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Chef's Tables in Toronto

There's also JK Wine Bar, where you can sit at the bar overlooking the open kitchen and talk with Chef Tobey Nemeth and her crew.

Or, if you want to head to the Niagara region, there's Treadwell's in Port Dalhousie (St. Catharines) -- with a chef's table inside the kitchen where you'll be right in the centre of the action with Chef Stephen Treadwell and his brigade.

Local Eating Facts? (moved from Ontario)

Many of you seem to be missing the point about eating locally grown and locally produced foods. There are many answers to the question, "Why local?"

As hoagy294 mentioned, "studies" exist to back up just about anything, but there will never be a study that finds that apples imported from New Zealand create fewer carbon dioxide emissions than apples grown here in Ontario. Or that "organic" garlic imported from China leaves less of a carbon footprint than locally grown garlic. We're not even discussing flavour here -- Chinese garlic has absolutely no flavour, whereas locally grown garlic -- wow! Check out the garlic festival taking place in Stratford next Saturday and report back here afterwards.

Other very important reasons for eating locally grown and produced foods include the following:

When you buy from local farmers, producers and food artisans, your consumer dollar stays in your communities, where it belongs. The farmers in our region benefit and are less likely to face bankruptcy if you buy their products which, unfortunately for them, are often priced higher than the imports. But pay the extra money, allow our farmers to thrive, demand local produce in your supermarkets, and those prices will come down. And nobody seems to realize that, when you buy local, your government's coffers benefit too -- which could lead to lowered taxes for all of us in the long run;

Local produce is more likely to have been harvested more recently and at a riper stage than imported produce, which is picked well before its time (and grown for optimal shelf life, not for optimal flavour). The fresher the products, the more nutrients they are likely to pack. And kawarthagirl, give me an Elephant Man-shaped tomato any time. Flavour trumps looks in my book!

One of the major reasons for purchasing locally grown, raised and produced foods (including poultry and meats) is that it is highly reassuring to know where your food comes from. Putting a face and a name on the farm or farmer or food artisan who has grown and produced the foods you eat -- connecting you with these people -- is extremely empowering, especially in this day and age of disturbing (and deadly) food safety concerns. How much melamine are we humans consuming without realizing it? Our dogs and cats are protected now -- what about us?

Another issue that is under-reported is that, the more we rely on food imports, the fewer local farmers and food producers stay in business. In the event of a world crisis whereby we are cut off from those food imports we rely on so heavily -- a scary, but not so far-fetched scenario -- if we haven't supported our local foodshed and our local food supply, we will starve to death because we will not have the local goods to feed our communities.

It's not quite as simple as kawarthagirl makes it out to be. Eating local is not about being "fashionable" -- it IS about being practical and rational.

And it's not about being trendy, either; it's about being mindful of our own future and that of our communities.

Sep 08, 2007
edibleTO in Food Media & News

'Awesome' Chicken Liver Pate

I'll have to agree with you that JK Wine Bar's chicken liver mousse is incredibly delicious. I've had that comes pretty close to rivalling it at Chez Victor in Hotel le St-Germain on Mercer St. recently. Also sublime, it comes on the Niagara charcuterie appetizer.

Where to get good steak tartare?

We had an amazing bison tartare recently at Chez Victor in Hotel St-Germain. It was out-of-this-world, plated to look like a piece of toast, with a breaded-and-fried, oozing-centred round egg on top (I'd love to know how they managed that!), served with dressed greens and a dollop of creme fraiche.

Pure heaven!

ISO - Strianese DOP Tomatoes

Forget about high-priced, imported canned tomatoes. In my opinion, the best canned tomatoes, bar none, are Thomas Utopia organic tomatoes, grown and canned right here in Ontario!

Many Chowhounders concurred in a thread a little while back.

Where can I buy the grain spelt?

San Antonio Fish Market in Woodbridge (120 CARLAUREN RD/Highway 7 and Jane) has farro, along with other Italian groceries and one of the best fish counters in the GTA.

Le Pain Quotidien - Coming to Toronto?

...from the owners of Le Pain Quotidien Canada.

Alternatives to Pusateri's

Genua Fine Foods did, indeed, close up a couple of months ago. One of the owners is re-opening one block east on Eglinton, under the name "Tony's on the Block." It's a much bigger store and will probably be better than ever.

Globe Bistro Review - Long

I had the tuna tartare at Globe a couple of weeks ago, with no ill effects.

Mediterranean Grilled Fish

Don't forget Phoebe's Zee Grill on Mount Pleasant for excellent fish, great service and very pleasant atmosphere.

Lobster rolls at Subway

My husband and I, along with another couple, were taking a walk in Parry Sound last weekend and noticed a sign for the lobster sandwich at the local Subway. We decided to try one, which we shared amongst the four of us.

Yuck!!! Yes, there were actual chunks and claws, but absolutely NO flavour whatsoever. We went the lettuce and mayo route for toppings, as well, which did nothing to improve a filling that one has certain definite flavour expectations of, but which definitely did not deliver.

Jul 13, 2007
edibleTO in Chains

Chicken feet at a Chinese restaurant -- I don't get it

I buy them at a kosher butchershop, but I've seen them at Asian markets, as well.

Jul 13, 2007
edibleTO in General Topics

Chicken feet at a Chinese restaurant -- I don't get it

My Jewish bubby used to make tomato-based fricassee, containing meatballs, fisselach, gorglach (chicken necks) and pupiks (chicken stomachs). Delicious! As bmubyzal mentions above, just suck on the toes and bones and spit them out bare.

I use feet and lots of wings, along with whole chicken parts, when making a big pot of chicken soup.

Jul 13, 2007
edibleTO in General Topics

Using a cabbage core for teething?[Moved from General Topics]

Common sense tells me the practice can have very dangerous consequences. Baby teeth are very sharp and it is possible that a baby could bite off a chunk of the cabbage core and choke.

It's not quite as obvious as feeding a young child hard candies and whole grapes, but I think it's just as risky.

Jul 11, 2007
edibleTO in Not About Food

Le Pain Quotidien - Coming to Toronto?

Ben, I don't know where you live, but I do know that the owners of Le Pain Quotidien in Canada are scouting out more locations across the GTA, and plan to branch out across Canada.

New Concerns About Imported Foods

Buying "organic" foods is not necessarily the answer. Many products from China and other Southeast Asian countries are becoming more prevalent in the produce sections of our supermarkets. It has been reported that these "organic" labels are being used indiscriminately, with no regulatory bodies providing any sort of governance or certification standards. So, yes -- organic is one answer, provided it is certified by a reliable and trustworthy certifying body.

The most logical solution appears to be that we, as consumers, must connect with the people who are growing and producing our foods. We must get to know the farmers and producers so that we can ask questions about our food supply. Ultimately, if we don't revert to the old ways of eating mostly what's available seasonally from our local growers, our food supply -- most of which is imported -- will become increasingly suspect, and our local farms will have become relics of the past because we failed to support them in the present.

Jul 10, 2007
edibleTO in General Topics

Le Pain Quotidien - Coming to Toronto?

I can confirm that Le Pain Quotidien is definitely opening the first of many locations in Toronto in October. The location at York Mills and Bayview will open first, followed shortly thereafter by a location on Eglinton just west of Avenue Rd., in the location vacated recently by Lucie's Kids Cats & Dogs.

Remember this candy bar?

Now that we're on the subject, does anyone know why Cadbury stopped making my favourite, the Snack Bar? It was much better than the similar, but not quite good enough, Mr. Big.

Jul 06, 2007
edibleTO in General Topics

"Water Sommelier"...?! Article in today's Toronto Star

I'm with you, pirade. Let's hope this is just a passing fad and that people will begin to realize that there is nothing wrong or shameful in requesting tap water in restaurants.

And wouldn't it be nice if restaurants in Toronto follow the lead of Alice Waters, of Chez Panisse fame, who no longer serves bottled water in her restaurants. Filtered tap water, both still and carbonated, is all that's available. She has actually installed a machine on the premises that carbonates water, which she serves in pitchers to her guests -- for free!. Tres chic, in my opinion.

Jul 02, 2007
edibleTO in Food Media & News

On-the-farm eating?

malwayshungry, I don't know whether you live in Ontario, but another restaurant to try is Treadwell's in Port Dalhousie, which serves farm-to-table cuisine sourced from a variety of farms and artisans. I haven't been there yet, but the reviews have been excellent.

Jun 30, 2007
edibleTO in General Topics

organic meat in toronto restaurant?

excuse me miss, most beef produced here is grain/corn fed. It's the grass-fed beef that is desirable and harder to find.

Canadian BBQ Championships

There was another BBQ championship in Paris, Ontario a couple of weeks ago. Did anyone attend that one?

Seeing a lot of Copper River Sockeye here in Cali. Gimmick?

Pollo, perhaps you should read the article again, as well. I was not referring to the NYT piece, but to what chefs in Toronto are saying about the issue of salmon marketing, particularly that of Copper River and other wild salmon. When the wholesale price to restaurants of Copper River salmon is as high as $30/lb and the chefs are often not able to get enough of the fish to satisfy their needs, one is right to question the origins of the "Copper River salmon" being sold in massive quantities for $9.99/lb at the retail level.

Jun 16, 2007
edibleTO in General Topics

Seeing a lot of Copper River Sockeye here in Cali. Gimmick?

The current edition of Macleans Magazine has a story that addresses the issue of the mislabelling of salmon, written by Sasha Chapman. Anything labelled as Copper River at prices in the $9.99/lb range is not the real thing, according to restaurateurs quoted in the piece.

Jun 16, 2007
edibleTO in General Topics