Slow Food-Inspired Italian Dinner Series

From March until October, the last Friday night of the month dinner will focus on featured seasonal and sustainable items.

All Ontario, the featured items for August will be:

Tamworth Pork, Artichokes, Tomatoes, Apricots.

When: Friday August 27th – 7pm SHARP
Where: George Restaurant – 111C Queen Street East, Toronto
Cost: $75/pp* ((416) 863-6006)

Insalata di Calamari, coppa rasata, e’ icarciofi e’ pomodori
Calamari Salad, Shaved Coppa, Artichoke Tomato Salad

Minestrone, carciofi ripieni con albicocce, pancetta affumicata
Minestrone, Apricot Stuffed Artichoke, Smoked Pancetta

Filetto di maiale, pomodoro al forno, polenta con mascarpone
Pork Tenderloin, Baked Tomato, Mascarpone Polenta

Limone mania e’ burrata Italiana, gelatina di albicocce
Lemon Fetish and Italian Burrata, Apricot Jam

Albicocce al forno, ricotta dolce e’ pistacchio tostato
Baked Apricot, Sweet Ricotta, Toasted Pistachio

Meat by Olliffe

Wines by Tawse

*All wines are available by the glass or paired for each course at $55 (15% of all wine sales will be donated to the Terra Madre fund).

Tawse Winery is a model of quality-focused production enhanced by innovative, eco-friendly processing techniques. Under the supervision of winemaker, Paul Pender, our estate wines are produced using organic and biodynamic viticultural practices. Using diligence, patience and time-honoured traditions, Tawse crafts extraordinary wines that are a true expression of the complex Niagara terroir surrounding the winery.

2009 Canadian Wine Awards – Winner of the Best Ontario Winery

Talking Food with Anita Stewart

Why Symposia Are Important for Food Culture

When: Monday, June 7, 7:00 pm
Where: Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen Street West, Toronto

Tickets: $15 (416 597-0227/ [email protected])

Gastronomer and culinary activist Anita Stewart will present CHO’s annual spring lecture. Anita believes that “[c]ommunication is central to the creation of a dynamic food culture.” Anita will share her insights into the role of food symposia in Canada and around the world. She wrote Anita Stewart’s Canada – The Food, the Recipes, the Stories(Cuisine Canada Gold Award for Food Culture, 2009) expressly to celebrate Canada’s foodscape and culinary history.

Slow Food Chef’s Series Dinner

reds bistro presents: Slow Food Chef’s Series Dinner

When: Friday June 18, 2010 – 6:30p.m.
Where: Reds Bistro – 77 Adelaide Street West, Toronto
Tickets: $200* – / or call reds @ (416) 862-2448 to reserve

Michael Steh and David Chrystian

Amuse Bouche
Michael Steh and David Chrystian

1st Course
Chris McDonald and Mark Cutrara

2nd Course
Donna Dooher and Jeff Crump

3rd Course
Jonathan Gushue and Kevin McKenna

Main Course
Jamie Kennedy and Jason Innis

Selection of Local Artisan Cheese
Afrim Pristine of Cheese Boutique Representing Petra Cooper (Fifth Town Dairy), Lauren Arsenault (Upper Canada Cheese Company), and Margaret Morris (Glengarry dairy).

Dessert and Petit Fours
David Castellan, Bertrand Alépée, Leslie Steh

To conclude the evening, all participating chefs will join our guests for a late night reception with canapes, charcuterie and cash bar featuring local beers and wines.

Wineries for the evening include:
Huff Estates
Henry of Pelham
Cave Spring Cellars
Le Clos Jordanne
Lailey Vineyard
Foreign Affair
Peninsula Ridge
Fielding Estate

*Proceeds from the evening will help send our chefs to Terra Madre, Slow Food’s Bi-annual conference on sustainable world food economies in October 2010. Terra Madre brings together those players in the food chain who together support sustainable agriculture, fishing, and breeding with the goal of preserving taste and biodiversity.

‘About Local Food’ Book Launch

Life Rattle Press invites you to celebrate the launch of its newest publication:

About Local Food: Four Conversations with Toronto Activists
By Laurel Eden Waterman

When: Monday May 3, 2010 – 6:30-8:00p.m.
Where: Supermarket – 268 Augusta Avenue, Toronto (In the heart of Kensington Market)

Author Laurel Eden Waterman will read from her new publication and discuss her interviews with four activists in the Toronto local food movement.

Elizabeth Harris: manager, the Riverdale and the Brick Works farmers’ markets.

Jane Hayes: gardener, artist and educator.

Tobey Nemeth: Chef de cuisine at Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar.

Wayne Roberts: manager, Toronto Food Policy Council, and food writer.

Interview with Chris McDonald

Chris McDonald was chef and owner of Avalon for 12 years before he opened Cava, and now Xococava, a chocolate store next door to Cava. Slow Food Toronto’s John Greenhow sat down with him to discuss his restaurant, his approach to cooking, and food ethics.

JG: Describe Cava and Xococava for me.

CM: Cava was meant to be a relaxed, less expensive, neighbourhood restaurant – albeit with sort of a cheeky edge – you see the hams hanging. We call the food rustic-modern because it is modern but it has roots in Spanish and Mexican flavours.

It’s not about us showing off. A lot of the stuff we’re doing is very simple.

The menu’s very large and so some people can come and play it safe, and some people come and challenge themselves, and some people are coming knowing that there’s a certain level of trust with what I’ve been doing in the city for the last long, long time, and so they’re maybe going to try something they wouldn’t normally try. If you’re looking for a diving board, you can find one here, most people will find one here.

It’s certainly engaging, which is what I want to do. To the extent that this can be considered art, art to me is something that leaves the participant, not the practitioner, somewhat altered after they’ve participated in that art. So whether you go and see a dance, or a fantastic photography show, or hear an opera or something, you’re somehow not quite the same person you were prior to the experience. I would like to have that little bit of engagement that is risk-taking from me, and you are also risk-taking and somehow we’re united in that. We’re connected through that.

Continue reading Interview with Chris McDonald

Dirt! The Movie

January 26, 2010
Presented by FoodCycles:
Dirt! The Movie
When: Thursday, January 28th, 2010 – 6:30-8:30
Where: Bloor Cinema
This film is about the relationship between humans and soil. It looks at innovative and inspiring community food projects improving this relationship. The night is also a fundraiser for FoodCycles’ work growing vibrant soil, food, and community.
To Purchase Tickets: Call Ian at FoodShare – (416) 363-6441 (x241)

Ontario Game Dinner

This is the first for 2010 of Slow Food Toronto’s Chef’s Series Events.

When: February 2, 2010 – 6:00p.m.
Where: Wine Bar/Hank’s – 9 Church Street, Toronto
Tickets: $60 (members)/$70 (non-members)* – available on / (416) 978-8849
BYOB – no corkage (+ Hank’s has a fine selection of Ontario wines)

Slow Food Toronto Chefs joining us for this evening:

Joshna Maharaj (Food Studio~ Charcuterie
Bertrand Alepee (Amuse Bouche) &  Scott Vivian (Wine Bar/Hank’s) ~ Venison
Jason Bangerter (Auberge du Pommier) & Mike Steh (Red’s) ~ Rabbit
Chris Brown (The Stop) & Jason Inniss (Amuse Bouche) ~ Squab
Jeff Crump, Scott Baily & Bettina Schormann (Ancaster Old Mill) ~ Wild Boar
Rachelle Vivian (Wine Bar/Hank’s) ~ Desserts

*Proceeds from the evening will help send delegates to Terra Madre, Slow Food’s bi-annual conference on sustainable world food economies in October 2010. They’re going because delicious isn’t good enough. They want to play their role in creating a local sustainable food system.

Canadian and International (Slow) Food Culture

December 21, 2009

Joshna Maharaj

Whenever I tell people about Slow Food, they don’t always get it right off the bat.  There are lots of questions about whether it’s an organization promoting lengthy cooking times (and therefore eating only stews and braises), or chewing many times (slowly) before swallowing.  Then I say that it was created in objection to the efforts and effects of fast food, and I am almost instantly understood…and they’re curious to know more.  To be honest, before the autumn of this year, my understanding of Slow Food was of an organization that held expensive dinners with wonderful food.  The chef in me knew that quality was worth paying for, but the anti-poverty worker in me couldn’t wholeheartedly sign on to something that didn’t speak to everyone, or address food’s connection to poverty.

But then I went to Slow Food Nation in San Francisco in September, and found myself listening to people I respect like Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, Raj Patel and Vandana Shiva, all of whom stand firmly behind Slow Food as the good news for a bad news world.  In a way that I had never heard before, Slow Food was talking about justice and the right to pleasure, about ethical food systems and the global food crisis…and I was loving it.

Continue reading Canadian and International (Slow) Food Culture

2009 Closing

December 2, 2009

Slowly, with resolution

Hello to Slow Food Toronto members and other supporters,

It has been an amazing year to be involved in the ongoing revolution in how we produce and share food. I feel tremendously fortunate to be part of this community that cares deeply about the quality of the sustenance we rely on, and is intrigued by the stories that bring meaning to our dining experiences. Together, we are creating a uniquely Toronto narrative that unites us within a sustainable, delightful network that nourishes body, mind and spirit.

It has been humbling to witness the commitment, wisdom and resilience of the producers who sustain us. Slow Food Toronto has created many forums for urban eaters to meet with these professors of the soil and come to appreciate the value that they provide us. As we draw near to Terra Madre Day, we are all reminded to consider our debt of obligation, and to seek out ways to reward farmers, fishers and other food artisans fairly for their risk and labour.

I hope to see you at the AGM on December 6th, as we plan action and take responsibility for Slow Food Toronto activities in 2010. Also, Terra Madre Day will be a joyful gathering of the Slow Food clan, and a chance to directly express our appreciation for our local, sustainable producing communities. Please look out for the upcoming changes to our web site, which will create forums for you to share your experiences as an engaged co-producer, as we together reinvent a food system that values taste, enhances bio-diversity, heals the earth, and rewards those who serve as stewards of our lands and waters.

Slowest regards,
Paul DeCampo

Interview with Scott Vivian

scott-vivian-slow-food-torontoMiriam Streiman met with one of Slow Food Toronto’s gifted chefs, community leader and all around good guy, Scott Vivian, to discuss his rich culinary history, his relationship with food, and his approach to good, clean and fair cooking.

Get Scott’s delicious Cassoulet recipe in the SFT Recipe section.

MS: Scott, I don’t know much about your culinary history; can you share your journey on becoming the incredibly gifted chef that you are?

SV: I started cooking professionally in 1994; I will preface this with, I was born in Montreal, my parents moved to California when I was three years old and I lived the first part of my life there. My father worked for Coca-Cola, his job ended up moving us to Atlanta when Coca-Cola moved its headquarters. So Atlanta was basically where I started my professional cooking career. Although it was in high school that I started cooking in a professional kitchen – it was a pizza place called California Pizza kitchen. I learned how to make pizza doughs in wood-burning ovens and they also had a saute pasta side. So I briefly learned about that.

After high school, when everyone started going to college, I decided that was not for me, so I went out to Colorado. I couldn’t find a job waiting tables, and that was what I wanted to do because I heard that was where the money was. So I was forced to get a job in a kitchen. It was a small kitchen, an 11-table bistro restaurant. The chef took me under his wing. I started as a dishwasher and moved my way up learning how to cook. I signed up for a two-year apprenticeship with him. After that I moved back to Atlanta.

Continue reading Interview with Scott Vivian