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Casual Fridays at the National Arts Centre: Giveaway #2 #NACOFridays

Rosemary and Monforte Cheese Polenta with Shaved Smoked Lamb Sirloin Rosemary and Monforte Cheese Polenta with Shaved Smoked Lamb Sirloin

My Ottawa includes music. I’m rather taken with food and drink these days, but there was a time when I studied piano like many impressionable youths. I remember the technique: scales and arpeggios; chords; ear training; and exercises for improving “independence of fingering.” There was sight-reading. There was theory. There were lessons, concerts, exams, and competitions. While I developed some proficiency, I hated every second of it. But, I developed a healthy respect for those who choose music as their vocation. It is somewhat ironic I would marry someone who teaches piano. Both my wife... | Continue reading article

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Noodle Noodles Rah Rah Rah: Noodlefest Aftermath

Barbecued Duck Ramen by Jonny Korecki Barbecued Duck Ramen by Jonny Korecki

What can I say about a noodlefest I bought tickets to attend ($10/person), but ended up working at as a volunteer hand for one of its vendors, Tarek Hassan of Gongfu Bao? Well, the venue’s kitchen at the Ottawa Convention Centre is enormous. A paragon of cleanliness, the gleam from well-cared-for stainless steal surfaces blinded me. The centre’s executive chef, Geoffrey Morden, was also very patient, working with Sip ‘N Slurp’s vendors to prep, heat, and assemble dishes for event-goers. His fryolater station was particularly popular. It saw hundreds of spring rolls and churros. Pots... | Continue reading article

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Bunch of Stuff: Ottawa Start’s “Essential,” Navarra in Eat On/Eat Out, and Cardamom and Cloves Opens

Navarra Restaurant Navarra Restaurant

Ottawa Start’s “Essential” Earlier this month, we discovered the source for community-oriented news and events in Ottawa released its annual round-up of “essential blogs.” And, we were on it. 9. foodiePrints There are so many great food blogs in Ottawa. I really like Don, Jenn and Claire’s blog because they are so excited about finding great food in Ottawa, at restaurants, grocery stores, markets, food trucks, or wherever else they happen to be. For years, founder Glen Gower’s OttawaStart.com had a “b-list,” second-string blogs that made great resources, but were only borderline “essential.” For years,... | Continue reading article

Noodles Noodles Rah Rah Rah: A Little Noodling and a Noodlefest

Bowl of Noodles Anyone? Bowl of Noodles Anyone?

Last November, founder Roy Abourgeili approached us to promote and attend Privé Food Thought‘s inaugural event, “Ottawa’s Underground Chef’s Market.” Suffice it to say, I was dubious. Originally, Abourgeili’s descriptions and the associated marketing brought back memories of “Taboo Eats” and its ill-fated “My Neighbourhood Bites” series of “amateur”-cooking competitions. Taboo Eats met its abrupt end at the beginning of 2013. That is, despite a handful of events being held during the fall of 2012. We participated in one of the Taboo Eats events, a pair of home cooks wanting to showcase one of our... | Continue reading article

Slipacoff’s Premium Meats: Valentine’s and Why a Bucket of Fried Chicken Isn’t Gonna Cut It

Cashew Suya Made with Slipacoff's Premium Chicken Cashew Suya Made with Slipacoff's Premium Chicken

Valentine’s has the dubious reputation of being a “greeting card” holiday, something horribly commercial that western society invented to bolster after-Christmas sales. Men inevitably feel pressured to gift something pink, ruffled, and, more often than not, containing chocolate. Nothing says love like a stuffed pink and neon green baby dragon with a shrink-wrapped edible rose in its jaws… Hold it!?!?!?!? To borrow the opening from another like-themed post, Valentine’s is important to the food industry of a city, particularly Ottawa. January is a difficult month with patrons rather frugal after opening their post-Christmas credit card... | Continue reading article

Lunch at The Rex

Wild Boarchetta Sandwich Wild Boarchetta Sandwich

Goodbye January and hello February! The first month of the year has been a frosty one, but that’s what makes Canadian winters great. It’s also been quite some time since Don and I last dined out (having donated our January eat-out budget for the Pasta 101 fundraiser for Parkdale Food Centre), but that doesn’t mean I can’t go out for a relaxing lunch with friends. Besides, when good friends have lent you a helping hand on numerous occasions, the least you can do is take them out for a hot meal And, if you can... | Continue reading article

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From Pot au Feu to Pho: A Look at One Dish Evolving into Another

Pot Au Feu Pot Au Feu

There are few foods as comforting as noodles on a cold day, particularly after a snowy commute home. Needless to say, I am quite the proponent of noodles, be they served on a plate dressed in cheese, egg yolks, and crisped pancetta (or better still pan-seared lardons of guanciale); or served in a bowl bathed in a long simmered savoury soup with assorted adornments (herbs, fried onion or garlic, young green stems, sprouts, flavoured oils, nuts, etc.) Noodles are actually my last meal request. Got hu tieu? One of my favourite noodle soup dishes is... | Continue reading article

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Last Regional Round of #TKLucky7 Challenge before Chinese New Year

Thai Red Curry Shrimp Tacos Thai Red Curry Shrimp Tacos

Chinese New Year is nearly upon us. Many are already gearing up to celebrate the year of the “Wood” Horse. Beginning January 31, 2014, homes will be meticulously tidied to collect a fresh allotment of good luck. Apparently, powdered luck (both organic and free-range, of course) is dispatched but once a year, so errant sweeping on New Year’s Day isn’t recommended. Walls will be decorated in bright colours. Bright colours ward off evil spirits and bad luck. Red envelopes of lucky money will be gifted by senior married members of the family to more junior... | Continue reading article