Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Toronto Popup with Chef Deron Engbers

Founded by chef Deron Engbers (@TheDeron)Timeless Food made its debut this past Sunday, May 26th at Toronto Pop Up (Twitter: @Toronto_PopUp, Facebook: Toronto Popup.) Engbers, who has always been an advocate of classic cuisine, prepared a charming 5-course tasting menu at Monarch Tavern which took guests back in time by means of "Deron's Delorean time machine." Cheeky ;)

Through Timeless Food, Engbers is committed to providing diners unique and accessible dining experiences. The company aspires to recreate classic dishes using new techniques coupled with Engbers' own creative twists. For this particular "Back to the Future" pop up dinner, Engbers focused on presenting a re-invention of traditional favourites of the past, while using organic and sustainable sources where possible. 

The classic, vintage table settings were a perfect backdrop for Timeless Food's debut dinner.

A couple of cocktails to start the night off:

Madre Teresa (left): Gin, Aperol, orange, egg whilte, bitters ($9)
Timeless Caesar (right): Basil, rosemary and thyme infused gin, caesar fixings ($10)

Chef Deron Engbers of Timeless Food (@TimelessFoodTO)

Guests can opt for wine pairings ($22), craft beer pairings ($12), or wines by the glass ($10).

Without further ado, our 5-course "Back to the Future" dinner went something like this:

Duck egg, kozlik's mustard, sherry vinegar
Wine: Valdobbiadene Prosecco, Italy
Beer: Mill St. Organic

What a beauty!

Ontario trout, tomato, fennel, saffron
Wine: Villa Maria Rose, New England
Beer: Bellwoods Witch Shark IPA

Colville Bay oysters, homemade clamato ice

Ontario rabbit, pearl onions, potato, mushrooms
Wine: Vineland Estates VQA dry Riesling
Beer: Denison's Weissbier

Tenderloin, shallots, bone marrow, red wine
Wine: Smoking Loon Red Zinfandel, California
Beer: Left Field Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale

Sheep's milk, candied walnuts, toffee
Wine: Taylor Fladgate First Estate Port, Portugal
Craft Beer: Mill St. Cobblestone Stout

Chef Deron Engbers and Toronto Pop Up's founder, Juliana Conceicao.

Chef Engbers' interpretations and twists on traditional dishes on Sunday were an absolute delight. Both the Frisee salad (a classic French bistro salad normally done with a regular poached egg) and the Bouillabaise (a traditional French fish stew) were updated with clever and contemporary twists. Admittedly, I've never had the traditional German stew but Engbers' take on the Hasenpfeffer was excellent just the same. I thought the oysters with homemade Clamato ice, topped with an actual clam was simply ingenious! Last, and certainly not least, chef Engbers' creativity really shines though on the Bordelaise course. Taking bone marrow and shallots, components of a borderlaise (a classic French sauce) and mixing in kidney beans, Engbers created a delicious croquette which was loaded with flavour and textures. Brilliant.

If this Toronto Pop Up dinner is any indication of what's to come for Timeless Food, then we are definitely up for a very tasty ride.

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