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

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.

 

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

#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!

McEwan_Summerlicious_Bymark_north44_fabbrica_onerestaurant

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

Cannoli

“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.

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

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.

_JCH9427

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

_JCH9492

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.

—————————–

IMG_8403

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.

_JCH9515

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.

_JCH9308

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!

 

What’s (NEW) on Fabbrica’s Menu

As seasons change, so do menus, especially when you source local produce like we do. For winter 2014/2015, we’ve added 9 fresh items to our already-acclaimed dinner line-up. It’s not an easy process because when one’s added, often times another has to be ‘retired’.

“The colder season is the time for seeking comfort an warmth”  says Chef de Cuisine Rob LeClair. “These are the days as cooks, that we love to spend in the kitchen. Canning the last of the harvest, tending to braises and developing flavours over time”

His favourite is the Braised Rabbit with Parsnips folded into tender fettuccine and topped with crisp pancetta and in the truest sense, comfort.