TOP 5 Snack Foods at McEwan

Being Mark McEwan’s assistant has me running around most days like a chicken with my head cut off!

I am a huge “snacker” and although I would like to say that I always make the healthiest choice, That would be a flat out lie! There are so many delicious offerings that I just go with my gut, literally. Here’s my 5 favourites that you MUST pick up the next time you are in - 

1. MAD MEXICAN’S FRESH SALSA

Photo Courtesy of Blog TO

Photo Courtesy of Blog TO

Anything from Mad Mexican ~ As I am writing this I am actually crunching away on their nacho chips and mild salsa (I can’t handle heat). Every single product is made with the utmost care. It is so fresh and I like to think it is pretty healthy. There is a full line up of different salsas, each one is very unique and completely addicting.

2. MCEWAN’S OWN GOURMET CHIPS

Photo 2-27-2015, 10 51 07 AMI think you can see the trend already, I am really into salty snacks. Whether it is Kool Ketchup, Dill Pickle or my personal favourite, Blue Cheese Chicken Wings, I just cannot get enough of these chips. They are a hit with my friends, ever since the first time I brought them out at a girl’s night, they have been specifically requested every time we are altogether.

3. REFUEL’S COLD-PRESSED JUICE 

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Refuel Kale Kraze ~ Sometimes you just need to get your vitamins on the run and the Kale Craze by Refuel is my go to. My day can change direction at the drop of the hat and being able to drink a meal really keeps me going.

4. MCEWAN’S OWN DESSERT JARS

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90% of the time I am reaching for chips of some sort, but when I am craving something a little bit sweet I dig in to the Dessert Jars at the pastry counter. Key lime pie…in a jar!? Yes please! Plus, having these small jars as the serving vessel is a great portion control method, unless of course you eat numerous jars…I have never done that…wink wink.

5. MCEWAN’S YOGURT PARFAIT BAR

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Mmmmmm morning snack! The “Build Your Own Yogurt Parfait Bar” at McEwan gives me the opportunity to make a new creation every day. Ever felt as though you needed more granola in your parfait or you want ALL strawberries with a little bit of honey? There are so many options and they all make me feel as though I am adding a little goodness into my body!

WRITTEN BY,
JORDIE MCTAVISH, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO MARK MCEWAN

What’s (NEW) on One Restaurant’s Menu?

As seasons change, so do menus, especially when you source local produce like One Restaurant does. With the takeover of Chef de Cuisine Darby Piquette, we’ve added 9 fresh items to our already-acclaimed dinner line-up. It’s not an easy process because when one’s added, often times another has to be ‘retired’.

“This menu is a compilation of ideas I had in my scrap book since I first started on garde manger at the restaurant. The ideas have been constantly changing for the better as I progressed through the restaurant. Creating food that satisfies the guests is important to my staff and I, it’s not just about throwing together a dish to make ourselves happy as chefs and cooks. With the help of Chef Andrew Ellerby, who has been one of my biggest inspirations since I first started working at One, I created my first menu.” –  Chef de Cuisine Darby Piquette

When asked what Chef Darby’s favourite dish was he responded with the Venison. Originally, it was an idea he had many years ago, scribbled into a moleskin notebook. He first tried cooking a variation of it for his girlfriend and family on her birthday. After gaining more experience in the kitchen, and now he considers the Venison as his favorite dish!

Soups ~ Make it a Meal or Outside the Bowl

It’s been a bitter cold Winter and soups have been gracing our dinner tables. At McEwan, you will find lots of slurpable options that you can warm up with. As we come out of the indulgent holiday season, and a chilly new year, a bowl of soup is a great healthy option to warm your body and fill your belly while keeping you on tract with your healthy goals.

They are also great time-saving starters for building heartier, more fulfilling meals Five Go-To Soups from McEwans and my top tips for transforming them into something new.

MCEWAN’S OWN TOMATO FENNEL

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Nutritional Benefit: Dairy-free and low in fat, this hearty broth-based tomato soup is packed with antioxidant-rich veggies.

Make it a Meal: Add some frozen tortellini, spinach, diced zucchini and top with Parmesan cheese.

Outside the Bowl: Mix ½ cup to your family’s meatloaf recipe for added flavour and moisture.

MCEWAN’S OWN VEGAN CHILI

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Nutritional Benefit: Made with almost a dozen veggies, beans and a little soy meat for protein, this vegan chili is low in fat and packed with satiating fibre.

Make it a Meal: Mix with cooked whole grain macaroni and a little cheese for an old-school Chili Mac.

Outside the Bowl: Layer the chili with sharp cheese and corn tortillas, and then bake into a Mexican Lasagna.

PACIFIC THAI SWEET POTATO SOUP

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Nutritional Benefits: With all those bright orange potatoes, a single cup of Pacific Thai’s Sweet Potato Soup offers 150% of your Vitamin A needs.

Make it a Meal: Add a handful of cooked rice noodles, some bean sprouts and poached shrimp for a Thai Noodle Soup.

Outside the Bowl: Sear bite-size pieces of chicken until golden brown, then add in a container of soup and a spoonful of almond butter. Simmer in the soup until it reduces to a thick curry sauce and serve over brown rice.

WOLFGANG PUCK’S HEARTY LENTIL VEGETABLE

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Nutritional Benefits: Lentils are a low fat healthy vegetarian source of protein and fibre, and this Wolfgang Puck’s soup packs a double punch with the added veggies!

Make it a Meal: Add a cup of diced low sodium smoked ham, and 3 cups of baby spinach as you reheat the soup on the stove.

Outside the Bowl: Simmer the soup over medium high heat until the broth evaporates and you’ve got a thick bowl of cooked lentils. Serve with seared turkey sausages and Swiss chard sautéed with garlic.

AMY’S ORGANIC CREAM OF MUSHROOM

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Nutritional Benefits: Sure there’s a little cream here, but while most canned cream of mushroom soups you barely see any real mushrooms or cream. Amy’s version is completely organic, and preservative and additive-free.

Make it a Meal: Create a hearty chowder by adding some parboiled potatoes and fresh shellfish.

Outside the Bowl: Use it as the creamy sauce in your beef stroganoff to accompany the lean beef, sautéed mushrooms and whole grain noodles.

On those chilly nights cozy up with bowl of something warm and fulfilling or switch things up with one of my easy soup-transforming tips! Whatever you’re craving, McEwan has all the top picks.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Sesame Crusted Scallops with Black Beluga Caviar Lentils, Microgreens and Paneer Croutons

Sweet scallops, nutty lentils and peppery microgreens combined create a simple yet complex dish. By adding a tangy Caesar dressing and a sweet, slightly spicy mango relish makes it swoon worthy. This dish makes and elegant first course or a light lunch.

1 cup Black Beluga Lentils

4 cups chicken stock

4 garlic cloves, peeled

¼ teaspoon pepper

4 Tablespoons McEwan’s Own Ice Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 large scallops

1 egg white, lightly beaten

½ cup McEwan’s Own Sesame Seeds

3oz paneer, cut into ½ inch cubes

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups microgreens (arugula, pea sprouts, cilantro)

10 Brussel sprouts, shaved

4 radishes, shaved

3 tablespoons McEwan’s Own Caesar Dressing

2 tablespoons McEwan’s Own Sweet Mango Relish

salt and pepper, to taste

Beauty Shot

Place lentils, stock, garlic and pepper in a medium sauce pan on high and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 min or until lentils are tender. Drain excess stock.

Puree garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of McEwan’s Own Ice Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil and stir into lentils. Keep warm.

Pat scallops dry, dip into egg whites and the McEwan’s Own Sesame Seeds. Sear in a hot stainless sauté pan with butter for 2 min per side.

Place paneer and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan at medium high and cook until each side is golden. Approximately 30 seconds per side.

Toss microgreens, Brussel sprouts and radish with McEwan’s Own Caesar Dressing. Set aside.

To plate: Make a small pool of lentils and place to 2 scallops in the center of them and top with ½ teaspoon of McEwan’s Own Sweet Mango Relish. Place microgreens to the side along with paneer. Very lightly drizzle a touch more olive oil over scallops and lentils. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nancy Crocker, Nancy’s Cravings
Blogger, Caterer
Twitter @NancysCravings
Instagram @NancysCravings

 

From Crop To Cup with Sloane Tea

In the past couple of years, drinking tea has become a sort of art form. With so many brands and flavours, it can start to get confusing! To keep up with this ever changing aspect of our industry The McEwan Group wanted to find the perfect tea list for Bymark, One and Fabbrica.

Enter Sloane Tea! Much like the McEwan Group of restaurants, they have a high regard for quality and beautiful presentation. Everything from their pyramid satchels that meet the need of consistency and the table-side Tea Sommelier chest create an elevated level of customer experience.

China Tea Ceremony

When speaking with Hoda Paripoush, Sloane Tea’s Director, I asked the one question that is probably the hardest to answer “what should people be looking for in a tea, what’s the best type of tea to drink?” and she answered brilliantly…”drink the tea that you love the most, because you will drink more of it and reap more of the benefits that the tea has to offer”.

Sloane Teas are affectionately referred to in the industry as “crop to cup”, meaning that the teas are based on a direct trade, having the shortest amount of time possible from the tea estate, where it is grown to the end user.

As an official Tea Sommelier (the first in North American to be accredited by both the American and Canadian institutions), Hoda helped each restaurant pick the right line up of teas based on the clientele’s preferences. But when looking at their entire line I asked Hoda what she would recommend for…

Relaxation?- The Rouge Provence is a completely caffeine-free and red rooibos-based, blended with French lavender and rose petals

Energy?- Sloane’s Heavenly Cream contains caffeine, it is a black tea with a smooth and robust flavour which is perfect in the morning of the early afternoon

Her Personal Preference?- The Earl Grey Classic and Heavenly Cream!

Heavenly Cream Signature Blend Black Tea

There are many factors that set Sloane Tea apart from other brands, the “crop to cup” philosophy, ensuring that there are no distributors or brokers means that the tea arrives and is ready for use within 3 months! It is also due to people like Hoda who spends a large amount of time at each of the tea gardens and the fact that she also trained in perfumery in France. This means that the teas are created based on the principles of perfumery which takes into consideration the top, heart and base notes of the ingredients.

The next time you pop in to Bymark, One or Fabbrica, make sure to grab a warm cup of Sloane Tea and taste the difference that their precision makes.

Romance Your Valentine with an Italian Feast at Fabbrica for Two

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and while jewelry and roses are optional, a romantic delicious meal that she doesn’t have to prepare is pretty much a non-negotiable. And no, delivery pizza doesn’t count.

When I think of an intimate Valentines Day meal, I immediately think of Italian fare, like the rustic authentic menu at McEwan’s Fabbrica at the Shops at Don Mills.

Shareable pizzas, sensual pastas, decadent desserts, an extensive wine list, and a warm luxurious dining atmosphere all help makes Fabbrica the ideal spot for a romantic dinner for two. Resolving to eat lighter and healthier in 2015? No problem! They make a huge effort to help you dine well despite having dietary restrictions, so even gluten-free couples won’t miss out on the romance of an Italian spread. Check out some of these signature plates from Fabbrica’s top chefs that are guaranteed to win you some serious brownie points with your love!

 

This Valentine’s Day, skip the crusty box of chocolates, token Teady bear and the tasteless lingerie, spoil your sweetheart (and yourself) with a reservation at Fabbrica and let their talented chefs take care of the rest. Located at 49 Karl Fraser Drive in the Shops at Don Mills right across from the McEwan’s Shops. Don’t delay in planning your Valentines Day meal, book your special dinner online right here or give them a call at 416-391-0307 today.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Here comes #Winterlicious 2015!

Winterlicious is an annual gastro tradition that we look forward to every year since its inception in 2003. 

All of the McEwan Group restaurants have always had a great time coming up with new and interesting menus for Winterlicious that show off some of their favourite dishes of the season.

This year it came down to the wire for Chef Darby Piquette. Darby took over as Chef de Cuisine of One Restaurant just before Christmas. After scouring over the past chefs choices for the menu, Darby made an “2 minutes left of the fourth quarter decision” and threw a Hail Mary. With the permission of the Winterlicious organizers, Darby switched the menus to reflect Darby’s new menu at One, which launched on January 8th.

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We asked Chef Darby “If you were to come into the restaurant and select the perfect meal from your menu for that time of day, what would you choose?” and below are his recommendations!

Lunch – $28

Crispy Pork Belly with Korean BBQ Sauce, Avocado, Nappa Slaw, Sesame Oil and Spiced Pork Crackling

Heirloom Squash Ravioli with Telaggio Creme, Pickled Pearl Onions, Pine Nut Brittle, Crisp Sage and Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Cirtus Pavolva with Fresh Berries and Passion Fruit Sorbet

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Short Ribs with Pomme Puree, Mirepoix, Crisp Onion, Horseradish and Natural Sauce

Dinner- $45

Scallop and Pork Belly with Korean BBQ Sauce, Avocado, Nappa Slaw, Sesame Oil and Spiced Pork Crackling

Short Ribs with Pomme Puree, Mirepoix, Crisp Onion, Horseradish and Natural Sauce

Dark Chocolate Cake with Caramel Chocolate Ganache, Hazelnut Brittle, Coffee Anglaise

Want to take a look at our other menus? Here’s a sneak peak at Bymark‘s featuring some of their regular menu items including Variegated Beet & Walnut Pesto Salad, Lightly Smoked Salmon and Chocolate Nut Tart.

To book your reservation, click on Bymark, Fabbrica, North 44, or One Restaurant

Staff Profile: Darby Piquette

As of December 22nd, 2014 Darby Piquette became the new Chef de Cuisine at One Restaurant. Having been there from opening day, in many different roles, he was the perfect candidate for the job. Congrats Darby on everything you have accomplished,

Head to One Restaurant to check out his first menu, which launched on January 8th, 2015.

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Name: Darby Joel Piquette

Birthdate: September 1, 1989

Hometown: Aurora, Ont

Culinary School Attended: George Brown–but I did not graduate. Learning hands on at a restaurant is much better than spending money to go to school to learn less.

Previous Restaurants:

Maunders Food Shop in Aurora. It was a small catering company, butcher shop, fish monger, and prepared food counter. I started there when I was 14 years old as a dishwasher working full time, washing dishes after school every day, and open to close on weekends. My Chef, Rob Lizotte, told me the faster I washed dishes, the sooner he would teach me how to cook. Within a year I was no longer a dishwasher, I was a prep cook. As I got older I took on much more responsibilities at the shop, learning as much as I could before going to school.

 Year You Began at One: Year 1

 When did you know you wanted to work in the food industry?

When I was a little boy, I would obsess over the Food Network. When I would get home from school, I would watch that channel all afternoon, and attempt to make dinner with mom when she got home from work.

What was your first meeting with Mark like?

Nerve wracking. I was only 18 years old when I met Chef. I knew a lot about him, and my roommate had gotten me an interview at the restaurant. I did my stage from open to close, and asked first thing the next morning if I could come work there again. By the end of the day I was a full time employee. I worked every station around the kitchen, full time, for long periods of time, learning as much as I could. And now I am the Chef de Cuisine.

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What are some of the more notable lessons you’ve learned working with Mark McEwan?

This afternoon he taught me a very important lesson. I am stressing out over the office, and the financial side of the restaurant now, as it’s my first time doing all this paperwork. Chef Mark told me “None of this really matters, the food cost, the labour, the office work. The most important thing in a restaurant is making sure that every single plate that leaves the kitchen is as close to perfection as we can possibly make it. Without clean plates and hot, tasty food, there is no satisfaction. And without satisfied guests, where would we be?”

What’s your favourite dish on your newly launched menu at One?

My venison dish … cocoa rubbed venison short loin, with seared foie gras, heirloom squash ravioli, wilted spinach, agro dulce cippolini onions, dark chocolate, fried sage, and a black currant veal jus. I first thought of this dish many years ago when I first started at the restaurant. I had the chance to test run it for my girlfriend’s birthday, Amy who is the Head Pastry Chef at One. And now I finally had the chance to put it on my first menu as the Chef of the restaurant.

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If you could pinch-hit at any other McEwan restaurant, which would you choose and why?

100 % Fabbrica, without a question. When I was growing up in the restaurant industry, all the chefs and sous chefs at Fab were the senior staff at ONE. I wouldn’t be any where with out Al, Kovac, Le Clair, Gentile (BUCA), and especially Missy. Missy taught me everything about the Grill and Saucier station, which was the biggest challenge for me in the kitchen at the time. I owe you 1, actually more like 1 000 000 000 Missy!

 

Riesling Apple Brown Butter Ricotta Napoleons

Looking for the perfect dessert to serve during the cold winter months? These Napoleons couldn’t be easier – make the puff pastry and whipped ricotta a day or two beforehand and just spoon on the McEwan’s Own Riesling Apples straight out of the jar right before it’s time to serve.

2 sheets puff pastry, thawed and rolled out thinly to about 10″ x 15″

2 tablespoons brown butter

475g container smooth ricotta

2 tablespoons honey

¼ cup powdered sugar

1 jar McEwan’s Riesling Apples

powdered sugar, as needed

Riesling Apple Napoleons

Thaw according to the directions on the package and roll out your puff pastry on a floured surface. Cut it into squares or rectangles, depending on how big you want your Napoleons to be.

Lay the rectangles on the larger baking sheet, lined with parchment. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Remove from fridge, cover with another sheet of parchment and place the second smaller baking sheet on top to weigh the pastry down and prevent it from puffing up. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven and transfer the pieces to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan until it foams and starts to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and scrape the melted browned butter into a bowl and cool to room temperature.

Add the ricotta, honey and ¼ cup of powdered sugar. Mix well.

Lay one piece of puff pastry down on a small serving plate. Add a couple of tablespoons of ricotta cream and then cover that with a couple of tablespoons of the McEwan’s Riesling Apples. You can serve them just like this with a dusting of powdered sugar and let people pick it up and eat it out of hand.

For a more elegant dessert, add a second piece of puff pastry and sprinkle with powdered sugar. For a real showstopper, add another layer of ricotta and apples and top with a third piece of puff pastry. For the whole shebang, add a second layer of ricotta and apples and top the whole thing with a third piece of puff pastry. Using a fine strainer, sieve some powdered sugar over the top and serve.

Carole Nelson Brown, The Yum Yum Factor
Blogger, Make-up Artist
Twitter @SMmamashack
Instagram @mamashack

Top 10 McEwan Gift Ideas

Christmas has arrived at McEwan and the store is filled with sweet holiday cheer. Whether you are looking for a great hostess gift, an appetizing stocking stuffer or ingredients for Christmas dinner…we have you covered.

This year we asked our staff to pick their favourites and here’s what they’d like to see under their Christmas tree.

Barrel Aged Balsamic

McEwan Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Dip your bread, dress your salad or marinate your meat.

Candles

Aromabotanical Candles

Australia’s much loved luxury fragrances for the home.

Cheese Knife

Magisso Cheese Knife

 For cheese aficionados and wine lovers. For festivities and everyday life.

Christmas Pudding

King George Christmas Pudding

A lovely, fragrant end to any Christmas dinner with family and friends.

Cookbooks

Cookbooks

A little gift to treat the foodie on your list.

Dowton Abbey Tea

Downton Abbey® Tea

just in time for the new season of the hit show Downton Abbey will make you a hit.

Floral

McEwan Floral

pre-book your Holiday arrangement or CENTREPIECE & fill your home with Christmas cheer

Gingerbread Cookie House

Dancing Deer Baking Co. Gingerbread Cookie House

A wonderful Holiday activity for the family. All you need to add is the creativity & candy decorations.

Italian Cake

Panettone Italian

for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Great to toast and smoother with butter.

Nuts

McEwan’s Nut Trays

A wooden tray arrives carrying an array of gourmet goodies.