Chive Toasted Bagel with Smoked Trout & Dijon

Take your brunch or afternoon snack up a notch with this simple dish that’s perfect for hassle-free entertaining. We often forget that mustard can bring so many elements to a meal – acidity, saltiness, smokiness and heat. At McEwan you can choose from a wide variety of local and imported mustards sure to impress!

CHIVE TOASTED BAGEL WITH SMOKED TROUT, POACHED EGG, ARUGULA & DIJON  

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Serves 2

Ingredients
2 bagels
3-4 tablespoons of Maille Dijon mustard
2 handfuls of baby arugula
250 grams of smoked trout
4 fresh eggs (poached or fried)
Chives, finely sliced
Salt and black pepper

Toast the 2 bagels and evenly spread the Dijon mustard on each one.

Cover with a handful of arugula and crumble over your smoked trout.

Top each bagel with cooked eggs, sprinkle with fresh chives, cracked pepper & salt.

MIKE WARD, CHEF, FOOD JOURNALIST
OWNER, CHEF MIKE WARD

What’s (NEW) on Fabbrica’s Menu?

As seasons change, so do menus, especially when you source fresh local produce like we do. For Fall 2015, we’ve added 8 fresh items to Fabbrica’s already-acclaimed menu. It’s not an easy process because when one’s added, often times another has to be ‘retired’.

“Fall is here. I wanted a menu that would reflect the flavours of season with a simplistic approach” says Chef de Cuisine Missy Hui. “It all comes down to having the finest possible ingredients”

Here’s a glimpse of Fabbrica’s new menu selections from Duck Confit Crostini to Whiskey Panna Cotta and everything in between.

 

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

#Summerlicious 2015 is finally here!

Food lovers and restaurant goers rejoice, Summerlicious is finally here! Time to get out and explore Toronto’s diverse cuisine. 

The food festival began in 2003 with 35 participating restaurants and has grown to now more than 200! All of The McEwan Group restaurants look forward to coming up with new and interesting three-course prix fixe menus for Summerlicious that showcase some of their favourite dishes of the season.

To book your reservation, click on BymarkFabbricaNorth 44, or ONE Restaurant!

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We asked Missy Hui, Chef de Cuisine at Fabbrica “If you were to come into the restaurant and select the perfect meal from your Summerlicious menu, what would you choose?”

Lunch ~ $23

 Pork Terrine with Mustard and daily Pickle

 Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce, Basil & Burrata

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Prosecco Peaches

“The Gnocchi is a Fabbrica staple. Deliciously soft and perfect with Tomato and Burrata, while our Panna Cotta is incredibly light and refreshing. It has the perfect balance of richness.”

Dinner ~ $35

Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Mint, Basil, Ricotta Salata & 12 yr. old Balsamic

Bacon Chop with Rhubarb Agrodolce & Vincotto

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“We like to keep things simple and fresh for summer at Fabbrica, The smoke and the salt of the Bacon Chop with Rhubarb Agrodolce & Vincotto is beautiful. Every time we plate one I’m tempted to eat it.”

Here’s a sneak peak of Fabbrica‘s exquisite Summerlicious dishes!

 

What’s (NEW) on Fabbrica’s Menu?

As seasons change, so do menus, especially when you source local produce like we do. For Spring 2015, we’ve added 9 fresh items to Fabbrica’s already-acclaimed lunch and dinner line-up. It’s not an easy process because when one’s added, often times another has to be ‘retired’.

“Spring is such a short season. I wanted a menu that was clean and flexible” says Chef de Cuisine Missy Hui. “It’s very important that the menu gives us the opportunity to manage specials and really feature what is freshest and available, week to week”

Her favourite dish? It’s a tie for the Beef Carpaccio with Cured Egg Yolk, Truffle, Piave, and Pickled Shallot and the Burrata with Pickled Figs, Roasted Muscat Grapes and Walnut Pesto. Two Italian classics with refined details.

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!

 

Our Chefs Get Their 5-10 a Day with Ripe Seasonal Fruit

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 

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Chef Mark McEwan of The McEwan Group, Top Chef Canada

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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.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Making Your Mark ~ Claudio Aprile

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.

Making Your Mark catches up with the ones that got away.  This time around we caught up with Claudio Aprile, Chef & Founder of Orderfire Group and MasterChef Canada Judge. 

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Claudio Aprile

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.

Darlien Scott – The Unsung Heroine

In today’s world of celebrity chefs and food porn, restaurant GMs are often overlooked. But here’s how a restaurant operates when it’s being poorly managed:

“In March of 2002, Bymark had only been open about 6 months and there had already been a complete change in the staff and management team.  Very few of the initial staff hired remained on. The joke was that if you were called into private room 3, it meant you were being fired.  Even those of us with a lot of experience were nervous on a daily basis coming into work. No one was comfortable. No one was relaxed. Everyone was scared.”

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[Right] Darlien Scott

A lot’s changed since then, and much of Bymark’s transformation has to with Darlien Scott, who started as a server and is now the GM of the Financial District’s most respected spots.

What makes Darlien such a rock-star GM is that she’s never forgotten where she came from. She’s worked in chain restaurants and supper-clubs.  She’s worked in Toronto, Vancouver and Whistler. And what she’s learned through it all is to lead by example and treat people fairly.

“It’s important to acknowledge a job well done, but it’s equally important to let someone know when they’re falling short. You have to be assertive but not aggressive; and you should never let anything go to your head no matter how much power you think you have.

 A Dee in the Life of Bymark

Darlien gets to work around 11 am and does a quick walk-around to see what the day has in store (reservations, orders, etc). Then the lunch rush starts, and like a good leader, she’s out on the floor with her staff, assisting where she can. “I’m a very hands-on manager,” she says. “I think that’s how I alleviate tension and avoid the kind of work environment that was present back when I started. I show my support and my people know I have their backs.”

She also makes a point to chat up the regulars when they’re there. “Entertaining, hilarious characters” she says of them. “They come here to celebrate, and they come here when times are tough, to feel better when the markets are rough.”

After lunch, Darlien uses the ‘down time’ to deal with staffing, inventory, event planning, maintenance and whatever else is going on. Then the dinner rush begins and she’s back on the floor helping out, chatting up guests and making sure everything’s running smoothly. Most of her days are 10 hours long; some are 16, but they’re all fantastic.

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[Far left] Darlien Scott

The GM/Chef Dynamic

“Chef Brooke is a pro at engineering the menu, but I’ll always let him know if an item is well received or not. There was a veal schnitzel on the menu a while back that I noticed was being consistently modified by guests into a veal parm. I told Brooke and the menu was changed.” This kind of fluid relationship is a big reason why the food at Bymark is always on trend and why the operation runs like a well-oiled machine.

At the same time, Darlien’s there for Brooke when he needs help. She stays close to him when he’s getting slammed, acting as the buffer between the kitchen and servers so Brooke only has to go to her with issues or problems.The atmosphere can get pretty heated and intense at times, but we make it work. And we’ll always debrief over a beer and glass of wine when it’s done.”

The pulse of the place

For a GM, there’s no front of the house or back of the house. Darlien’s responsible for the entire house and everyone that comes in and out, whether they’re guests, staff, delivery guys, reps or anyone else.

“The best part of being a GM is the variety of roles” she says. “I love working with people, managing them, mentoring our staff. Restaurant employees are for the most part entertaining, humorous and varied.”  There are several sales reps, event planners and customers that have become friends outside of the restaurant over the years.

“I also really enjoy the planning and executing of events and making guests more than happy with the end result.  It’s really nice to know you’ve made someone’s event a stress free planning process.”

No matter who you are or why you’re there, the great leadership from Brooke and Darlien (and of course, Mark) mean that the entire experience at Bymark is extraordinary, and it shows. Book your table here.

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Darlien Scott and Chef Mark McEwan