Category Archives: Chefs

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

The Workshop by Latitude Review: cheese and wine lovers, prepare yourselves

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I recently finished reading “The Apprentice,” Jacques Pépin’s stunning autobiography. Among other important lessons he imparts in the novel, I loved how the classically trained Frenchman wrote without fear or arrogance about accepting an American style of dining. Food that tastes good is the objective, rather than strictly following scripted French techniques. Fussing over guests can be overwhelming for them, as well as for the host, but casual American service actually serves to put everyone more at ease.

So it was fitting that just days after putting the book down, I found myself having dinner at The Workshop by Latitude on Roncesvalles. Composed cheese plates are one of the restaurant’s core concepts. Accompanied by charcuterie and a glass of wine (or four — the wine list changes every couple of weeks, so you’ll always have a great variety), Workshop can feel very French and simply refined. But, like Pépin would recommend, the atmosphere is like dining in the home of an old friend. Service is knowledgeable but familiar. The music is soft (typically they play a lot of Beatles) and the candlelit romance of it all makes the place a perfect date or girls night spot. Whatever the occasion, you’re likely to lounge for hours, as I did. Though you may be luckier with the weather and get to enjoy their large, charming back patio. In all, Workshop is host to the kind of food and atmosphere that spurs deep conversation and the sharing of secrets.
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Big Slur: Celebrate California Wines on April 7th and 8th with these incredible events

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Spring is always an exciting time in the Toronto food scene. Moods lift, patios open up, and our many seasonally-focused restaurants now have a full new set of fresh produce to play with. And as aways, great food needs great wine.

Enter the California Wine Fair: over 100 producers and suppliers blowing into town with the first wisps of warm spring air

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Gallery: Provisions Catering “Chef’s Charity Almanac Dinner”

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February 24, 2014: Held at Loft404, Provisions Catering brought together an all-star lineup of chefs for an intimate dining experience benefitting The Stop Community Food Centre. Additional event volunteers included service staff from Splendido, Woodlot and Bar Isabel.

Provisions Catering brings chefs together for The Stop fundraiser

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Click here to read my CityBites blog post on a new catering company, Provisions.

5 Reasons You Need To Watch the Wahlburgers TV Show

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This Valentine’s Day, I’m writing a love letter to my new favourite show: Wahlburgers.

REASON #1: They’re blatantly manipulating you into wanting to be their customer, and it’s working. Continue reading

Chopped Canada S1E1 Review

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The credits begin! Chefs spin, smile, panic! Celebrity judges spit out soundbites, like Anne Yarymowich noting, “That was quite bland.” And, apparently, she wasn’t just speaking about the episode we’re about to watch unfold.

We’re greeted first by Dean McDermott and his old bags. No, I’m not talking about Tori Spelling. Seriously, the guy looks more sleepy than I feel after listening to Michael Smith’s voice. Continue reading

Double Life: Experiencing the Visa Infinite Dining Series from both sides of the table

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This weekend brought to you by the Visa Infinite dining series.

I am an employee for Sunday’s brunch at Splendido, while on Monday I am a guest at the 10-course meal held at Buca in support of the University of Guelph’s honey bee research.

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Chopped Judge Showdown: Which Celebrity Chef’s Restaurant Will Prevail?

As much as I am a devotee of the Food Network, I do recognize that there is one serious flaw to food television. Though you can watch the dishes being created, hear the sizzle, identify every spice and technique going into it, you’re not able to taste the dish. Judges’ commentary and your imagination only go so far (the same can be said for reading someone else’s food writing, of course). And so, becoming a fan of a TV chef seems almost silly, as your affection can only be based on their personality and speaking ability, not who you know from experience cooks the most delicious meal.

In an attempt to justify my almost irrational fandom of Iron Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian, as well as Top Chef Masters winner Marcus Samuelsson, I used part of my recent trip to New York City to visit their respective restaurants: Butter, Red Rooster and The Lamb’s Club. Do these chefs, all of whom are judges on Chopped, practice what they preach? Is their food every bit as creative, their execution every bit as perfect on a daily basis as they expect from the contestants they judge? There’s only one way to find out.
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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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