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Tag: matt basile

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

Abbey’s Kitchen Stadium: Battle One is Coming!

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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 ONE Chefs:

  • Matt Basile of Lisa Marie (NEW) & Fidel Gastros
  • Matt Pettit of Rock Lobster Co.
  • Rocco Agostino of Enoteca Sociale & Pizzeria Libretto
  • Bruce Woods of Woods Restaurant (NEW)

BATTLE ONE Judges:

  • James Cunningham (Eat St)
  • Bruce Croxon (Dragon’s Den)
  • Jordan Hastings (Alexisonfire Drummer, Co-Founder Dine Alone Foods)
  • Peter Neal (Neal Brothers Owner)

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:

May 26th 12-4pm
MOD Club 722 College St W

$10 tickets online. $15 at the door, pending availability (there is NO guarantee of door sales). More information can be found on the facebook event page.

A portion of all ticket profits & food sales will be donated to My Food My Way.

Tickets are available now via Uniiverse.

May 13, 2013 | By | Reply More

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

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