Canadians know that the name Chef Mark McEwan is synonymous with great food. From his role as judge on Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada, to beautiful cookbooks such as Rustic Italian he inspires us at to create Great Food At Home. Here in Toronto, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to shop and dine at the signature restaurants and stores that reflect the many facets of Mark McEwan’s food philosophy and his personality: ONE, Bymark, Fabbrica, North 44, and of course McEwan.
If you’d like to know more about the man behind this celebrated culinary enterprise, we have exciting news for you … #McEwanAllAccess is back!
On November 10th, television personality Michelle Jobin will host an exclusive and informative event with Chef Mark McEwan at his contemporary Yorkville hotspot ONE. This highly anticipated event has been a huge foodie favourite in the past. Space is limited for this evening of great food and conversation .
Guests will have the opportunity to savour the gourmet food and beverages that ONE has become known for, plus the “see and be scene” atmosphere that has made it a dining destination for so many. Michelle will be hosting a conversation with Mark so we can get to know him, and the dishes he creates, better. Tweet or Instagram photos of your favourite food from the evening, your favourite moment, or perhaps pose for a selfie with Mark.
Plus, all guests leave with a gift bag including a personalized copy of Rustic Italian cookbook, Stoneleigh Vineyards wine, Johnnie Walker shot glasses, Grand Marnier recipe book and garnish sticks valued over $60.00.
Chef McEwan feels that the upbeat elegance of ONE makes it the perfect venue for this instalment, “Looking forward to welcoming everyone to One. I can’t wait to showcase the amazing talents of our kitchen and to have the opportunity to meet everyone face to face.”
The party (and the conversation) will be happening online as well. Be sure to stay tuned to social media before, during, and after the event for all the details and full access to the event.
So just how do you get in on this evening of delicious food, wine, and chat? For the chance to be one of our 20 invited guests, just copy, paste, and tweet the following, then keep an eye out for a potential invite and instructions:
I want to get social with @Chef_MarkMcEwan at #OneRestaurant for #McEwanAllAccess
As space is limited, a few lucky tweeters will be notified each week with more details and instructions. Past events have sold out right away, so be sure to let @MichelleJobin know just how much you want to join in. Looking forward to meeting you all, and the great food and conversation that the evening has in store for you!
- November 10, 2014 :: 7 pm – 9 pm
- One Restaurant at 116 Yorkville Avenue
- $60 per person inclusive of all drinks, food, swag bag, taxes and gratuities (LIMITED SPACE)
- There will be only one ticket available for those selected with no plus 1 option
- Event format will be passed appetizers, wine and cocktails
- Tweets, pictures and great conversation are encouraged
This exotic harvest soup tastes like it’s been simmering for hours, but it won’t take more than 15 minutes to make! Each velvety spoonful gets a spicy kick from the Mango Chutney. With flavours of ginger and red chili, this soup is sure to warm you up on these crisp autumn evenings.
1 jar McEwan’s Own Butternut Squash Soup
2-3 tbsps McEwan’s Own Mango Chutney
4 tbsps crème fraîche
4 tsps roasted pumpkin seeds
black pepper, to taste
Add the soup to a large pot and warm over medium-low heat.
Stir in 2 or 3 tablespoons of the mango chutney, depending on how spicy you want your soup to be.
Once the chutney is fully incorporated, and the soup is warmed through, it’s ready to serve.
Set out 4 soup bowls and fill each bowl with about1 cup of soup.
Stir in 1 tbsp of crème fraîche into each bowl, and top with 1 tsp of pumpkin seeds and some fresh black pepper. Serve warm.
Shareba Abdul, In Search Of Yummy-ness
Blogger, Home Cook, Freelance Writer
We would like to officially announce that Chef Mark McEwan has partnered with Stoneleigh Vineyards. As the ambassador for this great New Zealand wine, Mark will be working throughout the year to elevate your home entertaining by providing tips, tricks and recipes on the Stoneleigh Facebook page.
To get this relationship started off on the right foot Stoneleigh is giving away a private dinner for 10 people, personally prepared by Chef Mark McEwan. Visit www.stoneleighvineyards.ca for your chance to win!
Contest ends November 29, 2014 where a winner will be drawn randomly.
Good luck to all!
“May the odds ever be in your favour!” – The Hunger Games
With summer slipped away, and a busy start to autumn, it’s almost a shock that Thanksgiving weekend is mere days away! Accepting it is challenge one, but planning for it will be a whole other hurdle. It’s no small feat to perfectly roast turkey, whisk gravy, simmer cranberries, caramelize Brussels sprouts, bake stuffing, roast veggies, toss salad, spin potatoes and bake a flaky pie, all while keeping the house in order and managing the hectic affair. Phew!
Well, while you’re on your own with the family drama, McEwan can take a real load off in the kitchen with their ready-to-reheat family dinners with all the fixings. Choose from their Beef Tenderloin, Salmon, Roasted Leg of Lamb, and of course, the Classic Turkey, and forgo the time, stress and mess of shopping, chopping, stuffing, cooking, and cleaning the annual feast. Now that’s something to be thankful for! Not convinced? Check out this handy-dandy McEwan Thanksgiving Catering by Numbers.
Ready to be order # 76? Let us take on the culinary burdens so you can focus on more important things this holiday season such as spending quality time with family and friends. For more information on menus or to place your Thanksgiving order, check out their website, email email@example.com or call 416 444 6262 x 228.
ABBEY SHARP, RD
OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN
The transitional time between summer and fall means the blending of culinary traditions. On the one hand it’s still warm enough to step outside to turn on the grill, but we start to see a new range of fantastic flavours emerge from Ontario soil. Apples to me are a September staple, and the aromatic spices of Indian cuisine are a beautiful pairing for their fresh sweetness and acidity. This recipe combines the ready-made McEwan’s Own Tandoori Spice Mix with Fat Free High Protein Greek Yogurt to yield a tenderizing and moisturizing marinade for lean chicken breast. Pair it with the sweet golden raisins, bright apples and mild heat in McEwan’s Curry Apple Chutney, and you have a comforting and inviting meal.
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp 0% Plain Greek Yogurt
2 tsp McEwan’s Own Tandoori Spice Mix
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
2 small apples, cored and cut into chunks
1 Bell Pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
Pinch of salt
8 large wooden skewers, soaked
1/2 cup McEwan’s Own Curry Apple Chutney
In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, Tandoori Spice Mix, chicken, apples, bell pepper and a pinch of salt. Mix until well combined, cover and marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
After an hour, thread the chicken, apple and pepper onto skewers, alternating meat with fruit and vegetable.
Preheat a lightly greased grill or a grill pan over medium high heat. Cook on the grill, turning every 3-4 minutes, until lightly charred on all sides and the meat is no longer pink inside, about 12-14 minutes.
Serve the skewers with the Curry Apple Chutney.
ABBEY SHARP, RD
OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN
The Italian salad repertoire features many that possess an assertively bitter flavour profile, and this is one of our favourite examples. Despite its scant list of ingredients, it packs a wallop of flavour. The sharp and salty nature of a well-aged artisanal caciocavallo from Sicily is a league apart from that of even the finest caciocavallo from Calabria or anywhere else on the mainland, so do make the effort to find one.
2 bunches dandelion leaves, torn
1 handful parsley leaves
1 cup (250 mL) small quality olives, pitted
¼ cup (60 mL) aged wine vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) fine olive oil salt and pepper
4 oz (125 g) Caciocavallo siciliano
In a salad bowl, combine the dandelion, radicchio, parsley, and olives. Toss.
Add vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper, and toss again. Taste and correct seasonings.
Shave half the caciocavallo over the salad, and serve with the extra cheese on the side.
[From: Mark McEwan’s Fabbrica: Great Italian Recipes Made Easy for Home by Mark McEwan. Copyright © General Purpose Entertainment, 2011. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Group (Canada), a Division of Pearson Canada Inc.]
There are three main things that you should be armed with upon your first call to a perspective caterer, DATE, VENUE and BUDGET. Calling a caterer without this information could leave you feeling frustrated as they are all crucial to booking.
- DATE: The busiest times of the year for weddings or larger scale events tend to be from May-July and September-December. If your date falls within these time frames, get on the phone and get moving on your menu planning as the dates fill up quite quickly.
- VENUE: Some venues have preferred caterers list. This is great as those companies have been into the kitchen and the event space numerous times, know what can and can’t be done within the confines of the kitchen and which food items can be prepared on a large scale. This is also important to know because some venues will not let outside caterers come into the space, or they tack on a fee to do so. If you are set on having a specific company design and cook your menu for that date, you might be let down if they cannot gain access to the property.
- BUDGET: Always have either a total price or a price per person handy BEFORE you contact a caterer. Remember that some companies specialize in high end events and some specialize in more casual events. What you might receive from one for $100, might go for $150 from another. This is due to the quality of products and services that go into your event. Much like trying on a wedding dress that is over budget, to see a menu that you cannot afford will leave you with the same feeling. Be honest with yourself and your caterer and you will get the most out of the experience.
Make sure you have all you ducks in a row before you pick up the phone as it will make the exchange smoother and will leave you feeling as though you have begun to check a big “to do” off you list.
Between cottage weekends, road trips, warm weather and patios, there’s no shortage of reasons to love summer in the city. But at the top of the list for many food-loving folk is the arrival of summer fruit. At the peak of sweet-season, August at McEwan means juicy stone fruits like plums, apricots and peaches, antioxidant-rich berries like blueberries, gooseberries and raspberries, and a refreshing selection of hydration-rich melons. Fruit is always a healthy choice when you need something sweet, and whether it’s in dessert for a family cookout, a salad for a lazy brunch, or snacks for the kids at camp, the selection at McEwan’s is worth the year long wait.
For the chefs across the McEwan Group, the arrival of summertime fruit opens up a world of tasty and nutritious possibilities that they’re eager to transform into tasty dishes and snacks for their families. Curious about what fruity delights these culinary masterminds most look forward to each year, I sat them down to get the sweet scoop on fruit.
Chef Shen Ousmand of McEwan
Seasonal fruit is the ultimate expression of perfection in the culinary world. It allows me to be cost effective because I can use seasonal fruits at its peak to make jams, chutneys, and all kind of preserves to store for the winter. This process gives me great joy.
Chef Sash Simpson of North 44
The only thing that can improve the perfect summer fruit, the peach, is the peach cobbler. Baked with oatmeal, brown sugar and served warm with vanilla ice cream, makes this the easiest and tastiest summer fruit treat.
Chef Rob Leclair of Fabbrica
I love fresh stone fruits. Fresh cherries and plums are a favourite snack, or toss them in a salad and their flavours are well complimented by vinaigrettes. Grilling fresh peaches or roasting apricots also intensifies their sweetness.
Chef Matt Beasley of One
I truly believe that the summer fruit that comes out of Ontario is some of the best you can find anywhere. My favorite fruit from Ontario has to be peaches, and when I think of peaches, my next thought goes right to pork. A BBQ pork chop with roasted peaches would be my first pick for a summer dish. When it comes to all the great fruit from Ontario, I prefer to prepare them simply to allow the true taste of the product shine through.
Chef Brooke McDougall of Bymark
I make a raw juice in the morning to start my day with apple, kale, celery, ginger and lemon. On weekends, it’s a pineapple and tequila Mojito.
Chef Drew Ellerby of One, McEwan and Fabbrica (Executive Chef)
I love spring and summer in Ontario- there’s so much product to work with. My favourites by far are fresh Niagara peaches. I like to roast them with a touch of butter and brown sugar and serve them with seared foie gras. Or grill them with a sweet balsamic glaze, some stewed cipolinni onions and a big fat bacon chop. Warm stewed peaches on ice cream is a pretty amazing thing as well.
Making a great seasonal fruit juice every morning gets me ready for the day. I always look forward to using fresh, Ontario strawberries.
Feeling hungry for something succulent, seasonal and sweet? Check out McEwan this month to pick up some of your family’s favourite fruits, and give some of these chef-inspired tips a try in your house before summer is gone.
ABBEY SHARP, RD
OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN
There’s a lot of movement in the restaurant business. We’re really fortunate that our best people tend to stick around, but we lose our fair share of gems.
What’s the best part about being in the food business? And what’s the hardest part?
The best part about being in the food business is that change is the only constant. This is also the hardest part about being in the food business. Evolve or die.
How do you know when a recipe’s right?
When the chef doesn’t follow every step and the result is still delicious.
What was the worst food review you ever got and how did you handle it?
All I’ve ever done is cook, no fallbacks, so when I get a negative review it dose sting. But it’s not how hard you hit that matters, its what you do when you get hit that speaks to who you are. I tend to keep it to myself and try to learn from the miss-fires and fix the problem.
Why do you think foodie culture has exploded the way it has?
Restaurants have always been cultural hubs and are integral in the gentrification process of a city. Toronto’s current housing boom is fertile ground for startup companies such as restaurants. Toronto has never had so many amazing restaurant options, we now have one of the most diverse and exciting restaurant scenes in the world.
How do you think your stint with Mark McEwan has helped you in your career?
Chef McEwan has been a constant source of inspiration and guidance for most of my culinary and business life. I have always admired how he has seamlessly been able to merge his culinary talents with the world of commerce.