Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chef Matt Kantor's Argentina

Thursday, September 22, 2011
Chef Matt Kantor's Little Kitchen hits the road. For 12 nights in 4 neighbourhoods, 12 people will enjoy 1 special menu. On the night we picked last week, Matt served up an Argentinian menu at La Merceria. Yummy photos below:





Wednesday, September 14, 2011

La Soirée One Drop

Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Last Wednesday (September 7), Guy Laliberté's ONE DROP Project India hosted a dazzling benefit event at Cirque du Soleil's Tapis Rouge to create awareness of water issues in the poorest areas of India.

RBC's president and CEO Gordon Nixon (left), and Guy Laliberté, chair of ONE DROP and Cirque du Soleil founder.




Food and Beverage partners for the event included:

Banjara Indian Cuisine, Chocola Chocola, L’Auberge sur la route, Blowfish Restaurant, King West Kitchen, Spectrum, Ernest & Julio Gallo, Stella Artois, Nespresso and Aqua OvO

Posted by: Mark Rodas

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crossing it off the bucket list: Niagara winery tour, and my challenge to you to share your favourite local wine!

Saturday, September 10, 2011
Hang onto your hats, folks - Ontario does so much more than just icewine!

This past week I had the good fortune of experiencing my first-ever wine tour as part of LCBO's goLOCAL month, which runs from Sept. 11 to Oct. 8. The fact that it was my first wine tour, might I add, elicited gasps from my foodie friends. ;) Needless to say, and 8:30 am be damned, I think I was definitely the most excited person there! There I was, in all my nerdy glory, tweeting all the new tidbits of knowledge I was picking up, and I found three new favourite local wines to boot!

We took our own private VIA Rail train on the way up, which I loved (I love trains! Such a fun way to travel) and had a pretty tasty breakfast of oranges and grapefruit, orange juice, and a bacon quiche served with grilled sausage, Lyonnaise potatoes and scorched tomatoes - not bad for train food at all, I quite enjoyed it. We first visited Hillebrand Estates Winery (where we drank Trius, Vineland Estates and Peller Estates wines); then proceeded to Creekside Winery (for a food truck lunch courtesy of El Gastronomo Vagabundo and Gorilla Cheese, paired with Creekside Winery wines); and our last stop was Angel's Gate Winery (which *might* just be the most beautiful place on earth - you can see Toronto from across the water, and the building itself looks like a beautiful old church to me). There we tried wines from Angel's Gate obviously, as well as a couple of Dan Aykroyd's wines from Diamond Estates (no, he was not there!) and Henry of Pelham.

My favourite wines (most-favourite from top to bottom) were definitely:

2010 Trius Sauvignon Blanc
2010 Henry of Pelham Riesling
2008 Creekside Estate Winery Shiraz

And now it's time for some nerdy wine observations, facts and figures I learned along the way:

  • What struck me instantly is how supportive the winemakers are of eachother. It really seems like a beautiful community to be part of.
  • I also learned a lot about the terroir and geography of the region. I had no idea that the reason why bench regions are so good for grape growing is because they often are on a slant, meaning water drains away from the vines (which is good as they don't need a ton of water).
  • I also didn't know that most of the bench regions and the other areas suitable for grape growing in and around Niagara have already been fully planted, so it's unlikely there will be much more planting there.
  • Wine Country Ontario is between 41° and 44° North, which is the same latitude shared by Burgundy and many other cool climate wine regions of Europe.
  • Wines from cooler climates tend to be more aromatic, lighter in body and higher in acidity than those from warmer climates.
  • Core red varietals in Ontario are Baco Noir, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Gamay Noir.
  • Core white varietals in Ontario are Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Vidal Blanc, Gewurtztraminer, and Chardonnay.

Now get out there and find your favourite local wine OR if you already have a local favourite wine, share it with me, I'd love to try it so flip me your suggestions!

Yours in food,


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Food Truck Eats - Part 2

Thursday, September 8, 2011
The wildly successful Food Truck Eats - Part 2 had a lot more people, a lot more trucks + food tents, and lots and lots of food!





Posted by: Mark Rodas

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Vintage Ink

Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Last month we were at the launch of Vintage Ink wines at Brassaii. Vintage Ink features blends of select Niagara wines for their Chardonnay and Merlot-Cabernet. Veteran wine artist Keith Bown brings his 25 years of experience to bear in selecting the optimal combination of each wine. Of note is the Merlot-Cabernet that uses mostly Cabernet Franc instead of more of the typical Cabernet Sauvignon. See the wine tech sheets below:


Vintage Ink Chardonnay Tech Sheet

VintageInkMerlotCabernet Tech Sheet



Posted by: Mark Rodas

Friday, September 2, 2011

Veganism on the brain

Friday, September 2, 2011

I've been thinking a lot about veganism lately - I met up with a friend for dinner the other day who went vegan for a while, and she told me it truly did take more thought, preparation and cooking time to make vegan meals compared to meals she made in her pre-vegan days. And, on top of that, making sure each item is organic is an extra thing to think about as well. She also has kids, so throw that into the mix and you can see how she'd get pretty pressed for time.

That said, there's something awesome about having someone else cook for you, no matter where you fall on the spectrum (but it's especially awesome if you happen to be wanting to cook both organic and vegan - and eat it in the comfort of your own home).

The folks at The Organic Supper Club, which has personal chef services and also does vegan/organic prepared foods and catering, was kind enough recently to send us a few vegan organic treats to try. We had their fiesta dip, summer vegetable ragout, and pineapple chipotle chili.

I've got to be honest - I wasn't too thrilled with the pineapple chipotle chili, Mark actually liked it more than I did (I found it too tomato-y and the pineapple had lost its flavour) but I immensely enjoyed the fiesta dip and the summer vegetable ragout. The fiesta dip was impressive, using various nuts in place of sour cream, and it totally worked! It was delicious, with layers of black bean, tomato salsa and avocados. Yum!

It'd actually be a pretty unique gift to give someone a week of vegan cuisine to try. And that's something they actually offer - I thought that was pretty clever. I think pricing is fairly reasonable for a gift, you can head to their website for more info. You can order online or you can also find their products at the Distillery's Sunday Market and the Organic Dufferin Grove Market on Thursdays.

Have a great long weekend everyone! (yay, Labour Day!)

Yours in food,