Culinary News

The Buzz: May / June 2019

The Editors
Written by The Editors

London

The goal of the Culinary Federation of Chefs & Cooks is to unite chefs and cooks across Canada in a common dedication to professional excellence. The Federation was founded in 1963 and incorporated in Ottawa as a non-profit association in 1972. Throughout its history as Canada’s largest federally chartered professional chefs’ organization, the name of the federation has undergone several changes to recognize the chef’s continually changing role in the kitchen and education. Membership in the Culinary Federation is available to any and all persons with career paths as a Cook Apprentice, Journeyman Cook, Professional Chef/Cook or Culinary Professional. culinaryfederation.ca

Congratulations to Vanessa and Pete Willis of The Church Key Bistro-Pub. Downtown London’s landmark restaurant with farm-to-table cuisine and an impressive selection of wine and craft beers is celebrating 10 years in business on May 1. 476 Richmond St. 519-936-0960, thechurchkey.ca

We’re crazy for the gnocchi at Radu Rotariu’s recently opened Bocconcini at Southdale and Hyde Park Road. Chef David Taylor’s pillowy potato dumplings with braised beef, cabernet and wild mushrooms are authentic and classic Italian cuisine. The manicotti is out of this world and the silky tiramisu otherworldly. 1140 Southdale Road West, 519 601-7799

Eduard Nagy and Anita Tasonyi have taken over operations at London’s landmark Budapest Restaurant. Signature dishes include a variety of superb schnitzels, chicken paprikash, goulash and iconic Hungarian cabbage rolls. The restaurant has long served as one of the city’s quintessential European restaurants for dining out. The family-run restaurant offers banquet facilities and is available for lunch and dinner parties, celebrations, business meetings, and weddings. There is a seasonal street-side patio. 348 Dundas Street, 519-439-3431, budapestrestaurant.net

Angelina & Carmine Ianni, formerly of Pasquales, opened C’Angelina and retail prepared foods and fresh meats as well as offering family-style catering — including BBQ whole pigs. Check out the sausage making classes. You also will find them at London festivals this summer and at the Pinery Market in Grand Bend. 426 Third St, Tuesday–Friday, 1–6 p.m. facebook.com/cangelinameatcatering/

Aroma of India owner Venkat Matta and chef Sunil Kumar offer well-seasoned Indian cookery with plant-based, lamb, chicken and shrimp dishes at different levels of spice. We like the crisp onion bhajias and spicy Chana Masala. There are varieties of locally-brewed Coolindia featuring traditional Sanskrit names on offer. Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays, 350 Dundas Street, 519-601-5353, aromaofIndia.ca

Olha and Anatolii Prytkova’s family-owned Happiness Coffee and Desserts, on Wellington Street across from One London Place, features European-style coffee and scratch baking, including seasonal and specialty cakes, macarons, cupcakes and chocolates. The name Happiness comes from when the Prytkovas were home in Ukraine. A friend bought a box of cakes that Olha had baked and said it was like a box of happiness, and the name stuck. 430 Wellington St., 519-204-2854

Edo Peljhi of Garlic’s of London is this year’s recipient of the Fanshawe College Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts award for Industry Supporter of the Year. There is tremendous demand for trained hospitality professionals across the globe, and Fanshawe’s programs provide a solid foundation to set participants on a career path that could take them anywhere in the world.

“Elles sont Food, and You?” 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, 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 will have to rely not only 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

The 2019 Hospitality Awards Gala, presented by the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association›s London Region, will take place at the London Convention Centre on June 17. londonhospitalityawards.com

There are plenty of changes for brothers Gregg and Justin Wolfe this spring. Originally, the Wolfe brothers had planned to refigure the recently closed Wolfe of Wortley space to build a new pizzeria, but after finding the London Pride Fish and Chips on Chester Street at Ridout vacant, they altered their vision. They will now be opening the pizzeria which they will call Through Thick and Thin in the London Pride space. More recently, they opened a smaller incarnation of The Early Bird — their iconic downtown diner — known as the Little Bird Café in the former Wolfe of Wortley space. The brothers had already taken over the former premises of the Village Harvest Bakery next door and plan to expand and rebrand as The Wolfe Pack Company Bar.  The brothers also own and operate Los Lobos — think modern Mexican flavours, with innovative riffs and ideas with lots of cool Mexican imagery and local references. London watches for their next moves with great interest!

We popped by Wortley Village’s hospitable Bake Shop Studio to visit owner Kate St Laurent and her hospitable crew.  This boutique bakery specializes in beautiful, made-from-scratch cakes and pastries. When they aren’t baking they offer hands-on baking classes and mentorship for artisan bakers. They are open Thursday and Friday 11-4pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm. A selection of small pastries and cupcakes are available to purchase for walk-in clients. One of London’s well-kept secrets, the bakery is located upstairs at 145 Wortley Rd. bakeshopstudio.com

From Pottage to Pinperneau: The Eldon House Cookbooks. This exhibit will display and interpret several historical cookbooks in the museum’s collection and elaborate on the origins, uses and terminology of these wonderful examples of social history. The Eldon House Collection holds several books of cookery — from printed materials to hand inscribed “receipt” books. Historical cookbooks contain more than just tips on turning a “joint of meat to perfection;” they are encyclopedias of domestic advice, encompassing recipes for home remedies and medicinal treatments as well as delicious desserts. June through November.

Afternoon tea on the beautiful lawn of Eldon House, overlooking the Thames River, returns July 2 through August 25, Tuesday through Sunday. Light Tea is $15.00 (incl. HST) per person and includes a scone with butter and jam, fresh fruit and a small dessert item. Full Tea is $26.00 (incl. HST) 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 

If you love beer and grilled foods you can’t ask for a better place to enjoy the true tastes of summer than at the London Beer and BBQ Show on June 14 and 15. Highlights for this year include unique BBQ and Beer flavours — grill experts are on hand with live cooking demonstrations. Watch the eatdrink.ca website for more updates on this show, which has earned a permanent spot on the June calendar. New this year: Saturday will be divided into an afternoon and an evening show. Admission includes a performace by rockers Sloan on Friday night, and country favourites The Reklaws on Saturday night. westernfairdistrict.com/beer-bbq-show

Willie’s Café continues to grow and thrive in the London Food Incubator at 630 Dundas and will be celebrating two years at the new location at the beginning of June. Ian Kennard has expanded the seating with more tables, comfy chairs and a new cozy dining area. There is inexpensive municipal parking off of Queens Ave. and customers are welcome to use the entrance accessible from the parking lot. Check out some of the new menu items, including house-made sodas, lemonades and specialty desserts. Willie’s continues to provide catering services with a focus on office/corporate lunches. willescafeandcatering.com

The outdoor Farmers’ Market at Covent Garden Market is held on Saturdays from 8 a.m.–1p.m., through to December. New this year is a Night Market on Thursdays from 4–7p.m.

LULU Magazine invites you to enjoy The Latin American Festival. Experience Latin American art, music, rhythms and iconic Latin American food in the Covent Garden Market Square. There will be a Salsa and Bachata contest. Saturday, June 1, 2–11p.m.

FIESTA London Mexican Festival brings the sounds, culture and tastes of Mexico to Downtown London outside in the Covent Garden Market Square. Sunday, June 2, 11a.m.–9 p.m. 

The London Multicultural Festival is a colourful and family-friendly event offering an opportunity to have a great time with your family and friends. Enjoy the diversity, visit the multi-cultural displays, watch the performers and taste globally-inspired food at Covent Garden Market Square. Sunday June 9, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. 

The Saturday and Sunday Market at Western Fair is a popular destination for chefs, cooks and food enthusiasts in search of a wide variety of artisanal products and seasonal ingredients. Market-goers love the Market because they can buy high-quality, farm-fresh goods directly from the person who produced them, and can find unique products not available elsewhere in the city. The second floor Artisans’ Market features over 40 permanent vendors and a rotating roster of weekly market table vendors providing friendly personalized service. Experience a variety of artisans’ products from the culinary arts to the fine arts. westernfairdistrict.com/market

Recently opened Mint Leaves Indian Kitchen is geared to serving speedy dine-in or takeaway cuisine. The owners bring some of the best authentic Indian cuisines to London. We loved the fiery Rogan Josh with tender morsels of beef, the savoury Chicken Biryani and the succulent Lamb Masala. The chickpea flour pakoras are crisp and melt in your mouth. Mint Leaves serves properly prepared Dosa (a type of crepe made from fermented batter) that is stuffed with potato and served with two varieties of chutney and sambar. 1080 Adelaide St. N., 519-601-9494

The menu at TG’s Addis Ababa Restaurant features an outstanding offering of elaborately spiced and perfectly prepared Ethiopian specialties from the East African culinary canon. Be sure to put TG›s Ethiopian breakfast on your list for a great culinary adventure on Sundays. 465 Dundas Street (at Maitland), 519-433-4222, tgsaddisababarestaurant.com

Billy’s Deli has been a downtown landmark for over 30 years. For lunch, specialty deli sandwiches like the quintessential Reuben and Montreal smoked meat are made with a quarter pound of meat, warm and sliced off the brisket. Interesting daily blackboard specials are enticing and add seasonality to the extensive menu. Billy’s is known for the baking and we love the Potato Latke Breakfast with Octoberfest sausage, two eggs, toast, apple sauce and sour cream. 113 Dundas Street at Talbot, 519-679-1970

At Waldo’s on King Bistro & Wine Bar, chef/owner Mark Kitching’s talented culinary brigade offer traditional bistro-style selections. This is where you will find the best organic burger in town. Uber-bartender Greg Simpson rocks the bar at Waldo’s several nights a week. 130 King Street, (Covent Garden Market) 519-433-6161

The London Food Truck Association is now booking for spring and summer events. Reach out for more information or to find the weekly schedule. facebook.com/londonfoodtrucks/ 

PC Cooking Schools at Superstore offer one-hour weekly daytime “What’s for Dinner?” classes on Thursdays, Oxford and Gammage 12:30-1:30 p.m.; Oxford and Hyde Park Road 1-2 p.m. Both locations offer a schedule of evening classes that run 6:30-8:30 p.m. Gammage location: “Gluten-Free Seafood Sensations” with Ankita Vaidya on May 7;”Dinner and a Book Club – The Nest” (Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney) with Chef Barbara Toomer on May 14; “Early Summer BBQ Favourites” with PC Cooking School Chef on May 28; “Fruitful Dining” with Chef Jamie Chows on June 4; “PC Summer Insiders Collection” on June 11; and “Celebrate Like the Masters” with Van Houtte Coffee on June 13, 6:30-8:30 pm. Hyde Park location: “Street Foods of Egypt” with Paul Abeleira on May 7; “Early Summer BBQ Favourites” with PC Cooking School Chef on May 24; “Quick but Delicious French Stews” with Chef Barbara Toomer on May 27; “PC Summer Insiders Collection” on June 7; “Celebrate Like the Masters” with Van Houtte Coffee on June 10; and “East meets West Indian Fusion” with Ankita Vaidya on June 25.

Stratford

Stratford Tourism Alliance (STA) celebrates #nextgen chefs in the 25th edition of the Stratford Culinary Guide, a staple for restaurants, pubs, cafés, food shops and producers in Stratford and area. It continues to be a go-to source for culinary information in Stratford. The guide was officially launched at a pop-up event at Richmond Station in Toronto, owned by Stratford Chefs School’s graduates and partners, Ryan Donovan and Carl Heinrich. Eatdrink magazine, Food Editor Bryan Lavery and other media guests were treated to tastes created by Stratford Chefs School alumni by Jamie Crosby of The Prune, Meaghan Evely and Vincent Stacey from Pazzo Taverna & Pizzeria and Ryan O’Donnell of Mercer Hall. Craft beverages were served by Junction 56 Distillery and Black Swan Brewing Company. The 2019 guide features 12 #nextgen Stratford chef photos in the print version which is available at Stratford Tourism, local accommodators and Ontario Travel Centres. Thirty-seven restaurants, food shops and producers from Stratford and area are featured in the guide. A digital version of the guide is available online VisitStratford.ca/culinaryguide 

The Stratford Blues & Ribfest will be kicking off the summer June 21 to 23. This is an outdoor family-friendly gathering with slow-cooked BBQ and all types of Blues music in support of the Boy Scouts and Girls Guides. Licensed beverages will be available at the bandshell area. stratfordbluesandribfest.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. stratfordgarlicfestival.com

Chef Kris Schlotzhauer and Pastry Chef Suzy Schlotzhauer recently changed operating hours to offer dinner service at  AO Pasta. Dine inside or on the patio or order take-out. aopasta.com

The Mill Stone Restaurant & Bar features seasonally-inspired lunch, dinner and late-night menus using many locally procured ingredients. A couple of back tables overlook the Avon River, and there is a small street-side patio. This year the restaurant features a late night pop-up snack bar with a Lao-inspired menu on Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Yes, the kitchen is open till 2a.m.). 30 Ontario St., Stratford, 519-273-5886, themillstone.ca

Anne Campion of Revel is committed to the core values of social justice and serves ethically and sustainably produced direct trade coffee. She can be seen pulling espresso shots or making consistently perfect cortados at Revel, her busy coffee shop off Stratford’s Market Square. “Our desire to be for the good of our community, both locally and globally, informs all our decisions,” says Campion. Launched with the assistance of just two staff, Campion now employs 18. Two pastry chefs now bake all of Revel’s pastries in house, using products from many local farmers. revelstratford.ca

Celebrate the young stars of this year’s Kiwanis Festival of the Performing Arts Stratford. Your family and friends will love the SSO Sunday Brunch Concert Series at Revival House, offering farm fare, craft brews, wine and music. These fundraising events feature local performers in support of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra. Sunday brunch events start at 11:30 a.m.

Revival House is serving up amazing live entertainment this season and offers limited pre-concert preferred seating. Enjoy dinner and the show from your seat! 519-273-3424, revival.house

For 35 years Stratford Chefs School, a not-for-profit career college focused on innovative, hands-on training of high quality, aspiring chefs and culinary entrepreneurs, has set the standard of excellence for culinary training in Canada. In addition to its renowned 32-week professional cookery program, the School recently launched a unique 16-week “Cook: Basic – Level 1 Diploma” program to run June 3–September 20. Teaching the basics of classical cookery and pastry coupled with theory classes focused on cuisine and hospitality, this program is perfect for those embarking on a second career or interested in fast-tracking culinary goals. stratfordchef.com/summer-program

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 a.m.–12 noon. 519-271-5130. www.stratfordfairgrounds.com

Around Our Region
Smashed Tea is Georgian Bay Spirit Co.’s newest launch made with award-winning Georgian Bay Gin Smash and natural black and Darjeeling tea. The first Canadian gin-based hard iced tea, lightly carbonated with a great taste: not too sweet, with fresh citrus notes. Available at the LCBO for $2.95. Making a highly anticipated return to the shelves of the LCBO, the Cranberry Gin Smash is made with award-winning Georgian Bay Gin and is known for its refreshing blend of natural cranberry and citrus flavours. Available at the LCBO for $2.95.

Steelhead Food Co. recently moved into its own processing facility and will soon offer fresh locally processed fish that are cleaned and cut at the Fish and Seafood Market. Based in St. Thomas, Steelhead offers a selection of premium quality fish and seafood — fresh, frozen, and smoked. 5 Barrie Blvd, St. Thomas, 226-237-3474, steelheadfoodco.ca

We are hearing great reports about Jordi Carr and Natalie Crittenden’s recently opened Harris Electric Eatery in the space previously occupied by Little Red’s at 159 Queen Street East in St Marys. harriselectriceatery.com

Alton Farms Estate Winery has extended their hours, and is now open Wednesday through Sunday, 12 noon–6 p.m. The patio will be open when weather permits, with pizza on offer by June 1. altonfarmestatewinery.com

Dino and Carla Dassie of Fat Olive in Dorchester went to Goodfella’s Pizza School in Staten Island, New York, one of the world’s most comprehensive, hands-on pizza schools. They were taught how to make wood-fired pizzas and about owning and operating a restaurant by the world pizza champions, Be sure to make a reservation, Fat Olive is a busy hot-spot. Closed Monday & Sunday, 519-268-0001, fatolive.ca

Udderly Ridiculous, co-founded by Cheryl and Greg Haskett in Oxford County, is a local artisanal company introducing goat’s milk ice cream to frozen dessert lovers across Ontario. Available in six sophisticated flavours “With less naturally occuring sugars and more vitamins and nutrients such as calcium and protein, goat’s milk is a fabulous alternative to cow’s milk ice cream,” says Cheryl Haskett. “Goat’s milk allows us to sustainably provide fresh-from-the-farm ingredients,” adds Greg Haskett. “In addition to farming sustainably and supporting local, ten cents from every tub of our ice cream goes towards buying a goat for a family in need through World Vision.” Udderly Ridiculous will be available at select Sobey’s and Foodland stores, with more distribution channels coming online soon. udderlyridiculous.ca

St. Thomas’s Chef Terrance Tew (Chopped Canada contestant) and Anna Tavares have teamed up to offer The Tipsy Pig — “an authentic roadside BBQ Catering Company.” Housed in a renovated barn, they use local ingredients and traditional wood-fired BBQ techniques. “Elgin County has always amazed us with an abundant amount of producers and products that surround our local community,” says Chef Terrance. “We showcase it the best way we can, with what we affectionately refer to as refined BBQ, combining traditional Southern smoking, modern scratch cooking, and our dedication to hospitality.” They look forward to servicing Elgin County and surrounding areas. 519-319-7980

The Village Teapot is serving Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea on Sunday, May 12, 1—3 p.m. Also on the event schedule are Homestyle Sunday Roasts with all the fixings. Mother’s Day features Roast Lamb, May 26th is Roast Beef and Father’s Day, June 16th is Prime Rib. Reservations required. Licensed with a selection of local wines and beer. 13257 Ilderton Road, Ilderton, 519-298-TEAS (8327), thevillageteapot.ca

Join Ride the Bine for the new tour of Cheese Bites and Beer Flights – a journey through the backroads of Norfolk and Oxford County. Enjoy local tastes as you sip small batch beer and sample an array of fine cheeses – both artisanal and international. Amanda and Susan meet guests at 12:30 p.m. in the Quality Inn parking lot in Woodstock to begin an afternoon adventure of fun.

Keith Muller, chair of Hospitality & Culinary Arts at Conestoga College, told Eatdrink that a Centre of Excellence for Cheesemaker Training is set to launch in Ontario at Conestoga College’s Waterloo campus, in collaboration with the Ontario Dairy Council and French-language College La Cité. The cheesemaker training program will be Ontario’s most extensive hands-on training program, and will address a growing demand for skilled workers and artisans in the dairy processing industry.

Sollgood Social Market kickoff, June 20 in downtown Ingersoll from 6–9 p.m. Artisan vendors, food and beverage trucks, food producers and musicians all from within a 100 km radius. sollgoodsocialmarket.com.    

 

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The Editors

The Editors