Friday, July 26, 2013

El Catrin Destileria

Toronto just got a lot more festive and caliente with the opening of El Catrin Destileria in the space that was formerly known as the Boiler House in the Distillery District. While tacos have been an ever increasingly popular food trend and has seen the opening of numerous taquerias across the city in recent months, El Catrin promises to stand out from the rest of the pack, serving "authentic traditional and modern Mexican cuisine" while boasting a party-worthy patio and bringing us a Mexican experience far from Mexico.

El Catrin Destileria

El Catrin is the brainchild of the two Distillery’s owners, Mathew Rosenblatt and John Berman, and you can instantly tell they have put a lot of love and thought into the restaurant, in terms of design, concept, food, drinks, service, and overall ambience. As Mathew explained, El Catrin "is not a dining room; it's a Mexican experience."

El Catrin Destileria

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #114: The "New" Treadwell Farm-to-Table Restaurant

Fresh cut frites with rosemary and sea salt

Salad of House Smoked Salmon
Salad of house smoked salmon and new potatoes with pickled red onions
and dill mayonnaise

Seared East Coast Sea Scallops
Seared East Coast sea scallops with cauliflower puree and guanciale

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling and Malted Chocolate Buttercream

If you follow me on Twitter, you've most likely heard me talk on and on about Cake Day since the weekend. You've also probably read my recap of that glorious day from earlier this week. And now you get to read one more! Because there is never such a thing as too much cake, right?

Photo by Jen Chan/@foodpr0n.

I think my favourite part of cooking or baking is always the planning stage. As much as I love to physically be in the kitchen, there’s something so invigorating and inspiring about researching recipes. You can get so many ideas, and one recipe can lead to new recipes, as you start adding your own inspirations and techniques to the process. It's such a creative process, and I often find myself overwhelmed with a long list of things I want to cook and bake in the end. Cake Day was no exception, as I found myself staring at a longlist of cakes I wanted to bake for the big day a few weeks ago.

I really hadn’t given chocolate cake much thought for Cake Day when I started my recipe research. I figured a few other folks would be claiming chocolate cakes, and that would allow me to play with some other flavours. I flirted with the idea of cakes with nuts—maybe almonds with citrus flavours or the classic combination of hazelnuts and chocolate. There were thoughts of cakes with fruits, like local strawberries or mangoes, to keep things fresh and light. I even contemplated Asian flavours—matcha and adzuki (red) beans, or black sesame. But the instant I saw this recipe from Sweetapolita for Chocolate Cake with Toasted Marshmallow Filling and Malted Chocolate Buttercream, I knew this was the one. Say whaa?! Toasted marshmallow? Chocolate? Malt? How could I resist such flavours?!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #113: Origin North Grand Opening

Origin North

Fior de Latte
fior de latte + caramelized eggplant + peppers

oyster + radish + yuzu vinaigrette

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cake Day 2013

What do you get when you bring together thirteen food-loving, ambitious bakers into one kitchen? Lots of cake. Nineteen cakes, to be exact. We had Cookie Day, and we had Pie Day, so you know cake day was not too far behind. I was invited to last year’s edition but unfortunately was unable to attend, so when the date was set for the 2013 edition, I quickly booked it in my calendar and started researching cake recipes.

Cake Day 2013

The concept for Cake Day is simple. Much like Cookie Day and Pie Day, everyone bakes a cake (or two, for us ambitious folks!) and shares it. While with previous days, most of us arrived with our cookies and pies already baked, much of the cake baking was happening that day. It was a long day, but no one seemed to mind being in such lovely company, the house constantly smelled of cake (can’t complain about that!), and the promise of lots of delicious cakes at the end.

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