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 Crowd Pleasing Cheesy Brunch with McEwan’s Premium Selection of Cheese

While most foods like candy vs caviar are favoured quite differently from childhood to adulthood, cheese has the amazing power to transcend the ages. We fall in love early on in life and never let go.

Thankfully, McEwan’s offers a wide range of local and imported cheeses to impress the pickiest kid and the most sophisticated adult palates. With the help of their staff, it’s easy to build a perfect cheese platter with selections like St. Agur Blue from France, 18 month aged Manchego from Spain, Grey Owl Goat from Quebec, and one of my personal favourites ~ the Upper Canada Cheese’s Niagara Gold from Ontario. McEwan’s staff can also help you select the right cheese for your recipe.

CHEESY SWISS CHARD PHYLLO MINI QUICHES 

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Serve with a colourful fruit salad, Greek yogurt and a homemade granola, and you’ve got a light yet impressive mid-morning meal.

1 TSP OLIVE OIL
1 CLOVE GARLIC, MINCED
10 CUPS OF SWISS CHARD LEAVES, RIBS REMOVED, FINELY CHOPPED
¾ CUP LOW FAT COTTAGE CHEESE
½ CUP FINELY SHREDDED ITALIAN PARMIGIANO REGGIANO CHEESE, PLUS MORE FOR GARNISH
3 TBSP SUNDRIED TOMATOES, REHYDRATED AND FINELY MINCED
1 TSP LEMON ZEST
¼ TSP SALT
¼ TSP PEPPER
2 LARGE EGGS, BEATEN
1 tbsp olive oil
3 sheets of frozen phyllo pastry, thawed
Parsley, for serving
Hot Sauce, for serving

Preheat oven to 400°F, lightly grease a muffin tin, and place in the oven while the oven warms up.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the Swiss Chard leaves and ¼ cup of water. Cook over medium heat until well wilted and significantly reduced in volume, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat to a medium bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small food processer, puree the cottage cheese with the Parimigiano Reggiano cheese until the cottage cheese loses its curd-like texture.

Add the cheese, rehydrated sundried tomatoes, lemon zest, and salt and pepper, to taste to the chard. Then add in the beaten eggs and mix until well combined.

Cut the three sheets of phyllo in half down the middle. Lightly brush a little olive oil onto each square, then fold it in half, brush a bit more on, then fold again to yield a slightly rectangular square. Press into the muffin tin and trim the excess. Repeat with all 6 pieces.

Fill the phyllo with the cheese and Swiss Chard mixture and top with a light sprinkling of extra Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the filling feels set, the phyllo edges are brown and the bottom of the phyllo is light brown.

Serve with finely chopped parsley and hot sauce, if desired. Serves 3-4.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

McEwan’s Gourmet Salts Enhance & Add Exciting New Flavour

With the continual rise of heart disease and mounting blood pressure concerns, people are becoming more conscious of the amount of salt they consume, and are opting for bolder flavoured quality salts in place of sodium-laden processed fare.

Five years ago your choices were limited to kosher, iodized, or maybe sea salt. Today there is a wide range of ways to not only add seasoning, but to also add an easy hit of flavour to your meal. McEwan stocks an impressive selection of gourmet salts ~ Tentazioni’s Truffle Salt, Terre Exotique’s Cyprus Salt with Saffron, Flor de Sal’s Black Olive Sea Salt, and Wild Hibiscus Flower’s Pyramid Salt Flakes.

This recipe combines sweet shrimp and peaches, sour lime, salty feta and an extra kick from the chili pepper salt. It makes for a perfect weeknight supper served along a light salad, or can be served as a passed hors d’oeuvre for a dinner party.

HONEY CHILI GRILLED SHRIMP & PEACH SKEWERS 

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1½ tbsp Mcewan’s own olive oil
1½ tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp honey
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 peaches, cut into 8 pieces each
1½ tsp lime zest
Generous pinch of Terre Exotique’s Diamond Salt with Esplette Chilli Pepper
2 tbsp finely crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
Lime wedges, for serving
Cilantro, for serving

Soak skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning. Prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling on high.

In a medium bowl, combine the oil, lime juice and honey. Add the shrimp and peaches, and toss to coat fully.

Thread shrimp and peach pieces onto 8 skewers.

Grill for 3-4 minutes, turning once, or until browned and the shrimp become opaque throughout.

Pile onto a serving platter and sprinkle with the lime zest, the Esplette Chili Pepper Salt and the crumbled feta cheese. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro. Serves 4.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

Entertaining Made Easy with McEwan’s Premium Olives

When company shows up on the fly and you need a really quick snack to keep everyone’s mouths happy, a lovely bowl of olives is always a quick fix. McEwan carries a wide range of imported quality olives with a variety of unique fillings and flavours. There’s Tabasco’s Hot & Spicy Whole Spanish Olives for the adventurous, Sable & Rosenfeld’s Tipsy Blue Cheese Olives for those who like a little bite, Acropolis’ Mediterranean Mix for Organics lovers, and Morgantino’s Green Olives for the traditionalist.

If you want to take your olives to the next level, try serving them in a warm bath of fragrant olive oil, herbs and citrus. In this recipe I used a combination of McEwan’s Own vacuum-sealed Green Olives with Peppers and Kalamata Olives. Serve these in a bowl on a platter with bread and cheese, and you might have a hard time tearing your guests away for the main meal.

WARM ORANGE AND ROSEMARY OLIVES 

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1/3 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 large strips of zest + 1 tbsp finely grated zest from a Blood Orange
1 whole sprig of rosemary + 1 tbsp rosemary, finely minced
2 cups of McEwan’s Own Green Olives with Peppers
2 cups of McEwan’s Own Kalamata Olives

 

In a small saucepan, heat the Sarafino extra virgin olive oil with the garlic, strips of zest, and whole rosemary sprig over medium heat until the garlic and rosemary become very fragrant and begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.

Fold the olives into the oil, along with the fine zest and minced rosemary. Toss to coat and transfer straight to a serving dish. Makes 4 Cups. Enjoy warm with cheese, bread and preserves.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN

McEwan Gets Sweet, Spicy and Sticky with BBQ Sauce

Here at McEwan, we’ve known for a long time that the way to anyone’s heart is undoubtedly through their stomach. People do love to eat and there’s something particularly appealing about busting out the grill. And for every special someone in our lives there is a great BBQ sauce to add to the grilling flavour and fun, appealing to their spicy, smoky, sweet, or sour tastes. So this summer, do the special person in your life a favour and head to McEwan for the perfect saucy slather to dress up your next grilling feast.

McEwan’s team has spent countless hours testing out some of the world’s most unique and delicious BBQ sauces. From sweet Memphis style, to Mexican chipotle, to Jamaican Rum-spiked and more ~ there is something to satisfy everyone. They’ve even got a line of McEwan’s Own blends including a Wild Blueberry, Spicy Apple, and Cola infused sauce.

Obviously, the most popular use for BBQ sauce is on barbequed meat, with different flavours working best with different fare. Go for a Carolina vinegar-based sauce like the one from Guy Fieri when pulling fatty BBQ pork. The ketchup-based Kansas City sauces like the line by Zarda Barbeque is delicious slathered on ribs. Richer sauces like McEwan’s Own Cola BBQ is irresistible on beef brisket, while lighter Honey based sauces like Rufus Teagues is great on chicken drummettes and wings. But why should meat have all the fun and flavour?

In this recipe I use one of my favourite sauces, Bear Claw, which has the savoury addition of Chipotle to add a smoky note to this healthy shrimp dish. Serve this low fat, high protein dish alongside a cup of McEwan’s cold gazpacho and you’ve got a satiating well-balanced meal.

CHIPOTLE PEACH BBQ SHRIMP SUCCOTASH

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2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cobs of corn, husked and silks removed (about 1 ½ cups of corn kernels)
2 bell peppers, cut into quarters
2 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
3 peaches, sliced in half and pitted
1½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup frozen (thawed) or fresh (blanched) lima beans
Salt and pepper
¼ cup Bear Claw BBQ sauce
Juice of 2 small (or 1 juicy large) limes
1 lb large shrimp, deveined and peeled
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp Bear Claw BBQ sauce
1 oz queso cojita, or feta cheese (crumbled)
Cilantro, to garnish (if desired)

Preheat grill to medium high heat.

Brush the corn, bell peppers, zucchini and peaches with olive oil and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Grill until tender and slightly charred on all sides, about 9 minutes for the corn, 6 minutes for the zucchini and bell pepper, and 2 minutes for the peach. Remove from the grill. Once cool enough to handle, peel away the charred skin from the pepper. Dice all of the vegetables and remove the corn from the cob. Set aside.

Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper, anchor them onto a skewer and brush with the Bear Claw BBQ sauce. Grill on both sides until cooked through and opaque, about 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside.

mcewan_mcewanfoods_mcewandonmills_bbq_shrimp_shopsatdonmillsHeat the 1 ½ tbsp. of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add in the black beans and lima beans and toss until warmed through. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add in the cooked vegetables, the lime juice, and the additional ¼ cup of Bear Claw BBQ sauce. Toss to coat.

Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the queso cojita and cilantro (if using) and top with the grilled shrimp skewers.

DELICIOUSLY YOURS,

ABBEY SHARP, RD

OWNER, ABBEY’S KITCHEN