Wednesday, 31 July 2013

An Interview with Chuck Ortiz of ACQTASTE

Photo property of Kapisanan Philippine Centre
When we were first asked to help promote the 8th Annual Kultura Filipino Arts Festival, we must say that we were very naive about Filipino culture and food. Our Filipino experiences were very limited but during these posts we have learned a lot. Part of our pre-event promotion work was an interview with a Filipino chef and we were very lucky to have been given Chuck Ortiz. Chuck Ortiz is the founder of ACQTASTE, a food magazine that "focuses on the people in and around the world of food".

Photo property of the Image Interview

Basically, Chuck Ortiz is our type of guy...well, anyone in and around the world of food is our type of guy! We did a "he asked/she asked" approach to the interview! Enjoy and read on...

Her questions:

Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

I've always been in and around the world of food. From dishwasher, to line cook, and even caterer, there isn’t a job in this industry I haven't had. My love for the food industry led me to want to document it for people on the outside looking in, so I started Acquired Taste Magazine in hopes to change food journalism and to bring more attention to the individuals that make the industry what it is. A  year after launching their print version, ACQTASTE, the magazine can now be found world wide and has a strong readership that keeps on growing.

Are you classically trained as a chef?

Nope! I am a self-taught cook. These days, you don't have to have classical training to become a chef. In most cases, experience will get you further than your schooling / training, but it is still good to have.

Why did you start ACQTASTE?

I started ACQTASTE because I saw a void in the realm of food publications. No one was putting out content that focused on the people in and around the world of food. Furthermore, no one was doing that from a Canadian perspective. 

What's your favourite type of cuisine?

This may sound bias but it has to be Filipino food!

I know that sisig is your favourite Filipino food, what's your next favourite?

I'd have to say my next favorite food is sinigang. Anytime I step into a new filipino restaurant or takeout joint, I HAVE to try their version of sinigang.

What do you think of the fact that Kultura Filipino Arts Festival's culinary competition is focusing on Filipino street food?

I think it's amazing because there are so many things you can do in this area of filipino food; even fish balls, bbq & soups. The possibilities are endless.

What's your favourite Filipino street food?

Probably fish balls. And it has to be with some sort of spicy vinegar.

What's the weirdest Filipino street food that you've ever eaten?

What are you hoping to see as far as street food goes at this year's festival?

I hope someone is doing some sort of grilled squid. In case you didn't already know, we are doing a food booth at Kultura this year and I can guarantee you that you will see some amazing new takes on filipino street food. Look out for "Horse & Carriage" which is the name of our new food concept.

Photo property of the Image Interview

His questions:

In a digital world where social media and web content are huge, why did you decide to put ACQTASTE into print?

I decided to put ACQTASTE into print AFTER we blew up on the web. We basically leveraged our online presence and global fan base to direct eyeballs towards the printed magazine. It definitely would have been difficult for us to launch a printed mag with absolutely no following. But when we launched print 2 years ago, online and mobile content was still in its infancy stage. No one can honestly say that they are making a killing off of mobile unless you are big wigs like Conde Nast (Vogue, GQ etc). Til this day, I still probably only read 1 magazine on an app, and that's not on a regular basis. Web is also a tough model as advertising budgets are no longer massive and they tend to stay away from independents. When it comes down to it, we are a collectable. People love the fact that they have a tangible item that will eventually get sold out. Til this day we still have people searching for Issue 1 & 2.

What's your opinion about the new idea that chefs are the new rock stars of today?

I definitely think it has its pros and cons. It's amazing to see how far food culture has come and the opportunities that are out there. It definitely makes our job a lot easier, the fact that your average person knows the difference between Anthony Bourdain and Mario Batali. People know a lot more about the industry and its definitely more transparent. The downside is that there are many chefs that get way too much publicity and buzz, which overshadows chefs that work their butts off and may not get the same attention.  

Do you think Filipino food can be made well by non-Filipino people? And have you ever experienced this?

Absolutely! Maharlika in New York city is the perfect example of a non-Filipino chef, Chef Miguel Trinidad, cooking amazing Filipino food.  Trinidad happens to be Dominican and attributes his knowledge of the cuisine to other people's mothers. Good food can be cooked by any race, sex or ethnicity. Some of the best Japanese food I've had has been cooked by Koreans and Americans.

Since Filipino food is becoming more mainstream, do you fear that it will lose its authenticity? 

I don't think it will lose authenticity nor do I think anyone can truly say what is authentic. Authenticity will vary from person to person mainly because they are coming from different perspectives and reference points. For example, I am a Canadian-born Filipino and authentic Filipino to ME is the food my grandmother used to cook me from her apartment in North York. While someone that was born in the Philippines may view authentic Filipino food as the street food he used to have as a child on the streets of Manila. Who is to say which one is more authentic? Either way, like all different types of cuisines before it, Filipino food will become more mainstream and will continue to evolve for centuries.  

What's you least favourite Filipino food?

Buro, it simply reminds be of vomit :-P

What's your favourite Filipino restaurant in Toronto?

I have go-to restaurants for many different situations, occasions and cravings. For example, I love the Sisig at Manila Bistro in Scarborough, the Crispy Pata at Lamesa and the Sinigang at Bulakena. For a night on the town, I'd go to Lamesa. For a family party we tend to go to Casa Manila. If I'm on the run and need takeout, I'll usually grab Jesse Jr.

Photo property of the Image Interview

We would like to thank Chuck Ortiz for taking the time to answer our questions. We can't wait to attend the Kultura Filipino Arts Festival now just to try some of the amazing Filipino food that we've learned about recently.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Filipino Recipe to help Celebrate the 8th Annual Kultura Filipino Arts Festival

Photo property of Kapisanan Philippine Centre

In order to help celebrate the upcoming 8th Annual Kultura Filipino Arts Festival we have a recipe to share with our readers from Chef Gavin Vasquez.

Don't forget that on Sunday, August 11, 2013 (Artscape Wychwood Barns {601 Christie St., Toronto}), Kultura’s Filipino Culinary Competition honours the popularity of street food with Kain Kalye: Filipino Street Eats. Chef Vasquez helps us explore the flavours of Filipino food through this vegetarian lumpia recipe.

(Photo credit:
Vegetarian Lumpia (Filipino Spring Rolls)

Lumpia Filling:
1 bunch cilantro
1 carrot (julienne)
1 stock of celery (julienne)
1 cup of bean sprouts
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 spring onion (julienne)
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon canola oil
1 tablespoon soya sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Saute garlic in sesame and canola oil.
2. Add in carrot and celery and cook until carrots are soft.
3. Add bean sprouts and spring onion and deglaze with soya sauce.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add filling to a fresh crepe with a piece of cilantro and serve with lumpia sauce.

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of margarine, melted

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and eggs. Gradually add in milk and water, stirring to combine. When fully combined, add salt and margarine. Combine until smooth.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe.
3. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
4. Cook the crepe for approximately 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Lumpia Sauce:
3 tablespoons soya sauce
1/2 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 - 2 cups of peanuts, toasted and ground
4 cloves of garlic, minced

1. Mix all the ingredients together excluding the garlic and peanuts.
2. Cook over medium heat in a small saucepan until thick.
3. Remove from heat and add minced garlic.
4. Serve with ground peanuts over any fresh lumpia.


Monday, 29 July 2013

The Serbian Food Festival

Trinity Hall
700 Fischer-Hallman Road
Kitchener, ON

In her opinion:
It is only recently that I experienced Serbian food (read the Veslo Family Restaurant post here) and what I had I liked. So, when I heard about the Serbian Food Festival, I was pretty excited about having more of this delicious cuisine.

Trinity Hall was packed with people of Serbian descent and other nationalities, all there to enjoy the food, culture and music. We stood in line right away to get our hands on the delicious food and waited about 20 minutes before being able to order. We ordered a small cevaps plate which came with five cevaps inside a flat bread with side salad. As well, we ordered the baked beans which also came with two dinner rolls and salad.

The cevaps were delicious. These little sausages are a guilty pleasure. So delicious. The flat bread is so so good. The cheese mixture that came with the cevaps was also delicious and added the right amount of flavour balance to this dish.

The baked beans were wonderful. They are cooked with pork and are so decadent and rich in flavour. I loved them and would be happy eating them everyday of my life. There I said it!

We also picked up two Serbian desserts on our way out. The Serbian custard slice (creme-pita) and a Serbian doughnut (krofne). Both were very good.

I would recommend this festival for anyone who like homey, delicious food. This is really good food and an excellent event.

Baked Beans


In his opinion:
I was extremely disappointed that we missed last year's Serbian Food Festival and after having such good experiences with Serbian food like the one we had at Veslo Family Restaurant in Kitchener, I promised myself that I wouldn't miss it this year.

Strategically, we had to juggle a couple of food events this day but in the end, those are "sacrifices" a food blogger needs to make, as hard as it may seem :)

We arrived at Trinity Hall to find out that we had really arrived at an European event, and that was just the parking situation. We were able to park and make our way up the small hill that leads to the church parking lot. Lots of Serbian Flags, Serbian people and a smell of good food greeted us as we made our way through the parking lot.

Looking around we found a "drink" tent that unfortunately was only serving Corona or Heineken. No Nicksicko Tamno or Pivo nor Jelen in sight. That ended up being the only disappointment of the event and I "made do" with a fine Heineken.

There were tents set up selling Serbian paraphernalia, flags, soccer jerseys and of course the Serbian Food Festival official t-shirts. There were many table set-up in the middle of the parking for the guest and these were always packed at all times with individuals enjoying food.

There were 2 main line ups for the food. The longest one was serving cevaps (seasoned mix of pork and pork mix), beef stew, sauerkraut and baked beans.  We opted for the cevaps and the baked beans. Those ended up being excellent, tasty options. The cevaps (mince meat) came in the form of 5 kebabs, very well seasoned and perfectly cooked. They sat on a flat bread, served with coleslaw and diced onions. They also gave us a mixture of cheeses that went well with the kebabs.

We also got the baked beans option (prebranac), served with 2 dinner buns and a choice of salad. The baked beans were outstanding, the highlight of the meal. Served with pieces of pork ribs and bacon in the mix, the baked beans were very soft, full of flavour and perfectly brown. I so wanted to try the "Spit Roasted Pork" served on the other tent but it only came in a 1 lbs option and we still had to try the desserts.

For dessert, we had krofne (Serbian soft doughnut) and a Serbian custard slice. This Serbian custard (kreme-pita) was heavenly and can only be described as a puff pastry with a very tasty egg custard cream. It was divine.

Overall, I was very happy to attend this event with good food, good people and a very nice venue as host. The number of non-Serbians attending was still low overall but that should change quickly as this is food that everyone should experience and enjoy! 

PRIJATNO! (Bon Appetite)

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Downtown Kitchener Food Truck Mini-Festival

Kitchener City Hall
200 King Street West
Kitchener, ON

In her opinion:
As our readers know, I love a good food truck event and any opportunity to try the innovative cuisine available at these truck events means we are usually there! So when they announced this event for this Sunday, we were all over it. The only downside was the fact that it was the same weekend as the Serbian Food Festivals...but as foodies, bloggers and all around good eaters...we took it all in stride!

As we walked up to the venue, I did a quick survey of the area and realized right away that there wasn't 10 food trucks there...there were only 6 trucks and half of them were sold out or gone by 4:00pm. We decided to just grab food from 2 trucks...S.W.A.T. and Cafe du Monde Creperie. We separated and stood for about 1 hour at each line...that is a very long time and a lot of people in front and behind me gave up and left. I endured and hoped that it would be worth it.

I ordered the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich from S.W.A.T. The service was very quick once you ordered...I didn't wait more then 3 minutes for the sandwich. The sandwich itself was just okay...nothing special. The flavour was lacking. The onions and mushrooms were okay but there was a lot of black burnt residue from the grill on the sandwich and that gave it a bitter flavour. The cheese of the cheesesteak was almost non-existent. Overall, I was disappointed and the fact that I waited almost an hour for this made for an even more bitter taste in my mouth.

Edgar stood in line at the Cafe du Monde Creperie truck and he ordered the "Original Crepe" with nutella and bananas...that's my Paris favourite. This again was a little disappointing...the filling was abundant and very good but the crepe was a little crispy and not the soft consistency that you expect from a really good crepe. It was not as disappointing as the sandwich but still disappointing after over an hour wait.

Overall, I was not impressed at all with the event...not enough trucks...not enough food for the crowds and the caliber of food was not up to the standards of other food truck events.

In his opinion:
Food truck events are always a big priority for us and usually gets us pretty excited. Toss in the fact that this one is happening in our own backyard and there was more added excitement in the mix. We have quite a few food truck events under our belt now so, when a new event comes up we have lots to compare it to.

As the event was being advertised as 10+ Food Trucks for the line-up, it was a disappointment to arrive and see only 6 trucks at Kitchener's City Hall. I understand that late cancellations are something that sometimes cannot be avoided, having only 60% of the trucks expected spells disappointment to anyone attending.

Okay, so there is only 6 trucks so we figured that we would make the best out of the event. We arrived at the event around 3 PM, not even halfway though the projected time of the event (11 AM-7 PM). Our intention was to not be there for the lunch time crowd and avoid the worse line-ups of the day. It seemed it had succeeded as the line-ups were not horrible for a free food truck event. 

Please understand that going to a food truck event that is open to everyone (no cover charge) you MUST expect long line-ups and be ready to strategize your food options to maximize your time there. It is unfortunate but just the way it is and not much can be done about it. Your only hope is for fast service.

Noticing some of the people waiting complaining on how slow the line-ups were, we decided to split up and each take one food truck order. I picked "Cafe du Monde Creperie" and my better half picked Kitchener's own S.W.A.T. Food truck. The lineup at the Cafe Du Monde seemed minimal, less than 20 people so I thought that for sure I would get my food quick. Fast forward 1 hour and 15 minutes and I finally reached the window to order, but still another 20 minutes away from getting my food. 

This is unreasonable and a poor showing for a truck selling crepes and fries. The "Original" crepe that I ordered was nutella with bananas was unfortunately, just okay. Not a complete waste but miles from being worth waiting over 1 hour and a half for.

For the other truck, SWAT we waited just over one hour for a Philly cheesesteak sandwich which again was just ordinary. Granted that the line-up was 3-4 times longer than the creperie, they were able to be much quicker, even though 1 full hour went by. 

Adding to injury, the Schmuck Truck had ran out of food before we even got there, the Great British Bake Truck closed while we were in line and Cool Jim's Ice Cream truck left during the same period. This meant that the only truck we could still get food from besides the ones we were lining up for, was the Luchador Mexi-fusion Truck that had the biggest line-up of all of them. It ended up not happening as when we finished our food the line-ups were still very long.

Overall, I understand the complexity of putting together a food truck show and you cannot control how fast the trucks serve their food. I am grateful that someone had the idea to create this event in our area and I'm sure a lot will be learned for next year's event, if they chose to have another.

Much needs to be changed and the preparation/execution for this event has to be reconsidered. I would like to thank the people that brought this event to our Region and even though it was a bit disappointing this year, I'm sure next year's will be much better.

Café du Monde Crêperie on Urbanspoon Swat Sandwiches With a Twist on Urbanspoon

Friday, 26 July 2013

Filipino Street Food - Kain Kalye

In light of the upcoming Kultura Filipino Arts Festival, we thought we would broaden your knowledge of Filipino street food or Kain Kalye.

We have done a little research on the matter and realized that Filipino food in general is underrated and really not that well known when compared to other Asian cuisines. What we have read, seen and even heard makes us think that it's time we all learned a little about this type of food.

So what have we read - well, there are lots of blogs that talk about Filipino street food. These have been helpful in providing a guide to this type of cuisine.  Here are some Filipino street foods that are quite popular:

1.  Dirty Ice Cream or Sorbetes

2.  Banana-Que or Banana-Q 

3.  Kwek Kwek

4.  Betamax 

5.  Day-old 

6.  Adidas 

7.  Buko 

8.  Turon 

9.  Taho 

10. Fish balls

11. Isaw or Esaw 

12. Helmet

12. Balut 

What have we seen - judge for yourself!

What have we heard - YouTube celebrity Mikey Bustos singing about Filipino street food. Enjoy! This is hilarious!

To be honest, the only Filipino food that we have ever had was at a Portuguese/Filipino wedding shower (and that was basically lumpia and noodles) and the KW Multicultural Festival where it consisted of the BBQ plate...bbq chicken, skewers, spring rolls, rice and noodles...all very delicious and as we described - very safe. No street food...well, not yet anyway!

There is a lot of food in the Filipino culinary world that attracts every appetite and then some that attracts only the daring! Bottom line is we agree with many in the know that Filipino food is underrated and needs to be explored a little more!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Canoe - Celebrating our 15th Anniversary!

66 Wellington Street West
Toronto, ON


In her opinion:
Summerlicious and our wedding anniversary are a perfect pairing, like a delicious meal and a fine wine. It's a great opportunity to celebrate being able to stay together through thick and thin, while enjoying some excellent cuisine at very descent prices! This year we did Bent (Susur Lee's restaurant with his sons, Levi and Kai) and of course, Canoe.

Canoe is easily one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto. It's not the type of place that I would go to every single day of my life if I had the chance but rather a great place to celebrate. Yup, that's it...Canoe is easily one of my favourite celebration restaurants in Toronto. During Summerlicious it's not always easy to get a reservation but my darling husband was able to slip in there and actually get one for the date of our anniversary.

We arrived safe and sound after the sonic ride up to the 54th floor (thank goodness we were alone in the anxiety shouldn't be shared with strangers) and were shown to "our usual table" - 2nd table from the kitchen were we dined last year as well! We were then greeted by two of the managers at Canoe and each given a glass of Angel's Gate Archangel Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine to help celebrate our anniversary.

Our lovely waitress for the evening was Sarah M. who was both personable and attentive adding to the overall success of the evening. I ordered a glass of Q water to enjoy with my meal and the sparkling wine. One of the server then brought over two types of bread for us to share - potato pancetta and a spelt and pumpkin bread with a chickpea maple spread. 

After answering some questions regarding the menu, Sarah took down my choices:

For my appetizer, I picked the "Whipped Sheep's Milk Mousse with Tender Shoots, Cardamon Crisp and Radish Vinaigrette". Chef Horne sent us out the Chilled New Farms Cucumber Soup with "Yarmouth Lobster, Dill and Hewitt's Buttermilk" to actually start things out.

I was eyeing this soup before it was even sent out to us due to the word lobster. But the cucumber aspect had caused me to say no...Chef Horne thought differently. I'm glad he did...this was excellent. The cucumber soup itself was creamy and ethereal due to the buttermilk component. The lobster was beautiful (like lobster can be anything else) and the pickled cucumbers on top acidic and lovely (they're Chef Horne's mom's recipe and the inspiration for this soup). I really enjoyed the soup. It was a lovely gift from the kitchen. The funny thing that I shared with Chef later is that there are two things in this world that I don't like to eat...watermelon and cucumbers. I've eaten them both in cold soup presentations at Canoe, thanks to Chef Horne! 

The whipped sheep's milk mousse was an adventurous choice for me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. It was a beautiful "salad" of crispy vegetables, radishes and tender shoots in a radish vinaigrette with the most delight sheep's milk mousse or "cream cheese" I've ever enjoyed in my life. It was bursting with flavour but still completely delicate and beautiful.

For my main, I picked the "Rock Cornish Hen with Zucchini, Three Grain Salad and Green Tomato Chutney".

This is perfection. The skin on the cornish hen was crispy and golden. It was full of flavour. The cornish hen itself was succulent and moist. It was perfectly cooked. It was placed on top of a gorgeous bean puree and served with a three grain salad and the most amazing green tomato chutney which added a note of sweetness to the plate. This was absolutely delicious.

For dessert, I picked the "Torched Bread Pudding with Niagara Plums and Osprey Bluffs Honey Sabayon." 

It had been a toss up between this dessert and the chocolate hazelnut mousse dessert. When I asked Sarah which she preferred, she had said the bread pudding as it reminded her of toast with jam and honey. Well, she was right. I'm glad I went with this dessert. It was gorgeous. The bread pudding had been torched. The plums beautiful dealt with and the best thing on the plate in my opinion, the Osprey Bluffs honey sabayon. Together these flavours worked beautifully.

Overall, this was the best way to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary! This was also the best meal that I have had in 2013. Just excellent. Chef Horne and Canoe did a fabulous job of helping us celebrating 15 years together in perfect culinary style! 

In his opinion:
Telling our friends that we are going to Canoe Restaurant for our anniversary usually evokes two very distinct sentiments. From the uninformed (God save their soul), we get "what's Canoe?", and from the informed (thankfully the majority), we get "WOW Canoe, very nice". 

That latter reaction doesn't come randomly. It is the mark of excellence that Canoe Restaurant has consistently delivered for many years; thus, making it arguably the best and most sought after restaurant in Toronto. We all know that reaching the top is always easier then staying there! So how does Canoe continue to surpass expectations year after year? The answer I'm afraid is not an easy one but can be summarized by explaining how they maintain excellence and never rest on their laurels.

With that thought, can we expect to go to Canoe and consistently expect amazing service and outstanding food wrapped in a true Canadian fine dining experience? That question is much easier to respond to and it is, yes. Oliver and Bonacini and their amazing staff at the restaurant do everything in their power to ensure that they stay at the top.

As I'm being shown to my table, I look around mesmerized on the simplicity of the decoration of the room We have been there many times but it is still surprising. Clean lines, wood and steel that somehow translates in a warm and welcoming space. The staff complete the warm and welcoming feeling with service that is second to none in the city. Every table is VIP and everyone is treated like they were the most acclaimed food critic. That is how Canoe stands above everyone else in this competitive dining world.

A glass of sparkling wine was served to us courtesy of one of the managers. All to ensure that we start our anniversary dinner the right way. 
Having studied the menu before I got there, the decisions were easy to make. Upon making our food decisions, Chef Horne treated us to a lovely addition to the meal and started us off with the Chilled New Farms Cucumber Soup with Yarmouth Lobster, dill and Hewitt's buttermilk.

The soup was creamy, perfectly chilled Gazpacho style and surprisingly light on the cucumber taste. The buttermilk offset the slightly bitter, watery taste of the cucumber very well, and the fresh lobster was the proverbial "cherry on the cake", giving the dish the twist of texture required. I must add that the presentation for this soup was extremely effective in both simplicity and character.

For my appetizer I picked the "Slow Cooked Heritage Salmon with Watercress, Puffed Wild Rice and Kabosu Mayonnaise". Again the presentation elevated the dish's appeal with a symphony of hues, textures and shapes. The salmon was cooked perfectly with a moist and soft texture that retained all of its flavour. The addition of small mounts of wild puffed rice in each of the 3 separate portions of the dish provide perfect texture balance to the soft fish. Lastly, the citrus infusion of the green Kabosu Mayonayse completed the visual and palate appeal.

For my main, I decided to go the perceived simple route of beef with my choice of "Wellington County Beef". It was served with "Roasted Carrots, Steel Cut Oats and Portobello Bacon Jus". This was probably one of the best and most unexpected meat dishes that I have ever had. The beef came in 2 separate portions, perfectly cooked on the inside and with a harder texture on the outside. Every bite seemed better than the last as I barely used my knife to separate these wonderful pieces of beef from one another. The steel cut oats that are often used for porridge, were soft, with a sweet, nutty flavour and balanced well with the Portobello Bacon Jus that covered the dish.

At this point of the meal, everything was going perfectly well foodwise. The mixture of good service by our waitress, amazing view from the restaurant and the great company were raising this experience to a level not too short of spectacular. I then received my dessert choice consisting of "Frozen Yogurt with Raspberry Soda, Milk Crumble and Vanilla Oil". The words "Happy 15th Anniversary" were featured on each one of our dessert plates as a very nice gesture from the kitchen. The dessert itself transported me mentally to my childhood years with the "ice pops" like frozen yogurt and raspberry soda taste.

I also ordered an espresso to go with my dessert and I'm happy to report that this was the best espresso that I have ever had in all my times at Canoe, even though it still falls slightly short off the mark. Kudos for the improvement.

Chef Horne took a few minutes off from his very busy kitchen to come talk to us and that completed our wonderful experience. It is always a pleasure to talk food with someone that redefines Canadian cuisine even though this time we focused our conversations more on the peculiar eating habits of our own small children.

The Good: A perfectly executed meal, explosive dish presentations and flavours that grip you and excite your palate is the way to describe this meal. The service was nothing short of impeccable, with what resembled as a seamlessly choreographed performance of servers, managers and staff.
The Bad: When the bar is this high it should be easy to find flaws or shortcomings but Canoe lives up to its flagship status, unblemished.
The Verdict: I keep coming back to Canoe expecting that one day things won't go as perfectly as they usually do but it never happens. I find myself recalling Chef Michael Smith's TV episode in which he visits Canoe and basks in the perfection of execution and the precision of the cutlery placement. Canoe is the benchmark for a dining experience in Canada's largest city and even my undeniable love for its sister restaurant Auberge Du Pommiers can't waver its status. Under the creative lead of Chef Anthony Walsh and the passionate brilliance of Chef John Horne, Canoe is always at the cusp of receiving high new accolades. Whether it's a place in San Pelegrinos Best Restaurants in the World List or a compelling case to finally bring Michelin ratings to Canada, it is time to put this marvel specimen of Canadian cuisine in the place where it belongs in the culinary world.

I give it 4 1/2 out of 5 Olives as rating

Canoe Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Upcoming Events - 8th Annual Kultura Filipino Arts Festival

Photo property of Kapisanan Philippine Centre
Presented by:
Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture
Phone: 416-979-0600

Starts: August 7, 2013
Ends: August 11, 2013

Cost: Free

Join KAPISANAN for KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival, Canada's only mulit-disciplinary Filipino Arts Festival!

August 7 - Bayanihan: an Interactive Art Installation 10am - 7pm
Daniels Spectrum - 585 Dundas Street East

August 8 - ILUSTRADOS Fundraising Dinner 
Cost is $80 per person and a tax receipt will be given.
Three seatings to pick from 6pm, 7:30pm and 9pm
Includes one bottle of San Miguel beer and 12 course dinner.
Lamesa Filipino Kitchen - 669 Queen Street West

August 9 - CLUTCH Vol. 5 Art Opening 7 pm
KAPISANAN - 167 Augusta Avenue

August 10 - Carlos Bulosan Theatre's Play Creation Unit Readings             2pm
KAPISANAN - 167 Augusta Avenue

August 10 - Tambay Nights 8:30pm
KAPISANAN - 167 Augusta Avenue

August 11 - Filipino culinary Competition and KULTURA Live! 12pm             to 7pm
Artscape Wychwood Barns - 601 Christie Street (Bathurst & Christie)

DISCLAIMER: Times, dates and locations subject to change without notice.

Location: Event takes place in multiple locations, please contact event organizers for more details.

This is a great opportunity to experience the Filipino culture. Tips are Included! has been asked to help provide awareness of Filipino food and in coming posts we will be providing more information about this very underrated type of cuisine including the Philippine Culinary Competition - Kain Kalye - Filipino Street Eats (this years grand finale).