Master Chef Mark McEwan Joins Aga Khan Museum

Toronto, November 9, 2015 – The Aga Khan Museum is pleased to welcome The McEwan Group as its new manager of food and beverage services. Effective immediately, Chef Mark McEwan leads the stunning Diwan at Aga Khan Museum, the casual Courtyard Café, and all catering for private events.

Director and CEO Henry Kim notes, “Both as a chef and as an entrepreneur, Mark McEwan has earned international respect. We’re thrilled that his vision will shape food services at the Museum, enriching the experience of all who visit here — whether to see an exhibition or to attend a special event.”

Mark McEwan_Aga Khan Museum

Photographed by Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

North 44 and Bymark have long established Mark McEwan’s reputation in Canada and abroad as a master chef and culinary innovator. With ONEFabbricaMcEwan at The Shops at Don Mills — and, most recently, McEwan at TD Centre — he broadened his scope, moving from upscale dining to providing gourmet-to-go options for busy urbanites. Yet for McEwan, the Aga Khan Museum is his most exciting challenge to date. He is eager to expand his already extensive repertoire, infusing the cuisine of India, North Africa, and Middle East with his inimitable style.

“I’m up for the challenge,” says Chef Mark McEwan. “I’m never content to rest on past achievements. I’m looking forward to developing a new vocabulary, a distinctive fusion of traditional and contemporary cuisine that really reflects what the Aga Khan Museum is all about.”

At Diwan, McEwan will focus his talents on providing lunch service from Tuesday to Sunday, 11:30 am–2:30 pm. Both walk-up service and reservations (via Open Table) are available for individuals and small groups. A $35 prix fixe lunch menu for larger groups may be booked at 416.646.4677, ext. 7730.

Grilled Octopus_Aga Khan Museum

Photographed by Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

New Diwan Lunch Menu Highlights (for a full menu, click here.):
• Tempting Starters ($6–16), such as tender Grilled Octopus served with Green Chickpea Salad, Moroccan Olives, Sweet Stewed Peppers, Sujuk, and Aleppo Pepper Aioli;
• Innovative takes on sandwiches and burgers ($16–18), including Chicken Tikka Masala on Naan, served with pickled carrot, mint-cucumber raita, and mango chutney;
• Generous Mains ($19–24), featuring Crisp Manakeesh (a Braised Beef Short Rib with Pickled Shallots, Akkawi Cheese, and Charred Eggplant Spread); and
• A range of specialty coffees and teas — including an aromatic Moroccan Spiced Coffee, Orange Blossom “White Coffee,” and rich Indian Masala Chai.

In the evening, Diwan is open for special themed dinners and private events. Visit Aga Khan Museum for details about pre-show dinners for this season’s Arab Jazz Series. For information about private event catering, please email private.events@agakhanmuseum.org.

For press inquiries please contact:
Jackie Koffman, Holmes PR
jkoffman@holmespr.com
416.628.5608

Tasleem Somji, Aga Khan Museum
press@agakhanmuseum.org
416.858.8735

Melanie Hoefs, The McEwan Group
melanie@brandingandbuzzing.com
416.707.9136

A Celebration of Food ~ Fall Flavours Festival

Every September, Prince Edward Island puts on a month long Fall Flavours Festival showcasing a variety of acclaimed guest chefs hosting a wide range of unique culinary experiences. Over the years Chef Mark McEwan and his team have taken part in the Beef Festival, the Shellfish festival, Applelicious and much more. This year Mark McEwan took part in a lively Lamb Luau culinary party and a Great Big BBQ feast.

The first event took place on Sunday, September 20th at Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort. Guests enjoyed an afternoon of flavours and fun with Chef Mark McEwan, local chef Peter Angus and chefs & students from the Culinary Institute of Canada. The menu featured locally grown lamb prepared in a variety of dishes.

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The upbeat sounds of The Count and the Cuban Cocktail, a local PEI band that had everyone dancing!

The second event took place on Saturday, October 3rd at Delta Prince Edward. Chef Mark McEwan and Corporate Executive Chef Andrew Ellerby wowed guests with local PEI favourites from potatoes and aged beef, to fresh mussels, clams, oysters and lobsters. The barbecue feast was completed with PEI’s finest craft beers and wines.

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Take a peek at the gallery for a closer look at the Lamb Luau party and the Great Big BBQ feast.

[Photos courtesy of Fall Flavours Festival]

A Dinner in Gairloch Gardens with Chef Mark McEwan

On Thursday, September 10th, 2015 Oakville Galleries & PCM – Project and Construction Management Inc. presented Botanica: A Dinner in Gairloch Gardens in support of Oakville Galleries. The evening featured a five-course meal prepared by our Chef Mark McEwan along with Executive Chef Andrew Ellerby, and ONE Restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine Darby Piquette & Pastry Chef Amy Tenn-Yuk. Dinner was paired with the exceptional wines from New Zealand’s Stoneleigh Vineyards.

Guests were served at a single communal table among the 15,000 blooms of Gairloch’s trellised rose garden, bringing together community members, artists and art enthusiasts under the open skies.

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Proceeds from the Dinner in Gairloch Gardens provided much-needed funds for accessible, high-quality educational and artistic programming in the Oakville community.

A special thank you to the following event partners Chubb Insurance Company of Canada, Forget Me Not FlowersThe Mermaid and the Oyster and more who helped make the dinner a success.

Scroll through the gallery below for a closer look at the enchanting evening.

 

[Photography credit: Corina V. Photography]

Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Inspires Top Talent

On Saturday, September 12th 2015 at Vancouver Community College‘s Downtown Campus the top eight young chefs from across the nation headed to Vancouver to compete in Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship competition.

Competitors were given identical ingredients and had three hours in the kitchen to wow the taste buds of the judges with the black box ingredients revealed moments before their start time.

Our Chef Mark McEwan joined the judging panel along with Chef Normand Laprise (Toqué!), Chef Anthony Walsh (Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants), Chef Scott Jaeger (Peartree Restaurant), Food Critic Jacob Richler, Maclean’s & Canada’s 100 Best, Food Critic Alexandra Gill (Globe & Mail), Food Critic Marie-Claude Lortie (La Presse) and Chef David Hawksworth & Chef de Cuisine Kristian Eligh (Hawksworth Restaurant).

McEwan_MarkMcEwan_HYC 2016 First Selections-5

After a close battle, the $10,000 bursary went to Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship winner Ian MacDougall of Model Milk.

The competition concluded with a memorable evening of Canadian cuisine presented by TD, hosted at Hawksworth Restaurant. The dinner featured dishes prepared by chefs, Mark McEwan, Anthony Walsh, Normand Laprise, Scott Jaeger, Kristian Eligh and David Hawksworth.

[Photos courtesy of Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship Foundation]

Our TOP 10 Instagrams for Summerlicious 2015

Summerlicious is an annual summer tradition and culinary celebration here in Toronto that we look forward to every year since its inception in 2003. During the month of July, our restaurants were bustling with hungry Torontonians who savoured over three-course seasonal prix-fixe menu offerings from each of our renowned properties.

Here are our top #LiciousTO Instagrams from customers who wined and dined at Chef Mark McEwan‘s restaurants: ONE RestaurantFabbricaNorth 44, and Bymark.

Tuna tacos ☺️ A photo posted by Toronto X Markham (@cfooodie) on

Heirloom beets

A photo posted by Sally Chau-Li (@sallychauli) on

#saturdaylunchwith @artistess #shopsatdonmills #summerlicious #fabbrica A photo posted by Sinji Park (@sinjip0118) on

Salmon

A photo posted by @ashxxpark on

The most unique little pot of #tiramisu. #summerlicious

A photo posted by Selina Wang (@thisissyw) on

At McEwan in the TD Centre, Fine Dining Comes Home in the Heart of the City

McEwan is changing how the downtown crowd does their grocery shopping. Nestled under the TD Tower along the P.A.T.H., our newest McEwan location is serving up 6,000 square feet of fresh, grab & go gourmet plus groceries for every meal of the day.

Open Monday to Friday, McEwan welcomes morning commuters with authentic Italian coffee and espresso, and upscale items like fresh European pastries, quiches, waffles and yogurt parfaits plus gourmet breakfast sandwiches (even a breakfast pizza). Lunch-goers can choose from six freshly made soup features, a customizable Panini station, a 15-foot salad bar, and an impressive 32-foot chef’s hot table.

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Fitting for downtown, McEwan’s new location also features a food-truck-inspired pop-up menu, with mouthwatering daily features like gourmet tacos, poutine, and banh mi. But it doesn’t stop there. Chef de Cuisine Kris Topping, who is running the kitchen, has a lot to play with.

“We want to serve the best of everything in one place. We’re coming in with guns blazing.” ~ Executive Chef Shen Ousmand, McEwan

Downtown shoppers can choose from a sprawling selection of freshly prepared meats like braised short ribs, pulled pork, whole chicken, lamb shank, rabbit, and a range of fresh seafood; paired with an equally large selection of gourmet sides and fresh vegetables. The new location will also feature hundreds of pantry items including homemade sauces, relishes and chutneys, as well as McEwan’s Own marinades, oils and pasta sauces.

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“We’re bringing high-quality, chef-driven prepared food to the downtown core. Our restaurant-style approach is fresh, spontaneous and has nothing to do with traditional retail.” ~ Chef Mark McEwan

McEwan is so much more than a gourmet grocery store. From traditional chicken tikka masala to lobster ravioli to Thai shrimp curry, Executive Chef Ousmand and his team are offering an unmatched selection of authentically prepared cuisine from around the world. And you better believe we cater.

Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday: 6:30AM-7PM
Saturday and Sunday: CLOSED

Moments with Mark: 1987

Moments with Mark: 1987

For this “Moments with Mark” we decided to ask him about life in 1987, which was popularly known for having the the largest one-day stock market crash in history. During this time, Mark McEwan was a young chef who was learning the ropes and taking risks.

Back in March of that year Mark is pictured with Marion Kane, a veteran food editor at the Toronto Sun who has cooked for the likes of Julia Child. Here he shows her the art of pasta making.

When the above photo was taken you were still the co-owner of Pronto Ristorante. What was it like opening your first restaurant?

One word: Terrifying. There was no guarantee on your next pay cheque and I had a baby on the way.

 What was the biggest struggle as a young chef in Toronto?

Getting established in Toronto was the biggest struggle. For me, it was all about getting your foot in the door.

Moments with Mark: 1987

The Giants won their first Super Bowl that year against the Broncos. Which NFL team are you rooting for these days?

 Always the Buffalo Bills.

At the age of 16, Lance Armstrong decided to start his career as a professional athlete in 1987.  Other than pursuing a career in the restaurant industry, did you have any other aspirations growing up?

 A fighter pilot. Go figure!

Moments with Mark: 1987

On August 7, 1987, Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Sidney Crosby was born. Fun fact: he is extremely superstitious. Do you have any rituals or traditions specifically when opening a new restaurant?

No Superstitions. Opening a restaurant is terrifying. So just hang on and hope you get it right.

Michael Jackson released his 7th studio album “Bad” that year.  Who are you a bigger fan of: MJ or Prince?

 MJ

Moments with Mark: 1987

In September of 1987 Joe Biden withdrew from the President nomination race. This year Barack Obama will be finishing his term. Who do you think will win the handle of @POTUS (President of the United States)?

Jeb Bush or John Kasich of Ohio

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

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.