Our next Epicure: Thursday, Nov. 22

September's Mexican-themed event offered great menu

by Staff

Like Water for Chocolate

Don't miss our next Epicure's Revue, coming in November. We'll be screening Tampopo, an off-the-wall noodle Western in which the quest is finding the perfect ramen.

Our September Epicure, featuring Mexican cuisine and the film Like Water for Chocolate was hosted by Joshna Maharaj, guest chef on the Steven and Chris show on CBC TV. One lucky ticket holder went home with a door prize from the good folks at T-fal: An E-Z Clean Deep Fryer (value $110). And everyone got to enjoy some terrific food. Here was our menu, and please support the generous restaurants who make our food and film nights so tasty:

Balluchon Raymond (221 Sorauren Ave.) Spicy, Juicy Duck and beans on Tostada with Pickled Onions. Duck was from Michael Schmidt’s biodynamic farm.

Barque Smokehouse:(299 Roncesvalles, 416-532-7700, barque.ca) Smoked Chorizo Sausage Tostadas with Salsa Verde.

The Chocolateria: (361, Roncesvalles, 416-588-0567, www.thechocolateria.ca) Spicy Mexican Chocolate Taster Bars, which were delicious. Tim English says the spices includeChipotle, cumin, cinnamon, chili, and more. Ask for it.

Blue Plate: (392 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-538-7500, www.blueplatetoronto.com) Home-made tortillas with guacamole.

Mildred's Temple Kitchen(85 Hanna Ave., 416-588-5695, mildredtemplekitchen.com) Empanadas. The dough-wrapped treats were vegetarian with a bean filling. They were served with avocado and sour cream.

Aphrodite Cooks: (201 Weston Rd. , 416-792-3212  www.aphroditecooks.com) A trio of Mexican Dips – Guacamole, Pico de Gallo and Black Bean with Tortilla Chips. Check out owner Vanessa Yeung's cooking courses.

Motadit Catering (416-795-2145, motadit.catering@gmail.com) Tortitas de Papa with Beer Baked Beans and Spicy Salsa Roja. Mo Paquette was at work putting assembling her treats fresh.

Pizzeria Defina: (321 Roncesvalles, 416-534-4414, pizzeriadefina.com) Pizzas on a Mexican theme: Pico de Gallo, Red Hot Chili Pepper, Nutella with Banana sautéed in Dark Rum. This popular pizzeria always has appropriate pizzas for each Epciure theme. 

Soup 'N Such Cafe: (2285 Dundas St. W. , south of Bloor. 416-916-4131, www.soupnsuch.net) Tex Mex Corn Chowder, with corn, tomatoes, lentils, black beans, onions, garlic, sour cream and chili spice seasoning. Jeanette Bayley from this small café on Dundas opposite Loblaws always brings generous portions of her delicious soups. 

Lardon (390 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-516-8112, www.lardonrestaurant.com) Spicy and sweet smashed fried Plantain. 

Drinks: 

We had a selection of Mexican-themed beverages on sale for $5 each. 

Margaritas: Mixed by The Westerly

Wine: L.A. Cetto Petite Sirah 2010 (983742) from Baja California, Mexico contributed  by J. Cipelli Wines & Spirits IncTasting Note: Extremely deep intense purple colour. Shy, slightly spicy, dried plum nose. Dry, medium to medium-light bodied, slightly spicy, ripe, apple-plum flavours with a crisp, unoaked, cherry-tinged finish. For the best information on Vintages wines check out myvintages.ca.

Beer: Sol, from Mexico. 

About the film:

There are films that can determine a person’s life. Like Water for Chocolate is one of those.

Here’s what chef Joshna Maharaj says about this remarkable 1992 movie that blends food, passion and early 20th century Mexican culture in a 113-minute foray into Latin America magic realism:

 “It’s one of the foundational reasons I became a chef.  I remember seeing this movie for the first time and being blown away at the thought that we can infuse food with emotion and energy.  This story is tragic and romantic . . . and hilarious.  It's such a beautiful example of both the power that food has, and the almost sacred importance of the role of the cook.”

Joshna, who recently revamped the menu at Scarborough Hospital to feature healthy locally-sourced produce and regularly appears on the Steven and Chris show on CBC television, has kindly found room in her busy schedule to host the next two Epicure’s Revue events at the Revue Cinema. Thank you, Joshna!

You might think from the title that chocolate will be the theme for the screening. We’re sure that chocolate will make an appearance (perhaps in a mole or two), but here’s how critic Roger Ebert explains the title and the film, which he awarded four-stars:

“In Mexico, so I have learned, hot chocolate is made with water, not milk. The water is brought to a boil and then the chocolate is spooned into it. A person in a state of sexual excitement is said to be ‘like water for chocolate.’ And now here is a movie where everyone seems at the boil, their lives centering around a woman whose sensual life is carried out in the kitchen, and whose food is so magical it can inspire people to laugh, or cry, or run naked from the house to be scooped up and carried away by a passing revolutionary.”

The film is based on the charming 1989 book by first-time Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel. It is divided into 12 chapters named for a month, with a recipe introducing each one.

 

We will also have another door prize from T-fal: An E-Z Clean Deep Fryer (value $110), which is excellent for making deep fried Mexican food.  

 Tickets at the door: $10 for members and seniors; $13 for non-members. Drinks are extra.

Epicure's Revue takes place every two months. On Thursday, November 22, we will feature Tampopo, the off-beat  Japanese noodle-western where the quest is to create the perfect ramen noodle soup.