Ottawa’s Nominees Vying for EnRoute’s Best New Restaurants People’s Choice Award 2014

Mena Restaurant's Bar Mena Restaurant's Bar

While San Pellegrino‘s “World’s 100 Best Restaurants” list has snubbed Canadian restaurants for four consecutive years, Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, EnRoute, continues to celebrate Canada’s developing culinary identity. In 2010, San Pellegrino named Calgary, Alberta’s Rouge Restaurant to the 60th spot and Cambridge, Ontario’s Langdon Hall (now under Chef Jason Bangerter) to the 77th. Canadian restaurants have never broken the top-50. Conversely, EnRoute prepares annual lists of “Best” new Canadian restaurants for the year, collecting nominations from a panel of local journalists and visiting various city’s nominations. In the end, the submitted restaurants are judged... | Continue reading article

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Fauna Finally: Jon and Kate Svazas Open their Highly Anticipated Restaurant

Fauna Restaurant Fauna Restaurant

Forty-eight hours have passed since Chef Jon Svazas and his wife Kate threw open the doors of their much anticipated restaurant to the public. Leading up to Fauna’s first dinner service, the Svazases engaged in a bit of tongue-in-cheek marketing, routinely changing the papers covering the slightly tinted floor-to-ceiling windows. Emblazoned with Fauna’s Momofuku-esque branding, they communicated the restaurant’s status, from “opening soon” to “opening slowly” and finally counting down the days until reservations were being accepted. Located directly across from Josh Bishop’s almost decade-old Whalesbone Oyster House, the embattled Fauna has been the subject... | Continue reading article

Pop quiz, hotshot! You’re Hungry! You’ve a Credit Card! Ordering by Phone is so 2000-and-Late

Big Plate Chicken from Ju Xiang Yuan Big Plate Chicken from Ju Xiang Yuan

With the beginning of September, a scary thought comes to mind. Patio season will end. Eateries and shops will pull back their encroachments onto public sidewalks as the weather takes on a familiar chill. Leaves will change colour and fall from their branches. Meteorologists will forecast the city’s first encounter with snow. Eventually, tables and chairs will be gathered together and put into storage until the next spring. Interestingly, 15°C seems warm after 6 successive months of frigid winter weather. When the temperature dips below 20°C during the summer months, Ottawa locals threaten to turn... | Continue reading article


Straight Up, a Film About Ontario’s Alcohol Laws, is Worth the Watch

Ottawa Screening of Straight Up Ottawa Screening of Straight Up

Earlier this week Katy Watts, Ottawa’s longtime champion of all things brewed and sometimes freelance food writer, invited me to attend the somewhat exclusive screening of Straight Up: The Issue of Alcohol in Ontario, an independently-produced documentary about the archaic and oftentimes punitive laws that regulate the distribution and sale of alcohol in Ontario. Ours would be the second screening of the documentary worldwide. Sponsored by Ottawa’s growing microbrewery Beyond the Pale, the screening was very well attended at the newly relocated Orange Gallery. The room easily sat fifty people. When seating ran out, a... | 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


Tuna Nasi Goreng and Giveaway #cloverleaf #giveaway

Tuna Nasi Goreng Tuna Nasi Goreng

When summer rolls around, it’s a chance for me to relax and recharge my batteries after a tiring school year. One of my favourite things to do during my time off is trying new recipes, especially for Don’s lunches. After a morning of meetings and intense work, I like to have something my husband can look forward to. Perhaps I’m old-fashioned, but growing up, I loved opening my lunch box to see what my mom packed me. Whether it was a sandwich, noodles, rice, or dumplings, I was always grateful that my mom ensured I... | Continue reading article

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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


Seed to Sausage General Store: Paying it Forward

Seed to Sausage General Store Seed to Sausage General Store

Were I to write a book about the Ottawa food scene, I would dedicate a chapter to artisan producers and farmers. The nation’s capital is known for its brief stint as Silicon Valley North. History recognizes Ottawa for its lumber. But, before telecom companies, the timber rafts, or even Colonel John By and his regiment of somewhat unruly British soldiers, there were farmers. There were artisan producers who added “value” to local meat and produce. Both sold their goods at the market By would create in Lowertown. Ottawa has a new resident artisan producer, Seed... | Continue reading article