Relatively Wordless Friday: Reminder to Drop by Gezellig Tomorrow for “swab-a-thon”

Grilled Hanger Steak with Mushroom, Frites, and Aioli from Play - $16 Grilled Hanger Steak with Mushroom, Frites, and Aioli from Play - $16

A number of irritable people say some rather unfortunate things about food bloggers who participate in the “meatless” Monday, “wine” Wednesday, and “throwback” Thursday weekly “recurrence” exercises. “Gimmicky nonsense,” I’ve heard these posts described. They contribute to entropy in the World Wide Web, “base quality content.” These same people are least charitable of “wordless” Wednesday posts that lack “context” or “description.” “If you haven’t the time to string words together, why bother?” they say. Me, I am guilty of “relatively” wordless Wednesday posts since there is oftentimes too many incongruous smaller bits content to share.... | Continue reading article

Open a Jar of Sunshine: Jalepeno Crab Apple Jelly and Chutney

High Blush Crab Apples High Blush Crab Apples

Want it your way? Everyday? No, I’m not about to espouse the virtues of large chain fast food burgers, especially in a city with a handful of decent options, both long standing fixtures (e.g. Chez Lucien on Murray Street) and up-and-coming indie operations (e.g. Burgers and Fries Forever on Bank (392)). In fact, I won’t be addressing burgers at all. Let us consider the weather. Of late, there seems to be neither rhyme nor reason for the continued chill. Though, meteorologists probably have a completely plausible explanation: the polar vortex is real; global warming has... | Continue reading article

Social Serves Ottawa Food

Social Restaurant and Lounge Social Restaurant and Lounge

We in Ottawa routinely break the cardinal rule for polite conversation. Topics such as sex, religion and politics (especially politics), pop-up in almost any available forum, from the bus stop to the dining table. Lately, two subjects dominate, the weather and “in defense of our fair city.” Spring has sprung, but Mother Nature has deemed herself too inconvenienced to raise temperatures. “Ottawa is not boring!” Amateur filmmaker and Toronto-expat Amen Jafri produced, directed, and recently released a crowd-funded documentary that considers why celebrated Maclean’s columnist Allan Fotherham deemed Ottawa “The City that Fun Forgot,” “Coma... | Continue reading article

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Homecookin’: Some Snapshots From My Kitchen

Shin of Beef Pot Roast Shin of Beef Pot Roast

The Ides of March have come to pass with many things food gracing our social medial channels. Ottawa keeps demonstrating there is good eating to be had. Food entrepreneurs continue to fill out the spectrum of dining options from low to high-end. Locals just have to have an open mind and look around. Personally, I’ve been cooking of late without plating anything for the tripod-mounted camera, soft box, or speedlites. So, it’s time to resurrect our “relatively wordless” post format (not to be confused with the more meaningful “bunch-of-stuff” format) and share some snapshots from... | Continue reading article

Twice Blessed: Essence Catering Partners with Sarah J’s Cupcakes for Winning Chocolate Combo

Chocolate and Cherries from Essence Catering Chocolate and Cherries from Essence Catering

Last Saturday, the Centurion Conference & Event Centre (170 Colonnade Road) saw the 10th annual Carefor Chocolate Competition come to pass. There were 400 attendees. Eight local establishments submitted sweet confections for the competition: last year’s “Judge’s Choice” winner Essence Catering (430 Parkdale Avenue), Fratelli Restaurants, Hilton Garden Inn (2400 Alert Road), Les Fougeres (783 Route 105, Chelsea), National Arts Centre (53 Elgin Street), The Joy of Gluten Free (250 Greenbank Road), Todric’s Restaurant and Catering (10 McArthur Avenue), and Truffle Treasures (314 Richmond Road). Chef Jason Laurin of Essence Catering teamed up with Sarah... | Continue reading article

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Cooking with Cream for Dairy Goodness 100% Canadian Milk: Mac ‘n Cheese

Deep Fried Mac 'n Cheese Deep Fried Mac 'n Cheese

With just days left before winter officially comes to an end, Ottawa remains frigid. Pools of melted snow ice over when the sun sets. Thanks to daylight savings time, darkness falls an hour later. Once tall snowbanks recede from the sidewalks. But, many dwindle, darkening and showing off trapped dirt and grit. The odd glove reveals itself, released from icy imprisonment. It seems the cursed rodent we ascribed meteorological powers was right. The groundhog saw its shadow. Six weeks of bundling ourselves up in Canada Goose jackets, NHL toques, official Team Canada-branded Olympic mitts, hand... | Continue reading article

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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