The Plight of the 4,000 Calorie Diet

It’s a quiet Sunday morning and we’re in the back room of Buca Osteria & Enoteca, where Rob Gentile and David Marcelli carefully direct their small army of chefs on the finer art of cavatelli-making. This is where some of the city’s best pasta is made. And today, it’s being made by an elite team of expertly-trained kids, aged ten and under.

Read More
What Anthony Bourdain Was to Me

I remember walking through the streets of Bangkok last Fall among a never ending sea of locals dressed in black. We had just arrived on the first leg of our honeymoon, jetlagged, and confused. 

Shops were closed for days. The streets surrounding important monuments were heavily guarded with limited access. Many bars, despite being open, refused to serve alcohol. It was the culmination of a year of mourning for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, ending with his ceremonial cremation. After all this time, the air was sombre as people lined up to pay their last respects. Many still cried. While I had immense respect for their traditions and felt fortunate to be part of this significant moment in Thailand’s history, it was hard for me to understand their loss. To me, it was a strange thing to mourn the passing of someone you’ve never known in real life.

Read More
Stasis: Purveyors of Local Wonders

I’ve always loved farmers’ markets. Who doesn’t, really? The panoply of beautiful, fresh produce and handcrafted artisanal goods - proudly offered directly by the growers and craftspeople themselves - is only a glimmer of the bountiful world beyond our city’s imaginary walls. But it’s the weekly gathering of a community which amplifies the distinctive bustle and buoyancy of the market, reminding us that we are part of something larger than an exchange of dollars for goods. Together, we contribute to a lifeline, a cycle that keeps us all connected, nourished and healthy.

Read More
Dry Aging With Butchers of Distinction

The best steak that I ever had was over four years ago. My first bite was rewarded with an intense, mouth-coating umami flavour. Then, with each drawn-out chew, the flavour would subtly change like a fine wine. I felt as if I could sense what the animal was fed; think nutty, popcorn or hay-like flavours followed by a rich sweetness that lingered, waiting for the next inevitable bite. 

And, though even the most avid foodie will be hard-pressed to find a 120-day aged steak without custom ordering, there are select butchers in Toronto that give a similar treatment to their prime cuts. Leslieville boutique butcher, Butchers of Distinction, is one of them.

This is exactly where we’re heading today to learn about how the dry aging process works. It bears mentioning that Butchers of Distinction - known simply as “Butchers” in my household - is my favourite meat shop in all of Toronto. While living in the east side, my visits to Butchers would be nearly daily. Now, despite living on the opposite side of the city, I still make a weekly trek for my protein fix.

Read More
Kimchi: The Beginner’s Guide to Fermenting

You may have noticed that we, The 3 Spoons, have developed an obsession with fermentation - the most ancient and natural practice of preserving food. By delving into the making of beer and sourdough bread, we’ve been indoctrinated with its health benefits, but even more fascinating is its crucial role in the history of human civilization. This issue, we are exploring the afterlife of food - the different methods of natural preservation - and thought it fitting to start with something our dinner table is rarely without.

In our household, there are a handful of things that you will always find: Keen’s mustard, freshly roasted coffee beans, cornichons...and kimchi. Our avid consumption of kimchi is arguably comparable to most Korean Canadians. Unusual, given that neither of us is Korean. Given the speed at which we can finish a 1.2 kg tub of kimchi, I’ve begun to make my own.

Read More
Recipe: Lemon Ice, Dill Shortbread, Tobiko

Here’s a recipe for the next time you’re bringing dessert to a seafood-themed dinner party. Inspired by one part morbid curiosity, two parts Iron Chef, we wanted to round out our trio of seafood recipes with something decidedly thematic. Seafood dessert. You read that right; and it couldn’t be more simple. Allez cuisine!

It started with a simple question: could we make a three-course seafood meal? Appetizers (like our salmon gravlax) and mains (may we suggest our clam chowder?) are easy. But dessert? There are few things more culinarily disconcerting than sweet seafood. Challenge accepted.

Read More
Recipe: Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bowl

On my annual visits to see Uncle Regis (link ) in San Francisco, I had developed a habitual 1-day walking tour, which I embarked upon every single trip. The route began with dim sum at Yank Sing in the Rincon Center, followed by a pilgrimage to the Ferry Building Marketplace, and then a leisurely stroll along The Embarcardero all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf.

It had been years since I’ve been back to San Francisco. Coincidentally, the city is also where I was introduced to my very first cookbook over a decade ago. At the time, Uncle Regis had an obsession with America’s Test Kitchen and after spending days flipping through The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, I got myself a copy as soon as I was back home.

Read More
Recipe: Vacuum Sealer Beet-Cured Gravlax

Gravlax is one of my favourite Nordic treats. With simple ingredients - and a just little time to smooth its flavours - gravlax is also the easiest luxury to make at home.

I’ve tried dozens of recipes over the years. The most traditionally accurate call for two fillets of fish - preferably from opposite sides of the same fish - liberally cured with salt and sugar and sandwiched skin-side out around a core of herbs and spices. It’s then tightly wrapped with cling film and popped into the fridge with a weighted object on top to help expel moisture.

Read More
De la Mer: All Men Are Equal Before Fish

Walk through the doors of De La Mer Fresh Fish Market, and you just might want to Instagram it.

You might be drawn to the shop’s name laid in black tile alongside whimsical representations of fish. Or the nautical-themed decor arrayed against the wall. There’s even a spot perfect for selfies; there, in the back, with the hand-lettered phrase “All men are equal before fish”. In some regards, it’s easy to forget that you’ve walked into a fish shop. That would be a mistake. You definitely want the fish here.

Read More