Category Archives: food.

Pretty self explanatory… but this will be all things food and food related! Product reviews, recipes, events, restaurants, etc.. etc..

The hunt for my new Brunch spot!

With the closing of my beloved Whistlers, my brunch mainstay for most of my adult life.
(crazy isn’t it?!)
I am now on the prowl for a new watering hole. A new place to hang my cap.
A new place to lose myself for an hour or two on any given weekend.

Yes, there are plenty of diners out there where I can get a quick all day breakfast.
But I can make that myself. (and usually better to be quite honest)

No, I’m looking for elevated, different, flavourful, fun.
I’m looking for interesting, cozy, local, one of a kind, small business.
I’m looking for sourced, local, seasonal, organic, sustainable, healthy (but decadent)

So today I began my search. I started in my neighbourhood with a newish restaurant, that has been on my radar, but I had yet to try.


They serve a Cypriot / Mediterranean based cuisine. One glance at the menu a couple of months ago had me salivating. Not only are the offerings varied and delicious, but everything is organic, locally sourced and sustainable. They also offer GF & Veg-Vegan options of almost all of their dishes. (not some sad afterthought of 3 options at the bottom of the page) This is their mission statement:

“RIKKOCHEZ refers to a “rebound” — a movement in the food industry that is reviving the core beliefs of an earlier time, when sustainable farming and local sourcing were the norm… a time before ‘fast food’.

Our modern interpretation embodies those fundamental ideas — creating delicious and nutrient-rich food combinations in a locally-inspired Levantine-Eastern Mediterranean cuisine concept that delivers authentic and appetizing meals.

Our menu changes regularly depending on the seasonality and freshness of ingredients, so a specific dish may not be on the menu for long.”

IMG_2738I climbed up onto the chair by the window bench (with possibly the cleanest window I’ve ever looked through) sipped on my coffee and watched my fellow Greektown inhabitants go about their Saturday morning routine. (also, someone sitting in the window of any establishment automatically draws attention and makes it more appealing to passing traffic. No one like to go into an empty restaurant. I can’t count the number of people who walked by, looked at me, then doubled back to read the menu posted on door. I do the very same thing all the time)

The hardest part this morning was choosing which of the delicious options I would test first.

While the Full English breakfast called out to me, I wanted to go for something different and unexpected.

So I went with Mushrooms on Toast.
(Did you know mushrooms are the highest ranked Vitamin D containing veggie? So at this time of year, it is the perfect addition to your regular diet to combat the usual seasonal depletion. anyhoo… )

What was it? Portobello and cremini mushrooms marinaded in miso and tamari, gently sautéed and served on toasted sourdough, with two eggs cooked to your liking. (I went with poached as I still haven’t mastered making those yet) I also discovered a little spinach mixed in! (Bonus vitamin D!!)

It was as delicious as I suspected it would be. A touch on the salty side (which I of course was prepared for due to the tamari/miso combo) but that was perfectly offset by the unctuous yoke from the poached egg, which coated the mushrooms and soaked into the sourdough.

The portion was just right, though some berries would have helped cleanse my salty palate, and the accompanying coffee (a Brazilian/Canadian blend which they also put a great deal of research into) was very tasty, and topped up in a timely fashion.

This is a cozy little room, with a quiet, calm atmosphere, and an attentive, knowledgeable staff.

It was my first visit, but it certainly won’t be my last.


Ned Bell’s Epic Ocean to Ocean Journey!

On July 31st I had the honour of meeting and speaking with Vancouver Chef Ned Bell at a reception hosted by the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto.

Bell, executive chef of Vancouver’s Yew Seafood + Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver, is midway through a coast-to-coast journey to raise awareness for, and accessibility to, sustainable seafood.

The “Chefs for Oceancfo2s” tour, which kicked off June 30th in St. John’s, Newfoundland,  will see Ned temporarily ditch the chef jacket for a cycling shirt to bike across Canada from coast-to-coast, riding between 140km – 200km each “cycling” day,  making stops in 20 major cities along the route to speak with media and participate in events, while promoting local businesses that support, sell, and serve sustainable seafood. Concluding in Vancouver on September 11, 2014 , the three month long tour will also be raising funds through these events and the sale of the cleverly labeled  “Ned Tuna”, which will see portions of the net proceeds donated  to Ocean, and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS). Continue reading Ned Bell’s Epic Ocean to Ocean Journey!

Taste of Toronto – 2014

I still wasn’t feeling 100% when I woke up on Sunday morning, but there was no way was I passing up my last chance to experience the first edition of “Taste  of Toronto”. Though finances and dietary restrictions limited my tasting experience, I still got a “taste” of what everyone else experienced and I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

One of the great joys of living in Toronto is the abundance of amazing, epicurean offerings available. From 5 star restaurants headed by up  famous chefs, to local neighbourhood eateries and watering holes, to annual ethnic street festivals in every neighbourhood, to an ever expanding and epic food truck culture.

If there is one thing that NOBODY complains about when visiting Toronto, it’s a lack of food choices

TOR_9236So when I heard that Toronto had been chosen as the first “Taste of…” destination in North America, I was thrilled and not surprised in the least.

From it’s humble beginnings as a single festival in London ten years ago, Taste has grown into a worldwide foodie phenomenon, with “Taste of ” festivals now running annually in cities throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Continue reading Taste of Toronto – 2014

Fresh Corn, Tomato, & Avocado Summer Salad!

CornTomatoAvocadoSaladI love to cook, and as you’ve seen, I often post photos of my creations on Instagram But I mostly make it up as I go along. Which is fine, until the shouts of “recipe please!!” show up in the comments. So… in the spirit of sharing, I’m going to attempt to give y’all some recipes to go along with the “food porn” as my friends put it.

Fresh Corn & Avocado Salad

This is one of my go-to summer salads. It’s so easy, and so fresh, and works well as a side dish, a stand alone salad, or a shareable snack with tortilla chips! (gluten free/organic/non-gmo of course 😉 ) Continue reading Fresh Corn, Tomato, & Avocado Summer Salad!


CHEF_OSYou know how sometimes you just want to escape real life for a couple of hours and lose yourself in a movie? Those days that you don’t want a deep, heavy plot that requires you to analyze every frame and piece of dialogue? That was me tonight. But thankfully I chose just the right movie to take in: Jon Favreau’s – Chef

I didn’t know anything about it going in, other than it was written/directed by Favreau, (that was really all I needed to know) some of the cast, and a teeny bit of the plot that I saw in the first teaser trailer.

I. Loved. it. LOVED!
Did I mention I loved it? Continue reading “Chef”

Delicious Food Show – 2013

Look for my review of the show on Travel+Escape… in the meanwhile, enjoy some of the delicious “food porn”

Gluten Free Expo Toronto 2013

Gluten Free Expo TorontoWhen people ask me “what is the hardest part about having to live gluten free?” I usually say “the inconvenience”.

The “diet” itself isn’t that hard. Simply eating a clean diet of fruits, veggies, meats, fish, and dairy you prepare yourself is pretty easy actually. But, once you step outside the safety of your own kitchen and cooking skills, the task becomes much harder.

No longer can you simply “grab something quick”. No longer can you simply go to an event and be “spontaneous”.
That’s the word: Spontaneity.
It’s gone from your life for good.

But you adapt. You learn to pre-plan. You learn to go through life like a sherpa, carrying a bag filled with “safe” food so you can appear spontaneous.

I still do all the things I used to do before discovering my wheat allergy. I travel, I dine out, I go to events. But I am now “that girl”…
I ask a thousand questions. I know more about the restaurant and the menu than the staff before I even enter the establishment, since I’ve been researching in advance for weeks. I am now “Sally” … my opener is “can you…?” I eat a lot of things “on the side” “without” “substitute”

So, when an event such as the Gluten Free Expo rolls into town, it’s a rare treat.

To walk through aisle after aisle, gleefully nibbling from tray after tray of new and tasty products, and never once feel that nervous knot in the pit of my stomach of “omg, what if this girl was lying? What if it actually contains gluten? What if I get sick?”

The 2012 show out by the airport was great, but since it was the first time in the Toronto area, it was PACKED. I remember it being hot, crowded, and frustrating. 2013 saw the event moved to a bigger, more central location, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, making for ease of movement, the opportunity to stop and really talk to vendors, and a corner dedicated to fantastic speakers on both days.

And can we talk about the products? Wow. Companies have really upped their game. Six years ago, when I first was diagnosed, the pickings were slim, and for the most part awful.

Gluten free offerings tasted and smelled like feet, and had the texture of sand.

Now, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference in some cases.
For example, there has been a particular improvement in gluten free pasta world. Gone are the pasty, granular, chewy rice pastas. In their place, the new gorgeous, silky, 4 grain blends, that have the look and texture of honest to goodness “real” pasta.

I not only left the building with a full belly, but I managed to take in all of the speakers, and I came home with a bag full of samples, and an additional bag full of purchases. I would have gone again on the Sunday, had there  been a “weekend pass” offered. (something I’ve suggested to the organizers for next year)

Here are a few snaps of my haul from this year: (apologies for the blurry shots… gah!)