Culinary News

The Buzz: January / February 2019

The Editors
Written by The Editors

The London Wine and Food Show, presented by White Oaks Mall, returns with more food, wine and entertainment than ever before. The show brings Londoners an enticing mix of local restaurants, wineries, craft breweries and distillers, and pairs them with tasting seminars, stage presentations and entertainment. Metroland Media Agriplex. January 17-19.

Londonlicious will be running from January 11 to February 3. See the list of participants athttp://londonlicious.ca

Chef Dacha Markovic and Sommelier Brie Dema will be in London in mid-January and February from Fogo Island Inn and are expected to do a few pop-ups while they are in town.

More exciting news in the downtown! Rio Brazilian Steakhouse & Supper Club officially opened in December with uber chefs Geoff Tew and Paul Eadie at the helm. It’s located at 45 King Street at Ridout (former Tru Restaurant premises) on the main floor and lower level of a newly restored Jenkins Seed House building. Doors open for an inspired a la carte lunch menu at 11:30am and their “rodizio” (all-you-can-eat service) starts at 5pm. 45 King Street, 519-850-3509, rio.london

We will miss Lawrence Burden’s Kiss the Cook on Richmond Row.Burdenspent two decades searching for the highest-quality kitchenware from around the world as well as showcasing a variety of top-notch local chefs by offering cooking classes.

Take a stroll a couple of blocks from downtown across the newly-reopened and refurbished Blackfriars’s bridge to Betty Heydon’s 22-year old BlackfriarsBistro. It features innovative blackboard specials with ever-changing seasonally-inspired menus. Planning a party or special event? Partner with the fabulous Blackfriars Bistro & Catering team of professionals to make it a true success. They will take care of all of your food, beverage, and service needs. Call 519-667-4930 or email b.blackfriars@hotmail.com. 46 Blackfriars Street.

Garlic’s of London, the quintessential modern Ontario restaurant, is celebrating a milestone 25th anniversary. Edo Pehilj and chef Alex Martin’s repertoire is influenced by a strong commitment to supporting local and sustainable food and agriculture, and has been instrumental in helping to raise the bar for intelligent and ethical dining in London. Chef Martin had a stroke of genius when he came up with the Duck Confit Grilled Cheese. Made with Clear Creek Farms’ organic duck, taleggio, chèvre, aged cheddar on brioche with quince jam, and caramelized onion. 481 Richmond Street, 519-432-4092, garlicsoflondon.com

Chef Thomas Waite will be hosting a variety of dinners at the In Home Chef, which will include a Slow Food Dinner this winter. Check the Facebook page for updates.

Heatwave Hot Sauce Expo makes its debut Saturday, March 2 at Centennial Hall. Enjoy sampling hot sauces and spicy foods from over 40 internationally acclaimed and independent producers. Tickets to the Expo start at just $7.00.

Mucho Burrito and the Pizza Studio are now open at 750 Richmond at Oxford Street.

Bombay Bistro featuresIndian/ Mexican Fusion and has recently opened at 346 Richmond Street.bombaybistro.ca

Nutritionist and certified tea sommelier, Michelle Pierce Hamilton recently celebrated the second anniversary of Bteas and The Tea Lounge,where patrons can experience exceptional quality, ethically-sourced teas from around the world. Fun and educational tasting events will be held in January and February including Tea Flight Night: Exploring Unique Oolong Teas (January 26); Chinese New Year Food & Tea Pairing (cuisine collaboration with Annie Wang) (February 5) and Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea Service. 268 Piccadilly Street, beteas.com/tea-lounge/

Michelle Pierce Hamilton is also sponsoring London’s first Tea & Kombucha Festival on Saturday, March 30 at the London Public Library Central Branch (Wolf Performance Hall and meeting spaces). The Tea Guild of Canada is a co-sponsor, providing expertise, resources, and volunteers. The spirit of this venture is to grow tea culture by showcasing London and areas’ independent tea and Kombucha businesses. There will be a strong lineup of engaging workshops and speakers to provide valuable and interesting content.

Union Ten Distilling Co. in Old East Village is expected to open soon. The distillery will produce whisky, rye, rum and vodka. The team has also created the Live Edge Kitchen + Bar and the Whiskey Jack Performance Hall. “These are places where people can gather together to eat, drink and laugh about the one that got away or experience unique live entertainment. 656 Dundas Street. unionten.ca

Palasad Social Bowl (tagline “Eat Well. Drink Well. Be Amused.”) has reopened after a 6-month renovation. Palasad features craft cocktails, a variety of local beer and a from-scratch small plate menu with items like wings, sliders, tacos, poutine and croquettes as well as a twist on its famous wood oven pizza. The menu has been curated by the Wolfe brothers of Wolfe of Wortley and Los Lobos. 777 Adelaide Street North, 519-645-7164, socialbowl.ca

Chef Angie Murphy and partner/sommelier Pete Annson are anticipating that Grace, located at the southwest corner of Clarence and Dundas Streets, will be operational sometime in January or February. The cuisine will be modern Canadian, drawing on classic French traditions and techniques, infused with global influences and local flavours. Grace will also feature a certified sommelier on the premises. Be sure to visit the booth at the London Wine & Food Show. facebook.com/graceLDNONT/

Restaurateur Joe Duby launched Gnosh in the former Blu Duby space (with entrances off Dundas Street and Market Lane) to considerable success last fall. Chef Cynthia Beaudoin and her team offer accessible and seasonally evolving menus. A service team of accomplished pros are on hand to attend to your every need. Construction of the newly created flex street is now complete and the area is expected to become a mecca for al fresco diners this summer. 125 Dundas Street, 519-601-8050, gnoshdining.com

Fouzan Beg and Manisay Visouvath, proprietors of Thaifoon, downtown London’s upmarket 38-seat Thai restaurant, are celebrating a 15th year anniversary with a refurbishment of the premises. The secret to their success has been sticking to the basics of good, authentic Thai cooking and offering spicy, sweet and salty but also rich coconut flavours mixed with fresh herbs like kaffir, lime leaves and lemongrass. 120 Dundas Street (east of Talbot), thaifoonrestaurant.com

Jess Jazey-Spoelstra and Chef Andrew Wolwowicz’s stylish Craft Farmacy celebrated a one year anniversary in December. The owners are committed to sourcing and celebrating local Ontario food. In fact, it was London’s first Feast ON certified restaurant. The ever-changing menus focus on craft beer, cocktails, a large selection of fresh oysters and inspired rustic farm-to-table food. Be sure to check out the Sunday Brunch prix fixe menu. 449 Wharncliffe Rd, just north of Baseline, 519-914-2699.

Reverie, the acclaimed and unique 12-seat “tasting menu” restaurant, continues to receive accolades. It showcases a modernist Canadian-focused five-course menu every night from Thursday to Sunday. Owners Jerrah Revilles and Chef Brian Sua-an recently celebrated Reverie’s first anniversary and continue to offer an intimate, immersive, innovative experience with a combination of interesting platings and vibrant flavours. Wine pairings are optional but highly recommended. Reservations required. Piccadilly Street just west of Richmond. reverierestaurant.ca

Cardboard Cafe is celebrating its fourth year in downtown London. In addition to being a full-service and licensed café, it offers an ever-expanding library of board games. 114 Dundas Street, thecardboardcafe.com

Bhan Mudliar, owner of The New Delhi Deli at Covent Garden Market, came to Canada from the Fiji Islands. She attracts legions of loyal followers to her small sit-down counter, and for takeaway, by offering deftly prepared from-scratch Caribbean-Indian specialties seven days a week. Try the jerk chicken, oxtail, curry goat, roti wraps, samosas, seafood, curry chicken, a variety of daily soups and Jamaican patties. There is also a selection of gluten-free, veggie, and vegan options.

The 13th Annual Breakfast for Youth Opportunities Unlimited will be held on February 7.Join over 1,000 business, community and government partners to help address youth’s most pressing needs. Tickets can be purchased as individual seats or for a table of 10. Or choose to donate a seat to a youth.eventbrite.ca/e/13th-annual-breakfast-for-you-tickets-47920156478

Quynh Nhi Vietnamese Restaurant has garnered loyal patronage because of its responsive service, consistency and traditional Vietnamese cuisine. The signature Crispy Spring Roll is offered with chicken, pork, or in a vegetarian version served with fresh mint, lettuce and a chili-lime fish sauce. Take-out and delivery are now available. 55 Wharncliffe Road North,519-850–8878,quynhnhi.ca

Growing Chefs! Ontario, located in the former Auberge Restaurant at King and Maitland, is home to the ground-breaking program that unites chefs, growers, educators and community members in children’s food education projects. The sunrooms, dining rooms and bar have been turned into teaching areas. Upstairs are three rooms that can be used for private functions, corporate meetings and teaching facilities. growingchefsontario.ca

The Lavery Culinary Group is offering its full range of services to both new and existing businesses, including entrepreneurial support, business planning, employee training and more. Culinary marketing services comprise photography, cinematography and visual storytelling, as well as web development. laveryculinarygroup.ca

Michael Naish and Justin Belanger’s Storm Stayed Brewing is a brewpub in the premises once occupied by The Cove restaurant at 169 Wharncliffe Rd. South, andrecently celebrated its first anniversary. stormstayed.com

Dundas & Son’s Brewing, founded by long-time homebrewer Rob Dundas, is now open. The brewery is located at 400 Adelaide North at Dundas Street and opens daily at 1pm with the exception of Mondays. Closing times may vary by day. For more details, see Dundas & Son’s Facebook page.

Check out the self-guided Old East Village Public Art Crawl. oldeastvillage.com

Out of Town

Upper Thames Brewing Co. has opened a second brewery in Woodstock at 190 Fairway Road. The Brickhouse Brewpub is locatedabout 5km from the original brewery and features a new brewhouse, restaurant, and tap room with 24 taps and a seasonal patio. upperthamesbrewing.ca/brewpub/

The Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation (SWOTC) has developed a new and improved website, a communication hub for the tourism industry in the region.

SWOTC wants to celebrate innovation around the region, which means they need you to share and brag. Nominations are open for the 2018 Innovator of the Year Award and 2018 Innovative Experience of the Year Award (both nominations and self-nominations are accepted). These two awards will be celebrated at the SWOTC Conference on March 5 and 6.

After two wins at the Royal Winter Fair (Fontina and Farmstead Emmental both won first place in their categories), the folks at Stonetown Cheese competed at the British Empire Cheese Competition where they were honoured with First Place for Grand Trunk, First Place for Farmstead Emmental and First Place for Farmstead Fontina.5021 Perth County Line 8 (Kirkton Road), St. Marys, stonetowncheese.com

Gunn’s Hill Cheese has been awarded Grand Champion in the Variety Cheese Category for its 5 Brothers, at the Royal Winter Fair’s cheese competition for 2018.445172 Gunn’s Hill Road, Woodstock,gunnshillcheese.ca

Mountainoak Cheese garnered two wins at the Royal Winter Fair (First Place for Wild Nettle and Third Place for Farmstead Smoked). Mountainoak also competed at the British Empire Cheese Competition — Farmstead Gold won First Place in its category, and the Farmstead 3 Year and Goat Gouda won Second Place awards. 3165 Huron Road, New Hamburg, mountainoakcheese.com

Oxford County chocolatier Cindy Walker is a small-town shop owner, a certified tea sommelier, and “The Queen of Ganache.”  As owner and head chocolatier of Ingersoll’s Chocolatea, Cindy crafts hand-cut chocolates with unique, creative flavours and sources a handpicked selection of teas. In her upcoming Truffle Camp workshops participants will have the opportunity to take on the role of chocolatier and step behind the counter to craft a dozen of their own delicious, multi-flavoured truffles alongside Cindy.

St. Thomas has a new option for a quick take-out lunch in the city’s downtown. Chef/owner Cindy Bircham’s Harvest Eats is located at 481 Talbot Street, in the rear unit with an entrance off of Hiawatha Street. Harvest Eats is a sister business to Elgin Harvest Woodfire Pizzeria, which offers locally-sourced soups, stews, sandwiches and sourdough calzones from Wednesday to Friday, from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Chef/owners Klaus Ristanovic and Janet Duncan opened Jake and Humphrey’s Bistro in a charming old housein New Hamburgabout eight years ago. On a recent visit the menu featured butter-seared scallops, herbed goat cheese tart, braised short ribs duck confit, and grilled salmon with Catalan relish. White pumpkin pie with white chocolate curls and homemade ice cream was a knock-out. The house-made bread is also delicious.196 Peel St, New Hamburg, jakeandhumphreys.com

Built in 1868 in elegant Italianate architectural style, Puddicombe House was converted to a restaurant, bed and breakfast, spa and salon in 2004. In 2016 Puddicombe Banquet and Event Hall opened, designed to complement the original building and to accommodate 250 banquet guests. The restaurant seats 60 diners, in three dining rooms. Chef Lance Edwards’s burgers have been voted “The Best Burger in the Waterloo Region.” Baked Trout, seasoned with pomegranate, cranberry, and scallions is a favourite with diners. puddicombehouse.com

Stratford

Old Man & Son opened in December at 75 Wellington Street to phenomenal support from the Stratford community and out-of-towners. No longer will you have to wait until 11:30 to enjoy a delicious breakfast/lunch served up by their team. The restaurant is now open 7am – 2pm Wednesday through Sunday. Go to oldmanandson.comto whet your appetite with the delectable menu, and to find their CRS (Community Supported Restaurant) form to invest in futures.

Stratford Chefs School’s intensive workshops focus on themed recipes with instructor Eli Silverthorne. Take Super Bowl celebrations the whole nine yards this year on January 27. Learn how to make elevated comfort foods including pulled pork sliders on homemade buns with pickles and slaw, no-fuss vegetarian pressure cooker chili, and spinach artichoke dip with garlic toasts. Classes are for students 16 years and older. Participants will be provided with an apron and all necessary tools and equipment. Stratford Chefs School Kitchens, 136 Ontario Street, 519-271-1414, stratfordchef.com/open-kitchen

Stratford Chefs School: International Chef in Residence Series, Carlo Coxon: Under the tutelage of professional chef Carlo Coxon (Grain Store, Edinburgh) students prepare and serve innovative four to six course dinner menus. January 29 to February 2. Stratford Chefs School, 519-271-1414, stratfordchef.com/dinners

Savour Stratford Chocolate Trail, Stratford’s most popular and longest-running trail introduces you to world-famous confectioners and bakers. In time for Valentine’s Day, you’ll get to sample decadent treats and meet the makers who craft these indulgences year round. Enjoy six delicious chocolate tastes for just $30 + HST on your custom designed self-directed route Tuesday–Saturday (Offers limited on Sun & Mon), visitstratford.ca/chocolatetrail

Savour Stratford Maple Trail, from sap to syrup: Stratford’s culinary artisans invite you to sample their maple creations including handmade maple cream chocolates, freshly-roasted maple coffee, locally-crafted maple moonshine and sweet maple walnut crepes. You have never experienced Canada’s liquid gold quite like this! The seasonal spring trail will be available March 1 to April 30. visitstratford.ca/mapletrail/

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The Editors

The Editors