Guy Fieri

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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives recap: Caplansky’s edition

(Image: Joselu Blanco)

Guy Fieri wrapped up his too-brief tour of Toronto last week with a visit to Zane Caplansky’s College Street deli. The frosted-tipped host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives heaved great approving sighs when he tasted Caplansky’s trademark smoked meat, and was pretty excited too about the shop’s extensive use of schmaltz (“You gotta love it!”). Indeed, Caplansky’s over-sized knish and kitchen manager Patrick Berrigan’s aw-shucks demeanour provided Fieri with endless banter—until a sweet, precocious tyke rendered him speechless with his spot-on analysis of what made the maple bacon doughnuts work so well: “it’s the nice mixture of maple syrup and bacon, with the sweet dough.” After last week’s groan-inducing crack about the meaning of Canadian Thanksgiving and Fieri’s earlier maple syrup–related hesitation, we’re happy to report that he managed to finish his Toronto trip on a high note, joshing Berrigan for his use of “eh” and being pleasantly surprised by the winning flavour combination of maple with bacon. Oh, Canada.

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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives recap: The Ace edition

(Image: Marc Falardeau)

For the third Toronto instalment of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy Fieri stopped in at The Ace, the old-school diner that re-launched in late 2011 on Roncesvalles (bonus points to Fieri for calling it “Roncey”). Fieri was his usual hammy self, helping himself to a sampling of grated cheddar from chef Peter McKnight’s mise-en-place and twirling a wooden spoon like a baton. After last week’s reticent sandwich-dipping performance, we were pleased to see Fieri dig right in to McKnight’s towering, gooey mac-and-cheese burger—after taking several bites, he emerged grinning sheepishly with cheese all over his face. Still, Fieri killed off any hope of truly endearing himself to Canadians  with a painfully lame quip about the origin of Canadian Thanksgiving: “What are you guys giving thanks for? Being next to us?”

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Restaurants

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The Dish Power Rankings: Brandon Walsh edition

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Toronto Life’s roundup of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.

The top two restaurants swap positions this week, and Patria rockets back on the list after an excellent celeb spotting.

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Food TV

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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives recap: The Lakeview edition

(Image: Matt MacGillivray)

Poor Guy Fieri. For the second Toronto segment of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, he ventured to Dundas West’s favourite 24-hour diner, The Lakeview—a visit that proved to be rather confusing for him. First, Fieri was flummoxed by the pronunciation (not to mention the existence) of peameal bacon, which he initially pronounced “pea-mell” before simply settling on “ham.” Then Fieri made the (understandable) mistake of mixing up a croque-monsieur with a Monte Cristo sandwich (pro tip: the latter is covered in egg before frying); and when he was instructed to dip said sandwich in maple syrup, Fieri shot chef James Bouy an incredulous look and pretended it wouldn’t fit into the syrup-filled ramekin. He then asked Buoy what he called the chips on the side of his plate, to which Bouy replied (with a near-perfect straight face), “homefries.” Better luck next time, Guy.

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Diners, Drive-ins and Dives recap: Hey Meatball edition

(Image: Food Network Canada)

Ever since Guy Fieri came to town to shoot segments for his cult Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, we’ve been curious about how Toronto would come off. The verdict: not at all badly. The first Toronto segment aired on Friday in an episode on “Eurocentric” restaurants, with Hey Meatball getting the most screen time (the other two places were in Syracuse, New York and Tacoma, Washington). Fieri was his usual over-the-top self, spouting cheesy one-liners (e.g.: “Hey Meatball uses fresh, local ingredients and meats to make…wait for it, wait for it…exactly. Little round orbs of joy!”). But for our money, he got out-Fieried by Hey Meatball chef and owner Rodney Bowers, himself no stranger to food television. Below, a quick recap of the segment:

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Food TV

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Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives airs its first-ever Toronto episode tonight

(Image: Food Network Canada)

Guy Fieri’s visit to Toronto at the end of last year bears fruit tonight when Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives stops at Rodney Bowers’Hey Meatball (the show is at 10 p.m. on Food Network Canada). Next week, DDD features The Lakeview, followed by The Ace on March 29 and Caplansky’s on April 5. Stay tuned for a recap of the first episode next week.

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People

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Q&A: Guy Fieri on shooting Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in Toronto

(Images: Caroline Aksich)

Guy Fieri, the frosted-tipped host of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, hasn’t had a great month thanks to Pete Wells’ hilarious (if perhaps over-the-top) New York Times review of his newest restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar. We caught up with Fieri just after he wrapped up filming an upcoming Toronto episode of DDD and right before he hosted the Chef’s Challenge, a fundraiser that supports breast and ovarian cancer research at Mount Sinai Hospital. Here’s what he had to say about his personal connection to the cause, his impressions of Toronto and the already-infamous review:

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Food Events

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GALLERY: Guy Fieri presides over a roster of celeb chefs (and their fans) at this year’s Chef’s Challenge

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Saturday’s Chef’s Challenge was a chance for Iron Chef wannabes—or “masochists,” as event host Guy Fieri called them—to flex their cooking talents on stage in front of 400 of their fellow food-loving philanthropists. The third annual fundraiser was in support of breast and ovarian cancer research at Mount Sinai hospital, and took place this year at the Royal York. This was no ordinary ticketed event—all attendees were required to raise a minimum of $2,500, with the top 50 broken up into groups of 10 led by a celebrity chef (Chuck Hughes, David Rocco, Mark McEwan, Lynn Crawford or Michael Smith) who coached them through three rounds of Iron Chef–inspired challenges (those not in the top 50 ate their Fieri-conceived five-course dinner in peace).

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People

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SPOTTED: Guy Fieri unleashes his red Camaro (licence plate: FLVRTWN) outside Caplansky’s

In case you haven’t been paying attention to the Biggest News of the Week, Food Network star and flip-flop enthusiast Guy Fieri is visiting Toronto to host a charity event and film a few segments of his diabetes-inducing TV show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (check out our roundup of shooting locations). One intrepid Fieri fan snapped this Bigfoot-blurry image outside Caplansky’s yesterday and promptly shared it with us.

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Restaurants

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Guy Fieri Watch: where the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host is filming in Toronto this week (UPDATED)

Guy Fieri, where will you show up in Toronto? (Image: Kelly B. Huston)

Guy Fieri, the bleached-blond host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives whose Times Square restaurant was memorably skewered by Pete Wells in a recent New York Times review, is in town this week to host the annual Chef’s Challenge fundraiser for Mount Sinai cancer research. While here, he’s filming segments for his Food Network show, which profiles down-home greasy spoons and is beloved and reviled in equal measures.

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New Canadian TV show You Gotta Eat Here! hops on the comfort food bandwagon

You Gotta Eat Here host John Catucci takes his comfort food seriously (Image: Food Network Canada)

It looks like Food Network Canada is betting that comfort food, the culinary trend that refuses to die, has yet more staying power left. Tomorrow the network will launch You Gotta Eat Here!, a new show that will see host John Catucci heading to diners and greasy spoons across Canada to sample the food, talk to the owners and learn some tricks in the kitchen. The premise sounds like a Canadian take on the tremendously popular Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (we’re hoping, though, that Catucci will steer way clear of some of Guy Fieris frat-boy phraseology).

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Random Stuff

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What a waste: UN reports that one third of the world’s food becomes garbage

(Image: Alfred Ng)

We already knew we probably waste way more food than we should, but we didn’t know it was this bad. As the BBC reports, a recently released United Nations study has found that one billion tons of food is discarded across the globe every year, prompting food retailers to re-evaluate their practices. After the jump, five things we learned from the study.

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Random Stuff

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Rapper would eat pterodactyl in defiance of PETA, Iron Chef scandal at the White House, Guy Fieri gets NBC show

• Some commenters believe that the recent White House–themed episode of Iron Chef was rigged with fake vegetables. The items Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay frantically picked from the White House garden were not the ones actually used during the cooking segment of the show. The Food Network explains that the production delay between White House filming and Kitchen Stadium (located in New York) necessitated the use of replacement veggies. If reality TV can lie about vegetables, does this mean that Jersey Shore could be trumped up, too? [Colbert Report]

• Kelis, the rapper whose milkshake famously brought all those boys to the yard, directs a MySpace blog post at PETA, which had written her a personalized letter about her love of fur. In the response, she is unapologetic about her pelt fetish and describes how she salivates over meat. The funniest moment is when she indicates that she would “eat pterodactyl if you found some and you told me it was meaty and delicious.” [MySpace]

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Q&A with Guu’s chef, hangover-free alcohol, Corey Mintz’s castrated rooster

• Home chefs are increasingly turning to YouTube for cooking lessons. Eschewing the Food Network’s plucked and preening stars (except Guy Fieri, who is neither) and dishes, viewers are embracing the shaky camera angles and amateur stylings of such series as Maangchi’s Korean Cooking Show. The host, ex-Torontonian Emily Kim, has tens of thousands of subscribers, and her most popular recipe, kimchi, has been watched almost 300,000 times. Good start, Kim, but call us when you reach sneezing panda or dramatic chipmunk numbers. [Globe and Mail]

• The Star’s Corey Mintz extols the virtues of brining, which promises juicier meat and uniform seasoning. The capon—a castrated rooster prized for its tenderness—Mintz cooks for guests gets a 24-hour bath in a solution of salt, brown sugar and water, which produces a near-perfect bird. In talking about the emasculated chicken, Mintz ends the article with the observation that “we all have a tendency to get soft and juicy once we no longer have chicks on the brain.”  [Toronto Star]

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TV chefs attacked for wastefulness, the dangers of at-work eating, Toronto restaurants raise money for HIV/AIDS

Ontario farming initiatives will receive over $700,000 from the provincial government (Photo by Bill Barber)

Local farmers will benefit from new provincial government funding (Photo by Bill Barber)

• Cash-strapped diners can eat out without feeling guilty on April 29, when 50 Toronto restaurants will team up with Fife House for an HIV/AIDS fundraiser. Participating businesses—including hot spots Sassafraz and Crush Wine Bar—will donate part of the day’s proceeds to the cause. Talk about win-win. [Martini Boys]

• The provincial government jumps on the locavore train, giving farming another big-brotherly boost. Ontario will spend over $700,000 on local food projects in an effort to strengthen agribusiness. [Country Guide]

• The rule of thumb is no tip on tax, and, as Corey Mintz explains, it may be no tax on tip, too. The Star food critic takes a look at the legal—and moral—issues that govern gratuities earned by servers, and the cut taken by their employers. [Toronto Star]

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