In under a decade Toronto’s dining scene has blossomed into an internationally richdestination of food and drink. We’ve always known that we’re one of the most multicultural cities in the world, in the last few years we’ve proudly flaunted this strength with a wave of micro-regionalization restaurants and food shops. From street food to haute dining our diversity is peppered on each plate, and the scenery changes from street to street.
We sit down with three chefs at the center of this city’s culinary renaissance and ask them about what they love about Toronto’s dining scene.
Source: See Toronto Now
A native of the port city of Bari in Italy’s Puglia region, Massimo Bruno knew he wanted to be a chef at the age of seven. “I was working at a restaurant making pizzas. I was only earning about $20 a week, but I must have eaten hundreds of dollars in pizza to make up for it,” Bruno says. After moving to Toronto in 2001, he took over the kitchen at his aunt’s restaurant, Seven Numbers, and then opened the Massimo Bruno Supper Club.
Bruno hosts nearly 100 dinners at his King East studio every year, each month focusing on a specific region of Italy. In most cases he serves up to 24 guests all by himself, making fresh pasta while entertaining at the same time. Although Bruno lives in Toronto, he knows Italian-rich Woodbridge like the back of his hand.
Source: Toronto Life
The adage that Toronto’s best Chinese food is uptown and not downtown is never more true than along Highway 7 in Richmond Hill.
The thoroughfare has seen a rapid growth of restaurants and new waves of cuisine that reflect the area’s increasingly diverse and growing population. Diners are seeking out their version of “authentic” and are willing to spend money on it, from $6 bowls of noodle soups to banquet-style set dinners that can cost upwards of $1,500. While all corners of Asia are represented in the dozens of tightly packed strip malls that line the highway, regional Chinese food is a standout attraction.
Souce: The Globe and Mail.
A cocktail bar on Queen West seems like an unlikely spot for a pop-up that focuses on regional Peruvian cuisine. “There are Peruvian restaurants in Toronto but no one is focusing on specific parts of Peru,” Elias Salazar says while hovered over a plate of raw fish. His most popular dish is from his hometown of Callao, a ceviche of sea bass served in a bath of citrus chili marinade (leche de tigre) with varieties of Peruvian corn and deep-fried shrimp. “This is street-style from a specific beach town in the country, ” says Mr. Salazar, who recently launched his three-month pop-up at Rush Lane bar.
A few doors down, Noureen Feerasta’s menu at Rickshaw seems broad at first, spanning two continents from East Africa to South Asia. But Feerasta draws influence from both sides of her family with dishes that can be traced back to key places. The makai curry on her menu, made from corn, chickpeas and red chili, is inspired by the shores of East Africa. “The Kenyan version is richer with cashew paste, compared to the Dar es Salaam version which has a tomato flavour.” Her interpretation of khao shay which includes strings of deep-fried parathas, was inspired by the cooking found in the mountainous Shan state of Burma.
Source: Globe and Mail.
The current generation of eaters is more willing than ever to venture outside the norm and experience new foods. And Anthony Bourdain – world renowned chef, culinary punk and chronicler – has had a massive influence on that. So when he releases a new cookbook, we're paying attention. Appetites, which he co-wrote with Laurie Woolever, is a multi-faceted project inspired by decades of exploring the world and the humbling experience of being a new father.
We spoke with him about how his travels have shaped the way he eats and how people are more amenable to international cuisine.
Source: Foodism Toronto.
Acclaimed Ontario chef Jonathan Gushue (Langdon Hall) has a new restaurant. I was at The Berlin in Kitchener recently, and had a very pleasant experience. The food is good and the restaurant is off to a great start, packed every night. Definitely worth a trip out (table by the kitchen) to Kitchener.
Source: Toronto Life. January 18th 2016.
Former Market 707 vendor and regular farmer's market popup Bombay Street Food has found a space on Bay Street for their first restaurant.
Sisters-in-law Amreen and Seema Omar have spent nearly two years on the popup circuit bringing the flavours of Indian street food to various farmers' markets and events in Toronto. They've hosted a popup dinner at The Depanneur, have regularly set up at the East York Farmer's Market, and were recently a vendor at the inaugural Toronto Food and Wine Show. With the popups Amreen and Seema have served a variety of traditional-style street foods, inspired by their upbringing and travels through India.
Scarborough's noodle house Magic Noodle opened their third location on Harbord Street two weeks ago.
"We've seen a large number of students that have asked us to open a location downtown, so here we are," said co-owner Haga Gu. Toronto may be swarmed with ramen shops that specialize in varieties of Japanese noodles, but there are very few places that specialize in regional Chinese varieties like Magic Noodle does.
Chef Matt Blondin first introduced the city to “lowcountry” food at the renowned restaurant Acadia. Part Cajun, part Canadian, chef spun his own modern versions of French-Acadian cooking, focusing on the migration of French colonists and the evolution of cuisine as it traversed from Quebec to the southern U.S.A.
Dishes like the Cajun shrimp and grits inspired a glut of Blondin followers — both diners and critics alike.
Since opening its doors nearly a year ago, the Aga Khan Museum has been a cultural hit. It’s brought 100,000-plus visitors to its Don Mills location for events and exhibitions. The facility itself, designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Fumihiko Maki, is breathtaking, from the landscaped green space that surrounds the property to the reflective pools.
Diwan, the restaurant in the museum, has been less successful, and has undergone a number of transformations in its infancy. Since September, Diwan has been quietly helmed by Mark McEwan, the chef whose culinary empire includes North 44, One, ByMark, Fabbrica, a sprawling catering division and two grocery outlets. The museum hopes he will bring stability and consistent quality to its marquee dining room.