Tap and Kat Speakeasy ~ A Personal & Unique Wedding at Bymark

Familiar to many on Bay Street, Ryan and Kat, transformed Bymark into a 1920’s Prohibition Speakeasy “The TAP and KAT SPEAKEASY”, to celebrate their Nuptials on the eve of June 20th.

Dramatic black and white feather pieces lined the aisle at TD Plaza; Opera singers captivated guests and all who walked across the courtyard during that time. People stopped in their tracks; it was breathtaking.

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The mood was set as guests waited for the ceremony reading the TAP and KAT newspaper featuring funny articles about Prohibition and the 1920′s in Toronto and news about the bride and groom.

Following the Nuptials in the Courtyard, guests decked out in suspenders, fedoras, pearls and fascinators gathered on Bymark’s patio lit with hundreds of candles, toes tapping to a live band, “Daylight for Deadeyes”.

The Inside Bar at Bymark was “Closed for Prohibition”; the windows were wrapped with murals, painted by the Bride and friends, with silhouettes of flappers, fedora-topped bartenders mixing fancy cocktails, a saxophone player, and a DJ Spinning on a gramophone.

Designer cocktails, conjured up by Bymark’s Senior Mixologists and the Couple, were styled after the bride and grooms personal tastes as well as their heritage.  For months small batches of bourbon were barrel aged in personalized TAP and KAT burnt oak casks and sat on the bar as both a decoration and an ingredient to make the designer drinks.

A special Estonian passed appetizer was created to celebrate the brides’ roots with little homemade Estonian flags perched in them ~ made by hand by the father of the bride!

The brides’ mother made Fascinators that were left in the women’s washroom to be clipped onto women’s coifs and then advised to take selfies to send to the bride and groom.

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As the sun set, sparklers were given out and the guests lit them to celebrate Summer Solstice as the Bride and Groom danced with all their guests.

A round-up took place at 11:07 p.m. with security hustling the guests inside due to “prohibition rules”. Guests were given glossy tickets onto which they had to write pieces of advice to the bride and groom in order to gain admittance to the Speakeasy.   Inside Bymark, pictures from the 20’s played on the plasma screens featuring the old streets complete with trolleys, horses and wagons, men in elaborate three-piece suits and women dancing the night away in Jazz clubs.  The groomsmen were the DJ’s, playing Electro-Swing and cool house music until the wee-hours of Summer Solstice.

The wedding was elegant, magical and a treat for every guest.

Check out our gallery for more photos!

#McEwanAllAccess 4.0 Wrap-Up

After the success of past events, #McEwanAllAccess 4.0 was highly anticipated, and did not disappoint! On November 10, 20 lucky foodies met at One Restaurant for an exclusive, invite-only meet, eat and tweet with Celebrity Chef Mark McEwan.

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Co-hosted by television personality Michelle Jobin, it was an evening full of opportunity to savour delicious food and drinks while mingling with fellow foodies and chatting one-on-one with Chef McEwan himself.

The luxurious, yet cozy atmosphere of One Restaurant’s bar lounge was just perfect for guests to sip Stoneleigh Vineyards wines. Cocktails featuring Johnnie Walker, Grand Marnier & Ciroc were the ideal compliments while sampling such signature McEwan favourites such as Pork Belly Steamed Buns, Steak Tartare and Blue Crab and Avocado Spoons.

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We also saw lots of tweets and Instagram photos of the evening that were shared by the guests with their fans and followers online.  

Everyone were given their very own copy of “Great Food at Home” and then sat down with Mark for a personalized book signing, and to take a few selfies with the Chef. At the end of the evening, guests departed with a gift bag that was full of foodie favourites, including wine from Stoneleigh Vineyards, and of course memories of a great event.

Didn’t get an invite to this round? Follow our Blog and @Chef_MarkMcEwan‘s Twitter to be the first in on #McEwanAllAccess 5.0.

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[Photo credit: Jeffrey Chan]

McEwan’s 2014 Foodie Forecast Calls For Flavour & Good Health

The New Year has always symbolized exciting beginnings, new discoveries and innovative trends. And with dieting being the number one New Year’s Resolution every year, it’s no wonder these trends so often revolve around food. Last year was the year of Greek yogurt, tacos, the Paleo diet, outrageous food hybrids (like the infamous Cronut burger), Bourbon cocktails, and Sriracha.  With such an eclectic group of foods there, it seems like a shot in the dark at what we’ll be eating in 2014.

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The Aronia berry packs more antioxidants than Acai or Goji

Obviously, it takes a careful eye and an attentive ear to anticipate and stay on top of food trends, never mind to figure out where you can source these new foods! Thankfully, the folks at McEwan have done the work for you to make sure their Don Mills grocery store is your one-stop-shop.

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Every day, McEwan’s General Manager George Bachoumis scours through social media threads, food television shows, magazines in search of clues. They also take their customer’s requests incredibly seriously – “If there is a hole in our offer, or if we have missed something, they will let us know!” says owner and celebrity chef, Mark McEwan.

Both Mark and George have seen food trends come and go in the media, so they’ve developed a knack for distinguishing what consumers can actually sink their teeth into. Their predictions for 2014? Healthy foods that do just as much good for your palate as they do for your body.

As a chef and health enthusiast himself, Mark noted that, “No matter how healthy something is, if it does not taste good, it will not last. Treating your body right is no longer just a New Year’s Resolution that only lasts for a month.”

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Gluten free almond brownies are sure to please both the sweet tooth and the health conscious.
Image source: http://carrotsncake.com

Thankfully, George has been sourcing a number of new nutritious products to hit the shelves this year- and every one of them has had to pass his rigorous taste test.  Look out for products with the Aronia berry (a sought after “superfood” with more antioxidants than Acai or Goji!), gluten free almond or coconut flour, “ancient” whole grains, prepared raw meals, and house-made green juice blends (with cheeky names like the Hulk!)

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House-made juice blends are taking the food community by storm.
Image source: http://p-ec1.pixstatic.com/

So whether you’re looking for that new gluten-free bread you saw on Dr. Oz, or want to try a new juicing regime your friend posted on Twitter, McEwan has it sourced, taste tested, and ready for you to take home.  Come see what the New Year buzz is about with a visit to McEwan.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

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!

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[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

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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..

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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.

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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…

BOULVARDIER 

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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

Written by

Dee brun, RD

OWNER, Cocktail Deeva