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A new mixed-raced generation is transforming the city: Will Toronto be the world’s first post-racial metropolis?

I used to be the only biracial kid in the room. Now, my exponentially expanding cohort promises a future where everyone is mixed.

Mixe Me | By Nicholas Hune-Brown

Click on the image for 10 interviews with mixed-race Toronto children

Last fall, I was in Amsterdam with my parents and sister on a family trip, our first in more than a decade. Because travelling with your family as an adult can be taxing on everyone involved, we had agreed we would split up in galleries, culturally enrich ourselves independently, and then reconvene later to resume fighting about how to read the map. I was in a dimly lit hall looking at a painting of yet another apple-cheeked peasant when my younger sister, Julia, tugged at my sleeve. “Mixie,” she whispered, gesturing down the hall.

“Mixie” is a sibling word, a term my sister and I adopted to describe people like ourselves—those indeterminately ethnic people whom, if you have an expert eye and a particular interest in these things, you can spot from across a crowded room. We used the word because as kids we didn’t know another one. By high school, it was a badge of honour, a term we would insist on when asked the unavoidable “Where are you from?” question that every mixed-race person is subjected to the moment a conversation with a new acquaintance reaches the very minimum level of familiarity. For the record, my current answer, at 30 years old, is: “My mom’s Chinese, but born in Canada, and my dad’s a white guy from England.” If I’m peeved for some reason—if the question comes too early or with too much “I have to ask” eagerness—the answer is “Toronto” followed by a dull stare.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Cheap Eats: 11 Toronto restaurants (and bars and food shops) where you can eat well for less

Cheap Eats!

2013 is shaping up to be the Year of Cheap Eats in Toronto. Lobster prices are at record lows. Delicious Asian street food is plentiful. And every fancy restaurant is tripping over itself to offer a sandwich deal. (Some bars are even serving inventive cocktails for $10 or less, a steal in the age of the $18 Manhattan). Below, 11 of the best deals in town right now.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Dyne, the Iberian-Asian restaurant that took over from Maléna

Introducing: Dyne

(Image: Megan Leahy)

Last weekend, Richard Andino, a chef with 22 years experience in Toronto’s restaurant scene, opened Dyne in Maléna’s old space at Av and Dav. His menu draws from the cuisine of Spain, Portugal and the Philippines, but the item that’s gotten the most attention to date is the over-the-top Chef’s Last Meal ($325), which comes with a 34-ounce bone-in rib-eye, fingerling and bone marrow mash, chili-garlic egg rice, butter poached lobster and two pieces of foie gras, an ingredient Andino heartily endorses. 

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for August 20 to 26

Foodies on Foot leads a culinary tour of Roncesvalles on Saturday (Image: Danielle Scott from the Torontolife.com Flickr pool)

Monday, August 20

  • Dinner at the Bellevue: Chef Robbie Hojilla, formerly of Woodlot and Ursa, cooks a five-course, modern Filipino–inspired feast. $35. The Bellevue, 61A Bellevue Ave., 647-340-8224. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: A preview of Savour Stratford, with complimentary samples from Château des Charmes, Mill St. Brewery, Mercer Hall, Rene’s Bistro and Monforte Dairy. A flight of cocktails showcasing Stratford mixologists will also be available. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: Piola’s weekly aperitivo italiano, with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »

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Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for August 6 to 12

This weekend, Taste of the Danforth takes over Greektown (Image: Norris Wong)

Monday, August 6

  • Gladstone Culinary Tour—Koreatown: Join Gladstone executive chef Michael Smith for his monthly celebration of Toronto’s cultural diversity. Four-course menu with wine pairings. The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Celebrate wild Quebec blueberries with a Maker’s Mark bourbon cocktail and blueberry hand pies by the Drake’s Stephen Prickett and Marc Mendonca. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: Piola’s weekly aperitivo italiano, with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »

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Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for July 30 to August 5

On Tuesday, the Culinary Adventure Company leads a canoe picnic to the islands (Image: Mike in TO)

Monday, July 30

  • Group of Seven Chefs—Fish and Beer Dinner: The seven chefs get together with Bellwoods Brewery for a five-course, seafood-heavy meal with beer pairings. Bellwoods Brewery, 124 Ossington Ave., 416-535-4586. Find out more »
  • Monday’s Dinner chef series at Chantecler: This week, chefs Jonathan Poon (Chantecler) and Jeff Claudio (Yours Truly) will be cooking an 18-course tasting menu full of summer ingredients. Chantecler, 1320 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Judge the ultimate Blue Ribbon battle of the butter tart. Competitors from Bestellen, The Gabardine, The Flaky Tart and more. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: Piola’s weekly aperitivo italiano, with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »

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Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for July 23 to 29

The Culinary Adventure Company leads a walking tour of Gerrard Street on Thursday (Image: Ian Muttoo)

Monday, July 23

  • Cooking for Cooks: Jamie Kennedy pays tribute to those who do service, with a three-course dinner for industry folk (although non-industry types can come too). Gilead Cafe, 4 Gilead Pl., 647-288-0680Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Tonight, the top 5 contenders for Toronto’s hottest chef each prepare complimentary canapés. Taste, vote, and at the end the winner will be announced. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: Piola’s weekly aperitivo italiano, with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »
  • Evil Twin/Bellwoods Brewery Collaboration: The new Ossington craft brewery is collaborating with Brooklyn’s Evil Twin with food by Daniel Burns. Bellwoods Brewery, 124 Ossington Ave. Find out more »

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Weekly Lunch Pick: Filipino favourites at Kanto in Scadding Court’s Market 707

(Image: Andrew Brudz)

Market 707, part of the Scadding Court Community Centre, is a collection of vendors housed in retrofitted shipping containers at Dundas and Bathurst. At lunchtime, the once-gloomy intersection is now bustling with activity as curious passersby, Kensington shoppers and nurses and residents from nearby Toronto Western Hospital line up for a selection of international lunch options. While choices include camel burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, roti, pupusas, Korean dishes and Indian street food, the most buzz is around Kanto, an offshoot of event caterer Tita Flips.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Is Filipino cuisine set to hit the big time in Toronto?

Lamesa’s dramatically plated lumpia, which is more often found piled high on a platter (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

Over at Acquired Taste, there’s an interesting Q&A with Lester Sabilano and Rudy Boquila, the chefs behind Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, the first Toronto restaurant to bring a more upscale sensibility to Filipino cuisine. As Sabilano points out, “We are the third-largest visible minority group in the city with no sit-down restaurant downtown—until now.” Both chefs talk about their efforts to bring Filipino cuisine to Toronto palates and mix local ingredients with Filipino techniques and flavours. They’re also careful to make sure their servers are well-versed in Filipino history and culture, so that dishes will come with a bit of background for patrons who might not otherwise be familiar. Judging by the outpouring of heated comments on our last post about the restaurant, however, there’s definitely some resistance to shelling out $35 for a tasting menu of Filipino food. In other words: Sabliano and Boquila have some work ahead of them. Read the entire story [Acquired Taste] »

The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Lamesa, a contemporary spin on traditional Filipino cooking on Queen West

Co-owners Rudy Boquila, the chef, and Lester Sabilano (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

Despite the GTA being home to almost 200,000 Filipinos, it’s probably fair to say many residents are unfamiliar with Filipino cuisine. That’s something Lester Sabilano and Rudy Boquila hope to change with Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, their new downtown eatery. Taking over the old Rosebud space at Queen at Bathurst, the restaurant puts a contemporary spin on the classic flavours found back in the 7,107 islands. “With Lamesa, we really hope to introduce Filipino food to the mainstream,” Sabilano told us.

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The Informer

Features

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All Mixed Up: Toronto is the mixed-marriage capital of Canada

How our city is proof that if a post-racial society is possible, it will begin in the bedroom

(Image: Asaf Hanuka)

This fall, my husband and I will mark the 34th anniversary of our Chinese-Jewish marriage. Back in 1976, some folks (OK, my parents) fretted it would never last. “Think of the kids! Neither side will accept them,” my mother warned. It took 14 years—and the birth of our first child—before she quit running in hysterics from her house whenever my husband dropped by. (I’m not kidding.)

Yet in 2010, not only am I still married, with two fairly acceptable sons, I find myself living in the mixed-marriage capital of Canada. Toronto famously blazed the way for same-sex marriage. Today, it turns out to be a Petri dish for innovative people combos. According to the latest Statistics Canada data, nearly twice as many Toronto couples are in mixed marriages, legal and common law, as the rest of Canadians, 7.1 per cent versus 3.9 per cent. That number covers all existing unions, including dusty old ones like mine.

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The Dish

Random Stuff

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Canada escapes the haters’ list of the world’s worst food

Bangers and mash: British cuisine shatters no stereotypes (Image: Andy Bullock)

When it comes to gastronomical atrocities, it seems bangers and mash and sauerkraut are more poorly regarded than poutine and peameal bacon. The Huffington Post has published the results of an ongoing Titanic Awards survey that names the top nine countries with the worst national cuisine. Much to our delight, the survey of over 2,000 people from more than 80 countries didn’t name Canada among the worst offenders.

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