Serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario FREE www.eatdrink.ca PLEASE TAKE ONE BOCK to the Future Artisanal Spring Beer withaHistory JJ’s Bistro in London The Parlour in Stratford Bailey’s Restaurant in Goderich Growing Chefs! Grassroots Gastro Issue • May Stratford’s Spring Specials are delicious! Savour the sounds of courting swans and courting lovers in “West Side Story.” Savour the flavours of spring fresh Perth County produce, heritage meats and cheeses inventively combined into special seasonal menus by our renowned chefs. Savour a luxurious getaway of cuddling and cooing with that special someone. Preview spring in Stratford. From April thru June offering 3 plays for $199, special rates on hotels, inns and B&Bs starting from $99 per night and our celebration of exclusive spring Stratford Delicious menus from $15 for lunch and $30 for dinner. If you are passionate about spring, Stratford is your ideal cultural, culinary and cooing getaway! Visit our web site for offers on places to stay, dine and more Stratford experiences. www.sensuousstratford.com/eatdrink CONTENTS 12 FOOD WRITER AT LARGE Culinary Tourism and Community Building By BRYAN LAVERY RESTAURANTS JJ’s Bistro, in London By CECILIA BUY RESTAURANT SPOTLIGHT Los Comales, in London By BRYAN LAVERY 23 RESTAURANTS The Parlour, in Stratford By CECILIA BUY RESTAURANTS Bailey’s Restaurant, in Goderich By JANE ANTONIAK SPOTLIGHT 32 Grassroots Gastro with Growing Chefs! By MELANIE NORTH RESTAURANT SPOTLIGHT Michelangelo’s, in London By BRYAN LAVERY 43 36 NEW & NOTABLE The BUZZ Compiled by CHRIS McDONELL BUZZ COOKING FROM THE GARDEN A Taste of Spring: Asparagus By CHRISTINE SCHEER SEASONAL SPOTLIGHT In the Pink, with Rhubarb By SUE MOORE 46 50 BOOKS The Fortune Cookie Chronicles By DARIN COOK COOKBOOKS Martha Stewart’s Cooking School and Select Recipes By JENNIFER GAGEL WINE More for Less This Summer By RICK VanSICKLE BEER Bock to the Future: Spring’s Artisanal Beer By THE MALT MONK THE LIGHTER SIDE 52 Brussels Sprouts Sandwich By CLAUDETTE SAUVE-FOY eatdrink ™ RESTAURANTS • RECIPES • WINE • TRAVEL A Food & Drink Magazine Serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario www.eatdrink.ca » A virtual magnet for all things culinary — read the interactive magazine online, find restaurants, read reviews and much more. » At your request, we can send you an “advance notice” email when a new issue is out — more recipes, photos, stories and links. Publisher Chris McDonell — [email protected] Oﬃce Manager Cecilia Buy Advertising Sales Director Diane Diachina — [email protected] Advertising Sales Representatives Jane Antoniak — [email protected] Brad Arthur — [email protected] Jennifer Long — [email protected] Sharon Poole — [email protected] Telephone & Fax 519 434-8349 Mailing Address London Magazine Group 525 Huron Street, London ON N5Y 4J6 News & Feedback [email protected] Contributors Bryan Lavery Cecilia Buy Christine Scheer Chris McDonell Rick VanSickle Sue Moore Melanie North Jane Antoniak Jennifer Gagel Darin Cook Claudette Foy-Sauve Editorial Advisory Board Bryan Lavery Chris McDonald Cathy Rehberg Copy Editor Jodie Renner — www.PolishedProofreading.com Graphic Design & Layout Hawkline Graphics — [email protected] Ann Marie Salvo — [email protected] Website Milan Kovar/KOVNET Printing Impressions Printing St. Thomas ON Copyright © 2009 eatdrink™, Hawkline Graphics and the writers. All rights reserved. Reproduction or duplication of any material published in eatdrink™ or on eatdrinkmag.net™ is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the Publisher. eatdrink™ has a circulation of 10,000 issues published monthly. The views or opinions expressed in the information, content and/or advertisements published in eatdrink™ are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Publisher. The Publisher welcomes submissions but accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material. may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 5 NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER Planting Seeds By Chris McDonell T he most gratifying part of this job is getting thank yous from readers when eatdrink has introduced them to something they’ve enjoyed. Whether we’ve inspired them to try a new restaurant or recipe, told them about an event or gave them a fresh perspective, it’s satisfying to know that we’ve done our job. We aim to celebrate excellence in the local scene, encourage a sustainable, healthy and successful agricultural and culinary economy, and provide a venue for sharing tools, news and opinions related to all aspects of food and drink. Lofty goals. How are we to achieve them? By planting a few seeds every issue. I’m honoured to work with a great crew, all of whom contribute to our success. But it’s our writers to whom I feel most indebted. It’s coming up on two years since I planned the launch of eatdrink, although the notion that a local culinary magazine was a good idea percolated for a decade before that. I bounced the idea off a few friends. All were encouraging but many wondered if it was a good business idea. Relying on advertising sales sounded like a risky proposition, especially as many of them would be in the notoriously volatile restaurant business. My belief, one that I’ve now tested and found true, was that if a magazine has dedicated readers, then it is a good place for advertisers to be. Today, we have a team who care about what we are doing and how we are doing it. Every job is important but our writers are the key to our success and ability to grow. Readers agree that the articles are worth reading and thus magazines are snapped up, read eagerly and used as a resource and reference. We serve our advertisers by serving our readers first. You’ll find some new seeds in this issue, of course, and we’ll have the next issue out mid-June. Remember to support quality with your wallet, and eat and drink well. All the best, Meet Me At Williams! All Day Breakfast Soups Salads Baked Goods Cafe Desserts Chilled Drinks Hot Beverages Gourmet Sandwiches Signature Entrées 578 Richmond St London 519-673-3677 3030 Wonderland Rd S London 519-649-6767 Licensed LLBO (this location only) Artwork By Local Artists On Our Walls 6 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 FOOD WRITER AT LARGE Culinary Tourism and Community Building By Bryan Lavery F or those of you who are reading this magazine for the first time, the objective of this column is to offer an insider’s perspective on London and area cuisine and to contribute to the enthusiasm and dialogue about our local culinary culture — and the evolving restaurant scene in particular — and about what is happening regionally and on the larger stage in the food community. This month, I’m sharing some insights primarily about culinary tourism and community building, with a brief homage to the food writer M.F.K Fisher and a nod to Chef Kevin Greaves’ recently relocated Jambalaya Restaurant. The Stratford Scene Among my favourite times of the year is the opening of the Stratford Festival, which traditionally attracts more than half a million tourists to this food and theatre city. This puts the city of 30,000 in an enviable and unique demographic that culminates in attentive appreciation, drawing loyal theatre-goers and dining zealots back to this region year after year. There are many good reasons that Stratford has such a high density of great restaurants, which I have enumerated and championed in previous columns. Chief among the reasons that Stratford is a culinary destination is the presence of the venerable Stratford Chef’s School. Many talented alumni have stayed on in Stratford, adding cachet and innovation to the city’s food scene. Just days before the theatre season gets underway, I am seated at the Sputnik espresso bar enjoying a café au lait, rereading M.F.K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf, and listening to a group of hip American tourists who are flipping through the pages of the new Stratford dining guide. They are reminiscing about previous visits, discussing their current itinerary and extolling the virtues of the local dining scene with a frisson of self-importance and one-upmanship. The conversation is heated and centers around The Church, Rundles, Pazzo, Bijou and The Old Prune restaurants. It is obvious that this group is made up of serious epicures who share an affinity and infatuation for the local terroir and the bravura performances of world-class actors. As our visitors go on to happily discuss previous visits to the Sun Room, Keystone Alley and Woolfy’s, I resist the temptation to insinuate myself into their conversation and extoll a dining experience that was a gastronomical tour de force at The Old Prune last season. Instead, I finish my beverage and meander over to one of my regular haunts so that I can write a few lines about M.F.K. Fisher for this column. How to Cook a Wolf M.F.K. Fisher is the wry, critically acclaimed author of numerous gastronomically-minded books, several of which are considered literary classics. Her evocative prose, combined with an innate appreciation for food and cuisine, is no ordinary achievement, and helped define intelligent food writing in the twentieth century. How to Cook a Wolf was originally published in 1942, when the harsh impact of the Great Depression was still firmly entrenched in people’s minds, rationing and wartime shortages were at their peak, and financial prudence was the national state of mind. In this book, a collection of essays whose title refers to the idiom “keep the wolf from may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca the door,” Fisher imparts pertinent tips and helpful ideas that are primarily, but not entirely, of a culinary nature. Her musings about daily living provide valuable insights — sometimes unconventional — and she shows us ways to make do, perhaps even prosper, or at least set a fine table, even when “the wolf is at the door.” The common-sense approach of Fisher’s anecdotal conversational narrative, sometimes tinged with irony, other times selfdeprecating, is mostly an insightful antidote to surviving times when money is short, the pantry bare and the spirit depleted. Fisher reminds us that poverty is neither a crime nor a sin, in chapter titles which include: How to be Sage Without Hemlock, How to Boil Water, How to Rise Up Like New Bread and How Not to Boil an Egg. In the chapter How to Keep Alive, Fisher offers an excruciatingly unappetizing recipe, for a dish she rightly refers to as sludge, and whose only meritorious claim is to maintain sustenance in the face of adversity. Particularly thoughtful for these economic times, this slightly dated but still relevant treatise reminds us that providing sustenance entails more than just merely getting food on the table. 7 Culinary Tourism In my last article on the theme of embracing culinary culture, I called upon the local food community to encourage Tourism London to promote our culinary excellence and recognize us as a quality culinary destination in a unique agricultural region. In the ensuing weeks, that appeal has also generated a good deal of discourse on the role that food plays in community building and social interaction. The article elicited a tremendous response, a deluge of e-mails that provoked the desired discussion and debate among members of the food community. In a follow-up to this article, eatdrink was invited to meet with Tourism London to explore opportunities to encourage culinary tourism in our region. These divergent always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 discussions have put us in the unique position of being the collector of various value statements and cultural beliefs about the role that food plays in our community. Culinary tourism is relatively new terminology for a sector of tourism that has reached the tipping point in the last few years, one that links food and beverage with travel. In 2005, the Ministry of Tourism (MTOUR) commissioned a Culinary Tourism Strategy report as a follow-up to the Ontario Wine and Culinary Strategy Report in 2001. In the years succeeding the original 2001 report, a volunteer committee created the Ontario Culinary Tourism Advisory Council (OCTAC), with the mandate to act as advisers to the Ministry on culinary tourism in Ontario. The focus for this report was to produce a number of key strategies that lay the groundwork for a provincial strategy to support regional and local culinary strategies and related activities. New ideas are often controversial, some- times naive, and often benefit from a thorough discussion, constructive critique and ongoing analysis. In an effort to bolster the case for culinary tourism, I have begun to track the most fundamentally sustainable and economically relevant social and cultural forces at work in the culinary sector, and a few key themes are starting to emerge, which I will share in a future column. Meeting with Tourism London gave us further insight into the challenges they face in responding to the competing needs of very diverse and divergent stakeholders (clients). In the past, working with our industry has been compared to trying to herd cats, and rightfully so, as many in the food industry work in a vacuum in the absence of organized support. It’s mostly the small independent entrepreneurs who traditionally open food-related businesses, and they invest long hours to make them successful. That leaves little time for building the foundations for community and collabora- 8 “A sacred place where we celebrate life and each other with joy, warmth, good food and drink.” www.mykonosrestaurant.ca mykonos restaurant and takeout Garden Patio Open Daily Bringing GREECE to London for Over Years 30 inal e Orig Home of th We Host Parties • From to • We Know How! English s adelaide street, london -- & Chip Fish Monday-Saturday: am-pm • Sunday: am-pm “An oasis for food lovers” David’s bistro 432 Richmond St. at Carling • London LUNCH Wed to Fri 11:30-2:30 DINNER from 5pm daily 519 667 0535 www.davidsbistro.ca FREE PARKING After 6 pm off Queens Ave. may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca tive initiatives. Having said that, it should be noted that there is a new generation of retailers, food producers, restaurateurs, growers, cooks and chefs who are inter-dependent, passionate and community-minded, who see the opportunity to work together to build and partner in a destination culinary region. Just one example of collaboration among local chefs is the Growing Chefs! program organized by its director, Andrew Fleet, for London schoolchildren. [See the story “Growing Chefs! Grassroots Gastro,” this issue – ed.] It is encouraging to see the London chef community getting together for a unique, educational and fun food program for children. Another dozen or so chefs in the city want to be involved next year, and most of the participating chefs plan to reprise their roles next year, along with their friends and co-workers. Parents, educators and members of the culinary community would do well to support this important community-building initiative. Another unfulfilled objective that Tourism shared with us is the need to build their membership base in the restaurant sector. One of the ways to do that is to find ways to deliver a solid value proposition to businesses in the culinary community at a time when restaurant marketing budgets are already stretched, trying to accommodate various advertising opportunities and public requests for sponsorship. Independent restaurants are at a disadvantage in an industry where multi-chain eateries benefit from large-scale promotion and branding deals, and volume purchasing. The new generation of restaurateurs realizes that working together is the sustainable way economically, and recognizes the opportunity to help support and build their own community. It is about collaborating to increase their visibility and productivity, while supporting, promoting and reinforcing diverse culinary initiatives. In speaking with Tourism London, we identified the need to define just what culinary tourism is and to understand the multi- 9 Your African Dining Adventure Awaits ... · Veggie Platter · Meat Platter Tues.–Sun. 11:30–10PM LIC. LLBO ABABA TG’s ADDIS Restaurant 519-433-4222 465 Dundas St. ( Just W. of Maitland) · Takeout · Catering Reservations Recommended www.tgsaddisababarestaurant.com always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 ple culinary tourism experiences and opportunities in the London region. We also identified that much of the infrastructure is already in place and that we need to further identify collaborative partners and develop existing culinary forums and services that can be packaged, branded and promoted effectively for a variety of audiences. An example of this would be the successful multicultural festivals that are hosted at Covent Garden Market and other core locations each year, such as Festa Italiana, Festival of India, East Coast Festival, Beer Festival, Calliente Latin Festival, AfroFesta, RibFest, Sunfest, and so on. In terms of mapping the current foodrelated experiences, in addition to the seasonal festivals we also have a number of markets: Covent Garden Market, Western Fair Farmers’ Market, Trail’s End and the new outdoor market at Masonville; as well as destination independent food retailers like Remark Fresh Market and Sunripe. We have unique culinary emporiums like Jill’s Table and Kiss the Cook that offer specialty foods, kitchenware and cooking classes. Local farmers, community gardens, rooftop gardeners, apiaries and other niche growers are a growing group dedicated to creating local, sustainable food systems. London also has various gastronomic and culinary associations, including a Slow Food chapter that has been operating since 2003. Slow Food is a nonprofit, ecogastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 in Italy. Slow Food’s mandate is to counteract the negative impacts of fast food and fast life, the erosion of local food traditions, and people’s dwindling interest in what they eat, where it originates, how it tastes and how food choices affect the global community. London also has a number of distinct and emerging dining districts: downtown, Richmond Row, the hotel district, Wortley Village and a variety of other clusters that include a diverse mosaic of ethnic restaurants throughout the city. 10 Elegance & Simplicity • Cabinetry • Vanities • Countertops • Millwork It’s a feeling. When craftsmanship of cabinetry meets the detailing of hardware, it creates a symmetry of elegance and simplicity that just feels right. From Roy Thomson Hall and the John Labatt Centre to many ﬁne homes in London, integrity of design has been the hallmark of our work for over 45 years. Call or visit our showroom for a consultation. CONTINENTAL CABINET COMPANY INC. 519.455.3830 547 Clarke Road (Between Oxford & Dundas) Showroom Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm; Sat 8am-Noon www.continentalcabinet.com may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca According to industry professionals, a working definition of culinary tourism might include the following elements: • the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences at all levels, not necessarily what might be perceived to be pretentious and exclusive; • not just experiences of the highest calibre — that would be gourmet tourism; • considered a subset of cultural tourism (cuisine being a manifestation of culture); • inextricably linked with agritourism, as the seeds of cuisine can be found in agriculture; • includes the subsets of wine tourism, beer tourism, gay tourism and spa tourism; • provides an opportunity to discover the indigenous expertise and flavours of a specific regional identity. Culinary tourism would encompass a variety of activities such as (but not limited to) dining, food retail, festivals and events with a food component, food and beverage manufacturers, hospitality services for which food is a component (hotels, bed and breakfasts, etc.), and the promotion of our regional culinary identity. the Old World rice dish paella. Jambalaya’s version of jambalaya is a stew of chicken, sausage and ham in Creole sauce served over coconut-scented rice and accompanied by beans. Greaves’ delicious and sometimes fiery specialties (he is happy to tone down the heat) pay homage to and are inspired by his native Guyanese cuisine. A harmonic blend of Caribbean, West Indian, Creole, African, Amerindian, Spanish and French influences inform his culinary repertoire. Dishes include: Cajun or jerk (a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which food is dry-rubbed with a fiery spice mixture), calamari, Thai rolls, hush puppies, gumbo and the traditional Guyanese pepper pot. For dessert, the Japanese sweet and nutty black sesame ice cream and the deep violet-coloured Philippine Ube (purple yam) ice cream are exotic and a perfect complement to dinner. The spirited food is even more enjoyable in the cosy laid-back comfortable surroundings, with upbeat music, slate-tile floors, exposed brick, a fireplace, and walls adorned with splashes of colour and vibrant prints. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is warm, and the staff is intelligent, attentive and friendly. Jambalaya In closing, I would like to mention the reopening of Chef Kevin Greaves’ sultry restaurant, Jambalaya, in the newly refurbished and repurposed space formerly occupied by Bistro Chocolat on Dundas Street (directly across from Thaifoon Restaurant). Jambalaya’s namesake is the impassioned Creole and Cajun versions of BRYAN LAVERY is a well-known local chef, culinary instructor and former restaurateur. As eatdrink’s “Food Writer at Large,” Bryan shares his thoughts and opinions on a wide spectrum of the culinary beat. “Worth a Drive ...” When the family wants to eat, they call Skinny Pete! PANZEROTTIS SALADS WINGS Dine-In · Take-Out · Delivery High-Quality Pie at a Fair Price 11 •PIZZA • WHEATFREE Dough Available 12 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 RESTAURANTS Taking Care of Business in Byron J.J.’s Bistro in London’s Byron Village By Cecilia Buy R ita Murty knew for a long time what she wanted to do. Growing up in London and becoming a dues-paying member in the restaurant trade (including a couple of years at Pazzo in Stratford and some time in Toronto), Rita set her mind on running a place of her own. The chance came two and a half years ago. With business partner Tim Pountney, she took over a long-established and wellregarded location in the heart of Byron. J.J.’s Bistro was developed by Jim Johnston. Over Johnston’s twelve-year ownership of the Bistro, it acquired a solid reputation and a loyal clientele. When the new owners took up the reins, they faced a challenge: to place their own mark on the establishment without diminishing its existing credit, or alienating past customers. Did they consider a name change? “Never! Not for a second,” insists Pountney. “We weren’t trying to have a large departure from what Jim did well for twelve years.” The new brooms swept, but initial changes were minimal: “new carpets, new tablecloths, new artwork,” says Rita. Perhaps most importantly, they kept one of J.J.’s major assets: George Gallant, who has been the face of the Bistro since the 90s, and who continues to greet and serve clients old and new, with the courteous, friendly and professional manner for which he is well known. The dining room would be crowded with the 30 seats that licensing allows. But arranged for 24, the space is comfortable, and saved from the cloying tag of “intimate” by a crisply elegant layout, and by JJ’s Bistro Chef Kyle Fee flambees the popular Coupe Normande dessert in an impressive display. (A photo of the finished dish is on page 14.) may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 13 that I’m interested in,” he says. The owners give him “free rein” with the menu, and with ingredients and suppliers. “If you give somebody the tools to be happy, they’ll be successful,” says Pountney of his management style. The menu changes only twice a year, but the number and range of daily features allow the kitchen to “get creative.” The new spring/summer menu will include such items as Roasted Supreme of Chicken (stuffed with grilled pears, toasted walnuts and gruyere cheese, with a cassis glace de viande), and Grilled Fillet of Angus Beef (brushed with pesto and served on a sun-dried tomato and Yukon Gold puree, with a confit of garlic and crispy onions). This menu will also allow the chef to take advantage of our region’s growing season. “I deal with [more] organic suppliers in the summertime,” he says, “and source a lot of ingredients from local people.” Pat England, whose market-garden produce finds Baby Spinach Salad, with fennel, port-infused cranberries, blue cheese, walnuts and a white truffle vinaigrette the large window that, during the day, lets in plenty of light. Neutral to dark tones get a lift from the artwork and from the warm red of the window valence. Chris Squire came to J.J.’s to help launch the new business. Lunch and dinner menus share a number of items, and are, happily, constrained to a couple of pages. But daily offerings include a number of specials. “Probably 70 percent of the items are features,” says chef Kyle Fee. Fee, originally from Ottawa, received his formal culinary training at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Panko-crusted Crab Cakes with a grilled black tiger Peterborough. Later experishrimp brochette, roasted red pepper relish and ence included five years in chipotle remoulade the kitchen at Blackfriars Bistro in London with Betty Heydon. He has been head chef at J.J.’s for nearly two years. J.J.’s’ menu continues to offer liver (currently served with a sweet onion and lingonberry sauce) and lamb (on the rack, or in a stew); both items much beloved by J.J.’s’ long-time clients. And there is always a “catch of the day.” A relatively recent addition that has now become a popular yearits way to many area restaurant tables, is round staple on the menu is the Baby one of Fee’s suppliers. Spinach Salad. Fee serves it with fennel, Desserts are all made in-house, and the port-infused cranberries, blue cheese, wal- list offers something for every taste and nuts and a white truffle vinaigrette. appetite, from sorbet to a fruit and cheese To keep the customers coming back, Fee plate. Consistently popular are bread pudtries to “keep it fresh. And I bring in things ding and the coupe Normande, a show- 14 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 Grilled Fillet of Angus Beef, stuffed with Portobello mushrooms and Stilton on a puree of butternut squash finds that J.J.’s’ clientele likes names that are “approachable and recognizable.” J.J.’s Bistro is open daily except Sunday, for lunch and dinner. Sunday brunch is served at La Bella Vita, a sister establishment, just east of the bistro on Commissioners Road. stopping presentation that involves apples flambéed with Calvados. Rita Murty, whose partner calls her “the backbone of the business,” is responsible for the wine selection at the Bistro. She’s an oenophile, and her experience in the business is useful, she says, but adds that, really, “it’s the customers [who] tell us what they want.” In deciding what goes on the list, Rita selects from the LCBO general listings, as well as wine agency offerings, and Coupe Normande — caramelized apples flambeed with Calvados, served over French Vanilla ice cream with fresh berries Chipotle Remoulade This remoulade is served with the Crab Cakes at J.J.’s Bistro. 4 egg yolks 3 tbsp (40 ml) white vinegar 1 tbsp (15 ml) garlic ¼ tsp (1 ml) cayenne pepper 2 cups (500 ml) canola oil 2 chipotle peppers 10 anchovy fillets ¼ cup (50 ml) capers ¼ cup (50 ml) Brunoise of gherkins 1 Add yolks, vinegar, garlic and cayenne to the food processor. Whip until pale and frothy. 2 Slowly add the oil in a very steady stream until all of it is incorporated. 3 Add everything else but the gherkins and puree until everything is mixed. 4 Remove from the food processor and stir in the gherkins. Refrigerate. J.J.’s Bistro 1304 Commissioners Road West, London 519-474-3868 open monday to saturday, 11:30 to close CECILIA BUY is a writer and designer who has enjoyed living and dining in London and area for the past 17 years. may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 15 RESTAURANT SPOTLIGHT Los Comales in London By Bryan Lavery T he vibrant colours and up-beat music provide an instant lift to the spirits. In the space formerly occupied by Between the Bread, a lively new Latin American restaurant called Los Comales has opened. The professional menu design points to how well thought-out and planned this fledgling restaurant has been. The bright green canopy and cheerful projecting sign are a welcoming presence on this block of Richmond Street. The menu features Colombian, Salvadorian, Mexican and Nicaraguan specialties. Chef Ana Isabel Rodriguez, formerly of Aroma Restaurant and the Hilton Hotel in London, had a bakery in Costa Rica for 20 years before coming to Canada. Londoners may recognize Ana as the chef who often accompanied restaurateur Felipe Gomes on their many local television appearances. Our hospitable server Henry, nephew of the owner, told us that Los Comales is named after the clay tortilla pans traditionally used in a Latin American restaurant. Chef Rodriguez exudes warmth and competence when talking to her customers. She is supported in the kitchen by a colleague from the Mayan Riviera and in the restaurant by her large extended family in Canada. One of the unique features of the restaurant is its extended hours. The restaurant is open from 7 am to 10 pm, serving both Canadian and Latin American fare for breakfast until 2:30 in the afternoon. Canadian offerings would include such standard items as bacon, eggs, sausages, home fries and toast, omelettes, pancakes, and French toast. Her Latin American breakfast menu includes items like huevos a la ranchera, chilaquiles, Mexican burrito and Spanish omelette. Serving both home made ready to go lunches and dine-in lunch items and specials, Chef Rodriguez is poised to become a popular lunch destination downtown. Roasted chicken, tacos and tortas (Mexican sandwiches) are the mainstays of the lunch menu. For dinner we tried the Combo Latino which featured a combination of delicious traditional dishes that included pupusas with a choice of filling, accompanied by Salvadorian coleslaw and homemade salsa, two crispy chicken flautas, and a Salvadorian enchilada and a mixture of flavourful rice and beans known as gallo pinto. This was definitely a new favourite for which we’ll return again and again. Other dinner menu selections from South America include diverse dishes including tacos, fajitas and chile relleno. We tried the paella, an aromatic and flavourful rice-based dish that included chorizo sausage, chicken, calamari, mussels and shrimp. The fresh-made Salvadorian horchata beverage was made with finely ground roasted rice, sesame seeds, morro seeds (from the Calabash tree), cinnamon, peanuts and sugar. It is blended and filtered to give a creamy smooth taste. Rodriguez’s menus are ambitious and the food is beautifully presented on the plate. Vegetarian choices are evident on the menu as well. Los Comales 346 Richmond Street, London 226-663-8452 BRYAN LAVERY is eatdrink’s “Food Writer at Large,” and shares his thoughts and opinions on a wide spectrum of the culinary beat. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 15 • march/april 2009 RESTAURANTS Fine Fare and Luxe Lodging “Gastro” Meets “Pub” at The Parlour in Stratford By Cecilia Buy O n the site of an old railway hotel in Stratford now stands a Best Western establishment. Best Western hotels, and there are over 4,000 of them worldwide, run the gamut from typical hotels à la Holiday Inn, to deluxe spa resorts, to historic country inns. What they have in common is that they are all privately owned. Members operate independently, but under the corporate banner they benefit from the advantages of a global reservations system, marketing and advertising services, and brand identity. A couple of years ago I enjoyed a stay at The Crown, in Dorsetshire, England, an old hotel that operated under the Best Western umbrella. It was invested with all the mod cons, but had maintained the character of a pre-corporate hostelry, including a comfortable lounge, a pub, and an excellent dining room. The Parlour, in Stratford, reminds me of The Crown. In 2003, when Bill Windsor took over the Olde English Parlour, which in its early days was known as the Mansion House, its glory days were far in the past. While the pub was still popular, the inn itself had degenerated badly. Windsor set about rehabilitating the business premises, creating The Parlour Historic Inn and Suites. Well-qualified for the undertaking, Windsor has spent his life as a hospitality industry professional, starting at age fifteen in his hometown in Newfoundland. One early kitchen assignment involved plucking and drawing 300 partridges for a special dinner. He got to keep his job, and no doubt proved to himself that he was capable of whatever the business might throw at him in the future — like a dilapidated old hotel in Stratford. Windsor did a quick reno on the dining room, ripping down old wallpaper and plastering the cracked walls, then set himself up as chef. The Mansion House had “always been successful with locals,” he says. But the menu had been unchanged for twenty years. He “took the menu they The Parlour Historic Inn & Suites, Stratford march/april 2009 • no. 15 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 17 had, freshened it up, made it more contemporary.” One of the items he added, called the General Tsao, is spicy and sweet marinated chicken, dredged in corn starch and sautéed, then served on a bed of vegetable chow mein. This dish has proven immensely popular over the past seven years, and it is also available on the more-thanusually-evolved children’s menu — with chopsticks. The layout of the dining area successfully works within and The Restaurant around the constrictions of the building’s antique geometry. The pub area order to do it properly, to take it up to the is nested within the dining room proper, its next level.” Holbrook is a native of southwestern comfortable chairs and small tables fitting Ontario, an alumnus of the Stratford Chef well with the surrounding linen-draped School, has run his own restaurant (The tables. Two adjacent rooms provide extra Globe, in Stratford), and has years of expeseating and are used when required for rience in the London and Stratford area. He private functions. Tin ceilings, stained has an enthusiastic following in the area, glass, and textured walls finished in a and his debut at The Parlour has been warm ochre combine to create a hospitable environment that feels entirely true widely anticipated. That background and to its historic roots. For fair-weather dining reputation, and the fact that Bill Windsor had enjoyed the fruits of Max’s culinary and drinking, The Parlour has a patio. labours firsthand, explains why Holbrook Two-tiered (one at walk-out height, the was chosen to run The Parlour’s kitchen. lower at sidewalk level), the al fresco area But he also brings some personal princiseats sixty. ples to the position. “I’ve always been conThis spring, Windsor relinquished his cerned about people being able to afford to apron, hiring Max Holbrook to run the eat good food. I come from a farming famkitchen at The Parlour. “I’ve taken it as far ily and I think a lot of people are left out of as I could take it,” he explains. “I’m not a classically trained chef. Cooking has always being able to eat good food because of the prices. Accessibility is important.” been a passion, [but] I’m more of a hobby Respect for the sources of our food, for chef.” He brought in a professional “in the products themselves, and for the consumer, all inform the outThe Churchill Room put and success of our best chefs. Considering the offerings on the menu and the pricing, Holbrook will not be compromising his principles. In keeping with Windsor’s strategy of marketing the Parlour as a combination of gastro pub and fine dining restaurant, Holbrook’s new menu includes house-made udon noodles and the kitchen’s own corned beef brisket. Sloppy Joes are elevated to new heights when made with 18 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 locally raised bison, and the house speCrisp and Cheesecake are prepared incialty, tomato soup, is a sublime blend of house, as is the Pavlova, an enduring roasted tomatoes, wild mushrooms and favourite. The sole import, Chocolate MarStilton. (According to the magazine Art quis, comes from Mollet’s Designer Culinaire, the gastro pub “arose from a con- Desserts in nearby St. Marys. (Chocolate scious effort to promote great food in Marquis is a white chocolate truffle well-loved places.”) surrounded by dark chocolate Traditional pub fare hasn’t mousse, presented in a wrapbeen tossed out the kitchen ping of white chocolate.) door, though. A favourite What’s a pub without since Mansion House days, beer? True to its roots, and fish and chips remain on the true to the moniker of “gasmenu. The Parlour also offers tro pub,” The Parlour has a steak and chips and that vensubstantial selection of beers, erable potato-based dish of my both bottled and on tap. Chef Max Holbrook childhood, bubble and squeak, Included are Grasshopper Ale, which is served alongside the from Alberta craft brewery Big Rock, roasted supreme of chicken. (Bubble and and Stratford Pilsner, from Joseph Tuer’s squeak is British comfort food at its best. In local family brewery. the domestic version, the leftover veg from And others might ask, “What’s a meal Sunday dinner (turnip, cabbage, carrot, without wine?” Randy Simpson, Bill Windand onion are all possibilities — “follow sor’s partner in the business, is in charge of your nose,” they say) are mashed together the front of house. His purview includes the with potato, and fried in a saucepan until it creation and maintenance of a wine list “bubbles” and “squeaks” and becomes that caters to The Parlour’s clientele. Simpcrispy and golden on the outside. If aiming son notes that “people are, in a lot of cases, for elegance, form the mash into little patlooking for better wines…to step up.” As ties. Unlike Max Holbrook, Mum never well, he has observed that “a lot of people offered mushroom truffle jus with her bub- are looking for more by the glass.... They ble and squeak.) don’t want a bottle, but they want the wines True to his local roots, Holbrook’s support of [superior] quality.” Thus he has of area producers shows up on the table. If expanded the by-the-glass offerings, espethe bread is not baked in-house, it comes cially in some of the Ontario selections, like from Luke Sheeper’s bakery, Breadworks. Cave Springs, and in the selection from Larry Bender, of Elder Creek Farm in TavisAmerican vineyards, popular with many of tock, is also among the Parlour’s suppliers. the Festival visitors. The dessert list is short and sweet. Apple Simpson’s staff includes servers who have been with The Parlour for some years, and some who have come with their experience from other restaurants in the area. “We really work as a team,” he declares. And says that the team has a simple function vis-à-vis their customers: “We just want to make them happy. We want them to come back.” After getting the dining room on its feet, Bill Windsor was ready to tackle the hotel rooms. Turning a former flopThe Parlour’s lobby sets the tone upon arrival. house into a fine inn must may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 19 have taken some doing. EvictThe double-queen standard rooms are well appointed, ing the pigeons was only a first and 60 of The Parlour accommodations are suites. step. Touring the rooms today, one would not imagine that entire walls were torn down and entire floors torn up. Besides the comprehensive renovation of the existing hotel, a new section has been added to the original building. The extension was initially intended merely to accommodate an elevator, but grew to more, and, in the final scheme, all aspects of the business have benefited. The inn has doubled the number of guest architecture has been sympathetically met. rooms (now 28); there is a pleasant recepUpstairs and down, the transition between tion area; a banquet room is seeing plenty the two feels seamless. The accommodaof business, for both evening events and tions, whether rooms or suites (60 percent daytime meetings; and the kitchen has are suites), feel individual rather that expanded, providing a generous and praccookie-cut, and are tastefully furnished and tical workspace for the staff. accoutred. Some have fireplaces (some of The challenge of integrating new and old which are double-sided). Much of the incidental furniture is locally produced, reproductions of period pieces that manage by Fire-Roasted Tomato and their quality to avoid looking tacky. The Wild Mushroom Soup angles, corners and characteristics of the Garnished with Stilton, Basil Oil and Garlic Crouton original railway hotel confer an eccentric The Parlour’s winter house soup, a Stratford but delightful ambience to the rooms, “Soups On” Vegetarian Award Winner which carries even to the newly-built areas. And just to remind you of where you are, 1 large can (100 oz) premium fire-roasted the room keys, cards rather, are printed with tomatoes. (You can fire-roast your own. the Stratford Shakespeare Festival logo. Make sure to remove skins after roasting.) From Mansion House to Historic Inn, vegetable stock these premises have endured for well over 1 large sweet onion a century, while the town of Stratford has 1 large carrot grown and changed. One thing hasn’t 1 large celery stalk changed: The Parlour continues to offer 1 lb assorted wild mushrooms hospitality to locals and travellers alike. ¼ cup fresh thyme 1 Coarsely chop the onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms, and toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast until nicely browned and tender. 2 Place tomatoes and equal amounts of vegetable stock in pot and add roasted vegetables. Simmer for 1 hour and then puree mixture. Add thyme and salt and pepper to taste. 3 Garnish soup with a garlic crostini, topped with a piece of Stilton cheese, and drizzle with basil oil or pesto. The Parlour Historic Inn & Suites 101 Wellington Street, Stratford 519-271-2772 or 1-877-728-4036 www.theparlour.ca breakfast, lunch & dinner served daily open: weekdays, 7:30 am; weekends, 8:30 am close: sunday to wednesday, 10 pm thursday to saturday, midnight CECILIA BUY is a writer and designer who has enjoyed living and dining in London and area for the past 17 years. Stratford is more than great theatre. “I made a delicious discovery: Stratford has a culinary obsession. And, for me, finding what I call a ‘food town’ is a rare and magnificent thing ... You’ve got a place that feeds all the senses.” — Marion Kane, Food Writer www.marionkane.com SHELDON RUSSELL CHEF/PROPRIETOR 34 Brunswick Street in Stratford behind the Avon Theatre keystonealley.com Reservations 519.271.5645 8FNBLFCVUPOFUIJOH BOEXFEPUIBUXFMM i$"/%:u Z Z Z U K H R W K R P S V R Q FR P ɝ ɝ $OEHUW6WUHHWLQ'RZQWRZQ6WUDWIRUG Ǯ Ǯ 2SHQ0RQGD\WR6XQGD\ 999(156'45+00%1/ & Q Y P K G 5 V T G G V 5 6 4 #6 ( 1 4 & *USTSTEPSAWAYFROM 4HEATRE w w w.b entley s - annex .c om Executive Loft Suites &AIR4RADESINCE /NTARIO3T3TRATFORD 2ICHMOND3T,ONDON WWW4EN4HOUSAND6ILLAGESCA 51 9 - 271 - 1 1 2 1 1 - 8 0 0 - 361 - 5 3 2 2 99 Ontario Street downtown Stratford A fabulous place to spend the night! Delicious deals in Stratford! 2-for-1 performances at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival from May 26 to July 30! Foster’s Inn 519.271.1119 / www.fostersinn.com Entrée price range: $18 - $28 Olde English Parlour 519.271.2772 / www.theparlour.ca Entrée price range: $12 - $35 BONUS! Book a selected Raja Fine Indian Cuisine Tuesday night show and enjoy 2-for-1 savingsat participating restaurants! Rene’s Bistro French and Italian Cuisine 519.271.3271 / www.rajaﬁnedining.ca Entrée price range: $15 - $30 519.508.1777 / www.renescuisine.com Entrée price range: up to $20 value To access these delicious deals, visit the Stratford Shakespeare Festival box oﬃce or call 1.800.567.1600 The Old Prune 519.271.5052 / www.oldprune.on.ca Entrée price range: $30 - $37 and quote promotion code 27165. A list of eligible performances can be found at stratfordshakespearefestival.com/dineplay Ticket oﬀer applies only to regular-price tickets for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening performances from May 26 to July 30, and cannot be used in combination with any other oﬀer. Not valid on group orders or opening night performances. Restaurant savings valid only on Tuesdays from May 26 to July 28, 2009. Restaurant reservations recommended. Vouchers must be shown before ordering. may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 23 RESTAURANTS A Tradition of Creativity Bailey’s Restaurant Keeps it Fresh in Goderich By Jane Antoniak S ituated prominently on The Square in Goderich (which is actually a circle, but that’s another story) is Bailey’s Restaurant — long known among the business, societal and professional elite of the community as one of the premier places to dine. So it’s a bit of a surprise that the chef/owner of Bailey’s, Ben Merritt, is, in person, the opposite of all that comes with the stereotype of running an “establishment”-type restaurant. Merritt, in his 50s, is a strikingly genuinely happy person. He has the energy of a man twenty years younger and, in many ways, displays youthful enthusiasm for his vocation. Simply put, he loves to come to work every day at Bailey’s, and that love — which doesn’t appear to be waning after 22 years in the same location — is evident in his creativity with the menu, which changes weekly as he sources new products or discovers new recipes. For all its traditions on The Square, Bailey’s is a refreshing testimony that long-standing certainly does not mean boring or staid. Merritt still carries a hint of his English Chef/Owner Ben Merritt in Bailey’s dining room. accent, even though he’s been in Canada since 1975. Born in Yorkshire, he trained at the Grosvenor House and the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London, England, where his love for food was allowed to flourish. “I came from a coal-mining village, and to be cooking wasn’t the thing to be bragging about,” he chuckles. “But I loved it and I still do.” Seafood Chowder is one of Despite having Bailey’s signature dishes. a blast in some of London’s top kitchens during the early 70s, Merritt was convinced to leave for the comparable hinterland of Stratford, Ontario by a visiting Canadian chef. The plan was to assemble a top crew of talented young British chefs to open a new high-end restaurant in the growing arts community. Merritt was part of the brigade to open the doors of The Church Restaurant in 1975 — a job he recalls with great fondness. “They asked me to come for six months and I’ve never gone back,” he says. He stayed at The Church for six years and loved being part of the original group, which set a new standard of 24 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca dining experiences in Canada. Merritt says he never missed the highlights of London, England because The Church crew — all young and energetic — had such a ball working together. Clearly, he still carries that level of energy and love for the restaurant life today. From The Church, Merritt went on to work in some of Huron and Perth County’s top restaurants, including The Benmiller Inn, The Red Pump and the Maitland no. 16 • may 2009 Country Club, before opening Bailey’s in 1987. He named the restaurant after his son. “We wanted a fun place where I could apply my trade: not all classical cooking, trendy too. My long-term plan is to be a Bistro Pub. I like to come here; I find it a lot of fun.” Despite his jovial attitude, the food is nothing to joke about. Bailey’s has been featured in Where to Eat in Canada and Toronto Life magazine. Working alongside “Purveyors of all things Canadian” orks ue wrt q i n u of a we ship! gift baskets gourmet foods Now Accepting New Artisans and Crafters of Canadian Products Spring & Summer Hours Queen Street, Blyth -- [email protected] [email protected] may 2009 • no. 16 Bailey’s Sous-Chef Jeff Allin (left) and Chef/Owner Ben Merritt work creatively and efficiently in the surprisingly small kitchen. his long-time sous-chef Jeff Allin in a tiny kitchen, Merritt serves up some traditions with an extra touch: his Caesar Salad is the kind where you can smell the garlic before the plate touches the table. He’s playful with some dishes, such as gnocchi dumplings in a blue cheese and tomato sauce with basil, spinach and dill. Ultratender gnocchi melts in your mouth with a super-comforting sauce. He offers an Asian red roast duck that can lead to duck spring rolls on the menu the next day, if you’re lucky. His many regulars often request the seafood chowder and prime rib — and some say his fish and chips are the best in the area. Clearly, Merritt has been able to satisfy a variety of diners while still keeping his creativity unleashed. Among his regulars is a very private yet loyal customer in the person of Alice Munro. The internationally honoured Canadian novelist always sits at the same table in the back corner of the restaurant where she can protect her privacy, yet still have a view of The Square from the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the restaurant. Continued on page 28 Explore Ontario’s West Coast on the Lake Huron Shores The Little Inn of Bayfield A Real Country Inn... In a Heritage Village... On a Great Lake GRAND BEND BAYFIELD GODERICH 1-800-565-1832 www.littleinn.com May 9 May 10 June 19 June 21 Coming Events South African Wine Dinner Mother’s Day Lunch Beer Dinner with Stephen Beaumont Father’s Day Lunch Lobster Fest! Fridays in May /5 4 = [email protected]= = 2 A 3 @ svsbm/!mpdbm/!gsfti/ Regional Homegrown Products … Fresh Meats and Cheeses Prepared Meals — frozen or ready for the BBQ Catering Services 7-2 Main St S (Hwy 21), Bayﬁeld ON 519 565 4866 [email protected] www.foragerfoods.ca A Haven of Peace & Tranquility ... The Premier Wedding and Events Destination along Ontario’s West Coast www.hessenland.com RR#2 Zurich ON N0M 2T0 519-236-7707 or 1-866-543-7736 Shakespeare to the Travel along the Taste Trek Fine Cuisine Distinctive Accommodations Garden Weddings Retreats & Conferences Romantic Getaways shoreline You'll find an abundant array of tasty delights to take home. Visit our website to find a cross-county selection of specialty food shops: www.shakespearetotheshoreline.ca 1.800.280.7637 Tourism Goderich 1.888.366.0160 Perth County Travel routes to tempt you farther: • Antiques & Collectibles • Artisans & Art Galleries • Farm Markets • Gardens & Gardeners’ Dreams • Historic Stops & Attractions • Live Theatre & Performances • Nature Walks • Dining Choices • Accommodation Options www.shakespearetotheshoreline.ca A Unique Haven ... Gourmet Fine Dining Luxury Guest Suites Gift & Home Décor Boutique the Red Pump Bayfield ON (519) 565-2576 28 www.eatdrink.ca Continued from page 25 Merritt and his wife Carolyn do their best to respect Munro’s need for privacy and often discreetly stop other diners and tourists from venturing over to her table. However, Merritt says that tourists from as far as Japan and Germany have come to Bailey’s and requested to sit at “Alice’s table” when it is vacant. A signed copy of one of her books sits on a small table nearby and the Munro fans get a kick out of sharing the same dining experience as their beloved writer. A perfect way to end the Bailey’s experience is to share a drink with Merritt once the kitchen closes. And, you may wish to add a serving of the lemon bread and butter pudding, which, in a way, exemplifies the surprises at Bailey’s. What seems like a traditional dessert also delivers a wonderful wallop of flavour — just another delight from Merritt’s kitchen. Bailey’s Restaurant 120 Court House Square, Goderich 519-524-6166 www.baileysdining.ca lunch: monday to saturday 11:30 am to 2:00 pm dinner: tuesday to saturday 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm JANE ANTONIAK operates Antoniak Communications in London and loves to travel Huron County looking for interesting new culinary adventures. :LWKKLVWRULF&RXUW+RXVH6TXDUH DQGDEHDXWLIXOSDUNDQGFRXQW\ FRXUWKRXVHDWLWVFHQWUH*RGHULFK UDGLDWHVZLWKDOOWKHIHDWXUHVWKDW PDNHLW&DQDGD¶V3UHWWLHVW7RZQ )URPRXUWKUHHEHDFKHVWRWKH LQQVVKRSVILQHGLQLQJPXVHXPV KHULWDJHDUFKLWHFWXUHILVKLQJDQG DPD]LQJVXQVHWV*RGHULFKLV FHUWDLQWRSLTXHWKHLQWHUHVWRI \RXUZKROHIDPLO\ 9LVLWXVVRRQ e • Sh o p n i D • P l ay • R e l a x Communities In Bloom “Prettiest In Town” Award Recommended in “Where To Eat” Eat Smart Award of Excellence Spirit of Success 2009 Hospitality Award Our Chef Terry Kennedy creates ﬁne cuisine using the freshest, seasonal and local ingredients. Our beautiful Victorian house oﬀers the perfect setting to enjoy lunch or dinner with excellent food, wine and service. 80 Hamilton Street, Goderich, Ontario | 519.524.4171 | www.thymeon21.com “It’s a matter of taste” Catering Available A Featured in Where to Eat in Canada & Toronto Life Magazine www.baileysdining.ca [email protected] 120 Court House Square, Goderich, ON N7A 1M8 519-524-5166 Explore Ontario’s West Coast on the Lake Huron Shores GRAND BEND BAYFIELD GODERICH Gobble up the goodness. BBQ season is here! On the way to the lake, Highway 83, Dashwood Road. Open 7 days a week for summer. One-Stop Shop for thick and juicy Turkey Burgers, succulent marinated Turkey Breast Fillets and our own Dashwood Broil 519-237-3561 www.haytersfarm.com LCBO Agency & BEER STORE Retail Partner "We’re proud to be supplying retail customers and chefs with top quality local Angus beef and superior local pork, plus a wide variety of smoked meats, cold cuts, sausages and salamis.” Gerhard Brock Avenue, Hensall ON Metzger Retail Store Hours Monday to Friday 8am-6pm Saturday 8am-3pm www.metzgermeats.com 519-262-3130 Discover Grand Bend ... Again! F.I.N.E. A Restaurant Serving luncH & dinner ... 1-888-338-2001 Seasonal hours ... Visit our Welcome Centre 1 81st Crescent, Grand Bend reservations Appreciated Grand Bend Tourism.com Grand Bend & Area Chamber of Commerce 519-238-6224 42 ontario Street S., Grand Bend www.finearestaurant.com )JHIXBZɨɧt(SBOE#FOE Oak Dining Room Clubhouse Try our Oakwood-Style Brazilian Steakhouse every Friday and Saturday night until June and then Sunday through Friday until the end of the summer season. Visit our website for the menu. Sundays –pm Roast Beef Dinner for only $.. Reservations accepted. Starting Saturday May and every Saturday night after pm, you can enjoy our fabulous Buﬀet Dinner. Reservations required. Tuesdays after pm — Starting May All-You-Can-Eat Pasta Bar on the patio! Thursdays –pm The best wings in town for only ¢ each. Eat-in only please. Fridays –pm TGIF — appetizer features and half-price drinks. Start your weekend with us! Live Entertainment in the Clubhouse every Friday and Saturday starting at pm 32 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 SPOTLIGHT Grassroots Gastro: Growing Chefs! London Chefs Are Planting Seeds By Melanie North A ndrew Fleet’s enthusiasm heats up as he talks about his new program in London schools that brings together top London chefs with elementary school children. Growing Chefs! Ontario uses chefs and volunteers to teach kids about local, sustainable food and, through a series of four workshops, to help them grow, harvest, cook and eat local produce. Growing Chefs! Ontario began when Fleet moved, with his wife and family, back to London last year. Fleet had been working in Vancouver at a restaurant where pastry chef Merri Schwartz had designed and started a program there to connect chefs and kids. Schwartz encouraged Fleet to give it a try here in London. Last year, he started a program for fun with two chefs and two Grade 2/3 classes at Tecumseh Public School. This year, it is a full-grown program in ten classrooms in five schools, the only one of its kind in Ontario. “The intention of the program is twofold,” says Fleet. “First, it helps teach kids about where food comes from, the whole urban gardening approach. We talk about eating locally and eating healthy from seed to plate, and teach kids what you can do with food. Second, the chefs at higher-end fine-dining restaurants really work very hard at local, sustainable eating and that work stops at the door of the restaurant. So while they may have educated their own clientele, when it comes to the average person shopping in the big grocery stores, the educational opportunity is limited. So we are really opening a channel in the community for chefs to not only encourage people to eat local, but show them how. We thought that if we can get the kids to do it, the adults will follow.” This year’s program is already underway and runs from mid-March to late June. There is an established curriculum and the first session is planting. Using seedling flats and little pots, kids from Grades 1 to 4 plant mesclun greens, pea shoots, beet greens, spinach, beans and rainbow swiss chard. The plants are kept in the classroom, (with the exception of Lorne Ave. P.S. where, due to a lack of windows, the program runs after school at the Boyle Community Centre). The second session is all about the “ignored vegetables” like celery root, heirloom beets, fennel and parsnip. Through vegetable exploration, the chefs provide kids with cut-up vegetables to touch, smell Chef Jason Schubert (left), of The Only on King and Growing Chefs! Ontario founder Andrew Fleet engage a class of excited students. may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 33 and taste raw. Then the chefs work in the get local suppliers and restaurants to supclassroom to provide the kids with dishes ply cases of vegetables for a lesson from a made from these vegetables. The various book called Food with Moods. They take chefs each get to design various vegetables and this part of the program make them into characthemselves. Today, ters, draw pictures and Mark Kitching from write stories, then take Waldo’s on King put their creation home together various sauces with a recipe. It really and caramelizing brings the work of the recipes using maple classroom into the syrup, honey, butter, home. London’s Farmicing sugar and cinnaers Market also promon. Soon, every child vides Farmers Market Students harvest their greens proudly. had a taste of someBucks and they each thing they liked. The get a Get Fresh Get program provides each Local map to take class with a hot plate home. and pan for the chefs to On the final day of use onsite. the program, there are Next door, chefs three chefs assigned to Wade Fitzgerald from each class. Each takes a Garlic’s of London and third of the students: David Rossen from The one-third to harvest the London Hunt Club took garden, one-third to a different approach prepare a stir-fry sauce Crave Restaurant Chef Andrew Wolwowicz (left) and put all the veggies and The Only on King Chef Jason Schubert help (recipe courtesy of The into a great salad, Only on King, a big supthe students prepare a nutritious salad. adding orange, apple, porter of the program), endive and a vinaigrette and one-third to preGrowing Chefs! London Chefs that the kids went crazy pare an easy vinai& Volunteers for 2009 for. One youngster even grette. The salad station asked if he could have dresses the greens Jason Schubert – The Only On King more to take out to while the veggie harPaul Harding – The Only On King recess for a snack. vesters switch to Andrew Wolwowicz – Crave Restaurant The next visit is a letservers and set out the Tracy Little – Crave Restaurant tuce-tasting event. plates and cutlery. Kent Van Dyke – Field Gate Organics, Trust Me Children taste and rank Then the meal begins Catering a variety of greens and with lots of talk about Trevor Hunt – President, CCFCC London, Food & cut a little bit from their tasting what you have Beverage Director, Brescia own gardens to taste. grown. Fleet has Wade Fitzgerald – Garlic’s of London This session is key in received lots of emails David Rossen – London Hunt Club that it really makes a from parents saying the Dani Gruden – Elegant Catering connection between program has gotten Mark Kitching – Waldo’s On King what grows in the Patrick Dunham - Fire Roasted Coffee Co./London’s their kids to taste things ground and what we they never would have Farmers Market eat. Fleet says the reac- Dan Geltner – The Church Restaurant (Stratford) tried before. Brian Magee – Commissary Chef Manager, tion is almost always For Fleet and the Morrison (a member of Compass Group) the same when the kids chefs and volunteers, Ryan Bianchi – independent cut from their own this program is a labour Sandy Boglebright – independent plants and put it in of love. Fleet notes that Dava Robichaud – Fanshawe College their mouths: “It tastes the literal meaning of like lettuce!” They also the word “kinder- 34 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 garten” is children’s garden. Years ago, preschool education was all about cultivating the earth and children learned how to garden from their mothers. Now this program is filling that role for elementary school children who really don’t know much about where their food comes from. Fleet’s wife related a story about a group of Grade 6 children. She gave them each a handful of lettuce seeds and asked them what they would grow into. None of them knew. She prompted them by giving a clue: what is the main ingredient in a salad? They answers ranged from “bacon bits” to “Caesar.” They were dumbfounded to learn that the tiny seeds they held in their hands would grow into lettuce. Growing Chefs! Ontario operates completely on the support and donations of its sponsors: The Only on King, Ozone Organics, Van Horik’s Greenhouses and Garden Centre, Kay Chiropractic & Wellness Centre, The Fire Roasted Coffee Co., London’s Farmer’s Market and webAssist.ca. The photographs are by PAUL MISZCZYK. Vegetables never tasted so good! Growing Chefs! Ontario’s grassroots approach is getting accolades from all quarters, including from the kids. MELANIE NORTH is the editor of CityWoman magazine and a regular contributor to eatdrink. Did you know eatdrink mie ’s Pre ndon Smar Lon Mag don’s Pre azine mie for W r ome n Luxe London Magazine for Women The Lo t • Savv y • So ph istic ISSUE MEEN R Hall WO City POnW don’s at Lo ECKs T CHtailer COAdon ReUP Lon RM IT Enchanting ENTRANCES Bu Dr sinesGrand Party Chocolate EPIPHANY Fashioessings n WClothes orking Overtim Life e Inte /WorHoliday &YOGA Bala Harm nc onye Answering k g The Call le DLOIFNDON ratio s of London Women Storie rkab Co FERE Make n s for a of FAITH RemaNDONNrporateNWCoEAll menthat LO OME W a Hairstyles T ip Corp o s for Read y in Five Glitters Wineissue? Gifts Miss an www.citywoman.ca ple Peo cult Diﬃ li Dea IE PREM RE IS 2008 mber Nove SUE ISSUE TWO December / January 2009 y w.cit E TH a wom REE n.c March 2009 rate Chic ACCESSORIES www.citywoman.ca RA M INSIDE Wom Lifest en’s Showyle G ISSU ww PR O S EGIE RAT E ST LAC ith RKP WO ng w 22 N your for March 21TION C RE NK DRESI B OELDR& ECIP CLU K FO O V O BO WA EN T has a sister magazine? en Wom e for Premier London’s gazin r Ma ™ ww w.cit y N LOND ON CONVE wom a n.ca Read Us Online It’s more like curling up with a magazine than you may believe. ated may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 35 RESTAURANT SPOTLIGHT Michelangelo’s Market • Bakery • Café • Deli • Catering By Bryan Lavery T he Strano name is synonymous with Italian food in London, not only as bakers and grocers but also as restaurateurs and caterers. The Stranos immigrated from Siderno, Calabria and have made a significant contribution to the local culinary scene. Brothers Joe and Michelangelo Strano are the current generation to make their mark in the local Italian culinary repertoire. Michelangelo is the eponymous name of the new Dundas St. café, which also serves as the home base for the longstanding family catering service. Joe is a former manager at the Marconi Club. Michelangelo, also known as Michael, worked in the kitchen at the former Fabrizzio restaurant operated by his affable uncle Joe Strano, who is now operating Strano Bagel and Deli at Covent Garden Market. The decor of the café is casual yet refined. The exposed yellow brick walls provide an interesting surface on which to display a regularly changing show of original art by local artists. The restaurant offers a preliminary menu of food and grocery items, hoping to catch the attention of downtown residents and workers. The pasta sauces, cannelloni and manicotti are house-made. A selection of buns and bread is provided by the Strano Bakery and Deli on William St., between South and Nelson. (The Strano Bakery and Deli is a local purveyor of old-world Italian specialties — really good prosciutto, mortadella, Parmigiano Reggiano, etc. The shop is frequented by die-hard Italiophiles, local chefs and restaurateurs.) The operators of Michelangelo’s welcome feedback from customers on new additions to both the menu and their grocery offerings at the Dundas Street location. Home cooks will be happy to see items such as 100-ounce cans of plum tomatoes, cans of Pastene tomatoes, a selection of dried pastas, olives, ladyfingers for tiramisu, olive oil, vinegars, and more still to come. The restaurant has a Gaggia coffee machine and makes authentic cappuccino and espresso beverages to order. The main dining room can accommodate groups as large as 100 for receptions, or 60 diners, with a private room in the back for parties of 40. Michelangelo’s Café 196 Dundas Street, London 519.672.6333 BRYAN LAVERY is eatdrink’s “Food Writer at Large.” 36 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 NEW AND NOTABLE The BUZZ Compiled by Chris McDonell D elicious spring specials abound in Stratford. As the Stratford Shakespeare Festival gets underway, Stratford’s culinary scene — enviable even in the “off-season” — moves up a notch. Business gets brisker, some menus change, and a number of restaurants come out of hiatus. Concerns over lagging ticket sales led to some fall theatrical performances being put on hold, but the show is most definitely going on. Bargain hunters take note: 2 for 1 tickets are now available (see the Festival ad on page 20) for shows between May 26 and July 30. A number of fine restaurants are offering the same deal for dinner when your book for selected Tuesday night performances. Foster’s Inn, The Parlour, Raja Fine Indian OPENING EARLY MAY “Modern, delicious, comfort food. Join us on the patio or in our beautiful new pub.” 476 Richmond Street, London (across from the Grand Theatre) 519 936 0960 www.thechurchkey.ca Open 7 days a week, 11am–1am (’til 2am Friday & Saturday) Cuisine, Rene’s Bistro and The Old Prune are participating in the package deal. Tickets are limited, and you must quote promotion code 27165 when booking. Another special running during May and June lets diners select from 18 restaurants for lunch and/or dinner. Exclusive spring Stratford Delicious three-course lunches start at $15 and dinners start at $30. Visit www.sensuousstratford.com to view their special menus. One can also preview spring in Stratford with special theatre ticket and accommodation rates. Stratford Shakespeare Festival offers three plays for $175 (some restrictions apply) and special accommodation rates start at $99 per night. Visit www.sensuousstratford.com/delicious for details. Stratford Tourism Alliance has released the new Culinary Guide featuring 40 restaurant menus, food shops and Epicurean Treks. Savour the variety and quality of Stratford’s dining experience. Take your taste buds for a culinary adventure on a self-guided epicurean trek, with over 20 stops in Stratford and Perth County. Hop in your car or ride your bike to savour the best from local producers. Pick up a copy at the Tourism office in Stratford or online at www.welcometostratford.com. The Belfry, the more casual space within the venerable Church Restaurant (www.churchrestaurant.com) in Stratford, is now open. Chef Dave Hassell’s new menus are inspired by French bistro cuisine, with subtle Asian influences. Lunch is served Tuesday to Friday, dinner Tuesday to Saturday. Phone 519-273-3424 for reservations. Slow Food Perth County Convivium invites you to bring your Mom for a sensational brunch at Stratford’s Pazzo Ristorante on May 10, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The menu, sourcing local ingredients, may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca includes a main course, dessert and beverages, plus a sweet treat for Mom to take home. Adults, $20; Children under 10, $10. Proceeds support cooking classes for kids and school breakfast programs. Call 519273-6666 for reservations, . attend their Town Hall on Sunday May 17, 2009 from 2 to 4 pm at Stratford City Hall for a discussion of Community Shared Agriculture and the Monforte Model. Monforte’s Town Hall is an opportunity for the community of Stratford and the surrounding area to learn more about CSAs and why this business model benefits not only producers, but also people who care about food that’s good, fair, local and sustainably produced. Monforte Dairy is southwestern Ontario’s premier artisanal cheese company, owned and operated by Ruth Klahsen. Known for its range of extraordinary cheeses, made from local seasonal Ontario sheep and goat milk, Monforte is the supplier of choice to five-star restaurants, leading wineries and progressive food retailers throughout Ontario, as well as to people who enjoy good cheese. New Stratford Culinary Getaway Packages include culinary workshops, accommodation and dinner. A Fresh Approach to Healthy Baking introduces you to the techniques and benefits of gluten free baking in a hands-on workshop. Immerse yourself in the world of chocolate and the world of tea, then bring them both together in a pairing and tasting workshop. Or prepare to get your hands dirty as you Cultivate your Palate with the Manic Organic and learn how to grow organic foods. Learn more about these packages and how to participate at www.sensuousstratford.com/ packages. Monforte Dairy in partnership with Stratford Tourism Alliance invites you to The Red Pump in Bayfield opened again for the season at Easter, and many local fans were curious to meet the new chef, Josh Kater. Chef Kater comes to The Pump ON O S G N I OPENLONDON! IN 428 Clarence Street, London When other Stratford chefs are asked where they dine on their evenings oﬀ, the name that comes up again and again is “Raja.” — Cecilia Buy, eatdrink Magazine 37 Open Daily Serving Lunch & Dinner Take-out Available 10 George Street West, Stratford | 519-271-3271 | www.rajafinedining.ca no. 16 • may 2009 May 20 – June 6 “MEMORIES of the RAT PACK” by Chris McHarge & Colin Stewart _____________________ June 10 – June 27 “ANIMAL MAGNETISM” by Simon Joynes _____________________ July 1 – July 18 “HARVEST” by Ken Cameron _____________________ July 22 – Aug. 8 “A BENCH IN THE SUN” by Ron Clark _____________________ Aug. 12 – Sept. 5 “MENDING FENCES” by Norm Foster Artistic Director: SIMON JOYNES Apropos for the time the place the occasion PORT STANLEY, ONTARIO Season Sponsor Box Office: 519-782-4353 psft.on.ca after training and working in Brisbane, Australia for 17 years. He also did a stint in Thailand before returning to Southwestern Ontario where he was born. Kater had landed for a rest at the family cottage near Bayfield when he noticed that The Pump was looking for a new chef after Steven Bland decided to end his 23-year run in the kitchen. Bland has moved on to a new line of work in Grand Bend. Kater has revamped the menu, keeping the ever-popular Pump Burger and Caesar Salad but adding many new items, including Salt and Pepper Calamari with Thai Style Dipping Sauce and Wasabi Mayo, and an impressive new version of French Onion Soup with a puff pastry top. The Friday Nighters — a group of Huron County friends who meet at The Red Pump every Friday night — packed the place for opening night on April 9, with more than 55 people filling the pub to meet Chef Kater and sample his cuisine. Rumour has it they will be back. Meanwhile, just down the street in Bayfield, the Martha Ritz House has been transformed into the Ristorante di Martha — an Italian family-style eatery which is also newly opened for this season. The new chef is Alex Masse, who is originally from Exeter. In 2008, he completed a threemonth “Field to Table” Work Study program at Agriturismo La Petraia in Tuscany, Italy, where he assisted in the harvest of organic crops including grains, vegetables, fruit and grapes; foraged for wild produce including berries, apples, nuts and mushrooms; slaughtered and butchered wild and farm-raised animals including deer, poultry and boar; completed prep work and executed set tasting menus for guest services; assisted in cooking schools and recipe development; and transported grapes to acantina/winery for the production of wine. Before taking this program, Masse worked at the Hensall District Cooperative and JJ’s Bistro, and then at Paddy O’Neil’s since his return to Canada. Masse received his Culinary Management Diploma from Fanshawe College in 2008. Brentwood on the Beach in St. Joseph (located between Grand Bend and Bay- may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca field) is offering its 15th Annual Breakfast with the Stars on Sunday June 14. Guests enjoy breakfast at the ten-room B & B with actors from the production of Oliver! at the Huron County Playhouse in Grand Bend. Dinner, theatre and accommodation packages are also available for this popular kick-off to the new theatre season in Huron County. Contact Joan Karstens at 519-2367137 or go to www.brentwood-onthebeach.com. reserve a spot for your youngster. A farm is a great way to spend part of summer vacation. The market, just outside St. Marys at 4074 Perth Line #9, is now open, with Suntastic Greenhouse tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers offering the first taste of local vegetables after a long winter. Goderich’s Thyme on 21’s Chef Terry Kennedy’s new menu will start mid-May, featuring local Huron County specialties. And watch for a strawberry-inspired prix fixe menu starting mid-June, featuring the best from Bayfield Berry Farm. An exciting new food festival is in the works in Huron County. Watch for A Taste of Huron, August 28-30. This promises to be a community event that embraces the “buy local buy fresh” philosophy and celebrates culinary products and services found in Huron County. More details next issue, but plans to date include: August 28 — a barn dance, pig & corn roast for families/community; August 29 — a farmers’ market, six chef workshops and a gala meal in Bluewater Shores camp by five chefs; and August 30 — a brunch and chef workshops. Plans are underway at McCully’s Hill Farm (www.mccullys.ca) for this year’s Summer Day Camp. The forms should be up on the website shortly, but the dates are July 13–17 and August 10–14. Call 519-284-2564 to 39 Harvest Bakery and Café has opened at 21 Water St. S. in downtown St. Marys. Owned and operated by Sam Santandrea and True Canadiana “One of the Lake Erie shore’s most exceptional bed and breakfasts.... a tour de force of tempting choices.” Book now for Patio Dining with Dad, Father’s Day, June 21 — Janette Higgins, The Best Places to B&B in Ontario Vicci & Jon Coughlin 205 Main Street, Port Stanley ON -- www.telegraphhouse.com 40 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 Claire and David Ford, the trio worked Steeped Tea is offering a new kind of together in the kitchen at Westover Inn. home-based business with “one-of-a-kind Sam is a graduate of the Stratford Chefs Tea Parties.” Started by Tonia and Hatem School, while Claire is a graduate of FanJahshan, this is the only direct sales comshawe College’s Culinary Management pany selling high-end tea products in program. The bakery offers fresh-baked Canada. The company has experienced goods and is “100-mile friendly,” with flour more than 300 growth in the last year and from Arva Flour and yeast there are currently more produced by Internathan 80 consultants across tional Bakery of London. Canada. Each Tea Party folAn organic, fair trade, sixlows a specific educational Help spread the word. bean coffee blend is format promoting the joys Sign up for a FREE digital roasted fresh weekly by and health benefits of subscription, and tell your friends. loose leaf tea. To learn Hasbeans in London, and an Elektra espresso more, visit machine makes espressos, www.steepedtea.com. Interested in a woman’s perspective? americanos, cappuccinos and lattes. Organic, looseIn London, Linda Wayne and Glenn Kiff, proprileaf tea comes from Distinctly Tea in Stratford. etors of the popular East Hot beverage cups are biodegradable and Village Coffeehouse on Dundas Street East, are opening a second communitythe “to go” containers are made from corn starch. The bakery is open daily and special based coffeehouse and gallery. The Briscoe Cafe will be on the corner of orders can be called in to 519-284-2900. Briscoe and Wharncliffe, with their main Enjoy eatdrink? www.eatdrink.ca www.citywoman.ca “the ultimate experience in ﬁne dining” LUNCH Tues to Fri am–pm DINNER Tues to Sat :pm–pm SUNDAY BRUNCH am–pm Closed Monday Hyde Park Road, London www.volkers.ca Specializing in Seafood Chef Volker Jendhoﬀ may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca chef, Margaret Trainor of Ambiance Catering, maintaining the commitment to local and sustainable offerings. Like the East Village Coffeehouse, the style will be historical and suit the location, but since the Briscoe is a 1930s structure, it will be vintage ’30s American skyscraper Deco. Think Chrysler Building and clean geometrics. They plan to open this summer and will add another sibling to the venture, Larry Wayne. the producers. The market will have room for 60 vendors and operate Fridays from 8 am to 1 pm. They say “when you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Dave Cook, who started the Fire Roasted Coffee Company a couple of years ago and bought the London Farmers’ Market at Western Fair last year, is opening another Farmers’ Market at the Masonville Place Mall. The new market will be open on Fridays starting May 15, in the mall parking lot facing the Loblaw store across the street. Cook is confident that the busy corner will provide plenty of customers interesting in buying local produce,meat and baked goods directly from 41 Matt Carson, formerly of The Veranda Café, has joined Chef Wade Fitzgerald’s team at Garlic’s of London. Fitzgerald also plans to add bee hives on the roof shortly in order to harvest the honey in September. Also on the agenda is catering for The Grand Theatre’s “Grand Gala” on May 23, with 300-400 guests expected. The amazing AGA cookers are getting an expanded showroom at Belle Vie on Denfield Road in London, as the beautiful guest house on the property undergoes a conversion. Maria and Wouter Eshuis, also purveyors of the Hypnos mattress, have been the regional distributor of the AGA ranges (www.agacookers.ca) for over 10 years. Book a demonstration at www.agaranges.com and you may win one of three trips for two to England for “The Ultimate AGA Experience,” with round trip travel, Great Food ...Fine Wine ...Good Times Patio Now Open Authentic Italian Cuisine 519-439-8983 www.amicieatery.com Monday–Saturday: 11–2 & 5–10; Sunday: 5–10 350 Dundas Street, London (at Waterloo) Katafnéa Ka “A little out of the way, A lot out of the ordinary!” 519-455-9005 Lunch 11 to 3 (7 days a week) Dinner 5 to 10 (Wed to Sun) Breakfast 9 to 12 (Sat & Sun) 2530 Blair Rd, London Diamond Flight Centre no. 16 • may 2009 five-star accommodations and AGA Cookery classes at Eckington Manor. Blackfriars Bistro and Catering welcomes Zakia Haskouri to their powerful kitchen team. Haskouri, former owner and chef of the London Casbah restaurant, joins chefs Jaqui Shantz, Abby Roberts and Julianna Guy. “Her knowledge of African cuisine is a beautiful addition to Blackfriars,” notes Chef/Owner Betty Heydon. Chef Volker Jendhoff is bringing in a new summer menu at Volker’s on Hyde Park in early May, incorporating many favourites, including an organic white asparagus, grown locally in Ailsa Craig. As usual, every Tuesday night is Seafood Night. Dinner Revolution is offering 20 off your entire order until May 19, with the same service, product and complimentary assembly. Go to www.dinnerrevolution.com to see the full April menu and then call 519963-1068 or email your selections. Gift Certificates from Dinner Revolution, a “make, take and bake” dinner option, make great gifts for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. “A Unique Cafe” Comfort Food ... Made from Scratch • Customized Menus • All Occasion Catering • Homemade Entrees and Desserts • Eat In and Take Out • Your Dish or Mine! Veg Out has made a most successful transition from Stratford to the heart of downtown London. Located in the former Jambalaya space at 646 Richmond Street (see Bryan Lavery’s update on Chef Kevin Greaves’ move on page 11), the vegan restaurant run by young dynamo Florine Morrison features meals with an emphasis on organic, local and fair trade ingredients. Whether you’re a committed vegan or just looking for a delicious bite of earth-friendly fare, you’re sure to get a warm welcome. Does your business or organization have news to share? Don’t forget to be part of creating the buzz. Inclusion is free, and independent of paid advertising. Email your interesting local culinary news to: [email protected] CHRIS MCDONELL is Publisher of eatdrink. march/april 2009 • no. 15 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 43 COOKING FROM THE GARDEN A Taste of Spring: Asparagus By Christine Scheer H ats off to the humble drop biscuit, the indispensable side for soup and salads, easy to make and so unassuming. With a handful of cooked asparagus tossed in on a whim, let’s just say the drop biscuit has gone from simple to sublime, and should enjoy a place of honour at your next brunch or luncheon. Asparagus has many fans; some say for its subtle flavour, I say because it still is the first “big” vegetable of the spring. Let’s celebrate its arrival and use it whenever possible. First, a few facts: when buying asparagus, look for stems that are fresh and firm, and not dried out at the end. The thickness of the stem indicates the age of the plant, not how tender the stem will be. Freshness, as always, is the key to the best asparagus. Asparagus grows best in sandy soil, which means it needs to be well washed before using. When you think you have all the grit out after two or three rinses, rinse it again just to make certain. As you would expect, asparagus is best used the day it is picked, but it will keep well for two days refrigerated. Asparagus contains vitamins A, B, and C, and is a source of iron. CHRISTINE SCHEER is a chef who lives with her family on an organic farm. She currently runs the Oakridge Superstore cooking school. Her passions include using seasonal, local ingredients and teaching children how to cook. You can reach Christine at: [email protected] Asparagus and Cheese Drop Biscuits 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon (15 mL) baking powder 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt 2 teaspoons (10 mL) granulated sugar 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, cut into cubes 1 cup (250 mL) havarti cheese, grated 1 cup (250 mL) cooked asparagus, chopped 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) milk 1 Heat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2 In a large bowl, sift together the flour with the baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt and granulated sugar. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the cheese and then the asparagus. Add the milk and stir until mixture is just combined; do not overmix. Scoop large spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15–18 minutes. Remove from oven and serve while still warm. Makes one dozen biscuits. LONDON’S FARMERSOMSUtaATRDrtKOsEOTR MARKET May Amazing Ethnic Food •Locally Grown Produce Fruits • Vegetables • Meats • Cheeses Baked Goods • Eggs • Flowers • Handicrafts Local Art Displays • Live Music 10-2 Second Floor, A Must to Explore! Join Us Every Saturday: 8am-3pm Located at the Western Fair Dundas at Ontario Street, London 519.639.4963 FREE PARKING www.londonsfarmersmarket.ca 44 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 SEASONAL SPOTLIGHT In the Pink, with Rhubarb By Sue Moore M emories can often be evoked by a season and as the wind begins to become soft and warm again, I am once again transported to a familiar scene from my childhood. Having liberated my mother’s china sugar bowl from the kitchen, my best friend and I — both around seven or eight — sit companionably in the sandbox, snapping off long, tender ruby stalks of rhubarb from close by and dipping them expansively — nay, double dipping — into increasingly damp sugar. With the ends of the rhubarb frayed and sticky with the effort, we reveled in the satisfyingly juicy, sour crunch of this handy treat. I’m fairly certain that my mother never knew about her sugar bowl …. The humble rhubarb or “pie plant” is one of those foods that often falls into the love or hate category — unfairly perhaps in the latter case, because there are so many different ways to use this wonderful taste of spring: chutneys, jams, fools, coffee cakes, compotes, crumbles, cordials, as well as traditional pies sinking with strawberries, to name but a few. It’s literally worth making anything with rhubarb, just to see the luscious jewel tones that occur as it cooks. As a student in seventies’ “New Wave” Britain, I had to endure rhubarb and custard on a regular basis in the school dinners system. (This was, sadly, before the reign of Jamie Oliver.) The whole mess was ladled up into a pot where it immediately split into two lurid pools of pinky-green and brilliant yellow — a sort of BattenbergBayou, if you will. On other days (cooks’ day off perhaps?), the custard would reappear as a thick, quivering slice surrounded by a pulpy rhubarb moat. Tempting? Not so much. But trust me, I learned later in life that it doesn’t have to be this way …. Rhubarb — which technically belongs to the buckwheat family — is actually one of the few perennial vegetables. It can be har- Sour Cream Rhubarb Pie Thanks to Vicci Coughlin of The Telegraph House(www.telegraphhouse.com) in Port Stanley for sharing this legendary recipe. They also serve “Rhubarb Cream Tea,” a wonderful complement to this dessert. 8 cups (2 L) washed, chopped rhubarb 1½ cups (375 ml) white sugar ½ cup (125 ml) all-purpose or unbleached hard-wheat flour. 1 cup (250 ml) full-fat sour cream (not light) 1 Blend the sugar, flour and sour cream into a paste in large bowl and add the chopped rhubarb. Mix until well blended. Put into unbaked pastry shell and top with crumb topping. CRUMB TOPPING ¾ cup (175 mL) flour ¾ cup (175 mL) packed brown sugar ¼ cup (50 mL) soft butter 1 Blend with fingers to make it crumbly, and sprinkle over rhubarb mixture. 2 Bake in a 350°F oven for approx. one hour. Check with a sharp knife to make sure rhubarb is soft in the middle. may 2009 • no. 16 vested for many years if the location is suitable and the plant is thriving. Most people know not to eat the leaves — I even leave mine out of the composter — since the oxalic acid contained therein is poisonous. Stems should be celery-crisp and about ten inches long before harvesting, if you are growing your own. If you are buying at the grocery store — a last resort really, as you must know someone with rhubarb — then be sure the stalks are not wrinkled or limp. Although a good deal of sugar is needed to render it palatable, rhubarb still boasts an impressive array of health benefits such as vitamins C and K and red carotenoids. Folk remedies used rhubarb for aid always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca Appetizers Soups Salsas Chilies Salads Bean Dips Desserts Soybean Snacks Available at: 519-657-0887 in digestive matters — or as a laxative. Indeed, early records suggest that rhubarb has been used in Chinese medicine since its first cultivation there around 2700 BC. After visiting China, Marco Polo made mention of the plant as well in his writings and was likely responsible for introducing it to Europe. North America did not really embrace the plant till the 1800s when it was likely obtained from a European source. Because different kinds of rhubarb grow in different parts of the world, there are reportedly more than 20 different varieties. If you find yourself with an overabundance of rhubarb or you simply want to preserve that taste of spring for the months to come, freezing could not be easier. There’s no blanching, steaming or boiling 45 REMARK FRESH MARKET 1180 Oxford St W @ Hyde Park Rd HAVARIS PRODUCE Covent Garden Market, 130 King St UNGER FARM MARKET 1010 Gainsborough Rd ARVA FLOUR MILL 2042 Elgin (oﬀ Richmond) water baths involved. All you need to do is: • Remove leaves and cut an inch or so off the bottom. • Wipe stalks thoroughly or rinse. Cut into small pieces, one inch or so, and lay on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze for an hour or so in order that rhubarb will not form a solid mass when bagged. • Measure into amounts of your choice (2 cups is handy), transfer to plastic bags, and label. Keeps well up to eight months in the freezer. Alternately, rhubarb can be stewed or pureed first and then frozen. For best results, defrost overnight before use. Whether you’re making a curry, tangy muffins, or spooning up a little gingered rhubarb sauce alongside the roast duck, you must give “the pie plant” another chance to shine. It’s cheap, cheerful and delicious! SUE MOORE lives and writes in Londonm is also and online music editor and works in the London Public Library. 46 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 BOOKS The Fortune Cookie Chronicles Adventures in the World of Chinese Food Review by Darin Cook T he telling of interesting stories must come with the territory when your middle initial is a number 8 (Chinese for prosperity) instead of a letter, as Jennifer 8. Lee proves in her new book, The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food (Twelve Books, 2008, $28.99). The chronicles begin with the familiar symbolic item that ends meals in a Chinese restaurant: the simple, yet venerable, fortune cookie. Lee writes: “For people who don’t have time to contemplate the life well lived or read Confucius, Immanuel Kant, or Aris- “A delightfully charming story for animal lovers of all ages.” by Ann & David Lindsay David and Ann Lindsay owned and operated Ann McColl’s Kitchen Shop with the help of their animal friends in London Ontario from to . Available at: The Oxford Book Shop Ltd. Attic Books Jill’s Table . Sales beneﬁt The London Humane Society totle, fortune cookies provide the Cliffs Notes version of wisdom.” Along with pithy bits of insight, the slips of paper inside the cookies also offer a set of lucky numbers for lottery players. On one fortuitous day in 2005, beyond all statistical probability, the Powerball lottery was won by 110 people across the United States—all playing the same numbers “spoken” to them through fortune cookies. This intriguing story sets Lee off on a cross-country spree to the Chinese restaurants that had unwittingly passed on the lucky numbers to the jackpot winners. It is on this journey that the thread of Chinese culture links together stories of kosher food in Chinese-Jewish restaurants, the takeout delivery revolution in Manhattan in 1976 and the debate over hand-made versus machine-made fortune cookies. All these stories emphasize the immigration of the Chinese people and the Americanization of their food. “As a child, I never considered it strange that the food we ordered from Chinese restaurants didn’t quite resemble my mom’s home cooking,” writes Lee. But she believes that “Chinese” food does not have to originate in China but rather “incorporate indigenous ingredients and utilize Chinese cooking techniques,” resulting in Szechuan alligator in Louisiana and chow mein sandwiches in Rhode Island. Lee’s investigations uncover numerous enthralling cultural tidbits from around the world, and underscores that good things can happen when you pick up a bag of takeout from your favourite Chinese restaurant and the luck of the fortune cookie is with you. Darin Cook keeps himself well-read and well-fed by visiting the bookstores and restaurants of London. may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 47 COOKBOOKS Martha Stewart’s Cooking School Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook Review by Jennifer Gagel I t’s time for cooking class, and Martha has assembled everything you need in order to be fabulous in Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook (Clarkson Potter, 2008, $52). Martha is known for her attention to fine details, and in this book upholds her reputation. With extremely thorough directions and step-by-step pictures, she beautifully illuminates classic gourmet food, with updates. Martha knows how to present, and though the book is information dense, it is visually delightful. There is a picture of everything. This is not so much a recipe book as it is a book of lessons you get to eat your way through. If you manage to work your way through the fourth section of the book on vegetables, you will intimately know the perfect ways to steam, wilt, blanch, simmer, boil, poach, roast and bake, sauté, fry, stirfry, braise and stew, grill, and even how to best make a green salad. She reveals each technique with clarity and crystal-clear photos — no guesswork involved. But it wouldn’t be Martha if she didn’t feature many elegant finishes and accompaniments. The book provides plenty of cutting-edge information, too. For example, Martha introduces a santoku knife. “The Japanese santoku is similar to a traditional chef’s knife (and in most cases can be used in its place), but with a shorter, broader, thinner blade. The evenly spaced indentations along the blade, called a granton edge, create air pockets as the knife cuts through food, reducing friction and keeping particles from sticking to the blade. Use a santoku as you would a chef’s knife, for chopping, dicing, and mincing.” Keeping particles off the blade? I have to try this. At first glance, this book can look a bit overwhelming, but as you work through the recipes it all comes together with surprising ease. The Pureed Pea and Spinach soup is made in as little time as it takes to boil water twice. (And only one onion to chop!) An immersion blender makes quick work of pureeing it and means very little cleanup. She also makes suggestions as to which steps you can omit. I did not sear the Peppercorn-Crusted Beef Tenderloin before roasting, and as she promised, it was just as delightful. My guests did nothing but say wow for about five minutes. “Exquisite Artistic Elegant Catering” A personalized approach to Weddings, Dinner Parties, Corporate Events, etc. For Lesbians, Gay Men & Alternative Couples Sunday May 10, 2009 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Grand Prize Draw: A Honeymoon in Italy! 48 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca Some lessons are beautiful in their simplicity. Macerated Berries are an uncomplicated way to dress up store goods such as ice cream or angel food cake. Or go full-on Martha-style and turn them into a rustic Fruit Galette, formed after a two-page lesson on Pâte Brisée. It all depends on what you feel like at the moment. Whether simple or complex, Stewart gives you the details to understand why the recipes work as they do. Infuse her abundant information of fine cuisine into your The Best Products You’ll Never See Acrylic: Clear to Your Needs Acrylic poster holders can be placed anywhere around your restaurant or business. Vertical Poster Holder or slant frames are perfect to hold promotional ﬂyers and messages that can be easily changed for each season or sale. Keeping menus and other Brochure Holder literature in neat and easily accessible areas is a snap with These are just two examples of what acrylic holders. we can do for you in acrylic. We custom fabricate our products to suit your speciﬁc need. The only limit is your imagination! Granton Plastics 519 520 1270 www.grantonplastics.com [email protected] Call for your free estimate. no. 16 • may 2009 own style, and you’ll be sure to impart grace and great tastes into your home. JENNIFER GAGEL is a regular contributor to eatdrink and can be found cooking in a home near you. Recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart, from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, (Clarkson Potter, 2008). Macerated Berries Makes about 2½ cups (725 mL) Macerating is a simple way to turn fresh fruit into a syrupy sauce. Sugar draws out the fruit’s juices; lemon juice preserves colour and adds flavour. 1 pint (500 mL) fresh strawberries, hulled (large berries halved or quartered lengthwise) 2 tbsp (25 mL) sugar 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh lemon juice 1 In a bowl, toss berries with sugar and lemon juice to combine. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes to draw out some of the juices before serving. Pea and Spinach Soup adapted from Pureed Mixed Vegetable Soup recipe This soup is best made with farm-fresh peas, but you can substitute a ten-ounce package of frozen peas in a pinch. Since spinach and peas cook in such a short amount of time, do not add them to the pot until the stock has reached a boil. This soup is finished with lemon juice rather than cream or buttermilk. For an elegant presentation, garnish the soup with Frico (recipe follows). Serves 4 The Sunnivue Farmstore Organic Meat and Produce The Store Opens Saturday, June 6 for the season! Here’s one of the many ways to Sunnivue: Take Richmond St. to Elginﬁeld and turn left on Route 7. Continue to Ailsa Craig and turn left in the middle of TUES DELIVEDRAY AVAILAB IES LE! Call Da g ar for detam ils town on Queen (which becomes Petty St.) Turn right on New Ontario Rd., a short distance outside of town, and drive about 1 km. to Sunnivue, on the left. Organic Vegetables & Herbs Fresh-Cut & Dried Flowers Beef, Veal & Pork Eggs Beeswax Candles Home-Made Bread &Buns Maple Syrup Honey & Jam All Subject to Seasonal Availability www.sunnivue-farm.on.ca 519-232-9096 may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca 2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter 1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (1 cup or 250 mL) 3½ cups (875 mL) chicken or vegetable stock, or water 2 pounds (1 Kg) fresh green peas, shelled (2 cups) 1 pound (500 g) fresh flat-leaf spinach 2 tsp (10 mL) fresh lemon juice time a bit. Just keep checking the temperature of the meat, until it registers 125°F. 1 Melt butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring constantly, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. 2 Add stock or water and bring to a boil. Add peas and return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until bright green and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Then stir in spinach (in batches if necessary, stirring until each is wilted) and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Puree and finish, thinning with water as desired, then season with lemon juice along with salt and pepper. Peppercorn-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Serves 8 to 10 Tenderloin is widely considered one of the best sections of beef for roasting; it becomes meltingly tender during cooking. It is also one of the more expensive cuts, so you’ll want to take care to cook tenderloin properly. Fortunately, this is spectacularly easy to do. The tenderloin is first seared on the stove, but this step is optional. (The roast will be just as delicious if it’s not seared, but many people prefer the look — and texture — of a nicely browned crust.) If you decide not to sear the roast, you will need to i ncrease the cooking 1 whole beef tenderloin (about 4 pounds [2 Kg], and 3 inches in diameter), trimmed and tied Olive oil 1 tbsp plus 1 (20 mL) coarse salt 1 tbsp (15 mL) whole green peppercorns, coarsely ground 1 Prepare beef: Heat oven to 475°F. Let tenderloin rest at room temperature 1 hour. Pat meat with paper towels to dry, then lightly coat all over with oil. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and ground peppercorns, gently pressing to help them adhere. 2 Sear beef: Set a cast-iron griddle (or large roasting pan) over two burners and heat over high until hot. Carefully rub griddle lightly with oil (if using a roasting pan, add enough oil to barely coat the bottom of the pan) and heat until hot but not smoking, then place the tenderloin on the griddle and sear on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Use tongs to transfer beef to a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. 3 Roast: Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 125°F for mediumrare. Let rest 10 minutes. 4 Carve and serve: Transfer tenderloin to a carving board and slice to desired thickness (about ½-inch is a nice slice) before serving. More recipes from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School are online: Roast Duck and Frico to garnish the soup! Shop Like a Chef! Buy Wholesale! Open to the Public William St., London .. www.rescolon.ca 49 Restaurant Equipment & Supply Co. 0QFO.PO'SJUP 4BUVSEBZTUP 50 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 WINE More for Less This Summer By Rick VanSickle T wo things are very clear as we head into the summer of 2009. First, the big, bold comfort wines of winter and spring must make way for the fresh and fruity wines of summer. Second, as this nasty economic beast keeps droning on, we don’t want to pay a lot for the wines we’ll be sipping on the back deck or the front porch. By all accounts, wine prices are dropping to reflect the current downturn in the economy. Consumers want to pay less, but without a drop in quality. They want more for less. While trophy wines, those with the big price tags, gather dust on lcbo shelves, the under-$20 category is going gangbusters. Here are some very nice summer wines that over-deliver in quality but won’t drain the bank account. France may seem a strange place to start, with most of the world’s most expensive wines being made in Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne; but you may be surprised to learn that some producers, such as Bouchard Père & Fils, consistently make great wines at bargain prices. This Burgundian producer has a good portfolio of wines in the general list section of the lcbo. Here are a few to try. Bouchard Père & Fils Mâcon-Lugny St. Pierre ($15 lcbo) — Lovely aromas of pear and soft citrus in a fresh, crisp chardonnay style. With its pure, juicy fruits this is a nice summer sipper. Bouchard Père & Fils Petit Chablis ($20 lcbo) — Nice green apple notes with subtle vanilla, toast and minerality on the nose. In the mouth this is gorgeous with citrus and apple flavours and lightly spiced vanilla. Bouchard Père & Fils La Vignée Pinot Noir ($18 lcbo) — Fresh raspberry and strawberry notes with light spice on the nose. It’s silky smooth and fruit-packed on the palate. And from Bordeaux, under $20: Château Bonnet Réserve Red 2005 ($17 lcbo) — From Andre Lurton, an excellent value producer, comes this cabernet sauvignon-merlot blend. Lovely cherry-strawberry notes to start on the nose, with hints of vanilla, herbs and spice following. Plenty to like on the palate — red fruits, currants, cedar and herbs, all nicely balanced. Calvet Réserve des Remparts Saint Emilion Red 2006 ($18 lcbo) — A pretty, fruity wine, from the nearly 100 merlot fruit, with cherry aromas and sweet vanilla and spice. The up-front fruits combine nicely with oak and earth notes. As for Canadian wines, here are some wonderful Niagara wines to stock up on: Mike Weir Estate Chardonnay 2007 ($15 Vintages) — This elegant offering is from the first vintage being made by Chateau des Charmes (formerly made at Creekside). It starts with a refined and creamy nose of pear and vanilla, followed by butterscotch and pear flavours on the palate, with just a hint of citrus and hazelnut. Henry of Pelham Sibling Rivalry ($14 lcbo) — The three Speck brothers who make up Henry of Pelham get wild and crazy with the Sibling Rivalry red and white. The red is a blend of merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. It’s loaded with bright cherry, plum, herbs, tar and licorice notes. Quite smoky may 2009 • no. 16 with a hint of green mint. The white is a blend of riesling, chardonnay and gewurztraminer. Some big flavours of apple, pear, melon and spice in this funky new wine from the Specks. Inniskillin Reserve Series Brae Blanc 2007 ($15 lcbo) — A brave new entry from Niagara’s Inniskillin winery comes this unique blend of gewurztraminer, riesling and chardonnay. It sounds like a crazy experiment gone wrong, but don’t laugh until you’ve tried it. It’s truly delicious with an exotically spiced nose to go with lychee nut, grapefruit and floral notes. It has wonderful depth of flavour in the mouth with peach and citrus fruit flavours to go with a healthy helping of ginger. And three more to try: Cafe Culture Pinotage 2008 ($14 Vintages) — This commercial brand from South Africa has made a name for itself in a hurry. And for good reason. The wines are consistently delicious, in a crowd-pleasing way. The nose is all about dark, aromatic fruits with a touch of mocha spice. The palate reveals juicy cherry-blackberry fruits, pepper and sweet spices. KWV Cathedral Cellar Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($12 Vintages) — A fresh, lime-gooseberry profile on the nose and that lively style continues on the palate with zesty tartness, crisp lemon, grapefruit and some grassy-herbal notes. From South Africa. Sonoma Vineyards Chardonnay 2006 ($17 lcbo) — Ripe tropical fruits bolstered by pineapple and peach notes on the nose. A pleasing, easy-to-like chard with juicy tropical fruits. From California. RICK VANSICKLE is an avid wine collector. He has written a weekly wine column since 1999 and appears regularly, in various forms, in the Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto Suns. If you have questions, he can be reached at [email protected] You can also follow him on Twitter: Rickwine. Welcome to Windermere’s Café, where our unique character, charm and distinctive natural setting are sure to captivate you! Reservations encouraged... Collip Circle @ The Research Park The UNIVERSITY of WESTERN ONTARIO (Windermere at Western Road) • London Affordable Fine Dining A relaxing atmosphere overlooking the Thames River and Golden Plate Award-winning maitre d’extraordinaire Jack DiCarlo and staﬀ have made Michael’s on the Thames one of the ﬁnest dining rooms in London. With tableside cooking, ﬂambéed desserts and coﬀees, the restaurant specializes in continental cuisine. Group-set Menus to Suit Any Budget Affordable Lunches Monday to Friday Open for Dinner Every Day 1 York Street (Just West of Ridout) 26 Years of EXCELLENT Service 519-672-0111 www.michaelsonthethames.com Pianist Tuesday to Sunday Evenings Plenty of FREE Parking 52 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 BEER Bock to the Future An Age-old Gourmet Beer with Contemporary Mass Appeal By The Malt Monk T his spring was a particularly pleasant one for me, even though the weather was surly. I was warmed and exhilarated by the choices of domestic and imported Bockbier (Bock) available in the local market. Bock is my favourite beer style for sipping on a cool day and for quaffing with a robust meal. Its origins may lie in the mists of Germanic antiquity, but the style is so universally relished that there are prime examples of Bock brewed all over the world these days. Personally, I believe Bockbier to be the most versatile beer in complementing speciality foods or full-course meals. It is also a great beer to cook with, lending its malty-roasty herbal character to everything from marinades to meat pies to desserts. Part of that universal flexibility is the fact that Bocks vary in character from dark roasty and semi-dry with cocoa-coffee-fig character to light gold with a malty-bready toffee character. I prefer to think of Bock as the all-around universal gourmet beer that is appreciated by just about everyone. Artisan beer with mass appeal. Bock Beer Origins The roots of bock beer can be traced back to fourteenth-century Einbeck in northern Germany. Bock’s history is better documented than that of many other beer styles. Einbeck’s beers were highly esteemed throughout Europe, thus Einbeck’s ambercoloured beer was exported to its admirers in England, Scandinavia, and even the Mediterranean and Baltic countries. Several unique factors gave rise to the quality of Einbeck beer. The city’s brewers were the first to grow hops commercially and use them in stabilizing the beer from infection. Einbeck beer was also brewed with the richest malts available, which were double or triple decoction mashed for a rich sweet wort. It was brewed only in winter, therefore finished and stored cold (lagered) two to three months, making it mellow and strong. Munich was a renowned brewing centre during the same time; however, its brewers couldn’t match the rich brews of Einbeck. The Munich braumeisters set out to reverse this situation in 1612. Munich’s indigenous brown beer, dunkel, was then made using the Einbeck procedures. The resulting brew was still dark, but smoother and stronger. Within a few years, it became wildly popular. Refined over generations, these beers are known today as traditional bock. Bock being the Germanic word for Ram and associated with strength. The Bock Genre Bocks are bottom-fermented and extensively cold-lagered to give them a smooth, deep maltiness. They are generally dark amber to dark brown in colour and modestly hopped with herbal noble varieties. They are substantial beers, ranging from 6.0 ABV to 7.5 ABV, with some Doppel bocks ranging from 8 to a heady 14 ABV. The substyles range from MaiBock and Hellesbock in the amber end to Dunkler Bock, Doppelbock and Eisbocks in the darker spectrum. Aroma: Strong malt aroma, often with moderate amounts of rich toasty overtones. Low hop aroma. Flavour: Complex maltiness is dominated by the rich flavours of Munich and Vienna malts, which contribute toasty-toffee flavours. Some caramel notes will be present from decoction mashing. Hop may 2009 • no. 16 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca bitterness is generally only high enough to support the malt flavours, allowing a bit of sweetness to linger into the finish. Finish is clean, not cloying, and can be a bit dry. again after a long absence. Brick brewery made this rich brew famous with beerophiles across Canada. This new release is a lighter, more drinkable version of the original. A dark single Bock at 5.8. 53 Recommendations Bocks available locally this spring include: Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock (lcbo 893974). My personal favourite and top-pick bottled Bock. Brewed in a German Baroque monastery, this is a rich toastymalty dark brew with hazelnut, spice and dark toffee complexity. Eggenberg Doppelbock Dunkel (lcbo 100487). My second favourite dark doppelbock. Deep chestnut brown with ruby highlights. Aroma gives deep wafts of sweet toasty Munich malt, burnt treacle, some coffee, earthy-woody noble hop signature. Rigid malt spine, coffee-toffee-toast character, rich mouth feel. Doppel Hirsch Doppel Bock (lcbo 106237). Aroma is mustybready-cocoa-molasses ... like a liquid chocolate bundt cake. Rich malt spine, big chew on Munich malts in the front and a detectable wonderful “mellowness” in the character of this dark alpine Bock beer. Schloss Eggenberg Urbock 23 (lcbo 65763). Honey-amber strong Maibock (9.6 ABV) with smoky oak, apple, toffee character. Very warming. Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus Beer (lcbo 97469). The king Bock of strength at 14.0 ABV. Aromas of honey, almond and vanilla. Thick malt spine, malty boozy toffee character. Be careful with this one — the alcohol is deceptive. Amsterdam Strong Spring Bock (available only at the brewery). This Toronto microbrewer has the hands-down best local Bock of the year. Rich, malty, toasty, earthy with a unique light dryness to it. A very well puttogether Doppelbock. Brick Bock (limited quantities at brewery only, call first). Ontario’s legendary Brick Bock is back Taste of the Month Pietra (lcbo 100495). A crafted Vienna lager made in Corsica with a unique twist: along with the rich Vienna red malts they add sweet Chestnut flour. (Apparently Corsica is the Chestnut capital of Europe.) The result is a very drinkable amber Vienna-style lager with a toasty-nutty malt character that stays moderately dry. A winner with a BBQed Bratwurst on a bun. THE MALT MONK is the alter ego of D.R. Hammond, an industrial consultant by day and a passionate supporter of craft beer culture. He has been a home brewer and reviewer/ consumer of craft beers for as long as he cares to remember. 54 always more online @ www.eatdrink.ca no. 16 • may 2009 THE LIGHTER SIDE Brussels Sprouts Sandwich By Claudette Sauve-Foy I t was a standoff. Mother versus a young boy. I had carefully studied the nutritional guidelines from the Department of Wealth and Hellfare and my son Mike was failing in one group. Milk and dairy were great. I had seriously considered renting a cow to graze in the backyard. Meat, eggs, and substitutes are way up there. A four-pound jar of peanut butter each week helped his protein intake. Of course, peanut butter cookies didn’t exactly fit the category, but what the heck. Grains, pasta, breads and cereals weren’t doing too badly. He adored my macaroni and cheese casserole (with meat = three groups and if I added some vegetables = four groups covered). Fruit was okay, even though he prefered it baked into squares, pies, cakes, puddings and tarts. The bane of my existence was pushing vegetables into the lad. To make matters worse, Mike was aided and abetted by two brothers who agreed that vegetables had no redeeming qualities. His younger brother, Pete, knocked green stuff off his plate into the mouth of Mopsy, our family dog, who waited under the table and caught anything that moved. When Pete did manage to get some vegetables into his mouth, he would gag, cry and whine. Their older brother, Steve, not to be outdone, hid green stuff beneath his mashed potatoes or dropped it into Mopsy’s mouth. Enough was enough. Our happy mealtimes were turning into a battlefield and casualties were mounting fast. “All right, Mike, you’ve finished everything except the sprouts. Now finish your dinner.” I used my most authoritative voice. “I don’t like them. I hate them. They’re yucky.” His lower lip was pushed out so far I could have rested my coffee cup on it with room to spare. I decided to try a reasonable approach. “If you don’t eat those sprouts you can sit there until bedtime. And, no dessert.” How cruel. I had made his favourite food group – banana cake with chocolate fudge frosting. I felt a twinge of remorse, which quickly disappeared as this little mutineer declared, “I don’t care. I’ll sit here forever.” Hmmm…. this called for some strategic repositioning on my part. “Honey, if you eat your sprouts you can have two pieces of cake for dessert.” I knew I had him. He looked at me defiantly and mumbled, “I hate banana cake.” This was a serious setback — what was a Mother to do? Getting up from my chair, I marched over to him and said sternly, “That’s it. I’ve had it with you. If you don’t eat those sprouts now you can have them for breakfast. And if you don’t eat them for breakfast you can have them for lunch. And if you don’t eat them for lunch you can have them for supper tomorrow.” Knowing this kid I’d probably serve them on his wedding day. His little head bowed for a moment and then he looked at me, assessing the seriousness of the situation. “Can I eat them any way I want?” “Of course you can — just eat the damn things.” I sat down to finish my coffee and Mike proceeded to put together a Brussels sprouts sandwich. Two slices of soft white bread, liberally buttered, the offending sprouts mashed down onto the bottom slice, lots of salt and pepper, and, for the final touch, a half bottle of ketchup. He washed it down with a quart of milk. We both saved face, and heaving a sigh of relief I cut him two pieces of banana cake. I had done my duty in the name of Motherhood and the food groups and Mike had done his in the name of Kids Against Vegetables. CLAUDETTE SAUVE-FOY is retired frrom work but not from life. She is currently studying to be a Licenced Unity Teacher. “The secret is out. This is a place to dine ...” Classic French and Mediterranean Cuisine Extensive Wine Cellar Lunch and Dinner Tuesday to Saturday Private Dining Rooms Available OPE Closer than you think, we’re a relaxed 20-minute drive North of London, straight out Richmond Street (Highway 4). Mother N ’s Day & Father ’s Day Call Reserv for ations Wilberforce Inn 161 Main Street, Lucan Plenty of free parking. www.wilberforceinn.com 519-227-0491 no. 16 • may 2009 WEB1 ONLINE EXCLUSIVE More from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook Recipes Selected by Jennifer Gagel Roast Duck Serves 2 This roasting technique is unique to duck. For the skin to turn crisp, the thick layer of fat that covers the breast needs to be rendered. That’s the reason for the slow roasting at a low temperature (300°F as opposed to 450°F for chicken.) This allows the duck enough time in the oven to render the fat before the breast meat has finished cooking, producing a duck with crisp, golden skin. To offset its richness, duck is often coated with a tangy glaze. In this recipe, the classic duck à l’orange, which put French-style duck on the American map, has been updated with a glaze that combines the flavours of pomegranate, honey and orange. FOR DUCK 1 whole Peking duck (5½ to 6 lbs or 2.5–3 Kg) Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper FOR GLAZE ¼ cup (50 mL) mild-flavoured honey ¼ cup (50 mL) pomegranate molasses 2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh orange juice FOR GARNISH 1 orange and 1 lemon, each cut into eighths Flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional) 1 Prepare duck: Heat oven to 300°F. Remove neck, heart, gizzards, and any excess fat from cavity and cut away excess skin from the neck area. Rinse duck under cold water and dry thoroughly inside and out. With a very sharp knife, score the skin over the breast in a crosshatch pattern. Cut diagonally into the skin, making sure not to cut into the flesh. Prick the skin with the tip of the knife all over, especially in the fattiest areas (this will ensure the best rendering for crisp skin). Season with salt and pepper inside and out. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and fold wing tips behind duck’s back. 2 Roast: Place duck breast-side up on a Vshaped rack set in a deep roasting pan and roast 1 hour. Remove duck and prick the skin over the breast and the fatty deposits around the thigh area with a sharp knife, then turn it over, so breast side is down, and roast for 1 hour more, spooning fat out of pan as needed. Turn duck over again and prick skin in any spots that aren’t rendering as quickly as the others, then roast another hour. Prick the skin, turn breast side down, and roast until almost all the fat has rendered from under the skin and duck is cooked through, about 1 hour more. (Total roasting time should be about 4 hours.) JG note: I did not have a V-shaped rack or deep roasting pan, so I used a regular roasting pan and rack, and drained all the fat out at every flip of the duck. Worked like a charm! Also, make sure you account for flipping and pricking time when planning your meal. My mom had to wait, but said it wasn’t fatty at all and was well worth it! 3 Meanwhile, make glaze: Combine honey, pomegranate molasses, and orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until thick and syrupy, about 5 min. 4 Glaze duck and crisp skin: Once duck has finished cooking, increase oven temperature to 400°F, turn duck breast side up, and roast 10 minutes. Brush with some of the glaze, and continue to roast until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 5 may 2009 • no. 16 www.eatdrink.ca WEB2 Frico minutes more (keep a careful eye through this step because the sugar in the glaze can burn quickly). Let the duck rest for 10 minutes. 5 Caramelize fruit: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Brush orange and lemon wedges with some of the remaining glaze and cook until caramelized, about 3 minutes per cut side. JG note: You can easily omit the caramelization of the fruit, or pop it in with the last bit of cooking time. 6 Serve: Transfer the duck to a platter and surround with caramelized fruit (for squeezing over the duck). Garnish with parsley, if desired. Or carve and then slice thinly; divide among plates, and serve with caramelized fruit. 1 Heat oven to 400°F. Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on the medium holes of a box grater. Using 1½ tablespoons (20 mL) of grated cheese for each frico bowl, sprinkle into rough 4-inch rounds on a nonstick baking mat set on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 3 minutes, then use a small offset spatula to gently transfer to a small bowl (or mini muffin tin) and let rest for 25 seconds to allow the shape to set. Frico can be carefully stacked and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
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