So when I held the contest for my +1 at the Jamie Kennedy Open Kitchen event I wasn’t entirely sure what was going to happen. I knew Google was sponsoring it but I didn’t think much about it because when Jamie Kennedy invites you somewhere…you go.
Besides the Group of 7 Chefs were cooking, a group of 7 Toronto chefs, all friends who host monthly events. The idea was to spotlight local food something that unites the group.
First up was Matty Matheson from Parts and Labour serving pulled asian beef on a bakery bun, which is all to say the best bahn mi-style sandwich I have ever had. I had never heard about Parts and Labour but I need to eat more of Matty’s food.
Mark Cutrara from Cowbell served Ontario pork terrine with cider aspic. I’m not the biggest fan of terrine but I discovered that Cowbell doesn’t have a menu, simply a chalkboard that reflects what is seasonal and available at the time.
Others shared that Mark is really committed to local, organic food and also using the entire animal to minimize waste. I will definitely be eating there soon.
The biggest find of the night was Marc from Earth and his amazingly friendly girlfriend Skye. She helped him make the steamed pork buns that enveloped the slow roasted boar belly and northern woods mushrooms.
Skye also shared stories about how they met and how me makes her delicious lunch every day. All I kept wondering was, now how do I get one of these?
I’m not sure it’s through online dating.
I’m not going to lie, when I saw that Scott Vivian from Beast was serving fish I was a bit disappointed. Sure I had just eaten an entire pig at Beast, him but the man knows how to cook meat and I wanted more of it. His smoked akiwenzie lakefish was quite nice, it was atop fruit which was a nice sweet balance to the fish.
I shamefully did not get a photo of Kevin McKenna also from Earth but it really is not my fault. Once I discovered he was serving tartare I had other things on my mind. Here the elk tartare was served with foraged wild leeks and red fife bread.
My +1 Teresa loved the Chris Brown’s foraged stinging nettle gnocchi and was contemplating how she could smuggle more home. Chris runs really interesting programs like the Food for Change at the community food centre The Stop and (hint) hopefully will soon hold a gnocchi cooking class for Teresa.
And finally Bertrand Alépée from The Tempered Chef. I met him two years ago with Kaori and he made a pulled pork sandwich that I still think about today.
I’m not sure if it’s because he is French and has that charm but I have a chef crush on him and feel like a schoolgirl around him – unusually quiet and completely awkward. I’m more comfortable admiring him from afar and his food very near.
And while brown food does not photograph well, you must trust me that his duck confit cassoulet with navy beans was delicious but then again, you would never expect anything less from a French chef.