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Impromptu, Foodie Themed Short Film World Premiere at TIFF 2013

Impromptu takes a look at the redemptive power of food, wine, music and love through the eyes of a modern man. Chuck is in his element, cooking and listening to Chopin with his baby daughter, imagining what he will say to his wife Sylvie once he can get her to slow down long enough to have a real conversation. All goes awry when Sylvie spontaneously invites a group of colleagues over to celebrate a work victory. The festivities begin to spiral out of control, and Chuck must find his way through a planned diner à deux that has turned into pandemonium.

Filmmaker Bruce Alcock continues in the fine tradition of beloved food films such as Babette’s FeastBig Night and Like Water for Chocolate, using the preparation of a meal as a vehicle for exploring the grand themes of love and life. The loosely flowing movements of his simple and colourful line drawings suggest Alexander Calder wire sculptures come to life. Like the piano impromptu from which the film takes its name, the animation embodies the fleeting occurrence of those inner eureka moments that carry us forward—and bring order to the chaos of life’s rich pageant.

Impromptu

Impromptu. Photo taken from the production © 2013 Global Mechanic Media / National Film Board of Canada

The film is cute and quirky with a whimsical, unique style of 3D animation, inspired by filmmaker Bruce Alcock’s fascination with the 1080 Recipes cookbook. Bruce shares one of his favourite recipes for lamb below.

Juniper Lamb

Best with a frenched rack cut into lambsicles, also works with regular chops. Broil or barbeque on high heat. 

Ingredients

  • frenched rack of lamb, cut into lambsicles
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • coarse salt
  • peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon of cardamom seeds
  • a dozen juniper berries
  • pinch of chipotle
  • olive oil
  • dry white vermouth
  • juice of half a lemon
  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh bay leaf

Directions

  1. Crush with a mortar and pestle into a coarse paste: 4 cloves garlic, coarse salt, peppercorns, a teaspoon of cardamom seeds, a dozen juniper berries, a pinch of chipotle.
  2. Combine in a mixing bowl with 3 big glugs of olive oil and the same of dry white vermouth, and the juice of half a lemon or tangerine. Add two big sprigs of rosemary and a bay leaf (fresh is best).
  3. Squish around the lamb chops until well coated and leave them to sit, the longer the better the taste and more tender the chops. I like about 6 hours, but even no sitting time will work.
  4. BBQ high for 2-3 minutes a side and serve.

Are you a foodie and a film fan? Be sure to catch the world premiere of Impromptu when it screens at TIFF 2013:

  • Wednesday September 11 @ 9:15 PM / TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
  • Thursday September 12 @ 2:30 PM / TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

For more information, visit Impromptu on NFB.ca.

September 4, 2013 | By | Reply More

Eat Up TO Alumni Cheesewerks and Hot Bunzz Team Up for the Ex!

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Heading to the CNE this year? Griffin Gastro are running craft beer and wine lounge featuring Cheesewerks, the pairing partner for food in this zone. Cheesewerks has teamed up with fellow Eat Up TO alumni Hot Bunzz for a special EX themed “ColloborationZZ” offering, a Mac & Cheese bun.

The bun itself is Hot Bunzz’s traditional brioche style dough but added in is some cracked peppercorn as an homage to the bread Kevin Durkee at Cheesewerks uses for his traditional mac. Packed into the bun is a combination of cavitappi pasta, curds, double smoked Balderson cheddar and Cheesewerks’ Bechemel sauce. Once the bun is cooked its topped with a brush of bechemel, breadcrumb, black pepper and a topping of more smoked cheddar.

This is the first in what they hope will be a line of collaborative products between the two brands. Both are super excited as this is a great alternative for CNE goers instead of the typical fried offerings found each year.

We are proud that Eat Up TO was able to foster this great collaboration, and look forward to future creative mashups from Hot Bunzz and Cheesewerks, and our other alumni.

Cheesewerks is located at 56 Bathurst Street in Toronto. Visit cheesewerks.com and like them on Facebook and follow them Twitter.

Hot Bunzz is located at 21 St. Clair Ave. W., inside the Urban Bistro. Follow them on Twitter, and like them on Facebook.

August 24, 2013 | By | Reply More

The 19th Annual Toronto’s Festival of Beer

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Toronto’s Festival of Beer, frequently referred to as Beerfest, is an annual event taking place on Exhibition grounds in Toronto. The festival celebrates Canada’s rich brewing history, featuring over 200 brands including many Ontario craft breweries. The 19th annual Festival of Beer took place July 26-28th.

With entry you are provided a glass to use for sampling. This year’s glass was an impressive and hefty glass beer mug. Sampling tokens were available for $1 each. At most vendors, samples were 1 token for a half glass (4 oz.) or 2 tokens for a full glass (8 oz.). We attempted to work our way through the festival.

Some of our beer highlights included:

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A noticeable change at the festival over the past few years has been the increase of quality food offerings. Here were some of our favourite food finds:

  • Fidel Gastro (@FidelGastrosFacebook) was serving up a mix of his famous sandwiches including the Gorgeous Jorge (pulled pork, peanut butter, bacon jam and pig crackling) and Lisa Marie menu favourites like the Alabama Tailgaters (smoked bacon wrapped beef carpaccio, cheese and kimchi).
  • Melt Grilled Cheese (@MeltgrilledchzFacebook) was dishing up ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwiches including the decadent Tattooed Chicken (cheddar, mozzarella, grilled chicken, bacon, herbed tomato and garlic aioli).
  • Rock Lobster Food Co. (@RockLobsterFoodFacebook) had their popular lobster rolls (also available as tacos). Unfortunately, festival favourite “pickle on a stick” were all sold out by the time we got there.
  • Pizzeria Libretto (@PizzaLibretto / Facebook). Rocco Agostino was serving up pizza pies as quickly as they came out of the wood fired oven.
  • The International Centre’s Crafting Fuzion had one of the most interesting offerings, the Seoul Bandido Nacho Libre, a Korean-Mexican mashup featuring pork bulgogi and kimchi.

We also bumped into our Eat Up TO friends from FoodShootr (@FoodShootrApp / Facebook) in the social media lounge (which was sponsored in part by Neal Brothers and NOW Magazine). FoodShootr has just released version 2.0 of their app and were at the festival capturing the festivities. The images above are FoodShootr‘s foodie finds at the fest.

Another great festival year. We’re looking forward to the next one!

For more information visit beerfestival.ca, follow @TOBeerFestival on Twitter and like TOBeerFestival on Facebook.

August 13, 2013 | By | Reply More

RENDER Toronto Volume 1

RENDER is a collaborative performance project, committed to bringing you the best of Toronto’s talent. RENDER Vol. 1 is taking place this Monday, July 29th at Nyood. The first edition features Chef Rob Bragagnolo of Marben, who will be serving up a fixed course dinner service alongside four visual artists showcasing and selling original works. Six performers will be doing essential minimixes and live collaborations. All tickets include a complimentary cocktail and RENDER Volume 1 art print.

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Performers and Artists Featured:

  • MEMORECKS
  • KID MK
  • DARA VANDOR
  • UBER 5000
  • FREE N LOSH
  • DUDEMAN
  • JASON FIELD
  • STEPH AVERY
  • HEYOKA
  • NICK MOORE
  • THE PRENUP

Tickets including dinner are $40. Performance only tickets are $20. Tickets are available via Uniiverse.

RENDER Volume 1 – Monday, July 29th @ Nyood 1096 Queen St W.

July 27, 2013 | By | Reply More

Abbey’s Kitchen Stadium: Battle Two is Here!

 

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Abbey’s Kitchen Stadium (AKS) is a celebration of Toronto’s vibrant food culture that brings together the city’s hottest restaurant, food truck and pop-up vendor chefs to raise money for local food initiative, My Food My Way. My Food My Way is a youth nutrition education program that aims to engage youth in food and nutrition in a way that makes sense to them. Rather than distributing nutrition facts or telling students what they should eat, MFMW seeks to empower them using hands-on learning, and collaborative education to make healthy choices for themselves.

AKS combines the model of the casual pop-up party with the diner interaction and entertainment quality of an action-packed cooking competition.

This is how it’s all going to go down:

At each event, there’s a secret ingredient chosen that will be revealed when you show up to the event.

Four Toronto culinary superstars will each prepare two dishes that showcase the chosen ingredient, and you will have the chance to purchase whatever your heart desires for $6 per item.  Delicious beer, wine and cocktails will also be available throughout the duration of the event for $6.

Approximately 2/3 of the way through the event, chefs will be invited one at a time to present their dishes to our panel of celebrity judges on the stadium stage. The judges will provide appropriate commentary and evaluate the dishes on taste, presentation, and originality.

Meanwhile, all of this action will be filmed and projected live onto a large screen for guests to watch, between which DJ Michael Anthony will be pumping out the tunes for your entertainment. There will also be food product gift baskets being raffled off so you could go home with a full belly AND a basket!

After each of the three consecutive battles, a winning chef will be selected to move onto the championship battle taking place at the Delicious Food Show on the Food Network celebrity stage. The final “wild card” competitor for the championship battle will be selected by YOU via an online poll.

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BATTLE TWO Chefs:

  • Andres Marquez and Howard Dubrovsky of Fonda Lola
  • Rodney Bowers of Hey Meatball & Food Network
  • Peter Ramsay of the *NEW* Geraldine
  • Jesse Vallins of The Saint

BATTLE TWO Judges:

  • Trish Magwood (Food Network, Celebrity Cookbook Author)
  • Mike Chalut (Proud FM, TV Actor)
  • Vita Chambers (Pop Star Recording Artist of Hit Song “Fix You”)
  • Maggie McKeown (Food Network Judge)

BATTLE ONE Secret Ingredient:

Um… it’s a secret? But for those with food restrictions, please know the ingredient itself is vegetarian, dairy free and gluten free (the prepared dishes, however, may or may not be).

BATTLE ONE details:

July 21st 1-4pm
MOD Club 722 College St W

$10 tickets online. $15 at the door, pending availability. More information can be found on the facebook event page.

A portion of all food and ticket sales, and 100% of raffle ticket sales will be going to My Food My Way.

Tickets are available now via Uniiverse.

July 19, 2013 | By | Reply More