#McEwanAllAccess 4.0

Canadians know that the name Chef Mark McEwan is synonymous with great food. From his role as judge on Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada, to beautiful cookbooks such as Rustic Italian he inspires us at to create Great Food At Home. Here in Toronto, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to shop and dine at the signature restaurants and stores that reflect the many facets of Mark McEwan’s food philosophy and his personality: ONE, Bymark, Fabbrica, North 44, and of course McEwan.

If you’d like to know more about the man behind this celebrated culinary enterprise, we have exciting news for you … #McEwanAllAccess is back!

photo1On November 10th, television personality Michelle Jobin will host an exclusive and informative event with Chef Mark McEwan at his contemporary Yorkville hotspot ONE. This highly anticipated event has been a huge foodie favourite in the past. Space is limited for this evening of great food and conversation .

 

ONE Restaurant Logo copyGuests will have the opportunity to savour the gourmet food and beverages that ONE has become known for, plus the “see and be scene” atmosphere that has made it a dining destination for so many. Michelle will be hosting a conversation with Mark so we can get to know him, and the dishes he creates, better. Tweet or Instagram photos of your favourite food from the evening, your favourite moment, or perhaps pose for a selfie with Mark.

Plus, all guests leave with a gift bag including a personalized copy of Rustic Italian cookbook, Stoneleigh Vineyards wine, Johnnie Walker shot glasses, Grand Marnier recipe book and garnish sticks valued over $60.00.

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Chef McEwan feels that the upbeat elegance of ONE makes it the perfect venue for this instalment, “Looking forward to welcoming everyone to One. I can’t wait to showcase the amazing talents of our kitchen and to have the opportunity to meet everyone face to face.”

The party (and the conversation) will be happening online as well. Be sure to stay tuned to social media before, during, and after the event for all the details and full access to the event.

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So just how do you get in on this evening of delicious food, wine, and chat? For the chance to be one of our 20 invited guests, just copy, paste, and tweet the following, then keep an eye out for a potential invite and instructions:

I want to get social with @Chef_MarkMcEwan at #OneRestaurant for #McEwanAllAccess

As space is limited, a few lucky tweeters will be notified each week with more details and instructions. Past events have sold out right away, so be sure to let @MichelleJobin know just how much you want to join in. Looking forward to meeting you all, and the great food and conversation that the evening has in store for you!

Event Details

  • November 10, 2014 :: 7 pm – 9  pm
  • One Restaurant at 116 Yorkville Avenue
  • $60 per person inclusive of all drinks, food, swag bag, taxes and gratuities (LIMITED SPACE)
  • There will be only one ticket available for those selected with no plus 1 option
  • Event format will be passed appetizers, wine and cocktails
  • Tweets, pictures and great conversation are encouraged

Fabbrica’s Dandelion Salad with Olives and Caciocavallo

The Italian salad repertoire features many that possess an assertively bitter flavour profile, and this is one of our favourite examples. Despite its scant list of ingredients, it packs a wallop of flavour. The sharp and salty nature of a well-aged artisanal caciocavallo from Sicily is a league apart from that of even the finest caciocavallo from Calabria or anywhere else on the mainland, so do make the effort to find one.

Serves 4

2 bunches dandelion leaves, torn
1 handful parsley leaves
1 cup (250 mL) small quality olives, pitted
¼ cup (60 mL) aged wine vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) fine olive oil salt and pepper
4 oz (125 g) Caciocavallo siciliano

In a salad bowl, combine the dandelion, radicchio, parsley, and olives. Toss.

Add vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper, and toss again. Taste and correct seasonings.

Shave half the caciocavallo over the salad, and serve with the extra cheese on the side.

[From: Mark McEwan’s Fabbrica: Great Italian Recipes Made Easy for Home by Mark McEwan. Copyright © General Purpose Entertainment, 2011. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Group (Canada), a Division of Pearson Canada Inc.]

Rustic Italian : Pay Chen Talks Entertaining, Recipes & Restaurant Gossip with Mark McEwan

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On November 27, Chef and Author, Mark McEwan sat down with television and radio host, blogger, and food columnist, Pay Chen, to chat Top Chef gossip, entertaining tips, the Canadian grocery scene, keeping the business fresh, and of course, Penguin Group Canada’s new release, Rustic Italian: Great Italian Recipes Made Easy for Home.

Mark describes himself as wanting to be Italian in his next life, so it was no surprise when he opened the Italian restaurant, Fabbrica in 2010.  Since starting in the food business years prior, in 1985, Mark has been reading, tasting and observing fantastic Italian dishes abroad and at home, and has funneled those lessons into Fabbrica’s authentic Italian menu.

“I don’t own any of these recipes myself,” he told audience members, but rather “I’ve studied the historical record and have added my own twist.”

While not Italian himself, apparently he’s done a pretty fantastic job playing the part judging by the hoards of happy Nonnas from Woodbridge who consistently give him the nod of approval. “That’s the litmus test- it doesn’t get better than that,” Mark said. With the cookbook, Mark has made his restaurant quality Italian dishes accessible to the home cook, whether for a weeknight family meal or an elegant dinner party for 12.

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When it comes to entertaining, Mark warned audience members not to stretch themselves too thin. So rather than locking ourselves in the kitchen with plans for an elaborate 10 course meal (hey, we’ve all done it), he suggests we get all the components ready and assign family and friends to different tasks in the kitchen. Who cares if Uncle Jerry’s gnocchi are all different sizes, or your little niece overworks the bread. The point is you actually got to spend time with your guests.

And with the holidays behind us, and we start pondering our new years resolutions, maybe it’s time we take a tip from the chef and rethink our grocery shopping habits.  For Mark, the most important determinant when grocery shopping should always be quality, the reason why he’s personally sourced the best quality ingredients for his restaurants and grocery store, McEwan. In comparison to 20 years ago, “Canada has made leaps and bounds” in what’s been locally produced and available in the market – Mark says you just need to check out the remarkable local cheese selection at his store to see that! And while buying quality is one hurtle, maintaining it and not letting it go to waste is a whole other concern.

“Shop like the Europeans do!” Mark suggested to listeners, “I buy only what I need for 1 ½ days, use it until it’s gone and then go back for more. There is certainly no point in spending money on a quality fish if it’s going to lose its freshness when not used promptly.”

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And speaking of freshness, for a man owning some of the longest-running restaurants in the city, Mark certainly knows how to keep things exciting. How does he manage to keep his business fresh despite not always being the “new restaurant” in town? “Challenge yourself” he says, because “the moment you take your foot off the accelerator you can feel the draft.” Right now, for example, Mark is undertaking a physical and conceptual facelift in his financial district restaurant, Bymark, with a menu of more fun, playful new dishes coming out and an interior design to match!

Mark also finds inspiration through his work as Head Judge on the hit Food Network show, Top Chef Canada, where up and coming Canadian chefs bring their A game for the title and prize. With so many impressive and inventive young food entrepreneurs, it’s no surprise Mark feels the need to “look in the rear view mirror” from time to time.  It’s clearly a very exciting time for Canadians who love good food.

And if you’re one of those food-loving folk, Canadian or otherwise, you’re going to want to get your hands on a copy of Rustic Italian. Available online or in stores for only $26 CAD plus tax, this would make a perfect gift for any aspiring chef or foodie. So grab a copy, a few friends, and like Mark suggests, get everyone in the kitchen helping out. Not only will the meal live up to Mark and your high quality standards, but the memories made in the process will be worth much more.

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