All stories relating to Craig Harding

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Must-Try: Campagnolo’s exquisitely balanced burrata with roasted grapes

Must-Try: Campagnolo Burrata

(Image: Christopher Stevenson)

When Craig Harding opened Campagnolo, his modern trattoria on Dundas West, the city’s fascination with creamy burrata had just begun. Three years on, foodies and chefs are still buzzing about his deceptively simple take on the luxury cheese. The key is freshness: Harding sources the springy pouches from third-generation Italian cheesemakers in Vaughan and serves them right away, before their suppleness is lost. He slathers the cheese on thick hunks of toasted sourdough and salts the cream-soaked centres twice—with kosher salt for taste, then flaky fleur-de-sel for crunch. Bunches of barely roasted grapes offer a sweet, tart contrast, and a splash of fruity olive oil makes the dish sing. $14.

Campagnolo, 832 Dundas St. W., 416-364-4785, campagnolotoronto.com

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People

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See the official menu for Chef Grant Soto’s “Night of Gravitas” (vomitorium not included) 

The menu for “A Night of Gravitas,” a charity dinner on a boat hosted by the local Internet troll “Chef Grant Soto” (also known as Taylor Clarke, the man looking for his own TV show), has been revealed. Guests will start with hors d’oeuvres like devilled eggs with smoked salmon roe, dry aged steak tartare on potato chips and fried haloumi with tomato chili preserve and mint. Then there’s a raw bar, which is said to boast cracked lobsters, oysters, tiger shrimp, snow crab claws, mussels, tuna, snails, scallops and king crab legs. And then there’s a family-style dinner that includes braised oxtails, roasted bone marrow, grilled octopus, buttered potatoes, smoked bacon-wrapped peaches with grilled corn, soft-shell crab po-boys, fried chicken and lobster with chanterelle grits and pimento cheese and more. And, believe it or not, there are donuts and a variety of gelatos for dessert. Guests from the dinner on a boat will either sink the large water vehicle or will need to be rolled out. (We’re almost certain it’ll be the latter, but with the decadent meal Matty Matheson, Craig Harding and Geoff Hopgood are preparing, we can’t be sure.) See the full menu [The Grid] »

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Chef Grant Soto to reveal his identity at a charity boat dinner in July

I’m on a boat!

He routinely makes fun of foodies from the safety of an anonymous Twitter account, but on July 25, chef Grant Soto” will be revealing himself at a charity dinner on Captain John’s Harbour Boat Restaurant (we can’t promise he won’t disrobe, but by “revealing” we just mean he’s going to show up with his true identity on display). It’s a fairly courageous move, considering his Internet trolling has made him a well-hated micro-celebrity, but perhaps benefiting the Breakfast Clubs of Canada will win him some goodwill. Tickets for the dinner cost $150, and the food will be prepared by Keriwa’s Aaron Joseph Bear Robe, Parts and Labour’s Matty Matheson, Campagnolo’s Craig Harding and Porchetta and Co.’s Nick Auf Der Mauer (and yes, the $150 buys you an open bar). Oh, and Soto kindly notes that vegetarians and gluten-free types need not worry, because, as he announces on his newly launched website, they will “take care of that shit too.” [Chef Grant Soto]

(Images: Chef Grant Soto, Twitter; Captain John’s, Mathew Ingram)

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Restaurants

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Three years in, Charlie’s Burgers brings Le Châteaubriand—the world’s ninth-best restaurant—to Toronto

One hundred and thirty-four hungry (and excited) guests gathered for Charlie’s Burger (Image: Renée Suen)

Charlie’s Burgers, the original Toronto pop-up, just celebrated its third birthday in February, six months after the Globe and Mail revealed its elusive leader’s identity. Having already collaborated with chefs from Canada, England and France, the “anti-restaurant” decided to bring cutting-edge Parisian cooking from Le Châteaubriandnumber nine on the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list—to Toronto for a two-evening dinner engagement on Sunday and Monday this week. Sous-chef Agata Felugga and Delphine Zampetti, wife of Le Chateaubriand’s chef and owner, Inaki Aizpitarte, put together a menu using deer and partridge that were hunted and aged especially for the event, as well as vegetables and other produce sourced by chef Jonathan Gushue of Langdon Hall, itself a sometime member of the World’s Top 100 restaurants list. We dropped by the dinner at L’Unità to check in on one of the biggest food events of the season.

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Drinks

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Top Toronto chefs recognized in 2011’s Nine of Dine at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo

This weekend, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will host the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo, four days celebrating everything imbibable. Over 38,000 guests are expected to sample more than 1,500 fine wines, spirits and beers and participate in tutored tastings. The show also recognizes some of Toronto’s hottest chefs as part of the sixth annual Nine of Dine award, sponsored in part by Now and the expo itself.

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Openings

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Introducing: Campagnolo, the new meat-loving spot on Dundas West’s carnivore row

The interior of Campagnolo (Image: Fraser Abe)

After 2010, it’s hard to remember what a sad little patch of real estate once existed along Dundas West, between Bathurst and Trinity-Bellwoods. Thanks to the Black Hoof and Hoof Café, the short strip has become something of a destination for enviro-conscientious meat lovers. New restaurants are capitalizing on it, too: Porchetta and Co. opened its doors this week, serving organic pork sandwiches, and before that, there was chef Craig Harding’s first solo venture, Campagnolo—a rustic restaurant with a farm-to-table ethos at Dundas and Euclid.

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