The Epicure's Revue
For this monthly program, we screen a film about food or wine and invite local restaurants to provide food samples themed to the movie. We also have an expert on hand who introduces the film and answers questions. Tickets are $10 for seniors and members; $13 for non-members. The food samples are free. Our next food and film events will be Thursday, May 30, 2013 and Thursday, July 25, 2013. Watch the website for more information.
Our Next Epicure: Entre Les Bras, Thursday, March 28.
We travel to France for our next Epicure's Revue, with guest expert Christophe Measson, former restaurateur who teaches at George Brown.
The film is about the Bras family and the 3-star Michelin restaurant,which chef Michel Bras is transferring to his son. Our food theme, of course: French.
One of the themes in this film is the creative process, in this case developing a new dessert. Our restaurateurs are going through their own creative process, to come up with dishes that melds their style and the French theme.
Here's what's on the menu so far:
Vegan onion soup (non-vegans can add croutons) from Soup 'N Such Cafe 2285 Dundas St., 416-916-4131.
Smoked onion tartes from Barque Smokehouse 299 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-532-7700.
Savoury truffles from The Chocolateria 361 Roncesvalles, 416-588-0567. Owner Tim English wants you to help him with his experimental flavours. He'll have feedback forms, and a draw with a basket of Easter chocolates. His new flavours: Fermented garlic and rosemary; truffle oil and balsamic vinegar; porcini mushroom and olive aioli.
Cheddar and Thyme Biscuits, Caramelized Onion Tartlets, Cheddar Short Bread with a Red Pepper Jelly, Cheese Straws from Mildred's Temple Kitchen 85 Hanna Ave., 416-588-5695.
Fouace (a sweet bread that originates in the Aubrac region, where the Bras restaurant is located) from Mo Paquette of Motadit Catering, 416-795-2145.
Cassoulet from Stasis Local Foods, 476 Roncesvalles, 647-766-5267.
Ratatouille and Chicken Liver Pate with Crostini from Vanessa Yeung at Aphrodite Cooks, 201 Weston Rd., 416-792-3212. Vanessa caters and offers cooking classes.
Pizzas with a French twist from Pizzeria Defina 321 Roncesvalles, 416-534-4414. (The restaurants pizza makers were voted Best Traditional Pizza, International Region in competition this month at the Pizza Expo in Last Vegas.)
Chicken Liver Mousse on crisp Crostini from The Westerly, 413 Roncesvalles, 416-551-6660.
Atlantic Salmon Tartar with Crostini from Lardon, 390 Roncesvalles, 416-516-8112, presented in partnership with De La Mer Fresh Fish Market 291 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-748-3474.
The Wines ($5 a glass)
The three wines from the Midi that we are serving are from the latest LCBO Vintages releases (March 30). They have been selected by our guest expert Christophe Measson from among the Best Buy recommendations in wine critic Michael Vaughan’s newsletter Vintage Assessments. (Michael lives in the neighbourhood. Here are his tasting notes.):
Réserve Spéciale Viognier 2011 (627752). Producer: Gérard Bertrand, Languedoc-Roussillon. Bright medium straw colour. Faintly honeyed, ripe melon-lemon-grapefruit nose with some spicy notes. Dry, medium-light bodied, harmonious, slightly spicy, ripe, melon-lemon-grapefruit-lychee flavours with a lingering, crisp, unoaked finish. $15.95
Château de Treviac 2010 (670505). Producer: Arnaud Sié, Languedoc-Roussillon. Extremely deep intense purple colour. Spicy, warm baked ripe plum nose with some sandalwood notes. Dry, medium bodied, harmonious, ripe plum flavours with a lingering, sandalwood finish. Ready-to-drink. $15.95
Le Moulin Brut Blanquette de Limoux (180323). Producer: Domaine J. Laurens, Languedoc. The Blanquette de Limoux is believed to be the first sparkling wine produced in France and even the world. Very pale straw colour. Somewhat spicy, honeyed, melon-citrus nose. Just of-dry, medium-light bodied, faintly honeyed, zesty ripe lemon-melon-apple flavours with a crisp effervescent finish. $16.95
Past Events: The Trip, Thursday, Jan. 24
Comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Bryd consumescallops and trade impressions on their restaurant review junket through northern England. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, it offers laughs, satire, lots of food on screen, and some great scenery.
Lardon 390 Roncesvalles, 416-516-8112, Scotch Eggs
The Westerly 413 Roncesvalles, 416-551-6660. Mini Beef Yorkshire Puddings with Horseradish Cream
Pizzeria Defina 321 Roncesvalles, 416-534-4414. Four British-inspired pizzas
Blue Plate: 392 Roncesvalles, 416-538-7500. Crumpets
Thursday, Nov. 22, 6:30 p.m.: Tampopo
For November's Epicure's Revue we go to Japan with one of the best food movies ever made: the 1986 Japanese film Tampopo.
Our guests for the evening: Chris Magee, a Japanese film expert and food fan and Daniel Park, a ramen noodle chef, who's a founder of Kenzo Ramen, which has four locations in Toronto.
Tampopo, which means dandelion, is the name of a widow, struggling to make a living, serving ramen in a run-down roadside shop.
A pair of truck drivers come to her aid, helping her to improve her ramen-making skills, stealing secrets and enlisting the advice of a master, whose description of preparing and consuming ramen noodle soup, a most basic meal, enters the realm of religious ritual. (The documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi reveals a similar culinary reverence.)
As for our free samples from local restaurants: Barque Smokehousee is supplying smoked teriyaki chicken on sticky rice; Mildred's Temple Kitchen will is making vegetarian rice paper rolls. Blue Plate is in, and The Chocolateria plans wasabi and ginger truffles. Lardon will team up with De La Mer Fish Market, plus Motadit Catering (email@example.com) is preparing miso soup with Asian greens, fresh from the farmers' market (choy sum, pak choy and mizuna, as well as winter radishes). Plus noodle restaurant Kenzo Ramen is on board. Kami Sushi at 153 Roncesvalles will be providing assorted sushi and maki.
Tampopo has many subplots, all involving food and humanity’s relationship to it: A young couple explores the erotic possibilities of food; a worker upstages his superiors with a remarkable knowledge of French cuisine; a women’s etiquette class is instructed in and abandons the art of eating spaghetti; an older woman insists on leaving her fingerprints all over food in a supermarket, much to the distress of a store clerk. And what does a Yakuza speak of in his dying moments? The grilled intestines of wild boars which have fed in the winter on yams.
This fppd movie is like no other. Described as a “ramen” western, it has some of the swagger of a spaghetti western, with one of the truck drivers projecting a John Wayne persona. Ken Watanabe plays the other driver.
Directed by Juzo Itami, Tampopo earns a 100 per cent approval rating on The Rotten Tomatoes website. And Roger Ebert likens it to films such as Babette’s Feast, Big Night andLike Water for Chocolate, “where food suggests the possibility of an ideal state.”
The Revue’s food and film nights now take place every two months. Tickets are $10 for seniors and members, $13 for non-members, and include free food samples on the movie’s theme, served before the screening
Like Water for Chocolate, September 27, 6:30 p.m.
We're thrilled to have chef Joshna Maharaj back at The Revue Cinema to host our food and film events for September and November.
Our September selection, Like Water for Chocolate, is one of Joshna's favorites, and had a big impact on her decision to become a chef. As she says, the film is "It's such a beautiful example of both the power that food has and the almost sacred importance of the role of the cook."
Our restaurant contributors obviously believe in the power of good cooking as well. They did us proud! Here was the menu:
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 included Chipotle, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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 Inc. Tasting 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.
It was a Big Night for Thursday, July 26, 6:30 p.m.
Get ready to revel in Italian food, with a great movie and lots of submissions from local restaurants.
Big Night is one of the best food films ever produced. Critic Roger Ebert described Big Night as “one of the great food movies, and yet it is so much more. It is about food not as a subject but as a language -- the language by which one can speak to gods, can create, can seduce, can aspire to perfection. There is a moment in the movie when a timpano is sliced open, and the audience sighs with simple delight.”
Click here for more details and keep watching the website for updates.
The Wedding Banquet for June
June is the month of marriages. That's why we chose Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet for this month's food and film event at The Revue. Don't miss it: Thursday, June 28, 6:30 p.m.
We're pleased to announce our guest expert: Vanessa Yeung is the chef and owner of Aphrodite Cooks, a catering company and cooking school, with classes for singles, for couples, for parents and even for corporate team-building. Vanessa also offers classes in various cuisines, including Chinese (scheduled for September 18 at 201 Weston Rd.).
Food and a lavish wedding banquet are at the centre of this 1993 film, directed by Ang Lee. Funny, entertaining, and touching, it explores the clash of cultures and values between Chinese parents with traditional values and expectations, and their gay son, living in New York City. The Rotten Tomatoes website shows a 96 per cent positive rating for the movie that brought Lee to international attention.
Chinese food will be the focus of the evening, and Vanessa will explore some of the traditions in that vast country and talk about some of the dishes you would expect to find at a nuptial feast. She says roasted pig, either whole or pieces, symbolizes wealth and abundance; shrimp and lobster represent happiness and joy; and noodles are for longevity.
As always, local restaurants are contributing some tasty complimentary treats, that you'll enjoy for the price of your ticket. Here's what's on the menu so far:
Pizzeria Defina: Pizza with an Oriental Flavour: Toppings to include Bok Choy, Szechuan Chicken, Hot Banana Peppers, Green Onions, Water Chestnuts. (321 Roncesvalles, 416-534-4414, pizzeriadefina.com)
The Chocolateria: Goji Berry Ice Cream (361 Roncesvalles, 416-588-0567, www.thechocolateria.ca)
Lardon: Shrimp Croquettes with Crab Claw. (390 Roncesvalles, 416-516-8112, www.lardonrestaurant.com) Roncesvalles’ new De La Mer Fresh Fish Market (291 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-748-3474, www.delamer.ca will be providing some shrimp for chef Jacky Lo to turn into this traditional Chinese wedding dish. (He’s making 50, so be among the first 50 people to arrive.)
Soup ‘n Such Café: Spicy Egg Drop Soup (2285 Dundas St., 416-916-4131, www.soupnsuch.net)
Barque Smokehouse: Smoked Peking Baby Back Pork Riblets in a Hoisin glaze. (299 Roncesvalles, 416-532-7700, barque.ca)
Aphrodite Cooks: Our guest expert Vanessa Yeung will provide her signature Potstickers (dumplings). (201 Weston Rd. , 416-792-3212 www.aphroditecooks.com)
Stasis Local Foods will also have some tasty treats showcasing their preserves and produce. (476 Roncesvalles, 416-553-1079, www.stasispreserves.com)
When you visit these businesses, please tell them you sampled their products at The Revue. We want to thank them for making our unique events a success.
Vanessa says she’ll bring some of her own specialities. She’s known for her potstickers – Chinese dumplings with pork.
As for other Epicure’s Revues, we’re inviting local restaurants to provide a platter of samples with themed to the movie. These tasty offerings are included in the price of your ticket: $10 for Revue members and seniors; $12 for non-members.
Vanessa trained at Stratford's chef's school and apprenticed at Scaramouche. Before opening the business, she was the private chef to former Maple Leaf and Hockey Hall of Famer Ed Belfour.
May's Epicure explored the tradition of English teas
What better way to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday than with a screening of the 1952 adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest and a discussion of the traditions of English teas.
Mark down Thursday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. for the next Epicure’s Revue. We will have teas to sample and, as always, free food. We will be re-organizing how the samples are served to ensure that everyone gets something!
So far, the following shops and restaurants are planning to take part:
- Donna Dooher, owner and executive chef of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, proposes miniature currant scones with clotted cream!
- The Chocolateria's Tim English is baking his signature chocolate shortbreads.
- Mabel's Bakery and Specialty Foods plans currant scones.
- Shannon Doyle at The Mercantile is eager for you to try a new line of teas. Called Kusmi, it's a premium brand that traces its roots to 1867 St. Petersberg.
- Bunner's, the popular new vegan and gluten-free bakery in the Junction, is baking a batch of mini-muffins.
- Barque Smokehouse has introduced a brunch menu, and owner David Neinstein is preparing four dozen lemon poppyseed scones.
- Restaurants Blue Plate put together some lovely savory scones.
- Lardon created cucumber and salmon sandwiches, which the character Algernon would have gobbled up in no time.
- Elizabeth Lang at 7th Sister Bakery at the bottom of Roncesvalles Ave. will be baking a variety of her mini-muffins.
- Keep watching the website for more mouth-watering contributions.
Get there early. Ticket sales begin at 6 p.m. $10 for members and seniors; $12 for non-members. For more information, click here.
April Epicure's all about Wine
On Thursday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m., about 100 Epicure's Revue fans come and enjoyed a glass of wine and learned about the wine-making industry with the 2004 documentary Mondovino.
On hand to answer questions (and make some good wine suggestions) was wine-writer and taster Michael Vaughan. A High Park resident, he reviews the LCBO new releases and publishes his ratings and descriptions every two weeks in his Vintage Assessments newsletter. Chef and George Brown prof Jean-Pierre Centeno was also on hand to talk about pairings.
Here are Michael's Best Buy wine selections from Vintages, all priced under $25:
- Macon La Roche-Vineuse 2010 AC: Sylvaine & Alain Normand, Burgundy, CSPC 268946.
- Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2007 QMP: Studert-Prüm, Mosel, CSPC 114777
- Chateau Beauséjour 2009 AC Fonsac: Bordeaux, CSPC 264267
- Vacqueyras 2009 AC, Vieux Clocher: Jean-Marie Arnoux, Rhone, CSPC 172668
The following restaurants and shops are already participating.
The Chocolateria: 361 Roncesvalles Ave. Owner Tim English, an Epicure regular with some tasty offerings, will make some tasting bars to go with our selection of four wines.
Soup ‘n Such Café at 2285 Dundas St. has provided some great soups for our past events. We're interested to see what chef Valerie Uhlin and Jeanette Bayley come up with for the wine theme.
Barque Smokehouse , at 299 Roncesvalles, will no doubt come up with something smokey and tasty. Even the olives they provided for our March event had been smoked (in their juice).
Fat Cat Wine Bar: 331 Roncesvalles. Chef and owner Mathew Sutherland provided Lobster Seviche, which went beautifully with both the white wine selections.
Stasis Local Foods: 476 Roncesvalles. This recently opened store focuses on local produce and preserves. Owner Julian Katz has trained as a chef.
Lardon's chef Jacky Lo provided some delicious spiced grilled pork kebabs with mango puree.
Domani Restaurant & Wine Bar, 335 Roncesvalles, features Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist. They also contributed grilled chicken pesto and mozzarella pizza.
Pizzeria Defina: Magical Mushroom Pizza, with fior di latte, caramelized shallots, Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh tarragon. Plus: Pumba, with wild boar meatballs, San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte, garlic confit, oregano and pecorino. (321 Roncesvalles, 416-534-4414, pizzeriadefina.com)
On Thursday, March 29, 6:30 p.m.., we screened the recent documentary -- A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt.
About The Film: For 10 years, filmmaker Sally Rowe follows the up-and-down career of British-born French-trained wunderkind Paul Liebrandt as he takes on the food critics, restaurant owners and the demanding taste buds of New York City gourmets. His ambition for starred reviews is intense. His dishes are daring: Chocolate-covered scallops; mackerel tartare with black-olive jelly and smoked-bacon sorbet; eel, violets and chocolate. His artistic creations run counter to the comfort food trend that one of his restaurant owners wanted him to embrace.
The Event: At our food and film evenings, you first get to taste samples from many of our local restaurants. For this evening, we’re inviting chefs and restaurateurs audience members to showcase one of their signature dishes.
Discussion: After the film, which runs just over an hour, we’ll explore how the Toronto restaurant scene compares with New York City’s; what the major trends are; and some of the challenges faced by chefs and restaurateurs.
Tickets for the event: $12 for non-members; $10 for members and seniors.
Here’s what the critics say about the film:
Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: "Unlike Gereon Wetzel’s recent El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, which proceeded without comment, Rowe lets us see the true nature of the genius behind the pans. He is not always an admirable figure. In fact, Liebrandt admits to being a “social misfit” without friends or family. He reams out his staff with the same kind of colourful language TV chef Gordon Ramsay uses, except the message is far more menacing, delivered in a low, threatening voice rather than Ramsay’s signature shriek."
Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail: "A Matter of Taste does an admirable job demonstrating how much body and soul go into a good restaurant. Liebrandt’s staff put in 18-hour days. And we see the chef filling notebooks with menu and food ideas. “What story am I telling here?” he wonders aloud about one dish. Elsewhere, there is discussion about the emotion of a side dish.
"People who favour restaurants with lots of parking and a free salad bar will watch this with heartsick boredom. Foodies will love it and wonder what some of Liebrandt’s dishes taste like."
Michelle da Silva, The Georgia Straight: "Foodies will recognize chefs Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, Eric Ripert, and Heston Blumenthal in the film and be giddy over the amount of food porn. For everyone else, this fast-paced documentary offers a view into the enormous amount of work that goes into running a restaurant kitchen, and a glimpse into a young mind struggling to maintain balance between artist and madman."
WHAT WOULD RICK HAVE SERVED?
Casablanca, Thursday, February 23, 6:30 p.m.
A Licensed Event!
There's a lot of drink in that great love story Casablanca. But we were wondering, besides the caviar mentioned, what would have been on the menu at Rick's Café Américain, his "gin joint" in that cosmopolitan Moroccan city.
We've put out the challenge to local chefs and owners of Roncesvalles restaurants for our screening of Casablanca in 35mm. Would Rick's kitchen have blended French and European influences with North African flavours and traditions? What local produce would have been used? And how would the American theme be reflected in the food?
Food stylist and High Park resident Olga Truchan returns to Epicure. She'll share her thoughts on the cuisine one would have found in the North Africa city during the war. It sounds as romantic as the movie: Olga mused in an email: "The food in Casablanca at that time....the Dar Beida...the Maghreb...the Spanish Moors, Tunisian, Algerian, French , Portuguese, Italian, Turkish ...The cuisine redolent of exotic spices ... cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables, ancient traditions...couscous, tagines, ouarka, the pleasures of the table...".
Are you feeling hungry?
Get ready for samples from:
The Chocolateria: Owner Tim English is making Tanzanian dark truffles infused with Ras El Hanout, a Morrocan spice blend.
Pizzeria Defina presents a wood fired Roma pizzas inspired by Casablanca. Topped with: Fior di latte, chopped dates, double smoked bacon, almonds, and fennel drizzled with honey.
Blue Plate: Maple-baked beans. Inspired by Rick’s words of wisdom in Casablanca: “It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”
Mildred's Temple Kitchen: Cheddar Thyme Biscuits. They are a Mildred Pierce favorite and, as owner and exeutive chef Donna Dooher says, “would taste damn good with a cocktail.”
Lardon: Smoked salmon on crostini with creme fraiche, roe and dill. It goes well with sparkling wine (the most popular drink in Casablanca), says chef Jacky Lo.
Gurts Yogurt & Bakery: Moroccan influenced Biscotti with almonds and date pieces. Gurts will also be serving mint tea.
Fat Cat Wine Bar: Chef and owner Mathew Sutherland whipped up a delightful Moroccan-style beef stew with couscous -- just in time for the event.
Wine and Spirits:
There will be an extra charge at the theatre, as required by our special licence, for the alcoholic beverages, which will go as a fundraiser to the cinema. We are, however, receiving some generous donations of the alcoholic kind for the evening:
Vineyards Estate Wines at 2273 Bloor St. W. is contributing two bottles of Trius Brut $24.75). (Champagne is very popular at Rick's!) Tasting notes: A medium-bodied sparkling wine with lively mousse and refreshing acidity carried through by citrus, apple and yeasty notes.
Gold Medal Winner - Canadian Wine Awards 2009.
Beam Global provided Courvoisier VSOP Fine Champagne Cognac (LCBO 9902 $84.95) and Canadian Club Classic Aged 12 Years (LCBO 126466 $26.95).
Woodman Wines and Spirits supplied three bottles of Selección Raventós Brut Cava (Codorníu) (521773 $14.95). Tasting notes: Very bright pale straw colour. Slightly spicy, honeyed, ripe lemon nose with some faint nutty, leesy notes. Dry, slightly honeyed, medium-light bodied, spicy, ripe lemon-melon flavours with a crisp finish. (Recommended by Michael Vaughan, Vintage Assessments)
We would like to thank these companies for helping us provide beverages similar to what what Rick’s café would have served. Now you'll be able to sip and savour the delectable offerings at the cinema, and then sit back enjoy this movie as never before.
"Here's looking at you, kid!"
Tickets are $10 for members and seniors; $12.
THE POWER OF FOOD:
Babette’s Feast, Thursday, January 26, at 6:30 p.m.
If ever a movie showed how food can feed the spirit as well as the body, it's Babette's Feast. Years of resentment and petty differences in a remote Danish community evaporate, when the locals sit down to a luxurious feast. It has been prepared by Babette, who was once a chef at a famous Parisian restaurant. With artistry, love and generosity, she presents the finest in French cuisine and wines, and she brings grace into the souls of those who sit at her table.
Veteran food stylist Olga Truchan will host the evening. She's a fan of the movie and its message, has studied cooking in France, andwill also discuss how food dishes are styled and stabilized during a film shoot. It must have taken days for the banquet scenes to have been filmed. For more about Olga, click here.
Local restaurants are also planning samples for you to savour before the screening. Their challenge: present some delectable dishes inspired by the French tradition.
Tim English at The Chocolateria at 361 Roncesvalles Ave. will make a Tanzanian dark chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis and candied mint leaves.
Soup ‘n Such Café at 2285 Dundas St. has provided some great soups for our past events. Chef Valerie Uhlin will be concocting a Mock Turtle Soup for you to sample at the cinema. It's completely appropriate. After all, Babette treated her guests to turtle soup for her elaborate meal.
Pizzeria Defina's Roksolana Curkowskyj proposes Duck Conft pizza with poached pear in Marsella wine along with a creamy Brie to compliment the French theme. (321 Roncesvalles).
Gurts Yogurt & Bakery, recently opened at 283 Roncesvalles, will be preparing the classic French delicacies that inspired Proustian memories: Madeleines. Traditionally shell-shaped, these small sponge cakes are made with a rich batter of butter and eggs, and flavoured with vanilla.
Mabel's Bakery & Specialty Foods, at 323 Roncesvalles. Think tiny eclairs, like mini cream-puffs. That's what Lorraine Hawley from Mabel's at will be serving. What could be more French?
Barque Smokehouse , at 299 Roncesvalles, will supply some pulled smoked duck tacos, a fusion of French, Vietnamese, and Mexican cuisines. The ingredients: smoked duck, pickled radish and carrots, Hoisin barbecue sauce, green onions and fried chicken skin.
Balluchon Raymond, 221 Sorauren. Always enthusiastic, Raymond Eames, owner of this bakery and coffee shop, is preparing something extra special for the occasion: Les petits biscuits Babette, with fromage bleu, roasted walnuts and poached pear.
Blue Plate: 392 Roncesvalles Ave. Owner Melissa Fox-Revett and chef Julia Young served up their own version of Blini, just asBabette did. They were good!
Fat Cat Wine Bar: 331 Roncesvalles. Chef and owner Mathew Sutherland created a traditional French Cassoulet. It quickly disappeared.
Stasis Local Foods: 476 Roncesvalles. This recently opened store, focusing on local produce, donated Local French Onion Soup Bites, Evelyn’s Crackers, Stasis Preserves Onion Chutney, and Ontario Montasio Cheese.
On the Menu at October Epicure's Revue: Honey
The Endangered World of Bees
Wednesday, October 12, 6:30 p.m.
Just two days after Thanksgiving, we'll have the opportunity to celebrate and learn about honey, and bees, and the spreading problem of bee colony collapse.
It's a documentary about beekeeping, and the problems faced by two brothers trying to keep the family beekeeping business going.
Host: Once again, chef Joshna Maharaj will be our host. We also thrilled that local beekeeper Fred Davis, who will bring his beekeeping paraphernalia and honey samples to demonstrate the changing taste through the season.
We'll also have samples from local restaurants. Don't miss this informative and tasty evening.
Local beekeeper Fred Davis offered a tasting of early and late harvest honey from his hives at Casa Loma and on the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. He sells his unpasteurized honey as Fred D’s Rooftop Honey.
Soup ‘n Such Café at 2285 Dundas St. W. , south of Bloor. 416-916-4131. Valerie Uhlin and Jeanette Bayley served honey roasted parsnip soup for the evening.
Blue Plate, 392 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-538-7500. Chef Julia Young prepared goat cheese balls rolled in toasted nuts with a honey drizzle.
The Chocolateria, 361 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-588-0567. Owner Tim English, who hit another homerun with his honey lavender ice cream.
Lardon, 390 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-516-8112. Chef and owner Jacky Lo served his carrot and honey dip with crostini. Diners at his restaurant enjoy this complimentary appetizer.
Fat Cat Wine Bar, 331 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-535-4064. Chef and owner Mathew Sutherland offered prosciutto-wrapped figs, drizzled with truffle honey.
Pizzeria Defina, 321 Roncesvalles, 416-534-4414. This popular new restaurant prepared a pizza with baked pears, walnuts and honey.
Bar Salumi and The Local Kitchen & Wine Bar, 1704 and 1710 Queen St. W. at Roncesvalles, 416-588-0100, 416-534-6700. Chef Fabio Bondi presented a rustic board of Salumi, his Italian-style house-cured meats, drizzled with honey.
Balluchon Raymond, 221 Sorauren Ave. Raymond Emes, owner of this bakery, and coffee shop, is baking honey-glazed croissants made from Pain Perdu croissant dough, plus an amuse-bouche of brined and smoked heritage ham, shredded with roasted garlic and apple honey, on crostini.
Also attending: Katie Krelove from the High Park Nature Centre and Maria Kaastan from Seeds of Diversity and Pollination Canada.
September Epicure: Forks Over Knives
Wednesday, September 14, 6:30 p.m.
We're bringing back this documentary exploring the relationship between chronic disease and diet. The title refers to a dietary and lifestyle changes as a way to stabilize and even reverse chronic illness. The knives in the title are surgeons' scalpels. The film advocates a vegan diet as the healthiest.
Once again, chef Joshna Maharaj hosted the event. She's an advocate of healthy eating and the locavore movement. This event will have vegetarian and vegan samples for you to test and we will be providing recipes and information for those interested in reducing animal protein and dairy products. in their diet.
We had an impressive array of delicious vegetarian and vegan samples to savour. The complimentary samples were outstanding. We ask you to support these generous businesses. Here's the menu:
- Soup ‘n Such Café at 2285 Dundas St. W. offered good home-cooked vegetarian and vegan dishes. They're preparing a vegan red lentil soup, pureed and made with fresh vegetables.
- Blue Plate, two doors from The Revue, is on board. Chef Julia Young will be preparing roasted vegetable and chickpea spread on thyme toast.
- The Chocolateria's Tim English, who's delicious chocolate gelato went quickly last month, created a scrumptious caramel-coconut ice cream made with coconut milk.
- Vegan chef Doug McNish., himself a poster child for vegetarian eating, brought his Thai collard-wrapped spring rolls. He's currently working on a raw food cookbook.
- Lardon's chef and owner Jacky Lo won accolades for last month's arancini di riso.This month he outdid himself with seared "scallops" of smoked tofu, with pea purée, edamame beans, amaranth sprouts, individually served in delightful little bamboo boats.
- Tinto Coffee House, on Roncesvalles Ave., specializes in vegetarian, organic and locally-grown food, prepared with a Latin American flavour. Look for samples of their vegan salads at the cinema.
- Nutritional consultant Stephanie Ablett, whose business is called Natural Ginger,and who offers vegetarian and vegan cooking courses at the High Park Baptist Church on Roncesvalles, offered three different samples to savour: Raw Nori Rolls (vegan); Chocolate Nutty Energy Bursts; Raw Goji Berry Brownies.
- Commensal, one of Toronto's well-known vegetarian eateries located at Bay and Elm Sts. downtown, delivered a plate of crackers and three kinds of vegan pate: an original flavour with sunflower seed; three pepper; the third with cranberry. A second platter included wrap sandwiches with various fills--roasted sweet potato, ginger tofu, chickpea and hummus just to name a few.
- Vert, a green catering company, provided a selection of vegan appetizers. The company specializes in locally grown food, while focussing on waste reduction and community involvement. Michael Carroll brought two appetizers: Fagioli Croquette, a classical tuscan bean stew, slow cooked and roasted to perfection and stuffed in a crispy pastry; and Fresh Rolls, made of a fresh yet sharp sprout salad lightly wrapped in rice paper and flavoured with ginger and teriyaki sauce
Two bookstores, Another Story Bookshop and She Said Boom, both had tables with vegetarian and vegan books. Another Story had the Forks Over Knives cookbook for sale.
This film, Roger Ebert says, "could save your life."
Wednesday, August 17 at 6:30 p.m.
We ventured into Italian cuisine with the charming film Mid-August Lunch, written and directed by and starring Gianni di Gregorio. About 140 people attended the event and eight restaurants supplied free samples.
Read about the evening in BlogTO.
Here's the menu of samples generously provided by local restaurants:
The Dizzy Gastro Sports Pub 305 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-538-3434 Chef and co-owner Chris Murie (he’s half Italian) has prepared bruschetta topped with traditional Tuscan ham and lentils, plus a choice of other interesting toppings. The Dizzy offers excellent food in a friendly pub setting.
Lardon 390 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-516-8112 Chef Jacky Lo is preparing arancini di riso, an appetizer made from risotto. Come find out what it is! Lardon’s seasonal menu includes interesting and innovative dishes, including Italian-style tripe with a tomato sauce. $25 three-course prix fixe on weekdays.
The Local 396 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-535-6225 Melissa Sexton, owner of the popular, lively pub right next to the cinema, has chosen prosciutto and melon as an appetizer. Good food and good music!
Blue Plate 392 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-538-7500 Owner Melissa Fox-Revett and chef Julia Young are providing a sampler platter of meatballs. They also are offering a special Italian-themed $25 prix fixe menu for the evening: Panzenella Salad, Fettucine Bolognese and Panna Cotta with blueberries.
Soup ‘n Such Café 2285 Dundas St. W. (right opposite Loblaws at Bloor and Dundas), 416-916-4131 Owners and chefs Jeanette Bayley and Valerie Uhlin are preparing a traditional vegetarian minestrone soup to showcase the good, wholesome food they offer at this recently-opened café beside the boxing gym and active yoga centre.
Domani Restaurant & Wine Bar 335 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-516-2147 This Roncesvalles Village restaurant features Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist. Tonight, you’ll get to sample some of appetizers from the menu.
Fat Cat Wine Bar 331 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-535-4064 Chef and owner Mathew Sutherland will provide a platter of fresh tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella. The restaurant menu and wine list features many Italian selections.
The Chocolateria 361 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-588-0567 Owner and confectioner Tim English knows how to please the palate with his house-made ice creams and chocolates. He’s combined both in chocolate gelato for this evening. His store offers summer hours for all who fancy a post-film or pre-film indulgence.
Are you a Fan of Epicure's Revue?
Then why not save some money? Purchase this discount card for $40 and get access to 5 Epicure's Revue film events! That's a $10 savings off the regular member price which takes effect in 2011.
The Epicure’s Revue launched in July, 2010, with the film Bottle Shock and a sold-out wine tasting at nearby Lardon. Watch for more events for epicures, more wine tastings and themed meals co-ordinated with culinary features at The Revue.
If you would to subscribe to The Epicure's Revue Newsletter, click HERE. We typically publish one issue between screenings with links to articles and points of discussion that are relevant to the upcoming event.
Past Culinary Events:
On Wednesday, July 20, 2011 starting at 6:30, we'll be visiting India and getting a taste for Indian cuisine in the film Cooking with Stella, directed by Dilip Mehta and starring Don McKellar and Lisa Ray. This is an amusing and intriguing venture into a New Delhi kitchen, where there are many lessons to be learned in terms of new recipes, as well as the relationships between well-off Canadian diplomats and the hired help.
The film will be introduced by Joshna Maharaj, who was inspired to become a chef after a stay on an ashram in India. A fervent believer in locally sourced, sustainable foods, she's a blogger, a frequent guest on CBC's Steven & Chris show, and is currently helping to revamp the food provided to patients at Scarborough General Hospital.
Joining Joshna at the cinema will be chef Bala Thangarajah, who prepares food for the St. Joseph's Health Centre cafeteria. He will prepare Sri Lankan-style hoppers, a bowl shaped crepe made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk and served with a variety of toppings. Bala says hoppers originated in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Restaurants, such as Shala-Mar on Roncesvalles, will also provide some complimentary snacks. After the film, you can go to participating restaurants for some Indian flavours and dishes. You'll receive a menu of your choices at the theatre. $10 for members/seniors; $12 or non-members. Make sure to get to the theatre early so you can enjoy some samples.
Click here to read more.
MORE PASTRY EVENTS
Pastry Chef and George Brown instructor Christophe Measson mentioned a number of pastry events that are coming up during the Kings of Pastry Epicure's Revue. He spoke of a Thursday, June 30th demonstration by MoF Stephane Treand, presented by Quizna Specialty Foods. The event, titled North America's Top Desserts -- Revisited, costs $150. Chef Treand will share tips and techniques for creating awe-inspiring desserts, sugar showpieces, handmade chocolate decorations and airbrush techniques. You'll also learn about innovative products and emerging industry trends. Here's the link.
Coming up later in the year: A visit to Toronto by Jacquy Pfeiffer, who was featured in the film Kings of Pastry, and the annual student pastry event called Room 4 Dessert, which will take place in December. When we have dates, we will let you know.
KINGS OF PASTRY: SWEETS on RONCESVALLES
It's summer and The Epicure's Revue returned to The Revue on Wednesday, June 15 at 6:45 p.m.
We screened the suspenseful documentary Kings of Pastry, which lets us see the tension, artistry, creativity and heartbreak of the grueling competition for Les Meilleurs Ouvriers de France designation, the top honour for the nation's pastry chefs.
We were fortunate to have pastry chef Christophe Measson, who hails from France and now teaches at George Brown for the event. In his introduction to the film, he talked about how pastry is in the DNA of French citizens. He also pointed out how different French eating habits are from those in North America. As he says, there's no such thing as "all you can eat in France." He also pointed out that he had never seen lard used until he left France.
Among the interesting things he was able to explain to the audience after the show was that the cans of what appeared to be fixative used to glue the amazing sugar sculptures together were actually cannisters of cold air.
Christophe knows Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of the Chicago Pastry School, who was one of the chefs featured in the film. Jacquy sent a message to the audience: Always try to do better the next day, and work with passion. Those were certainly principles Jacquy followed in that demanding competition.
The film was described as "the culinary Hurt Locker" by the Herald Scotland.
After the film, people were able to sample lemon curd tarts with Ontario strawberries and rhubarb at the Fat Cat Wine Bar. The Chocolateria supplied some tempting Nanaimo bar samples at the theatre and had them, along with Nanaimo bar ice cream, ready and waiting at their store. The Local Pub and Restaurant, right next door to The Revue featured its delicious Irish Trifle. The popular new Barque Smokehouse highlighted its delectable pecan pie. Lorraine Hawley at Mabel's Bakery & Specialty Foods wants us to try her summer fruit pies, and Elisabeth Lang at Seventh Sister Bakery has killer cupcakes -- rich chocolate made with coffee and real chocolate, topped with mascarpone icing, which she provided for the audience to sample at the theatre.
CHOCOLAT and CHOCOLATE on RONCESVALLES
Wednesday, December 15 at 6:45 p.m.
The pre-Christmas Epicure’s Revue was bigger and better than ever. Roncesvalles Avenue was the place to indulge your taste for chocolate on screen and plate.
Featured at the Revue Cinema was the 2000 Oscar-nominated film Chocolat, starring Juliette Binoche as a young mother who opens a chocolate shop in a conservative French town and begins to transform lives with her miraculous recipes. Advance tickets at $7 are available at the cinema, the Chocolateria, She Said Boom and Another Story Bookshop. Prices are $8 (members/seniors) and $10 (non-members) at the door.
Former lawyer Tim English, owner of The Chocolateria, introduced the film Chocolat at The Revue, starting at 6:45 p.m. He discussed the history and appeal of chocolate, one of the world’s favourite flavours. The first 50 audience members with a donation to the Parkdale Food Bank received a free Chocolateria samples.
Participating restaurants and retailers
Four restaurants, Blue Plate, Lardon, The Dizzy and Fat Cat Wine Bar, will present chocolate in creative ways on their menus, while The Chocolateria, a recently opened chocolate shop on Roncesvalles, plans a post-film tasting.
The Mercantile is also offering a free sampling of its chocolate products Wednesday, from 5 p.m., before the film.
Other stores along Roncesvalles Ave. will be highlighting their chocolate offerings this holiday season. For customers with an advance ticket to Chocolat ($7) or ticket stub or program after the screening, enjoy a 10% discount on Alternative Grounds’ fair-trade Queen “E” Espresso Chocolate Clusters and a 10% discount on chocolate book titles at She Said Boom and Another Story Bookshop.
Lit Espresso Bar is discounting its Caffe Mocha (a latté with chocolate), and many other shops have their shelves filled with chocolate confections. Check out Sweet Thrills, The Old Country Gift Shop, The Mercantile and for super rich brownies, Mabel’s.
On Wednesday, and in the days leading up to Christmas, there will be no better place in the city than Roncesvalles to satisfy your chocolate cravings and purchase some sweet gifts.
Five Chocolate Menus
Before and after the film, Epicure’s Revue fans will face some difficult decisions: Where to indulge their love of chocolate.
1. The Chocolateria: Chocolate Tasting, $20
Purchase Advance Tickets at The Chocolateria
361 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-588-0567, www.thechocolateria.ca
Truffles: Dark, Milk, Fresh Mint, Star Anise and Pink Peppercorn, Fleur de Sel, Caramel, Rooibas Chai, Bacon and Maple and more.
Chocolate: Different chocolate from around the world (Belgium, Swiss, South American, Mexican) in dark, milk and white
Various Confections: Some popular chocolate pairings (chocolate and ginger, chocolate and potato chips)
Beverage: House-made hot chocolate, coffee, tea
Discount: 10% off all purchases.
2. Fat Cat Wine Bar, Chocolate Fondue and Drinks for 2, $30
331 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-535-4064, www.fatcat.ca
Bring a friend and make a party with Fat Cat’s Chocolate Fondue and chocolate-themed drinks or coffee for two. Chocolate martinis anyone?
3. The Dizzy Gastro Sports Pub: $16
Wednesday from 5 p.m.
305 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-538-8484, thedizzy.ca
Main: 6oz. Filet of Alberta Caribou dusted in chili powder and Yuccatan spice, perfectly pan-seared to medium rare. Served with a savoury Mexican chocolate sauce, compote of fresh Saskatoon berries, baked Yuccatan black beans, traditional Spanish rice and corn gorditas.
4. Lardon: Wine Tasting, $25
Wednesday night, sold out. Seats still available Tuesday.
Buy wine-tasting tickets in advance at Lardon, 390 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-516-8112, www.lardonrestaurant.com
Lardon offers wines with the characteristics of chocolate: a toasty Chardonnay from California, a mocha Pinotage from South Africa, a toffee marsala from Italy and a sweet late harvest Vidal from Beamsville, Ont. Each wine will be paired with a tapas.
5. Blue Plate: $30 prix fixe
Wednesday from 5 p.m. Reservations recommended
392 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto, 416-538-7500 www.blueplatetoronto.com
Amuse-bouche: Goat cheese truffle with spiced candied nut and cocoa crust
Roasted beet and dark chocolate soup with white chocolate shavings or
Baby spinach salad and strawberries with dark chocolate balsamic reduction
Grilled bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin with cocoa espresso rub, mashed potatoes and vegetables or
Roasted chicken breast with mole sauce, steamed rice and vegetables
(Vegetarian option available)
Chocolate pot de crème or
Chocolate brownie with chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce
For information, send Ellen Moorhouse an email.