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Serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario
the Future
Artisanal Spring
Beer withaHistory
JJ’s Bistro
in London
The Parlour
in Stratford
Bailey’s Restaurant
in Goderich
Growing Chefs!
Grassroots Gastro
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Culinary Tourism and Community Building
JJ’s Bistro, in London
Los Comales, in London
The Parlour, in Stratford
Bailey’s Restaurant, in Goderich
Grassroots Gastro with Growing Chefs!
Michelangelo’s, in London
Compiled by CHRIS McDONELL
A Taste of Spring: Asparagus
In the Pink, with Rhubarb
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles
Martha Stewart’s Cooking School and Select Recipes
More for Less This Summer
Bock to the Future: Spring’s Artisanal Beer
Brussels Sprouts Sandwich
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may 2009 • no. 16
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Planting Seeds
By Chris McDonell
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,
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no. 16 • may 2009
Culinary Tourism
and Community Building
By Bryan Lavery
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
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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
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.
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
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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-
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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-
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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.
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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
• 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.
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no. 16 • may 2009
Taking Care of Business in Byron
J.J.’s Bistro in London’s Byron Village
By Cecilia Buy
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
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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
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-
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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
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
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
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Los Comales in London
By Bryan Lavery
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
BRYAN LAVERY is eatdrink’s “Food Writer at Large,” and
shares his thoughts and opinions on a wide spectrum of the
culinary beat.
always more online @
no. 15 • march/april 2009
Fine Fare and Luxe Lodging
“Gastro” Meets “Pub” at The Parlour in Stratford
By Cecilia Buy
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
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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
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
always more online @
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
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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
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
34 Brunswick Street in Stratford
behind the Avon Theatre
Reservations 519.271.5645
& 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
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 /
Entrée price range: $18 - $28
Olde English Parlour
519.271.2772 /
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 /
Entrée price range: $15 - $30
519.508.1777 /
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 /
Entrée price range: $30 - $37
and quote promotion code 27165.
A list of eligible performances can be found at
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
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A Tradition of Creativity
Bailey’s Restaurant Keeps it Fresh in Goderich
By Jane Antoniak
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
village, and
to be cooking wasn’t
the thing to
be bragging
about,” he
“But I loved it
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
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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”
ue wrt
u of a
Now Accepting
New Artisans
and Crafters of
Spring &
 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
West Coast
on the
Lake Huron
The Little Inn of Bayfield
A Real Country Inn... In a Heritage Village... On a Great Lake
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
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Regional Homegrown Products …
Fresh Meats and Cheeses
Prepared Meals
— frozen or ready for the BBQ
Catering Services
7-2 Main St S (Hwy 21),
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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,
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
e • Sh o p
• 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 |
“It’s a matter of taste”
Catering Available
Featured in Where to Eat in Canada
& Toronto Life Magazine
[email protected]
120 Court House Square, Goderich, ON N7A 1M8
West Coast
on the
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Oak Dining Room
Try our Oakwood-Style Brazilian
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night until June and then Sunday
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Sundays –pm
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Reservations accepted.
Starting Saturday May  and every
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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
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Live Entertainment in the Clubhouse every Friday and Saturday starting at pm
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no. 16 • may 2009
Grassroots Gastro: Growing Chefs!
London Chefs Are Planting Seeds
By Melanie North
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
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 @
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
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
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-
always more online @
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
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.
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may 2009 • no. 16
always more online @
Market • Bakery • Café • Deli • Catering
By Bryan Lavery
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
BRYAN LAVERY is eatdrink’s “Food Writer at Large.”
always more online @
no. 16 • may 2009
Compiled by Chris McDonell
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
“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
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 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 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
The Belfry, the more casual space within
the venerable Church Restaurant
( 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 @
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
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
428 Clarence Street,
When other Stratford
chefs are asked where
they dine on their
evenings off, the
name that comes up
again and again is
— Cecilia Buy,
eatdrink Magazine
Open Daily
Serving Lunch
& Dinner
10 George Street West, Stratford | 519-271-3271 |
no. 16 • may 2009
May 20 – June 6
by Chris McHarge &
Colin Stewart
June 10 – June 27
by Simon Joynes
July 1 – July 18
by Ken Cameron
July 22 – Aug. 8
by Ron Clark
Aug. 12 – Sept. 5
by Norm Foster
Artistic Director:
for the time the place the occasion
Season Sponsor
Box Office:
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 @
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
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
( 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
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
always more online @
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,
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?
“the ultimate experience in fine dining”
LUNCH Tues to Fri am–pm
DINNER Tues to Sat :pm–pm
Closed Monday
 Hyde Park Road, London
  
in Seafood
Chef Volker Jendhoff
may 2009 • no. 16
always more online @
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
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
( for over 10 years.
Book a demonstration at 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
Authentic Italian Cuisine
Monday–Saturday: 11–2 & 5–10; Sunday: 5–10
350 Dundas Street, London (at Waterloo)
“A little out of
the way,
A lot out of
the ordinary!”
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
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 @
A Taste of Spring: Asparagus
By Christine Scheer
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.
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
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no. 16 • may 2009
In the Pink, with Rhubarb
By Sue Moore
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( 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.
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
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Appetizers Soups Salsas
Bean Dips
Available at:
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
1180 Oxford St W @ Hyde Park Rd
Covent Garden Market, 130 King St
1010 Gainsborough Rd
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
• 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.
always more online @
no. 16 • may 2009
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles
Adventures in the World of Chinese Food
Review by Darin Cook
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-
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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 @
Martha Stewart’s Cooking School
Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook
Review by Jennifer Gagel
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.
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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
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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
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Organic Meat and Produce
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Beef, Veal & Pork
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Home-Made Bread
Maple Syrup
Honey & Jam
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may 2009 • no. 16
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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
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
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
More recipes from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School are
online: Roast Duck and Frico to garnish the soup!
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no. 16 • may 2009
More for Less This Summer
By Rick VanSickle
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.
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no. 16 • may 2009
Bock to the Future
An Age-old Gourmet Beer with Contemporary Mass Appeal
By The Malt Monk
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
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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.
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.
always more online @
no. 16 • may 2009
Brussels Sprouts Sandwich
By Claudette Sauve-Foy
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
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.
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no. 16 • may 2009
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.
1 whole Peking duck (5½ to 6 lbs or 2.5–3 Kg)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup (50 mL) mild-flavoured honey
¼ cup (50 mL) pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh orange juice
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
minutes more (keep a careful eye through
this step because the sugar in the glaze
can burn quickly). Let the duck rest for 10
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.