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

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.

Fall Flora and Fauna

Seasonal temperatures have begun to slip….from what you ask? Our supposed warm winter? There are many things that you can be doing with your home gardens to make them beautiful into the fall!
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You have probably already removed all of the summer annuals that have begun to look quite shabby, but make sure to leave existing plants that are hearty and can last until the frost such as Ivy. To fill in the holes left by the annuals, add colourful kales, cabbages and grasses which are cold resistant and once frozen, still retain their beauty.
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For sculptural elements, think about adding birch poles, gourds and pumpkins in varying sizes. They create a focal point and visual interest in a planter and can help make entrance ways or walkways look grand.
You can have as much fun with flora and fauna in the fall as you do in spring and summer, think outside the box and get crafty!

From Bucket to Bouquet: A Trip to the Market

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz (not really), wonder where the flowers is?

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The prolonged winter has had an effect on more than just your vitamin D intake, just take a look at the gardens in your neighbourhood. By this time each spring McEwan Floral would be welcoming the local tulips (farmed outside of the greenhouses) and peonies into the shop. This year however, local floral and fawna are a little more difficult to come by.

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_DSC0491McEwan Floral’s manager, Rachel Sherlock is always in contact with her connections in the Terminal to stay on top of the best imported selection. Each week, Rachel heads to Hoffland in the west end to spend time with her rep, Nikki to keep tabs on the ever evolving variety of available stems. Much like the restaurants in The McEwan Group, McEwan Floral strives to source the highest quality, seasonal and unique flowers to brighten the homes, restaurants and hotels across the city.

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With notebook in hand full of the week’s worth of orders, Rachel scours the aisles in the fridges at Hoffland for inspiration. Almost always pulling from the largest and most statement impacting pieces Rachel’s vision trickles down to the most minute details. After working with Nikki for years, the two women are in constant contact throughout the week so that Nikki can pre-pull items that will be of interest Rachel and that will compliment McEwan Floral’s design style.

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At the end of the visit, the women load up the McEwan purple truck and Rachel heads back to the store in the Shops at Don Mills to begin building the masterpieces needed to fulfill her orders.

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Throughout the week there will be many more deliveries to keep up with the demand of the everyday shoppers at the store. From bouquets to cocktail arrangements, dinner party centerpieces, weddings and grand scale pieces at The Hazelton Hotel and The McEwan Group restaurants, even if the sun isn’t shining there is never a dull day in the McEwan Floral department.

Holidays at McEwan Floral

There are signs everywhere that the festive season is approaching full bloom – window displays in stores, mittens being dug out of storage boxes and of course, signs of snow. Everything is telling us to start checking strands of holiday lights for duds and to take stock of last year’s decorations. You can’t help but want to add something extra to your standard décor. A good, versatile place to start is with a floral arrangement.

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Making your own is a great way to add something fresh and personalized to your decorating repertoire. This year we are eager to share a little bit of advice in the hopes that we can help you create your own beautiful arrangement, instead of just buying one.

Floral trends to keep on eye out for the coming holidays this year include:

  • Arrangements with Magnolia branches instead of traditional pine elements with two toned brown and green leaves add a hint of warmth, while showcasing elements of the winter landscape. Fluffy white roses bring out the suggestion of snow.
  • “Forget using satin red ribbon this season, try using natural elements like burlap or twine for holiday bows.” – Rachel & Dianne of McEwan Floral
  • Wild rosehips are remnants of autumn and we love them on their own or speckled in a lush floral arrangement.
  • Vintage brass vessels adds that luminosity and warmth that is reflective of the holidays. Bring your old vases and vessels in to be filled for holiday cheer!
  • Hemlock branches are also very popular this year

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Arrangement Tips – Think of arranging flowers like you think of cooking…

  • Overpowering ingredients together in a recipe can cause a clash; use flavours and flowers that will enhance and flow with one another.
  • Pick a base, your green foliage. Pick a focal flower, the main flavor in your creation. Finally, pick supporting flowers that will compliment your focal flower & keep it simple.
McEwan Floral Blog numbers

1.Magnolia 2.Wild Rosehips 3.Hemlock Branches 4.Amaryllis 5.Juniper

Here our favorites for the holidays that we are most anxious to share:

Amaryllis tones range from the deepest red to peachy pink. The velvety sheen of their petals can add a luxurious feel to arrangements.

The fragrance of Juniper is pungent, herbaceous, peppery, and pine-like. We love it in arrangements or in festive garlands.

Cedar is a traditional holiday pine. The foliage is a bright green and adds the smell and feel of the wintery weather.

We finish here with large sprinkles of inspiration.  If you are in doubt, stop by McEwan Floral and we will gladly help come up with some suggestions.

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McEwan’s BBQ Basket Sizzles

The days are longer and the weather is warmer.  Could only mean it’s that time of year to get your grill on.

The items in this basket have been selected to compliment a number of your favourite cuts like pork roasts or chops.  They are also available individually and can be purchased from our gourmet grocery store, McEwan.

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1.   Belvoir Organic Ginger Beer / Belvoir Organic Lemonade belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk
2.   North 44 Asian Rub mcewan.mcewangroup.ca
3.   Cinnamon Sticks
4.   McEwan’s Own Riesling Apples mcewan.mcewangroup.ca
5.   McEwan’s Ice Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil mcewan.mcewangroup.ca
6.   McEwan’s Own Maple Whisky Glaze mcewan.mcewangroup.ca

Contact McEwan to order your basket today.  Custom baskets are available upon request.
Add a beautiful flower arrangement from McEwan Floral.

Freshly Cut : A Colourful Look

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Tucked into a sunny corner of the gourmet grocery store McEwan, this floral boutique feels like an oasis. A full service floral shop, it presents rows of fresh-cut flowers that can be arranged upon request, from small hand-ties to wedding arrangements, even ready-made bouquets for shoppers on the go.

What makes this floral shoppe work is the team of florists behind its artful creations, an eclectic mix comprised of a mother of two, a former tree farmer, and an art teacher.

“We are from different walks of life and bring our own unique touch to our work,” says Dianne Shawcross, the youngest of the crew. She came to McEwan Floral after completing an undergraduate degree in fine art at the University of Toronto and graduating from teachers’ college. Dianne’s arrangements showcase her love of old fashioned garden roses and mimic the charm of a Dutch baroque painting. Flowers loosely arranged in antique glass vessels are this florist’s specialty.

Praveen Johnson’s knowledge of plants and flowers comes from his experience as a tree farmer, who has grown some of the black spruce trees that dot our Ontario landscape. Travelling the world, Praveen has explored various climates and environments, and these travels have led him to have a deep fascination with nature. His floral and terrarium creations always feature something exotic and unexpected.

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The heart of the whole operation is Rachel Sherlock, a former stay at home mom who started out arranging wedding flowers from her kitchen. Rachel’s passion for her work as a florist lies in the joy she knows a beautiful flower arrangement can bring. “I just want to make people happy,” she says as she arranges a piece for the lobby of the Hazelton Hotel and confirms a shipment of flowers for the coming week. Her ability to multi task, problem solve, and complete any task with elegance can only come from her skill and experience as a mother, and is complemented by her years of experience creating pieces for the weddings of friends and relatives.

This team comes together like all the ingredients of a signature Chef Mark McEwan dish –  fresh and unique with a taste that will have you coming back for more.