Eatdrink #62 November/December 2016

Local food and drink magazine serving London, Stratford and Southwestern Ontario since 2007

Local food and drink magazine serving London, Stratford and Southwestern Ontario since 2007


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Serving London, Stratford & Southwestern Ontario since 2007

№ 62 • November/December 2016




Blessings &

Offerings at



in Stratford



Gift Guide



The Big Bad Wolfes

The Wolfe of Wortley

Perth County Adventures

An Inspiring Culinary Tour

Historic Destinations

Toronto’s Distillery District

FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Dark Beers | Sparkling Wines | Craft Cocktails | Music | Theatre | Recipes

2 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016


this season

Find exceptional gifts in our downtown shops draped in fresh

cedar boughs and sparkling lights. Listen for strolling musicians

and meet Santa and Comet in Stratford’s magical winter

wonderland. Be sure to enter our SHOP! STRATFORD Christmas

draw for a chance to win even more Christmas cheer.

Renew your holiday spirit at our Christmas sing-a-long and

Handel’s Messiah with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra.

Savour the flavours of the season with friends at the Outdoor

Christmas Market. Gather together at inspired dinners in cozy

restaurants and Stratford Chefs School dinners and lunches.

Come celebrate our festive season.

Plan your escape at visitstratford.ca







Celebrate the


Our Festive Buffets and

Brunches Have Returned!

Grand Hall Festive Lunch Buffet

December 5 th – 23 rd

(Monday – Friday)

Festive Sunday Brunch

December 4 th , 11 th & 18 th (Sundays)

Reservations required.

Experience the

Windermere Difference:

exceptional banquet facilities

for holiday gatherings

stay the evening at our onsite

spacious and welcoming

guest suites

enjoy our intimate and

welcoming Restaurant

Ninety one

ample complimentary parking

Windermere Manor &

Restaurant Ninety One

200 Collip Circle, London ON

(at the Research Park)

Please call our holiday line

519-858-1391 x 20430

or 1.800.997.4477




The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine



Think Global.

Read Local.


Chris McDonell – chris@eatdrink.ca

Managing Editor Cecilia Buy – cbuy@eatdrink.ca

Food Editor

Bryan Lavery – bryan@eatdrink.ca

Copy Editor

Kym Wolfe

Social Media Editor Bryan Lavery – bryan@eatdrink.ca

Advertising Sales Chris McDonell – chris@eatdrink.ca

Stacey McDonald – stacey@eatdrink.ca


Ann Cormier – finance@eatdrink.ca


Chris McDonell, Cecilia Buy


Jane Antoniak, Gerry Blackwell, Darin Cook,

Gary Killops, Nicole Laidler, Bryan Lavery,

Wayne Newton, Darcy S. O’Neil,

Sue Sutherland Wood, Tracy Turlin.

Photographers Steve Grimes, Nick Lavery

Telephone & Fax 519-434-8349

Mailing Address 525 Huron Street, London ON N5Y 4J6


City Media


Sportswood Printing

© 2016 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 permis sion of the Publisher. eatdrink has a printed

circulation of 20,000 issues published six times annually. The

views or opinions expressed in the information, content and/or

advertisements published in eatdrink or online are solely those

of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the

Publisher. The Publisher welcomes submissions but accepts no

responsibility for unsolicited material.


Read every issue online,

no matter which device you prefer.

Every Page • Current Issue • Back Issues


New Stories Only Online



Stratford’s Revival House owners

Candice and Rob Wigan proudly

show off the restaurant’s main

dining room.

Photo by Nick Lavery of Take 5 Digital


focused on using only the freshest, local, and seasonal ingredients

A boutique, farm-to-table, custom, everything-from-scratch (even the ketchup) Caterer

serving London & Area with different and unique ideas Corporate


www.heirloomcateringlondon.com 519-719-9030 Specialists

Join Downtown London for the annual

Winter Light Christmas Walk

November 18-19, 2016




162 Wortley Road, London ON N6C 3P7









contents ISSUE № 62










10 Perth County Adventures: An Inspiring Culinary Tour



16 Blessings and Offerings at Revival House, in Stratford


20 The Big Bad Wolfes: The Wolfe of Wortley, in London



24 Historic Destinations: Food, Fun & Shopping in Toronto



30 The EATDRINK Gift Guide


38 The BUZZ



Gift Guide


45 Try Something New: Ontario Craft Dark Beer!




48 Four Sparkling Recommendations for the Holiday Season



50 Pleased as Punch!


52 Craft Cocktails

Compiled by BRYAN LAVERY


55 Sounds of the Season





58 Award-Winning Musicians at a Venue near You



60 The Magic of Holiday Theatre



63 Chicken in a Mango Tree

by Jeffrey Alford

Review by DARIN COOK


65 The Baker in Me

by Daphna Rabinovitch

Review & Recipe Selections by TRACY TURLIN


70 Wrapping Up the Holidays




a step closer to Italy...

Family-owned & operated, siblingsTina and Len

are celebrating 10 years of bringing a genuine

taste of Italy to Chatham. In homage to their

mother Maria, they insist upon from-scratch

cooking using the best of local ingrendients.

The restaurant is sophisticated yet approachable.

A beautiful patio overlooks the Thames River.

Catering and two well-appointed

private function rooms are available.

231 King Street West, Chatham


Open for Dinner Daily / Lunch Monday-Saturday







Frendz is run by the creative team of Brenda

Boismier and Chef Marc King. The warm, cozy

Resto/Lounge is designed for friends to gather for

good food and good times. Weekend entertainment

features local talent. The upscale yet affordable

menu features international cuisine, prepared from

scratch, from Spanish tapas to steak and seafood.

Craft beer and an extensive drink menu is on offer.

216 King Street West, Chatham


Open Tuesday–Saturday for Lunch & Dinner


a step closer to



join us!

8 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

notes from the publisher

Top 10 Tips for the Wine & Food Show



am always excited to present the

Holiday Issue. Parties, gifts, and time

with family are all on the agenda and

our writers have done their best to

help guide you to success in every aspect of

this festive time. On behalf of everyone here,

I wish you all the very best of the season.

It’s not too early to think about the London

Wine and Food Show running January 19–21.

This event, in its 12th year, has grown so popular

that it is prudent to make your plan early,

before we distribute our first issue of 2017.

The show promises another enticing

mix of local chefs, restaurateurs,

wineries, brewers and distillers,

tasting seminars, stage presentations,

industry experts and entertainment.

To help you make the most of

it, we present our Top 10 Tips.

Pick the right day to attend. Thursday

1 is generally much less crowded, offering

the best opportunity to chat with and learn

from the exhibitors. Friday and Saturday

bring a more intense party atmosphere — it’s

fun! — but busier. Friday is also Ladies Night,

with some unique presentations.

Get enough sample tickets. Start with at

2 least 20 tickets, 30 for a couple. (You can

share some samples.) You can buy more later.

Save money on Thursday. New, the

admission price will be lower on Day One.



Don’t arrive at peak times. Attendance

levels are constantly monitored for

safety reasons, and line-ups frequently occur

on Friday and Saturday between 5–8pm.

Dress warmly. Despite your best effort,

5 outside line-ups can occur. There is a

complimentary coat check in the front lobby.

Do not bring children. No one under

age 19 can enter, including babies.



Have a plan to get home safely.

There are non-alcoholic options,

but if you might over-indulge, bring

a DD, use Diamondz Designated

Drivers (the show’s official

service), or plan to take a cab.


Buy your tickets early.

Tickets are available in

advance and online. They

guarantee admission and speedier

entry. www.londonwineandfoodshow.com

Attend a Tasting Seminar. Register for

9 these free events one hour prior to their

time slot. Spots go quickly!


Plan ahead. Visit the website to

see the lists of exhibitors, stage

presentations and tasting seminars. Make

the most of your time, and enjoy!

Stunning Views

Excellent Food

Ambiance Galore

Now Booking Christmas

Parties at Both Locations

TUES, WED, FRI, SAT, SUN 11am–5pm

THURS 11–9 • Closed MON

Available for Private Events for up to 60

rhinolounge.ca | 519.850.5111




421 ridout st.


Pick Up & Reheat

Turkey Dinners $24pp


SUNDAY Brunch, 11–4

Available Evenings for Private Events

theriverroom.ca | 519.850.2287

Gift Certificates +

Seasonal Gift Baskets




Roasts and

Hams for the









Merry Makers Fair

Sunday, November 13, 11am–3pm

Upstairs on the Mezzanine, you’ll find some of

the best handmade shopping around, from art,

home decor, jewelry, clothing, bath & beauty

products. Get a jump start on your Christmas

list, and support local at the same time!

Fibre Art Festival & Sale

Friday, November 18, 10am–5pm;

Saturday, November 19, 8:30am-5pm;

Sunday, November 20, 11am-3pm

Art for the Individual and the Home! Shop for

locally made fibre creations on the Mezzanine.

The Festival of Trees

November 23–27

Our annual fun


event includes

specially decorated

trees and wreaths

that can be

taken home by

lucky winners

in support of the

Ontario Lung

Association, Breakfast and photos with Santa,

Santa’s Secret Shoppe and more. Please check

our website for more details about this event.

Open six days a week.

Hensall, Ontario

Just off Hwy 4, 45 minutes north of London.

Available in London at

The Village Meat Shop

at Western Fair Farmers’ Market

on Saturdays!



Local Beef • Pork • Lamb • Poultry

Specialty European Meat Products

10 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

food writer at large

Perth County Adventures with

Stratford Tourism Alliance & Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance


Recently I participated in a tour of

Perth County with Cathy Rehberg

from Stratford Tourism Alliance

(STA) and Agatha Podgorski from the

Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA).

They know how to set the benchmark of

industry best practice for culinary tourism.

The initial segment included stops at

Kandy Cosstick’s Kandy Cakes and lunch at

Monforte on Wellington, the down-to-earth

Stratford osteria which features seasonal

house specialties inspired by cheeses from

the Monforte Dairy repertoire.

We toured the new home of the Stratford

Chefs School on Ontario Street while it was

still under construction. Double

storefront units are being

repurposed into teaching

kitchens and a 50-seat restaurant

with a great street presence.

The new facility allows

the school to merge its teaching

operations into one campus,

and makes it feasible to

add an additional semester

in the summer months. Stratford

Chef School is not only

known for producing great

chefs but also entrepreneurs.

The next leg of the tour

included stops and tastings at

the Black Swan Brewing Company

on Downie Street, operated

by former local teachers

Bruce Pepper and Ryan Stokes.

We moved on to Downie Street

Burgers where we sampled the

signature poutine with bacon

and tomato jam and St. Albert

cheese curds covered in gravy.

Here we also quaffed a pint of

Black Swan’s Berliner Weisse.

Next on the itinerary

was Mike Heisz’s distillery,

Junction 56, located in the former Pounder

Brothers Building beside the Cambria Street

railway tracks. We toured the distillery and

tasted Heisz’s award-wining vodka, gin, and

signature moonshine. You can stop by for a

taste and a tour Saturdays at 11 am and while

you are there you can purchase some locally

crafted spirits for the holiday season.

Since one of the region’s main fortes is

accommodating visitors to the Stratford

Festival in season, the area has a robust

culinary culture dedicated to serving

them. Only recently has it been feasible for

many of the restaurants to operate year-round.

Every Stratford restaurant worth its salt

has owners and chefs

dedicated to a balance of

principles and procedures

in an effort to offer a

memorable and hospitable

dining experience.

Some restaurants and

accommodators do this

much better than others.

Mercer Kitchen + Beer Hall

+ Hotel is one. Chef Ryan

O’Donnell’s menus feature

items that are meant to be

shared communally and

reflect Mercer’s passions for

the craft beer movement,

and for building community.

Chef prepared a multicourse

tasting for our party

showcasing his gastronomic

oeuvre. The menu itself

is an education on Perth

County food procurement

and is designed to appeal

to the local community as

well as visitors. The way we

Sampling at Black Swan

Brewing Company

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 11

Mercer Kitchen +

Beer Hall + Hotel,

offers a memorable

and hospitable


Station building in St. Thomas, Ontario.

The next part of our trip was through

gently rolling landscape dotted with farms

on the outskirts of the historic stone town

of St. Marys. Here lies the pastoral 50-acre

Transvaal Farm. Cindy Taylor and husband

Scott McLauchlan are the epitome of

hospitality and provide an informative

agritourism experience. Besides meeting “the

girls,” a bevy of Rhode Island Reds, the main

elements of this adventure are a tour of the

farm property by Scott McLaughlan, a lavish

eat has become


which is

evidenced by O’Donnell’s selection of

enticing ethnic-inspired menu items.

We began our second day at Anne

Campion’s Revel located in a former feed

store off Stratford’s Market Square. Its tagline

is “independent coffee for a revolution”. This

community hub includes a custom-made

communal table where we assembled for

coffee and samples of delicious in-house

baking. Campion explains that Las Chicas

del Café coffee beans originate on a 100-

acre plantation in the Nicaraguan rainforest

that has been in the sisters’, Maria Fiallos’

and Valeria Fiallos-Soliman’s, family

for generations. Campion bypasses the

usual fair trade purveyors which require

a multipart system of red tape. Instead,

Campion buys her beans by direct trade

which allows for a committed personal

relationship with the growers. The sisters

roast and package these beans at their

facility in the historic (CASO) Railway

A Locally Sourced Restaurant.

Run by workers. Owned by workers.

Shared by the Community.


{ }

Beer Dinner and Supper Club

events return for the winter season!

See our Facebook page for details.


64 Wellington St, Stratford



Closed TUES & WED

Calling All

Soup Addicts!

№ 62 | November/December 2016


Owned &


40+ recipes in rotation, serving hot soup daily

for lunch and frozen in take-home containers

Fresh, Local & In-Season Ingredients

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes

No Added Preservatives or MSG

Bringing Quality & Comfort Home

98 Wellington Street, Stratford



Full flavour descriptions on our website &

follow us on FB & Twitter for daily menus

TUES-FRI 11-6; SAT 11-4; SUN Slow Food Market 10-2

Enjoy a hospitable

agritourism experience

at Transvaal Farm, just

outside St. Marys, and

meet “the girls,” a bevy

of Rhode Island Reds.

farm-to-table breakfast prepared by Cindy at

the guest house, and a tour of the small-scale

artisan goat cheese plant operated by Cindy’s

brother, owner and cheesemaker of C’estbon

Cheese Limited, George Taylor.

Operations at C’estbon began as a

retirement project for Taylor 16 years ago

when he swapped a flock of sheep for a herd

of Toggenburg and La Mancha goats. George

began crafting small-batch cheese using

only the milk from his own herd to create

his proprietary C’estbon chèvre. In time,

George relocated his goats to a neighbouring

farm. The goat milk is now delivered from

a local producer, Hewitt’s Dairy. True

artisanal cheese can’t be mass-produced

and is limited in quantity with specific

characteristics deemed to be specialty in

nature. Not a single item leaves C’estbon

without George’s thumbprint on it.

Stonetown Cheese on Perth County Line 8

(Kirkton Road) was our next stop. Stonetown

is a purveyor of Swiss mountain-style cheeses,

hand-crafted by master cheesemaker Ramon

Eberle. Using unpasteurized milk from

farmers Hans and Jolanda Weber’s herd

of Holsteins, Eberle creates three types of

cheese. We are given a tour through the stateof-the-art

milk receiving area, where the milk

is brought to be processed and is heat-treated

to 65° Celsius. The goal of using raw milk is to

keep the cheese as natural as possible, so that

it ripens nicely and the flavours improve with

maturation. In another area the cheese curds

are stirred, separated from the whey and

pressed into wheels before they are brined.

There are three very large and impressive

maturation rooms for the aging of the cheese.

The trio of stunning cheeses and other local

№ 62 | November/December 2016

products are available to buy on-site at the

farm store. I highly recommend a visit for

cheese lovers.

Next we had a casual pub lunch at downto-earth

Little Red’s in downtown St. Marys.

There were additional stops at McCully’s Hill

Farm and Market for a tour of the bush in a

horse-drawn wagon and an overview of the

maple syrup processing facilities, and at The

Best Little Pork Shoppe in Shakespeare.

It is certainly invigorating to explore the

bucolic countryside in and around Perth

County. Drop by the Stratford Tourism

Alliance for culinary tours of another kind.

Self-guided Bacon & Ale Trail and Chocolate

Trail tours are available all year round and

tickets are available at the Stratford Tourism

Alliance. There is also a seasonal Maple Trail

to look forward to in March and April.

It is always inspiring and heartwarming

to see dedicated culinary entrepreneurs

and artisans in this area who embrace the

benefits of building community engagement

through food.




BRYAN LAVERY is eatdrink’s Food Editor and Writer at Large.

dining + weddings + receptions

concerts + dinner shows

For parties tour of groups 2 or 200, + private in three functions

gorgeous rooms

REVIVAL … our inspired dining + events venue

BELFRY … a chill upstairs gastrolounge

CONFESSION … Stratford’s VIP hideaway





Whether you are planning a

party for the office or for

family & friends, we would

love to host!

With custom menus from

both kitchen and bar, we will

work together to create the

perfect atmosphere for

anything from a

casual cocktail party to a

formal seated dinner.

70 Brunswick St.




For reservations, sample menus

or more information, please call





14 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016




№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 15





THU 5PM–10:30PM | FRI 3PM–10:30PM | SAT NOON–10:30PM

NEW hours





16 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016


Blessings and Offerings

at Revival House in Stratford


The once-celebrated Church

Restaurant, previously Mackenzie

Memorial Gospel Church, is now

Revival House. The inspired and

ambitious revitalization of the former Grand

Dame of Stratford’s culinary scene took

restaurateurs Rob and Candice Wigan just over

seven months to complete.

The location and the building’s architectural

features and spacious interior inspired

its original transformation. The property

remains one of Ontario’s finest instances of

the conversion of a historic property into a

hospitality venue done with integrity and

respect for the cultural heritage.

Revival House is the Wigans’ second

restaurant rejuvenation in Stratford. The

couple purchased Molly Bloom’s Irish Pub in

2008 and put their own unique stamp on every

aspect of that business.

The beautifully restored Revival House is

decorated in a mix of wood, exposed brick,

light walls, gold railings, and ecclesiastical

purple accents and banquettes.

Ornamenting the bright interior are original

light fixtures and stained glass windows. The

dark-wood organ pipes provide a striking

backdrop for the stunning curved bar that is

crowned with a theatrical copper chandelier

that was built by former Stratford Festival

prop maker Frank Holt. The main room,

known as Sanctuary, has the elegance and

simple beauty that comes with restrained

taste. The room’s former elevated altar can

easily be transformed into a stage or dining

area because of the modular furnishings.

In contrast the upstairs gastro-lounge

The Belfry, a 65-seat venue, delivers an

ambience that has been described as “exotic

modern” with peacock blues, a vaulted

Owners Candice and Rob Wigan

№ 62 | November/December 2016

TOP: The beautifully restored main dining room at

Revival House, viewed from the bar, and below, from

one of the raised seating areas

ceiling and a working copper fireplace

that draws inspiration from the downstairs

chandelier. The Belfry is welcoming and

chic. Snuggled in the former organ loft

overlooking the Sanctuary, Confession is the

most intimate of the trio of spaces.

The backstory of the Church Restaurant

involves former Stratford Festival artistic

director Robin Phillips. He was hired in

1975 and spent six years directing many

productions, cultivating fresh talent and

reinvigorating the Festival. Phillips’ first

season coincided with the opening of

what would become the landmark Church

Restaurant, by his partner, restaurateur

Joe Mandel. Of note also is the fact that

The Stratford Chefs School started in the

kitchens back in 1983. The restaurant would

later be sold to and operated by Mark Craft.

I worked at The Church Restaurant when

it was in its prime, in the mid-1980s. During

those years Maggie Smith and her husband

playwright Beverly Cross, like many wellknown

thespians and celebrities, dined at

The Church. They were among the crowd

18 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

Chefs Andrew McLean,

Loreena Miller, Amy Balfour,

Zachary Voros

Photo: Lafs Photography, Stratford

of late night habitués who frequented The

Belfry, which was The Church’s upstairs

room and a popular pre- and post-theatre

destination. The Belfry was the bastion of

hospitality and completed many a visitor’s

Stratford theatre experience.

The Wigans met and recently befriended

Joe Mandel, who provided historical context

to The Church’s early days, which in turn has

reinforced their vision. Candice explains that

they have revived some of the traditions that

made The Church such a popular hotspot in its

heyday. Unlike its seasonal predecessor, The

Belfry remains open for the winter months,

offering a menu expressing the depth of Perth

County’s food culture. Since opening, its

menus have revealed a passion for using local

and sustainable


showcasing noseto-tail

cuisine and

the best of what

Ontario has to


This winter,

chef Loreena

Miller and her

culinary team

will bring back

French country

cuisine to The

Belfry. Chef Miller

explains that she

shares a love for maple,

duck fat and everything

delicious and sinful

that underpins French

country cooking

with Candice, whose

maternal heritage

originates in Quebec.

Miller worked

alongside previous

chefs at Revival House,

and her progression to head chef is the

natural evolution. Joining Miller in the

kitchen is Andrew McLean, known for his

tenure at Rundles as sommelier and head


Chef told me she recently invited some

colleagues to help break down a pig. The

restaurant is known for its charcuterie,

which I have tasted on several occasions.

On one visit the charcuterie board included

house-cured lamb ham, duck prosciutto,

wild boar rillettes, smoked trout rillettes,

speck (smoked pork leg) and lonza (cured

pork loin). Recently we sampled Miller’s

potted chicken liver, a hearty mousse with

pickled rhubarb and black pepper jam.

There was a seminal gazpacho of tomato

The menus at Revival

House offer the best

of Perth County’s

producers and

purveyors, served with

a modern sensibility.

№ 62 | November/December 2016

The Wigans in The Belfry, which

overlooks the main dining area

“A fun place to shop!”

embellished with tomato gel, aioli and

smoked paprika, and a delicate seared

whitefish on warm greens with grilled

polenta which made a perfect repast.

The latest menu in The Belfry will revive

French-styled cuisine, with an added

modern sensibility. Expect to find dishes

such as fresh oysters, Lyonnaise salad

frisée, lardon, soft egg and pumpkin seed

vinaigrette; bone marrow with parsley

salad; poutine with Quebec cheese curds,

gravy and rosemary fries; Croque Monsieur

with sourdough, ham, gruyere cheese and

béchamel; and salmon with braised fennel,

celeriac, vichyssoise and dill. There is a

well-chosen selection of VQA wines and an

inspired cocktail list.

Revival House is a sought-after venue for

celebrations, conferences and weddings.

Music continues to be an essential part of

the programs and Revival House is home to

the Stratford Summer Music’s cabaret and

opera series. The staff hosted 22 weddings

this year and events manager Alysha Ford

has 23 weddings booked for next year. There

is a stunning 48-seat garden terrace beside

the Brunswick Street entrance. High Tea

and Sunday Brunch add yet another layer of

temptation to the offerings.

A fifth-generation family

business offering an eclectic

range of items from the unusual to the useful.

Thousands of items on two floors!


84 Ontario Street, Stratford

519-273-1790 www.watsonsofstratford.com

118 Ontario St., Stratford



Revival House

70 Brunswick Street, Stratford



tues–thurs 11am–9pm; fri & sat 11am–1am;

sun 11am–8pm; closed mondays

reservations recommended

BRYAN LAVERY is eatdrink’s Food Editor and Writer at Large.

Beautiful made-to-order gift baskets

are available for the foodies on your list!

20 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016


The Big Bad Wolfes

Wolfe of Wortley hits the mark in London’s Wortley Village


Justin and Gregg Wolfe upped the ante

when they opened Wolfe of Wortley

earlier this summer. The brothers,

who initially found sustenance in

music careers, are also the proprietors of

downtown London’s red-hot retro diner

The Early Bird, and its adjacent sibling, the

piñata-themed Rock Au Taco.

“The Bird,” as it is warmly referred to,

has an idiosyncratic charisma. It features

a menu of updated diner classics and new

generation comfort foods. These are soulful

dishes that include a king-sized “turducken

club” made with smoked turkey breast,

panko-fried chicken and duck bacon. Try

the melt-in-your-mouth potato and cheddar

perogies, or the Montreal smoked brisket

which is brined on site and which helped

cement the entrepreneurial brothers’ savvy

culinary reputation.

Gregg and Justin Wolfe

The Wolfes brought authentic, affordable

street-food-style tacos and tequila to

downtown London. Rock Au Taco’s menu

features cachette (beef cheek), lengua (beef

tongue), carnita (pork shoulder), pescado

(fish), and papas (potato) and frijoles

(re-fried beans) fillings. They’re topped with

freshly made salsas, pickled onions

and other garnishes. There is a tequila

list and a selection of ice-cold cervezas.

Many progressive chefs use research

and staging as an inherent part of their

culinary development. (Staging is an

unremunerated internship; a cook or a

chef works temporarily in another chef’s

kitchen to be exposed to new methods,

techniques and cuisines.) Chef Justin

Wolfe staged in Chicago at Graham

Elliot, where he spent nearly seven

months apprenticing and studying at

the Michelin-starred restaurant. Then he

was off to master butchery at Chicago’s

Publican Quality Meats.

Justin has worked as an event chef

alongside Executive Chef Liaison Jamie

FRONT: Jennifer Wolfe (Service Manager),

Justin Wolfe (Owner/Executive Chef), Gregg

Wolfe (Owner/Mixologist/Bartender)

BACK: Josh Ward (Sous Chef), Kyle Rose (Chef

de Cuisine)

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 21

Simpson at The Culinary Vegetable Institute/

Chef’s Garden in Milan, Ohio. He has

participated in events with chef de cuisine

Eli Kaimeth of Thomas Keller’s renowned

Per Se in New York, and worked with

Cortney Burns of the celebrated Bar Tartine

(featuring some of San Francisco’s most

experimental cuisine), and with Gunnar

Gislason, the chef/restaurateur behind New

Nordic cuisine at DILL in Reykjavík. And

then there was a stint with chef and culinary

scientist Kyle Connaughton formerly of

the Fat Duck and now the groundbreaking

Single Thread Farms Restaurant in

Healdsburg, California.

Every year Justin pitches in with other

chefs, including Michael Smith, for Village

Feast, a non-profit children’s charity based in

Souris, Prince Edward Island, that supports

initiatives to improve the lives of children.

The brothers have been the talk of the

city with their compact 24-seat restaurant in

Wortley Village, which is complemented by a

14-seat patio. This is casual but sophisticated

noshing focusing on curing, pickling,

fermenting and preserving, and featuring

craft cocktails.

The menu includes oysters: raw, coldsmoked,

and grilled with Creole butter

and parmesan. We ordered a half dozen

shucked, cold-smoked, plump, meaty

Malpeques bathed in 12-year old scotch

and served under a dome with juicy orange

segments and house-marinated cherries.

When the lid was lifted the oysters appeared

under a cloud of billowing smoke for

dramatic effect.

Chef du cuisine Kyle Rose excels at

the craft of salting, smoking and curing

primarily pork products to make salumi,

which we know as charcuterie. The

downstairs kitchen has a small temperatureand

humidity-controlled meat chamber for

the house-made salumi. There it develops

the rounded savoury taste that comes from

slow curing and ripening. The chamber

features a “meat window” to showcase a

diversity of hanging salumi. Justin gives Rose

and sous chef Jason Ward lots of credit for

embracing and delivering the restaurant

concept that the Wolfes developed.

We ordered the charcuterie board which

was underpinned by technique and skill and

the salumi had lots of deep flavours and good

fat content. There is also culotello (the king

of salumi — dry-cured ham) and very tasty

TOP: Honeynut squash/ pumpkin spice/ pistachio/ sage

MIDDLE: Chocolate/ orange/ passionfruit

BOTTOM: Charcuterie (house cured): coppa, culatello,


22 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

LEFT: Charcuterie/ pickles/



mushrooms and toast

BOTTOM RIGHT: Tongue in cheek/

nappakraut/ pumpernickel/


coppa (salt-cured from the pig’s neck) on offer.

Snacks might include a creamy chicken

liver brûlée, “pickled things”, bone marrow,

clams and chicken fried oysters. We loved

the “tongue in cheek” which was comprised

of beef tongue wrapped in guanciale (cured

pork jowl) served with “Nappakraut,”

pumpernickel and shmaltznaise. (The

origin of shmaltznaise is unclear. The term

“schmaltz” is derived is from Yiddish,

meaning «rendered animal fat», and the

“naise” must stem from mayonnaise.)

Nevertheless it was the perfect aioli-like


House-made pastas include bucatini,

served with smoked oyster, bacon, egg yolk

and parmesan, and cheese gnocchi with

beer mushrooms and mustard. The chicken

fried oysters are served with dill, cucumber

and hot sauce. Proteins have included

steelhead trout, bison ribs and octopus. A

colleague of mine talks up the octopus like

it is the second coming. There is also whole

chicken for two and sometimes a 17oz. rib

eye. Menus change weekly.

“Cocktail-wise Gregg likes to riff on the

classics, taking something familiar, tried

and tested and elevating it,” says, Justin. The

cocktail menu was masterminded by Gregg,

who started making his

homemade infusions

of bitters and syrups

months in advance of the

restaurant’s opening. The

cocktail list features craft

cocktails that are prepared

with fresh ingredients,

homemade mixers and

premium liquors. Gregg

is a bourbon devotee. His

signature drink is a potent

smoked Manhattan made

with Bulleit Bourbon,

Antica Formula (red

vermouth), Angostura

bitters and cherry vanilla bitters served in

a cinnamon smoke-filled glass. Besides

six signature cocktails there are interesting

seasonal features, quality spirits, and flights of


There is a respectable bubbly on offer

from winemaker Moray Tawse’s Redstone

Winery in Beamsville, Ontario, and a great

off-dry riesling from Redstone with lots of

citrus notes. There is also a cabernet franc

and pinot noir blend from Tawse. These are

the Ontario offerings on a compact list.

We were so enamoured by the food we

finished the evening with pork belly for


The takeaway? You won’t find more

up-to-the-minute culinary savviness than

at the Early Bird, Rock Au Taco and now the

upscale Wolfe of Wortley.

Wolfe of Wortley

147 Wortley Road



open tuesday–sunday from 5:00 pm

BRYAN LAVERY is eatdrink’s Food Editor and Writer at Large.



Wortley Village

“One of Canada’s

Coolest Neighbourhoods”

The Heart of Old South


Opening in December 2016

Pure Ingredients

Chef-Prepared Take-Home Meals

House-Made Sauces and Preserves

Gourmet Kitchen Items

Baked Goods

141 Wortley Road, London


“Come see our newly expanded store. We’re excited

to offer our neighbours more selection, with the same

friendly service we take pride in.” — Dave Tuckey


136 Wortley Road, London


Mon–Fri 8 am – 8 pm

Saturday 8:30 am – 6 pm

Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

24 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

road trips

A Holiday Trip with Some History

Shop, Drink and Eat in Toronto

Article and Photography by WAYNE NEWTON


Another era’s whisky and bricks have given way

to two of my favourite and free foodie and

family destinations in Toronto.

The first is the Distillery Historic District. In

its heyday the area was home to Gooderham and Worts

Limited, one of the leading whiskey distilleries in the

Commonwealth which in its last days produced such

well-known brands as Little Brown Jug. After years of

inactivity, the industrial property two kilometres east of

Union Station has been reborn as a mecca of noteworthy

restaurants, craft beer, unique shops, gourmet chocolate,

and family-focused special events including the

German-themed Toronto Christmas Market, which on

November 18 opens for its seventh year.

The centrepiece of the Distillery District (designated

a National Historic Site of Canada in 1988) is the original

Mill Street Brew Pub, an iconic stop for Ontario craft

beer fans (even though ownership has now passed to

Labatt). When it opened in 2002 at the dawn of Ontario’s

craft beer explosion this pub was east

Toronto’s first microbrewery in 100

years. Mill Street’s beers — from the

gateway craft Organic Lager to small

batch seasonals such as Vanilla Porter

— are well known, but the pub is also

a go-to spot for food, including the

shepherd’s lamb and lager pie.

Nearby is SOMA Chocolatemaker,

located in a former whisky aging

room, where a chocolate factory

includes a viewing area and where a

lab churns fresh gelato daily.

Among the 25 fashion and lifestyle

retail shops not to be missed are John

The Distillery District is a series of buildings

once used to produce Gooderham and Worts


MIDDLE: Love locks spell it out along one of the

laneways in the Distillery District.

RIGHT: Eyes are wide as the Christmas angel

appears before children during the Toronto

Christmas Festival.

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 25







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26 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

LEFT: Canadian shoe designer John Fluevog

features art deco-inspired styles at his Distillery

District shop.

BELOW: Reclaimed knobs pull the shopper’s

eye at Blackbird Vintage Finds in the Distillery


Fluevog Shoes in the district’s west end. On

the east side, Blackbird Vintage Finds offers

a treasure trove of antique, early Canadiana,

and repurposed merchandise.

The Toronto Christmas Market is free

through the week, but an admission is

charged on weekends. The market brings

an influx of 30 additional vendors, who set

up on the Distillery District’s cobblestone

streets, and a long list of musical and dance

performances ranging from carollers and elf

singalongs to holiday jazz and world music.

If you’re in Toronto without a car, getting

to Evergreen Brick Works can be an epic

undertaking, taking 45 minutes from

downtown via TTC bus. So if time is an issue

it’s best to grab a cab or summon Uber and

get there in 15 minutes. Either way, it’s worth

the excursion.

The site, visible from the Don Valley

Expressway, was where Toronto’s iconic

red clay bricks were produced, used in the

construction of many historic downtown

buildings, including Massey Hall, and a

number of stately homes. When the Don

Valley Brick Works closed in 1984 after a



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Contest ends December 28 , 2016. Complete details online.

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№ 62 | November/December 2016


Evergreen Brick Works


Holiday Tea

December 17, 2016

2:00pm - 4:00pm

Featuring vocalist Denise Pelley and

Stephen Holowitz on the piano.


per person

At Evergreen

Brick Works, a

mural (left) pays

homage to a

real life former

brick works

employee. Below,

a large map

greets visitors,

tracing the rivers

of the Toronto


leading to Lake


New Year’s Dinner & Show

December 31st, 2016

Ring in the New Year with a Gourmet

Dinner & Live Jazz! Featuring vocalist

Sonja Gustafson, Pianist Charlie Rallo

& Bassist Darryl Stacy.

Dinner Only In our

Dining Room

5:30pm & 8:00pm


per person

New Year’s Dinner &

Show In our Wine Cellar

Cocktails - 7:30pm

Dinner & Show - 8:00pm


per person


519.432.5554 ~ idlewyldinn.com

36 Grand Avenue, London

28 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

At the Brick Works farmers’ market not all

the interesting food items are obvious at a

glance — here are some pickled milkweed

pods and spruce tips.

century of blasting and digging clay, shale,

and sand with steam shovels, the mined-out

quarry and 16 industrial buildings became

derelict. During the 1990s the site attracted

such less-than-official events as raves, and

both local and international graffiti artists

who saw the large walls as blank canvasses.

Evergreen, a national not-for-profit, took

the reins and after years of planning opened

what is now a wide-ranging environmental

centre in 2010, and home to

Toronto’s largest outdoor farmers’


The raves are history, but the

extensive graffiti remains as part

of the story of the site and now

includes murals of some of the

actual people who worked making

bricks. The large industrial ovens

also remain.

The Weston Foundation helped

fund restoration of the former pit

into a naturalized area and a network of

hiking trails extends up the side of the Don


Inside the industrial buildings there’s a

partially covered ice skating rink with skate

rentals, and an extensive area for children’s

environmental programming designed to

reconnect urban children to nature.

The on site farm-to-fork restaurant, Cafe

Belong, is owned by chef Brad Long, the

longtime co-host of Restaurant Makeover on

the Food Network. After 5 p.m. Cafe Belong

serves communal or family-style meals. The

lunch and dinner menus change seasonally,

with the mainstay St. Lawrence salad

frequently raved about by reviewers.

Most of the year there’s an outdoor

weekend farmers market. In mid-November

the market moves indoors for the winter and

operates on Saturdays only. It’s where some

unusual Ontario food items such a sheep

cheese and milkweed buds can be sourced.

The Distillery Historic District

Mill Street between Parliament and Cherry

streets, Toronto



Evergreen Brick Works

550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto

Accessible by car off the Don Valley Parkway,

or by TTC buses 65 or 75. The Brick Works

shuttle departs from a parkette north of

the Broadview subway station.


A dusting of snow covers the children’s programming

area at Evergreen Brick Works and the former clay pit.

WAYNE NEWTON is a freelance journalist based in

London. wayne.newton@bell.net

№ 62 | November/December 2016

growers & creators of fine lavender products


Steed & Company Lavender, part of a

45-acre horse farm just outside of Sparta


in our unique handcrafted lavender products


in the wonderful scent and

calming powers of lavender


47589 Sparta Line, Sparta


Open Wed–Sat 10-5; Sun 12–4

Mother’s Day through Christmas


Join us for our


Open House


26 & 27


Eat, Drink,

Shop & explore

Good food




Book your christmas party

226 658 0999 soloportstanley.com

30 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

culinary retail



Gift Guide

It really IS better to

give than to receive

—when you find

the perfect gift that is

warmly received, and you haven't

felt caught up in shopping mall madness.

To help you achieve this end, we've polled

a fine range of independent retailers — the

real shopping experts — for suggestions

for the special people in your life. Whether

you're looking for a big present for someone

close to your heart, or a small gift for a

hostess or your friend at work, here are some

new as well as tried-and-true suggestions

from the experts. Happy Shopping!

You like to dine in style, and so do the birds!

This tiny Pottery Chickadee Feeder is

handmade in Ontario. Each unique rakustyle

pattern is made with feathers. Just

fill with some of Featherfields’ exclusive

non-GMO birdseed to attract small birds

like chickadees, finches, and nuthatches.

This would make a lovely addition to any

garden as an introduction to bird feeding,

or an artistic addition for dedicated feeders.

Bring nature home for the holidays! $38.00 at

Featherfields • 1570 Hyde Park Rd #5, London

www.featherfields.com • 519-474-1165

Perfect for the coffee lover, but also ideal for any on-the-go

beverage, the KeepCup is both an eco-friendly and elegant

solution compared to the waste of disposable cups. The

glass mug is fitted with either a silicone or cork ring and

a secure lid with a handy spout for sipping. Available

in different sizes and a multitude of colours. Made in

Australia. From $13–$32 at Locomotive Espresso • 408 Pall Mall St,

London • www.locomotiveespresso.com • 519-601-3896

№ 62 | November/December 2016

Here’s a great gift for your beer (or kombucha

or cider or coffee or hot chocolate) lover!

By SS Growler, these are the original, stainless

steel, threadless flip-top growlers and

come in both 1L ($50 inc. tax) and 2L ($60 inc.

tax) versions. Double-walled and vacuumsealed,

these will keep your beer cold and

carbonated (or your hot cocoa hot) for many

hours. Perfect for outdoor adventuring and

gift-giving! Anderson Craft Ales • 1030 Elias St,

London • www.andersoncraftales.ca • 506-253-9440

Hey Cupcake!

where art is a piece of cake

With a whimsical and clever sense of taste and style,

Hey Cupcake is a small, family-run business, creating

the freshest and finest cookies, cupcakes and

custom cakes, made in house,

with tender loving

care, just for you!

Visit us online at:


OR at our bakery located at:

275 Wharncliffe Rd. North, London

519-433-CAKE (2253)

STORE HOURS: Mon–Fri 11–7

Saturday 10–5 • Sunday 11–4







Patrick’s Beans is consistently high quality

organic coffee blends that are roasted locally

and sourced ethically. Beans are individually

roasted in small batches and then blended

together to build something that is greater

than the sum of its parts, attaining tailormade

tastes and complexities that cannot

be found in single varietal selections. A

number of popular blends are available, as

are custom blends for the true afficianado.

Patrick’s Facebook page has a list of

locations where Patrick’s Beans are sold and

served. From $15 for a 1 pound bag. Patrick’s Beans •

www.patricksbeans.com • 226-378-5100














Mon–Wed & Fri–Sat: 10–5:30 | Thu: 10–6:30 | Sun: Noon–5

551 Richmond Street, London

519-850-5477 ○ www.kissthecookonline.com

32 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

Mortier Pilon — a

Canadian company —

is all about bringing the fun back to the process of

making kombucha, kimchi, pickles and sauerkraut.

Mortier Pilon crocks provide a specialized,

anaerobic fermenting environment because of their

unique water seal and porcelain weight. The clever,

stylishly designed durable glass fermentation

crocks come with a booklet of user-friendly

thoroughly tested recipes & instructions to get you

started. A great gift idea for the foodie/health nut.

Fermenting … like you’ve never DIY’d before! Prices

range from $9.95 to $59.95 at Bradshaws • 129 Ontario St,

Stratford • www.bradshawscanada.com • 519-271-6283

Consumable gifts are always

appreciated, especially when they

satisfy a sweet tooth! Chocolate

Barr’s offers a customized Stackable

Gift Basket — items can be

substituted or more can be added. A

popular choice includes their renowned ½-pound Assorted Chocolates,

a ½-pound of mixed milk and dark chocolate Minties, a ½-Pound of

Almond Butter Crunch, and a bag of milk chocolate Foiled Santas. $39.99

as shown, at Chocolate Barr’s Candies •

55 George St W, Stratford

• www.chocolatebarrs.com

• 519-272-2828

The Milky Whey has an extensive

selection of cheese from around

the world as well as artisanal

and small batch cheeses made

in Canada. What better way to

explore new flavours than with

a Cheese Tasting Event? Tickets

to one of these popular sessions

would make an excellent gift. For example, on Saturday, January 14, “Blues &

Booze” is all about Blue Cheese. Taste several blue cheeses and pair them with

a dark beer, a red wine and a fortified wine. Moldy goodness! $37.00 plus HST.

The Milky Whey • 118 Ontario Street, Stratford • www.themilkywhey.ca • 519-814-9439

The heart of



Now Accepting

Holiday Party


Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar is a long-standing

Stratford institution, with two floors

displaying an eclectic range of goods from

around the world. You will find quality

items such as Fiesta Dinnerware. Originally

designed in 1936 in the Art Deco era, the

bold and bright colours, updated in more

recent years, complement a variety of

decors. There are over 50 items in the mixand-match

line and they are both highly

collectable and practical. Pieces start at $9.

Watson’s Chelsea Bazaar • 84 Ontario Street, Stratford

• watsonsofstratford.com •



for a new

idea for a


gift? With


soup from

Soup Surreal,

the host/ess will

be able to pamper

themselves another

evening with a nutritious, healthy, delicious,

gourmet soup. Food Gifts are the Best

Gifts! An outstanding range of flavours —

including gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan

recipes — are available. Frozen 850 mL units

(enough for 3 light lunch portions or 2 dinner size

portions) are $8.00 at Soup Surreal • 98 Wellington

St, Stratford • 519-497-5167 • www.soupsurreal.com





Chef/Owner Mark Graham’s

fresh, creative, locallysourced

menus extend

to full-service catering

to Strathroy, London &

area. Call for a quote!

Proud recipients of a

second 2016 ACO Award!

Thursday Night Trivia

All You Can Eat

Pasta Sundays

Historic Post Office & Customs Building

71 Frank St, Strathroy • 519-205-1500


№ 62 | November/December 2016

Whether you are buying for friends, family

or a gift for yourself, accessories are a fun

and popular idea! At Impressions you’ll

find items that you’ll love to give as well as

receive, including unique jewellery, bags,

hats, handwarmers, legwarmers, wraps

and scarves. Various prices. Impressions of

Wortley Village • 148 Wortley Road, London •

www.impressionsfashions.ca • 519-432-0317

The Pristine Olive Tasting Bar

has come up with a charming

way to help customers try their

products (over 60 flavours of oils

and balsamics!). Owner Jamie

Griffiths has created six unique

Sample Pack Combinations,

containing many of his most

popular items. Each sample

pack holds six individually

labeled, 60ml bottles, enclosed

in a custom-designed gift box.

Perfect for people who wish to

try a little bit of everything! $30

(Gourmet Pack $34) at The Pristine

Olive Tasting Bar • 462 Cheapside St,

London • www.thepristineolive.com •


These petite Le

Creuset Espresso

Mugs will inject a pop of

colour into any kitchen. They are versatile

too; perfect for espresso, they also work beautifully

for individual desserts. The durable enamelled

surface resists staining, chipping and cracking,

and is easy to clean. Providing a totally

hygienic surface, it will not

absorb odours or flavours.

Microwave, freezer and

dishwasher safe. The set

of six is even on promo for

Christmas. $59.99 (regularly $120)

at Kiss the Cook • 551 Richmond St,

London • www.kissthecookonline.com

• 519-850-5477

Help your favourite vegan (or non-vegan!) celebrate

the holidays in style with vegan-friendly swag from

Plant Matter Kitchen. Featuring offbeat food-focused

slogans, PMK’s Canadian-made t-shirt line features an

organic bamboo-rayon-cotton blend. Top your t-shirt

order off with PMK glassware or a trucker hat,

and don’t forget a gift certificate!

With vegan menu items

sourced from organic,

local, and plant-based i

ngredients, a gift

from Plant Matter

Kitchen is both

delicious and

stylish! Plant Matter

Kitchen • 162 Wortley Rd,

London • 519-660-3663 •


Artisanal Market & Bistro

Unger’s Market has been serving London

for over 30 years. Roots of a family-run farm

stand are still in evidence, with fresh meat,

eggs, produce and a bakery providing great

quality at fair prices. But the store not only

developed into a fully-fledged market and

deli with a tea room, it has also grown to

include unique collections of home decor,

gifts, and Women’s Fashion. Style is the

operative word, with ever-changing displays

of today’s looks inspiring frequent visits.

Unger’s Market • 1010 Gainsborough Road, London •

www.ungers.ca • 519-472-8126

Handcrafted Artisan

Truffles & Chocolates

Using the Finest Belgian Chocolate

• Unique & Traditional Flavours •

$100 Value

Gift Certificates are

sometimes regarded as a cop-out, yet

they can be a wonderfully thoughtful way to

express your sentiments. Gift card displays

from large chain stores, now ubiquitous

in grocery and drug stores, can smack of

mindless consumerism, yet a gift certificate

or card from a unique and interesting

store or a fabulous local restaurant can

be a reflection of your good taste and the

interests of the recipient. They are available

fom most every business, in denominations

that fit your budget.

Local Artisans

Dessert Bistro

Italian Gelato

Gift Baskets


51 Front Street West, Strathroy

Downtown corner of Front & Frank



36 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

Railway City Brewing has the perfect gift for only $13.95! This

Holiday Gift Pack features 473mL cans of Ontario silvermedal-winning

Dead Elephant Ale, Canadian

gold-medal-winning Black Coal Stout,

specialty seasonal Cranberry Festive Lager,

and a 16oz Railway City Brewing glass, all

attractively packaged in a holiday gift box.

Get yours today at LCBO outlets, select

grocery stores, and Railway City’s retail store.

Railway City Brewing Co. • 130 Edward St, St. Thomas •

www.railwaycitybrewing.com • 519-631-1881

A Culinary Gift Set from Steed & Company

Lavender makes the perfect gift for

any foodie. Let them try the Lavender

Chamomile Spearmint Tea, Culinary

Lavender, and your choice of one of a rich

collection of preserves — like a Lavender

Raspberry Strawberry Jam with Chocolate

Liqueur or Lavender Infused Honey.

Wrapped in a beautiful box, this gift set looks

as great as it tastes! $30.25–$32.50 at Steed &

Company Lavender • 47589 Sparta L ine, RR#5 Aylmer

• www.steedandcompany.com • 519-494-5525

Celebrate the holiday season with

Dark Horse Estate Winery. Deep

in the heart of Huron County, right

next to the iconic Huron Country

Playhouse, you’ll find the first

fully functioning estate winery

in Ontario’s newest winegrowing

region. The folks at Dark Horse are

more than happy to help you select a

wine to pair with your holiday feast.

Or design a custom gift basket. Gift

cards are available for wine tours

too. Baskets are priced at $50, $100, or can

be custom ordered.

Dark Horse Estate Winery • 70665 B Line,

Grand Bend • www.darkhorseestatewinery.com • 519-709-1532

№ 62 | November/December 2016

Windells Chocolates is Strathroy’s go-to

chocolate shop and more. Owner May

Windell brings her artisanal approach to

crafting truffles

and chocolates,

using the finest


chocolate, but

she has also

attracted other

artisans to

her beautiful

space. For a

special holiday

treat, she suggests

her Butter Pecan

Toffee — hand-crafted old-fashioned butter

toffee dipped in Belgian chocolate and rolled

in freshly crushed pecans. $10-$15 Windells

Chocolates • 51 Front Street West, Strathroy • www.

windellschocolates.com • 226-236-1980

Celebrating 20 Years!

Birdfeeding Experts

All non-GMO Birdseed

Garden Gifts

Holiday Decor

E&D_LocomotiveED_Nov2014_ART.pdf 1 201


Pepper Tree Spice Co. operates out of a

charming shop in Port Stanley, offering a

sophisticated presentation of the world’s

best spices. You’ll find nearly everything

you need to share the warmth of the holiday

season with their Home for the Holidays

Spice Collection including Garlic Mashed

Blend, and a Signature Mulling Spice. With

over 300 spices and artisan blends made

daily on-site, gourmet foods, kitchenware

and custom gift baskets, you’ll find the gift

that keeps giving for the foodie in your life.

Gift packages start at $26.95

Pepper Tree Spice Co. • 223 Colborne St, Port Stanley •

www.peppertreespice.com • 519-782-7800

38 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

The BUZZ ... new and notable

Every November over the past four years,

Abruzzi has donated a percentage of sales to

support Prostate Cancer research at the London

Health Sciences Centre. So far, with your

help, a total of $12,052.53 has been raised for this important

cause. To help make this year even more successful, all you

have to do is enjoy dinner at Abruzzi anytime during this

month. Supporting Movember has never been easier, nor

tasted so good! www.abruzzi.ca

Rob’s Wicked Chicken and Wedges has opened on

Hamilton Road (at Maitland Street) on the site of the former

Mary Brown’s Chicken. The menu will go beyond chicken

and wedges, offering a selection of sandwiches, including

pulled pork and fish, plus a new feature item—Korean

Yang-Nyum chicken made with an in-house sweet but spicy

barbecue sauce.

Lawrence Burden is celebrating 16 years as a purveyor

of fine kitchen and dining supplies at his store, Kiss the

Cook, on Richmond Row. He’s offering a range of products

at special prices, for a limited time. And don’t forget that

resident chef Chris Squire hosts cooking classes here. Keep

that in mind for the foodie friends on your gift list — or

treat yourself! www.kissthecookonline.com

Jill Wilcox, food columnist, owner of Jill’s Table in London,

and cookbook author, has just released her latest cookbook,

Soups, Stews & Breads. With her own recipes and a section

on breads from chef Josie Pontarelli, this makes the perfect

addition to any cookbook collection for chefs and home

cooks of all skill levels. Five dollars of the proceeds from each

cookbook will go to the Jill Wilcox Foundation, which

helps better the lives of women and children through food

related initiatives in the London community.

Ian Kennard, who operated Willie’s Café since 1996, has

closed the café side of his business. The catering side of

the business will continue. Willie’s has built a reputation

as a caterer, and fresh healthy fare can be delivered to your

office at an affordable price. Chef Gail Rains has been the

chef since 1996. Kennard advised eatdrink that the Willie’s

building has been sold and leased. www.williescafe.on.ca

Talbot Street Whisky House recently closed. Revive

Kitchen has also shut down after a brief run.

FRESH gift ideas yule love

Select from over 60 flavours of oils and balsamics.

Sample the freshest oils from across the globe, paired with savoury

white & dark balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy.

Personally bottled to suit your individual taste.




Gift Baskets










Tasting Bar

462 Cheapside Street @ Maitland | London | 519-433-4444


№ 62 | November/December 2016

Although Rico’s Pizzeria Downtown at 71 King Street in

the Renaissance Towers (across from Budweiser Gardens)

is becoming known for their vegan and gluten-free pizzas

since opening last month, this shouldn’t scare away the

carnivores. Made with Fieldgate Organic meats, the

Farmer’s sausage Pizza and the new prosciutto-filled

Hawaiian “Magnum Pi” are captivating the taste buds

of locals. As the business grows, so will the menu and

concepts, such as the thin crust Double Decker ‘Za, which

consists of two whole wheat thin crusts that sandwich extra

cheese and extra sauce option, for those who want more.

For those of you who are health conscious be sure to try

Jocelyn Morwood’s coconut bacon pizza.

London’s Fresh Booth at 201 Queens Avenue has rebranded

— meet Hopscotch — the new restaurant that has

upgraded the original location to reflect the food it provides

with natural décor and cheeky references to ingredients.

Brothers Aiden and Wyatt Booth use fresh ingredients that

have been grown and raised responsibly by local partners and

farmers. The menu is chef-driven, offers healthy and exciting

takes on traditional salads in addition to other original

recipes. All sauces (more than 10) are made in-house daily.

The business uses eco-friendly and biodegradable containers

(bowls compost in 180 days) and potato-based forks.

The London Brewing Co-operative is relocating to

Burbrook Place in the Old East Village this fall and expanding

operations to keep up with increasing demand for its truly

local beers. The new home of this worker-owned brewery

will include a taproom, retail space, and a larger brewing

system. The brewery will be housed inside an innovative

space shared with On The Move Organics, a local organic

delivery company. The change will also create opportunities

for visitors to better understand the value of local

ingredients and to taste the benefits that they bring to the

beer and other products.

Restaurant Ninety-One at Windermere Manor has

launched new fall/winter and fall seasonal menus.

Afternoon Tea is now served on Saturday afternoons, in

conjunction with The Tea Haus at Covent Garden Market.

Afternoon Tea features a full selection of house-made

pastries and dainty sandwiches. Chef Angela Murphy is

offering tasting menus and wine tastings for groups of 8

to 10 as part of the chef’s table dining experience. Chef is

also organizing special menu nights focusing on chefs who

have inspired and have specifically impacted the cuisine at

Restaurant Ninety-One including David McMillan, Martin

Picard, Susur Lee, Alice Waters, Lucy Waverman and others.

It’s been a busy year for veteran London chef Ricardo

Cavaco. The owner of Bifana Boys launched his food

truck last summer and most recently revamped an old

family recipe into a new line of versatile Portuguese sauces.

Cavaco recently opened a satellite location of Bifana Boys,

specializing in Portuguese fare, at the Farmers and Artisans

Market at The Western Fair. Offerings at the Market include a

LUNCH Wed to Fri 11:30–2:30

DINNER from 5pm daily

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at Carling • London

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a 3-course prix fixe

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№ 62 | November/December 2016

variety of dishes, such as piripiri chicken, Angry Fries and his

signature Bifana Sandwich—marinated pork slices in a bun.

Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, this well-made sandwich

will zap you with a lightning bolt of flavours.

This year’s VegFest London will take place in the Progress

Building at the Western Fair District on Saturday, November

12th. VegFest celebrates the plant-based lifestyle and

promotes compassionate, sustainable and healthy living with

over 100 vegan food and product vendors, health and wellness

vendors and animal sanctuaries and rescue/liberation

organizations, such as The Boombox Bakeshop, Rescue

Dogs vegan hot dog cart, Sweet Teeth Vegan Food Truck

and more. Speakers include author Dreena Burton, Dr. Linda

Plowright, Jenna Goodhand of Saving Lives with Forks and

Knives, Jo-Anne McArthur and Keri Cronin from the Unbound

Project and emcee Rose Corra Perry. There will be cooking and

food demos by Chef Doug McNish and Emily Von Euw of This

Rawesome Vegan Life. Other offerings include Purdy Natural

Photo Booth, Plant Matter Kitchen Dining Area and

Booch Organic Kombucha Lounge. Admission is free.

The 20 Under 40 Awards Program recognizes accomplished

industry leaders in London who are younger than 40, and

who also give back to their community. The awards are given

by Business London magazine and sponsored by Harrison

Pensa, Lovers At Work, BlueStone Properties, Western

University, Nothers Signs and Recognition, London Chamber

of Commerce, Blackfriars Catering & Bistro, 20 Under 40

Foundation and XInfused Events Inc. Three of our favourite

colleagues from the culinary world will be recognized at a

reception at London Music Hall on Nov. 19th. They are: Yoda

Olinyk, executive chef and co-owner, Glassroots; Kris Hunt,

owner, The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro and Dave Strano,

owner, Burrito Boyz London.

Downtown London’s Winter Light Christmas Walk will

be held November 18th and 19th. Dozens of downtown

businesses will be hosting sales, open houses, music, and

holiday activities on Friday and Saturday. The Winter Light

guide will be released in November

Watch for plant-based espresso drinks, smoothies and healthy

fare at The Ground Up! in the space formerly occupied by

Aroma Café on Richmond Row. As the name suggests, the café

will be organic, plant-based and eco-conscious.

About every six weeks, Youth Opportunities Unlimited

partners with a different local London chef or restaurateur

to host a dinner as part of Cornerstone Cuisine Dinner

program at the YOU Made It Cafe. An exciting evening

and customized dinner menu are created and a specific

cultural cuisine is celebrated. If you are a local chef and

interested in partnering, get in touch! Plans for the 2017

Youth Opportunities Unlimited Cornerstone Cuisine Dinner

program are underway.

Garlic’s of London has a great supply of jarred, local, natural

honey from their former rooftop hives, that were relocated to

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 41

a farm just outside of the city. The honey is now available for

sale at the restaurant. www.garlicsoflondon.com

Marienbad’s annual Schnitzelfest runs from Nov. 4th

until Nov. 19th. Marienbad’s Murder Mystery series (late

November) features an office gathering that turns into a

variation of “Survival” as workers use jungle warfare to keep

their jobs. A special New Year’s Eve show will includes a fourcourse

meal for $69.95 per person.

Michael’s on the Thames recently launched a new dinner

menu, for the first time in 3 years. The wine list has been

undated to include red and white wines from countries and

varietals all around the world.

There’s a spectacular new venue in town called 449. It is

operated by the folks who brought you North Moore Catering,

The River Room and the Rhino Lounge and Bakery. Perfect for

private holiday parties, New Year’s Eve parties, showers, dinner

meetings, smaller weddings and birthdays You can even BYOB

with an SOP! 519.850.5111 x 1 or email info@northmoore.ca

Locomotive Espresso remains loyal to Pilot Coffee

Roasters. Through direct trade, Pilot ensures the premium

prices they pay go straight into their grower’s hands.

Locomotive’s tradition of Friday Croissant Day has

returned. Chef Rob Chick leads the B. Davison Secondary

Culinary Program. As well as learning about delivery and

merchandising in the cafe, the culinary students bake the

finest croissant, almond croissant and chocolate brioche.

Coffee themed gift baskets will be available at Locomotive

Espresso from December 1.

The London Wine and Food Show returns in

January with more food, wine and entertainment than

ever before. In its 12th year the show promises to bring

Londoners an enticing mix of local restaurants, wineries,

craft beers, and spirits. There will be tasting seminars, stage

presentations and entertainment. Sip, sample and savour at

London’s Wine & Food Show!


Stratford’s Soup’s On will beheld on Saturday January 14. This

popular annual Perth County event showcases over 30 local

vendors serving soup to warm you up at the Stratford Rotary

Complex. All proceeds support the Alzheimer Society of Perth

County. In 2015, Soup Surreal won the People’s Choice Award

for a second time with Gouda, Beer and Onion soup, which

also took the judge’s prize in the Creamy Professional category.

Speaking of Soup Surreal, they are offering a weekly

rotation of chili both hot and frozen in store through the

winter: Vegetarian Chili, and Chili with Revel Coffee, Black

Swan Porter and McIntosh Farms Beef Chili. The Beef Chili

became a huge favourite after they adjusted the recipe for

the Heart and Stroke event Heartburn Day. soupsurreal.com

“A place you

can depend on

and delight in”

— eatdrink


Holiday Celebrations!

46 Blackfriars Street, London










42 www.eatdrink.ca

The String Bone Presents “Live at Revival House Dinner/

Concert” series boasts a winter concert lineup worthy of praise.

Juno-nominated, award-winning artists such as Great Big

Sea’s Sean McCann (Nov. 5), Fred Eaglesmith (Nov. 18),

Samantha Martin& Delta Sugar (Jan. 27) and Alysha Brilla

(Feb. 24). Revival House also highlights local performances

giving support to such local indie acts as Upside of Maybe with

Dayna Manning (Nov. 11) The Neil Young’uns (Nov. 19) and Ali

Mathews’ Annual Christmas Concert (Dec. 3).

Let members of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra

serenade you with music to lift your soul in the

reinvented Revival House. “Classical Symphony Brunch”

142 fullarton at richmond

№ 62 | November/December 2016

concerts through the winter months will happen Sundays

November 20, February 19 and May 21.

Scotch and Chocolate… individually wonderful, brilliant

when paired. Certified Whisky Sommelier Steve Rae has

created a Whisky journey through Scotland touching the

different regions and flavour spectrums. Rheo Thompson

Candies chocolatier, Christine Chessell has selected a variety

of Rheo’s chocolates to compliment the scotches. Or do the

scotches compliment the chocolates? Find out for yourself.

This wonderful combination of two passionate flavours

happens at Revival House December 17, 3pm. Tickets

available at www.visitstratford.ca

The Red Rabbit’s winter hours begin In November — the

restaurant will be closed Tuesday and Wednesdays. Nosh

Monday returns November 7th and every Monday through

to April. It is $42 per person for a culinary adventure and

reservations are strongly recommended. Beer Dinner and

Supper Club events return for the winter season. Dates and

themes are released on The Red Rabbit’s Facebook page.

Rundles Morris House has launched the first ever

fractional vacation home ownership opportunity in

Stratford. As the beginning phase in the re-development

of Rundles Restaurant, starting in the 2017 season of the

Stratford Festival, Rundles Morris House will be offered for

sale in one-week segments. www.rundlesrestaurant.com

Join The Local Community Food Centre for The Hunters

and Foragers Dinner on November 25. The multi-course

dinner celebrates wild game and ethically-foraged food

products. www.thelocalcfc.org

There are some exciting changes at the Stratford Chefs

School. A new teaching kitchen and classrooms will greet

the 2016-17 school students.

Want to be a food critic? Stratford Chefs School aspiring

chefs are preparing inspired variations on over 30 years of

SCS menus, executed with great skill and passion, and invite

you to join them. The classic 4- to 6-course Dinner Series

meals are served at 136 Ontario Street, Tuesdays through

Saturdays, while 3-course lunches take place Fridays and

Saturdays. At lunch, wines are available by the glass or $5

Thank You!

№ 62 | November/December 2016

corkage. Menus change daily. Share your feedback following

your meal. www.stratfordchef.com

On Sunday, November 20, 10 am–2:00 pm, visit Stratford’s

historic downtown for the Outdoor Christmas Market.

Enjoy the music of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and

meet Santa inside the Avon Theatre. Shop vendor stalls for

holiday foods, crafts and gifts. Sip hot cocoa while listening

to costumed carolers singing seasonal tunes and embracing

the character and charm of a Victorian Christmas.

Slow Food Perth County Sunday Market moves indoors

to The Falstaff Family Centre, Stratford, 35 Waterloo Street,

Stratford. The market you know and love is open Sundays from

10 am–2 pm all year round. www.slowfoodperthcounty.com

Stratford Farmers’ Market is a year round market

operating since 1855, featuring fresh produce, crafts,

meat and cheese. Stratford Rotary Complex-Agriplex, 353

McCarthy Rd., Stratford. Saturdays 7:00 am–12:00 pm.

Bradshaws Christmas Open House on November 4 makes

for a fun night out, but of course their great assortment of

holiday giftware, kitchenware and entertaining items is

available right through this holiday season. Bradshaws is also

holding a Christmas-themed High Tea at Revival House

featuring a guided seasonal tea tasting from Sloane Fine

Tea, holiday treats from Revival House’s pastry chef and

music by Stratford Symphony Orchestra. This perfect way

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№ 62 | November/December 2016



Sicilian Splendour

October 2017 • 11 Nights Land

Escorted Tour. Welcome to a fabulous journey

exploring the food, wine and local traditions

that set Sicily apart from the rest of Italy.

Highlights include local wine tasting on the

slopes of Mt. Etna, a visit to Taormina’s Greek

theatre, the circa 500 BC architectural ruins of

Siracusa and tours of Palermo, Taormina &

Monreale. 4 nights in Palermo, 3 nights in

Siracusa, 4 nights in Taormina.

For more information on this exciting tour, and others,


Carlson Wagonlit Travel

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to celebrate the holidays takes place Sunday, November 27,

11am–1pm. $45/person. www.bradshawscanada.com

Around Our Region

Living Alive Granola, located in St. Thomas, focuses on

using local maple syrup (Palmer’s beautiful dark maple

syrup from Port Stanley), honey (Clovermead’s Summer

Blossom Honey) and oats, and bakes only with fresh

ingredients. Local musician Stephanie Brown and former

MP Joe Preston base their product on a family recipe.

Both partners are advocates for helping local mental health

programs, and they donate ten cents from every bag sold

to make a difference in this important area. Living Alive

Granola is available at markets, and from a growing number

of local retailers (including Remark, and some No Frills

and Foodland stores). Also available online for delivery

anywhere in Canada. livingalivegranola.ca

Change up your Friday night! Telegraph House in Port Stanley

has started up Pizza Night, offering new and exciting pizzas.

One was recently discovered by proprietors Jon and Vicci

Coughlin in NYC, featuring toasted butternut on a garlic and

goat cheese base, with arugula and balsamic vinegar glaze

topping. The Coughlins will also be making Jon’s special — the

Diavola Supreme that includes house tomato sauce, pepperoni,

capocolla, salami, shallots, black olives, bacon, proscuitto,

mozzarella and parmesan. Pizza dinners are actually three

course dinners, including soup or salad, and pie for dessert. The

“Winter Series” has also begun, with dinners on Saturday nights.

Bring your own wine for $5 corkage. www.telegraphhouse.com

Six Thirty Nine in Woodstock recently received an

award from the South Central Ontario Region Economic

Development Corporation as a Local Food Champion.

Over in Vineland, visit Featherstone Winery and Vineyard’s

Holiday Open House on December 3 and 4 and celebrate

the season with neighbours Malivore Wine Company,

Vineland Estates Winery, GreenLane Estate Winery, and

Ridgepoint Winery. Each winery will have their own special

events on all weekend — back vintage tastings, food pairings,

cocktail ideas, or sleigh rides. And each winery will try to fill a

wine barrel with donations of non-perishable food items. There

will be lots of holiday entertaining ideas on offer, as well as

unique tastings. Ticket fees will be donated to a local charity.


Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, enRoute, has announced its

annual top 10 list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016, as

well as the winner of the People’s Choice Award — Backhouse,

in Niagara-on-the-Lake. enroute.aircanada.com

Do you have culinary news or upcoming events that

you’d like us to share? Every issue, eatdrink reaches

more than 50,000 readers across Southwestern

Ontario in print, and thousands more online.

Get in touch with us at editor@eatdrink.ca and/or

connect directly with our Social Media Editor Bryan Lavery

at bryan@eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 45


beer matters

Try Something New this Season

Ontario Craft Dark Beer!


One of the most satisfyingly

flavourful and trendiest ways

to end a holiday meal is with

an Ontario craft dark beer.

Fortunately for those living in southwestern

Ontario there are at least five stellar choices

that will satisfy the palate and stimulate

conversation about the exceptional local

breweries that created them.

To find some samples, it’s as simple as

a trip to your local LCBO, Beer Store, or

beer-selling grocery store. Or it can mean

a journey to the brewery itself, where you

typically will be able to sample before

buying. Your quest is for stouts — the

name is derived from being the stoutest or

strongest of the porters. The glassware you

need are snifters, often available at craft

brewery retail stores.

While alcohol content is well understood

by beer drinkers, IBU (International

Bittering Units) may be less so. It’s an

important number to note, if brewers make

it available, to match your taste to the right

beer. The higher the IBU, the more bitter, or

hoppy, the beer is likely to be.

Here are five local,

guest-pleasing dark


Railway City Black

Coal Stout: One of

several beers named

with a railway theme

and brewed by St.

Thomas’s Railway City

Brewing Company,

Black Coal Stout lives

up to its name in

terms of colour. A

2016 Canadian Brewing

Awards winner, the taste is of

bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans,

and rye bread. The alcohol content is 6 per

cent, with a 46

IBU. Available

at the brewery,

130 Edward

Street, St.

Thomas, and at

the LCBO.

Forked River


and Wicked


Blackbeerd is the London

brewery’s tasty stout. Wicked

Wench is the value-added version, aged in

bourbon barrels for about a year. Wicked

Wench is 5.7 per cent alcohol, 30 IBU,

Blackbeerd a little less (5.5 abv, 30 IBU.

They’re not on the shelf at the same time

of year. Available at the brewery store, 45

Pacific Court, in Forked River’s signature

500 mL bottles. That means you can do

small pours for skeptical newbies who need

to be convinced, sip by sip, that they will like

good stouts.

Blackfriars Vanilla Stout: This gem from

Tobaggan, the jewel of Richmond Row,

has been available on tap at the London

brewpub and

is set to debut

in tallboy

cans at the


store, in time

to impress




Tom Schmidt

has taken


regular (if I

may use that

46 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

word) slightly sweet stout, and infused it

with Madagascar vanilla beans. The result

is wonderful and a perfect starting point for

people who think they don’t like stouts.

It is 6 per cent alcohol and 35 IBU.

Toboggan is at 585 Richmond Street,


Black Swan Porter: This requires a

little expedition and a willingness to

serve guests from a 64-oz growler. Black

Swan brewpub of Stratford is gaining trac-

Come. Sit. Stay.

Enjoy the Dawghouse Pub & Eatery’s genuine

pub atmosphere with great food, live bands,

karaoke, interactive games ... and there’s always

a game on our large screen TVs!

trivia, games

& live events


Food & Drink


Catering Available. Kitchen Open Late!

699 Wilkins Street, London

519-685-0640 dawghouse.ca

SUN–TUES 11am–1am; WED–SAT 11am–2am

tion and

its porter

is worthy

of bringing

home. The

porter uses

Chinook hops and eight types of malt. The

alcohol is 5.3

per cent and

IBU 45. Black

Swan is at 144

Downie Street,


Half Hours on

Earth: No one

said getting a

fine stout on

your table was

going to be

easy. Brand new

and already

highly regarded,

Half Hours on

Earth keeps

you looking at

its website to

check avail-

Selected in

TOP 10

Beer Bars

in Canada

№ 62 | November/December 2016

ability and urges you to order online to

ensure you get the beer you want before

making the drive to Seaforth. Half Hours has

offered porters in the past with such names

as Moonless, a farmhouse porter, and Space

Oddity, a berry brett porter. Both were out

of stock as of this writing. You can take it on

faith that when Half Hours has a dark beer

on its available list, it will be good. Order

through the Half Hours website, halfhoursonearth.com,

or visit the store, Saturday

afternoons only, at 151 Main Street South,


This holiday season, impress your guests

with the refinement holding a glass of craft

stout brings and feel blessed such a bevy of

flavourful beer options are waiting in your

backyard. Cheers!

WAYNE NEWTON is a freelance journalist in London who

enjoys writing about beer and travel.


Our tap room is open for business

— including for your holiday

functions and private parties.

Give us a call today!

1030 Elias Street, London



48 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016


Only if You’re Thirsty

Four Sparkling Recommendations for the Holiday Season



drink it when I’m happy and

when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink

it when I’m alone. When I have

company I consider it obligatory.

I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink

it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it—

unless I’m thirsty.”

I can relate to this famous quote by Lilly

Bollinger who at one time ran the famous

Champagne house in France.

Only sparkling wine from the Champagne

region of France can be called Champagne.

However sparkling wines are produced in

many other global wine regions including

here in Ontario. Wine Country Ontario

reports that approximately 26 wineries in the

province are now making sparkling wines,

and many of them rival the best that France

has to offer.

Grapes commonly used to make sparkling

wine in Ontario include chardonnay, riesling,

pinot noir, gamay and vidal.

As the holiday season approaches, glasses

around our house tend to be filled with sparkling

wine and more often than not, these

glasses of bubbly tend to be Ontario-made.

Here are my Ontario sparkling wine recommendations

for the holiday season. Buy

some to give as gifts and keep some to open

when you are happy, sad, hungry or thirsty.

Origin Aromatic Sparkling Wine

(LCBO # 470047, $17.95)

Sparkling wine in a can?

Really?! Why not?

When I first heard about

this I didn’t believe it. I had

never heard of sparkling wine

in a can, or indeed of any

wine being packaged this way.

Unbeknownst to me, a few

wineries in the United States

and one in British Columbia

were already doing this.

Beer is sold in cans, so why not wine? I

was interested but not convinced that this

was a good idea so I visited Between The

Lines winery in Niagara, where a sparkling

wine called Origin was being made and

packaged in a can.

Origin Aromatic Sparkling Wine is made

from 100 percent vidal grapes. A small dosage

of vidal ice wine is added, resulting is a

sweet finish to this sparkling wine. Initially

sold in four-can packs at the winery, it is

now available at the LCBO in a gift box containing

three 250 mL cans.

Sparkling wine goes flat if the bottle is not

consumed within 24 hours, so these small

cans are ideal when you just want one glass

of bubbly.

Origin presents lemon citrus notes. It is

sweet and loaded with acidity to balance. An

exclusive gift for those hard to buy for wine

drinkers. They will love the uniqueness.

Lighthall Progression Sparkling Wine 2014

(LCBO #468090, $20)

Another bottle of bubbly made from

vidal grapes by Glenn Symons at his

small family-run winery in Prince

Edward County. This wine offers

crisp and refreshing citrus and

green notes.

You will notice the Lighthall bottle

is capped with a crown, or bottle

cap, rather than the traditional

cork found on most bottles.

Most sparkling wines, including

Champagne, start out in bottles

sealed with crown caps during

secondary fermentation.

Crown caps are an economical

alternative to the more

common mushroom cork, but

they do require a bottle opener

to open.

№ 62 | November/December 2016

Flat Rock Cellars Riddled Sparkling 2009

(LCBO #38315, $29.95)

Another Ontario sparkling wine

sealed with a crown cap. In fact

Niagara’s Flat Rock Cellars was the

first winery in Ontario to use this

cap on their VQA sparkling wine.

They had to petition the VQA

board for approval, arguing that

it eliminates cork taint, keeps

more bubbles in the bottle and

is safer then corks, which can

become projectiles if not handled

carefully when opening.

Riddled is made from chardonnay

and pinot noir in the

same traditional method as

champagne. It’s a very complex

bubbly with baked apple,

stone fruit, white flower, and

baked bread notes. A gracefully

aged wine that will impress your guest this

holiday season. This wine will pair well with

everything at the dinner table on Christmas

Day. And I have to believe that Madame Bollinger

would have been impressed with this

sparkling wine!

Peller Estates Ice Cuvée Rosé

(LCBO #113035, $35.35)

This off-dry sparkling rosé from

Niagara’s Peller Estates Winery

is made from a blend of pinot

noir, chardonnay and gamay

noir grapes. A small dosages of

cab franc and vidal ice wines are

added for sweetness.

There is no other Ontario

sparkling wine quite like this

one. Fresh and lively with

juicy raspberry, cranberry

and peach notes. This bubbly

could replace Christmas

morning mimosas.

Four unique and

interesting Ontario VQA

sparkling wines that I highly

recommended this holiday season, and

all are available at the LCBO.

Happy shopping!

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taste and write about wine. He shares his wine tasting notes on




587 Oxford Street, London

50 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016


Pleased as Punch!

What’s Old Is New Again


As the holiday season gets

underway and the seemingly

endless parties take over the

month of December, everyone

wants an easy-to-serve festive drink option.

Wine and beer are the standards, and wellsuited

for small events or dining out, but

if you want to impress at home, give some

thought to making a punch.

Punch has a long history of being the

centrepiece of celebrations and marking

festive occasions. It is rare to find a punch

served outside of the home as the logistics

of serving it in bars and restaurants make

it difficult. This presents an excellent

opportunity to impress guests. A punch bowl

offers a sophisticated presence on any dining

room table and, aside from preparation

hours before the event, it requires no

effort to serve, freeing everyone up to

mingle and enjoy the party.

When properly prepared a good

punch is a merrymaker. However

excess sweetness can make it more

of a dessert drink than the pleasant

aperitif it should be. Punch should be

of a sweetness similar to a mediumdry

wine, which works better with

food and slows down alcohol

consumption. Responsible drinking is

the new holiday tradition.

Nutmeg and cinnamon are traditionally

added to a glass of punch, and being

Christmas spices, they will work well for the

festive season. You can use a mixture of the

two spices in a salt shaker, or you can use

whole spices and place a grater next to the

punch bowl.

The Frost Punch is a recipe from the

1940s that uses green tea to give the drink a

unique flavour, but you can substitute any

variety of tea to give it your personal touch.

This punch is pleasantly complex.

Frost Punch

1 cup, strong green tea*

1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

Rinds of 2 lemons, thinly sliced

½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and thinly


1 cup demerara or turbinado sugar

1 cup brandy

¾ cup orange liqueur (Cointreau or Triple Sec)

½ cup dark rum

2 cups club soda

750ml bottle of Champagne, chilled

Large ice block #

1 Put the lemon rinds in a mixing bowl. Add the

lemon juice, sliced pineapple, brandy, orange

liqueur, rum and chilled green tea. Stir well.

2 Transfer the bowl the refrigerator and chill the

mixture for at least two hours.

3 To serve, remove the bowl from the fridge

just before guest arrive and slowly pour the

mixture into a decorative punch bowl that has

a large block of ice. Gently stir in the seltzer and

Champagne. Avoid stirring vigorously as the

carbonation in the seltzer and Champagne will

dissipate too quickly.

4 Grate or dash a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon

over the drink.

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 51

* A strong tea would typically be three times the

normal amount of tea.


Large ice blocks melt slowly and help to prevent

diluting the punch. You can make them in your

freezer a day or two before the event.

The holiday season is a time for socializing

and relaxing, not hectically preparing drinks

for guests. A good bowl of Punch will make

for a joyous event.

DARCY O’NEIL is a London-based bartender who writes

about cocktail culture and other drink-related topics on his

popular website ArtofDrink.com

If you are having a small, casual gathering,

or even just a quiet night away from the

parties, consider making a Rum Milk

Punch, which can be prepared in individual

servings. This punch is similar to eggnog, the

Christmas standard, but easier to make and

just as good.

Rum Milk Punch

2 oz amber or dark rum

1 tsp superfine sugar

4 to 6 ounces whole milk

2 drops vanilla extract

Dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon

1 Combine the rum, sugar, vanilla and milk in a

cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 15 seconds.

2 Strain into a glass and grate or dash some

nutmeg and cinnamon over the top of the drink.

Spice Up

Your Holidays!

223 Colborne St. Port Stanley ON

Mon. to Sat. 10-5, Sun. 11-4

(519) 782-7800 www.peppertreespice.com

52 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016


Craft Cocktails

Compiled by BRYAN LAVERY


he modern cocktail revival

has spawned the craft cocktail

movement. Hand-crafted libations

with pre-prohibition cocktail

cred are the craze right now. The essential

components of the contemporary craft

cocktail comprise the use of artisanal

ingredients, seasonal syrups, shrubs and

infusions, premium liquors, good ice and

proper garnishes. Small batch ingredients

add flavour, complexity, and personality

to culinary-driven craft creations and

classic cocktails alike. If you really want

to do your Holiday cocktail a favour, use

festive garnishes that lend texture, style and

a personal flavour accent to your drink.

Here are a couple of festive cocktails for the

Holiday season.

Courtesy of Revival House, Stratford

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

Yields one pitcher. Perfect for entertaining over the holidays.

1 bottle of Pinot Grigio (your choice)

1 bottle of Champagne (or Secco of your


3 crisp apples, diced (ie. honey crisp,

royal gala, pink lady)

2 cups Welsey apple cider (or any good

quality cider)

½ cup ginger-infused Brandy* (made the

day before or earlier)

½ cup spiced cordial #

3 cinnamon sticks & extra for garnishing

each glass

thumb-size piece of ginger

1 In a pitcher combine Pinot Grigio, diced

apples, Welsey Apple cider, ginger

Brandy, spiced cordial and 3 cinnamon

sticks. If pieces of ginger end up in the

pitcher, there is no need to worry. It will only add

more flavour to the sangria.

2 Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

After refrigeration, add half of the bottle of

champagne to the pitcher before serving.

Waiting to add the champagne will keep those

lovely bubbles popping longer.

3 You’re ready! Pour the sangria into glasses

filled with ice (we prefer wine glasses). Add a

cinnamon stick for garnish and top each glass

with extra champagne. Enjoy!


We like E & J Brandy VSOP. It has lovely caramel

notes that compliment this winter cocktail


Grate a thumb-size piece of ginger and add it

to the bottle, the day before or earlier. The longer

the ginger is given to infuse the Brandy, the more

intense the flavour, adding warmth and subtle

spice to this cocktail.

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 53



½ cup sugar

½ cup water

1 cinnamon stick

5 cloves

1 star anise

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring

to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool. Strain cordial and

transfer to a sealable container. Store in the fridge.

Yields 1 cup. Keeps indefinitely.

give + share

with a

Revival House Martini

1 oz Chambord

½ oz Limoncello

½ oz Bombay Sapphire

1 drop rose water


Dried rose petal for garnish

1 In a martini shaker filled with ice combine

Bombay sapphire, Chambord, limoncello

2 Shake hard and strain into a chilled martini glass.

3 Add 1 drop of rose water and top with


4 Garnish with a dried rose petal. Enjoy!

Recipe from Wolfe of Wortley next page!


977 Wellington Road S.

226 663 5100




54 www.eatdrink.ca

Courtesy of Wolfe of Wortley, London

Fall Fashioned

1½ oz Four Roses small batch bourbon

½ oz Glenlivet 12 year old scotch

½ oz Fig/Cinnamon Shrub*

dash of angostura bitters

5 drops house-made cumin & maple walnut bitters

pickled apple ball

red wine poached pear



№ 62 | November/December 2016

1 Muddle the Fig/Cinnamon Shrub with the bitters

in a short round glass. Rotate the glass so that it

is lined.

2 Add a large ice cube, then the bourbon and


3 A tall cinnamon stick makes a good stir stick.

Garnish with the apple ball and poached pear.

on a spear. Enjoy!


12 fresh purple figs

2 cups apple cider vinegar

2 cups raw sugar

4 sticks of cinnamon

Cover and let sit at room temperature for 3 days.

Work though a fine strainer into a fresh bowl.

Discard left over pulp and cinnamon sticks.

Put the sugar into a large jar with a lid. Add the

juice. Put the lid on and shake until well mixed.

Leave in a cool dark place for two weeks, shaking

the jar every couple of days.

Flavour. Quality. Consistency.

Organic Fair Trade Coffee

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for a list of retail locations

or order direct

Sun–Tues 11am–11pm, Wed/Thurs 11am–midnight, Fri/Sat 11am–1am



№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 55

the classical beat

Sounds of the Season


The musicians of #WePlayOn are in

the process of naming, branding

and launching a new musical

ensemble for London, thanks to

funding received from the London Arts

Council. A $20,000 grant, made available

through this year’s Community Arts

Investment Program, has allowed the

organization to hire Toronto strategist and

arts administrator Patricia McKinna to

develop a five-year business plan. Once

approved by LAC, the plan will unlock a

further $100,000 in funding for concerts and

community development.

In the meantime, #WePlayOn recently

announced a modest three-concert season

leading up to the New Year.

Conductor Scott Good and guests Ian

Raeburn, Hillary Watson and Chelsea

Van Pelt join the musicians for ‘London

Remembers’, November 11 at Metropolitan

United Church. Featuring Gorecki’s

Symphony No. 3, McKinna says the program

“will be meaningful for generations who

remember the war experience, as well as

young people.”

London’s Sonja Gustafson joins

#WePlayOn and conductor Brian Jackson

Western University Opera

Sonja Gustafson

December 2 at Metropolitan United Church

for ‘Comfort and Joy’, an evening of seasonal

favourites. The same program will be

performed in Chatham the following day.

On December 7, #WePlayOn’s artistic

advisor Kevin Mallon leads the ensemble

in the ‘Dublin’ Messiah, a re-creation of

the very first performance of this perennial

holiday favourite, this time at First St

Andrews United Church.

“We want to do a few things really well

and build on that,” says McKinna. “And we

hope to start 2017 with a new name and a

new identity.” www.musiciansorchestralondon.


Opera lovers are in for a treat when Western

University Opera Workshop presents

Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, both

by Puccini, November 18 to 20 at the Paul

Davenport Theatre. The two one-act operas

will move audience members from sorrow

to laughter, promises stage manager and

Western DMA student Adam Iannetta. “These

shows are complete opposites,” he says.

Suor Angelica is a sentimental tragedy.

“Unless you have a heart made of stone

you will be reduced to tears. But the second

opera is just a riot. It’s a non-stop comedy

from start to finish.”

Working with conductor Simone Luti and

56 www.eatdrink.ca

director Tom Diamond

gives the student

performers a real taste

of what it’s like to take

part in a professional

production, says Iannetta.

“It’s a thrill, and an

extremely humbling

process, to have the

opportunity to work with

people who have such a

deep understanding of

the business as well as the

craft of opera.”


The Karen Schuessler

Singers launch their 24th season on

November 19 at Wesley-Knox United

Church. The ‘Sublime Genius’ concert

features a performance of Haydn’s Lord

Nelson Mass, featuring

soprano Katy Clark and bassbaritone

Chad Louwerse, as

well as a full orchestra.

“It’s been years since

we’ve performed the Lord

Nelson, and we just love it,”

comments KSS director, Karen

Schuessler. “Many people

consider it the finest choralorchestral

work of the entire

classical period.”

The masterpiece will

be paired with Mozart’s

Regina Coeli, K. 276, which

Schuessler describes as “a seven-minute

sunny sparkler.” Contemporary works by

Morten Lauridsen, Ola Gjeilo, Arvo Pärt and

Eric Whitacre round out the program.


Chorus London kicks

off its 48th season

on November 26,

with the annual

performance of

Handel’s Messiah at

Dundas Street Centre

United Church.

“This will be my

third Messiah with

Chorus London,” says

conductor and artistic

director David Holler.

“The challenge is to

№ 62 | November/December 2016

make it new every year.”

This will be a traditional

performance, he notes,

with the 50-voice

choir joined by four

soloists and a 20-piece


The concert also marks

the debut of Joseph

Lanza as concert master

of the Concert Players

Orchestra. “We are

delighted to have him

joining us,” says Holler.


Those looking for a lighthearted

evening of seasonal music are in for

a treat when Ensemble Vivant’s holiday tour

makes a stop in London, December 18 at

Dundas Centre United Church.

The December tour takes

the acclaimed chamber

group to ten communities

right across the province,

including Orillia, Guelph,

Brantford, Kingston,

Mississauga, and Ottawa.

A local youth choir from

each community will

join the program for each

performance. In London,

that honour goes to the

Junior Amabile Singers.

The program includes

original renditions of

traditional Christmas carols and selections

from Ensemble Vivant’s popular recording,

Christmas Tidings. www.ensemblevivant.com

London Community

Orchestra welcomes

December with

their own annual

tradition, the ‘Young

Soloists Concert’.

Held December 11

at Dundas Street

Centre United

Church, the

showcase of local

young talent is

always a highlyanticipated


says LCO manager,

Kristin Hoffmann.


№ 62 | November/December 2016

This year’s concert features three soloists:

Joshua Lee performing Saint-Saëns Violin

Concerto no. 3, Matthew Zhou performing

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Piano Concerto in

C-sharp, and Patrick Smithers performing

Arutiunian’s Concerto for Trumpet and


Performing with a full orchestra, rather

than just piano accompaniment, allows the

young musicians to become more intimately

acquainted with the music, explains

Hoffmann. “They can experience how the

soloist’s part fits with all the other parts of

the orchestra,” she says. “It allows them to

fine-tune their performance skills, and, for

students considering careers as musicians,

it can give them a sense of what that could

involve, and some helpful experience.”


NICOLE LAIDLER is a former classical musician who has

been writing about London’s cultural scene for more than a

decade. To see what else she’s been up to visit www.spilledink.ca

Develop skills & a love for music


Experienced Piano/Theory Teacher

now accepting new students

Individual Instruction for All Ages

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North London

bhickey57@hotmail.com 519-432-4022

Ensemble Vivant


“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Performing some of the world’s most beloved seasonal music, Ensemble Vivant, with

special guests the Junior Amabile Singers, will present a concert in celebration of love,

caring, and sharing with family and friends at this most wonderful time of the year.

“No matter the genre, there is magic

in Ensemble Vivant’s music making.”

Rick Wilkins, O.C.

Special Guests: Junior Amabile Singers

directed by Wendy Landon & Jackie Norman

p hoto by Denise Gr an t

Sun. December 18, 2:00 pm

Dundas Street United Church

482 Dundas Street, London

Box Office: Grand Theatre, 471 Richmond St. / 519-672-8800


58 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

various musical notes

Award-Winning Musicians

at a Venue near You


The Fab Four have been undergoing

a mini-revival here in London.

September saw the first downtown

Beatles Festival, and it was a big hit.

If you missed it — shame on you — Aeolian

Hall Performing Arts Centre is offering a

second chance at two of the acts that rocked

the festival.

Beatlemania Revisited will be in on

Saturday, November 19, with its “note-fornote”

renditions of Beatles classics and

vintage costumes and instruments. Then

on December 10, The McCartney Years,

another top tribute band, with front man

(and local musician) Yuri Pool, plays

“Lennon and McCartney,” a show featuring

the later solo hits.

Moptoppery not your thing? The Aeolian

has a terrific line-up of other music too,

including some big names in Canadian

jazz, an intriguing world music event, and

perennial favourites Great Lake Swimmers.

On Friday, November 18, Toronto-based

Jazz flautist and saxophonist Jane Bunnet,

famous for her collaborations with Afro-

Cuban jazz veterans, is here with Maqueque,

an all-woman ensemble of young Cuban

stars. Bunnet, a multiple Juno winner,

Grammy nominee and Officer of the Order

of Canada, has released over a dozen albums

since the 1980s, including this year’s Oddara

with Maqueque.

Jane Bunnet

Alex Pangman

Then on Sunday, November 27, it’s a

completely different style of jazz, as Juno

nominee Alex Pangman and Her Alleycats

take the stage for a Christmas Extravaganza.

Pangman’s sweet spot is classic, danceable

jazz of the 1920s through 1950s — authentic

but with a swagger and drive that make it

sound nothing like your great-grandma’s old

78 rpm records. And that voice! Sassy.

Speaking of jazz, local fans should know

there is great free and almost-free jazz to

be had in London. The long-running Jazz

for the People series (free) is back at the

Wolf Performance Hall (Central Library

downtown). Two concerts of note coming

up: local multi-instrumentalist and arranger

Peter Hysen (bass, trombone, tuba) brings

his Septet on Wednesday, November 23.

On Wednesday, December 14, it’s Sandy

MacKay’s Holiday Special, featuring the

drummer, bandleader and JFTP mainstay.

(Come early for the best seats.)

The London Jazz Society also runs a

series of bargain-priced Sunday afternoon

concerts at the Mocha Shrine Centre on

Colborne St. London sax man Chris Murphy

is there with his band on November 6, and

then it’s the Mark Henning Jazz Quartet on

December 4, featuring guitarist/vocalist

Henning and pianist Don Di Carlo.

Back to the Aeolian. Flamenco, the soulful

music of southern Spain’s Roma people, is

a genre not well understood or appreciated

№ 62 | November/December 2016

on this side of the Atlantic. The Jorge Miguel

Flamenco Ensemble, coming to the Hall

Saturday, November 12, could change that.

Miguel, a Spanish-Canadian trained in

Spain, put his ensemble together for just

that purpose. The show includes his virtuoso

guitar, as well as dance and song, the three

pillars of the flamenco form. Expect an

intense, exciting performance.

Great Lake Swimmers bring their

decidedly more laid-back folk-rock sounds

to Aeolian Hall on Friday, December 2. Tony

Dekker and his Toronto-based band are

currently touring their fifth studio album,

Forest of Arms, released earlier this year.

It’s a typically melodic, mostly acoustic set.

You’ll leave humming.

Fred Eaglesmith




Saturday, November 12



Tuesday, December 6

World Music

& Jazz Series

2016 - 17

Series Sponsor



Friday, November 18


Wednesday, December 7

London Music Hall, 185 Queens Ave



(at London Music Hall, 185 Queens Avenue)

All Concerts ~ Doors at 7:00 pm ~ Concert at 8:00 pm

Unless otherwise indicated, all concerts are at Aeolian

Hall , 795 Dundas St ., London

Tickets available at Aeolian Box Office (519-672-7950), Centennial Hall Box Office (519-672-1967),

The Village Idiot (Wortley Village), and online at sunfest.on.ca, aeolianhall.ca, or ticketscene.ca

Legendary singer-songwriter Fred

Eaglesmith, probably the hardest-working

musician in the country — his Traveling

Steam Show tours constantly — plays two

dates in the area this fall. On November 10

he’s at the London Music Club. If you miss

him there, he’s at Revival Hall (the old Church

Restaurant) in Stratford on November 18.

London Music Hall (note: Hall, not Club)

has some great acts coming this fall. Steve

Earle & the Dukes, grizzled veterans of

the roots music scene, are in on Thursday

November 17. Anyone who watched the great

but under-appreciated HBO series Treme,

about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in

the Big Easy, will remember Earle’s regular

turn as street musician Harley Watt.

Basia Bulat, whose fourth album Good

Advice came out earlier this year and was

shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, brings

her melodic alt-pop sounds to LMH on

Friday November 25. In a similar vein, the

good young folk-pop outfit Half Moon Run

is in on Monday, December 5. On Friday,

December 9, it’s hard-rockers the Trews,

from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The Trews are

also playing Sarnia’s Station Music Hall on

December 2.

Simple Plan, the Quebec-based punk-pop

outfit, is at the Bud on Thursday, November

17. They’re touring their latest album, Taking

One for the Team. (It features a very cool

cover shot.)

Best for last? The legendary, the venerable

Gordon Lightfoot is at the Capitol Theatre in

Chatham on Wednesday, November 16. How

come we didn’t get him in London? Never

mind, Chatham is only an hour or so down

the 401: worth the drive. If you can still get


Basia Bulat

GERRY BLACKWELL is a London-based freelance writer.

60 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016


The Magic of Holiday Theatre


There’s something magical about

theatre at Christmas. It gives

busy families a chance to slow

down and enjoy an outing that

doesn’t involve the usual busy activities of

the season. And Christmas theatre shows

usually come with a bit of pixie dust, song

and dance, and merriment: the perfect

ingredients for an escape during the rush of

the holidays.

The season kicks off at Budweiser Gardens

in downtown London on November 9th with

Elf The Broadway Musical (for one evening

only) as part of the Broadway series. This

is a live version of the 2003 hit film, Elf. It

is the charming story of an orphan, Buddy, To catch this classic show, follow the

who ends up at the North Pole helping yellow brick road down to The Grand from

make Christmas happen. The production November 22nd to December 31st. Book

will feature direction

early because a

by Sam Scalamoni

Christmas trip to

and choreography by

The Grand is a longstanding


Connor Gallagher.

The Grand Theatre

for many people

in London is the go-to

from across the

place for a special


holiday show. This

In Port Stanley,

year, reminding us

country music fans

that “there’s no place

will want to catch

like home”, The Grand

Johnny Cash a

presents The Wizard

Country Christmas

of Oz by L. Frank

at the Port Stanley

Baum with music and

Festival Theatre, with

lyrics by Harold Arlen

Jim Yorfido as the man in black two performances

and E. Y. Harburg.

on November 26th.

“Dorothy and her

Billed as “interactive

friends take us on a journey along the yellow theatre” it stars Johnny Cash impersonator

brick road as never experienced before!” Jim Yorfido and the Memphis Cats band.

Walk the line over to Port Stanley for some

foot stompin’ fun! C

For theatrical entertainment of a different

type, sports enthusiasts and ballet lovers can

team up and attend Christmas Extravaganza

on Ice on December 10th at Budweiser

Gardens. This combination of world-class

figure skating, presented by the Russian

company Igor Bobrin Theatre, is billed as a

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 61

combination of ice dancing, free skate and

ballet. It features gold medalists Natalia

Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin, from the

Calgary Olympics. “The production begins

with one-act ballet,

Cinderella, followed

by solo numbers in

the second half of the


Cinderella in

another form is on

stage in St. Jacobs

at the Playhouse

November 15th to

December 24th.

Cinderella the Panto

is a family-friendly

musical, “a clever and

contemporary makeover in this glittering

stage production”.

The Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia

is presenting several holiday-themed shows

over the season: Elvis: A Christmas Special

on November 24th; Nightingale Chorus, the

Spirit of Christmas December 7th to 10th;

and Rock n Roll Christmas presented by local

musicians December 16th and 17th. Located

near the fabulous Lola’s Lounge, any one of

these would make a fun date-night dinner

and show combination.

But not all on the

stages in November

and December is

jingle bells and good

cheer. Those looking

for other options

might consider

checking out The

Arts Project in

downtown London.

The winter season

kicks off with Q1

Hamlet, presented

by Theatre Studies

and the Department of English and Writing

Studies at Western University.

Billed as “Shakespeare’s Hamlet as you’ve

never seen it before” Q1 is the First Quarto

of The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, from

the earliest printed version of Shakespeare’s

most famous tragedy. The production

features live original music and includes a

BY L. Frank Baum


Harold Arlen & E. Y. Harburg


Herbert Stothart

Season Sponsor

Title Sponsor

TICKETS 519.672.8800


62 www.eatdrink.ca

bonus short Tudor Interlude, John Rastell’s

“Four Elements.” Q1 runs from November

9th to 12th.

The London Community Players and the

Palace Theatre in Old East Village present

two internationally-themed productions in

November. Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me

by Frank McGuiness is situated in Beirut.

The story is told by three men being held

captive by terrorists. “Each comes to know

himself through listening to the stories,

sorrows and joys of the others.” It runs

November 6th to 12th and 16th to 19th, with a

matinee on November 13th.

№ 62 | November/December 2016

Q1 Hamlet, at The Arts Project in London

The Palace then takes us to Russia for the

love story of Anton Chekhov and his wife.

I Take Your Hand In Mine is based on love

letters between the two. It runs November

20th to 26th at 8 pm and there is a matinee at

2 pm on November 27th.

JANE ANTONIAK is a regular contributor to eatdrink

magazine. She is also Manager, Communications & Media

Relations, at King’s University College in London.

Elvis: A Christmas Special at Sarnia’s Imperial Theatre




FEB 7-11 20





Jonathan Christenson

TICKETS 519.672.8800


№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 63


Chicken in the Mango Tree

Food and Life in a Thai-Khmer Village

by Jeffrey Alford

Review by DARIN COOK

Many people travel to eat exotic

food directly from the source.

Those who are even more

adventurous stay for extended

periods to not only enjoy the food, but also

to learn to prepare it and to understand how

it defines culture. Food writer Jeffrey Alford

is one of those adventurous eaters. Chicken

in the Mango Tree (Douglas & McIntyre,

2015, $26.95) provides a glimpse into an

agricultural year in the Thai village of Kravan

that he has called home for over four years.

Kravan is near the Thailand-Cambodia

border, and Alford describes the food as

being in a culinary niche that is uniquely

Khmer, a derivative of Thai cuisine that

strays from the characteristic pad Thai of

Bangkok noodle shops.

Alford himself is a North American

hybrid — born in Wyoming, with childhood

memories of the United States, and living a

good portion of his adult life in Toronto. He

has co-authored a number of well-known

cookbooks, including Hot Sour Salty Sweet

and Flatbreads and Flavors, which have both

won the James Beard Award for Cookbook

of the Year. This year he has his sights on

Pea’s family preparing food in the outdoor kitchen



Chicken in

the Mango

Tree is on

the 2016

shortlist for

Taste Canada’s Culinary

Narrative award. Going beyond a

traditional cookbook, Alford beautifully

blends a memoir-like narrative to bring

Author Jeffrey Alford

cultural context to 30 Khmer-Thai recipes

that he has gleaned from observing his

partner, Pea, who is a skilled farmer, forager,

gardener, and home cook.

About Pea, he surmises “that 90 percent

of the time, she’s either thinking about the

farm, the back garden, cooking or eating.” In

the village, food is not something that can be

picked up at a drive-thru window and eaten

on the fly. The approach to food in their

household is integral to the entire structure

of one’s day — collecting ingredients, planting

and harvesting rice, communal eating.

Alford often wakes up to the sound of Pea

grinding sauces and pastes with the mortar

and pestle for the day’s meals. Even with

years of experience researching his own

64 www.eatdrink.ca

cookbooks, he believes that his cooking does

not compare to Pea’s. Scaling and filleting

fresh fish from the backyard pond for Grilled

Salted Tilapia does not come as naturally to

him as it does to Pea, who has spent a lifetime

preparing food in Thailand. One dish

Alford does contribute to the village is popcorn.

It is something the locals have never

seen before and they quickly learn to add

Sriracha sauce to make it even better.

Few people in the Western world fully

appreciate the “free food” that Alford

experiences at every meal. Obtaining free

food requires the agility to catch fish in

streams and grasshoppers in fields with

your bare hands, which Pea does with great

proficiency. The variety of foods available in

modern supermarkets pales in comparison

to the variety that foraging offers, not only

with plants, leaves, flowers, and vegetables

from their neighbourhood, but also with

a range of critters from frogs and shrimp

to crickets and scorpions. Their diet is

vegetable heavy; platters called pak are filled

with whatever vegetation is in season, on

the farm or in the wild, to become the core

of most meals. The recipes Alford offers

include simple instructions and short lists

of ingredients; even though he includes

the regional items to make the dishes

authentically flavourful, he does provide

substitutions for more accessible ingredients

from North American market

Ingredients that have no substitute are

the crickets and grasshoppers used as a

main source of protein in the Khmer diet.

Alford proposes that Canadians could

possibly purchase crickets from farms,

similar to that of a friend of his in Grey

County, Ontario where they are raised as

№ 62 | November/December 2016

Fresh eggplants and herbs

live snacks for exotic pets. The topic of using

insects as a food source is piquing some

interest in North America and Alford writes,

“the problem is not getting people to like

eating crickets; it’s a problem of getting the

approval of government food inspectors.” He

also likes a salad made with the eggs of red

ants, which he equates to Thai caviar. In his

mind, this dish is the ultimate payback. The

ants are known for biting humans without

any harmful effects, except for annoyance,

and Alford eats the ant eggs with vengeful

thoughts, knowing the adult ants have been

responsible for ravaging his body with bites

over the years.

The photos in this book provide further

reason that Alford’s work is award-worthy.

Baskets of food sold in open-air markets;

Pea’s family harvesting in the rice fields;

cooking over an open fire in the outdoor

kitchen — all images that paint the backdrop

to village life. The photos also beautifully

illustrate the food that is found in this part

of the world, which Alford has discovered

is hard to break away from. He may not

be coming home any time soon, but with

this book he has found a way to share the

flavours and stories of Kravan.

The Taste Canada Awards are in the 19th year

of honouring Canadian culinary writing.

The Gold and Silver winners in all categories,

including Culinary Narratives (that Jeffrey

Alford is nomiated for), will be announced at

an awards gala on November 14th.

DARIN COOK is a freelance writer based out of Chatham.

He keeps himself well-read and well-fed by visiting the

bookstores and restaurants of London.

Food vendors in an open-air market

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 65


The Baker In Me

By Daphna Rabinovitch

Review and Recipe Selections by TRACY TURLIN

As our family has grown older we’ve

begun to pick and choose which

Christmas traditions we keep

and which we let go. I still love

the holiday but am likely to skip “decking

the halls with boughs of holly” in favour of

a glass of wine and a movie marathon with

my husband, dog and cat all curled up on

the couch. But one activity we’ve never given

up is the baking. My mom and I continue to

share new recipes, recreate old favorites and

indulge in our perverse love of fruitcake at

Christmas. My favourite part of the holidays

has always been the anticipation and

preparation. December may be the month of

parties but November is the month of baking.

This year we were delighted to be able to

use a few recipes from The Baker In Me by

Daphna Rabinovitch. Most familiar to us as

director of the Canadian Living test kitchen

and co-host of “Canadian Living Cooks” for

many years, Rabinovitch is now a culinary

consultant based in Toronto. She describes

herself as a trained pastry chef with the

heart of a home baker and this is apparent

in her cookbook. She impresses upon us the

importance of the science behind baking

while maintaining the warmth of a favourite

aunt lovingly passing down secret family

recipes. Anyone who can write three pages

on the joy of baking brownies is someone I’d

want to have coffee with.

When I bake goodies I

tend to stick with my tried

and true recipes but at

Christmas all bets are off.

No recipe is too involved or

has too many ingredients.

It’s only in a fit of holiday

enthusiasm that I would

attempt making a seven

layer anything, but Rabinovitch’s

Seven-Layer Bars

with Marshmallows and

Dried Cranberries are as

easy to

make as

they are


It’s an



but the contrast of sweet/tangy

and chewy/gooey is sublime.

My family members are all aware

of my long-time obsession with the

perfect shortbread cookie, so none will be

surprised to see Hazelnut Shortbread Batons

on offer this year. What they won’t know is

how much it pains me to add baking powder

to the recipe. But I trusted Daphna and she

was right, of course. It adds that extra bit of

lift needed to accommodate the chopped

hazelnuts in the dough. The additional dip in

chocolate and hazelnuts turned these from

family treats to gift ideas in a moment.

Each year I like to try making something

different from my regular round of recipes.

No one will ever forget the year I tried to

revolutionize hot chocolate by adding

homemade Irish Cream marshmallows.

This year I made the author’s My Favourite

Rugelach recipe — because it’s fun to say and

because they are often served at Hanukkah.

These are messy and amazing and seem

exotically different from

the usual drop cookies.

They are also addictive

and endlessly variable.

You will find yourself

searching through

your baking cupboard

trying to invent new

filling combinations.

I recommend making

several batches of dough

and inviting as many

Author Daphna Rabinovitch

66 www.eatdrink.ca

friends as will comfortably fit in your kitchen

to fill, bake and eat these wonderful treats.

The Baker in Me is a fantastic book for

the Christmas season but it’s a valuable

addition to the bookshelf of any baker at any

time of year. I figure that by the time I get

through the bars, cookies, cakes and breads

№ 62 | November/December 2016

this winter, it will be just about time to start

thinking about fruit tarts. Now that is a gift

that keeps on giving.

TRACY TURLIN is a freelance writer and dog groomer in

London. Reach her at tracyturlin@gmail.com

Recipes and photos excerpted from The Baker in Me, by Daphna Rabinovitch. Reprinted with permission of Whitecap Books, 2016

My Favourite Rugelach

Makes 4 dozen rugelach

What I’d really like to know is why I didn’t grow up with rugelach. Perhaps my mom

thought that what was available wasn’t good enough to serve or maybe there just

weren’t any around. I’ll never really know. In any case, once I did discover rugelach and

how easy they were to make, I just kept on making them.

Rugelach dough is extremely simple to make. While some rugelach doughs are yeast

based, I have chosen to go with the simpler non-yeasted version. This is the one I

make at home all the time.

Some rugelach doughs

contain an egg or even

include some sour cream

for extra richness. I’ve

added a little sweetener

and some lemon zest for

flavour. The zest tickles

the tang inherent in the

cream cheese, bringing it

to the forefront. It’s better

to use the brick-style

cream cheese for making

rugelach and to make sure

it’s at room temperature. If

it’s too cold, it simply won’t

combine well with the


There are no rules or hard

and fast formulas when it

comes to the filling. The

jam or spread is meant to

act as a glue for the nuts

or chips, so you’re free

to choose whatever you

want. Same goes for the

combination of nuts and

other goodies. The two

necessary ingredients are

some sugar and cinnamon

to fully qualify for rugelach


You may find that as you

roll each triangle into

a crescent, some of the

inclusions fall out. There’s

no need to panic. Simply

tuck them into the folds

№ 62 | November/December 2016

in the pastry. This is one place where you definitely

want to use parchment, otherwise jam can ooze

out of the dough, making the crescents stick to the

pan. Just remember to transfer the rugelach to a

separate wire rack while they’re still warm, or else

they will stick to the parchment.

1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, softened (8

oz/250 g)

8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, softened

3 Tbsp (45 mL) icing sugar

2 tsp (10 mL) finely grated lemon zest

2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature

3 Tbsp (45 mL) coarse sugar (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle

attachment, or using a hand-held mixer, beat the

butter with the cream cheese for 3 minutes or until

light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar; beat for another 2

minutes. Beat in the lemon zest.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour and salt

and mix just until combined and a dough is formed.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface

and knead very lightly into a ball. Cut the ball

into quarters; shape each quarter into a ball and

flatten into discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap;

refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days.

Let the dough stand at room temperature for 20

minutes before rolling.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 cookie

sheets with parchment paper; set aside.


In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients of your

chosen filling, except for the jam or peanut butter.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the discs

to a 10-inch (25 cm) or 11-inch (28 cm) circle. Spread

3 Tbsp (45 mL) jam or peanut butter evenly over

the surface. Sprinkle with one-quarter of the filling.

Cut the dough into 12 pie-shaped wedges. Starting

from the wide end, roll up each wedge to form a

crescent shape. Transfer to the prepared cookie

sheets, spacing each rugelach about 2 inches (5 cm)

apart. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Brush egg over 1 tray of rugelach. Sprinkle with

coarse sugar, if desired. One sheet at a time, bake

in the centre of the preheated oven until golden

brown, 20–25 minutes. Cool the cookie sheet on

a wire rack for a while. Transfer the cookies to the

wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat with remaining trays of rugelach, cooling

the pans slightly before adding unbaked crescents

to them. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight

container at room temperature for up to 5 days.)

Alternate Fillings from Daphna Rabinovitch

— ONLINE at eatdrink.ca


Local Meats & Produce • Fresh Baked Goods

Delicatessen • Lunch Buffet • Catering

Nostalgic Candy • Gift Baskets

Fashion • Giftware • Home Décor


1010 Gainsborough Road, London

519-472-8126 www.ungers.ca

68 www.eatdrink.ca

Hazelnut Shortbread Batons

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

№ 62 | November/December 2016

I will never tire of the magical combination of hazelnuts and chocolate. They work so hard to

bring out the best in each other. The addition of baking powder to the shortbread (heavens!

Is that what you might call blasphemy!?!) lightens the dough for an exceptional texture.

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour

½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped toasted hazelnuts

½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder

¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened (4 oz/125 g)

½ cup (125 mL) granulated or superfine sugar

½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla


6 oz (175 g) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped toasted hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, hazelnuts, baking powder and salt in a bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a hand-held

mixer, beat the butter for 1 minute. Beat in the sugar for 2 minutes. Scrape down the

dough. Beat in the vanilla. Remove the bowl from the stand.

Using a wooden spoon, stir half of

the flour into the butter mixture.

Stir in the remaining flour just

until incorporated.

Using tablespoonfuls, roll the

dough into 3-inch (8 cm) logs on

your work surface. Spacing the

cookies about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart,

transfer them to the prepared

cookie sheets.

One sheet at a time, bake in the

centre of the preheated oven until

the cookies start to turn golden

around the edges, about 20

minutes. Cool the cookie sheet on

a wire rack for 2 minutes. Transfer

the cookies to the wire rack to

cool completely. Repeat with the

remaining cookie dough, cooling,

the pans slightly before adding

unbaked cookie dough to them.


Melt the chocolate in the top of

a double boiler set over hot, not

boiling water. Cool slightly. Dip

one end of each cookie into the

melted chocolate, lightly shaking

off any excess. Dip the chocolate

end into the chopped hazelnuts

until coated. Transfer to a wire rack

until the chocolate is set. (Cookies

can be stored in an airtight

container at room temperature for

up to 3 days.)

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 69

Seven-Layer Bars with Marshmallows and Dried Cranberries

Makes about 2½ dozen bars

These bars have been around

forever, and are sometimes

called magic bars, Hello Dolly

bars or seven-layer bars. This

particular variation sports

marshmallows—which melt

into a gooey, sticky crater—as

well as tart dried cranberries

and coconut. It’s an

extravaganza in your mouth.

What is even more

impressive is that they’re

incredibly quick to assemble

and bake. These are the reason

I always have sweetened

condensed milk in my pantry.

2½ cups (625 mL) graham

wafer crumbs

¾ cup (180 mL) unsalted

butter, melted (6 oz/175


1 can (300 mL) sweetened

condensed milk

1 cup (250 mL) mini


1 cup (250 mL) coarsely

chopped pecans

1 cup (250 mL) dried


¾ cup (180 mL) semisweet

chocolate chips

¾ cup (180 mL) shredded

sweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease

the sides and bottom of a 13- × 9-inch (33 × 23 cm)

metal cake pan. Line with parchment paper so that

’S 2015

the bottom is covered and there is a 2-inch (5 cm)


overhang on the 2 long sides.

Place the graham cracker crumbs into a bowl. Pour

the melted butter over the crumbs, stirring with a

fork until thoroughly combined. Pat the moistened

crumbs into an even layer on the bottom of the

prepared cake pan.





Culinary Guide


Pick up your copy or read it online at eatdrink.ca

Drizzle one-third of the sweetened condensed

milk over the base. Then sprinkle with the

marshmallows, pecans, cranberries, chocolate chips

and coconut, in that order. Drizzle the remainder of

the sweetened condensed milk over top.

Bake in the centre of the preheated oven until

lightly browned, about 25–30 minutes. Let the bars

cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.

Cut into bars (or cut what you need, cover the pan

with plastic wrap and store at room temperature

for up to 5 days).







Culinary Guide Volume 5

Restaurants • Culinary Retail • Farmers, Markets


eatdrink The LOCAL Food & Drink Magazine



70 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

the lighter side

Wrapping Up the Holidays



don’t think anyone would call me a

grinch for observing that a great deal

of the true holiday spirit has been

hijacked. It’s becoming increasingly

difficult not to feel resentful, when trudging

zombie-like through the malls (especially

right after work), after battling through a

parking lot full of angry drivers and then,

finally inside, overheated, overwhelmed

and over-sprayed by the perfume sampler,

discovering the stores to be full of the Same.

Stuff. Everywhere. “Bits of old tat,” my

mother might intone darkly. And certainly

not suitable for the people we love.

And yet, in desperation, we

sometimes buy anyway, quietly

shunning the thought that perhaps

a slim box of wafer-thin chocolates

might have been a better office gift

after all, rather than that red-nosed

reindeer that defecates candy.

These are the kind of mistakes

that one can make strung out on too

much coffee and not enough food.

Speaking of food, I am often reminded

during the holiday season of that wonderful

actor/philanthropist Paul Newman, whose

revered salad dressings were, in part, a

reaction to this very issue. One of Newman’s

passions was cooking, and he took to giving

homemade treats as presents, decanting

his salad dressings into wine bottles with

a humble label attached, to the absolute

delight of every recipient. We all know the

rest of the story, since the products eventually

went commercial and 100% of the after-tax

profit from those salad dressings still goes to

charity. Now this is in the spirit of the season!

That said, I am not suggesting that those

Angry Shoppers in the first paragraph go

home and start creating garlicky emulsions

of their own, when there is already barely

enough time to turn around. But the gift

of food — in any form — can be one of the

presents that people often appreciate most.

Newly away-from-home students love

electronics and gift certificates, but a pallet

of KD, Red-Bull or instant oatmeal will also

be well-received, and enjoyed in the long

(and possibly impoverished) dark days of

winter ahead. I have given “pie vouchers” to

my sons for a few Christmases now. They are

laminated pie-shaped cards drawn badly by

myself, which can be cashed in for tourtière,

fruit or chicken curry pies. (Some conditions

may apply…) The promise, or indeed, the

mention of pie has never produced the kind

of stilted, polite “Well! Thank-you-verymuch!”

reaction that foretells a return trip

to the dreaded mall in order to get the right


With only a little forethought,

unique jams made in season (by

you, or someone else!) can be put

into a small basket bursting with

the remembrance of warmer days,

and ready to be spread on expensive

crackers or paired with artisanal

cheeses tucked alongside. Merchants

abound to help with splendid olive oils,

homemade tomato sauces, bags of gourmet

rice, local anything, all readily available.

And what new parent (or heck, any

parent!) would not appreciate a gift card for

a spot that offers ready-made meals — or

a restaurant voucher with free babysitting

thrown in?

Of course, if you have the time or inclination,

absolutely why not make something

yourself; tea loaves come together in minutes,

and there are many fruit cake recipes (the kind

that young people actually like). Make three or

four at a time. Use organic everything you can,

and say so on the label.

Food is all about love, after all. You can

never get the wrong colour. And it always


SUE SUTHERLAND-WOOD is a freelance writer and

regular contributor to eatdrink. Read more of Sue’s work on her

blog www.speranzanow.com

№ 62 | November/December 2016 www.eatdrink.ca 71

72 www.eatdrink.ca

№ 62 | November/December 2016

Grab your skates and head downtown

to the Covent Garden Market

Rotary Rink

Skating rink is open everyday

(skating only)

Monday to Friday:

11am — 7pm

Saturday: 10am — 7pm

Sunday: 11am — 6pm

Weather permitting



Market Hours

Monday to Thursday: 8am — 6pm

Friday: 8am — 7:30pm

Saturday: 8am — 6pm

Sunday: 11am — 4pm

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