Giveaway: Celebrating 30 years at the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival – updated

Christmas Dinner at the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival Christmas Dinner at the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival

This year, festival-goers heading to this popular foodie event are in for a special treat. The Ottawa Wine and Food Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary. In this day and age with festivals coming and going, a lingering recession, and fickle diners, staying in business for 30 years is laudable. Joan Culliton, producer for this esteemed festival, feels that the event has helped shaped Ottawans’ sophisticated tastes in food and wine. “This 30th anniversary celebration will not only pay homage to that evolution, but will continue to challenge and educate palates by putting ‘the world... | Continue reading article

Starting a Conversation about Canola with Spanish Tapas #eatWellCanolaOil @brandandbuzz

#eatWellCanolaOil #eatWellCanolaOil

One rule of etiquette advises never to discuss politics or religion in “general” company. This is because, without some familiarity, lively debate can devolve into heated arguments and hurt feelings. Today, a number of inflammatory topics could be added to the list. Sex, for instance, has graduated from taboo topic to “something” one should be mindful to discuss in polite company. However, people tend to speak passionately on subjects about which they are passionate. So, with the fairly recent diversification of North American food culture, food tends to be a favourite usual suspect conversation starter.... | Continue reading article

Chef Cycles Across Canada to Raise Awareness for Sustainable Seafood @nedbell #chefsforoceans

Chefs for Oceans Van and Gear Chefs for Oceans Van and Gear

…so, you are a recognized Canadian chef, known to champion causes related to sustainable seafood. …so, you are a father who realizes, without better stewardship of our oceans, fisheries risk complete collapse. …so, you love Canada, you’re an outdoorsman, and you cycle. Then, you’d be Ned Bell who, as legend has it, was born to the rugged wilds of British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. The executive chef of Vancouver’s Yew Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel left St. John’s, Newfoundland on Canada Day to cycle across Canada this summer. His campaign, which is called Chefs... | Continue reading article

Flux Dinner at Mariposa: 15-Courses Later, I Know What Dry Roasted Crickets Taste Like

Mariposa Farm Mariposa Farm

When you read an account of a long and drawn out multi-course meal, do you ever wonder what was left out? What descriptions were trimmed by the editor flicking his or her mouse and pressing the delete key? What bits of conversation were discretely withheld. In the name of brevity, what events were deemed too minor to recount? Journalist and literary critic Dwight Garner recently had a meal with Ferran Adria and Nathan Myhrvold, essentially world leaders of the modernist cuisine movement. In his “End of Cuisine” piece, which was published in the New York... | Continue reading article

Flux: Do the Community a Solid

Flux Flux

Were I to write a book about the Ottawa food scene, I would dedicate a chapter to how the restaurants, caterers, and local producers embrace and support the community, oftentimes with astounding generosity. With his “Flux” culinary collective and its inaugural event that benefits Shepherds of Good Hope, Chef Danny Mongeon of Hooch Bourbon Bar (180 Rideau Street) goes further. Mongeon aims to set an example. He intends to launch something self-sustaining that will grow and change. But first, let us reflect on some history. It was a cold day in January, 1983 when the... | Continue reading article

Relatively Wordless Wed…I mean Thursday: Atelier Home Delivery

Atelier Takeout Atelier Takeout

Honestly, I thought I had seen it all last week. Jenn and I sat down at the bar of our favourite diner, Mellos in the ByWard Market (290 Dalhousie Street). We ate a rather late dinner, chatting with the amiable kitchen and laughing about many things food. At the end of a surprisingly thin service for a Friday evening, Mellos’ dishwasher asked for a plate of poutine and ate it with sliced white bread. He made poutine sandwiches. Chef Mike Franks, who takes over the 70’s era diner at 2 pm, shook his head, but... | Continue reading article

Get Your Curd On! Poutine Fest is Back!

Poutine Fest 2013 Poutine Fest 2013

Spring is in the air, Ottawa! And…that means “The Great Canadian Fork Off” is on! With the city basking in warmer temperatures [Hopefully we’ll get a break from the rain!], Sparks Street is gearing up for a second edition of Poutine Fest, starting Thursday, April 24th (tomorrow!) and running until Sunday, April 27th. Launched in November 2013, Poutine Fest was an instant hit with young and old alike. A three-day festival (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), organizers hoped Ottawa would respond with the same enthusiasm it has shown for their now biannual Chicken and Rib Fest.... | Continue reading article

A Taste for Life 2014: Supporting Our Community

A Taste for Life A Taste for Life

Jane Addams, an American social and political activist, author, community organizer, and leader in women’s suffrage, once wrote, “Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.” She brought attention to issues such as public health. Though her message was to women in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it remains relevant to this day. We are all responsible to make our communities a better place to live. On Wednesday, April 23rd, over 40 Ottawa restaurants and caterers will... | Continue reading article