20 Questions with Chef Mark McEwan

Jesse Wallace from FS Local fired off a slew of questions at Mark McEwan as part of their popular 20 Questions feature.

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Here’s a peak at some of Mark’s responses:

What do you do on a day off? 

Work…I don’t typically spend days relaxing, my mind is always working…sometimes I garden to keep my hands busy.

Favourite local landmark

The grassy knoll at the TD Centre in the financial district.

Favourite local restaurant

I love sidling up to the bar at Origin on King.

Tell us something only locals know

That there are a lot of people with beards, plaid shirts and tattoos in this city. They all start to look like one person after a while.

What does supporting local mean to you? 

It’s good common sense business practice.

To find out more about what he loves most about Toronto, what he does on his day off and his favourite Mom & Pop shop head over to their blog.

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FS Local’s blog aims to tell the stories behind Canadian small business. They share a mix of expert advice from local business owners, in-depth features detailing the motivations behind small business owners, detailed coverage of Canada’s Business Improvement Area’s, interviews with Canada’s best and brightest as well as a host of other fun stuff.

Sweet as a Pickle: Art at One Restaurant

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An extremely talented photographer and director, Ellen von Unwerth was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1954. After working in front of the camera as a model for many years, Ellen switched sides and focused her attention on photography. Known for specializing in erotic femininity, her photos are extremely provocative and have gained her notoriety world wide. She now shoots for major publications and independently.

Unwerth was catapulted into the public eye after her work in the 1990′s for GUESS Jeans, working with Claudia Schiffer and the late Anna Nicole Smith. She has also shot album promoshoots for Janet Jackson and Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Rihanna and Beyonce!

In the main bar area at One Restaurant in Yorkville, you will find some of her amazing work. When Mark approached Izzy from Izzy Gallery he had mentioned that he wanted something to adorn the walls of the lounge that would “pack a punch”, something that would make the guests of the restaurant “scratch their heads” and catch their eyes.

The first piece that he picked out was the “Bienvenue Los Angeles” shot, it wasn’t until even he looked closer that Mark realized that it was not the model’s tongue sticking out, but that it was in fact a pick a pickle!

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At that point, Mark was sold, and in fact also picked “The Mask” and an extremely sexy shot of Penelope Cruz as well!
ArtworkThe photos have created quite a buzz over the years and have become the topic of many conversations, which is exactly what Mark and Izzy set out to do!

McEwan Fires Up the Grill for Father’s Day

It’s that time of year again. Father’s Day is around the corner, and he can probably do without another patterned tie, a garden hose, or a meal out at a restaurant packed with screaming kids. Instead, why not give a gift that everyone will appreciate- a delicious and healthy BBQ feast shared by family and friends at home.

This year, McEwan is out to help you nail your Father’s Day plans as your one-stop-shop for everything BBQ this summer season.

Marinated meat? Check. Rubs and Sauces? Check. Condiments? Check. Coals for the Q? Yep, they thought of that too. So here’s you’re official check list to throw an al fresco Father’s Day feast that will make any dad proud to call you his own.

Ready to Grill Meat, Poultry & Fish

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From classic North 44 Striploin Steaks, to succulent Korean Miami ribs, Herb Rubbed Lamb Chops, Cedar-Planked Fish and Marinated Kabobs, there is plenty of tasty options. For a more casual cook-out, opt for one of McEwan’s housemade burgers or gourmet sausages available in a variety of flavours like Greek Lamb, Cheddar and Jalapeno, and Turkey.

Rubs & Sauces

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While McEwan’s meat can certainly hold its own, why not give it an upgrade with some of their designer rubs or sauces. Try massaging Dad’s chicken thighs with some Montreal Chicken Spice, or treat his Striploins to some R&R with the BBQ Steak Rub. Then slather on one of the tasty in-house sauces, like their Hot and Sweet Strawberry on Pork, Yellow Mustard BBQ for Ribs, Wild Blue Berry on Game, Horseradish Apricot for Chicken, and Cola BBQ for the classic Brisket. You can also opt for a fun little DIY saucing station to mix and match. Who knows, maybe Dad will create an unexpectedly tasty combination!

Condiments

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Some folk prefer a clean condiment smear to compliment their Q, while others pack on more add-ons then there’s meat! Whatever your dad’s gameplan, there’s no shortage spreads, sauces and toppings to dress his plate. Try McEwan’s Housemade Ketchup or Pepper Jam on the classic Bymark burger, the Lemon Garlic Aioli and Roasted Bell Pepper Escabeche on the Italian Sausage, the Eggplant Relish to accompany the Pork Souvlaki, or some Mango Salsa atop a Salmon kabobs. And don’t forget to serve it all with lots of their crunchy pickles, available in classic cucumbers, green tomatoes, okra, and cauliflower.

So this Father’s Day, swap the cheesy gifts and hectic family outings for an experience Dad will savour for years to come. And with McEwan delivering the quality food to Dad’s big day, you can focus on the quality time with people you love.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Moments with Mark: 2006

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For this “Moments with Mark” we decided to ask him about life in 2006, which was a busy year from soccer to social media.  It was the year of déjà vu in theatres. Many movies debuted the second or third installment of their franchise. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Ice Age: The Meltdown, X-Men: Last Man Standing and Mission Impossible 3 all did well at the box office…

What is your favourite move franchise?

It would have to be James Bond, but really beginning with Casino Royale, I think the Daniel Craig is one of, if not the best Bond!

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In 2006, the World Cup was held in Italy…will you be tuning in to this year’s games from Brazil?

Of course, I will definitely keep my eye on it. I don’t have one team in particular that I through myself behind, but the overall excitement is electric. My favourite part is watching the fans in the stands, there are a lot of “die-hards” out there!

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Tiger Woods took home the title of the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 2006, you are a big fan of downhill skiing, do you think that Tiger and Lindsey Vonn are a good match?

I sure do, she doesn’t seem like the type of person to take shit from anyone, least of all him. I bet they have a fun, competitive relationship…but if I was to give Tiger any advice it would be to not double cross this one!

Stephen Harper was sworn in as the 22nd Prime Minister that year.  Do you have any advice as everyone heads to the polls for the provincial and mayoral elections?

I really think that balancing the budgets is the key to winning me over in an election. I don’t want to hear a bunch of promises that no one intends to keep. Show me some action that is good for everyone, not just a small demographic.

Twitter launched on July 15th of that year. How active are you on social media?

I think it is a great way to connect with guests, fans and clients. It doesn’t take much, just a simple note here and there from time to time to make a big impact. But all of this technology does scare me!

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