• Cooking,  Ingredients

    Pantry Staples: This Cook’s Most Versatile Ingredients

    It is well-known in the culinary industry that being prepared is the key to success. A poorly stocked pantry is needlessly debilitating to that effort. Keeping in mind your personal cooking style, ability and preferences, having certain necessities on hand at all times will enable you to put something together for any occasion. The trick is knowing what won’t even make it to your shelf on grocery day, and what you’ll find with an inch-thick layer of dust while spring cleaning. In this list, I will cover only our most versatile. These are the products that I would borderline panic if without because we use them daily in one way…

  • Recipes

    Hawaiian Chili

    Winter. Cold. Indoors. Fireplaces. Big, wool blankets. Hot, crusty bread. Aromatic spices and sharp, simmering tomatoes. That’s what I think of when I think of chili. So what do you do when you’re feelin’ chili in the middle of July? Have cold chili – sounds weird but it’s actually good – or twist chili into something super summer friendly. That’s what we did with this Hawaiian-inspired chili recipe. As with most of my recipes, this one can be customized. If you have a favourite chili recipe that differs from this in the amounts or kinds of veggies, spices, beans, tomatoes, beef, etc., by all means, work with what you like. …

  • Favourites

    June Favourites

    Walking up to Pow Wow Cafe is grossly underwhelming. The tiny brick building in Kensington Market would stand out to no one without seeking it out. Seating no more than 12 inside, with an additional 20 outside, this small-but-mighty restaurant doesn’t even have a website. Have to pee? You’ll have to take a walk through the kitchen to get to the bathroom. What counts is the food, though, serving up massive portions of Indigenous-inspired grub like fry bread tacos and chilli with cedar or strawberry soda, all ordered off of a wooden plank menu. If you’re in the area, this is a most unique restaurant that you should check out.…

  • Cooking,  Industry

    The Middle of the Line is Where It’s At

    We are all different and so we all want different things. From dishwasher to executive chef, there is a drastic shift of responsibility and duties but neither extremes have much opportunity to do the desired: cook. A dishwasher seldom handles food beyond fetching. An executive chef’s time is taken in meetings and managerial tasks related to kitchen operation. So where is the sweet spot? Well, right in the middle sounds pretty sweet: a lead cook, one step short of a salaried chef de partie. Why? First, you get to cook. Every day. Whether it be on a restaurant line staring at 50 chits on the board, in a prep kitchen…

  • Cooking,  Ingredients

    Grapefruit / Flaxseed / Avocado

    Cooking is the preparation of ingredients. But what are the ingredients? You could spend several lifetimes learning all about cooking and how to prepare food in a way that is all-together satisfying, and you still wont know everything. But to that end, in the fruitless effort to know everything about cooking, what I find many cooks undervalue or neglect to consider at all is the learning about the ingredients themselves. They will know how to work with them and cook with them, but not them themselves. That is what this series of posts will look into: some fundamental information on ingredients. There are hundreds of books written about ingredients from…

  • Rambles

    Why Read About Food?

    It’s a curious thing, to me, why people read about food. Food isn’t something you read about, it’s something you eat. You can’t experience food by reading about it, the same way you can’t experience the squishy, hot sand on your feet by looking at a picture of a beach or the crusty, hard calluses on your fingers by watching a video of a guitarist. Still people look at pictures of beaches and watch videos of guitarists. I am guilty of living to eat more than eating to live, I cook professionally and I dine playfully. But despite my love for all things food, even I don’t particularly enjoy reading…

  • Restaurants,  Reviews

    A New York Dining Experience Worth Paying For

    You can find good food in New York, but you usually pay for it. The flip side of that, though, is if you are looking for a great but cheap restaurant in the United States, you have the most luck in New York. I could write an entire post on unexpectedly good New York restaurant finds, and probably will some day, but this post is about a Manhattan dining experience that we paid for, and happily. Located in the neighbourhood of the same name, The NoMad Restaurant lies within The NoMad Hotel, a fully restored, turn of the century Beaux-Arts building that reinforces the magnificence of the hotel and restaurant.…

  • Favourites

    May Favourites

    , sister restaurant of Pai, is a small, neighbourhood restaurant serving up Northern Thai and Laotian flavours. Though we’ve been to Pai many times in the past and love it, we tried Sabai Sabai this past month and found the same charm and wonderful flavours there that won us over. If you’re in the Union Station area of Toronto and haven’t tried Pai yet, try it. If you’re in the Bloor-Yonge area, check out Sabai Sabai. Either way, you wont be disappointed. is a casual, pub-like restaurant in Liberty Village with a large patio out front. Though it’s a bit of a trek for us to get to, we tried…

  • Recipes

    Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

    Last year, Matt and I made monthly goals: fast walk every single day; no fried foods; spend only on essentials; etcetera and so forth.  These goals were to challenge ourselves into a healthier lifestyle and also experiment with some things we may never otherwise have really given a fair shot. One month was vegetarian month; February. The next month was vegan month; March. Vegetarian month was not all that challenging for us. Our only hurdle was when we were dining with friends and family but we did manage to overcome that pretty well. Vegan month, though, was another story. Becoming vegan, even going right from vegetarian, still feels like an…

  • Cooking,  How To

    Three Rules to Successfully Read and Follow a Recipe

    More food to come! For a blog titled Just On Food, there really isn’t much food happening yet, is there? That will change. I have ideas that need planning and executing, but it is happening. I have recipes and reviews and how to’s and all kinds of stuff in mind coming up. First, though, I’d like to briefly lay a bit of ground work, starting with how to read and follow a recipe. Sounds simple, right? Read ingredients. Gather ingredients. Read method. Follow instructions. Et voila! The fact is that everyone – I repeat, everyone – has screwed up a recipe. Why? Most likely because the instructions weren’t read properly.…