Gigi

Off-site blog content

Torontos east end sees a rise in quality restaurants but filling seats isnt alwayseasy

A flurry of openings indicates that restaurateurs with more experimental ideas are finally looking east focusing especially on a historically South Asian strip of Gerrard Street East

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World Hunger Haunts the U.N. Festivities

After a decade of decline global malnutrition rose last year as global warming and civil conflicts posed a greater threat.

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Acclaimed French Chef to Michelin: Take My Stars Please

Sbastien Bras who runs Le Suquet restaurant in Laguiole France doesnt want the stress. Hes not the first to seek to surrender the accolade.

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The Allure of Black-Colored Food

Why is it so hard to resist the taste of darkness

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Monsantos Weed Killer Dicamba Divides Farmers

Twenty-five million acres have been planted with genetically modified seeds to encourage the spraying of the chemical. Farmers worry about damage to crops.

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Where Dumplings and Ducks Rule

Some of the best dishes at Wus Wonton King on the Lower East Side are the simplest along with the whole suckling pig.

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Gigi's picture
Bio: 

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!

The 5s.

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.

  • Anchovies
  • 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):

  • Mezzaluna
  • 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!

Twitter accounts

On Instagram

Check out the most recent Instagram posts from this member.
Well, the micro-eggplants are now almost mini-eggplants, but still pretty teeny.nn#harvest #garden #gardening #containergardening #containergarden #fb #regramCCBY #gigifoodi Next year I need to plant the mini-melons earlier so by the time it gets too cold for the plants, they're bigger than this :/ #foodphotography #regramCCBY #gigifoodie #fb #gardening #containergardening #eatlocal #harves When I saw the picture on the seed packets, I knew they were smallish, but somehow I didn't really think they were going to be micro-eggplants.nWhat am I supposed to do with about 15 of these?nn#foodgram #fb #foodphotography #regramCCBY #gigifoodie #gardening #containergardening #eatlocal #harves It's cucamelon season! All of a sudden they're all over the vines -- tiny little watermelon-shaped cucumberettes.nn#nomnomnom #canadianfoodies #foodblogger #foodpics #foodies #foodie #foodlover #fb #foodphotography #regramCCBY #gigifoodie #gardening #containergardening #eatlocal #harves Valuable lesson learned: lemon leaves taste like lemons, lime leaves taste like limes, grapefruit leaves taste like yuck.n.nCitrus plants are a good way to have even more fresh ingredients on hand, and while you wait for them to bear fruit (which can take years), you can use the leaves the way you would a bay leaf or cut into thin strips.n.n#nomnomnom #canadianfoodies #foodblogger #foodpics #foodies #foodie #foodlover #fb #foodphotography #regramCCBY #gigifoodie #gardening #containergardening #eatlocal #harves Did you catch the Splendid Table video 'Tomatoes 101 with Lynne Rossetto Kasper'? https://www.splendidtable.org/story/tomatoes-101-with-lynne-rossetto-kaspern.n(You'll have to go to a browser to click the link.)n.nIt's great and it describes how the different colours predict the taste -- like these Black Cherry tomatoes are much more complex than straight red ones, and less sweet than the yellows.n.n#nomnomnom #canadianfoodies #foodblogger #foodpics #foodies #foodie #foodlover #fb #foodphotography #regramCCBY #gigifoodie #gardening #containergardening #eatlocal #harves The golden berries seem prolific this year.n#nomnomnom #canadianfoodies #foodblogger #foodpics #foodies #foodie #foodlover #fb #foodphotography #regramCCBY #gigifoodie #gardening #containergardening #eatloc Tonight's smoking experiment: one rainbow trout.nn#kitchenexperiments #kitchenlife #dinnerideas #ontheblog #recipe #nomnomnom #delicious #yummy #canadianfoodies #foodblogger #fish #smoking #foodgram #fb #foodphotography #gigifoodie Summertime is asking you to make a proper Greek salad -- with lemon, not vinegar. Lemon, garlic oil, oregano (dried and fresh), onions, tomato, cucumber, olives. (Had a Greek roommate who taught me that.)n#dinnerideas #ontheblog #recipe #nomnomnom #delicious #foodgasm #yummy #canadianfoodies #foodblogger #foodpics #foodporn #foodgram #fb #gigifoodie #foodpics #foodphotography #regramCCBY #harvest #eatlocal #cont Day 2 of celebrating my birthday! Oysters with @meadest and Ryan.nn#PearlDiverTO #canadianfoodies #torontolife #torontoeats #fb #gigifoodi Day one of birthday spoilage (me, not the food): Peking duck! Tonight, oysters!nn#dinnerideas #nomnomnom #delicious #foodgasm #yummy #canadianfoodies #foodblogger #foodpics #foodporn #foodgram #fb #foodphotography #gigifoodie #regramCCB Starting to feel like this article on plating tips will never be finished. *sigh*nn#foodgram #fb #foodphotography #regramCCBY #foodpics #gigifood

My posts

Simple Onion Soup Gratinee

Onion soup pre-grantinee
Impress your Valentine with this relatively quick and simple french onion soup recipe for 2! Much of the flavour relies on your caramelization technique, so be prepared to take it slow...

Jinya (Toronto)

Reviewer rating: 
7
Sprouting Up Ramen dish at Jinya Toronto
Casual ramen (Japanese noodle soup) place with finger foods (Japas)

Jinya is a funky little restaurant with a slick decor and

CHFA Expo East 2016

chfa logo

Canada’s largest conference and trade show for the natural health and organics industry. Meet the industry’s top manufacturers, distributors and brokers, face-to-face...