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Narratives Exclusives

This category contains 25 posts

Grant van Gameren: Past, Present and Future

Many years ago, when a cook by the name of Grant van Gameren took over the stoves of this tucked away space on Dundas West (gasp!) which didn’t take reservations (double gasp!), few would have guessed that he would lead the next wave of independent chef-owners in turning Toronto into a culinary destination. In no … Continue reading

Is Toronto world-class for food?

Earlier this week, the really nice people at CBC Radio’s Metro Morning reached out to ask if I could come on air to speak about a topic that had recently come to the producers’ attention. The crowd-sourced guide, Zagat, had taken to social media to ask whether followers thought Toronto was a world-class restaurant city. … Continue reading

Patrice Fortier & La Société des Plantes

While chatting with chef Normand Laprise of Montreal’s Toqué recently about an upcoming trip I was taking to his hometown of Kamouraska, on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region of Quebec, I was encouraged to take time to visit La Société de Plantes. Chef Laprise mentioned that I should … Continue reading

Follow Up: The Sights & Sounds from Taste of Toronto 2015

A short post – in words – to follow up on the previous share about a few conversations I had the pleasure of hosting at the past weekend’s 2nd annual Taste of Toronto event. For those who were unable to attend or catch the live broadcast with chefs Alvin Leung (R&D, Bo Innovation, Bo London), … Continue reading

Behind the Scenes at Taste of Toronto: Stories from the Chef’s Table

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians, and those who are Canadians at heart. Those familiar with the style of Narratives might be aware that there are always different approaches to stories. Sometimes through anecdotes or direct storytelling, others as art-forms or expressions, often times involving food (in one form or another). There’s also direct interaction. Which … Continue reading

View from the Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants Chair: The Lessons, The Challenges, The Results

Disclosure: I am the 2015 Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants in Canada Chair, which means it’s my responsibility to ensure that the voting guidelines are adhered to, help and manage our team of excellent regional chairs as they work with our judging team. I provide assistance to the Executive team in ensuring that this special project … Continue reading

Stories in Progress: Terroir Symposium’s Best Practice Culinary Mission, St. John’s

I think one of the key issues here is that you have one of the most recognizable brands here in Canada in Newfoundland. You are selling a dream. And part of that dream is your food culture. And if people come here to visit and they can’t actually have that experience, all the money and … Continue reading

Kolapore Springs Fish Hatchery: Sean Brady

A tribute to trout farmer Sean Brady whose incredible ingredients are an inspiration to our kitchen. The life cycle of a trout starts with clay pepper spiced roe. The roe then becomes trout alevin that we have prepared “in Carpione.” The baby rainbow fillet has been treated in the style of an anchovy [or sardine], … Continue reading

Arron Barberian

As one of the city’s great culinary treasures, Barberian’s Steak House isn’t just the oldest licensed white tablecloth restaurant (circa 1959), but also houses the largest of wines in the country. When Arron Barberian and his father, Harry, bought back their business in 1994, they were greeted with a general, 60-bottle wine list (and nothing … Continue reading

Stories in Progress: Terroir 2015 – Pioneering Change & Chefs for Oceans

This week the Terroir Hospitality Industry Symposium, held its ninth event in Toronto. The gathering is an annual highlight that brings together innovative, creative and influential members from the hospitality industry, including chefs, restaurateurs, producers and purveyors, food and beverage experts, writers, and business leaders. The symposium doesn’t just educate – often including speakers who perform unconventional … Continue reading

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