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Uniiverse Releases iOS App to Discover Local Events and Services

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Uniiverse, the marketplace for local events and services, has released its iPhone app.  The free app will help people try new activities, and meet new people in an authentic way.  Users can discover amazing events nearby, see what friends are doing and offering, and buy tickets directly on their phone.

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Event organizers and freelance service providers can use the app to create listings to sell tickets, manage online bookings, and process payments from their guests. Not only is the app free to download, there are zero subscription costs, and zero event posting costs.

There is a huge selection of listings on Uniiverse in Toronto, including many awesome food events, film festivals, networking events, craft workshops, fitness activities, and services such as affordable house cleaning, and dog walking. As frequent users of the service for all of our events, we highly suggest checking it out!

If you have an iPhone or iPad, learn more or download the app from www.uniiverse.com/app.

September 24, 2013 | By | Reply More

Product Spotlight: The SousVide Supreme from Cedarlane Culinary

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A growing trend, sous vide cooking (pronounced “soo-veed”) involves using submerging vacuum-sealed food in pouches into a precisely-controlled water bath held at a constant temperature. The SousVide Supreme is the world’s first water oven designed specifically to bring the extraordinary sous vide cooking method into the home kitchen.

We recently had a chance to try out the sous vide method of cooking at home using the SousVide Supreme from Cedarlane Culinary (the Canadian distributor). We decided to give it a try using bone-in rib steaks. Our triple AAA steaks were thawed from frozen and 1.5″ inches thick. We powered up the SousVide Supreme, and set the temperature to 57 Degrees Celsius. While the machine got up to temperature, we seasoned the steak with the montreal steak spice. We placed the steak into the provided vacuum seal pouches, along with a piece of butter. We sealed the steaks using the provided SousVide Supreme Vacuum Sealer. Once the Supreme reached temperature, we submerged the steaks into the water bath, set the timer on the unit for 60 minutes, and placed the cover.

After an hour, the timer went off and the meat was ready to be removed. We pull out the steak from the water bath, and cut open the pouches. The meat came out looking extremely tender and perfectly cooked. One thing about SousVide cooking is that unlike traditional methods it doesn’t brown or sear the meat. As a result, although ready to eat, the meat can sometimes look unappetizing. A quick sear will easily remedy this.

We chose to sear our steak on the grill. With the barbecue set at 500 degrees Fahrenheit, we placed the steak on the grill for just a few minutes to make grill marks and a perfect sear. Although not required by the SousVide cooking method, we let the steaks rest for a few minutes before cutting into them.

The meat was perfectly cooked, succulent, tender, and juicy. We served it alongside roasted potatoes, eggplant parmigiana and caesar salad. The SousVide is an easy and precise way to cook meats, fish, vegetables and more, perfectly every time. Looking forward to cooking with the SousVide Supreme again!

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The SousVide Supreme kit we used was the SousVide Supreme Deluxe Promo Package (which retails for $549.00). The promo package includes everything you need to start cooking sous vide today, including the SousVide Supreme water oven, vacuum sealer, pouches, the Easy Sous Vide cookbook, and more. The push-button simple SousVide Supreme allows anyone to prepare meals with maximum flavour and nutrition that will be cooked to perfection and ready when you are. The result is food of incomparable taste and texture:  steak perfectly cooked edge-to-edge, vibrant vegetables, juicy tender chicken breasts, and ribs with the meat literally falling off the bone.

The steps to sous vide cooking are simple: season and vacuum-seal your food, drop it into the SousVide Supreme at the desired temperature, and walk away. Unlike the hostile high temperatures of stovetop, oven, or grill, the SousVide Supreme gently and precisely cooks food to its perfect serving temperature and cannot overcook.  Foolproof gourmet results with push-button simplicity.

SousVide Supreme Features:

  • Hands-off, time-saving meal preparation. Just set it and walk away
  • Easy and foolproof. Never overcook a meal again. Perfect results, every time.
  • Gourmet taste. Capture the full, TRUE flavor of foods
  • Saves you money. Tenderizes inexpensive cuts.
  • Added nutritional value. Natural juices and nutrients are retained in the food-safe vacuum seal bag.
  • Easy clean-up. No messy pots and pans. Just empty and wipe down the interior with a soft cloth.
  • Energy-efficient operation. Uses energy equivalent to a 60W light bulb once at target temperature. Quiet operation.
  • Precise temperature control to 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius)

SousVide Supreme Tips and Tricks:

One of the best things about the SousVide Supreme and sous vide cooking in general is that it is very simple to create gourmet meals at home with minimal hands-on time and almost no risk of overcooking! Cedarlane Culinary shares a handful of tricks and tips that will help you cook SousVide successfully one your very first attempts.

Cooking Times and Temperatures

  • Pork chops or tenderloin at 60 degrees C for a couple of hours at least.
  • Steaks and Chicken breasts can do for an hour. Medium rare steak is 57 degrees C and Chicken should be done at 64 degrees C.
  • Beef roast at 57 or a couple degrees higher if you like a bit more well done. Do for 4-8 hours.

Sealing & Cooking Liquids and Liquid-Rich Foods

  • If the liquid or sauce is freezable, put it in the freezer beforehand to solidify it and add it to your pouch of food while in it’s frozen state. It won’t take long to start melting once the pouch is in your SousVide Supreme and it won’t give you any issues during sealing.
  • Our preferred method is to take advantage of all 3 button on the vacuum sealer (Vacuum seal, Cancel, and Seal Only). Prepare your pouch as you normally would and hit the Vacuum Seal button. Once the majority of the air is removed you will start to see the liquid being pulled up the pouch. At this point quickly press the ‘Cancel’ button, followed immediately by the ‘Seal Only’ button. This will maximize the amount of air removed while stopping the suction before the bag is sealed and before any liquid can reach the top of the pouch.
  • A third option is to use the Archimedes Principle of Water Displacement in which you fill your sink or container with water, and submerge the pouch before using the ‘Seal Only’ button to close the pouch. If you’re feeling adventurous you can also combine Tips 2 and 3 to remove as much air as possible before sealing.

Sealing ‘Bone-In’ Meats

  • If you’re having trouble sealing meats with the bone left in because the bone is puncturing the pouch, use some tinfoil to wrap around the exposed bone area before sealing. This will protect the pouch from any sharp edges that may pose a concern.

Searing Afterwards

  • One thing you want to remember after you remove the food from the pouch and before searing on the grill, in a pan, or with a blowtorch, is to pat the surface of your food with a paper towel to remove the moisture on the exterior of your food. You want to sear it for a very short amount of time (20-30 seconds per side) on very high heat and if there is a lot of moisture on the exterior of the food, it will take longer to evaporate this moisture and you will need to sear it longer to achieve the exterior browning you desire. This added time can quickly start overcooking the interior and can ruin the amazing results you just achieved by cooking it sous vide.

For Sous Vide Recipes, Cooking Tips, Industry News and more like Cedarlane Culinary on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. If you are interested in purchasing a SousVide Supreme or learning more, please contact Cedarlane Culinary.

August 24, 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

Hacking the Food Industry Promo Week

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Are you a budding food entrepreneur looking to start your own pop up, food truck or restaurant? Matt Basile, Creator of food concept Fidel Gastro’s and restaurant Lisa Marie, and Hassel Aviles, Founder of the Toronto Underground Market, are leading an intensive full-day virtual workshop designed to help you grow your business. Forget culinary school. Forget 10 years of working in someone else’s kitchen. Get ready to break into the industry and turn your food idea into a profitable food business. Hacking the Food Industry will save you months worth of time, mistakes, and wasted dollars, and get you fuelled to make your mark doing what you love in the food industry. And for the next 72 hours, you can get a one-of-a-kind education at a one-of-a-kind price!

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LIMITED TIME OFFER Hacking the Food Industry  – July 9 to 11, use promo code: FOODEA

  • FREE Google Hangout Kickoff (Tuesday, July 9, 7pm EST)
  • Get Matt’s Top 5 tips to getting your food business off the ground
  • Q&A time to ask questions about the workshop + your food business
  • Full Hacking The Food Industry Course available at $49 (Regular price: $79)
  • Individual courses at $11.99 (regular price: $19)
  • First 5 people to purchase the full course get a FREE 30-minute consult with Matt (in Toronto or via Skype)

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Matt ditched the cubicle to launch Fidel Gastro’s, and has since hosted sold-out pop-ups, launched a food truck, opened a restaurant, catered exclusive events, landed his own television show on Travel + Escape, was featured on Eat Street, and most importantly, made his food idea into a full-time profitable business.

Ready to follow your food dreams? Follow the jump to learn more and get hacking!

Full details at HackingTheFoodIndustry.com (via The INSIGHT Project)

Remember, this promo only lasts until midnight on Thursday, July 11!

July 8, 2013 | By | Reply More