McEwan Makes Back to School Lunches Easy as 1-2-3

It’s that time again- the kids go back to school, you go back to work, and you’re stuck stressing over the seemingly mundane question of what to pack for lunch. If you’re like millions of Canadian families who have one or more picky eaters on their hands, sometimes meal planning can leave you feeling a bit like a short order cook.

Wouldn’t it be nice to pack a meal that satisfied both the food-loving adults and picky kiddies in your family and do it without sacrificing time or nutrition? Well, just a quick glimpse at McEwan’s extensive selection of prepared foods and you’ve got lunch planned for the week. Here are some of our favourite quick and healthy lunch ideas that the whole family will love!

Deli Staple: Pick up a Boulart Demi Multigrain loaf, slice it in half lengthwise and then cut into appropriate sandwich sizes. Adults can aim for about 6 “, while kids will likely be happy with 3”. Pile on a few thin slices of McEwan’s house roasted MCO Turkey Breast, and serve it with a little container of McEwan’s vinaigrette Coleslaw for a low fat lunch.  Better yet our Ham & Cheese Finger Sandwiches are hit with kids!


A Greek Feast: Pick up a container of the McEwan’s Chicken Souvlaki Salad, giving about a third to your little one, and packing the rest up for you.  Serve each lunch with one of McEwan’s varieties of Hummus, a few pieces of whole grain pita bread, and lots of cut up veggies for dipping.


Asian Invasion: Pick up some brown rice vegetarian sushi and edamame from McEwan’s sushi counter, and split them amongst family members according to age, size and appetite. Serve with small containers of McEwan’s Asian Noodle Salad or Edamame Tomato Salad from the counter.



Mexican Fiesta: Warm up some of McEwan’s high fibre Black Bean Soup and pack it into family members’ thermoses. Serve with a container of McEwan’s Veggie Empanadas with Mango Salsa.


Comfort Classic: Pick up a package of McEwan’s Tuna Salad, and a whole grain wrap. Spread a thin layer of salad onto a wrap, roll it up, and then slice it into ½” pinwheels for the little ones. For yourself, take that same Tuna salad, toss in a handful of diced celery, apple, grapes and a few walnuts, and throw on top of McEwan’s Kale Salad & Orange Balsamic Dressing for a speedy Waldorf salad.


There you go- a week of super simple, healthy, family-friendly meals ready to be packed into backpacks and briefcases,.  And that’s just to start! McEwan is always adding new delicious and healthy items to their extensive prepared food section so that you and your family will never get bored. So stop worrying about what to feed your family, and instead, spend that time with them- with the help of McEwan’s prepared food section, meal planning has become easier than 1-2-3.




McEwan Touches Down at Pearson Airport

In 1927, the first in-flight meal was served on Imperial Airways (now British Airways) – a luxury sandwich served between Croyden Airfield in London and Le Bourget in Paris.

Since then, the food/flying relationship has been one of opulence like the 5-star in-flight dining experience of the Mad Men era;  and also one of mediocrity like what most passengers have come to expect from airlines today.

The responsibility to live up to travellers’ tastes has now fallen to the terminals, and Toronto Pearson took a huge step in that direction when they hired us to raise the bar. Reaching back into history, we started with the luxury sandwich. And like the relatively inexpensive 1 shilling/3 p Imperial Air was charging, our sandwiches are affordable for most people. 


Packing the night before

Every piece of food is hand-made at the McEwan flagship store in the Shops at Don Mills under the careful eye of Executive Chefs Andrew Ellerby, Shen Ousmand and Brooke McDougall. And with 71 items on the menu, it’s quite the operation.




The assembly line forms around 5 PM with some people on sandwiches, others on salads and others still on fruit cups. The key to keeping it moving, says Ellerby, is preparation. The ‘YYZ Run’ has its own cold storage area (designed by Mark specifically for this partnership) where all the freshly made ingredients, mixes and sauces wait for the airport shift to begin.


There’s also an elaborate schedule on the wall that looks like hieroglyphics to most people, but seems perfectly clear to everyone on the floor.


By 1 AM, 700 individual items are prepared, packed and ready to ship. At around 3 AM, they hit the road and they’re on the shelves at YYZ by the time the first bleary-eyed travellers show up.

IMG_7014Pre-flight happiness

“We’re there to up the game of airport food,” says Ellerby. “And we started with upping our game”.  75% of the recipes are brand new, and there’s no shortage of options. The tandoori chicken breast is an early favourite, as is the cous cous salad. (ed. note: We were there during the making of the tuna sandwiches which looks positively scrumptious).


Got time for a meal?

Traditionally, sit-down airport food has been disappointing at best. Not so anymore at Pearson. A concerted effort has been made to improve the options and we’re proud to be a part of the transformation there as well. We’ve recently done the menus at Fetta panini shop in T1 and soon-to-open Nobel Burger in T3; and that’s just the beginning.

“We’ve been so happy to be able to offer McEwan tastes to a larger audience,” says Jordie McTavish, Executive Assistant to Mark McEwan. “And to be able to finally deliver tasty, fresh food options to travelers from all over the world; that’s pretty special”.


As the Pearson/McEwan relationship continues to grow, we expect to be sending over 3,000 items across the 401 every morning. And whether you’re heading out of town or arriving after a long flight, the hope is that you leave the airport with a satiated appetite.

Cocktail Deeva & Bourbon at #LiquidLab

Dee Brun from Cocktail Deeva hosted our first #LiquidLab series last month for 6 invited media guests. Below is an excerpt from her post.  Cheers!


[FROM LEFT TO RIGHT] Nadine Anglin, Zoomer Magazine – Alexandra McEvers, Toronto Financial District BIA – Zach Bussey, Zack Bussey Show – Matt Bryan, Mixologist – Dee Brun, Cocktail Deeva – Andrea Chui, Food Blogger – Andrew Dobson, dobbernationLOVES


I love Toronto…I love the vibe, the people and yes…the views.

Toronto has some great ones…

One of my FAVES is from the patio at Bymark right in the heart of the city…you get a view of Toronto’s Mountains..


I had the pleasure this night of hosting a fab new event that ByMark will be hosting starting in the fall called Liquid Lab. 

This is Matt… Matt is one part of a partnership duo that create the cocktail list for all the restaurants in The McEwan Group, catering to the trends and traditions of classic and contemporary cocktails.


Matt…for a lack of a better word is FABOOSH. He is the mixologist that runs Liquid Lab, he is a virtual wikipedia of cocktail info. On this night we were paying homage to Bourbon. Matt’s bourbon of choice for the evening, Bulliet Bourbon. Matt gave us all Bourbon 101 all the while creating fabulous cocktails such as this…


1 oz Bourbon

1 oz Campari 

1 oz Sweet vermouth

- add all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir

- strain in a coupe glass, garnish w/ orange zest

But better than the cocktail…was the history lesson we received from Matt both on bourbon and this drink as we watched him prepare it…

Did you know that in order for a drink to be called bourbon, it can’t have any flavor or color additives. Only corn, water, wheat or rye, malt, and the coloring effects of the inside of a charred oak barrel. ….Nope? Me either, but Matt did.

Then it was our turn…Another fab thing about Liquid Lab events, they are HANDS ON…you get to make your very own cocktail master piece…Truly a perfect date night as the event is under two hours long…you still have time for some fun in the city afterwards…or enjoy the great outdoors on their patio…my version of camping…

We went old school at this Liquid Lab and made an Old Fashioned…the right way…



I would be remiss if I did not talk about the AMAZING food that goes along with the Liquid Lab event… YES..FAB FOOD AND COCKTAILS…guess who is hoping to get invited back to host another one…

This was my plate..yes all of it…and again…I ate the whole thing…SO FABOOSH…


2 Mini Burgers Topped with Onion Rings

4 Quail Deviled Eggs

2 Jumbo Grilled Shrimp

All the food that was prepared for the event was done so to play off the flavours of the cocktails…Much like you pair wine with food, here it was the cocktails..and it was amazing!

Had to share the scope of how tiny, BUT SO FLAVOURFUL the quail eggs were…I had never had anything like them and I can’t stop thinking about them…


Be sure to follow The McEwan Group on Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss the next Liquid Lab series coming up this fall…This is an event not to be missed, a great night out in the heart of Toronto…Who knows…maybe I will see you there…


For more recipes and to read the full post visit Dee at or follow her on Twitter.

Written by

Dee brun, RD

OWNER, Cocktail Deeva

Brooke McDougall: The Taste of Bay Street

How long does it take to go from line cook to Top Chef?

Just ask Brooke McDougall.


It only took McDougall, Executive Chef at Bymark, a handful of years on the line at North 44 to prove his worth as one of the most capable chefs in the city.

He credits his success in part to a background in farm life. Harvesting fresh ingredients from the field had him exploring his passion for cooking by the time he was 20.

As for working with Mark, McDougall echoes a lot of other top chefs in Toronto: “Be efficient.” Preparation for anything and everything is the hallmark of all McEwan kitchens, and McDougall’s approach is no exception.


Bymark has become a Bay St institution; a delectable go-to for the bustling financial district serving everything from quick lunch breaks to private functions and full-scale corporate events. Its rich brooding ambience perfectly complements McDougall’s luxurious signature dishes like Lamb & Goat Cheese Ravioli, and an exceptional line-up of dry-aged steaks and chops.

Designing his menu requires two distinct approaches:

“The lunch menu is designed for speed. Fresh salad, protein, great sandwiches.”  Since a lot of Bymark customers have to get back to the office in an hour, McDougall takes a “pan to plate” approach to midday fare. Think “Lobster Grilled Cheese”.

The dinner menu is where McDougall and his team have room to exercise more refined tastes. The inspiration itself is a group effort, and sous Chef Andrew Halitski is often present for what McDougall says is, “a lot of trial and error, and a constant review of what’s new and happening out there.” A good introduction to McDougall’s world would be the signature Bymark P.E.I. Burger with brie de meaux and porcini mushrooms.

Brooke McDougall studied culinary arts at George Brown College before being discovered by Mark in 1996. See why he stood out from the crowd, and book a table at Bymark today.

McEwan’s Summer Foodie Basket

BBQ Foodie Basket_3

Our customers inspire us to create foodie baskets that make the perfect hostess gift.  The items in this basket have been selected to compliment a number of your favourite cuts like whole fish or beef tenderloin.  They are also available individually and can be purchased from our gourmet grocery store, McEwan.

  1. McEwan’s Own BBQ Steak Rub
  2. World of Foods Tumeric Lemongrass Marinade & Stir-Fry
  3. McEwan’s Own Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  4. McEwan’s Own Chilpotle Sauce
  5. Blue Elephant Thai Jasmine Rice
  6. McEwan’s Own Mco Corn Relish
  7. McEwan’s Own Curry Coconut Sauce
Contact McEwan to order your basket today.  Custom baskets are available upon request.
Add a beautiful flower arrangement from McEwan Floral.