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
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
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
I remember my first experience with homebrewed beer.
It was during my university years, naturally. The concoction bore an insipid, pale yellow hue - the bare minimum needed to differentiate it from water. When nosed from the glass: the pungent aroma of wet bread.Read More
Beer is the third most popular beverage on the planet. But when it comes to food and drink pairing, wine reigns supreme. In fact, is there even such a thing as a beer sommelier?
As it turns out, there are. We met Tara and Crystal Luxmore, also known as the Beer Sisters, at Tequila Bookworm.Read More
"Isn't it customary to never pour yourself your own sake?" I ask as I concentrate on filling four small cups up to the brim.
We're on our fourth bottle of sake and it's starting to have an effect on the accuracy of my pouring. Tonight, I'm drinking with Shinji Yamaguchi and his partner - in both life and business - Blessie Maturan.Read More
It's a sunny Sunday afternoon and I've found a prime seat at one of the best places to drink in Toronto. The beer is cheap and free-flowing. The clientele, interestingly quirky. If I'm ever found holding an empty it is promptly taken away; what service! The catch is that I'm not at one of the trending patios in town. I'm in Trinity-Bellwoods Park, and it's time to get wasted.Read More
The sheer abundance of food documentaries and food series available on Netflix alone - a company that relies heavily on analytics to dictate its content - is an indication of the public’s obsession with food in visual media.Read More
It’s 1:00am on a Saturday night. Or is it early Sunday morning? Nick and I are waiting in a dark alley in North York. Cutting across the back parking lot of a weathered strip mall, we’re startled by what seems to be a motion-sensored light above an open door, leading to an empty lit staircase. Weird. There’s no one there. If you didn’t know us any better, you’d think that we were first-time buyers of a crooked drug deal.Read More
Each year ends in much the same fashion. The early morning frantic searches for missing travel accessories. The march with two-weeks worth of luggage through a foot of snow. Braving the construction maze of Union Station. Finally, watching the snow-covered landscape of Eastern Canada quietly roll by my train window. Now, comfortably speeding at 160 km/hr, I am full of anticipation to see all of the people I’ve missed - and to eat all of the special treats exclusively reserved for holiday consumption. There is nothing like going home for the holidays.Read More
We’re coffee snobs at The 3 Spoons. In only the most dire circumstance will mere chain coffee do; and perish the thought of coffee at the press of a button. So, it shouldn’t surprise you, then, that we’ve gathered a few coffee gadgets over the years. A French press, pour-over, Aeropress, espresso maker, Turkish pot, and Vietnamese drip all vie for precious cupboard and countertop space.Read More