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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for October 29 to November 4

Thomas Keller appears at the Isabel Bader Theatre on Tuesday to promote his new book Bouchon Bakery (Image: Toby Canham/Getty Images Entertainment)

Monday October 29

  • Monday Night Dinners at Local Kitchen and Wine Bar: Every Monday night, Local Kitchen serves a $40 prix fixe menu of Italian fare with half-price wine bottles and no corkage fee. 1710 Queen St. W., 416-534-6700. Find out more »
  • 86’D with Ivy Knight: Sample Muskoka Harvest Ale while you carve up a pumpkin for the jack-o-lantern contest. 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 »
  • Burger Mondays: Enjoy $5 burgers and $5 pints on Mondays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Gladstone Melody Bar. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635. Find out more »
  • The “F” Word Revisited: Few chefs are more skilled at simple elegance and pure flavours than Gordon Ramsay. Explore some of his more approachable recipes with chef Angie MacRae. No yelling or throwing pots involved. Dish Cooking Studio, 390 Dupont St., 416-920-5559. Find out more »
  • Harvest Fermentation—Kraut and Kimchi Variations with Kate Lienweber: Start fermenting the way your grandmother did. Also learn the holistic health benefits of home fermentation that have been a part of food culture for generations. The Depanneur, 1033 College St., 416-828-1990. Find out more »

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Restaurants

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Daniel Boulud announces the chef de cuisine for Toronto’s Café Boulud

Comme ça? (Image: Four Seasons)

If all goes according to plan, Yorkville’s Café Boulud, the 15th-or-so location in Daniel Boulud’s ever-growing empire, will open its doors at the foot of the new Four Seasons on October 5. Helming the kitchen will be Tyler Shedden, a B.C. native who previously worked as the private dining room chef at Boulud’s Michelin three-star flagship Daniel in New York (prior to that, he was an executive sous-chef at Gordon Ramsay at the London, also in New York). Shedden, who hasn’t previously worked in Toronto, will preside over a 150-seat “casual fine dining” restaurant, whose menu will combine classic French cuisine with local, seasonal ingredients and dishes from further afar. At a reception earlier this week, Boulud praised the young chef, saying, “Tyler has been a good soldier and now is becoming a captain” (Shedden replied with a half-excited, half-terrified grin). The restaurant will be Boulud’s fourth Canadian venture: he opened Maison Boulud at Montreal’s Ritz-Carlton earlier this summer and had operated two formerly Rob Feenie–led restaurants in Vancouver, which both shut down last year. Still not clear: whether David Chang’s gang from the soon-to-open Momofuku restaurants has already made good on their threats to sabotage “Daddy Boulud’s” new digs.

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Gordon Ramsay sues former Montreal partner 

Given that Gordon Ramsay’s temper is the stuff of reality-television legend, we can’t say we’re shocked that he has the legal muscle to back up all that tough talk. The Globe reports that Ramsay has filed a massive lawsuit against Rôtisserie Laurier BBQ, the Montreal restaurant the chef helped rejuvenate before leaving—rather unceremoniously, we might add—last month. According to the Globe, Ramsay is seeking more than $2.7 million: “$2.25 million in lost licence fees through 2016 along with $500,000 in damages for defamation.”  Dish readers might recall that back in February, Ramsay’s public relations people promised that the chef’s legal team “will be watching all comments made publicly extremely carefully,” so it looks like they’re making good on that one. Although Laurier owner Danny Lavy has said that Ramsay was a poor consultant who spent barely any time at the restaurant, Ramsay counters that actually, “he was to be paid $48,214 per month to lend his name, likeness and recipes to the restaurant.” Apparently, both sides are pointing out that the lawsuit goes deeper than some squabbling about a chicken restaurant—Lavy filed a lawsuit last year that had something to do with his license to manufacture Ramsay’s kitchenware in North America (the details are suitably murky). This seems like the final nail in that whole jealous-of-Montreal-for-having-a-Ramsay-restaurant coffin. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

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Gordon Ramsay leaves Montreal, gives Torontonians one less reason to be jealous of the city

(Image: Dave Pullig)

Torontonians have never had trouble finding reasons to envy Montrealers: cheaper rents, ubiquitous perfect croissants, cold beer at corner stores. In 2010, we added “having your very own Gordon Ramsay restaurant” to the list, when the perpetually potty-mouthed chef announced he was getting on board with Montreal restaurant Laurier BBQ. Sure, our envy was mitigated when the opening of the restaurant was marred by a fire alarmNow we learn that Laurier owner Danny Lavy has ended his business relationship with Ramsay, who he says acted more like an infrequent visitor than the consultant he was supposed to be (the Gazette says Ramsay originally wanted to be a partner, but he didn’t want to front the cash). Ramsay’s public relations people deny this, and say that “lawyers…will be watching all comment made publicly extremely carefully.” Lavy also said that despite Ramsay’s role as a consultant—and the fact that he was almost never in town—his team still acted like he owned the place. Two restaurateurs trading barbs and quarreling over operations? This sounds like a job for… oh, nevermind. Read the entire story [Montreal Gazette] »

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With Bobby Flay at the helm and six celeb chefs on deck, this year’s Chef’s Challenge fundraiser proved a relaxed affair

Host Bobby Flay has a refreshment (Image: Yves Freypons)

At last year’s Chef’s Challenge, the famously potty-mouthed Gordon Ramsay ended up throwing the chefs off the stage after a skillet caught fire. This year, the annual fundraiser for Mount Sinai’s breast and ovarian cancer research was led by grill master Bobby Flay, meaning there were no fires—although there was a good deal of impaired cooking by the end. Mark McEwan was swigging limoncello from the bottle, while Flay downed prosecco and Lynn Crawford tried to curry favour with the judges with some frozen mojitos. Who knew the night would end in such delightful debauchery?

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Less than two weeks until Bobby Flay touches down for the second annual Chef’s Challenge cancer fundraiser

Bobby Flay, the Iron Chef star famous for his devotion to the grill, will be heading north this November to host the second annual Chef’s Challenge: The Ultimate Battle for a Cure next week. Last year, under the supervision of the infamously potty-mouthed Gordon Ramsay, the event raised a whopping $1.1 million for Mount Sinai Hospital’s ovarian and breast cancer research. This year, their goal is simple: surpass last year’s total (with less swearing, presumably).

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Food TV

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VIDEO: Watch Marge dream about Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay (from Sunday’s foodie episode of the Simpsons)


Food bloggers of the world are bracing themselves for this Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons, wherein Marge becomes a food blogger with a little help from Lisa and Bart, leaving Homer, perhaps the world’s best-known animated food enthusiast, out in the lurch. The clips of “The Food Wife” that have been released by Fox show the Three Mouthketeers (yes, that’s what they call the blog) salivating over such delicacies as pine needle sorbet and a deconstructed caesar salad served in four test tubes. The episode also features cameos and animated appearances from scads of food celebs, including Gordon Ramsay, Mario Batali, Julia Child, the Swedish Chef (yes, that one) and Anthony Bourdain, who appears in Marge’s dream at a Singapore street food market and describes himself as “food bad boy Tony Bourdain.” Expect lots of squirming out loud and flashes of self-awareness on Twitter starting at around 8 p.m. on Sunday night.

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Gordon Ramsay’s inauspicious Montreal launch 

Last year, Toronto diners lamented the decision of U.K. mega-celebrity-chef-cum-ball-of-rage Gordon Ramsay to launch his first Canadian outpost in Montreal. Well, that restaurant, Laurier Gordon Ramsay, opened to the public last night, and ironically for the Hell’s Kitchen host, the place was promptly evacuated after the sprinklers went off. Apparently the damage was limited and the situation is under control, but it’s not an auspicious start for the beleaguered and famously perfectionist chef. Read the whole story [Montreal Gazette] »

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Food TV

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Top Chef Canada recap, episode 5: 11 little piggies

A toast to us! (Image: Food Network Canada/Insight Productions)

TOP CHEF CANADA
Season 1 | Episode 5

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Last night on Top Chef Canada, the competition moved into its second phase: some obvious underperformers have been eliminated, a leader pack is emerging, and the clowning around has died down. Tellingly, even when the contestants are shown in their underwear, they’ve got their game faces on. Here, our recap of an episode that contained everything from whole hogs to former military officers.

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Restaurants

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Daniel Boulud announces new Montreal resto, joins long line of Michelin-starred chefs to snub Toronto

Daniel Boulud at his eponymous restaurant in New York (Image: winestem)

First Jean-Georges Vongerichten, then Daniel Boulud, then Gordon Ramsay, and now Daniel Boulud again. That’s three Michelin-starred celebrity chefs that have passed over Toronto to open Canadian outposts in Vancouver and Montreal. Boulud (who made his name at  Le Cirque and Daniel, among others) announced today that he would open a new restaurant, Maison Boulud, at the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal.

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Gordon Ramsay praises Black Hoof in Food Network interview

Gordon Ramsay, the British chef known for his passion (read: yelling profanities) in the kitchen, has heaped even more praise on The Black Hoof, which he dined at when he was in Toronto for the Chef’s Challenge in December. In an interview with Food Network Canada, Ramsay raved about the horse mortadella, saying:

I tried serving a horse burger once in London, and PETA dumped ten tons of horse shit outside the front door of Claridges and we had to evacuate the hotel. Why is everyone squeamish about horse meat? It’s delicious, for God’s sake.

He goes on to say: “The Black Hoof, for me, was extraordinary. I was like a pig in shit.” Presumably, not horse shit.

Spotted! Gordon Ramsay dining (and tipping decently) at the Black Hoof

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Spotted! Gordon Ramsay dining (and tipping decently) at the Black Hoof

Gordon Ramsay poses for a photo with Black Hoof staffers last night (Image: Grant van Gameren)

If you’ve ever wondered just how devoted the Black Hoof is to its no-reservations policy, consider this: when chef-owner Grant van Gameren was tipped off that Gordon Ramsay was on his way over, van Gameren didn’t guarantee a table. Lucky for Ramsay, there was one available. “We let him order off the menu,” van Gameren tells us. “We didn’t do anything super-special for him. We like to treat everyone the same.”

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Openings

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Gordon Ramsay shafts Toronto by opening his first Canadian restaurant in Montreal

Gordon Ramsay, the blond British ball of rage with the vast culinary empire, is finally expanding into Canada. In February 2009, the master chef told CBC’s The Hour he would open a restaurant in Toronto, and while that might still be the case, Montreal is getting a Ramsay resto first. The chef is taking over Rotisserie Laurier BBQ and subtly redubbing it Rotisserie Laurier BBQ by Ramsay. It sounds like Toronto won’t even be next on the list. After filming a season at Araxi, Whistler’s most acclaimed restaurant, Ramsay gushed that he wants to retire in the ski town.

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There’s still a chance to be yelled at by Gordon Ramsay when he comes to T.O.

Jamie Kennedy, David Rocco, Massimo Capra and Mark McEwan show off their creations at the George Brown cooking school (Image: Karon Liu)

The city’s celebrity chefs converged at the George Brown cooking school yesterday at a media launch for Chef’s Challenge, November 20’s Hell’s Kitchen–esque fundraiser for Mount Sinai hosted by Gordon Ramsay. The premise is that five of the city’s top chefs—Mark McEwan, David Rocco, Jamie Kennedy, Massimo Capra and Lynn Crawford—will head up a team of 10 (consisting of the top 50 fundraisers) and cook the same three-course menu. Ramsay and a panel of yet-to-be-announced judges will determine who cooked it best.

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Gordon Ramsay, Mark McEwan and Lynn Crawford head up epic celebrity cook-off at the Carlu

Normally, we have to watch celebrity chef battles from our couches, but this November, we’ll have a chance to see it all live and, just maybe, get screamed at by Gordon Ramsay. The Chef’s Challenge takes place on November 20 and 21 at the Carlu, with Ramseay hosting a cook-off between teams led by top T.O. chefs David Rocco, Jamie Kennedy, Lynn Crawford, Mark McEwan and Massimo Capra. Participants must raise a minimum of $2,500 (the money goes to Mount Sinai Hospital), and the top 50 fundraisers will be put into the cooking teams.

More information about the event is available here.

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