12 April 2008


A couple of weeks back, G and I, (and a friend from work) attended a dinner at the LCBO about the Slow Food movement, with star chef Tobey Nemeth from Jamie Kennedy's restaurant. Now, I have to confess. She totally rules. Totally. She walks the talk about good food, and I really admire her ability to do so. The dinner was three hours of deliciousness...

First, we started off with Tobey's housemade head cheese.

I know I know. This is something that I can honestly say that I never really thought I would try, but was lured by Tobey saying, "it's not such a big deal, we make it at the restaurant, eat it up." So I ate most of it up. As long as it was on bread. And I am pretty much done with that then.

We then watched Tobey cook compile a lovely panzanella salad. This salad wasn't anything super fancy.

But it was super good. It had these amazing sun cured tomatoes in them, that were not dry and tart like sun dried tomatoes... The best part was that Tobey walked around with the big bowl of salad after we'd been served, bringing us more! That's right! Feed us!

From there, we moved on to an amazing chorizo, cheddar and olive risotto.

Wow. That picture is washed out. While I could fix it... I am not gonna. I thought the risotto was really nice BUT the olives were really overpowering. The chef was saying that the chorizo was the dominant flavour, but I really didn't think so. The olives were a bit too strong. But the combination was lovely.

We moved from there to an excellent explanation of how to make duck confit, along with a course of duck confit with polenta. The polenta was made with cream and it was unbelievably rich. I think the duck confit was the reason why my coat (and bag, and shirt, and hair) smelled so FOOD-LIKE when I left the LCBO. But whatever the reason, my bag was so stinky the next day, I was embarrassed on the subway!

The duck was amazing. Really tender, the skin was crispy, the polenta was a lovely dish to have with it, but really rich. Tobey said she would not serve these together normally, but wanted to showcase both dishes.

Honestly, the food just kept coming. We moved from there to a local cheese plate.

Lovely. The one in ash is called "Don Cherry's Puck" or something. And a dessert cake that tasted like a truffle.

As I have said before... the LCBO's dinners are really fun. I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to have a nice dinner out and learn a thing or two.

While I am not ready to go total Slow Food, I do like the idea of eating better. Fresher, cleaner, and more humanely.

As a result, I urge EVERYONE to make a donation to the World Food Programme. They are running dangerously low on food, and with the many food riots in the world, and escalating cost of staple foods such as rice, I can't see it getting any better

In fact, we were just chatting with G's mom about this crisis, and she was saying how short-sighted people were in the "East" (China, India, etc) for moving away from farming to living in cities, and selling their lands to developers. I pointed out that this is a huge problem RIGHT HERE AT HOME, and really, the nice new subdivision she lives in out in Richmond Hill was once all farmland.

It's an enormous problem. I am reading a very interesting book regarding this issue, titled, "Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World's Food System". I am not sure that the author, Raj Patel, is pro- WFP, but at the same time, at least someone is out there trying.

I don't know. Haiti and their food riots are frightening. The rice prices in Asia are going to effect millions and millions of people. And here at home, we're seeing the cost of our cheap and easy lifestyle. I want to make it better, I just don't know where and how.

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