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Death Row Meals Taco Throwdown II

This past Sunday we attended the second annual Death Row Meals Taco Throwdown, hosted by Joel Solish (aka @foodie411).  The event took place at the newly opened Rock Lobster Food Co. on Ossington. Competing chefs included Matt Pettit of Rock Lobster, Rossy Earle of Supi CuCu, Shontelle Pinch of Gourmet Bitches, Andres Marquez of Fonda Lola, Adam Hynam-Smith of El Gastronomo Vagabundo, and Matt Basile of Fidel Gastros. The battle was fierce as all the chefs brought their A game in search of the taco title. Tacos were presented in a blind tasting manner, so that the competing chefs remained anonymous. Each taco was paired with a special drink chosen by beverage expert Allison Slute. Attendees were invited to vote on their favourite tacos grading taste, originality, appearance and a special bonus mark.

The first tacos presented were the taco de tasajo by Rossy Earle of Supi CuCu and the Tacozuna by Matt Basile of Fidel Gastros. Tacos de Tasajo (above left) en Sofrito with refried beans, avocado and cream de queso fresco. The Tacozuna (above right) has tempura fried chicken and bahn mi slaw taco with wasabi aioli and hoisin sauce. Tacos de Tasajo was paired with beer from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company, while the Tacozuna was paired with a Vineland Riesling.

Next up was the late night lamb sandwich by Adam Hynam-Smith of El Gastronomo Vagabundo followed by the Dr. Seuss from host Matt Pettit of Rock Lobster. The late night lamb sandwich (below left) braised lamb shank, garlic labne, chili mint relish, fried rosemary, iceberg, tomato seeds and was pair with a Vineland Cabernet Franc. The Dr. Seuss (below right) consisted of green eggs and piggy taco with fresh made corn tortilla, scrambled duck egg, spinach and roasted shallots, crispy maple pork belly, hollandaise and micro greens. The Dr. Seuss was paired with a tequila sunrise-like cocktail featuring Tequila Tromba.

The final tacos of the day were the Tacos al Pastor by Andres Marquez of Fonda Lola, paired with a rum and coke featuring Sailor Jerry rum and the mystery machine (which turned out to be duck) by Shontelle Pinch of Gourmet Bitches. The mystery machine was paired with a Forty Creek Whisky cocktail.

After all the cards were collected and the votes were tabulated, the Taco Throwdown Champ was the TacoZuna by Matt Basile of Fidel Gastros. Congratulations Matt! Ole! For more information on future Death Row Meal events, follow Joel Solish (@foodie411) or visit his upcoming events page on Uniiverse. We can’t wait for the next Death Row Meal!

January 28, 2013 | By | Reply More

Mega Quarry in Melancthon is Dead

Looks like soup stock, and all of the other “stop the mega quarry” petitions have paid off!

The Highland Companies has announced that it has withdrawn the application for a licence to mine 2,316 acres of land in Melancthon for limestone. Instead, Highland plans to continue to focus on its potato farming operations.

“While we believe that the quarry would have brought significant economic benefit to Melancthon Township and served Ontario’s well-documented need for aggregate, we acknowledge that the application does not have sufficient support from the community and government to justify proceeding with the approval process,” said John Scherer, principal of The Highland Companies, in a news release.

Highland has also announced that controversial figure John Lowndes has resigned as president and will have no more involvement with the company.


November 21, 2012 | By | Reply More

Guy Fieri Responds to New York Times Review

Guy Fieri has responded to the now viral scathing New York Times review by Pete Wells of his new Times Square restaurant, Guy’s American Bar and Grill.

The review is full of sarcastic morsels like:

Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?

Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?

Somewhere within the yawning, three-level interior of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, is there a long refrigerated tunnel that servers have to pass through to make sure that the French fries, already limp and oil-sogged, are also served cold?

“He came in with a different agenda,” Fieri said, “It’s a great way to make a name for yourself, go after a celebrity chef who is not a New Yorker.”

Over on Yelp the reviews aren’t that great either. Fieri explains, “we’re trying as hard as we can to make it right, to do it right,” he said. “Is it perfect right now? No. Are we striving for it? Yeah.”

The restaurant has only been open for two months. Fieri recommends Wells check back in six.

[via Today]

November 15, 2012 | By | Reply More

Oxala Celebrates First Birthday with “Art y Tacos”

Mexican-Portuguese pop-up restaurant, Oxala is celebrating its first birthday with “Art y Tacos” on Friday, November 16 from 7:00 p.m. at La Revolución restaurant in the Junction.

Inspired by Mexican street festivals, the event brings together food, live music and street art. Toronto-based artists, Natalie Meyers and El Kardenal Verde, will show in the restaurant’s front room, while the back room will feature local artists such as Angel76, PUA69, Hunch and Cop; as well as international street artists Slurg (Germany), ChrisRWK (NYC), mrSAY (Portland), and more.

The Oxala team will provide their signature menu of tacos, vegetarian tamales, ceviche shooters, and cocktails. A complimentary tres leches birthday cake will be served before the post-dinner party.

“Oxala is all about food, art and music and community, so we’re excited to share our birthday celebration our family, friends and fans. None of this would be possible without their support. The event is extra special because we’ll also be celebrating the second anniversary of our friends at La Revolución.” said Oxala’s front-man, Andrew Assunção.

Event Details

Friday, November 16, 2012 (19+ only)
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., Dinner 7:00-10:00 p.m., 
Cake and party 10:00 p.m-late.
La Revolución, 2848 Dundas St West.

Follow @comidaoxala on Twitter.

November 2, 2012 | By | Reply More

Soupstock is this Sunday!

Soupstock is a one-day culinary celebration on October 21 2012 that will feature tasty soups from more than 200 of Canada’s top chefs. It is being held on Sunday, October 21 2012 at Woodbine Park in Toronto from 11am-4pm.

Find out more about Soupstock, the controversial Highland Comapanies’ Mega-Quarry, and the chefs involved and support the growing movement of citizens fighting to protect Ontario’s farms, food and water.

If attending, it is recommended that you bring your own bowl, spoon and napkins. Use the #Soupstock hashtag to promote the event.

The event is free, but soup will cost $10 for 3 servings. Buy soup tickets in advance here:

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October 19, 2012 | By | Reply More