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Sunday, 18 October 2015

#SoThankfulScaddabush Richmond Hill Contest

In celebration of SCADDABUSH's Richmond Hill location which opened earlier this month,  I've partnered up with them to provide you with an exciting contest!

Address: 155A York Blvd. Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3B4

Social Media Handles:

Facebook/SCADDABUSH Italian Kitchen & Bar

About Scaddabush:

"We're a little of this, a little of that and whole new take on Italian. We're inspired by Italian passion and generosity. We like tables crowded with friends and family. Style without attitude. And of course, excellent cuisine. In true Italian fashion, we rely on fresh ingredients. Our pasta is made fresh in-house daily. We make fresh mozzarella every day and offer made to order mozzarella dishes from 5pm-11pm. Our chefs prepare two signature meatballs every day. Our meatballs are so big we're sure you won't leave hungry."

How to enter the contest:
  • During the Contest Period, take and share a picture of something you are thankful for on your Instagram or Twitter account, or post your photo as a comment on Facebook (SCADDABUSH Italian Kitchen & Barusing the hashtag #SoThankfulScaddabush. At 5:30 p.m. (EDT)  on Monday, November 2, 2015 (the “Draw Date”), three (3) winners will be randomly chosen from the eligible photos submitted. You can enter once a day (defined as 12:00:01 a.m. EDT to 11:59:59 p.m. EDT or to 5:00 p.m. EDT only on November 2, 2015) during the Contest Period, but it must be with a different photo each time. Submissions will be accepted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

  • To be eligible to win, you must: (i) be a ‘Social Club’ member (sign up at (ii) submit an appropriate photo matching the theme of the contest; (iii) be a resident of Ontario; (iv) be of legal drinking age; and (v) correctly answer a mathematical skill testing question. You are not eligible to win, if you are a) an employee of SIR Corp. (the “Contest Sponsor”) and its respective affiliates, advertising or promotional agencies, franchisees, any participating stores or contest judging organization or the prize suppliers; or b) a member of the immediate family (defined as parents, siblings, children and spouse, regardless of where they live) or household (whether related or not) of any of the above persons. Inappropriate, unsuitable or offensive photos that are deemed not of good taste in nature will not be accepted at the sole discretion of the Contest Sponsor and will be removed from Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook.  Photos that will not be accepted include those that are defamatory, trade libelous, pornographic or obscene and my not contain, depict, include, discuss or involve, without limitation, any of the following: nudity, drug consumption or smoking; explicit or graphic sexual activity or sexual innuendo; crude, vulgar or offensive language.  Entrants represent and warrant that the photo submission(s) are original and all right, title, and interest (including copyright) therein and thereto is owned and/or controlled by the entrant to the full extent necessary to enable the Contest Sponsor to use or post the photo as contemplated by these Contest Rules; and (iii) the photo does not infringe upon the intellectual property or other statutory or common law rights of any third party.  Should any action be brought against the Contest Sponsor by a third party due to any intellectual property infringement, the Contest Sponsor will seek remedies against the entrant of the applicable photo

What’s the Prize:
  • There are three (3) “Feasts for 8” at the SCADDABUSH Italian Kitchen & Bar – Richmond Hill location to be awarded. Once the winners’ photos have been selected, their names and photos will be shared on all SCADDABUSH social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. The winners will also be personally contacted via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook (depending on how the original submission was made) and asked to contact the Richmond Hill restaurant. Contest Sponsor will contact the winners up to three times within a 48 hour period with at least eight (8) hours between each attempt. If the winner does not respond by the third attempt, at the sole discretion of the Contest Sponsor, a new winner will be selected.  Remember to make sure that your account is not marked “private”.  The verified winner and 7 other guests of their choosing will be invited to the SCADDABUSH Richmond Hill restaurant for dinner to be held on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Should the winners be unable to redeem their prize on this date, they will be asked to select another date within a three (3) week period at a mutually agreeable time between the SCADDABUSH Richmond Hill restaurant and the winner.  The value of the “Feast for 8” will be limited to $500.00 per winner.  Prize is not transferable and must be accepted as awarded with no substitutions in cash or otherwise, except at the Contest Sponsor’s sole discretion. Contest Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a Prize of equivalent monetary value if a Prize or any part of a Prize cannot be awarded as described for any reason. Prize will only be released to the verified winner. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Toronto Food and Wine Festival

The first-ever Toronto Food and Wine Festival took place at Evergreen Brick Works over the course of 3 days from September 18-20. This event brought in several high profile chefs and it was quite the humbling experience to be invited to see some of the best culinary talents all under one roof. You can literally feel the energy of everyone's excitement!

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend all weekend and it was great to see Samuel Adams among the other beverage vendors available on hand. It's also always great to see familiar faces like Matt Dean Pettit from Rock Lobster Food Co.

If you were lucky enough, you could have witnessed Matt coaching students from George Brown College at Taste Canada's cooking competition to create his coconut curry lobster dish. Unfortunately, I missed out on this demo but you can try your hand at this very dish which you'll find is a recipe in his award winning 'The Great Lobster Cookbook'.

Sometimes at a food event, you really just need a place to sit down away from all the food vendors. Chef's Talks provided the perfect escape! Matt Dean Pettit alongside Pay Chen, talked about how he got into the industry from his very first job as a bus boy at the age of 13. His passion to be involved in the food industry is infectious and I quite remember my first lobster roll experience at the Toronto Underground Market when Matt was still doing pop ups around the city. As a fellow foodie, I'm pleased to see the growth of Rock Lobster Food Co. and all the latest projects that Matt has becoming involved in. 

Between all the food I was having, I found myself gravitating back to this craft beer booth to grab some Samuel Adams to quench my thirst. I believe in the growing connection between this brewery and food. Their quality beer paired well with my food choices at this food events such as the Chicken and Waffles from The Dirty Bird. I also find the need to mention about the delicious Romana-style funghi pizza from Levetto which a sample was conveniently given to me during Matt's appearance at Chef's Talks.

It's a pleasure to support a fellow Toronto Chef and see Samuel Adams be involved in such a tasty community-driven event such as this one-of-a-kind Toronto Food and Wine Festival! It was a truly delicious time getting to feed my phone and I can't wait until next year.

Photo credit to Jeffrey Chan courtesy of Samuel Adams.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Estrella Damm's Tapas Journey

Estrella Damm has launched a Tapas Journey between August 14-23. For only 10 days, 20 participating restaurants across Toronto will be offering a special Tapas Journey menu which includes 3 signature tapas dishes and a glass of Estrella Damm for $20.

Win a trip for 2 to Miami to attend the Estrella Damm Gastronomy Congress and see Ferran Adria. Simply visit 1 or more of the Tapas Journey restaurants, receive a golden sticker for your passport, share a photo of it on either Twitter or Instagram with #TapasJourney!

Joined by special foodie friends (@qqfoodjournal, @fooddiaries101 & @foodelventures), we had the opportunity of experiencing the Tapas Journey menu from: Weslodge, Beast and Carmen.

Starting off at our #TapasJourney, we first headed to Weslodge, a modern saloon offering contemporary American cuisine which my phone was deliciously welcomed by Chef Stuart Cameron's wonderful spread. This was nicely paired with an Estrella Damm beer which instantly began my night of craving for this pale ale lager. Next up was Beast which Chef Scott Vivian inventively crafted up a menu celebrating local producers and farmers. The last stop of our journey was at Carmen which Chef Luis Valenzuela brought over traditional tapas for us to enjoy.  Pairing each tapas menu with a cold Estrella Damm beer at each stop, each restaurant did a fantastic job in serving up a delicious journey.

Weslodge (480 King Street West)
Wagyu Croque Madame - bologna, brioche, mornay and quail egg
Scotch Egg - chorizo sausage, tomato jam and truffle
Trout Crudo - local rainbow trout maple vinaigrette, black pepper creme fraiche and frisee

Beast (96 Tecumseth Street)
Pescado Frito - fried Ontario smelts dressed in cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper, and served with fresh lime
Patatas Bravas - fried potatoes with smoked paprika and piquillo pepper dressing
Pincho de Albondigas - chicken offal meatball with garlic and tomato sauce infused with saffron

Carmen (922 Queen Street West)
Montadito of Lobster - briased lobster tail with Brie cheese, jamon Serrano and greens
Pintxo "El Jefe" - skewer grilled shrimp with guindillas, pardon pepper, jamon and pan con tomato
Salmorejo Toronto - spicy tomato sauce with crispy bread, garlic scapes, hard-boiled egg whites and egg yolk

 Photo credit to Jeffrey Chan courtesy of Estrella Damm.

Participating Toronto Restaurants include: Barsa Taberna, Beast, Byblos, Carmen, Cava, East Thirty-Six, El Catrin, Kanpai, Los Colibris, Mamakas Taverna, Marben, Mata Petisco Bar, Nota Bene, Patria, Raca, Salt, Taverna Mercatto, The Goodson, Valdez and Weslodge.

Thank you Estrella Damm for giving me the opportunity to experience the #TapasJourney with food loving friends to celebrate a night of pairing delicious tapas with a pint of Estrella Damm beer.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Eat Well Culinary Workshop: World of BBQ

Event Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Location: Dine Alone Records' Backyard (290 Gerrard St E)

The Eat Well Culinary Workshop 'World of BBQ' event featured a 4-country BBQ menu put together by Chef Matt Basile of Fidel Gastros with Canola Oil at the heart of each dish. This was a 6-part series of Canola Oil-inspired FARM TO FOOD experience. I had an amazing time at this unique networking, education and culinary event!

This private event was held in the Dine Alone Records' Backyard. With the BBQ theme in mind, I arrived in plaid as with quite a few of the other guests. Hay was even brought in for guests to sit on! Talk about attention to detail. This night provided me an opportunity of a lifetime to learn Canola experts from Manitoba and even connect with one of the Canola Farmers. A "Canola Crush" hands-on workshop took place allowing us to make some Canola Oil from Canola Seeds. Really fun stuff!

Alright, let's talk about the food! An incredible meal was put together by Chef Matt Basile and we're talking about a feast for the phone. It was literally meat heaven (beef ribs, pork chops, shaved brisket and chicken wings)! I learned that using Canola Oil on a barbecue is good for its high tolerance to heat. One of the highlights of the night was his Chimichurri and Grilling Demo with canola oil and just getting to see him in action in his outdoor kitchen! "The neutral taste of canola oil lets the rest of the ingredients shine".

(an action shot of me trying to capture the meat in all its glory)
mmm, I'm already salivating about this meal enjoyed with Dine Alone Food's BBQ sauce

BBQ Menu by Chef Matt Basile:
Argentina - Chimichurri Miami Beef Ribs
Philippines - Adobo Grilled Tomahawk Pork chops
Texas - Cowboy Tacos & BBQ sauce
Portugas - Churrasco Smoked Chicken Wings with Hot Sauce
Sides - Roasted Corn with Salsa Verde, Kale Salad with Crumbs, Lemon, Capers & Parmesan
*All recipes were made using Canola Oil*

I also enjoyed my fair share of Dine Alone 100% Organic Ontario Rye in the form of their signature Rye Mule cocktail, Dine Alone's Beau's Beer and Traynor Vineyard's wines.

This dinner would definitely not have happened if not for Dine Alone Records. It was a fantastic space to host this event and I can't wait to cross paths again with them in the future.

This was truly an event to remember and I enjoyed every moment of it! For more info you can visit

Just in case you didn't know, only 2% of Canadians are farmers. Canola Growers plant on average over 20 million acres of canola each spring with plants growing to a height of one to two metres sprouting yellow flowers that produce seed pods 5 cm in length. Canola is grown for us by more than 52,000 Canadian family farmer. Let's remember to choose Canola Oil because it's local, healthy, versatile! #EatWellCanolaOil

Photo credits: Jeffrey Chan Photography

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

EVENT | Yum Cha TO (dim sum festival)

Hopefully you've all been introduced to the wonderful world of Cantonese cuisine. Yum Cha (which means to 'drink tea') is a weekly Sunday ritual for many. Essentially, it's a mid-morning meal that consists of shareable dishes.

Traditionally, these dishes are pushed around the restaurant in steam-heated carts where you simply point at the dishes you want. Seldom will you find cart-style service in Toronto anymore and instead you're given a menu sheet which you order from.

Spotlight City Events is hosting a "Yum Cha Dim Sum Fest" on Saturday, February 21st, 2015! Traditional dim sum dishes will be given a modern Toronto twist and this event will be a great way to explore the offerings of this city.

YumCha 2015 Vendors: Momofuku Noodle Bar, County Cocktail, East Thirty Six, 416 Snack Bar, Loka Snacks, Rolling Pin TO, Thoroughbred, Babi & Co., FeasTO, Buster Rhino's BBQ Toronto, Big E's Grinds, Come and Get It

More info for Yum Cha Dim Sum Fest:

Last year I had the chance to 'feed my phone'. Hearing about a dim sum festival in Toronto, I knew I had to buy tickets right away to attend. The past two dim sum fests sold-out...this is a warning to you! Overall it was an enjoyable time as I indulged on a variety of delectable eats.

Check out the featured vendors from 2014:

Globe Bistro: @GlobeHo
1. Ontario elk and ginger gyoza
2. Duck confit green onion pancake 
3. Northern Woods Mushroom siu mai.
Linda Modern Thai: @LindaModernThai
Chicken lemon grass siu mai, prawn and stick rice roll, and pandan custard with dulce de leche.

Babi & Co: @babiandco
Babi on a Bun | Braised pork belly on a fried Chinese bun w/ pickled cucumbers and sambal mayo.
Babi & Co: @babiandco
Murtabak Telor | Green onion, chives and egg pancake w/ Indo style salsa

FeasTO: @FeasTOronto
Pho Dumplings | beef, pho spices, noodles and bean sprouts

Momofuku Daishō@momofuku
Pork Ribs | fish sauce, caramel, Thai basil and crispy shallots
Hot Bunzz Street Cuisine: @hotbunzzTO
The Emperor's Breakfast | BBQ & roasted pork fried bun topped w/ sunnyside up quail egg, green onion and sweet soy