Culinary News

The Buzz: July / August 2019

The Editors
Written by The Editors

In Memoriam

Joel Pastorius
The Root Cellar, On The Move Organics, London Brewing

Contributed by Ellie Cook

It’s with great sadness that we share that Joel Pastorius passed away unexpectedly on May 30th. Joel has been a core team member, co-owner and leader in our organization since the very early years, and more than that, he’s part of our family. We’re devastated and shaken by his loss, as we know are all who knew him.

Joel was a proud co-owner of On the Move Organics and founding member of The Root Cellar and London Brewing Co-operative. As a group, we wouldn’t be where we are today without Joel’s unfailing work ethic, quiet stubborn drive, and big-hearted spirit. Over the past eight years, Joel filled every position: from bread baker to pizza chef, from bike deliverer to newsletter author, from bottle filler to punny beer namer. Joel was always there when he was needed, and he tirelessly supported his team. Joel’s work propelled London’s local organic food movement forward. He will be greatly missed.

Thank you for your support,
Ellie, Jeff and Aaron


London

Anita Stewart is University of Guelph’s first food laureate, a cookbook author and culinary activist, and President of Food Day Canada, highlighting the diversity of Canadian terroir. Food Day Canada is an annual celebration of our homegrown cuisine. The first event was held on August 2, 2003, when Stewart launched The World’s Longest Barbecue in support of the cattle and beef industry, which had been affected by cross border sanctions due specifically to the BSE crisis (mad cow disease). The event was larger and more widespread than anyone could have imagined, with participants from across Canada, as well as Canadians living abroad. Since then Food Day Canada has evolved into an annual mid-summer celebration held on the Saturday of the August long weekend. fooddaycanada.ca 

Chef Dave Lamers and Rob D’Amico’s Abruzzi Ristorante has a new lunch menu with all dishes $20 or less. Lamers also told us the restaurant will soon be Feast ON certified. Their new project in Hyde Park, Taverna 1331, is well underway. They hope to be open by early fall. 119 King Street, 519- 675-9995, abruzzi.ca

The Slow Food Chefs Alliance is a network uniting chefs around the world who are committed to defending biodiversity, traditional gastronomic skills and local cultures and supporting virtuous food producers. chefsalliance.ca

Nick Baird and Adil Ahmad’s long-awaited Beerlab! has opened next door to Milos Craft Beer Emporium. The venue boasts a 25-patron capacity with seating at “live-edge planks-cum-tables” that fold into the wall, to allow additional space when brewing. In season, a glass garage door will open up most of the front of Beerlab!, with seating for an additional 14 patrons on a small street-side patio. 420 Talbot Street, beerlab.com

Powerhouse Brewing Company is family-owned and operated, using quality, Canadian-made equipment. It recently celebrated its grand opening. Powerhouse offers tours, tastes and memorable experiences in the revitalized The Factory, in Old East Village. 100 Kelloggs Lane, 519-200-5129, powerhousebrewery.beer

Yam Gurung believes in cooking, eating, and serving fresh, home-style food using natural, healthy and tasty ingredients. He caters to the tastes of his customers as Momos on Saturday and Sundays at The Market at Western Fair District. Yam has a second location at the Food Incubator at Dundas and Adelaide in Old East Village. Momos, originating in Nepal and Tibet, are meat- or vegetable-filled dumplings. Yam’s momos are hand-made, with local flour-based casings filled with chicken, pork or veggie mix. They are served with Yam’s tomato, coriander and garlic sauce. momosatthemarket.com

Just in time for the warm weather that was so long coming, Willie’s Café, Glen Farms, the Keto Sweetery and Urban Oven are pleased to announce that their shared space at 630 Dundas St., the Food Incubator, is now air conditioned! In-the-know diners and shoppers have made this foodie enclave a regular destination. Now you can enjoy a visit in cool comfort. williescafeandcatering.com

Chef Josh Sawyer’s and Elaine Sawyer’s Wich is Wich has relocated to the former Willie’s Café, on Wellington south of Oxford, but serving the same great sandwiches (global flavours, exotic ingredients, and textural contrasts). They are adding a weekend brunch Saturday and Sunday, and dinners Tuesday through Saturday. They will also offer catering, grab and go. 731 Wellington St., (Wellington & Piccadilly) 519-860-9424, wichiswich.ca

Hey, Cupcake! will be on the move this fall. The popular family-run “cupcakerie” will remain at Wharncliffe and Oxford until Labour Day, when it will shift to  the innovative energy-efficient new West 5 development at 1305 Riverbend Road. heycupcake.ca

The In Home Chef has recently partnered with London caterer Sebastian’s, and relocated to newly refurbished premises. 220 Adelaide St. South, 519 686-7201, theinhomechef.ca

Growing Chefs! Ontario is proud to invite you into its headquarters at 460 King Street. Part children’s education facility, part event venue, it is a truly flexible and versatile space, ready to host your next event. The social enterprise business model generates funds to support the School Project initiative, which allows local school children to benefit from the teachings of professional chefs and educators and to develop wholesome, healthy eating habits. The website includes all upcoming events, current education projects and how you can reach out and help. growingchefsontario.ca 

Michelle Pierce Hamilton of The Tea Lounge will be participating in the new Richmond District “3rd Thursdays” starting June 20th (and every third Thursday of the month until further notice). The Tea Lounge will be hosting a Singer/Songwriter & Chai night, “Nashville style”, from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring local artists and offering a big batch of Pierce-Hamilton’s signature “Rajputs Chai” with her own personal spin to make it higher in absorbable antioxidants and nutrients. 268 Piccadilly St., 519-601-8327, tealoungelondon.com

Lavery Culinary Group’s team of culinary insiders brings together groups of visitors for intimate, immersive culinary and cultural experiences where they experience hands-on and behind the scenes the passion of our local artisans and creators. Attend one of their culinary pop-ups, cooking classes or dinners or take a Tasting Tour of the Covent Garden Market. They offer an interactive culinary and cultural tour centred on and around the Forks of the Thames with partners such as Museum London, Rhino Bakery & Lounge and Eldon House. Or simply explore London’s dynamic culinary scene with an insider. laveryculinarygroup.ca 

Bake Shop Studio in Wortley Village recently expanded its hours. You can visit Kate and her creative team (check out the inspiring gallery on their website or Instagram) Wednesday–Friday from 11am–4pm, and on Saturdays from 10am–3pm. 145 Wortley Road (Upper) bakeshopstudio.com

Have you tried one of the many house-made desserts at Radu Rotariu’s new southend Bocconcini? Chef Chris Taylor’s culinary team is known for its silky, delectable tiramisu. It’s a great pick-me-up, and the perfect way to finish off your meal. 1140 Southdale Road West and Boler Rd., 519-601-7799

Palasad Social Bowl reopened earlier this year after a six-month renovation and refurbishment. It offers craft cocktails, a variety of local beer, a top-notch Caesar (a smoky spin on the classic) and a from-scratch small plate menu with pub grub items like wings, sliders, tacos, nachos, poutine and croquettes, as well as a twist on its famous wood oven pizza. 777 Adelaide Street North, 519-645-7164, socialbowl.ca

Afternoon tea on the beautiful grounds of Eldon House, overlooking the Thames River, returns July 2 through August 25, Tuesday through Sunday. Light Tea is $15 (incl. HST) per person and includes a scone with butter and jam, fresh fruit and a small dessert item. Full Tea is $26 per person and includes tea sandwiches, a scone with butter and jam, fresh fruit and a variety of dessert items (24 hour advanced registration). 481 Ridout St. North, eldonhouse.ca 

More than just a coffee shop, the Cream Beanery Café offers 24 rotating gelato flavours including Keto, Dairy Free, Vegan and Gluten Free. Something for everyone! Take out containers in ½ litre and 1 litre sizes are available. 825 Southdale Road West, 519-652-1607. Cream Beanery Café is also excited to announce that they are opening a second location in Mount Brydges — formely O-Joe Coffee Café — at 22469 Adelaide Road. Congratulations! 

Porcino is reopening at its original location at 1700 Hyde Park Road. Promising the same great favourites from Chef Gino Parco as before —the wood-burning pizza oven is back — look for classic pastas, paninis, pizzas and more. porcinolondon.ca

The focus at Gregg and Justin Wolfe’s Los Lobos is on platos pequeños (small plates). They predominate on a menu of Mexican-inspired fare with a contemporary twist. The menu shares the love for tacos but also covers a take on classics. We love the chilaquiles (corn tortillas cut in quarters and lightly fried) with mole, questo blando, and cilantro. The crispy cornmeal battered jalapeños rellenos stuffed with Monterey Jack and served with red salsa or mole sauce are sensational. There is a no reservation policy but plenty of seating on the spacious patio. 580 Talbot Street, London, 519 601-8226

Since 1989 Fellini Koolini’s has been serving Italian and Mediterranean inspired foods. They strongly believe that a great dining experience combines excellent food with a relaxed comfortable ambience — an atmosphere where one can sit back and explore a large selection of wine along with made-from-scratch pastas, thin crust pizzas, bite-sized pinchos (tapas) along with interesting entrées. Don’t forget the signature brown butter Brussels sprouts with Parmigiana-Reggiano and pistachios. The patio next door at The Runt Club is one of London’s best-known secrets. 155 Albert Street, London, 519-642-2300, fellinikoolinis.com 

The Root Cellar remains committed to working with local, organic, and sustainably-focused farms in Southwestern Ontario. Through On the Move Organics, the worker-owners have forged meaningful relationships and continue to expand the network of organic farmers and producers they work with. The ingredients of the from-scratch menu offerings, with ever-changing specials, are all organic (with minor exceptions), and procured from the local farming community. All of the produce and ingredients in the restaurant’s dishes are certified organic, with 80% local in season. 623 Dundas Street, London, 519-719-7675, rootcellarorganic.ca 

Eduard Nagy and Anita Tasonyi’s landmark Budapest Restaurant features a new patio with a stunning retractable canopy. Signature dishes include a variety of superb schnitzels, chicken paprikash, goulash and iconic Hungarian cabbage rolls. 348 Dundas Street, 519-439-3431, budapestrestaurant.net

Now that Blackfriars Bridge has reopened, it’s a perfect time to return to Betty Heydon’s acclaimed Blackfriars Bistro. One of the city’s most respected caterers, the culinary team at Blackfriars prepares innovative, seasonal blackboard specials with cutting-edge menus that respect tradition. Be sure to try Betty’s signature savoury Stilton cheesecake with heritage greens — it’s a classic. 46 Blackfriars St., 519-667-4930, blackfriarsbistro.com

Chef Matt Reijnen and Jessica Washburn’s Pizzeria Madre is situated in a 130-year-old building on Wellington Street and offers an exceptional dining experience. This licensed, casual contemporary pizzeria is sophisticated and nicely appointed with high ceilings, tile floors, picture windows, whitewashed walls and a partially open kitchen. The bar and tables were custom-made from locally-sourced pine. There are two chalkboards featuring beers and specialty cocktails. 111 Wellington St., 519-432-4333, pizzeriamadre.wixsite.com/book

Looking for help with an event this summer? Marshalls Pasta Mill & Bakery, a family-owned restaurant, caterer and retail store of home-made pasta, house-made sausage, salads and other Italian specialties, has you covered. 580 Adelaide Street N., 519- 672-7827, marshallspastacatering.ca

It isn’t too late to make your favourite wine for the summer season. Somerset Fine Wines & Gifts have rosés, sangrias, whites and reds. The staff is knowledgeable and happy to help. 150 Exeter Rd, 519-652-3998, somersetfinewines.com

Restaurateur Joe Duby and Chef Cynthia Beaudoin of Gnosh have established an appreciative clientele by creating a welcoming ambience where patrons can enjoy a glass of wine or a signature cocktail at the bar, a couple of small plates, or a full dining experience, in a casual yet stylish setting (the former Blu Duby premises). Gnosh is an unpretentious restaurant celebrating honest food and wine, with a sophisticated atmosphere and friendly service. Check out the patio for al fresco dining. 125 Dundas Street (with another entrance off Covent Garden Market Place) 519-601-8050, gnoshdining.com 

Pastry Chef Michelle Lenhardt of Rhino Lounge and Bakery recently won in the Finger Food/Chocolate category at the recent “Elles sont Food, and You?” event in Toronto. The competition is open to women chefs, sous-chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and food entrepreneurs living in Ontario and involved in the gastronomy scene. The culinary competition is an event organized by the Consulate General of France in Toronto in partnership with the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Management at Ryerson University. The goal for the participants is to showcase the culinary culture of Ontario and/or France by creating the best cocktail party possible. For this, they relied on the specificity of French culinary culture but also on the diversity and richness of Ontario cuisine with the objective of showcasing the best local Canadian and/or French ingredients. ellessontfoodandyou.ca 

Union Ten Distilling Co. in Old East Village is officially open. 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 experience unique live entertainment. 656 Dundas Street. unionten.ca

Join London artist Ron Benner at his garden installation As the Crow Flies for a corn roast at Museum London. Part sculpture, part installation, and part performance, this free event will feature Benner’s roving corn-roasting wagon, Maiz Barbacoa. Enjoy the acoustic sounds of Frank Risdale while eating freshly roasted corn on the cob. Sunday August 18, from 1–4pm.

London Bicycle Café recently celebrated its second anniversary. 35 Clarence Street, 226-289-2670 

Stereo Caliente Entertainment will host the annual Colombian Gastronomy Festival on the Covent Garden Market Square July 20 from 4pm–midnight. All are welcome for authentic Colombian food, the unique flavour of Latin music and tasty cold beer.

Stratford

“These are exciting times for downtown Stratford, with more new and interesting businesses, condo development, and a great interest in being in the heart of the city,” says Steve Walters, Creative Director of The Hub Fine Foods & Market on Market Square. The Hub is a corner shop with a café and bar, and features prepared take-away food, a bakery, a butcher and a market with staples like milk and bread and cheese that you can grab with your glass of crémant and a croissant, or a beer and borscht. A true believer in details, customer service and quality, Fine Foods & Market is a welcome destination for the food enthusiast”. 31 Market Place, 519-508-2337

The Planet Diner, with candy-apple red upholstered booths and a 50s vibe, is warm and welcoming, with enthusiastic and well-informed staff. Owner Dee Christensen says, “This is where herbivores can bring their carnivore friends.” Most items on the menu are derived from plant-based ingredients, but there are meat-based options. There’s just nothing like the Chick’un B urger made in-house with vegan buffalo butter. We are fond of the cashew-based banana split. 118 Downie Street, theplanetdiner.com

Do you want to attend a world-class event that showcases and supports local agriculture and features tastings, pairings and delicious garlic dishes? Then mark your calendar for the Stratford Kiwanis Garlic Festival, September 7-8. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates or go to stratfordgarlicfestival.com 

The Slow Food Perth County Sunday Market runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Market Square at City Hall. You’ll find local produce, breads, soups, sweets, crafty things, lacto-fermented foods, cheese, grass-fed meats, and garden seeds. slowfoodperthcounty.ca 

Stratford Farmers’ Market, a year-round market operating since 1855, offers fresh produce, crafts, meat and cheese at Stratford Rotary Complex-Agriplex, 353 McCarthy Rd, Saturdays 7 am–12 noon. 519-271-5130. www.stratfordfairgrounds.com 

Stratford Tourism released the 2019 Bacon and Ale Trail with a tasting of the latest brews at Black Swan Brewery, the first craft brewery to participate on the trail. Jobsite Brewing and Shakespeare Brewing Company also offer exploratory flights on the trail. More tasty ways to enjoy this inspirational pairing includes Jalapeno Poppers paired with an Ontario craft beer at Boar’s Head Pub and two styles of artisan bacon paired with a local craft beer at Mercer Kitchen and Beer Hall. Delicious bacon or ale inspired soups from Soup Surreal, farm-raised McCully’s Hill Farm bacon, juicy Bacon Burgers from Best Little Pork Shoppe and Maple Bacon Onion spread or Bacon Caesar dressing from Bradshaws can be taken home to enjoy. And, of course, there is dessert! Madelyn’s amazing award-wining butter tarts and Black Angus Catering & Bakery’s bacon shortbread will make your mouth water, while take away snacks perfect for sharing include Rocky Mountain Chocolate’s bacon or craft beer toffee caramels and Small-Mart General Mercantile’s bacon-flavoured jelly beans! Finally, or maybe first, you’ll want to pick up your “beer pig” mug at Got It Made and natural beer soap with a quirky BeerMo bottle moustache at Treasures. You’ll be smiling all along the trail with these fun additions. Choose five of the 15 bacon and ale inspired treats. Meet local brewers, artisans, bakers, and food purveyors. Present one voucher at each of your selected stops for one treat within seven days of purchase. Purchase trails at Stratford Tourism, 47 Downie Street.

The Livery Yard is a great place for coffee and light refreshments in a stunning setting on the opposite corner to the Avon Theatre. 104 Downie Street.

If you love cats then you’ll love Stratford’s new The Alley Cat Cafe, opening soon at the corner of Market Place and Downie Street (previously Pizza Pizza.) alleycatcafe.ca

Around Our Region

Chef Eric Boyar’s sixthirtynine in Woodstock delivers a homegrown Oxford County “from scratch” farm-to-table Feast On certified experience. Dedicated to building and nurturing strong personal relationships with farmers and producers, Boyar travels straight to the source to procure items for his Oxford-County-driven menus. Boyar’s Chef’s Table is set right in the heart of the kitchen, with seating for up to four guests. Tasting menus with optional wine pairings are available upon request. 639 Peel Street, Woodstock, 519-536-9602, sixthirtynine.com

You’ll walk in the shoes of local cheese maker, Shep Ysselstein, when you get a behind-the-scenes look at Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese. Gunn’s Hill’s latest experience, Affinage 101, explores the art of aging cheese. You’ll get a chance to see what happens after the curds and whey have been separated and the wheels have been pressed. You’ll learn how aging a wheel affects the taste profile and the care that goes into this part of the cheese making process. Want to book your spot in an Affinage 101 experience? Head over to gunnshillcheese.ca. 

Hessenland Inn is celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2019 while welcoming their next chapter: the opening of their boutique vineyard, Schatz Winery. Hessenland’s popular Mongolian Grill — garden-side dining — is back for a 12th season. Every Thursday evening through July and August, Mongolian Grill offers a delicious opportunity for guests to design their own signature dish from the freshest ingredients. Curate your plate and let Chef Frank Ihrig and his crew grill and season your dish to perfection at the outdoor grilling station. “Wein and Dine Wednesdays” (July 17 & August 14) feature long table dinners in the vineyard, with live music and special menus paired with fine local wines. Reservations required. hessenland.com

We are hearing great reports about the menus and ambience at Jordi Carr and Natalie Crittenden’s Harris Electric Eatery in St. Marys. Here’s an enticing way to support underprivileged boys in the Dominican Republic (DR) while enjoying an exciting night of Dominican-inspired food, drink and music. Harris Electric Eatery is hosting a community fundraising dinner for InspireDR on Sunday, August 18. There will be two seatings (5 and 7:30pm). Tickets are $50 each for dinner, dessert and a welcome cocktail. 519-914-8811, 159 Queen St. E., St. Marys, harriselectriceatery.com

We love to pop by Streamliners Espresso Bar in St. Thomas for their hand-brewed Las Chicas Del Café coffee and fresh pastries. The Specialty Coffee Association of Canada recently announced that Anderson Hall at the CASO Station will be the location for 2020 Eastern Qualifiers of Canada’s National Barista Championship September 8–10. Maria Fiallos of Las Chicas Del Cafe and Streamliners spearheaded the effort to bring this exciting event to St. Thomas from. The event is appropriately nicknamed “Steam.” 767 Talbot Street, St. Thomas, 519-631-0999

Steelhead Food Co. recently opened its own processing facility with a Fish and Seafood Market offering fresh locally-processed fish. Located in St. Thomas, Steelhead provides a selection of premium quality fish and seafood — fresh, frozen, and smoked. 5 Barrie Blvd, St. Thomas, 226-237-3474, steelheadfoodco.ca

The lavender will be blooming later this year, right through July, in the serene gardens of Steed & Co. Lavender just outside Sparta in Elgin County. The annual Lavender Fairy Festival will be held on Saturday, August 10, from noon to 4pm, with an afternoon filled with fairy fun and lore. Don’t forget your wings! Pirates are also always welcome. Children $5, parents and grandparents are free. 47589 Sparta Line, steedandcompany.com

Alton Farms Estate Winery has extended its hours, and is now open Wednesday–Sunday, noon–6pm. On July 6 a pig roast will feature Cowbell Brewing Co., Stonepicker Brewing Co. and cheeses from Great Lakes Goat Dairy. This family-friendly event will offer various activities, live music, hiking opportunities, and more. 5547 Aberarder Line, Plympton-Wyoming, 519-899-2479, altonfarmestatewinery.com   

We want your BUZZ! 

Do you have culinary news or upcoming events that you’d like us to share? 

Every issue, Eatdrink reaches more than 50,000 readers across Southwestern Ontario in print, and thousands more online. 

Get in touch with us at editor@eatdrink.ca 

Submission deadline for the next issue: August 5

About the author

The Editors

The Editors