All stories relating to Brockton General

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Deathwatch

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Dundas West restaurant Brockton General is closing in March

(Image: Ryan Szulc)

(Image: Ryan Szulc)

After a nearly four-year run on Dundas West, Brockton General will be shutting its doors for good in early March. The restaurant has been a hit with critics and diners alike since it opened in 2010, generally filling all of its 27 seats on any given night. It also helped launch some impressive chefs, including Guy Rawlings, now of Bar Isabel and Room 203, and Alexandra Feswick, who recently parted ways with Queen West bistro Samuel J Moore. Brockton General serves its last meal on March 9th. While future plans for the unit are still up in the air, co-owner Pamela Thomson says that the building’s landlord will be taking over the space. “But we are open and running until then with weekly specials!” she assures. “We want to go out with a bang.” This week’s specials are smoked trout pappardelle, pork terrine, and kale and mushroom soup.

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Openings

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Introducing: Room 203, Guy Rawlings’ new food event space

(Image: Renée Suen)

Room 203 is the latest project from chef Guy Rawlings, who first gained notoriety at Brockton General before taking on consulting gigs at Lucien, Bellwoods Brewery and Bar Volo. The Parkdale space, which kicked off with a new year’s party, is part-catering kitchen, part-culinary wet lab, part-classroom and part-special event space, and is equipped with all manner of modern culinary equipment (a vacuum packing machine, an immersion circulator, liquid nitrogen).

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Food Events

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Beer geeks steel yourselves: Cask Days 2012 will be bigger than ever

Bar Volo, the Yonge Street den for beer geeks, seems perpetually restless. It was just voted the city’s best spot to grab a craft pint; it operates a “nano-brewery” onsite (micro-brewing not being quite small enough); it hosts an IPA challenge; and every year, it runs Cask Days, the cask-conditioned ale festival that has emerged as one of Toronto’s premiere beer events. This year’s iteration is massive: Hosted for the first time at Evergreen Brick Works, it will feature more than 150 brews from over 75 breweries (up from 80 and 50, respectively). 

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Food Events

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The Stop Night Market recap: the alley behind Honest Ed’s becomes a sweaty, delicious mess

Last Wednesday, the Stop decided to throw a summer solstice party in the alley behind Honest Ed’s—the by-day parking lot was transformed into a nighttime carnival with lights, lanterns and balloons spangled overhead. The 27 food vendors were paired with 27 design teams, adding an extra injection of whimsy to the event, as the vendors dished up their wares from custom-built food stalls. While every stall had its own unique details, there were a few standouts, including the Brockton General’s cardboard Pegasus and Cowbell’s ice-block stall (the envy of every sweaty attendee).

The sold-out fundraiser, which raised over $57,000 for The Stop’s anti-hunger programs, was a huge success: 1,000 lucky Torontonians celebrated the summer in true bacchanalian style, indulging in a bounty of treats from some of Toronto’s most celebrated restaurants (including Woodlot, Yours Truly and Ursa) and breweries (including Lake of Bays, Steamwhistle and Muskoka).

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Food Events

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The Stop Night Market fundraiser to take over Honest Ed’s Alley

Even if scores of buzzing foodies crowding into the narrow alleyway at Honest Ed’s is not your idea of a fun night out, you should still check out the all-flashing, day-glo, carny-tastic website that The Stop has set up for the Night Market, a $50-a-pop fundraiser featuring food and drink served out of custom-made stalls. The stacked list of vendors includes both Generals (Brockton and County), Cowbell, Delica, GwaiLo, Paulette’s Chicken and Donuts, SupiCucu, The Grove, Ursa, Yours Truly, Grace, Woodlot and many more, and beverages will be provided by Great Lakes Brewery, Lake of Bays Brewing, Muskoka Brewery, Steam Whistle, Still Waters Distillery and Tromba Tequila. The event takes place June 20, from 7–11 p.m. Utterly unsurprisingly, there are now less than 50 tickets left. [The Stop’s Night Market]

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Restaurants

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Terroir 2012 recap: what we saw, heard and ate at the big annual food industry meet-up

Kevin Gilmour (sous chef at The Drake Hotel) was assisted by his crew at this pork carving station. Hunks of roasted pork were served over a peanut-ginger slaw (Image: Renée Suen)

Last week, 500 members or so of Canada’s food and hospitality industry gathered for Terroir VI at the newly renovated Arcadian Court. The theme for this year’s symposium was “The New Radicals,” a new generation of chefs that have a collaborative and unconventional approach to cuisine despite their conventional training. Symposium chair Arlene Stein had arranged a line up of the industry’s finest from Canada and abroad, assembled on panels featuring restaurateurs, writers and chefs from the old and new vanguard—most attendees agreed this year’s crop was the best yet (before the event we spoke to Australian chef Ben Shewry, as well as sustainable aquaculture champion Barton Seaver and natural wine advocate Alice Feiring.).

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Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for March 19 to 25

Want to learn how to make mustard like this? Head to the Brick Works on Thursday (Image: Danielle Scott)

Monday, March 19

  • 86’D: Join Ivy Knight for the bread-and-butter battle. Watch contestants from Brockton General, The Gabardine, Bread Bar and more show off their kneading and churning skills. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Order of Good Cheer Dinner at Gilead Bistro: A four-course menu prepared by Jamie Kennedy paired with wines from Prince Edward County’s By Chadsey’s Cairns winery. Gilead Bistro, 4 Gilead Pl., 647-288-0680. Find out more »
  • Tastes of Tomorrow: George Brown Chef School hosts a molecular gastronomy demonstration with Chef John Placko. Find out more »
  • Sorauren Farmers’ Market: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the field house at Sorauren Park. 50 Wabash Ave. Find out more »

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People

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Check out some chefs behaving badly as they ham it up at a photo shoot for Terroir 2012

Terroir, the hospitality industry symposium, brings chefs, wine and food experts, restaurateurs and members of the food media together for one day each year. This time around the program is centered on the theme of the “New Radicals” (no, not those ones): the new generation of chefs who might be conventionally trained, but are more collaborative than their forebears and more than happy to set up shop in unconventional spaces. Attendees this year will be greeted with a unique Manchu Wok–style lunch buffet catered by a team of mainly Toronto chefs. The cheeky contemporary interpretations of pop culture classics will use local, seasonal and foraged ingredients: think sweet-and-sour confit chicken balls and General Tso sweetbreads. A couple weeks back, we sat in on the “Wok and Roll” photo shoot for the event, which included Jason Bangerter (Luma, O&B Canteen), Matty Matheson (Parts and Labour) and Charlotte Langley (Café Belong) among others, and asked which Canadian-style Chinese food item they’ve planned to rework. Mostly, though, it was just an excuse to watch some of our favourite chefs engaged in a little food fight.

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Restaurants

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Alexandra Feswick to host ladies’ night dinner at Brockton General with five Toronto pastry chefs

(Image: Karon Liu)

This Thursday at Brockton General, six female chefs—five of them pastry chefs from popular GTA restaurants—will be stepping out from their usual gigs to collaborate on a special six-course tasting menu. Alexandra Feswick, chef at Brockton General, told us that the evening is all about celebrating the talents of some of the city’s lesser-known chefs. “When I put out feelers out there to see if anyone wanted to be involved,” Feswick explained, “the most people who responded were pastry chefs. We’re all ecstatic about the idea—to show people what we’re made of.”

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Restaurants

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Grant van Gameren and Guy Rawlings take over the reins at Lucien

Grant van Gameren at the Black Hoof, the Dundas West charcuterie bar he co-founded (Image: Renée Suen from the Torontolife.com Flickr pool)

Six weeks or so after leaving the Black Hoof behind him, Grant van Gameren has found a new home. Alongside Brockton General’Guy Rawlings, the charcuterie pioneer has moved on to Lucien, replacing chef Scot Woods, who left recently. “During his tenure here, Scot proved to be an extremely talented and creative chef and we wish him the very best in his future endeavours,” owner Simon Bower told us. “But I have decided the restaurant is going in a new direction.”

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Random Stuff

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In a bid to stop the “mega-quarry,” Michael Stadtländer rallies (nearly) every chef we’ve ever heard of for Foodstock


Michael Stadtländer has rallied 100 of the best chefs from across Canada to participate in Foodstock, an epic, pay-what-you-can public food event on October 16 to raise money to fight the construction of a huge limestone quarry in the town of Honeywood, Ontario. The Highland Companies’ plan aims to span 2,316 acres of land and run 189 feet deep (deeper than Niagara Falls), and will have to pump 600 million litres of groundwater out of the pit each day (about the same amount used by 2.7 million Ontarians), all to extract crushed stone known as amabel dolostone.

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Drinks

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Bellwoods Brewery to launch later this year with T.O.-grown hops and food by Guy Rawlings

Image: Bellwoods Brewery

When brewers Mike Clark and Luke Pestl decided to launch the upcoming Bellwoods Brewery on Ossington (at the former Meta Gallery site), they saw a perfect opportunity to combine their love for local food, craft beer and urban gardening: Bellwoods City Hops, a project that takes the concept of a local microbrew quite a bit further than we’ve seen in the past.

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Openings

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Introducing: Ortolan, a tiny new restaurant in Bloordale

(Image: Catherine Gerson)

With a name nodding to a notorious old-world culinary delicacy, Ortolan quietly opened its doors two weeks ago in the space formerly occupied by Kathy’s Kitchen in Bloordale Village. Taking a little bit of Ossington with them, chef-owners Damon Clements (Delux) and Daniel Usher (Pizzeria Libretto) have pooled their respective experiences in French and Italian cuisines to branch out on their own on the quickly changing strip between Dufferin and Lansdowne.

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Features

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Best New Restaurants 2011

Oysters from Frank's Kitchen

This year’s crop of restaurants, from a million-dollar dining room to a brazen burger joint, pushed Toronto’s culinary culture in creative, comforting and blessedly cheap directions. Here, the 10 new spots that are redefining the way we eat, drink and play in the city

See the list »

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Features

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The Year in Dining: our chief critic dishes on the city’s big food trends


Crostino with egg from Brockton General; Cheese from Enoteca Sociale; Bitter greens got some love; Beau's craft beer from Zócalo; Porchetta and Co.'s sandwich

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