CheLondon - eatdrink Magazine

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CheLondon - eatdrink Magazine

Serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario FREE

№ 32 • November/December

eatdrink

2011

www.eatdrink.ca

Che London

Modern Latin

American Cuisine at

Che Restobar

FEATURING

Marienbad & Chaucer's Pub

A Traditional Taste of Europe , in London

e County Food Co.

Fresh and Delicious, in Stratford

Huron County Wines!

Birthing a New Wine Region

Niko’s Eatery & Bar

A Taste for Everyone, in Tillsonburg

ALSO: London Training Centre | Gastronomic Heights in Whistler BC | An Epicure’s Gift Guide


Savouring the magic

of STRATFORD

Come to Stratford wrapped in fresh cedar boughs and sparkling

lights. Our festive shops beckon with unique shopping ideas on

the Victorian Christmas Trail collecting presents and stocking

stuffers along the way. Gather inspiring decorating ideas on

Heritage Home Tours all decked out for the holidays.

Savour the tastes of the season with friends at holiday cookie

making classes, innovative tastings, pairings and menus to inspire.

Plan an escape and learn to make candy and chocolate

truffles for holiday sharing or just for your own indulgence.

NOVEMBER

12 Local Wine and Local Cheese Pairing at Milky Whey

12 & 13 Rotary Arts and Crafts Show

19 Beaujolais and Cheese Pairing

19 & 26 Murder Mystery Dinner at The Parlour

26 & 27 Downtown Stratford’s Open House

26 & 27 Yuletide Tour of Homes IODE

DECEMBER

3 & 4 Stratford Heritage Home Tour–Festival City Rotary Club

4 Starbright Concert

9 & 16 Stratford Chefs School Christmas Dinner & Luncheon

For all our holiday events

go to visitstratford.ca


synchro city

IN

THE

r

FREEDOM 55 FINANCIAL LONDON SYNCHROFEST INTERNATIONAL

December 28, 29 2011

The Freedom 55 Financial London Synchrofest International will see

the world’s top synchronized skating teams compete for fifty thousand dollars

in prize money. Countries currently committed to send world-class teams are

Canada, United States of America, Japan, Russia and Finland.

Tickets can be purchased at

The John Labatt Centre Box Office, Official John Labatt Centre outlets

or at http://www.johnlabattcentre.com

Charge by Phone at 1-866-455-2849

All Event Pass - $48.50

Single Day Pass - $26.75

includes HST and facility fee

group pricing available


eatdrink inc.

Restaurants | Chefs | Farmers & Artisans | Culinary Buzz | Recipes | Wine | Travel

A Food & Drink Magazine Serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario

Think Global.

Read Local.

Publisher Chris McDonell – chris@eatdrink.ca

Managing Editor Cecilia Buy – cbuy@eatdrink.ca

Contributing Editor Bryan Lavery – blavery@eatdrink.ca

Social Media Editor Jane Antoniak – jantoniak@eatdrink.ca

Advertising Sales Chris McDonell – chris@eatdrink.ca

Jane Antoniak – jantoniak@eatdrink.ca

Gary Rowsell – growsell@eatdrink.ca

Finances Michael Bell, Jim Sisco

Graphics Chris McDonell, Henry Foott

Contributors

Editorial Advisory

Bryan Lavery, Cecilia Buy, Jane Antoniak,

Jennifer Gagel, Rick VanSickle, Eric Neaves,

D.R. Hammond, Sue Sutherland-Wood,

Christie Masse, Kym Wolfe, David Hicks

Board Bryan Lavery, Cecilia Buy, Cathy Rehberg

Copy Editor Jodie Renner – www.JodieRennerEditing.com

Website Milan Kovar/KOVNET

Printing Impressions Printing, St. Thomas

Telephone & Fax 519 434-8349

Mailing Address 525 Huron Street, London ON N5Y 4J6

Copyright © 2011 eatdrink inc. and the writers. All rights reserved.

Reproduction or duplication of any material published in

eatdrink or on eatdrink.ca is strictly prohibited without the

written permission of the Publisher. eatdrink has a circulation of

12,000 issues published monthly. e views or opinions expressed


ONLINE

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A Virtual Magnet for All Things Culinary

Interactive Digital Magazine, Complete Back Issues and More!

Cover Photo: The sleek new

bar at Che Restobar, Downtown

London’s new take on

contemporary Latin American

cuisine.

in the information, content and/or advertisements published in

eatdrink are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily

represent those of the Publisher. e Publisher welcomes submissions

but accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material.


contents ISSUE № 32

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011

7

20

54

12

16

24

50

FOOD WRITER AT LARGE

7 Catering and Holiday Entertaining

By BRYAN LAVERY

RESTAURANTS

12 London’s Luxe Revolución at Che Restobar

By BRYAN LAVERY

16 e Marienbad and Chaucer’s Pub in London

By ERIC NEAVES

20 Fresh Fare at e County Food Co. in Stratford

By DAVID HICKS

24 Great Taste at Niko’s Eatery & Bar in Tillsonburg

By CHRISTIE MASSE

SPOTLIGHTS

26 London Training Centre Breaks New Ground

By KYM WOLFE

TRAVEL

28 Enjoy Gastronomic Heights in Whistler BC

By JANE ANTONIAK

NEW & NOTABLE

34 e BUZZ

THE BUZZ

CULINARY RETAIL

45 e eatdrink Epicure’s Gift Guide

By SUE SUTHERLAND-WOOD

BEER MATTERS

47 Battle of the West Coast India Pale Ales

By THE MALT MONK

WINE

50 Ontario Wines for Holiday Entertaining

By RICK VanSICKLE

COOKBOOKS

54 Christmas in Review: Four Favourites

Review and Recipe Selections by JENNIFER GAGEL

FARMERS & ARTISANS

60 A New Wine Region in Huron County

By JANE ANTONIAK

THE LIGHTER SIDE

62 Comfort Foods & Holiday Traditions

By CAROLYN McDONELL


Discover Downtown London

Find Your Holiday Inspiration

tidbits

Mea Culpa. And the best of the season!

By CHRIS McDONELL, eatdrink Publisher

It’s pretty easy for “exotic” to become

“erotic” in print, creating red faces and

a few chuckles. e little town of Carp

got “Crap” in one guidebook I read,

but no one in the publishing industry laughs

too hard at these things. “People in glass

houses,” and all that ...

e glaringly wrong headline I typed in

our last issue, misplacing Ingersoll’s lovely

Elm Hurst Inn, was a last-minute (and latenight)

adjustment, after our diligent writers

and editors had done their job. My brain

cramp reected badly on their work, and I’m

sorry for that. If you missed my goof: Good!

Now read the corrected article online. It’s in

our back issue archive, a place well worth

exploring. Our writers are our greatest asset

here at eatdrink, and I can condently say

that you’ll nd they get it right.

Hats o to the hard-working people of Huron

County in their eorts to rebuild downtown

Goderich following the tornado in August.

yme on 21, Kulpepper’s Kitchen Store, the

library and other spots on the square have

re-opened, and we wish the best to others

like Culbert’s Bakery, Bailey’s Restaurant,

Coee Culture, All Around the House and

their neighbours while they work on their

restorations. Full details can be found at

Goderich.ca. May this season bring you

together frequently with friends and family,

with plenty of the best food and drink. As

part of your holiday plans, consider going to

Goderich for some shopping and dining as

a thoroughly enjoyable way to support the

town. We really are all in this together.

Peace,


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 7

food writer at large

Catering and Holiday Entertaining

Timeless Classics and Contemporary Innovations

By BRYAN LAVERY

Planning a Holiday party or a seasonal

celebration? Whether it’s

an old-fashioned oce party or a

cocktail soirée, entertaining should

reect your taste and personality. Choosing

the proper caterer, restaurant, bakery or food

purveyor will help make entertaining less

uncomplicated and stress-free during

the festive season. Unleashing your

caterer’s or your favourite restaurant’s

creativity is foremost to

guaranteeing a successful event.

A balance of avours, ingredients,

tastes, techniques and food

temperatures should all be considered

when selecting a menu.

And bear in mind that not only

caterers, but many of your favourite

restaurants are well-equipped to cater your

holiday party in-house or in your home

We can’t help but be impressed by caterers

and businesses that support farmers

and food artisans by featuring local regional

ingredients and products throughout the

year. A new wave of passionate and focused

caterers pays close attention to the provenance

of their ingredients.

e catering business is always transitioning

and evolving, appropriating trends from

the restaurant business and from the popu-

THIS HOLIDAY SEASON...

lar culture at large. Flexibility and creativity

are among the components that make the

catering industry so vibrant. Adapting to

culinary trends allows caterers to oer innovative

cuisine, quality products and services,

to distinguish themselves, and help keep

their services in great demand.

e role of the caterer has

advanced from behind-the-scenes

hired help to often being a front

and centre participant at a

catered event. Clients often

look to caterers to provide

entertainment, excitement

and education for their guests;

whether it’s providing a food

tasting or wine pairing, constructing

innovative food and beverage

stations, or instructing and cooking

alongside guests as part of a chef’s demo.

Cooking classes have also become

increasingly popular, and cooking events for

guests have become the interactive entertainment.

Instead of having a caterer just

prepare a meal, guests become willing collaborators:

chopping, julienning, whipping,

beating and sautéing.

In the past year we have seen some truly

stunning events catered by Danjel Markovic

of Kantina, Andrew Wolwowicz of the newly

INDULGE

KANTINA CAFÉ & RESTAURANT

349 talbot street

519.672.5862 | eat@kantina.ca

monday to saturday | 11:30 to 22:00

sunday | 11:00 to 22:00


8 www.eatdrink.ca

opened e Springs on Springbank Drive,

Kristain Crossen of Braise Food & Wine, and

Colin Foster’s (Braywick Bistro) Wicked

Catering, as well as excellent South Vietnamese

Cuisine by Tamarine by Quynh Nhi. is

list is of course by no means denitive.

Here is a brief guide to some newer businesses

and old standbys that can be depended

upon during the busy holiday season, when

we can all use some entertaining ideas.

At Petit Paris Crêperie & Pâtisserie,

Nicole Arroyas puts the same attention to

detail into her baking and pâtisserie as she

does at her restaurant, Auberge du Petit

Prince. Mastering the art (and science) of

creating perfect pastry requires patience, timing

and strict attention to detail. Petit Paris

oers customized cakes and pâtisseries made

from scratch — timeless classics and popular

favourites — all made with the premiumquality

ingredients that have quickly established

the business’s reputation.

e shop features buttery croissants,

seasonal tarts, pain au chocolat, and other

classic French specialties, as well as crêpes,

quiche and croque monsieur (classic

smoked ham and cheese coated in Mornay

№ 32 | November/December 2011

sauce). Arroyas’s macrons are legendary,

small, round pâtisseries that are crisp on the

outside, soft on the inside, and made from

ground almonds, sugar and egg whites, with

a vast selection of avours to choose from.

Colleagues recently ordered a unique,

multi-tiered peacock-themed fondant-covered

birthday cake from Petit Paris for seventy

people that had to be seen to be believed.

Petit Paris was opened by Arroyas and business

partner Nathan Russell this past summer

and is strategically located just inside

the front doors of Covent Garden Market o

King Street. www.petit-paris.ca/ 519-433-0647

At the Covent Garden Farmers’ Market,

Penelope Holt’s LOAF continues to attract

loyal followers throughout the season. Just

around the corner from the Covent Garden

Market is Billy’s Deli, known for its seasonal

pies and baking, where you can order Diane

Pritchard’s signature Apple and Mincemeat

Pie early to avoid the holiday rush.

While you’re in the Covent Garden Market,

check out Klieber’s for marzipan or the

hard to nd can of indescribably delicious

Hungarian–style chestnut puree.

Speaking of Hungarian specialties, Agnes


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 9

and Mikki of Taste of Hungary at the Western

Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market

recently announced the opening of their elegant

Taste of Hungary shop located at 1286

Jalna Blvd. Agnes, a professional pastry chef

and caterer, will feature cabbage rolls, goulash,

and chicken paprikash “to go,” as well

as “made from scratch” cakes, traditional

cookies (gluten-free available) and strudels

(try the poppy seed). Mikki will showcase his

all-natural, no-ller, handcrafted premium

sausages. e shop is expected to have a

comprehensive array of Hungarian and

European food items such as jams, spices

and soups, particularly during the holidays.

In other Western Fair Farmers’ and Artisans’

Market news, Flair Pastries Bakery is

opening an Artisan Bakery in Old East Village,

kitty corner to the Farmers’ Market. Pastry

Chef/Owner eo Kortho will be featuring

natural, handcrafted breads made with local

our, as well as quiches, tourtières and other

savouries. e highly anticipated bakery is

expected to open mid-December. Totally free

of articial additives and preservatives, artisan

premium breads are on the rise. Also, Sophie

and Christain Burdan’s Red Cat Farm Bakery

310 Springbank Drive, London (between Wharncliffe & Wonderland)

Open Monday–Thursday for lunch & dinner until 10 PM.

Open Friday & Saturday for lunch & dinner until 1AM. Closed Sundays.

from Goderich and Allan Mallioux’s Downie

Street Bakehouse from Stratford are two

newer additions to the Western Fair Farmers’

and Artisans’ Market.

Choosing a Caterer

For the uninitiated, word of mouth is an

almost foolproof way to secure a caterer

most suited to your particular event. When

undertaking your initial research, be sure

to ask friends and colleagues about caterers

they can recommend. Catering venues

are also a good source of information. Most

venues will furnish a list of their preferred,

respected caterers.

You and your caterer can be as innovative

as you like when considering the many

catering alternatives available. Catering pricing

is dependent on what kind of event you

are going for, whether it is a sit-down dinner,

marché stations, buet or a cocktail party.

Most caterers oer a simple pricing guideline

based on stang, equipment, and the

menu requirements.

It has been my experience that caterers

have varied outlooks about oering tastings

to prospective clients. Some oer them, and

Owners Tim & Laura Owen

and Chef Andrew Wolwowicz

519.657.1100

www.thespringsrestaurant.com


Go ahead, sleep in.

That’s what brunch is for.

Let our chefs cook for you this Sunday

at the Delta London Armouries,

where your sleep and tastebuds come rst.

For reservations, call 519-679-6111 or

visit www.deltalondonarmouries.com

Delicious

519.432.4092

481 Richmond St., London, ON

www.garlicsoondon.com

LUNCH

DINNER

SUNDAY BRUNCH

№ 32 | November/December 2011

some do not. It is widely understood that

a tasting is oered only once your event is

booked and you wish to sample the menu

that you have conrmed with the caterer.

Many caterers have moved toward a

full-service business model typically associated

with event planners. When planning

your catering, a few options to consider

include the number of sta needed, linen,

cutlery, stemware, décor, owers, music and

lighting. e overall objective is to host a successful

event, of course, and a great caterer

can assist you in planning all the details.

Caterers

Blackfriar’s Bistro and Catering

Betty Heydon’s Blackfriar’s Bistro and Catering

has served the London area with thoughtful

and healthy gourmet cuisine for over

fteen years. is personalized catering service

customizes each menu with the client’s

precise wishes in mind. With six talented

chefs, each with a wide repertoire of culinary

expertise, Blackfriar’s has been a muchsought-after

caterer for many years. Heydon

is known for her detailed and personalized

service. Like the restaurant, Blackfriar’s

Catering has built its reputation on exceeding

customers’ expectations, as well as providing

professional and intelligent service.

519-667-4930 / www.blackfriarsbistro.com

Joan Brennan’s Elite Catering

Joan Brennan of Brennan’s Beer Bistro is the

chef/proprietor of Elite Catering, specializing

in creating custom menus for every occasion,

including in-home entertaining, banquets, or

that special picnic in the park. Brennan makes

it a priority to give you the nest foods, prepared

in the most careful, skillful ways, using

the best-quality ingredients. e world would

be a grayer place without choice, and Elite

Catering is all about choice. You will have the

opportunity to work with Chef Brennan to create

a menu to please you and your guests. Elite

Catering is sensitive to those with allergies, to

your food preferences, and to those who do

not eat meat or meat products.

519-858-9900 / www.elitecateringbydesign.ca

North Moore Catering

If you’ve never heard of North Moore Catering

(NMC), that is about to change. NMC

is a boutique caterer, located in downtown

London. Most of their business has been

generated by word of mouth. Owner Jess


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 11

Jazey-Spoelstra was working in restaurants

in New York City when she dreamed up her

concept. NMC does not use standard food

suppliers, but instead Jess handpicks each

food item to ensure quality and freshness

at each event. NMC caters cocktail parties,

weddings, post-wedding brunches, dinners

at your home, corporate events, or

any occasion a caterer is required. Catering

events have ranged from cocktail parties

with guest lists totaling 1500, as well as intimate

dinner parties.

Recently, NMC was approached to reopen

On the Fork restaurant at Museum London.

NMC is working with Brian Meehan

(executive director of Museum London), John

Nicholson (MNSA architects) and Myra Tuer

(Details by Myra Decor) to make this a hot spot

once again. With the banquettes removed,

they will be able to accommodate at least 80

people for a sit down meal and 126 for a cocktail

reception. e new facility in the Museum

will be called the e River Room, which is a

play on NYC’s e Rainbow Room.

519-697-2560 / www.northmoore.ca

White Pomegranate

White Pomegranate upscale caterers are

synonymous with distinguished service,

uncomplicated cuisine, and seasonal highquality

local ingredients. Custom is the name

of the game: party planners, chefs and stylists

work together to design truly unique events.

Delectable foods are innovative and pleasing,

and designed with all tastes in mind.

As a full-service catering and special-event

planning company, they not only provide you

with amazing cuisine selections, but also with

services and support to complete your special

event. From venue to décor to entertainment,

Chef Robbin Azzopardi will consult

with you, and based upon your requirements

and budget, will skilfully guide you through

choices for your planned event. At White

Pomegranate, it is part of their food philosophy

to support local farms and producers

whenever possible.

519-697-8520 / www.whitepomegranate.ca

BRYAN LAVERY is an avid proponent of eating “local” and

culinary tourism.


12 www.eatdrink.ca

restaurants

London’s Luxe Revolución

Modern Latin American Cuisine at Che Restobar

By BRYAN LAVERY

Marvin Rivas’s

Che Restobar

on Dundas

is the latest

big-ticket entry into

downtown London’s

burgeoning dining scene.

is is modern ethnic

cooking that embodies its

origins but also highlights

its potential — think the

Serbian-inspired Kantina

or the South Vietnameseinspired

Tamarine, where

progressive-thinking

chefs and restaurateurs

oer a thoughtful and

exciting modern translation

of an indigenous cuisine.

Che features unique,

distinctive and delicious

modern cuisine inspired

by the rich culinary cultures

of Latin America.

e current menu has a decidedly Peruvian

avour, inuenced by Chef German

(pronounced Herman) Nunez’s heritage.

Whatever our tastes, we are appreciative of

restaurants like these for enriching our palates

with culinary diversity, using the skills

and techniques of modern chefs, while making

the dining culture in downtown London

more diverse and gratifying than ever.

Nuevo Latino cuisine is the rage right now,

and Che is the ideal place to experience it.

Incidentally, restobars have been a xture

on the Latin American scene for some time

now and are just beginning to gain a foothold

locally (think Michael Reis’s upscale Villa

Resto Lounge in a former downtown bank

building that was also the rst home of the

Black Fly Beverage Company). More than a

restaurant, the bar/lounge area is a dominant

feature and a prime focal point. e restobar

concept is about social interaction.

№ 32 | November/December 2011

Large picture windows fronting on Dundas Street give Che a dramatically open

face at night, while allowing generous amounts of natural light by day.

Che delivers the restobar experience in

spades: luxe surroundings with a welcoming

atmosphere, innovative culinary oerings,

and a selection of interesting wines. A

lot of attention has been paid to selecting

wines that will enhance your experience,

and all are priced for accessibility. You will

not nd any pedestrian labels on this list.

William Menjivar is the passionate in-house

and well-informed sommelier, and in addition

to an ever-evolving list of aordable

quality wines, they oer is a list of intriguing

and exotic fruit-based cocktails. Try a signature

capirinha (Brazil s national drink) or

Cuba’s ubiquitous highball, a thirst-quenching

mojito, or a pisco sour with lime juice,

sugar, egg white and sparkling wine. Menjivar,

an alumni of both Braise Food and Wine

and the Tasting Room, grasps the concepts

of intelligent hospitality and surpassing

customer’s expectations. A little theatrical


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 13

Various interesting xtures spread light over the ceilings and exposed

brick walls, creating an extra level of texture in the comfortable and

stylish Che Restobar.

ourish in a bartender’s repertoire is never a

bad thing, and in this case it is often part of

the experience.

A well-designed restobar demands an

in-depth understanding of how restaurants

ow, how customers and sta interact with

the layout. Che does this with aplomb, featuring

exposed brick walls, a long bar with

a granite countertop, and a perfect coign of

vantage, as well as immense Maskros light

xtures that project decorative patterns

on the walls and ceilings. Step up into the

dining room, which, like the bar, has high

ceilings (one of the features of the buildings

that appealed to Rivas), and large picture

windows that allow lots of natural light.

Rivas, originally from El Salvador, relocated

to London from Toronto ve years ago

(after a lengthy stint at Babalúu in Yorkville),

looking for a property that he could develop.

With the assistance of Janette MacDonald,

General Manager of Downtown London,

Rivas scouted for the ideal location, nally

purchasing two adjacent buildings with

great potential and turning them into a virtual

showplace. e restaurant is on a split

level on the ground oor, and the upstairs

houses apartments.

Peruvians claim ceviche as their own and,

at Che, Chef Nunez re-interprets and presents

his signature repertoire of ceviche creations

in a contemporary manner. Ceviche,

a seafood dish popular in Central and South

America, is typically made from fresh raw

sh marinated in citrus juices such as lemon

or lime and spiced with chilli peppers, and is

known as the epitome of fusion (mixing and

matching nontraditional methods

and ingredients and creating

something dierent). It often

uses Incan hot peppers, Spanish

limes and onions and Japanese

techniques for preparing sh.

At Che, ceviche is elevated by

creativity and brilliant avour

combinations such as fresh tuna

in tamarind leche de tigre (citrus

based marinade that is purported

to be both an aphrodisiac

and a hangover cure), avocado,

jicama, Peruvian corn and

yam; or try their delectable wild

salmon in a passion fruit leche

de tigre, jicama, Peruvian corn

and yam mixture. ese dishes

are hands-down winners. A version

with tilapia is less so and has since been

banished from the menu.

Nunez and his culinary team add a ery

splash of Incan peppers (aji) to the kitchen’s

signature citrus marinated wild salmon,

octopus and tuna ceviche. Aji is a fundamental

and ubiquitous ingredient that is

characteristic of Peruvian cuisine, and is

present in most dishes. e best-known

variety used is the very spicy aji limo, which

ranges from yellow to green to red in colour.

The split level works well, with the upper dining

room still having pleasantly high ceilings


14 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 32 | November/December 2011

Similar to ceviche but subtler

in taste and presentation

(think shashimi), taridito is

a cold appetizer made with

thin slices of citrus-marinated

sh. e tender octopus

tiraditos with an earthy black

olive sauce is a knockout, as

are the fresh tuna tiraditos

with mango and leche de tigre

cream sauce. When these

dishes are served with a side

of confetti of hot peppers

(optional) the taste is deliciously

volcanic.

Made from scratch empañadas

are beef, pork or

Marvin Rivas (left) shows o a plate Empanadas, with Chef German Nunez chicken with onions, olives,

(middle) presenting a Huancaina Salad and William Menjivar holding a raisins, eggs and peppers, and

Chimichurri ribeye steak with yuca fries in mojo, chimichuri, and pico de gallo. served with salsa casceria.

Chimichurri is a traditional

Latin American sauce with minced parsley

and bursting with aromatics. Here chef’s

version is a garlicky revelation on cookedto-perfection

(Angus) rib eye steak with

crisp yucca fries in mojo with pico de gallo.

On another occasion we were impressed

by a shared dish of paella, fragrant saron

rice with onions, peppers, chorizo sausage,

tender chicken, and redolent with calamari,

mussels and prawns.

Che’s signature Huancaina Salad is perfection:

a medley of Yukon gold potatoes,

ripe avocado, red onion, olives, eggs and

lime, scented with a spicy aji amarillo (yellow

hot pepper), and topped with creamy

fresh cheese sauce. It is so good we are

tempted to lick the plate.

Che is an authentic restobar experience in

an upscale but casual setting where people

can revel in camaraderie, great food and

drink, and not break the bank.

The long and elegantly simple bar with a granite

countertop oers a convivial spot for camaraderie.

Che Restobar

225 Dundas Street (at Clarence), London

519-601-7999

www.cherestobar.ca

lunch: monday to friday, 11:30 am–3 pm

dinner: monday to wednesday, 5 pm–10 pm

thursday to saturday 5 pm–11 pm

BRYAN LAVERY is a regular contributor to eatdrink.


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 15

IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE

OPENING SOON AT MUSEUM LONDON

CAFÉ TO BE OPEN 11-4,

TUESDAY TO FRIDAY

AVAILABLE EVENINGS FOR PRIVATE DINING,

WEDDINGS, CORPORATE EVENTS & PARTIES

MONTHLY WINE PAIRING DINNERS, COOKING

& FLORAL CLASSES AND SUNDAY BRUNCH

STARTING IN THE SPRING

theriverroom.ca | 519.697.2560


16 www.eatdrink.ca

restaurants

It seemed a near perfect day as

I walked past the wrought iron

fence and sunlit golden brickwork

of e Marienbad Restaurant

and Chaucer’s Pub. On entering, I was

immediately drawn into the Old World

charm and comfort of the interior. e

pub has padded hardwood chairs, a

natural stone replace, stained glass,

and an ancient piano in the corner: this

place denitely beckons you to enjoy

the consumption of some heartwarming

food and an excellent pint of beer.

e Marienbad is located on Carling

Avenue in London, just west of

Richmond Street. e almost hundredand-fty-year-old

building was the

original home of The London Free

Press. Housing a few other businesses

after the Free Press’s move, it became home

to the Marienbad and Chaucer’s on March 8,

1974. e Marienbad was intended to serve a

taste of central Europe; opened by a Czechoslovakian

native, it takes its name from the

famous Czech “Marienbad Spa.” Chaucer’s

was meant to echo that same atmosphere,

for a more casual pub crowd. Jerry Pribil,

the current owner of more than a decade,

and Chef Klaus Campbell have brought the

№ 32 | November/December 2011

European Tastes and Traditions

The Marienbad Restaurant and Chaucer’s Pub, in London

By ERIC NEAVES

Situated in one of the city’s more distinguished heritage

buildings, once home to The London Free Press, The Marienbad

exudes a charming Old World ambiance in Downtown London.

restaurant into its twenty-seventh year of

business without loosing any of that touch.

Chef Klaus Campbell, originally from Germany,

has been cooking since his apprenticeship

began at the age of 15. He worked in Germany

for several years, until he and his wife

decided to follow her family to London in

the mid-1980s. After brief stints in a few other

London kitchens, he found his way to the

Marienbad. He took over as Chef in 1988, and

has been happily cooking away ever since.

“I could eat schnitzel every day,”

Chef Klaus remarked when I asked

him what his favourite dish is. e

menu features plenty of Central

European comfort fare: Besides

their famous Wiener Schnitzel, they

also oer dishes such as Hungarian

Goulash, Haluska (small noodle

dumplings), Roast Lamb, and Fresh

Sausage, all with savoury vegetable

accompaniments. With a loyal clientele

who return time and again for

Chef Klaus Campbell and Manager Jonathan

Fraser, in The Atrium with its mural of Carlsbad,

Czech Republic, home to the Marienbad Spa


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 17

The spacious dining room is full of character in keeping with the

menu that features plenty of Central European comfort fare.

these regional favourites, Chef Klaus has

found a good balance of rotating new dishes

into his repertoire (often with some Asian,

Italian, or French air) while keeping the

popular European specialities.

One such favourite, with an almost cultlike

following, is his Beef Tartare. “I love

it, and for those who do too, we see them

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again and again.” No stranger to

this dish myself (Chaucer’s being a

favourite venue for a pint during my

undergrad), I was delighted to see

it come out to the table, accompanied

by Klaus’ great big grin. “I’m

always smiling,” he remarks as I dig

in, which from the jovial atmosphere

I’ve always experienced, makes perfect

sense. It’s a happy place to be.

Another claim to fame of both

the Marienbad and Chaucer’s is

their selection of beers. Maintaining

approximately eighty dierent brews

at any given time, it’s one of the

best collections in the city. Manager

Jonathan Fraser takes considerable

pride in his menu, rotating in beers

appropriate for the season: heartier

ales for the winter and clean crisp lagers for

the warmer months. On this visit, I decided

to try the Spearhead Hawaiian Style Pale Ale.

With a pleasing bitterness on the front of the

palate, it nished with a hint of pineapple

and made a perfect pairing with the sunshine

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Chef Klaus Campbell’s famed Steak Tartare

Not satised with just the fun of great

beer, Chaucer’s also runs a “passport”

program on a seasonal basis. Patrons are

challenged to try a beer from each of the

countries represented on the current beer

list, over about 80 days. When I try to nail

Jonathan down on how many countries are

represented, he admits “new things y in

so often it’s hard to say for sure — but I joke

that we’ll always have plenty from each of

the six habitable continents, and if a brewery

Chaucer’s Pub features a classic bar, a cosy replace, and an

outstanding selection of beer on tap and by the bottle

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ever opens in Antarctica then ...” In addition

to their beer, the Marienbad and Chaucer’s

feature a small wine list, with some VQA representation,

which matches their menu well.

Jonathan also points out that they plan on

bringing in more VQA as time progresses.

Both Klaus (with his food) and Jonathan

(with the beer) recognize how competitive

local producers are in the quest for quality.

Among the Canadian breweries represented

on their menu are Spearhead, Mill Street,

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Nickel Brook, Steam Whistle and Unibroue.

Klaus brings in primarily Ontario meats

and sh from our Great Lakes, and gets up

early each Saturday morning to replenish his

stock of produce at the Trail’s End Market in

East London. His philosophy on the matter

is simple — “it tastes better.”

Another favourite of the Marienbad’s

patrons is the Murder Mystery series. Usually

running the last Friday of each month

through the fall, winter and spring months,

$39 treats you to a three-course meal, during

which the drama unfolds. Be careful which

table you sit next to, however, as one of your

fellow diners is the culprit. “We’ll actually be

running additional dates around the holidays,”

Jonathan remarks. “People really get

into it.”

Another feature the Marienbad is known

for is its selection of private rooms. e

ground oor features the Atrium, which is

clad in the same golden brick as the building’s

exterior. Its glass ceiling allows sunshine

to pour in over the mural of Carlsbad,

Czechoslovakia (a town near Marienbad

Spa), painted by a family member of the

original owner. is room holds about thirty

people. If you need a larger space, the replace

room upstairs may be more your style.

Almost matching the layout of Chaucer’s

below, this room will host parties of eighty or

so, and is adorned with a replace of its own

and wood furnishings from London’s old

courthouse.

Towards the end of my visit, Jonathan mentioned

that during this past August, Chaucer’s

was host to Art Fusion (londonfuse.ca), a collective

of visual and musical artists. “Some

nights there were things going on in every

room,” he remarks, and adds that events will

likely return next summer. For me, I plan on

being back much sooner.

Marienbad Restaurant & Chaucer’s Pub

122 Carling Street, London

(519) 679-9940

www.marienbad.ca

hours of operation:

monday: 11:30 am to 10:30 pm

tuesday & wed.: 11:30 am to 11 pm

thursday: 11:30 am to 11:30 pm

friday & saturday: 11:30 am to 1 am

sunday: 4:30 pm to 9 pm

ERIC NEAVES is an apprentice at the Stratford Chef School.

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20 www.eatdrink.ca

restaurants

On the blackboard above

e County Food Co.’s

front, scribed like Commandments

in ten-inch

chalk letters, are some of Janet Ashworth’s

favourite local food sources:

Blanbrook Farms (for bison), Creton’s

Produce (heirloom), Nubrands

Country Produce, Wegman’s

Produce, Orval Zehr (eggs), Carol

Francom (herbs), Caveman Crops,

Ruthanne Bauman (pies).

e list is far from exhaustive,

but it illustrates Ashworth’s de facto

100-mile approach to her business.

“I came to Stratford to see if I could

make a living oering good food, at

aordable prices, using seasonal,

local ingredients,” she says. “We’re in our

fourth year now, so I guess it’s working!”

Bustling about the kitchen at the back of

her Erie Street location, Ashworth recounts

her studies at the Culinary Institute of America

in upstate New York, and 25 years in the

Toronto restaurant scene, including stints

with uber-restaurateur Peter Oliver and

three of her own restaurant partnerships.

But then she visited her friend Sue

Pasquale, owner of the celebrated Boomer’s

Gourmet Fries, now just a couple of doors

away. “at did it,” she admits. “I had a hunch

that I could oer what families need: prepared

meals and sides that are quick, easy

and healthy, which is no joke these days. ”

On a personal level, adds Ashworth, “moved

to Stratford for the people and the culture.”

№ 32 | November/December 2011

Fresh and Friendly

Eat-In and Takeaway at The County Food Co. in Stratford

By DAVID HICKS

The County Food Co.’s owner Janet Ashworth (right) and her secondin-command,

Victoria Rose, place an emphasis on seasonal local

ingredients. The multiple blackboard menus get a regular workout.

Farmer-Friendly

e aptly named County Food Co. is also a

xture at the Stratford Farmers Market, and

Ashworth’s jovial, straight-up manner has

forged strong bonds with other local vendors

and farmers. Now those friends keep showing

up with “a bushel of beets here, a case

of broccoli there, an armful of bok choy.

One day we wound up with eighty pounds

of asparagus tips — in this little place,” Ashworth

demurs about her improvisational

approach to the menu. “Whatever’s fresh

and comes in the door is what I use.”

Ladling the cauldron of veal stock that has

been simmering overnight, pondering what

to do with the gorgeous meat falling from the

ribs, she cites her litany of local suppliers,

“C’est Bon goat’s cheese, Arva our, Perth

Pork Products, Shawn Vernon’s apples … I

think we’re just unconsciously 100-mile. I

use what’s fresh and what’s seasonal, and

that works out to be the most economical. I

mean, why serve a pale, cardboard tomato

from California when they’re in season here?

It just doesn’t make sense.”

On the Erie Street patio, which seats 16 in season


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 21

Diners can combine favourites. Pictured, Blackened Chicken with

Tomato Salsa, Tomato Basil Risotto Cake, Quinoa with Cranberries.

In & Out

During the theatre season, the balance of

business tips toward the eat-in, outdoor

seating and picnic takeout trac, shifting in

the o-season to take-home

meals and catering. e dining

room seats 24 on one

side, with the other half dedicated

to take-out, prepared

foods and more chalkboards

crammed with semi-permanent

and daily items.

Ashworth’s second-incommand,

Victoria Rose,

gives a tour of the most popular

items: schnitzels (“We’ll

go through ve platters in a

day”), mac & cheese using

Bright’s cheddar and asiago,

hunter-style chicken, braised

lamb with sweet-potato crust,

pot pies, soups, and a display

case of salads and sides.

ere’s also a kitchen rack of all-local condiments

such as August’s Harvest garlic products

from Gadshill, Bauman’s honey from

Millbank, Orchard Hill jams from Wallenstein,

and Savvy Chef sauces from London.

ey do a brisk business in special main

courses, side dishes and desserts at Christmas,

Easter and anksgiving. “Everyone could use

some help on the holidays,” she says.

“Janet also does spontaneous specialty

items, depending on the occasion, like duck

cont and bison tortière, and her gravlax

disappears in a day.” Rose shrugs, “If you’re

not here, you miss it.”

e beer and wine are also handpicked:

St. omas’ Dead Elephant Ale is on tap and

Stratford Pilsner is in the fridge; and eight

Ontario wines — four red, four white — from

Chateau de Charmes, Cave Spring, Henry of

Pelham, Creekside, et al. “I try to span

the range, from Gamay to Meritage in

reds, Riesling to unoaked Chardonnay

in whites,” says Ashworth. “But it also

depends if I go down to Niagara and

grab a case. Sometimes to the chagrin

of my servers.”

Spontaneity Rules

e County Food Co. sta thrives on

the spontaneity, actually. “is summer

a blogger from the States came

in search of the world’s best peanut

butter sandwich,” says Rose. “Other

restaurants sent him here, so I said,

‘Okay, come back tomorrow and we’ll have

something special for you.’

“So he came back and he was blown away:

a pita, stued with peanut

butter, grilled vegetables

and dried cranberries.”

(“You should have seen the

presentation!” Ashworth

interjects.) “And he raved.

Apparently it’s one of his

most popular blog entries.”

Ashworth’s ad-libbing

skills served her when

she was recently matched

against Francisco Alejandri,

graduate of the Stratford

Chef School and owner of

Toronto’s Agave Y Aguacate,

in this year’s Savour Stratford

Chef Challenge. “It was a

one-hour chef smack-down,”

Ashworth laughs. “e surprise

ingredients were bacon, a quail’s egg, a

partridge and a duck. at was fun.”

Ashworth’s potato pancakes

County Food Co.

38 Erie Street, Stratford

519-275-2665

www.countyfoodco.com

Hours of operation:

Tuesday to Friday: 11 AM to 7 PM

Saturday: 11 AM to 5 PM

Sunday: 10 AM to 2 PM (brunch)

Closed Mondays

DAVID HICKS is a Stratford branding consultant, writer,

and wingman for the City of Stratford’s “Top Seven Intelligent

Community” awards campaign. david@pensario.ca


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24 www.eatdrink.ca

restaurants

A Taste for Everyone

at Niko’s Eatery & Bar in Tillsonburg

By CHRISTIE MASSÉ

As a member of Oxford Fresh and Savour

Oxfordlicious, Niko’s Eatery & Bar in

Tillsonburg helps set the standard for

local dining in Oxford County. is is

the calibre of restaurant you might expect to nd

in a booming metropolis like London, with all the

right touches to be a contender in today’s competitive

industry. In fact, in 2010, Niko’s received

the Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Overall Restaurant”

by SUN Media Readers.

e décor at Niko’s is impressive. From curb

appeal to semi-open concept

kitchen, the use of various materials,

the elements, lighting, and

visual ow in its dining room

create a stimulating atmosphere

for its guests. With walls made

of wine bottles, water, stainless

steel, and what looks like molded

copper, the visual interest for the

onlooker is endless, and everything

seems mise en place, to use

a kitchen term.

It is no surprise the servers

at Niko’s have won awards for

Outstanding Service: the sta is

knowledgeable and enthusiastic

of the food and wine, prompt, professional, and

couldn’t be more personable.

I recently had the pleasure of dining at Niko’s,

and as a chef, good service is more than appreciated,

but what truly tells the story of a restaurant

is its food. With two Red Seal chefs in the kitchen,

expectations are high. After a thorough read of the

menu, they are met. I want to order everything.

And given the surprising aordability of the items,

I’m convinced I can. To prevent this from happening,

I remove myself from the dinner menu and

take a gander at the wine list. With features, standards,

and vintages by the glass or bottle, there is

a varietal, country, and price point for everyone.

Following my wine order, I plan to revisit the dinner

menu with a more rational eye, though the

introduction of wine is deemed counterproductive

to such intentions. To make the decision easier, my

№ 32 | November/December 2011

Elegantly chic and impressive in

style, Niko’s also has a reputation for

personable and professional service.

guest and I decide one of us

will order a more traditional

meal while the other will

be adventurous. My fellow

patron goes with the #1 Seller,

Niko’s Calamari, and the

Chipotle Peppercorn Rib Eye,

while I sample their Avocado

Spring Rolls and Tahiti Lime

Chicken. I nd the Prosciutto Risotto

accompanying the chicken dish strong

enough to stand alone. Each aspect of

this entrée presents a personality of its

own, right down to the hand-cut, cinnamon-roasted

beets and carrots.

As owner Chris Kyriakopoulos

explains over coee and dessert, he

wanted to bring in chefs that can oer

something for everyone, hence their

slogan, “A Taste for Everyone.” eir

menu is designed to cater both to those

more comfortable with traditional

items such as Caesar Salad, New York

Steak, and Fish and Chips, as well as

the more daring diner, interested in

testing the avours of the world. For

either classication, it is apparent that


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 25

serious contemplation

and care is put into each

dish, from preparation to

presentation.

In the kitchen, Head

Chef Brandon Buckle

is assisted by former

Head Chef turned Sous-

Chef Brian Rocco. Brian

stepped down from the

position after lling it

for two years in order to

teach at Fanshawe College,

within their culinary

program. With a philosophy

heavy on simplicity

and nished presentation,

along with a erce

combined palate, the pair

can tackle the 180-seat

restaurant while keeping

the quality, freshness, and

originality as high as the

stacked onion rings that

accompany the Rib Eye.

Brandon, a Fanshawe

graduate, previously

ran the kitchen at e

Clog & istle in Ingersoll

and has been in his

position now for over a

year. Brandon’s food philosophy

revolves around

the concepts of simplicity

and fusion. Brian,

another Fanshawe grad,

has worked in London

kitchens such as e Best

Western and Michael’s

On e ames. When

asked about his philosophy,

he stresses avour

and freshness. “We’re not

afraid to season our food

here. We want to bring out

avours. Everything with

the exception of maybe

four items is made in house right down to the

marshmallows in the S’more Brownie Sunday”—

an impressive feat, based on the size

and diversity of the menu.

Considering that Chris owns nine businesses

and runs from the arena to gymnastics

meets and soccer practice with his

kids, it is amazing that there isn’t a detail

left unattended at Niko’s — evidence of a

Avocado Spring Rolls

Chipotle Peppercorn Rib Eye Steak

Tahiti Lime Chicken with Prociutto Risotto

Pumpkin Cheesecake

well-chosen and welltrained

sta. As the

president and CEO of

RIBA (Restaurateurs

Independent Buyer’s

Association), Chris is

an industry veteran

with a nger dipped

in many of Ontario’s

ne dining establishments.

RIBA’s mission

is to help Ontario’s food

industry entrepreneurs

execute their dreams

on a large scale. Quick

to lend a helping hand

to upcoming food and

beverage freshmen,

Chris is doing his part

to nurture our local

industry and leave his

mark on the evolution

of the business. A solid

foundation to a success

story in the hospitality

industry is a hospitable

nature.

In addition to the

restaurant, Niko’s oers

caterings of all sizes

and styles. It also oers

live jazz entertainment

and, rumour has it, an

outstanding Sunday

Brunch. Call for reservations

and visit their website

for menus, features,

and directions. It is absolutely

worth the jaunt to

Tillsonburg.

Niko’s Eatery & Bar

102 Broadway Street,

Tillsonburg

519-688-9393

www.nikoseatery.com

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Thursday, 11 AM to 10 PM

Friday & Saturday, 11 AM to 11 PM

Sunday, 10 AM to 9 PM

Sunday Brunch, 10 AM to 2:30 PM

CHRISTIE MASSÉ is a graduate of the Stratford Chef School

and now runs Crust Catering & Bakery in St. Thomas (www.

crustcatering.ca).


26 www.eatdrink.ca

spotlight

A Recipe for Social Enterprise

London Training Centre is breaking new ground

By KYM WOLFE

If you’re looking for a good recipe for social

enterprise, you might want to take a page

out of London Training Centre’s book. is

local non-prot has blended a variety of

ingredients to create a unique food-centred

enterprise. Here, revenues from food production,

food processing, food retailing and

food service are used to support skills development,

employment opportunities and

community engagement.

“Food is a catalyst for social change

because it engages people,” says David Corke,

LTC’s executive director. Everything the

agency cooks up will ultimately contribute to

its three bottom lines: 1) to help people, 2) to

have a positive impact in the community, and

3) to generate enough revenue to accomplish

the rst two.

“e great thing about social enterprise

is that if you break even, or only make a

dollar, you are a success,” says Corke. LTC

has a number of revenue-generating channels:

Allumette, a banquet-stang agency;

a professional training arm that provides

instruction in everything from Safe Food

Handling and Smart Serve to First Aid, CPR

and computer training; and a new initiative,

rental of their kitchen area to caterers and

food artisans who need access to a licensed

and inspected kitchen. LTC is also planning

to launch a series of cooking classes

in the spring of 2012, featuring a variety of

guest chefs. All of the surplus funds gener-

David Corke, Executive

Director of the LTC, in

the Centre’s garden.

№ 32 | November/December 2011

ated from the revenue-producing services

are plowed back into Local Food Skills, the

agency’s food training program.

Relationships with community partners

who are involved in dierent elements of the

food chain also feed the Local Food Skills’

bottom line. For example, making soup stock

is a fundamental skill in the kitchen, says

Corke. “Dan Murphy from Field Gate Organics

supplies us with beef and chicken bones

that we use to teach participants stock-making

skills. Once the stock is made we freeze it,

then send it back to Dan to retail, and we get

a share of the prot. It’s a great private sector/

non-prot sector partnership.”

LTC was established 25 years ago to provide

training and support to unemployed

people interested in working in the food and

hospitality industry. e food training program

has evolved over time, and now reaches

back into the supply chain to incorporate

eld-to-table elements. “Beyond teaching

food skills, we discuss how to connect with

food,” says Steve James, the chef who runs the

training kitchen. “We try to use traditionally

and ethically grown food that we grow ourselves

or that we purchase locally.”

is past year some of the food used in the

training program – tomatoes, leeks, carrots

and other fresh produce – was grown in LTC’s

ve acres of land on a farm on the outskirts of

London, just west of Hyde Park. e tranquil

country setting provided an ideal backdrop

Chef Steve James, in the kitchen with students Solomon

Kedebe, Denise Pelletier, & Nikolas Kerr (back)


Jacob Hawes (left) and Ken

Rutledge, student chefs, at Food

for Thought, a fundraising event.

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1.877.862.5984

blythfestival.com

to the Food For

ought fundraiser

that was

held there in

September.

Both David

Corke and

Steve James

have an interest

in the local food

movement, and

they are excited

about educating

children

about the food

that is being

grown on the city’s back doorstep. is year

a new program, Locavore Kid, is being introduced

in one of the ames Valley District

School Board’s elementary schools.

www.eatdrink.ca 27

Small production growers have an important

place in the local food supply chain,

says Corke, and this year LTC has partnered

with Farm Start to promote small-scale

farming as a career option. LTC would also

like to explore ways to ensure that small

growers can access distribution systems

beyond farmers’ markets to get their crops

to local dinner tables. “Small food production

and the development of a secondary

food system will create economic energy to

support those small operations and provide

employment opportunities,” says Corke.

London Training Centre

317 Adelaide St. South, Unit 110, London

519-685-4331

www.londontraining.on.ca

KYM WOLFE is freelance writer based in London.


28 www.eatdrink.ca

travel

A Taste of the Mountain

Enjoy Gastronomic Heights in Whistler BC

By JANE ANTONIAK

It’s pretty safe to say that we all had our

eyes on Whistler during the Winter

Olympics in 2010 — ski racing, sledding,

parties in the village square — it was all

very exciting and so wonderfully Canadian.

Now we get to enjoy all the upgrades to Whistler

without the high costs and frenzy of the

Olympics. With easy access from London to

Vancouver on WestJet, you can depart here

at 7 a.m. and nd yourself zipping along the

jaw-dropping views of the Sea to Sky Highway

from Vancouver to the mountains by the

early afternoon. ere are direct shuttles, or

you can rent a car to take in this “bucket list”

drive, about two hours from door to door,

depending on city trac out of Vancouver.

Anymore, you don’t have to be a winter

sports enthusiast to take in the glamour and

fun of a mountain village. e slope-side

restaurants, bars and accommodations have

spectacular views — whether watching the

skiers and boarders coming down or gazing up

at the panoramic mountains. And anyone can

take the gondola

up Whistler

and then

jump aboard

the Peak 2 Peak

Gondola to

Blackcomb,

enjoying awesome

views

and a sense of

gliding through

the skies.

Luckily, for

foodies, Whistler

is uniquely

situated next

to the lush and

fertile growing

region of Pemberton

and

just a stone’s

throw from the

№ 32 | November/December 2011

ocean. Whistler chefs are among the very

few who can work in mountains and enjoy

cooking with fresh, local products because

of the unique growing conditions in nearby

Pemberton and access to fresh seafood and

sh. Combine that with wonderful BC wines

and locally brewed beers, and Whistler

becomes a welcome haven for high-end

regional dining in a casual atmosphere.

James Walt, Executive Chef at the celebrated

Araxi restaurant, has been a pioneer in Whistler

in expert combining of sustainable cooking

with magnicent taste and presentation.

Araxi was one of Whistler’s original restaurants,

and Walt has brought it considerable

fame with his connection to the Hell’s Kitchen

TV show, as executive chef at the Canadian

embassy in Rome, and for his cookbook, Araxi,

which was a nalist for the James Beard Foundation

award and the winner of a Gourmand

World Cookbook Award as best Chef Book

in Canada. Walt has been at Araxi since 1997

and is a graduate of the Stratford Chef School.

Whistler is spectacular, by day and by night


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 29

Working at Araxi has allowed him to showcase

his love of regional cooking — he now resides

in Pemberton and has personal connections

with his long-time producers/suppliers, especially

North Arm Farm near Mount Currie. is

past summer, Walt began the North Arm Farm

long table suppers, where 160 people would

gather at one long outdoor table to share a

communal meal from big platters — a style

he admired in Italy. While Araxi is far more

upscale, with white table cloths and seating

for 155, Walt’s playful

approach is evident to

diners who can look into the open kitchen or

sit at two chef’s tables. Whether it’s Qualicum

Beach scallops or Pemberton potatoes, guests

can expect gently handled dishes with a minimalist

approach, yet bursting in avour.

“I’m totally happy here,” he enthuses.

“We’re pretty fortunate. I grew up in the

Ottawa Valley, in a farming community,

and I just love Pemberton. e farmers have

become my friends, our kids go to school

together, we feel connected. I now have ve

farms growing just for us.”

Walt can take sweet corn and basil and

create a delicious soup that you swear is

cream-lled, but is just corn, basil and onion

made from a stock of boiled corn cobs and

only a half cup of cream for 16 servings. Simplicity

rules at Araxi, service is attentive, and

the place is booked solid from December to

Easter. www.araxi.com

A short walk from the centre of the village

is a newer restaurant, Alta Bistro, which is

the baby brother of Araxi — and a lot easier

on the pocketbook — and it’s also dedicated

to sustainability and quality preparations.

“We’re starting to feel like we’re a bit established,”

says co-owner Eric Grith, who has

lived in Whistler for 32 years. With a small but

interesting menu that features three-course

dinners for $29 or $39, Alta also draws from

local producers while presenting in the style

of a classic European bistro. eir cheese board

and charcuterie board (with meats from Nita

Lake Lodge) are their signatures, and so are

their attitudes towards the environment —

they create their own carbonated water, using

“Whistler water,” which all locals rave about,

ltering it on site, and adding sparkle through

the Vivleau System. ey pride themselves on

using all parts of the animal, no plastic wrap,

only recycled plastic containers and induction

cooking. “Food can be tasty and not expensive,”

Bearfoot Bistro Chef Melissa Craig Scallops with Corn, Spicy Sausage

and Mustard Vinaigrette,

Bearfoot Bistro’s Wine Cellar

by Araxi Restaurant Chef James Walt

says Grith. “We felt there

was a gap between highend

and franchise-food restaurants. We want

to promote excellent food at a good value for

locals and guests.” www.altabistro.com

For the full charcuterie experience, you

need to venture out of the main Whistler village

to Nita Lake Lodge, located adjacent to

the Whistler railway station in the area known

as Creekside. Meats are hung to cure/dry in

open refrigerators, and guests in the Cure

Lounge are encouraged to try such delicacies

as pickled veal tongue (“You don’t get freaked

out?” asks Cu as he insists I try some) and

wild boar head while sipping on signature

cocktails such as Half Asleep in Frog Pyjamas,

a Smoky Robinson, or a Red Chihuahua, all

crafted by Hailey Pasemko, Commander-in-

Chief of beverages. She makes her own bitters,

syrups and infusions, creating a beverage

culture, and pairs cocktails with charcuterie

and other bar foods, including homemade

potato chips with Pemberton potatoes or succulent

chicken wings — a favourite of Executive

Chef Tim Cu. From Saskatchewan,

Cu knows a thing or two about growing

foods, and he personally cares for the rooftop

organic garden — its seven plots include

Saskatoon berries, onions, lettuce and herbs,

some of which end up in Pasemko’s cocktails.

“I didn’t move here to ski. It’s a personal

challenge to revitalize this place. We do

everything ourselves and we utilize the area


30 www.eatdrink.ca

around us, the ocean and Pemberton, and

we cook within the seasons.” e two play o

each other well – both young, yet experienced

and thrilled to be working together at the

revamped Nita Lake Lodge. Denitely a great

spot for Happy Hour away from the throngs of

partyers in Whistler. www.nitalakelodge.com

If it’s wine you’re looking for, then a

must-stop is the Bearfoot Bistro, home of

the 12,000-bottle wine cellar. A short ight

of stairs down from the main dining room

takes you into the awesome experience of

being surrounded by wine. Occasionally,

private parties are held in the cellar and sta

enjoy having guests “sabre” a bottle of bubbly

— remove the cork with a sword — the

ultimate party game! Suce it to say you can

order anything you want from the cellar to

be served upstairs in the dining room and

paired with delicious oerings from Chef

Melissa Craig — one of the few women chefs

in the area. “It’s kind of a playground for

me,” she says and she means it. Salmon tartare

was infused

with pop rocks candies to create create a surprising

crackle in your mouth. A corn salad included

popcorn in the mixture. And ice cream is

made tableside with liquid nitrogen and

served with your own choices of toppings,

including maple syrup liquor — incredibly

creamy and tasty!

At one point during your evening at Bearfoot

Bistro, you may be asked to stand up,

don a large, fur-trimmed parka, and head

into their ice room, where you can sample

some of their 48 vodkas that are chilling

in the ice walls at -28°C. Scott Barber, the

“vodka director,” studied at Fanshawe College

and is from Owen Sound. He gets a big

kick out of walking visitors through a vodka

sampling – including peppery and sweetinfused

vodkas — all consumed neat and

chilled, of course. A super warm-up on a

cold night! www.bearfootbistro.com

Whistler/Blackcomb is also home to four

conference hotels, each with their own accomplished

culinary teams and impressive dining.

e Fairmont at Blackcomb has the lively

№ 32 | November/December 2011

Mallard Bar — a must-stop experience with

outdoor re pits and indoor live music. ey

pour Whistler Mountain Lager and Blasted

Church Pinot Gris like it’s an everyday beverage.

Fairmont also has the Wine Room for ne dining,

including seafood from Qualicum Bay, and

is part of the Ocean Wise program. eir neighbours

are the Four Seasons, which is home

to the Sidecut Modern Steak House, serving

Alberta beef cooked on an 1800-degree infrared

grill and seasoned with their own spices, called

Edison’s Medicine. Back in Whistler Village, e

Westin has the Aubergine Grille, a 150-seat ne

dining restaurant with an impressive outside

patio that features gourmet sandwiches and

impressive views. Its neighbour is the Hilton,

the original Whistler hotel that still oers woodburning

replaces in guest rooms and is just

steps from the gondola. Inside the Hilton is the

Cinnamon Bear Bar, a longtime watering hole

and sports bar enjoyed by generations of visitors

to Whistler. Adjacent to it is the Cinnamon

Bear Grille, serving weekend brunch buets

sure to kick-start any day of activity.

e best part of

Whistler is that it’s

a pedestrian village,

so you can nd ways

to burn o all the

calories by strolling

the streets and taking

the short walk over to

Blackcomb village. Nearby hiking trails oer

geocaching treks, and you can even go ziptrekking

year-round — an exhilarating way

to tour the mountain while ziplining over

creeks and tree tops. Aside from the thrill of

skiing down the Dave Murray Downhill and

creating your own Olympic moment, ziplining

at Whistler is a must for thrill seekers —

or anyone brave enough to step o the edge

of a platform! Safe and very fun, it provides a

unique gliding experience in the mountains.

www.ziptrek.com

Oh ,yes, of course there is the skiing —

something to t in between meals! With

an El Niña year predicted (means loads

of snow) and skiing from late November

through past Easter, Whistler is our sure-bet

destination, and one that Canadians can be

very proud to call our own!

Only Available ONLINE:

At the end of Issue 32, you’ll nd a

holiday treat recipe from Chef James

Walt’s acclaimed Araxi cookbook

JANE ANTONIAK is the owner of Antoniak Communications

and a lover of mountains. She packs up her pen and skis at every

opportunity, as a culinary travel writer for eatdrink.


Rodgers & Hammerstein’s

№ 32 | November/December 2011

CINDERELLA

Dine • Shop • Stay • Play

Music by Richard Rodgers

Enjoy

Book Ontario’s

and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein West

II

Coast

Adapted for the Stage by Tom Briggs

NEW

Bistro Sunday

Join Us!

From the Teleplay by Robert L. Freedman

NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 31

The prince is giving a ball and you’re invited! Dream and the impossible

becomes possible in this musical adventure for the whole family.

theRed Pump

519.672.8800

Bayeld, Ontario

grandtheatre.com

Canada N0M 1G0

Serving Lunch

and Dinner

Seasonal Hours

Always Closed

Mondays

Reservations

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& Reserve for New Year’s Eve!

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Untitled-2 Untitl Untitled-2 ed-2 11 1 11/08/2011 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2 11/08/2011 011 011 011 011 011 011 011 011 011 011 011 011 011 011 011 9:40:56 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:4 9:40:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 0:56 AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM AM

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32 www.eatdrink.ca

In 2012,

Tamarine

will usher in the

Year of the

Dragon

with a delicious

Prix-Fixe Menu

№ 32 | November/December 2011

An Inspiring and

Modern

Long Phan and sister chefs Quynh and Nhi

are successfully pushing the culinary

boundaries without breaking the principles

of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Dishes are

colourful, avourful, delicate and rened.


Innovative Interpretation of

№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 33

South Vietnamese Cuisine

tamarine

by Quynh Nhi

romantic

exotic

memorable

sleek and urban chic

with stunning fresh avours

Gift

Certicates

Available

118 Dundas Street

just east of Talbot

519.601.8276

www.tamarine.ca


34 www.eatdrink.ca

The BUZZ ... new and notable

Feel like hibernating? Don’t give in! There are plenty of

reasons to get out of the house this winter, and enjoy

yourself at local restaurants and area destinations

and events. And don’t forget: not all of the farmers’

markets have closed for the season — many are indoors now,

where it’s cosy!

Fanshawe Pioneer Village has some special seasonal oerings.

Spend an evening with Charles Dickens at a Dickens Dinner.

On the eve of his 200th birthday, enjoy a traditional Christmas

dinner with Dickens, followed by a recitation of a selection of

his most famous stories. Friday and Saturday, November 25 &

26, and December 2, 3, 9, & 10. Advance tickets required; $50

each plus HST; maximum of 50 tickets per performance. www.

fanshawepioneervillage.ca

Families are invited to a Visit with St. Nicholas at Fanshawe

Pioneer Village. Enjoy a hot pancake breakfast, followed by a

baked gingerbread man to decorate for dessert. Hop aboard

a horse-drawn wagon for a beautiful winter ride around the

Village and visit a selection of buildings preparing for Christmas.

Of course the day wouldn’t be complete without a visit from St.

Nicholas himself, who drops by to see each child. Weekends,

December 3–11 (see website for times). Advance tickets required;

$13.00/ person plus HST for anyone over the age of one. www.

fanshawepioneervillage.ca

№ 32 | November/December 2011

Festive Chocolate and Baking Workshop is back by

popular demand! Join Chef Roland Hofner at Eldon House

Interpretive Centre to create two traditional holiday treats.

Participants will make delicious cookies and chocolates while

learning the history of chocolate and baking techniques. Sunday

December 4, 1–4 PM. $30.00 includes supplies. Call 519-661-0333 to

register. www.eldonhouse.ca/

The Verandah Café has always been as much about the party

as it is the café. The 25-year-old landmark, legendary for its

high-spirited eccentricity, has closed. “Dear friends, family and

devoted patrons of 25 years: It is true; the Verandah Café has come

to an end. Mostly not by our choice,” stated a message posted on

the restaurant’s Facebook page by proprietors Wally Downham

and Steven Moeller. Although The Verandah was popular, and

Downham and Moeller paid the rent, there was an ongoing issue

with the owner of the building at 546 Dundas St. East, reportedly

related to mortgage payments.

“We had been locked out ... and cannot see a future at this point,

so we have taken the drastic step to sadly hang up our hats and put

our feet up until we nd a new chapter in our lives, wherever it may

be,” they wrote. The sudden news surprised their large and devoted

clientele, who patronized The Verandah not just for the prix xe

menu but to unwind and enjoy the nightly revelry.

BILLY’S DELI RESTAURANT

113 Dundas St., London

519-679-1970

Tuesday–Saturday 7:30 AM−3 PM • Sunday 9 AM–2 PM

− Pregame Meal 5 PM PM

From all of us at Billy’s

“Merry Christmas

& Happy New Year”

Order your

holiday pies early —

Mrs. Billy’s

Christmas Mincemeat

is a yearly favourite!


Holiday Foods.

Holiday gift baskets made to order

and can include cheeses, condiments

and salami including our specially

Christmas-themed products.

Christmas-themed wrapped salami

ranging from 500 grams to 2.8 kilos –

perfect for corporate gifts.

Metzger.

A German butcher right in our own backyard.

Hensall, Ontario.

Open six days a week.

www.metzgermeats.com

Known by the best chefs in Ontario – and discerning

home cooks – as a premium producer, Metzger’s

uses the best raw ingredients, with local meats and

traditional recipes. The result is healthier products,

fashionable presentations of ready-to-cook meats,

and delicious traditionally-smoked German delights.

Join us on Facebook

under Metzger Meat Products

for recipes and specials!


36 www.eatdrink.ca

Plan ahead to enjoy the 2012 London Wine and Food Show —

January 12 thru 14. The three-day show kicks o Thursday night

with a Corporate Mixer — an evening of sampling and socializing

for local businesses. The popular Girls Night Out will be Friday,

with swag bags for the rst 250 lucky ladies through the doors.

www.westernfairdistrict.com

Downtown London recently recognized the multiple

generations of the Smith family who have worked over 130 years,

and continue to work, at Covent Garden Market. The roots of

the Smith family are planted deeply in the downtown soil. Going

way back to its early days, Chancey Smith was a vegetable seller

at the open-air market downtown. Paul Smith Senior started

“When food matters,

The Garlic Box

brings the very

best to your table.”

Melted Brie

with Tapenade

Ingredients

1 small round Brie

2 tbsp Olive Tapenade with Garlic

Directions

Cut the rind off top of Brie and spread

with Olive Tapenade with Garlic.

Microwave 1 minute on high.

Serve with crackers or bread pieces.

Visit www.thegarlicbox.com for

spectacular holiday recipes!

toll free 1.888.772.9994 • Hensall, ON

Available at Jill’s Table, Kingsmills, Remark Fresh Market & Bradshaws (Stratford)

№ 32 | November/December 2011

at the market selling celery, which was new to this area. He then

opened a market restaurant where he made donuts, and nally

opened a cheese shop in 1959. His son Paul ran Paul’s Place deli

in the old market building and started Hasbeans in 1969.

Fast-forward to present day, and the Smith family market

tradition continues. Paul’s daughter Debbie McMillan and

grandson Joel McMillan also work at Hasbeans, a popular coee

shop in the market. Grandson Dan Smith and his wife Glenda

have also contributed to the family’s market tradition, taking over

operation of the cheese shop from grandfather Paul. Glenda Smith

currently operates Smith Cheese, with help from their daughter

Danielle. She also runs Glenda’s, a popular stall oering a wide

selection of dips, sauces, olives and other tasty treats.

Mike Smith, local restaurant/bar magnate, whose empire

includes: Joe Kool’s, Jim Bob Rae’s, The Runt Club, Fellini

Koolini’s and P Za Pie in London and a Joe’s Kools in Troy, MI,

was out of town and unable to attend and passed along this

message: “I’d like to apologize to Paul for not being here while he is

being honoured. Without Paul’s help, I am 100% sure that I would

not be in the restaurant and hospitality business today. I knew

nothing about product, suppliers, costing and all the other tidbits

about running a food operation, until Paul patiently mentored

me in all aspects of the game. (A lot of my customers over the

years would still say I still know nothing.) Without Paul’s help and

encouragement, it just wouldn’t have happened for me. And what

did Paul ask of me in return? Absolutely nothing. While I wanted to

pay him for all his help, he refused to take anything and I realized

that sometimes the greatest reward is knowing you did the right

thing. For this, I am unbelievably grateful to him, and it’s a lesson

that I’ll never forget. Thanks Paul, for all you and the family have

done for Covent Garden Market, Downtown London, and me.”

The Springs is London’s newest and highly anticipated gourmet

refuge on Springbank Drive, under the creative genius and culinary

guidance of Chef Andrew Wolwowicz. The smartly appointed

restaurant, housed in a beautifully refurbished church at 31

Springbank Drive, has been operating since mid-October. We are

already hearing rave reviews about Wolwowicz’s interesting menus,

listing dishes crafted from local, regional and seasonal ingredients.

Local entrepreneurs/restaurateurs Tim and Laura Owen tell

eatdrink that although they were initially hoping for a soft opening,

the restaurant has been busy every single night since opening.

The light-lled dining room seats 70, the beautifully

appointed patio 32 and the downstairs banquet room 40. The wall


№ 32 | November/December 2011

colours are muted, fresh, organic and natural. A commissioned

painting of a tree by artist Jade Brown adds a thoughtprovoking

focal point and ambience to the entrance.

“You know it’s a good party when you end up in the

kitchen,” says Wolwowicz, a proponent of the open kitchen. In

collaboration with the Owens, Wolwowicz helped design every

detail of the restaurant and kitchen to create a welcoming and

accessible environment. There is an additional prep/pastry

kitchen in the basement.

A “local” culinary ambassador with over 20 years of

professional expertise, Wolwowicz is a prominent gure in

London’s culinary community. He chefs at the full degree of

his capability, with nely tuned instincts, skill, dedication,

precision, creativity and passion. The Springs is proud to use

the nest locally grown products from farms specializing in

sustainable agriculture, organic growing practices and ethicallyraised

livestock, and is well on its way to becoming a regional

culinary landmark. www.thespringsrestaurant.com

Windemere Café recently announced that Chef Michael

G. Stark has accepted the position of Executive Chef. Chef

Stark brings over 15 years of experience in roles of increasing

responsibility within the hospitality industry, including over 5

years with the Ritz Carlton hotel group in Grand Cayman and

most recently as Executive Chef at Blue Ginger.

The London German-Canadian Club, nestled at the bottom

of Cove Road, down the hill from Archies on Wharnclie, has

been providing authentic German food for its members since 1951.

The licensed club restaurant is now open to the general public for

dinner on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (6 PM to

9 PM, to 10 PM on Fridays). Chef Dragan Vojinovic oers a simple

and delicious menu that includes traditional favourites such as

goulash, schnitzel, pork hocks, rouladen, cabbage rolls, bratwurst,

sauerkraut, red cabbage, and potatoes. You can polish these o with

sweet European-style crepes lled with chocolate, jam, walnuts or

fruit. Entrees range from $6.85 to $14.55. The Club also has several

attractive meeting rooms, including a charming ballroom (with a

small stage) that can hold up to 400 people, and on-site catering is

available. www.germmancanadianclublondon.com

Blackfriars Bistro & Catering is very excited to present their

new winter menu for both lunch and dinner. As always, they

oer a “personalized” catering service which allows the client

to have a direct inuence in planning a menu. Blackfriars also

recently welcomed Steven Burns to their kitchen’s stellar

international team of chefs.

We are all missing uber-barman Greg Simpson (former poster

boy for Downtown London) at Waldo’s on King. And Matt

McKenzie, long-time Waldo’s server, has also moved, over

to the Marienbad. Also, big congratulations are in order to

Waldo’s Manager Joe Duby, who got married this summer.

Terry Kong and Brennan Berlemont are opening Café

Sentral next to Jambalaya on Dundas Street.

Marc Forrat of Forrat’s Chocolates is partnering with

Matthew Scanlan and Kristen Heidt in Forrat’s Chocolates

and Lounge, which opened in Byron at the end of October. The

lounge serves specialty coees, hot chocolates, and wine, paired

with Forrat’s famous chocolate creations, all made on-site, in


Hands-On Cooking!

Classes for both Novice and Advanced Cooks, based on

themes of Gourmet International Cuisine and Special Diets.

Classes held at the Covent Garden Market,

Cooking Courses at the Carolinian Winery

Cook up

a storm,

and laugh

a lot!

Suki Kaur-Cosier

519 657 0722 www.cookingmatters.ca

“Reasonably priced, fresh,

well-executed Ethiopian cuisine ...”

— Bryan Lavery, eatdrink magazine

№ 32 | November/December 2011

small batches. The lounge will also be the launching place for

Marc’s newest culinary invention, a chocolate drink called Velvet,

that can be mixed with alcohol or coee, or enjoyed on it’s own.

www.forratschocolates.ca

David Chapman has left his managerial role at Katana Kafé to

concentrate on his eponymous David’s Bistro. The very talented

Chef Yvonne Vandervloet has taken on David’s Katana duties as

of mid-October.

Tamarine by Quynh Nhi is celebrating its rst anniversary with

a special three-course prix xe menu for $25, November 1–12.

Buy two appertizers and get one free, and enjoy $5 martinis and

cocktails. www.tamarine.ca

The new facility at Museum London, The River Room, as with

everything related to North Moore Catering, relates back to the

time (2001-07) when owner Jess Jazey-Spoelstra lived in NYC.

The River Room café will be open Tuesday–Friday, 11 AM–4 PM, and

the owners are anticipating opening for Sunday Brunch starting

in the spring. The entire venue has been gutted (including the

old curved ceiling), and they are raising the ceiling as high as

they can! The room will be tted with AV equipment so they can

introduce “lunch and learn” sessions. Everything on the menu

will be $10, made from scratch. Weekly specials will include:

handmade pasta (gnocchi, ravioli, tagliatelli etc.), crêpes, quiche

and sandwiches, all of which will be accompanied by a side salad.

They will also oer two entrée-size salads.

The River Room will be open evenings for private dining,

Vegetarian Options • Takeout • Catering


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 39

weddings, dinner parties, cocktail parties, holiday parties,

business dinners, etc. The café will also open one night a month

for dinner “by reservation only” for seasonal dinners & wine

pairings. Cooking classes, oral & decor classes will be oered on

site as well. www.theriverroom.ca

Eatdrink magazine congratulates Master of Hospitality, Rebecca

Vernon for 25 years of outstanding service at Hilton London.

Drop by JJ Keys upstairs on the 2nd oor, where Rebecca tends

bar Monday to Friday evenings. Speaking of masters of hospitality,

Callie Wenger is also celebrating 25 years at the Marienbad.

Tania Auger has opened Zebra Bar — or Z Bar — as regulars

refer to it in Sarnia. Auger, who grew up in Sarnia, returned

in 1997 after a 10+ year stint as owner of 99 King in London.

Auger has been head honcho, decorator, principal bartender,

and culinary doyenne at all her former businesses, which include

Smoked Oyster and Red Tango. Auger’s Lola’s Lounge on

Christina Street is celebrating its 12th year and is as popular as

ever. Zebra Bar is open Monday to Saturday 11 AM–2 AM.

The Little Inn of Bayeld is oering a couple of enticing

holiday getaway packages. The Three-Night Luxury in the

Country Christmas Holiday (December 24-27) includes three

nights’ accommodation, Christmas Eve Innkeeper’s Reception,

Christmas Eve dinner, two nights of classic Christmas movies,

continental breakfast Christmas morning, Christmas Day Brunch,

Christmas Day Dinner, Hot Boxing Day Country Breakfast, guided

snowshoeing/hike and refreshments, Boxing Day Lunch, Wine

Tasting Dinner, and a hot country breakfast on the 27th.

The Two-Night New Year’s Getaway (December 30-January

1) package includes the Gala Dinner Dance on the 31st with a six

course dinner and French Champagne at midnight, and dancing

to the smooth sounds of the in-house band throughout the

evening. Enjoy a hearty country breakfast each morning, one

lunch and one a la carte dinner, a guided walk or snowshoe on

the River Trails, and a ballroom dancing lesson prior to the gala

(with transportation). Dinner and brunch menus are online at

www.littleinn.com.

Cathy Bingham from Tourism Oxford County, tells us that

cheesemaker Shep Ysselstein had close to 2,000 well-wishers

attend the grand opening of highly anticipated Gunn’s Hill

Artisan Cheese amidst downpours and high winds in mid-

October. gunnshillcheese.ca

Stratford Tourism Alliance was presented with the Culinary

Tourism Leadership Award for the Savour Stratford Perth

County culinary initiative at the 2011 Ontario Tourism Awards

ceremony on October 4th, in Hamilton. This award recognizes

Stratford and Perth County for building an authentic “food

culture” and promoting culinary tourism and local food. In just

four short years, the Stratford Tourism Alliance has established

Stratford and Perth County, in partnership with local producers,

chefs, restaurants and retailers, as a leading culinary destination

in the province. The award recognizes the dedication and eorts

of sta and volunteers to create culinary experiences ranging

from hands-on learning packages, Epicurean Treks, Culinary

Your love of all things Italian begins at


MARCH 24 & 25, 2012

LONDON CONVENTION CENTRE

A full array of culinary exhibitors!

Enjoy Pelee Island Winery seminars

at the new Sip, Savour Stage and

cooking demonstrations presented

by magazine at the

Cooking Stage!

Book your booth now!

519-263-5050

www.womenslifestyleshow.ca

join us on facebook

e-mail: womenrock@bayleygroup.com

LEXUS OF LONDON

LEXUS OF LONDON

sponsored by:

№ 32 | November/December 2011

Walking Tours, the Chocolate Trail, Delicious Stratford menus, an

annual Food Summit and an award-winning Culinary Festival.

Shawn Hartwell is changing up his strategy at Stratford’s

Simple Fish & Chips after a very busy two years. As of Nov.

8, Simple Fish Company is scaling back the restaurant and

adding a fresh sustainable seafood market, selling only certied

sustainable sh, prepared items like ceviche and freshly shucked

oysters, and a simplied menu featuring one, maybe two, weekly

sh & chip specials. www.simpleshandchips.ca/

Foster’s Inn presents an exciting Dinner & Concert series on

Thursdays in November and December. Enjoy an intimate live

concert along with dinner, as Colleen Brown, Emma Lee, Oh

Susanna, and more entertain. Dinner starts at 6:30 PM, and the

concert is at 8 PM. Tickets are $45 for dinner and concert, or $15

for concert only. Stay over for a special rate of $99 per person.

111 Downie Street, Stratford. www.fostersinn.com.

For those who love chocolate, mark November 6 on your calendar,

as Rheo Thompson Candies hosts its Holiday Open House

from 11 AM to 3 PM. When you open the doors, the aroma will entice

you and the festive displays will inspire you with the best of

the season. Enjoy seasonal treats and holiday cheer at 55 Albert

Street, Stratford. www.rheothompson.com

“Culinary Conversations” with Cherie Thompson from

Behind the Kitchen Door is a new series of presentations and

tastings at Turnbull & Stewart. The topic on November 10 is

salad, and participants receive specials on products in addition to

tips and samples. Beginning at 7 PM, at 459 Erie Street, Stratford.

Tickets are $40 (includes HST). 519-305-3663 or

www.turnbullstewart.com

On November 19, “Culinary Conversations” oers Major

Craig’s Award-Winning Chutneys — North India, A Pâté

with Cranberry, Big Python Jerk, and Butternut and Beer.

Taste the avours they add to grilled meat, chicken, burgers or

in sauces, an easy “Wow!” for menu planning. From 1–3 PM at 459

Erie Street, Stratford. 519-305-3663; www.turnbullstewart.com

The Milky Whey Fine Cheese Shop in Stratford hosts Perth/

Oxford Terroir — Local Fruit Wine and Local Cheese Pairing

on November 12, from 3–5 PM. Dyann Birtch from Birtch Estate

Winery and Farms will guide pairings of local avours of

Monforte Dairy, C’est Bon Cheese, and Best Baa Co-operative

with their unique wines. Tickets are $35, available via 519-814-9439

or at www.themilkywhey.com.

On November 19, meet the wine star, Beaujolais, as The

Milky Whey serves up a great selection of cheese to accompany

this seasonal wine. Accredited sommelier Bob Latham will pour

several qualities of Beaujolais.

On November 26, Bob and The Milky Whey owner Liz

Payne will introduce you to an impressive selection of wine

and seasonal cheeses. Taste and discuss wine pairings for

holiday menus, and sample cheeses available only during this

season. Both events will run from 3 to 5 PM at 118 Ontario Street,

Stratford. Tickets are $45 each and available online at www.

visitstratford.ca or by calling 1-800-561-7926.

Discover the art of pairing tea and chocolate, surrounded by over

100 loose-leaf teas. You will be guided through the pure bliss of


№ 32 | November/December 2011

tasting and pairing as you nd your favourite! November 12 at

Tea Leaves Tea Tasting Bar, 433 Erie Street. Tickets are $30 and

available through 519-273-1201 or www.stratfordtealeaves.com.

Look for December’s Savour Stratford Winter Tastings on

Saturdays. Topics include: Risotto Workshop, Figgie Pudding and

all the Stung Cooking Class, Christmas Cookie Making, and

Christmas Cookie Decorating. For more information please visit

www.visitstratford.ca or call 1-800-561-7926.

Stratford Chef School once again oers its lunches and dinners

through November and December. Dinners are served Monday

to Friday at The Prune Restaurant, 151 Albert Street, Stratford.

Lunches are served Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Rundles

Bistro, 9 Cobourg Street, Stratford. For the full schedule, please visit

www.stratfordchef.com. For reservations, email: myreservation@

stratfordchef.com or call 519-271-1414.

On December 21, celebrate foods of the season with wine

suggestions for the holidays in a Holiday Tapas class with

sommelier Peter Lavoie. There will be 8 wines and 4 tapas-sized

dishes to accompany. The class will start at 7 PM and is $80 per

person, with some of the proceeds going to the “Support a

Student Chef” program. The Prune Restaurant, 151 Albert

St, Stratford. Call 519-670-8016 or email lavoiep@rogers.com.

Taj Fine Dining, “The Crown of Indian Flavours,” oers a

combination of traditional and modern Indian home-style food

and welcoming service. Taj opened its doors at 161 Downie Street,

Stratford, this summer. 519-271-2424

Welcome to

Fanshawe College’s strong commitment to using local

and sustainable foods is reflected in the advanced

dishes oered at Saron’s. Menus change regularly,

giving our students a practical learning experience

in a fine dining restaurant, and a true understanding

of what it takes to work in the hospitality industry.

Saron’s is open to the public mid-September through

April, with a modified schedule in May and June.

Saffron’s

at Fanshawe College

“A Taste of Europe”

Murder Mystery

Dinner Theatre

The Marienbad provides the perfect atmosphere for the

“Crime of Your Life!” as you enjoy a delicious prix-xe

3-course meal in the circa 1854 replace-lit dining room.

Perfect for company Christmas parties!

BOOK NOW!

Christmas

Luncheons & Dinners

Private Banquet Rooms for up to 80

122 Carling Street (at Talbot)

519-679-9940 www.marienbad.ca

Open Daily for Dinner

Lunch Monday-Saturday

where theory meets

hands-on hospitality

Saron’s Fine Dining

“A” Building, Fanshawe College,

1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., London

Open Monday to Friday

Reservations taken

from 11:30am–1pm and 6pm–7:30pm

519-452-4433

www.fanshawec.ca/tourism


42 www.eatdrink.ca

The Parlour’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre is a terric

evening of mystery and laughter on November 19. A gastronomic

three-course dinner in Stratford teamed with a night of humour

and entertainment — the perfect solution for your group

Christmas party! Come and bring your friends or meet new

ones. 101 Wellington St., Stratford. 6:30 PM–10:30 PM, $40. For

reservations, call 519-271-2772 or www.theparlour.ca.

On November 26 and 27, tour ve of Stratford’s nest

contemporary homes dressed for the season by local designers

during the IODE Yuletide Tour of Homes. You will be inspired

by innovative designs, and enjoy homemade shortbread, hot

mulled cider, and chocolates from Rheo Thompson Candies

True Canadiana

“One of the Lake Erie shore’s most exceptional bed and

breakfasts.... a tour de force of tempting choices.”

— Jannette Higgins,

The Best Places to B&B in Ontario

205 Main Street, Port Stanley ON

- -

www.telegraphhouse.com

A Heritage B&B & Bistro

LUXURY JACUZZI SUITES

December

BAKE SALES

Sundays @ Noon

seasonal pies, tourtière,

pineapple fruit cakes

and more!

Winter Sleep

& Dine

$199.00 for 2

-Course Dinner

& Overnight

Accommodation

Accommodation

Telegraph House

HERITAGE INN

№ 32 | November/December 2011

as part of your ticket. Tickets are $15 and available from Marjorie

Gibson at 519 -271-9132 or Mary Bondi at 519-271-5522.

Chef Mark Brown meets you in the kitchen at Stone Maiden

Inn in a Winter Warm-up Cooking Class on November 26 .

Hearty stews, dumplings, soups, and drinks comprise the menu

for this hands-on class. The class starts at 2 PM at the Stone

Maiden Inn, 123 Church Street, Stratford. Tickets are $99. www.

visitstratford.ca / 1-800-561-7926.

Stratford Farmers’ Market runs Saturdays 7 AM to 12 noon. It’s

brimming with fresh produce, local cheese, meats, preserves and

baked treats. The Rotary Complex–Agriplex, 353 McCarthy Road,

Stratford. www.stratfordfairgrounds com

Visit the Slow Food Perth County Market in its winter location,

in the cellar of Anything Grows, 235 St. Patrick Street, Stratford

(Stratford’s rst brewery site). On Sundays from 10 AM to 2 PM, the

market showcases farmers and producers that follow the good, fair

and clean principles of Slow Food. www.slowfoodperthcounty.ca

Steed & Company Lavender (just outside Sparta) will be

holding their annual Christmas Open House on November 26 &

27. They will be serving lavender cider and lavender cake. www.

steedandcompany.com

Heritage Line Herbs Christmas Open House takes place

November 19 & 20. Sample Heritage Line Herbs’ herb products and

other gourmet foods, as well as many stocking stuer sales. Gift

baskets and gift certicates are available. Other vendors will be in

attendance both days. www.heritagelineherbs.com

Ilderton’s Rich Hunter tells us that he’ll have genuine English caskconditioned

ale arriving at his King Edward Restaurant & Pub

mid-December from Fuller’s and possibly Gales. Fuller’s ESB is a lock as

we go to press, so real-ale fans will enjoy a genuine taste of England.

Farm to freezer: The Whole Pig delivers a variety of high-quality

pork products from their farm near Dashwood, and they are now

expanding. They will continue to oer one-quarter, half, and

whole pig packages, and have added just-what-you-want custom

ordering, as well as specialty packages for gifts, and fundraisers.

You can also pick up yourself at the farm. www.thewholepig.ca

Gift Ce Ce C rtifica ca c tes Available! vailable! v

Featuring Local

Farm to Table

Cuisine

LIVE MUSIC

Sunday Acoustic

Brunch

Book now for f your y Christmas get toget gethers

OVER OVER THE THE BRIDGE, BRIDGE, BEFORE BEFORE THE THE BEACH

BEACH


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 43


LAVENDER BLUE

is now

growers & creators of ne lavender products

DISCOVER

Steed & Company Lavender, part of a

45-acre horse farm just outside of Sparta

INDULGE

in our unique handcrafted lavender products

ESCAPE

in the wonderful scent

and calming powers of lavender

519-494-5525

47589 Sparta Line, Sparta

buds@steedandcompany.com

Open Wed-Sat 10-5; Sun 12-4

Mother’s Day through Christmas

www.steedandcompany.com

Christmas

Open House

November

26 & 27

Restaurant Equipment & Supply

Serving the Industry since 1944

Complete lines of equipment, cookware, china,

glassware, stainless steel and much, much more!

Open to the Public: Mon. - Fri. 8–5, Sat. 10–2

234 William St., London • 519-438-2991 • resco@start.ca

www.rescolon.ca • 1-800-265-5904 • Fax: 519-432-0904

Old Style Service...

...Wholesale Prices

№ 32 | November/December 2011

This fall, the International Economic Development Council

(IEDC) presented Elgin County with two awards in recognition of

its excellent marketing materials for promoting culinary tourism.

IEDC Awards recognize the world’s best economic development

programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s

most inuential leaders. This year Elgin County received an award

for their Savour Elgin Culinary Guide and the Savour Elgin

website, www.savourelgin.ca.

Direct Farm Marketing Workshop, Lucan Community

Centre, November 16, 8:30–11:30 AM For information and to

register, contact Sabrina Langill, County of Middlesex, Economic

Development & Planning Coordinator, 519-434-7321, ext. 2251, or

info@investinmiddlesex.ca

Forage Focus 2011 Conference, Shakespeare Optimist Centre,

Shakespeare. November 30. www.ontarioforagecouncil.com/

Eastern Ontario Local Food Conference: Scaling Up Our

Regional Food System, University of Guelph, Kemptville Campus,

takes place December 1, to facilitate stronger relationships among

local food groups and provide technical information on key

topics. Keynote speaker Tom Stearns, President of Centre for an

Agricultural Economy and High Mowing Seeds in Vermont, will

discuss key elements of success that Vermont has built upon to

foster agricultural initiatives.

New Agri-Tourism Toolkit — There are many dierent things

that need to be considered when changing your focus from

being solely a farm operator to becoming a tourism operator and

welcoming visitors onto your farm. For more information, go to

www.osw-agritourismtoolkit.com/

To better spread “The Buzz,” eatdrink is now at

facebook.com/eatdrinkmag and twitter.com/

eatdrinkmag. Let us help you get the word out about

your business too. We’ll be retweeting, posting to our

Facebook page, and printing all the news we can t in

this space. Let’s get better connected!

Our readers want to know, so send us info about

culinary events, fundraisers, and regional news.

With BUZZ in the Subject line, send to:

editor@eatdrink.ca.


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 45

culinary retail

e eatdrink Epicure’s Gift Guide

By SUE SUTHERLAND-WOOD

Buying a present for a foodie can be a

daunting experience, given the vast

array of products on the market.

Quality, functionality, and a unique

feature or two are all top concerns, since

most foodies are discriminating by nature.

Taking all this into consideration, here are

some holiday suggestions spanning a variety

of budgets, from some of our local sources.

Every cook needs a place to store knives that

keeps them close to hand

and safe. e Bodum

Bistro Knife Block does

both — as well as being

attractive and easy

to clean. Tiny plastic

strands within the block

also allow favourite

knives to be snugly

inserted anywhere

on the block — no

need for guesswork.

(Knives not included in the

price). $49.95 at Bradshaws,

129 Ontario Street, Stratford, www.bradshawscanada.com

e Trudeau Wine Aerator (with an impressive

ve-year warranty) improves the taste

and bouquet of any wine and does so one

glass at a time. With a simple transparent

device that ts easily

onto the bottle,

wine is aerated

both in the bottle

and then again during

pouring. is is

a sleek and classy

gift that ensures

one never again has

to wait for the wine

to breathe.

$24.99 at Foodies of Grand

Bend, 13 Main Street West,

Grand Bend, www.

foodiesgrandbend.com

Make your own carbonated drinks

at home with a streamlined elegant

unit called SodaStream.

(ere are various styles to

choose from, some with

glass carafes.) e list of

avours available is very

impressive — from Diet

Cola to Green Tea Pomegranate

Peach. Fizziness

and sweetness can be

adjusted to suit your own

preference. Adding a

splash of plain soda water

to fruit juices provides

the perfect virtuous “pop”

for children. Great to have

on hand for holiday cocktails, too! e

SodaStream also packs environmental heft

since it sidesteps the production, storage

and disposal of all those plastic bottles.

From $199.00, at Jill’s Table, 115 King Street, London,

www.jillstable.ca

Billed as an “immersion blender,” the

Swiss-made Bamix is so much more.

Unlike many food processors and blenders,

the slim Bamix takes up little room on

the counter. From liquidizing to mincing

tough meat fibres, this is the

favourite of Gordon Ramsay,

who can be seen on You-

Tube heaping (profanityfree!)

praise on it. If that

doesn’t impress, there

is a ten-year (limited)

warranty for this product,

which is extremely

well-made and multifunctional.

Various models available from

$159.99 up, at Kingsmills,

130 Dundas Street, London,

www.kingsmills.com


46 www.eatdrink.ca

At this busy time of year, make “cheating”

legit (and preferable!) with this stunning new

tin from Nordic Ware. At last a Ginger bread

House that requires no assembly — bake,

then go right to the icing! And what better to

lift it from the oven than a pair of Trudeau

Oven Gloves. With actual

ngers and ame-resistant

weaving, these gloves oer

both control and protection.

Ideal present for any

baker, especially those who

have been burned once too often!

Gingerbread House Tin - $39.99 (reg. $44.99); Gloves, set of two —

Intro price $29.99 (reg. $39.99), both at Kulpepper’s Kitchen Store,

168 Court House Square, Goderich, 519-524-9157

Nine stone cubes, once chilled and added to a

glass, will cool whisky to just the right temperature

— with zero dilution. Milled in Vermont

by the oldest soapstone workshop

in the US, these “Whisky Stones”

need only a quick rinse and can

be used again and again. Use

three cubes per glass for the

swooningly perfect dram.

Store tidily in the muslin bag.

$29.99 at Kiss the Cook,

551 Richmond Street,

www.kissthecook

online.com

№ 32 | November/December 2011

For precise, professional and predictable

results, a Mandoline is the most reliable

way to slice everything from paper-thin

scalloped potatoes to carrot sticks to

perfectly julienned veggies that will cook

uniformly. You can also adjust the blade

settings to cut ribbons of zucchini, citrus

slices, a wisp of pear for a brie sandwich,

and so much more. is particular model

by OXO provides both safety and user

comfort. With a soft grip holder for food

to keep hands out of the way, wide, nonslip

feet, and blades that are covered when

not in use, this is an excellent, safe product,

with the OXO customer satisfaction

guarantee behind it. e whole thing also

folds neatly for ease of storage.

$75.00 at Restaurant Equipment & Supply Co. Ltd.,

234 William Street, London, (519) 438-2991, www.rescolon.ca

SUE SUTHERLAND-WOOD is a freelance writer who

also works in the London Public Library system. She lives in

London with her teenage sons and a floating population of

dogs and cats.


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 47

BEER MATTERS

beer matters

Battle of the West Coast IPAs

Ontario Has Embraced Intense India Pale Ales

By THE MALT MONK

As we move from late fall into

winter, I’m still enjoying the fall

season fest beers in local circulation.

We have a great selection at

the LCBO, as well as from our local crafters,

who are putting their twist on the traditional

beers of the fall season — Oktoberfest Marzens,

Amber Pumpkin Ales, Bocks, Stouts

and Porters. I’m also in the midst of brewing

my own special ale for the winter season,

as well as undergoing my side-by-side taste

tests of the West Coast India Pale Ales that

have ooded the local market.

When I say “ooding” the market, I mean

it as a positive development. Craft beer

fanciers can’t get

enough of a good

thing. For years,

when the great

West Coast IPAs

rst exploded

on the craft

beer scene,

we here in

Ontario were

missing out.

Agents were

too timid to

import, and

local crafters

were too conservative

to brew such an intense, huge-

avoured ale — afraid of the consequence

of consumer rejection, perhaps. Fortunately,

the market was always here for intense

IPAs — it just needed to be tapped. At any

rate, the local market is now awash in this

big hoppy ale style from local and import

crafters, and the local craft beer culture is

lapping it up.

e West Coast Style of India Pale Ale

First o, it’s probably worth mentioning how

a West Coast IPA diers from traditional IPA,

and how it evolved into its own discrete style.

India Pale Ale evolved in Britain in the eighteenth

century as a stronger, well-hopped

export ale for the Indian subcontinent. West

Coast India Pale Ale (WCIPA) is a more

robust modern American version of this historical

English style, brewed using American

ingredients and boundary-pushing attitude.

WCIPAs are brewed with hop cultivars

developed and grown in the Pacic

Northwest hop-growing regions of

Yakama and Willamette valleys. e

recipes usually include a blend of PNW hop

varieties such as Cascade, Chinook, Centennial,

Columbus, Simcoe, Amarillo, Tomahawk,

Warrior, and Nugget. ese varieties

impart the grapefruit, orange, citrus, lychee,

apricot, mango and piney aromas/tastes

unique to WCIPAs. West Coast brewers also

add hops to their IPAs in at least four of the

brewing stages — the boil, hopback infusion,

dry hopped in fermenting, conditioning

and kegging. As a result WCIPAs run

about 60–70 IBUs in bitterness.

Add to this a rich mix of semi- and fully

caramelized specialty malts suited to a

high original gravity wort from single-temperature

infusion mashing, and

you can start to understand the

unique nature of the WCIPA —

big hop presence (60–70 IBU)

balanced with rich

malting. It has an

intense aromatic

olfactory sensation,

with pungent

tones of grapefruitcitrus-mango

and

a toee undertone

from a cara-malt

base. e colour

ranges from deep gold

to burnished copper,

and the huge puy

meringue-like caps

last well, with a rich


48 www.eatdrink.ca

sticky/chewy mouth feel. e general avour

prole of WCIPA has big toee-caramel malts

that appear in the front, then this rich malting

is quickly eclipsed by ample hopping, giving a

resinous-fruity complexity on the palate. is

is followed by a long nish, where maltiness

diminishes, and bittering and drying increase

to a nice sharp hop bite at the end.

Disciples of the WCIPA loved this combination

of fragrant hoppy-citrus-toee brew

so much they created an even more intense

version they call the “double” or “imperial”

IPA. e imperial version of the WCIPA

usually starts by doubling the malt and hop

bill of an IPA recipe. is results in a highergravity

ale that is better attenuated and more

intense in hop presence. It is usually dryer

and more bitter than a regular WCIPA, but

with all the great pine-mango-grapefruittoee

aromas and tastes.

True Pacic Northwest IPAs available

in this market:

Paddockwood “606” — at The Beer Store (TBS) and LCBO

92344

Tree Brewing Hop Head IPA — LCBO 256586

Local Craft • Trappist • Imports

№ 32 | November/December 2011

Central City Brewing Red Racer IPA — LCBO 256594

Rogue Ales Brutal IPA — LCBO 246793

Rogue Ales Northwest Ale — LCBO 246827

Pacic Northwest styled IPAs available

and brewed in this market

Muskoka Mad Tom IPA — At TBS and LCBO 239749

Flying Monkeys SmashBomb Atomic IPA — On tap and

LCBO 256172

Black Oak Brewing Hop Bomb IPA — On Tap only

Duggan’s # 9 IPA — LCBO 188946

Southern Tier IPA — LCBO 81737

Dogsh Head 60 min. IPA — LCBO, special order

Taps Chuck Norris Roundhouse IPA — on tap at the

brewery or at Gambrinus locally

Pacic Northwest-styled Double IPAs

available in this market

Flying Monkeys Super Collider Double IPA — On Tap at

Gambrinus and soon at the LCBO

Black Oak Brewing “Ten Bitter Years” IPA — On Tap or in

bottles from brewery store

Garrison Imperial IPA — LCBO, # 173658

Southern Tier 2X IPA — LCBO, # 224220

Dogsh Head 90 min IPA — LCBO, special order

Tree Hop Head Double IPA — LCBO, seasonal

London’s Premium

BEER

DESTINATION

Featuring Fresh and Local

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Homemade Sausages and

The Best Schnitzel in Town

Slow Food

Over 150 Beers,

18 Draughts,

and Real Cask Ale

Gambrinus Bistro & Café

150 King Street

Covent Garden Market

519-672-0384

www.GambrinusBistro.com


№ 32 | November/December 2011

I can condently recommend any of these ne

crafted West Coast IPAs. I hope you have the

opportunity to try most of them to discover

your favourites. And if you’re buying these

beers in their bottled version, always get the

freshest samples available so you can appreciate

the bright citrusy sunny hoppy character

of these intense brews. e hop alphas, which

give that bright aroma and sharp bite, tend to

diminish with shelf time. is is less important

with the imperial or double IPAs, as they tend

to cellar well, usually bringing the malts a bit

more forward with age.

Malt Monk’s Pick ‘O’ the Month

Central City Red Racer IPA — LCBO 256594

Red Racer is a multi-award-winning IPA that

has spearheaded the West Coast invasion of

the Ontario crafted IPA market. is Surrey,

BC, brewer has captured the essence of the

West Coast IPA style, and Red Racer is also

popular in its home province. Red Racer is

rich in West Coast hops, lush in pungent

citrus-fruity aroma, and ush with micro-

IPA avour and body. is is among Canada’s

rst WCIPAs to meet the big US micro

brewed WCIPAs head on and win in local

markets. Try one — you won’t regret it.

Odds and Suds

Brick Brewing seems to have pulled o a bit

of a brewing coup by unexpectedly producing

one of the more innovative seasonal

crafted beers of the year. Brick Waterloo

Amber is a 6.8% Marzenlike

amber lager with some

unique twists. ey use ve

specialty malts (whiskey

malt, rye malt and special

barley malts) blended with

earthy spicy Hallertau hops,

then oak-age the beer. e

result is a reddish-orange

craft lager resembling a

Marzen, with a robust

spicy-toee-herbal (lightly

smoky) avour that goes

dry in the nish. is is the

rst seasonal craft beer

Brick has produced since

the now-defunct Brick Anniversary Bock. At

the Beer Store and LCBO 263327

THE MALT MONK is the alter ego of D.R. Hammond, a

passionate support of craft beer culture.

Social Committee, Function Room.

Function Room, Social Committee.

Now that you’ve been introduced,

might we suggest booking your

holiday party in our private

function room?

511 Talbot Street | p. 519.433.7737

www.blackshire.ca

Locally sourced & made from scratch


50 www.eatdrink.ca

wine

Local and Seasonal

Ontario Wines for Holiday Entertaining

By RICK VANSICKLE

The holiday season is fast approaching

and we’re busy shopping, planning

meals, and mapping out just

how we’re going to entertain all our

friends and family. It’s our favourite time

of the year, when joy and warmth ll our

homes, and good food, (perhaps too much

of it), is a big part of the festivities.

Wine is a special part of most holiday

entertaining. Plan carefully — the last thing

you want to do is leave it until the last minute,

when the shelves at the LCBO are picked bare

and all the good stu is long gone.

Here are some choices and styles of

Ontario wines that pair perfectly with the

season. Most of these wines should be available

now, but always check on the LCBO

website at www.lcbo.com for availability at

your closest store.

It’s a good idea to have some bubbly on

hand during the holidays. It’s perfect as

a welcoming drink or to toast family and

friends. e great thing about Ontario

sparkling wines is they are generally low in

alcohol and always high in acidity, which

means refreshing. Here are a few choices:

Peller Estates Signature Series Ice Cuvée

Rosé ($35 and also available at Vineyards

Estate Wine stores) — Peller has perfected

the art of blending in a dosage of about 15%

of Vidal and Cabernet Franc Icewine to

traditional method sparkling wine (made

with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cab Franc

grapes). is is such a magical wine with

citrus, strawberry, watermelon, raspberry,

spice, honey and toast on the nose. Simply

delicious in the mouth with a sweet, vigorous

bead of bubbles, lush red fruits of raspberry

and strawberry, and just a kiss of sweetness

to balance out the acidity.

Angels Gate Archangel Pinot Noir Rosé

2008 ($25) — Made in the traditional Champagne

method, with a strawberry-cherry

mousse nose with added yeast and fresh-

№ 32 | November/December 2011

ness. Lovely

berries on the

palate, fresh and

clean with a ne,

vigorous bead of

bubbles.

Vineland

Estates Brut

Reserve 2008

($23) — A

nose of

toast, citrus

and apple,

with a mousse

that’s tight and lively. Notes

of tangerine, citrus and toasted

vanilla in the mouth. It’s a blend of Pinot

Meunier and Pinot Blanc.

Gewurztraminer is not a wine for everybody.

But it sure goes great with the turkey

dinner. If you’re looking for something just a

little dierent this season, try these:

Jackson-Triggs Silver Series Gewurztraminer

2010 ($19, and also available at Wine

Rack stores) — Old World style of Gewurz,

with a pretty potpourri nose, grapefruit and

lychee notes. It’s soft, with a touch of honey

on the palate and ripe grapefruit, cloves and

other exotic spices.

Stratus Gewurztraminer 2009 ($32, Nov.

26 at Vintages) — A wonderful example of

this beautiful, spicy white variety. e nose

shows sweet grapefruit, cloves, nutmeg,

honeysuckle, lychee nut and lemon cream.

It’s round and voluptuous on the palate with

an oily texture, ripe fruits and gingerbreadclove

spices. Best of all, it has retained a

healthy core of acidity that shows on the

nish, inviting sip after sip.

Chardonnay — it’s always smart to have

some on hand. It has wide appeal, matches

to food nicely, and is a great sipping wine:

Le Clos Jordanne Talon Ridge Vineyard


№ 32 | November/December 2011

Chardonnay 2009 ($40) — is is the rst

Chardonnay to be released from the 2009

vintage of Le Clos Jordanne. e nose shows

intriguing gunint, wood smoke and mineral

notes with poached pear, citrus, and a touch

of honey. A core of pear-lemon fruit in the

mouth with stony minerality, vanilla-nut

and toasty oak notes, and wonderful acidity

that washes over the palate. is would be a

great gift for someone special.

Flat Rock Cellars Estate Chardonnay

2008 ($17) — is is one heck of a chardonnay

for the price. e nose oozes minerality,

tropical fruit, and nuanced oak and spice.

Lovely in the mouth with bright tropical

fruits accented with citrus and minerals.

In a lot of ways, Pinot Noir is the perfect

holiday wine. It’s generally fruity, light in

weight and body, avourful, the perfect

match with Christmas turkey, and most

people like it. Niagara makes some great

Pinot, but here are three that are just right:

Coyote’s Run Red Paw Vineyard Pinot

Noir 2009 ($25) — is single-vineyard

Red Paw Pinot shows highly expressive

creamy cherry fruit, spice, toasty cedar bits,

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52 www.eatdrink.ca

and some bramble-forest oor notes. Love

the cherry pie avours on the palate with

touches of raspberry fruit, cedar, spice and

roasted herbs.

Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir

2009 ($30, Vintages, Nov. 12) —e Gravity

delivers a seductive nose of cherries, plums,

earth, cloves, and other oak-inuenced

spices. On the palate, it explodes with black

cherry, raspberry, currants and sweet plums

to go with ne tannins, minerality, toasty

spices, and layers of complexity through the

nish. Drink now or hold up to ve years.

Lailey Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 ($20)

— Even this entry-level Pinot, a blend of

several vineyards, is a superb example of

Lailey’s craftsmanship with this grape. A

nose of cherry-cranberry fruit, cloves and

vanilla. Again, classic Pinot texture in the

mouth with gorgeous red fruits, and generously

spiced from sip to swallow.

Riesling serves a lot of purposes. It’s low

in alcohol, tastes great, goes perfectly with

turkey and all the xings, and is relatively

cheap. I always have Riesling on hand for

friends and family:

№ 32 | November/December 2011

Fielding Estate Riesling 2010 ($19) —

is is Fielding’s entry-level Riesling, with a

nose of sweet citrus, lime, peach, and a hint

of minerality. Decent acid with lovely, fresh

avours in the mouth.

Vineland Estate St. Urban Vineyard

Riesling 2009 ($20) — A nose of zesty,

mineral rich citrus goodness that carries to

the palate in a pure expression of sweet-tart

citrus, minerals and racy acidity. Vineland

also makes a semi-dry Riesling that’s very

good, for only $13.

Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve

Riesling 2008 ($30) — is is a thrilling wine

that will develop with ten years or more in the

bottle. Already it shows wonderful minerals,

concentrated fruits and structure. While still

tight on the nose, the palate shows structure,

juicy citrus fruits, a rm core of acidity, and

tension. is is a Riesling worthy of a great

gift for the wine lover on your list.

Consider some interesting reds. Do you

have a wine lover on your Christmas list

who appreciates the very best in local

wine? We have a suggestion for you below.

Included is a very aordable red that you

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can buy by the case that all your red-wine

lovers will like:

Stratus Red 2008 ($44, Vintages Nov.

12) — is has a beautiful nose of cassis,

raspberry, red currants, tobacco leaf, cedar

and vanilla wood. It is youthful in the mouth

with evident tannins (so cellar a bit to

round things out), but with succulent fruit,

savoury-earthy notes, integrated spices and

vanilla through a long nish. Drink now with

food or hold in cellar for a few years.

Vineland Estates Cabernet Franc 2010

($13) — is entry-level Cab Franc is simply

gorgeous and highly attractive at this price.

It is all about the fruit on the nose. Juicy, ripe

cassis, currants, hints of cherry, raspberry

and tobacco, with just a subtle hint of wood

spice. It gushes on the palate with deliciously

bold fruits, impeccable balance and

smooth tannins through the long nish. You

can cellar it for ten years.

Enjoy!

RICK VanSICKLE is a freelance wine writer who lives and

works in Niagara. He publishes the WinesInNiagara.com website

and can be reached at winesniagara@gmail.com.

Elgin County has an abundance

of great culinary destinations,

and we’re ready to show them o.

From ne dining to fresh produce,

farmers’ markets, wineries

and breweries, Elgin County

will satisfy every taste.

Savour the tastes of Elgin County.

www.savourelgin.ca

1-877-GO-ELGIN x168

Character

519.432.4092

481 Richmond St., London, ON

LUNCH

DINNER

SUNDAY BRUNCH


54 www.eatdrink.ca

cookbooks

Christmas in Review

Four Favourites for the Holidays

Reviews and Recipe Selections by JENNIFER GAGEL

Festivities got you frazzled? A little bit

of planning goes a long way to making

the holidays the most enjoyable

time of the year. Here

are some favourite Christmas

cookbooks, and selected

recipes.

Bestselling romance

author Debbie Macomber

wants to put a little spark

in your holiday season with

her Christmas Cookbook:

Favorite Recipes and

Holiday Traditions from

My Home to Yours (Harlequin,

2011, $32.95). With

the personal warmth that

has made her a beloved author for many

years, Debbie invites us to peer through a

frost-touched window to see her own family

traditions unfold through the holiday

season. Presenting the reader with over one

hundred recipes and her own decorating

and craft ideas, as well as some personal

memories of the holidays, Debbie makes

us wish Christmas was already

here.

Her old-fashioned Christmas

Tea recipes make our

mouths water for a childhood

before our own time. Anyone

who misses their Nana will

nd the chapter “Cooking with

Grandma” especially heartwarming.

And if it’s your rst

time hosting the holiday feast

this year, “Easy Family Dinners”

will make you feel like a pro.

You’ll nd some quick “got it

in the pantry” recipes, such as

the Five Minute Cranberry and Walnut Cobbler

that will make you look brilliant when

you suddenly remember that you invited the

whole oce home for a get-together tonight.

For those who like their Christmas tra-

№ 32 | November/December 2011

ditions a little less traditional, there’s e

Hairy Bikers’ 12 Days of Christmas: Irresistible,

Easy Recipes to Feed Your Friends

and Family (Dave Myers

and Si King, Weidenfeld

& Nicolson, 2010, $32.06

) With a combination of

British irreverence and

good cheer, Meyers and

King could be the lost sons

of the Two Fat Ladies. is

unlikely pair of foodies

takes us along for a merry

ride through e 12 Days of

Christmas.

Myers and King have given

us a personal book with

touches like “handwritten”

notes alongside their recipes. It makes you

feel as if the book is an old favourite, full of

well-used recipes, from the moment you

open it. New cooks may have a bit of trouble

with the UK measurements, but these fabulous

recipes are well worth the translation.

Hot chocolate made with a real vanilla bean

and freshly ground nutmeg

is enough to make anyone

wish for Christmas in jolly old

England!

For tried and tested ways

to make your celebration

picture perfect, e Martha

Stewart Living Christmas

Cookbook : A Collection of

Favorite Holiday Recipes

(editors of Martha Stewart

Living, Clarkson Potter,

2003, $45.95), is a standby.

Complete with over 600

recipes and plenty of gorgeous

photos, this is sure to inspire everyone

from the novice to the seasoned.

From serving arriving guests homemade

Spicy Pecans to presenting a traditional

roast goose, the tips and how-to illustrations


№ 32 | November/December 2011

make it easy to be the perfect holiday host.

Countdown instructions help to ensure that

everything nishes simultaneously. But the

real joy comes

from Stewart’s

infectious holiday

enthusiasm,

sweeping you

up in Christmas

cheer.

No celebration

is complete without

advice from

the editors of

Canadian Living

magazine. eir

quintessential

contribution to the holidays is

e Complete Christmas Book (Transcontinental

Books, 2007, $24.95). Packed with

easy-to-follow celebration menus, unique gifts

from the kitchen, fun family projects and loads

of decorating ideas, this book will bring the

Christmas spirit into your home.

And all the Canadian Living books come

with the “Tested Till Perfect” guarantee, so

you know that what works in their kitchen

will work in yours. Dive into their twist on

a Christmas classic, Ice-Cream Christmas

Pudding. is

simple version has

all the traditional

Christmas pudding

avours, but takes

a fraction of the

time to prepare,

and provides

a stunning

centrepiece

to nish o a

celebratory feast.

Whether your

holiday season

includes heavy

preparation or a more happy-go-lucky

approach, these books make sure you

sparkle this holiday season.

JENNIFER GAGEL is a freelance writer and regular contributor

to eatdrink. She can be contacted at jennagagel@gmail.com.

Thank you for another great year!

Happy Holidays!

Western Fair Farmers’

& Artisans’ Market

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56 www.eatdrink.ca

Five-Minute Cranberry and Walnut Cobbler

Recipe and photo courtesy of Harlequin

Serves 8

2½ cups (625 mL) fresh or frozen cranberries

¾ cup (175 mL) chopped walnuts

½ cup (125 mL)

¾ cup (175 mL) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

12 tbsp (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted

¼ tsp (1 mL) almond extract

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose our

pinch salt

1 Preheat oven to 350ºF (180°C). In a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan, combine

cranberries, walnuts and ½ cup (125 mL) of the sugar; toss until coated.

2 In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter, remaining sugar and

almond extract until blended. Fold in our and salt until combined. Pour

the batter over the cranberry mixture. Bake for 40 minutes, until crust is

golden and fruit bubbles. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

TIP: No cranberries? No problem. Substitute blueberries or strawberries,

but cut the sugar added to the fruit in half.

№ 32 | November/December 2011


№ 32 | November/December 2011

Spicy Pecans

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Makes 5 cups

You can substitute almonds, walnuts, or

cashews for the pecans, or any combination of

mixed nuts. Store nuts in an airtight container

at room temperature for up to one week.

1 tbsp (15 mL) coarse salt

2 tbsp (25 mL) cayenne pepper

1½ tsp (7 mL) paprika

½ cup (125 mL) sugar

2 large egg whites

5 cups (1.25 L) pecan halves

1 Preheat oven to 300ºF (150°C) . Line two rimmed

baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small

bowl, combine salt, cayenne, paprika, and sugar.

2 In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy.

Whisk in spice mixture. Stir in pecans. Spread

coated pecans in a single layer on prepared baking

sheets. Bake 15 minutes, then reduce oven

temperature to 250ºF (130°C).

3 Rotate sheets in oven; cook until nuts are

browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes more.

Immediately transfer pecans in a single layer to

another sheet of parchment. Let cool.


Ice-Cream Christmas Pudding

Recipe courtesy of Transcontinental Books

Serves 12

Combine classic Christmas pudding avours with

ice cream, et voilà — an updated, simple-toprepare

dessert. The best part? You can make it up

to ve days ahead.

1 cup (250 mL) candied pineapple or candied

mixed peel

½ cup (125 mL) each, halved candied red and

green cherries

½ cup (125 mL) golden raisins

¼ cup (50 mL) brandy or rum

1 carton (4 cups / 1L) vanilla ice cream

1 cup (250 mL) chopped pecans, toasted

½ cup (125 mL) slivered almonds, toasted

1 Line 6- to 8-cup (1.5 to 2 L) pudding mould or 9-

x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving

enough overhang to cover top; set aside.

2 In a large microwaveable bowl, combine

pineapple, red and green cherries, raisins and

November/December 2011

brandy; microwave at high for 2 minutes, stirring

twice. Let cool completely. (Or cover and soak at

room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.)

3 Soften ice cream in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Stir pecans and almonds into fruit mixture; stir in

ice cream. Pack into prepared mould, smoothing

top. Cover with overhang and freeze until solid,

about 12 hours. (Make-ahead: Overwrap with

heavy-duty foil; freeze for up to 5 days.)

4 To serve, let pudding stand in refrigerator for

15 minutes. Using overhang, remove from pan.

Invert onto chilled serving plate; remove plastic

wrap. Dip sharp knife in hot water and wipe dry;

slice pudding.

ED note: Purchase a bit more than you need of the

candied fruit and nuts to garnish the pudding

before serving for a stunning presentation.


Rodgers & Hammerstein’s

CINDERELLA

Music by Richard Rodgers

Book and Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Adapted for the Stage by Tom Briggs

From the Teleplay by Robert L. Freedman

№ 32 | November/December 2011

NOVEMBER 23 - DECEMBER 31

The prince is giving a ball and you’re invited! Dream and the impossible

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60 www.eatdrink.ca

farmers & artisans

Creating a New Wine Region

Huron County Wine Development

By JANE ANTONIAK

The Old World adage, “If you can

grow peaches, you can grow

grapes” — and thus, make wine

— is about to be tested in Huron

County. After three years of soil and climate

testing, investors and the economic development

department, supported by wine

industry experts, are poised to start the rst

planting of grape vines, which could lead to

a new wine/tourism industry in Huron.

“ere’s a whole area along the shores

of Lake Huron where they typically grew

fruit, peach trees, a century ago,” says Mike

Pullen, Economic Development Ocer

for Huron County. “ey stopped growing

peaches for economic reasons and replaced

it with growing owers. e zone runs from

Port Albert to Grand Bend along a natural

ridge, which is three to four kilometres wide.

e height of the ridge reaches 500 feet,

which is higher than the Niagara escarpment

and so it creates the same mezzo- and

micro-climate as Niagara.”

Leading experts have been studying the

area along the shoreline to see if the colder

Huron climate would hinder the growth of

grape vines. According to Richard Fitoussi,

a retired partner in e Little Inn of Bayeld

and a lover of wine and Huron County, there

are new root stalks and grafts designed to

survive cold climates.

“I have a lot of friends

in the wine world, and

they’ve always said, ‘Where

you can grow peaches,

you can make decent

wine’ so that stuck in my

head. I was at the Bayeld

Garden Club when the

owner of Huron Ridge

(greenhouses) gave a presentation

that prompted

me to visit his operation. On the walls were

old photos of peach orchards in this area.

From then on, the ball just got rolling. But

№ 32 | November/December 2011

we wanted to take it slow and do all our

research rst before talking with investors.”

Working with the Huron Business Development

Corp, local municipalities, and the

tourism and agriculture industries in Huron,

a new group called the Huron Shore Viticulture

Network was formed this past summer.

e ultimate goal is to develop 100 acres for

growing grapes, which would lead to 300

tonnes of production and the creation of the

Huron Shores VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance)

designation — the same as has been

done in Niagara, Lake Erie North Shore,

Pelee Island and Prince Edward County.

Mike Pullen says their research has led

them to create a list of recommended varieties

of grapes that could be successfully

Exact locations remain guarded secrets, but after

extensive soil and weather testing, investors are

poised to launch Huron County’s rst winery.


№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 61

№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink

eatdrink

eat .ca 61

.ca 61

.ca

www.eatdrink.ca 61

ONTARIO’S

SOUTHWEST

CULINARY TOURISM GUIDE

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Go ahead. Take a big bite.

Chatham-Kent | Elgin | Haldimand | London | Middlesex | Norfolk | Oxford | Sarnia-Lambton | Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island

Visit our website to browse culinary packages

that will inspire and recharge you, from romantic

getaways to an escape with friends. Go to:

www.ontariossouthwestculinary.com/packages

sources and links

highlights, visit:

com/haldimand

our mobile device by

your mobile phone.

the site via the barcode

grown in Huron, including Red Hybrids

of Baco Noir, Chambourcin, Frontenac,

Marechal Foch and Marquette. White

Hybrids would be Frontenac Gris, L’Acadie

Blanc, Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc. ey

are also looking at the possibility of red

vinifera of Cabernet Franc, Gamay Noir and

Pinot Noir, and white vinifera of Chardon-

nay and Riesling.

What excites Pullen and Fitoussi is the

long-term goal of creating a wine route

through the county to individual vineyards/

wineries, each with uniquely Huron County-

named brands of wine. “A wine region spurs

on greater investment in a spin-o tourism

industry” says Pullen. Fitoussi is also hoping

that his home county will then develop art

routes and a cheese industry.

e project is now into Phase ree, fol-

lowing three years of collecting data from

three weather towers and soil samples — all

of which have shown positive results for the

growing of grapes in sandy loams and clay,

high in calcium carbonate and rich in more

than 29 minerals needed for the develop-

ment of vineyards. “e homework has been

done for climate and soil, and we also have

an existing tourism infrastructure, including

ne dining, accommodations and a beauti-

ful lakeshore to go hand-in-hand with win-

eries,” says Pullen.

While the exact locations of the rst plant-

ings are not being revealed to avoid land

price gouging, both Fitoussi and Pullen

indicate that “signicant” work is planned

for the spring, with the rst vintage possibly

being made in 2015. Pullen says that a “lead-

ing viticulture consultant with international

experience” is on board and that the “largest

wine nursery in Canada” is working with

investors now.

“When one starts, many will follow,” says

Fitoussi with a smile. For him, it will mean

the culmination of a lifelong dream to see

quality wine made in his own county, and

the development of a richer art and tourism

community to enjoy in his retirement.

JANE ANTONIAK is a regular contributor to eatdrink, who

has been known to enjoy the occasional sociable beverage while

overlooking Lake Huron with family and friends.


62 www.eatdrink.ca

I

was just reading through the Food

section of our local newspaper, which

featured a recipe for a honey cake

to be made for Rosh Hashanah, the

Jewish New Year celebration. e author

acknowledged that nobody really enjoys it,

but noted that the cake is part of a

very old tradition, which is apparently

reason enough to go through

the motions of making it. It seemed

to her that to not oer honey cake

would somehow be sacrilegious,

even if it went stale in the cupboard

after the considerable eort

required to bake it.

e Christmas fruitcake has also

suered a serious decline in its ability to

excite party guests, and we’ve all heard jokes

pertaining to its regifting or its potential use

as a paperweight. But fruitcake too, like the

Jewish honey cake, continues to have its place

during the holiday season, like it or lump it!

at recipe got me thinking of some of the

traditional dishes that I have come across:

some great, some horrible, that continue to

grace the tables of families across the country

on their special feast days.

I moved to California some years ago,

and the rst American anksgiving I

was invited to was at the home of a friend

who had grown up in Georgia. One of her

anksgiving Day “must-haves” was a cornbread

stung. It had the visual appeal of a

pasty porridge and a taste equally as bland,

but despite another guest bringing to the

potluck a savoury sausage stung, the table

wasn’t complete for the host without her

family “go-to” dish.

Other sides that arrived that year (and

every year to follow) were the green bean casserole

(beans smothered in cream of mushroom

soup, topped with canned fried onion

rings) and sweet potatoes with marshmallows

broiled on top. No doubt these dishes

were great hits in the ’70s before nutrition

became a serious study of interest, but people

continue to prepare them out of nostalgia,

№ 32 | November/December 2011

the lighter side

Comfort Food & Holiday Traditions

By CAROLYN MCDONELL

completely dismissing the not-so-new knowledge

that fresh ingredients are really much

healthier for you and your heart! It seems

nutritional value and good health practices

go out the window with the desire to uphold

the memories of old and the comforts of

foods from our youth. Many people

are more than willing to have

their sodium and caloric intake

skyrocket for the day, rather than

leave their much-loved recipes a

memory of the past — despite having

to shop for many ingredients in

the canned food aisle.

Perhaps much of this has to do

with the fact that many people are

not lucky enough to be sharing their special

days with their families and old friends, and

somehow creating the same meal their relatives

are making (and have made for decades)

brings back many fond memories and makes

them feel just a bit closer to home.

My family was invited to a neighbour’s

house for Christmas a few years back and

the menu consisted of prime rib of beef,

mushroom risotto and salad. Blasphemy!

I had grown up with turkey, ham, mashed

potatoes and all the xings, and this, albeit

delicious sounding menu, just seemed

wrong! I brought a sweet potato casserole, a

cranberry cake my mother always makes for

Christmas Eve, and my father’s favourite: a

mincemeat pie. No doubt they didn’t lend

sophistication to the prepared culinary feast,

but at least I felt a little closer to my roots!

e only thing that was missing was the

dessert platter, containing a delicious assortment

of squares and the Christmas cake my

mother labours over every year. It’s never

something that I enthusiastically reach for,

but there is much comfort in the fact that it’s

always there! Something like family ...

CAROLYN MCDONELL is a UWO grad now living in Los

Angeles, where she has established several new traditions while

introducing some Canadian standards to California.


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№ 32 | November/December 2011 www.eatdrink.ca 65

Chips and dip can be served as an amuse-bouche when guests

arrive. There is something comforting about the familiar potato

chip, and pecorino Romano is a favourite of Chef James Walt,

Araxi Restaurant in Whistler. He likes the saltiness of the cheese

and its hayeld smell. Potatoes grow plentifully in the Pemberton

area, just outside of Whistler.

Recipe used with permission from Arazi: Seasonal Recipes

from the Celebrated Whistler Restaurant by James Walt.

Fingerling Potato Chips

and Pecorino-Chive Cream

8oz large ngerling potatoes (about 7 or 8)

12 cups peanut or vegetable oil, for deep frying

1 Tbsp Fleur de sel

1 Tbsp chives, cut in 1-inch sticks for garnish

2 to 3 fresh bay leaves, for garnish

PECORINO-CHIVE CREAM

1 2⁄3 cups whipping cream

1 clove garlic, sliced

1 bay leaf

1 spring fresh rosemary

7⁄8 cups grated pecorino Romano cheese

3 ½ oz goat cheese

2 Tbsp chopped chives

Potato Chips: Rinse and scrub the potatoes. Using

a mandoline, slice the potatoes as thinly as

possible. Do not allow the slices to break. Place

the potatoes in a large bowl, cover with cold

water and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Pecorino-Chive Cream: Place the cream, garlic,

bay leaf and rosemary in a small pot on medium

heat. Once the cream is hot, remove from the

heat and allow it to infuse for 20 minutes.

ONLINE BONUS:

Enjoy this holiday treat from

Chef James Walt’s acclaimed

Araxi cookbook

Combine the pecorino Romano and goat cheeses

in a medium bowl. Warm the cream infusion on

low heat, then strain it through a ne-mesh sieve

over the cheeses. Discard the solids, then whisk

the cream and cheese mixture until smooth.

Fold in the chopped chives and refrigerate the

dip for 2 hours, or until it becomes rm.

Finish Potato Chips: Fill a deep pot or a wok twothirds

full with peanut (or vegetable) oil and

heat it to 330°F (use a deep-fat thermometer

to check the temperature). Drain the potatoes

and carefully pat them dry with paper towels.

Fry the potatoes in small batches for 3 minutes,

until golden brown, then use a slotted spoon to

transfer the chips to paper towels and season

with eur de sel.

To Serve: Spoon the pecorino-chive cream into a

piping bag tted with a wide nozzle. Pipe a line

of dip along each chip. Arrange the potato chips

on a serving platter, garnish with the chive sticks

and bay leaves and pass the plate around.

Wine: Sip village Chablis or unoaked B.C.

Chardonnay, or some B.C. bubbly would be fun.

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