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Lisa Marie, New Brick and Mortar Restaurant from Fidel Gastro

Food entrepreneur Matt Basile, aka Fidel Gastro, in the past two years went from working a corporate 9 to 5 job to starting a food pop up (Elvis), a food truck (Priscilla), a television show (Rebel Without A Kitchen), and now a brick and mortar restaurant, Lisa Marie. The new Toronto hotspot is located at 638 Queen Street West (Queen and Bathurst).

Pork Belly Cheese Thang

Pork Belly Cheese Thang

Matt and his team spent the past two months transforming the former Prague European Kitchen into a space usable for both a restaurant and commercial kitchen. Continuing with the King of Rock and Roll theme, the restaurant is a shrine to all things Elvis. Featuring a menu of Cicchetti (pronounced “chi-ket-tee”, a Venetian style of street food and snacks), Lisa Marie also features an extensive ‘drinkies’ menu served up by resident bartender Mitchell Stern as well as a market space in the back where they will be selling freshly canned items, pickles, sauces, meats and more!

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Matt has enlisted chef Kris Topping (formerly of McEwan’s) to run the kitchen. The menu is concise, with most dishes ranging from $4-8. Some favourites from the menu:

  • Pork Belly Cheese Thang. Smoked pork belly with cilantro cherry tomato salsa, served on a melted Havarti cheese crisp, topped with chili basil aioli.
  • Deep Fried Cheese Burger. Seasoned coarse ground beer stuffed with aged cheddar topped with a house made pickle and quail egg (no bun).
  • Alabama Tailgaters. Season smoked bacon wrapped beef carpaccio, cilantro, aged cheddar and kimchi.
  • Eggplant in a Jar. Brined eggplant, tallegio cheese, thai chilis and fresh lime served with zucchini chips.
  • Mozzarella and Marrow Sangweech. Buffalo mozzarella, roasted bone marrow on two slices of focaccia bread, deep fried and topped with a lemon.
Testa Dura

Testa Dura. Tequila Tromba, Aperol, Agave, Lime Juice.

Basile plans to also offer a daily lunch menu that will serve up his famous extremo sandwiches, as well as a weekend brunch menu.

For more information, follow @fidelgastros on Twitter, like Fidel Gastro’s on Facebook, or visit fidelgastro.caRebel Without A Kitchen airs on Travel + Escape every Tuesday at 10 pm.

Lisa Marie, 638 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M6J 1E3.
Limited reservations are available, call 647.748.6822.

April 18, 2013 | By | Reply More

Interview With a Chef: Jason Bangerter of Luma

Chef Jason Bangerter began his culinary career in Toronto, Canada at George Brown College Chef School, followed by a three-year apprenticeship at Le Royal Meridian King Edward Hotel.

Jason’s drive for gastronomic excellence flourished, earning him a much sought-after position as assistant to John Higgins, the captain of Culinary Team Canada. This role also led him to a short stint at Paris’ Hotel Le Meridian Montparnasse.

He soon headed overseas permanently to join the brigade at Mosimann’s in London. Under Anton Mosimann, one of London’s leading chefs, Jason quickly rose through the ranks joining the opening teams for the Swissôtel Berlin in Germany and later Château Mosimann in Olten, Switzerland.

Upon returning to London, Jason often assisted at Mosimann Academy, where he taught alongside Chef Mosimann. Eager to continue his own learning, he spent free time as a stagiaire in the city’s top restaurants, such as Marco Pierre White’s Drones, Terence Conran’s the Orrery, Jean George’s Vong and Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire. Jason was next appointed Chef de Cuisine at the Kulm Hotel in the Swiss Italian Alps, where he was responsible for the hotel’s private dining club Dracula.

In February 2002, he returned to Toronto, joining the team at Auberge du Pommier. Long hailed as one of the city’s best restaurants, Bangerter committed to raising the bar even higher. His efforts paid off, earning the restaurant numerous awards and distinctions, including Restaurant of the Year by Post City Magazines, 5th place ranking by the Zagat Survey and Best Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year by Where Toronto Magazine.

luma_logo

In 2010 Jason’s success at Auberge du Pommier earned him the position of Executive Chef of Oliver & Bonacini’s two new restaurants at the TIFF Bell Lightbox: O&B Canteen, a casual street side market café, and Luma, a more upscale lounge and dining room on the second level. Since opening, Luma has been named one of North America’s Top Ten New Restaurants by Frommer’s Travel Guide, as well as one of Toronto’s top ten by local food reviewer James Chatto, and O&B Canteen has become one of the most frequented restaurants of the King West theatre district.

luma_sustainable

This Sunday April 14, 2013, Jason and the team at Luma will be hosting A Sustainable Evening with Ocean Wise and Mission Hill. The event will feature a multi-course tasting dinner by Chef Jason Bangerter, with wine pairings by Mission Hill as well as a pre-dinner reception. Sustainably harvested seafood will be provided by Steve Johansen of Organic Ocean (Ocean Wise certified). Tickets are $150 and are still available at lumaoceanwise.eventbrite.com.

Jason is passionate about food and aside from his duties at Luma, he loves getting people excited about great food. Frequently, he can be found participating in events like Death Row Meals Olde Hunters’ Feast, TIFF’s Food On Film Subscription Series, as well as giving back to the community through teaching, cooking demos, culinary tours and more.

Follow Chef Jason Bangerter on twitter @chefbangerter.

Luma, TIFF Bell Lightbox, 2nd Floor, 330 King Street West, 647.288.4715, oliverbonacini.com.
Hours: Lunch, Monday-Friday, 11:45am-3:00pm / Dinner, Monday-Saturday, 5:00pm-11:00pm

April 12, 2013 | By | Reply More

Rebel Without A Kitchen Premieres Tomorrow

“OLE!” Rebel Without a Kitchen, the new television show following Fidel Gastro (Matt Basile), premieres tomorrow night at 10pm on the Travel+Escape channel. The 13 episode, half-hour series, follows Matt as he works on his temperamental food truck Priscilla, from collapsible card tables, gets ready to take on underground food markets, overnight bush parties, street corners and over-the-top private events.

The production covered everything from hosting pop-ups in different cities, the food truck phenomenon, and just growing the business as a food entrepreneur says Basile. Rebel Without A Kitchen was produced by General Purpose Pictures.

Evident by the series, Matt is continually on the go. Aside from Rebel, Matt is slated to open his new brick and mortar restaurant, Lisa Marie, at 638 Queen Street West later this month. He’s also giving back to the food community with a virtual workshop about hacking the food industry to build a food business from the ground up.

Rebel Without a Kitchen premieres April 9 at 10 p.m. on Travel and Escape.

View the full sizzle reel for Rebel Without a Kitchen below.

April 8, 2013 | By | Reply More

SLURP Noodlefest Returns

On Sunday March 3rd 2013 some of Toronto’s best and brightest chefs converged on The Great Hall for the first SLURP Noodlefest presented by NOW Magazine, delivering their unique culinary spin on pho, ramen, and other popular noodle dishes, as well as a wide array of globally-inspired streetfood snacks.

A brand new line-up of Toronto chefs will gather at 99 Sudbury as SLURP Noodlefest returns on April 20, 2013 for the second (and possibly final) instalment that promises to be bigger and better than the first!

Confirmed vendors Include:

SLURP Noodlefest v2 will also feature more of the best in local brewing and distilling from Double Trouble Brewery, Tequila Tromba, Dillon’s Distillery and Chateau Des Charmes winery.

Tickets are $10 and are now available at Uniiverse.com. A limited number of tickets are available, so be sure to order your ticket today. Note that admission does not include the price of food or drinks. Food items will range between $5 and $10 and will be priced at the vendor’s discretion. This is a 19+ event.

April 3, 2013 | By | Reply More

Death Row Meals and Uniiverse present SweetTO

Get ready for sweet tooth satisfaction in Toronto! Uniiverse and Death Row Meals have teamed up to bring us SweetTO: Three sugar coated food events in Toronto from March 25 – March 28.

Learn How to Make French Macarons with host Michelle Edgar, Owner & Pastry Chef at The Sweet Escape Patisserie

We all love the French Macaron, and now we have an opportunity to learn how to make these delectable treats in our very own kitchens! We will be making chocolate, buttercream, and salted caramel fillings for our Macarons. There will be sampling as we go along and everyone will get to take some Macarons home to share with their families and friends (that is if you’re willing to share something so good). This class will be taught by Michelle Edgar, Owner and Pastry Chef of the Distillery District’s Sweet Escape Patisserie.

French Macaron Workshop, Tuesday, March 26, 7-9pm, $35 per ticket. Purchase tickets here.

Candy Sushi Workshop with Jessica Schwartz, Owner of Sweet Sushi

For this week of sweet adventures, we have arranged a sushi making class. But this is not your average kind of sushi… we’ll be learning how to make candy sushi!! Fun times guaranteed while we manipulate rice crispy treats and gummies to make delectable sushi for post-meal enjoyment. Jessica Schwartz of Sweet Sushi will be teaching us how to make rolls like the Rainbow and Glitter roll, the Cocoa Maki roll, and more, with a sample platter to take home. You’ll leave this workshop with a new creative and unique cooking skill that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Candy Sushi Making, Wednesday, March 27, 7-8:30pm, $35 per ticket. Purchase tickets here.

Uncorked: Sweet Wine Tasting and Seminar with Allison Slute, Beverage Director of Death Row Meals, and Sommelier

Join Allison Slute, Beverage Director of Death Row Meals, for a lesson on sweet wines. The objective of this tasting is to dispel the myths of sweet wines and to educate you on this category so you have a better appreciation for this style of wine and how best to enjoy it. We will learn about different sweet wines from around the world – how they are made, and what makes them unique. The tasting will include a port, sherry, a botrytis affected, vin santo, Icewine, and a surprise 6th entry!

Uncorked: Sweet Wine Tasting and Seminar, Thursday, March 28, 7-9:30pm, $35 per ticket. Purchase tickets here.

For more event details and to purchase tickets for SweetTO visit uniiverse.com/sweetTO.

March 22, 2013 | By | Reply More