Saturday, December 6, 2014

St. Andrew Poultry: A Gourmet Food & Butcher Shop in Kensington Market

Founded in 1962 by Jewish European immigrant Issac Jesin, St. Andrew Poultry (Twitter: @standrewpoultry, Facebook: St. Andrew Poultry) has long been a staple of providing quality raw meats and packaged goods in Kensington Market. After 51 years in the business, Issac handed down his wholesale and retail business to his son, Jerry. Dr. Jerry Jesin, a dentist and a passionate foodie, has been working hard to revitalize the retail business while still keeping St. Andrew Poultry true to its ‘old world charm’. As of September 1, St. Andrew Poultry, Jerry and his team re-opened with a complete 180° makeover.

One of Jerry’s goals is to reinvent the retail business by offering the best quality raw meats as well as expanding their packaged goods lineLet's take a look at St. Andrew Poultry poultry products, where it all started.

St. Andrew Poultry is more than just chicken. At the Butcher Counter you'll find a selection of raw poultry products such as chicken, cornish hen, turkey, duck and quail, and meat products such as AAA prime rib, steaks, lamb, pork loin, rabbit, goat and oxtail. St. Andrew Poultry also does their own Dry Aged beef in different cuts.

At the Prepared Food counter there's a wide selection of ready-to-eat seasonal soups, salads, side dishes, whole BBQ chickens, baby-back ribs, traditional and BBQ brisket sliced by the pound, and vegetarian specialties. Also available are fresh frozen, easy last minute meals to take home such as meat pies, lasagnas and hamburgers. All of their food is made fresh from locally sourced ingredients without the use of any additives, preservatives or fillers. 

To give something back to loyal customers who have been returning for years, customers who sign up for St. Andrew Poultry's "Supper Club" get 20% off a selection of prepared food between 5PM and 6:30PM daily (membership fee is $10).

The refrigerated area shelves assorted beverages, cheeses, and a variety of eggs, including extra large eggs, white/brown tray, organic, omega, free run, duck eggs and quail eggs.

Various Salads in Jars: Greek, Chicken Caesar, Baja California, Quinoa + Romaine and Summer Beet + Fig.

Whether it’s a quick bite, a formal business lunch or a special holiday meal, my goal is for people to say ‘YUM’ when they taste our food...and they are” explains owner Jerry Jesin, with his partner Rhonda Page, Director of Customer Experience. 

Finally, we stop at the Foodie Bar. Located right front and centre with an open kitchen and a friendly staff member ready to serve, the selection is plenty, made fresh daily, and includes a selection of hot meals like fried chicken, brisket sandwiches and malta ribs.

Everything is made on-site by executive Chef Bernadette Calpito (@ChefCalpito). Calpito developed a love affair with food at an early age studied at George Brown College, graduating with honours in 2002 and 2003 respectively in chef training and culinary management. She honed her skills under the wing of Chef Massimo Capra and then became the sous chef for David Gaunt of Rosewater and Eagles Nest in Mercatto. Calpito's final training took place as the sous chef for Kultura, serving under Chef Roger Mooking until she took over his kitchen as Executive Chef. 

We’re kicking things up a notch – changing people’s perceptions of what “take out” actually means and putting a new spin on catering!” says Calpito.

I pigged out on some of Calpito's signature dishes, like her crispy Joy Fried Chicken.

Her Lamb Shawarma was fantastic and comes with a choice of toppings like coleslaw, tabbouleh, pickled turnips, Mediterranean eggplant, roasted-garlic humus and Tahini sauce (Calpito also offers a frozen "Do-It-Yourself Shawarma" which comes on a mini spit).

 Clockwise from top left: Banana BreadBeef Cheek on Crispy Wonton with Hawaiian Slaw & Crema, Lamb Lollipops with Pistachios, and Chicken Pot Pie.

"Chef B" and her crew.

Brisket Beef Sliders with Caramelized Onions and Spicy Mayo.

Those with a sweet tooth will be thrilled that St. Andrew Poultry also has a Bakery Counter with scones, carrot cake, bread pudding, muffins, cookies, teas and coffees, Kawartha Dairy ice cream and ice cream sandwiches.

If you're hosting parties during the Christmas holidays and just want to take it easy, I highly suggest you check out St. Andrew Poultrys holiday catering menu here (custom menus available and they also deliver).

*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

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