Looking back

First off, I want to thank you for sticking with me. Especially those of you who chose to follow me. Hope everyone had a meaningful 2018.

This blog began as an assignment for my Theory of Food 1 and 2 courses. I started adding blogs outside of the assignments. Both my instructors for Food Theory liked reading the posts and encouraged my to continue after the course finished.

So here we are.

I’m going to mention a couple of events and a couple of food items. I’ve been cooking all through the holidays. School is about to begin so will be offering more from that experience. Meanwhile here is a little look back:

Cooking With the Wolfman

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I’ve mentioned Chef David Wolfman in a few blogs. His cookbook is entitled Cooking with the Wolfman and I highly recommend it. However, I actually got to cook with the Wolfman and it was so much fun. He had a little pasta station setup. People could pick and choose what ingredients they wanted with their pasta:

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We would saute the choices, garnish with parsley, cheese and bread. The amazing thing was, it was done at VisionCare in Scarborough, an optometry and eye glass shop. It was their customer appreciation day and the theme was Italian eyewear.

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David has a great sense of humour and made the customers feel at ease. He gave me a little sign with a joke on my last name:

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David had to leave early and I went solo – cooking professionally for the first time. I cooked, chatted, restocked and rested until the store closed.

BMO Mastercard Elite and Cabalitto

This one came out of the blue. Got an email inviting me to take part in a Mexican food event. The price was very reasonable and included family platter style, Mexican dishes. And it was an amazing menu:

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Cabalitto is located on King St west across from Roy Thompson Hall. It’s located in underground and the vibe is very much cool, stone cellar.

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The even was sold out. I actually tried to book as soon as I got the email but the website would not accept my card, even though it was valid. BMO Mastercard actually had to issue me a new card. Meanwhile, the event sold out but the organizers held me a spot until my new card came.

The event was also co-sponsored by Tromba Tequila. I got to do a tequila taste testing in the grotto:

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I learned about how bad tequila is made and got to taste GOOD tequila and understand it’s qualities. Tromba is a Canadian company that offers good tequila at a reasonable price because they are a small, independent company. They have 3 products: Blanco, Reposado and Anejo. These will not make you feel like crap the next morning the way that college tequila did.

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This was my first experience with “Family Patters’. There were 10 of us sitting at a long table. The course would come out and we all transferred portions to our plate. This was easy enough to do but there were no serving utensils. We all used what we had. This was a little disconcerting given that a fork that was just in someone’s mouth was then used to get a portion off of a family plate. I always made sure I took the first portion and used my knife.

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However, when the fish dish arrived, I realized this would pose a cross contamination problem. No one at the table moved – they didn’t know what to do with it. I asked the waiter for a clean set of knife and fork. I then proceeded to fillet the fish and cut up the pieces to share.

Pow Wow Cafe

Chef David Wolfman and Pow Wow Cafe’s Chef Shawn Adler teamed up again for a tasting menu – and it did not disappoint. The selection of Indigenous Fusion delectables, in this cozy, intimate room was a remarkable dining experience.

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Shawn makes his own sweetgrass soda – I could not pass that up

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There were too many items to recount in this blog but here are a couple

Basket Brigade Canada

One final event to tell you about happened just before Christmas. Chef Wolfman asked if I wanted to help deliver food baskets to people in need. This was the Saturday before Christmas. The event is organized by Basket Brigade Canada

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We met at a large facility where we organized 2 baskets: one for fruit & vegetables and the other for dry goods. I helped with the vege bags. Donations had come in from all over with tables and tables laden with food. However, what was truly amazaing were the number of volunteers who had turned out at 9 am on a Saturday morning.

When we had finished the organizer, Joanne Chrobot called everyone up to the stage. I first got a shot of David (with his arm raised).

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Gradually everyone managed to get into the photo shoot along with all the bags we had packed.

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We went out in teams to deliver the bags. David and I were scheduled to deliver to 5 families. We also picked up potatoes and a turkeys. It was a real joy to see the welcoming looks on people’s faces as we delivered the food. And the only thing we asked is that, someday they will do the same for someone else.

Dauphinoise Potatoes

Speaking of potatoes, after I completed the 2 weeks DASH diet I made Dauphinoise Potatoes – layers of thinly sliced potato, 35% cream Parmesan and smoke Gruyere cheese.

 

For my pork order from Stone Horse farms, I got a tenderloin. Never did one before. I choose a date and Gorgonzola cheese stuffing. However, I first had to stuff Raisin with the filling

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It was a small loin and I put too much of the filling on it. But that added to the taste at teh end.

In the meantime I practiced my trussing on the loin and it turned out okay.

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Finally I made a polenta lasagna. In this version polenta slices are used instead of pasta noodle. I cut the polenta too thick. The trick is to keep it in the fridge. Once it is cold, it is easier to slice in thin strips.

 

Okay – that’s it folks. Thanks again for staying with me. Found out two of my classed at George Brown have been cancelled due to low enrollment. I’ve still got Hospitality Mathematics and a Health and Wellness elective. – both of which make terrible blog subjects. But it now gives me time on the weekend to explore culinary so stay tuned.

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