Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cooking with Chef MacDonald at the EU Pavilion

During my time at SIAL Canada earlier this May while I was hanging out at the EU Pavilion, I also got a chance to watch Chef Sean MacDonald (@seanymacd) cook up a storm. Sean was named the best young chef in Canada last year as he was Canada's representation at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 competition. You can now find Chef MacDonald cooking at Hexagon & 7 Enoteca in Oakville, Ontario.

He came to Toronto to do one thing, and one thing only - showcase his talent by cooking up a delicious homemade gnocchi using the following ingredients from around Europe:
  • Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI  (Consorzio Tutela del Lambrusco di Modena, Italy)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Montes de Toledo PDO (Casas de Hualdo, SL, Spain)
  • Sweet Peppers (VLAM, Belgium)
  • Spanish Ham (Nico Jamones, Spain)
  • Garlic and Herb Sea Salt (French Gourmet Promenade, France)
Using these ingredients, he showed us how he could incorporate delicious ingredients from various countries in the EU into a simple, classic Italian dish. My favourite ingredient was 100% the Spanish ham. There's just something so good about the jamon from Espana! When incorporated with the gnocchi and sweet peppers from Belgium, with the garlic and herb sea sat (ugh, I want to just eat a pinch of it on its own) from France, it was an abundance of flavour. We all had little sample dishes of the gnocchi but I could 100% eat an entire dish of it.

See below for a photo recap of my experience!

Thanks for the fun & delicious cooking demo, Sean!
P.S. I attended Day 2 of SIAL, but check out what happened at the EU Pavilion when Chef Eric Choong, the first MasterChef Canada winner, took the stage on Day 1 here!


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Savoury, Private Dining Experience at The Westin Harbour Castle

In order to get to my dinner today, I had to walk through The Westin Harbour Castle Hotel's lobby and kitchen. I got to peep on the chefs making food for the rest of the hotel guests as I made my way to Savoury, a 10-seat private dining restaurant that is now open to the public.

Walking in, you will see the main kitchen appliances to the left with a table to the right for you and your 9 closest friends. The setting is actually meant to mimic someone's home kitchen!

Celebrity Chef Corbin Tomaszeski from the Food Network is the head chef of Savoury. His vision behind Savoury is simple. "Work with quality ingredients to create a memorable experience that will stay with those who dine with us forever,” says, Tomaszeski. “By using locally sourced ingredients and preparing them in a way unique to my style, I want to ensure each guest feels as though they’ve been invited into my own personal kitchen, in my own personal home.” And that is truly how I felt throughout this dining experience.

We enjoyed the above pictured four course meal, while listening to Chef Tomaszeski tell us stories. It was such a great, personal dining experience, and am excited to give you a visual storyboard of my evening as shown below!

You can seriously taste the quality of the ingredients and thought put into each dish that Chef Tomaszeski created for us. Every single part of the dish was well thought out and worked with each other. The sous vide lamb loin with buttered braised lamb tortellini paired with king oyster mushrooms = SO good. The presentation of the dishes were also so awesome to be a part of. The smoke trapped around the baby octopus was my favourite dish. All in all, it was a great dining experience and I really recommend you give it a try when you are planning for your next special dinner in the city.

For more information about booking Savoury, please visit their website here.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sporting Life 10K 2017: New PR!

Personal Announcement

On May 14, 2017, I ran my fourth 10k and scored myself a new personal record of 48:51! I am the proudest of myself, and couldn't have asked for better weather. I wish I could say that I trained for this run, but I honestly didn't. Going to Barre3 classes and eating going a healthy diet was all I did! In addition, with the 18,500+ people that ran this race, we raised $2.1 million for Camp Oochigeas - amazing!!

My goal is to do this again next year, and actually train for it!
But for now, I will be happy with the results from this run! :)

Wearing: Adore Me Activewear Bani
Shoes: Adidas


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Brunch at Ufficio Toronto has Arrived!

Brunch time is one of my favourite times, so I am super excited that one of my favourite restaurants on the west end of Toronto finally introduced a brunch menu! Available on Sundays from 11 to 3pm, you will be able to get a taste of some delicious classic brunch dishes with a pescetarian, Italian twist.

I decided to bring Alice from "Meet And Eats" to join me in today's brunch adventures, and am glad I did. She wore the cutest shoes that matched the pretty tiles and dishes at Ufficio! We started off with two bellinis and decided that we would choose three dishes to try.

First up was the Polop Benny. On a house made English muffin, poached eggs were presented on a grilled octopus tentacle topped with hollandaise sauce, romesco, and anaheim chilis. Besides being a beautiful dish, I absolutely love octopus and this is only the second time I've had it with eggs during brunch time! I wish it was a more often occurrence! The second dish we wanted without a doubt was the Salmone Affumicato. Smoked salmon is my weakness when it comes to breakfast food, and Ufficio's house cured smoked salmon didn't disappoint. The dish came with a mountain of scrambled eggs and mixed micro greens.

Last but not least, we got Uova Cotte, that was a hot dish straight from the oven with baked eggs, pomodoro, and ricotta, and a side of grilled focaccia on the side. Can I first mention how delicious the focaccia bread was?! I have no idea what they did to it but it was the most delicious piece of bread I've ever had. When you take it and dip it into the baked eggs and tomato, NOMS. That's all I can say!

We had the happiest time at Ufficio! There are a couple new things on their dinner menu that I have to come back and try. But for now, I am super happy and content with their brunch menu and I recommend you make a trip out west to try it out for yourself! Be sure to sit at the cute marble tables out front for optimal prettiness and brunch vibez ;)

Ufficio Toronto
1214 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M6J 1X5

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The EU Pavilion at SIAL Canada 2017

Earlier this May, I attended SIAL Canada, the biggest food and beverage tradeshow in Canada. A 240,000 square feet exhibition space filled with booths of food and drinks from around the world? Count me in!

SIAL Canada gives opportunities to businesses from around the world to showcase their products to individuals in the food and beverage industry in Canada. But, one of the biggest parts of SIAL this year was the EU Pavilion, which formed the centre piece of the fair. With the recent change between the EU and Canada through the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), things will definitely be more exciting in the near future in terms of having more access to European products in Canada! I, being a huge fan of Europe, am very excited about this.

As I toured around the 60 European booths at SIAL, I really got a chance to see and taste a number of food and beverage products from the EU. These booths consisted of companies from most of the EU member states, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

We chatted and learned about the number of products that could soon be finding their way to Canadian shelves. This could include fruit and vegetables, fresh and preserved meats, milk and dairy products and wines and spirits. I have a confession to make though - despite all the delicious vendors, I mainly stuck with the cured meats and cheeses... I wonder why hehe.

But besides eating around SIAL, there was also a cooking demo from a couple chefs from the city where they made a couple recipes using EU ingredients mixed in with Canadian, local ingredients! I will be posting two other blog posts about this in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for that!



Sunday, May 07, 2017

Military Lattes at BoB Coffee Bar

The highly coveted, and craved, military latte has finally arrived in Toronto!
You can now find this robust latte at BoB Coffee Bar, located at 440 Christie Street.

We all know how much I love drinking espresso, and I know I drink way more than the recommended daily intake. But to make matters worse (or better), I discovered something I loved even more - a military latte. I discovered it last August when I visited Chicago and made a stop at Sawada Coffee.

The military latte is a combination of the delicious matcha + roasted espresso. It's the perfect latte for those matcha lovers who want an additional strong punch of caffeine. I definitely got hit hard with this, & I'm not typically affected by caffeine.

Safe to say this espresso-matcha combination is killer, but am I ever so happy I discovered it.

Head on over to BoB and try it out for yourself!

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