The Braywick Bistro and Wine Bar, at 244 Dundas Street across from the Central Library, picked a cheeky name for their on-site catering business: Wicked — as in wickedly good food.
Barry and Anissa Foley bought the Braywick and Wicked in November 2011 and are changing up everything. Career entrepreneurs, they previously owned Foley Farms & Carolinian Winery, a demanding operation that gave them experience with high-touch customer service. “We make the customer feel like they have a relationship with us,” say Anissa Foley. “Our brides tell us we are the first to call back. And we hear that our menus help with any special-needs requests because we make everything fresh and can customize plates.”
Chef Ian McGill, a graduate of the esteemed Stratford Chefs School, designed Wicked’s catering menu for all occasions — from weddings and elaborate holiday parties to more intimate dinners at home. They will also use their customers’ favourite wines to pair with a custom tapas snack menu. “With Wicked, we are trying to bring the restaurant and new menus out to more people through catering,” he says. “Braywick is like a hidden gem downtown.”
McGill likes to create fresher variations of French and Italian classics. His homemade pizzas and pastas will be prominent on Wicked’s catering menu because of their simplicity to cook. Foley says his oysters and curried mussels are also a hot commodity.
A big fan of area farmers, McGill says their catering options will offer more seasonal and fresh local products. “In winter, that means more root vegetables, charcuterie plates and cheese platters, and our rack of lamb may become a lamb shepherd’s pie at a less expensive price point.”
He says Wicked’s strength is their personable and well-trained waitstaff. “We do drop-and-go appetizers for parties, but also offer entire sit-down meals where the host can really relax and enjoy the service,” says McGill.
Having grown up on a pork farm, he believes in using the whole pig and learned healthy cooking skills from his mother, a dietician. “I love terrines and pâtés, and trying new flavour combinations,” says McGill. He is also a big fan of preserving, pickling and canning, and jars of his craft are available for sale.
All in all, it sounds like a wickedly fine recipe for success!
The Braywick Bistro & Wine Bar
244 Dundas Street, London
Mary Ann Colihan writes about the environment and sustainable food systems. She co-authored a book on farmers’ markets and is at work on a book about the Kingsmill’s Department Store.