Saturday, September 23, 2017

Culinary Showdown Montreal


The Jewish General Hospital and Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation Host Celebrity
Chefs Tyler Florence, Kimberly Lallouz, Mark McEwan; Danny Smiles, Michael Smith and Top 50 Fundraisers in Quebec’s First Annual Culinary Showdown

Culinary Showdown is a peer to peer fundraising event and gala dinner for home cooks,
amateur chefs and foodies, who all have one thing in common – a strong passion for food and the
cause! This extraordinary challenge gives culinary enthusiasts the opportunity to fundraise for a chance to cook alongside celebrity chefs in the type of team cooking challenge normally reserved for TV.
Chef Mark McEwen

It will be held on Sunday October 29, 2017 at Arsenal Contemporary Art, 2020 William St, Montreal, Quebec and will include a Celebrity Chef School from 10:30am-3:00pm before the showdown begins at 6:00pm-11:00pm.

This extraordinary challenge gives culinary enthusiasts the opportunity to fundraise for a chance to cook alongside celebrity chefs Tyler Florence, Kimberly Lallouz, Mark McEwan; Danny Smiles, and
Michael Smith, Hosted by Brad Smith - Chopped Canada, in support of two incredible organizations. 

The Jewish General Hospital provides general and specialized care of the highest quality in a safe, humane and caring manner. The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation is the only non-profit organization in Québec devoted entirely to the fight against breast cancer through research and innovation, raising awareness and providing education and support to those affected by this disease and their loved ones.

The Culinary Showdown is an exclusive experience that sets the tone for true culinary education.
Celebrity chefs will coach participants on epicurean techniques while the teams compete to be the
next Culinary team.

Enjoy a gourmet meal as the celebrity chefs and their teams of top fundraisers take the stage, but
keep your keen culinary skills handy throughout the dinner, as members of the audience may be
called upon to participate. The 50 highest fundraisers earn the right to test their culinary talents live
on stage alongside their team and celebrity chef. Five teams will compete under the spotlight to
create three unique dishes, applying the skills mastered during Celebrity Chefs School. Each food
course is time-sensitive and will be judged by a discerning panel for taste and presentation.

Fuel your food passion at the Celebrity Chef’s School, as the Celebrity chefs will coach you on how to become a culinary master. They will cover everything from picking the perfect ingredients to plating. You’ll learn trade secrets on food prep, knife skills, cooking methods and more. You’ll learn what it takes to keep your cool when things heat up in the kitchen.

Food lovers, cooking connoisseurs and novices alike are invited to this one-of- a-kind opportunity to
learn from the best chefs in the country and support JGHF and QBCF, register for the Culinary
Showdown at

I attended the launch recently at Mark McEwen's restaurant ONE in Yorkville where we sampled on some amazing appetizers while we learned about the Montreal version of the Culinary Showdown.

I have participated in raising funds for the Culinary Showdown in the past but unfortunately not enough to be able to participate in the live Culinary event.  I would love to participate in the MONTREAL version and if YOU would like to sponsor me I would be happy to represent Toronto in the city foodie rivalry that is Montreal and Toronto.

Please drop me a line if you would like to support me in fundraising.

About The Jewish General Hospital
Since 1934, the JGH has been providing cutting edge treatment and compassionate care to patients
from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds in Montreal, throughout Quebec and beyond, we are
one of the province's largest and busiest acute-care hospitals

About Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation
For more than 20 years, the Foundation has focused its mission on promoting the well-being of affected people and their loved ones through research and innovation, support and raising awareness. Find out why our foundation is now the reference and your best ally for a life without breast cancer.

Dine Out for Restaurants for Change - Oct 18

Top Canadian chefs cook up a storm for Restaurants for Change Oct. 2017

National fundraising event supports community food programs in low-income neighbourhoods across Canada

On October 18, 2017, 92 restaurants in 19 Canadian cities will join together to donate proceeds from dinner service to Community Food Centres Canada, supporting community food programs that build health, hope, and belonging in low-income communities across the country. Funds raised will directly support local Community Food Centres that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food for all.   

Participating in the event is easy: Diners visit to find a participating restaurant near them and make a dinner reservation for October 18.

More than a dozen chefs from participating restaurants across Canada flew to Toronto on September 17 and 18 to learn more about the issues of food insecurity, poor health and social isolation that affect low-income Canadians, and how Community Food Centres Canada is using food as a tool to build healthier and more inclusive communities. They then launched the Restaurants for Change campaign with a packed event at Baro restaurant, where they cooked their favourite dishes from their menus—dishes that Canadians can order when they go out for dinner on October 18.

Pictured above from left to right: Ben Kramer (Ben Kramer Pop-up at Kitchen Sync, Winnipeg), Glen Manzer (Creative Restaurant Group, Calgary), Lora Kirk (Ruby Watchco, Toronto), Erin Vrba (Creative Restaurant Group, Calgary), Duncan Ly (Foreign Concept, Calgary), Nick Saul (President and CEO, Community Food Centres Canada), Kevin Gilmour (Fat Pasha, Toronto), Tyler Shedden (Planta, Toronto), Bettina Schormann (Earth to Table Bread Bar, Hamilton and Guelph), John Vettraino (Backhouse, Niagara-on-the-Lake), Blair Lebsack (RGE RD, Edmonton), Jeff Crump (Earth to Table Bread Bar, Hamilton and Guelph), Anthony Rose (Rose and Sons, Toronto), Renée Lavallée (The Canteen on Portland, Dartmouth), Tim Steele (Drake Hotel Properties, Toronto), David Gunawan (Farmer’s Apprentice, Vancouver). Photo credit: Gabriel Li.

Restaurants for Change 2017 is made possible by generous participating restaurants and sponsors:

2017 restaurants
Calgary Alforno Bakery & Cafe, Bonterra Trattoria, CHARCUT Roast House, Cibo, Cucina Bistro, Deane House, Foreign Concept, Mill Street Calgary Brewpub, NOtaBLE ~ The Restaurant, Posto Pizzeria & Bar, River Café, Royale Brasserie, Scopa Neighbourhood Italian, Teatro Ristorante, The Nash, Vendome Cafe Edmonton RGE RD Halifax/Dartmouth Agricola Street Brasserie, Battery Park BeerBar & Eatery, enVie A Vegan Kitchen, The Brooklyn Warehouse, The Canteen on Portland Hamilton Earth to Table: Bread Bar, Papa Leo’s Restaurant Guelph Artisanale French Country Cooking, Earth to Table: Bread Bar Kitchener The Berlin Alexandria The Quirky CarrotMontreal Garde Manger, Hopkins, Le Bremner, Monkland Taverne, Park, Porco, Restaurant L’Orignal Niagara-on-the-Lake Backhouse Ottawa Atelier, Clover food | drink, North & Navy, Union Local 613 Perth Fieldhouse Pickering PORT St. John’s Mallard Cottage Stratford The Hub at 27 Marketplace Bayfield Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro Toronto Actinolite, Alo, Bar Begonia, Bar Isabel, Baro, Barque Smokehouse, Bar Raval, Beast, Beaumont Kitchen, Big Crow, Cafe Belong, Carmen, Dailo Restaurant, Drake Commissary, Drake Hotel, Drake One Fifty, Edulis, El Rey, Fat Pasha, Flock 97 Harbord Street, Harry’s Charbroiled, Isaan Der, Kanpai Snack Bar, Madame Boeuf, Mamakas Taverna, Maple Leaf Tavern, Peter Pan Bistro, Piano Piano, Planta, PrettyUgly Bar, Rasa, Richmond Station, Rose and Sons, Rose and Sons Swan, Ruby Watchco, Tennessee Tavern, Union Vancouver Burdock & Co, Farmer's Apprentice, Jamjar Commercial Drive Wellington Drake Devonshire Winnipeg  Ben Kramer Pop-up, Chew, deer + almond, Forth, King + Bannatyne, Promenade Cafe and Wine

2017 sponsors
Lead sponsor: Garland Canada. National media sponsors: Global TV, Food Network, Cooking Channel. Media sponsors: Toronto Life, Avenue Calgary. Community partners: Culinary Tourism Alliance,Terroir.  In-kind partners: J Sutton Communications, Open Table, The Siren Group Inc.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Sweetery

Festival:     The Sweetery
Location:    David Pecaut Square
Date:          August 12  & 13, 2017
Website:     The Sweetery

I'm a bit late in writing this post but I wanted to make sure I gave a bit of props to the Sweetery Festival.  It's a small festival that is billed as Canada's largest sweets festival.  I don't know about that but It's a very cute and compact festival with lots of great things.

It's only a couple of years old but they seem to be getting into their groove now.  It's run in conjunction with George Brown College Culinary students and the team I believe are all students.

Some of the proceeds go to Second Harvest which is a great local food rescue charity.

George Brown College has a fantastic display of classic french pastries. I sampled a light and flakey croissant that was oh so buttery.

It was also great to see Holy Cannoli who are at most food festivals in Toronto and they even sold out one of the days they were so busy.

One of the best things I tried was from the food truck Wafel Bar.  They make the best Liege waffles I have ever eaten.  Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and the flavour is perfection.  I had mine with chocolate ice cream and it was perfect.

They had some savoury food there as well and I had a taste of sweet and spicy corn salad.  I think that was the first thing I tried and my actual breakfast but it was delicious.

I also sampled a Macaron slider.  Although a bit weird to see a burger in a macaroon with nori in the middle it did taste pretty good.  I wonder how people decide to use a macaron for a burger bun but I can only imagine since most of the vendors are young and creative.

I didn't eat a lot because I had another festival to go to afterward but everything I tasted was great.

The thing I like about the Sweetery is the location.  It's located at David Pecaut Square on King St. West.  I like this venue because it's compact and easy to get to and there is a grassy area in the middle where they place big red and white umbrellas to sit under and enjoy your treats.   They also have music to enjoy while you are sampling away.

It's an easy festival to attend because there are no entrance fees and you can just pick and choose your sweet and savoury treats and relax in the sun.

I hope you get a chance to check it out next year and get to see it before people find out it's a sweet little festival.

Culinary Showdown Montreal

1st CULINARY SHOWDOWN IN MONTREAL  DEFI CULINAIRE SHOWDOWN The Jewish General Hospital and Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation Host Celeb...