinary school involved with Ocean Wise and is also currently involved with Slow Fish, an international campaign for sustainable fishing).

ELDERBERRY MARTINI
INCAN MOJITO (with muddle Quirquina)


OYSTERS - Pickled artic kiwi, dulse and tomato water, pickled mushroom


CHEF'S BORED - Scallop crudo, keta salmon, mackerel sashimi, rainbow trout liver mousse, pickled shiro plums, pickled garlic scapes, grain mustard, pickled mustard, ponzu




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Step Up To The Plate (Entre Les Bras)

Thanks to Films We Like (Twitter: @filmswelike, Facebook: filmswelike), I had the opportunity to preview Step Up to the Plate (Entre les Bras), a documentary by Director Paul Lacoste, who followed world-renowned French chef Michel Bras, as he prepares to hand the reins of his three-Michelin-starred restaurant in France over to his only child Sébastien, who has worked with him for 15 years.


If you are not familiar with Michel Bras, you may have heard (or seen pictures) of his world famous signature dish, Le Gargouillou. Step Up to the Plate starts with Michel Bras plating Le Gargouillou, an assemblage of 40 to 60 vegetables, herbs, leaves and flowers that reflects the produce of the Aubrac region in southern France and the changing seasons. No leaf or piece of green appears twice in Le Gargouillou. It is a dish that has enormous influence and has served to inspire chefs from all around the world.


Step Up to the Plate follows Sebastien (or Seba as Michel calls him) as he tries to perfect a single dessert, called cheminement or "The Pathway." The dessert includes milk curd, fried bread, milk skin, butternut squash spaghetti, chocolate, Laguiole cheese, blackberry jelly and bread crust. Over the course of the documentary, the dish changes dramatically. While visiting the Japanese branch of his family’s restaurant in Kyoto, Sebastien alters the dessert to incorporate local ingredients such as mochi and substituting bread crust with rice crust. Towards the end of the film, Sebastien presents the dish to his father for a critique as well as to a workshopSebastien explains that the dish isn’t simply something to eat anymore. It’s a story, combining ingredients from his childhood with ones from his adulthood.

Step Up to the Plate is full of calm, gorgeous shots of natural scenery and sunrises. I thought it was virtually stunning. Watch the trailer and you will see what I mean.



Step Up to the Plate is a captivating documentary about family relationships, work ethics, and extraordinary cuisine. Scenes with Michel playing with his grandchildren and Sebastien cooking breakfast for his family gives an intimate view into the Bras' close-knit family. When it comes to the kitchen though, Michel and Sebastian don't always see eye to eye. Sebastian thinks his dad is "stubborn as a mule" and Michel is still only comfortable retiring "on paper". However, it is obvious that both Michel and Sebastian have tremendous respect for each other. The documentary looks at food as not just something that we consume, but as something that enriches our lives and our relationships. 

Step Up to the Plate will be playing at Tiff Bell Lightbox (@tiff_net) starting December 7th through to December 13th. Click here for showtimes.












Monday, November 19, 2012

Richmond Station

Chef Carl Heinrich, winner of Top Chef Canada season two, announced back in February that he and Ryan Donovan were leaving Marben to start a new project. Nine months later, the much-anticipated Richmond Station (Twitter: @richmondstn, Facebook: Richmond Station) opened its doors at the corner of Yonge and Richmond, offering diners in the financial district a casual, neighbourhood spot.  Staying true to his philosophy, chef Carl Heinrich continues to use fresh, high quality local ingredients in his new farm-to-table restaurant.

My four friends and I sat in the smaller dining room upstairs which, in comparison, lacked the cool, high-ceiling, tavern-inspired decor of the dining room downstairs (sorry I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the restaurant but I'm sure you will find pictures of the space online). The room upstairs was simple; it had white walls, minimal fixtures, with a pantry room for large groups. Nevertheless, the view of Richmond Station's open kitchen made up for the otherwise subdued space. Patrons can also dine at the chef's rail (basically front row seats to the action in the kitchen)

Oops...caught by Carl :p


A shot of the cooks in the kitchen.


Daily specials are written on a chalkboard.




Saturday, November 17, 2012

2012 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo Giveaway Winners are...

@janeccman
@JenniferReyes

Congratulations Jane & Jennifer! =D Each of you have just won a pair of tickets to the 18th Annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo! Your tickets are only valid tomorrow, Sunday, November 18th between 12PM - 6PM. Please email me at foodjunkiechronicles@gmail.com with your first and last name and I will then give you the details on where to pick up your tickets. 

Congrats again and I hope you and your +1 will enjoy the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo :)


I also want to say a big THANKS to the 34 contestants who participated in the contest

Here's a snapshot of the Excel spreadsheet where I tracked the #GFWExpo stream 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 has to tweet "I want to win a pair of tickets to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo! http://bit.ly/QfX2G4 #GFWExpo". Once the contest was over and everybody's entry was accounted for in my spreadsheet, I went to check if they follow me on Twitter


Out of the 34 people who entered my contest, one person did not follow me on twitter.

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





Friday, November 16, 2012

Reds Wine Tavern

Formerly known as Reds Bistro and Wine Bar, Reds Wine Tavern (Twitter: @REDSWINETAVERN, Facebook: REDS WINE TAVERN) underwent a substantial makeover early October. With a newly renovated space, a new name, coupled with a revamped wine list, a new cocktail menu and a new chef, Reds is set to start fresh in its aim to attract young professionals in the city's financial district.


I had the pleasure of attending a media dinner at Reds on Tuesday night. Previously from Ruby Watchco, Executive Chef Ryan Gallagher (of whom you may also recognize from season two of Top Chef Canada) prepared a tasting for us which incorporated Shareables, Entrée Salads, Fish of The Day, Tavern Plates and Desserts.

Leading to Reds second story dining room features a wall covered with pages from an old encyclopedia. 


Reds' dining room is warm and inviting. They also have two private dining rooms upstairs (The Bay Room seats 8-12 guests, The Adelaide Room seats 15 to 30 guests and up to 50 guests for cocktail reception).


We had dinner at this unique U-shaped chef's table




Thursday, November 15, 2012

2012 Gourmet Food & Wine Expo Giveaway - CLOSED

Thanks to my friends at Mott's Clamato (@CanadasCocktail)...


I'm giving away TWO PAIRS of tickets to this year's Gourmet Food & Wine Expo (@GFWE) at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (North Building)!!! 

The two pairs of tickets are for 
Sunday, November 18, 2012 from 12PM - 6PM

The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo offers over 40,000 guests an unparalleled opportunity to sample over 1,500 fine wines, beers and spirits from around the globe. The Expo embraces the style and sophistication of a cocktail party paired with unprecedented educational opportunities and compelling feature areas.


HOW TO ENTER

1) You must follow me (@foodieyu) on Twitter,

AND

2) Tweet the following sentence, exactly as shown (nothing before or after it PLEASE):

I want to win a pair of tickets to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo! http://bit.ly/QfX2G4 #GFWExpo

*Limit one entry per person*
*Contest is tracked by the #GFWExpo hashtag stream*

CONTEST DURATION

Contest starts on Thursday, November 15th and ends on Saturday, November 17th at 12PM.

TWO winners will be picked randomly from random.org and I will be announcing the two winners early Saturday afternoon.

GOOD LUCK! ^_^



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Patria [VLOG]

Tucked in an alley beside WeslodgePatria (Twitter: @PatriaTO, Facebook: PatriaTOis the newest venture by Hanif Harij and Ink Entertainment's Charles Khabouth (they also opened Weslodge earlier this summer). While Weslodge is a "modern saloon" with a contemporary American menu, Patria is all about Spanish cuisine. From small and large tapas, mains, to a large, cooked-to-order paella for the table, Patria's concept is authentic and rustic Spanish food with the integration of products and wine imported from Spain.


Without question, Patria is a gorgeous space.



Taken from the second level. 




Monday, November 12, 2012

Café Boulud's Tasting Menu

Located at the new Four Seasons (@FSToronto) on 60 Yorkville Ave., chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud opened Café Boulud in the prestigious hotel early October of this year. With Café Boulud restaurants in both New York and Palm Beach, Daniel Boulud's third restaurant of the same name is his first Toronto venture. In case you are not aware, Daniel Boulud has seven other restaurants in New York other than Café Bouludincluding DANIEL, a three Michelin star restaurant, as well as restaurants in Miami, London, Beijing and Singapore.


I went with three friends for dinner at Café Boulud (@CafeBouludTOseveral weeks ago. Because the four of us are pretty much on the same page when it comes to what we like to eat, where we like to eat, and most importantly, how we like to eat, we all agreed that having Café Boulud's tasting menu with wine pairing was the way to go. In case you didn't know already, I absolutely adore tasting menus because I usually want to try everything.

Café Boulud is on the second floor at the Four Seasons above dbar, a bar and lounge which offers a more casual food menu (also part of the Boulud empire). Café Boulud has a very open, loft-like feel with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that overlooks Yorkville Avenue and Bay Street.



Everything we had in our tasting menu that night can be found in Café Boulud's prix-fixe menu. Their menu is divided into four sections or "culinary muses": La Tradition (traditional French cuisine), Le Saison (seasonal delicacies), Le Potager (the vegetable garden) and Le Voyage (flavours of world cuisine). 

Without further adieu, lets start with the bread basket. Café Boulud's bread basket is probably one of the most addictive bread basket I've ever had. Actually, no, let me rephrase that...it is probably the most addictive bread basket with the most addictive BUTTER I've ever had. A bit embarrassed to admit this but I think we went through three bread baskets that night (one of my friends actually continued to have bread after finishing his main course haha).