Official Liaison College Blog

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flavour of the Olympics - Taste Tour of the Danforth

The Olympics are on in full swing and it brings Greece and all of its wonders to mind!  The photo below is actually a scene from the Danforth near Pape.  A bust and memorial to Alexander the Great is a prominent feature of the neighbourhood and offers a wonderful resting place with fountain and shade.

On a hot, sunny Saturday you can take a tour of Toronto's cultural food districts and learn about food and history in unique way.  I did just that with my friend Anne last week in Toronto.  We joined up with The Culinary Adventure Company and our tourguide Peter from a notable Toronto foodie and blogger.

Our first stop is a sampling of Turkish Olives with store and olive grove owner Mehmet Uzel.  His array of olives and olive products is astonishing.  A sampling quickly determines that we are tasting fresh, flavourful olives and oil that are a must buy.  Mehmet does his own seasoning on site and will vacuum pack your purchase for you.  Delicious.

Next a trip to Meditarrenean pizza called Pide.  We ordered the combo slice.  While you wait for your personal pizza order, you can watch the interesting video on how the dough and pizza are assembled.  The finished product is nothing short of fantastic.  All of the ingredients are fresh and so is the "onion on the side" that Peter recommended to complement the food.  Totally delicious.  One Pide is enough to feed two for lunch.  FYI.

We continued to food fest to a colourful bakery called Akropolis Bakery where the baked goods on display are enough to make even the most staunch dieter relent.  Peter recommended that we try the Galaktoboureko (click for a recipe) which is a baked egg custard with phyllo and syrup to create the irresistable blend of sweet and mild.  Absolutely delicious. And what a bustling fun atmosphere.  As soon as we walked in my friend Anne said it feels like we are in Europe!

Final stop was Pan Restaurant where we enjoyed a "sampler platter" of appetizers and a glass of red Greek wine.  What an amazing way to finish a wonderful afternoon.  I have never had such tasty tzaziki and dolmas.  The selection was a good variety and the wine was very complementary.

Thank you Peter for a wonderful taste of the Olympics.   "Ευχαριστώ"

Canadian Chef Educators in PEI

A summer get away to PEI is never a bad thing.  And when the Canadian Chef Eduacators Association held their annual conference at the Culinary Institute of Canada (at Holland College ) I was excited and eager to attend.  Visions of fishing and potatoes and Anne of Green Gables occupied my thoughts and I was not disappointed.

We arrived to be greeted by the college team and were "shucked in" to the island - this is a tradition where you slurp an oyster, down a shooter of local shine and then kiss the potatoe!  You are now an official visitor and friend of PEI.

The highlight of the conference (there were so many great aspects it's hard to narrow it down to one!) was the tasting menu dinner featuring Michael Smith as the guest speaker.  Michael Smith speaks so eloquently about culinary training and the importance of "teaching food" to students.  He is such a wonderful ambassador for his home province and the food industry.  The menu was extensive and included wine pairing with each course.  Followed by a book signing

Flavours of PEI is a collection of recipes written by three of the chef instructors at the Holland College.  The forward is by Michael Smith.  At last year's Culinary Book Awards this book won the gold.  A definite must have for any culinary collection.

Thank you to the organizers of the conference for a superb taste of PEI!