Category Archives: Analysis

On changes, standards and not waiting for the right waiting job

It took a while, now I understand
Just where I’m going
I know the world and I know who I am
It’s ’bout time I show it

The last several months have been full of huge changes for me, professionally. I left Splendido, despite being asked to stay, in favour of being the General Manager at a new Jamaican-Chinese restaurant called Patois. A few weeks ago I chose to leave that position as well. I continue to try to find a professional home that fits me, that fits my standards in all respects Continue reading

Expectations, Fine Dining and a New Home

I have made the leap into fine dining service, and now I am back to blogging.

Balancing working in the restaurant industry and writing about it can be a serious challenge. I worry about not being hired for publications because they may feel there is a conflict of interest (though Sarah Parniak, an excellent bartender who taught me at the Toronto Institute of Bartending, is killing it writing for NOW magazine and that is encouraging). I have already lost out on a serving job I coveted because a review I wrote for my Food Writing class, which I posted online, did not properly address ownership of the restaurant and someone was offended.  The most pressing and immediate hurdle, however, is time.

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Sure, You Can Cook – But Can You Write?

Other than polishing off an excellent meal, one of my favourite pastimes is digging into a good book. Lately I’ve been voraciously consuming food-related biographies and memoirs, finding in each a worthwhile story and a relatable love of food.
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Believe It Or Not, You Can Cellar That $14 Ontario Wine

Attending the iYellow Wine Club 54 Wines event on June 21, I had the opportunity to sample a rarity: aged Ontario wines. Namely, a 22-year-old red blend from Trius which won “best red wine in the world” at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 1995, and a 20-year-old brut from Château des Charmes.
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International Chardonnay Day: Celebrating Great Ontario Chardonnays (Yes, Really)

Prejudice can affect any industry, including the wine business. Canadian wines have been at a disadvantage since we began learning the trade — our wines are thought to be of poor quality compared to our prestigious foreign competition. Certain grape varietals themselves are snubbed as well. Chardonnay wines are rejected for the assumption that they will be heavy and aggressively oaked.

It seems then that a Canadian-made Chardonnay has two strikes against it, with little chance of gaining favour with the wine-drinking public. But that’s something that boutique winery Le Clos Jordanne is determined to overcome.
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Turning Wine Information Into Wine Knowledge

Originally posted on my Tumblr

If you’re a wine beginner like me, you’ve probably encountered the same basic information at every turn – white wine can be made from black grapes as long as there is no contact with the skins, for example. You know a Reisling is typically sweet and a Sauvignon Blanc can smell a bit like asparagus and other vegetables. That’s old news. I was able to recite back these pieces of information, but I still wasn’t sure how to contextualize them into something that actually resembles knowledge.
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Deep Dish vs. Small Potatoes: An Assessment of The Grid and NOW Magazines’ Food Journalism

Originally posted on my Tumblr

Since September, I’ve been collecting every printed food-related page from both The Grid and NOW magazine, to analyze what makes our city’s biggest tastemakers tick.
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Charlie Bat and Food Writing

Originally posted on my Tumblr

“Dangerous Angels,” a collection of novels by Francesca Lia Block, shaped my 13-year-old opinions about many things, most notably opening me up to homosexual characters and love. But for some reason, one of the passages that most deeply embedded in my brain is one of food description. Witch Baby, a troubled young girl, goes to New York and connects with the ghost of her grandfather, Charlie Bat.

“How does it taste?”
“Good.”
“I mean really how does it taste?” Continue reading