This year’s show features many old favourites as well as some new highlights.
I am one of the admins of the site, a hybrid of geek and foodie.
I grew up with parents who owned a casual restaurant in northern Ontario, which meant I had access to all kinds of kitchen equipment and ingredients that allowed me to experiment from an early age. Notice how that seems more important to me than the corresponding detail that I have been preparing food for people since childhood.
I also started my first business at the age of 9, part of which involved taking care of gardens and being given a portion of the fresh produce in return. That started a life-long love of gardening that is currently gratified by container gardening as I now live in the heart of Toronto.
My reviews are influenced by a number of factors, including the small detail that I am a supertaster (let's hear it for blue tongues!) Did you know supertasters tend to be disproportionately black or Asian and female? Well we are, and I have trained myself to enjoy certain foods despite this mild handicap, buuuuut, I can't quite get over olives and sundried tomatoes. Oh and capers. Putanesca: Just say no.
I pride myself in being able to find something edible at all price points, in most places. Once in a while, however, I misjudge, and that is when apparently, I make the legendary "unsatisfactory dinner face". I try not to do it (anymore), but everyone who has regularly had meals with me claims to know exactly what it is. I tend to believe them because if the waitstaff in the venue is in the least bit attentive, somebody will come over and try to rectify the situation.
I guess all that leads up to the point that I am very specific. I will tell you when dinner is merely "adequate". I like to say that I have never eaten a 1 star meal (I am reserving that for something I hope never to taste) and the 10 stars tend to go to very specific items on a menu as opposed to the whole meal. Unfortunately, it then becomes the benchmark for that item forever, like some platonic form.
For example, I still remember the best caesar salad I have had, even though the place I had it went out of business in the late 80s. I'm not even sure that it hasn't become unattainable now given the way memory works. I have made a few caesar salads that I would give and 8.5 or even 9, but alas, not the 10. But I am going to keep trying!
Since we'll be asking chefs and food experts these questions, I figure I should answer them as well.
Five Ingredients You Can't Live Without:
Everyone we interview says, "salt & pepper" so we've started wording it as: "Other than salt and pepper, what are..." Here are mine.
- Vanilla paste
- Coconuts (particularly coconut cream)
- Blue cheese
- Good olive oil
Favourite Five Kitchen Utensils:
Again, everyone we interview says, "Chef's knives." Everyone. So, we've begun to reword this question, too. I am the kitchen gadget queen, but I am trying to simplify, so if I were starting out all over again and could only have five things other than a good knife, they would be (in no particular order):
- Cut-resistant gloves (good for cutting and grating things as well as opening oysters and shellfish)
- A powerful blender (I will take this even over a food processor)
- Kitchen shears
- Well-seasoned cast iron fry pans
I reserve the right to update these lists!
Off-site blog content
Delicious wines you can get delivered to your doorstep
For 10 and just a few clicks stock up on bottles to get you through the next week or two.read the full post here
From Peppers to Pork Pies the Most Interesting Food Festivals of the Year
Events include a chocolate festival in Italy a pepper celebration in France and a chef showcase in the Caribbean.read the full post here
From KFC a 3-Letter Apology for Its U.K. Chicken Crisis
The company rearranged the letters in its name in an advertisement and if a vowel was missing the meaning was clear.read the full post here
Calgarys Tubby Dog finds fast-casual success with an elevatedstaple
Quirky eatery Tubby Dog seems to have become both a Calgary institution and an inspiration for others looking to find success serving one item and doing it wellread the full post here
Frances Ladure local Nadge go head-to-head in macaron wars
Yorkdale Shopping Centres two options for macaron lovers Nadge Patisseri and Parisian pastry institution Ladure compete for thumbs-up from Star scribes Karon Liu and Amy Pataki.read the full post here
Its not sexy but dinner at Borrel is fast and fun
First-time restaurateurs bring homey Dutch cafe Borrel to East Danforth.read the full post here
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