Lynn Crawford

The Dish

Closings

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Riverdale residents say goodbye to Ruby Eats, Lynn Crawford’s gourmet grocery store

(Image: Gizelle Lau)

(Image: Gizelle Lau)

Ruby Eats, the gourmet grocery store from celebri-chef Lynn Crawford, is soon to close. For many, the Riverside shop was an easy option for on-the-go lunches or dinners. Fans of Crawford’s homemade goods can take heart, though: the shop isn’t bidding a permanent farewell.

General manager Rissa Sawh assures us that it’s just a hiatus. “We’re just investigating other options at the moment. A lot of the requests that we’ve gotten for catering and events are off-site locations, and we’re realizing that the space just isn’t suitable,” she said. Though they technically have the unit under lease until the beginning of April, they plan to close much sooner than that. “Right now, our doors are open and shut, so to speak. This Saturday, we’re doing one last push for the community, and then likely after that the doors will be closed on that location.”

Details about where and when the store will relocate are still up in the air. For now, the shop is advertising a goodbye sale: everything in the store is marked down by 50 per cent. If you can’t stop by in the next few days, though, fear not. Says Sawh: “All of our goods will absolutely be available for purchase at Ruby Watchco in the meantime.”

The Dish

Food TV

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Ruby Watchco chef Lynn Crawford signs on for Top Chef Masters

Lynn Crawford

(Image: Facebook)

Lynn Crawford has had a busy few years. In 2010, the Restaurant Makeover star and former Four Seasons chef opened her first restaurant, the family-style Ruby Watchco in Riverdale, followed by Ruby Eats, a pantry next door. Then she launched her own rough-and-tumble adventure cooking show Pitchin’ In and published a cookbook based on the series. Now the celeb chef will compete in Top Chef Masters, premiering July 24 on Food Network Canada. On the show, she and Watchco sous-chef Lora Kirk will compete against 12 North American chefs and their sous-chefs for a $100,000 prize that goes to charity. Crawford and Kirk have chosen the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre. [Toronto Star]          

The Dish

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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The Dish

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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The Informer

Events

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The Weekender: Doors Open Toronto, Bonnie Raitt and six other items on our to-do list

Odysseo (Image: Odysseo)


1. DOORS OPEN TORONTO

This long-running design event is really the architectural equivalent of a peep show. For one weekend of every year, buildings like Havergal College, TIFF Bell Lightbox and Steam Whistle Brewery allow visitors to explore their normally private spaces. May 26 and 27, Various locations, toronto.ca/doorsopen.

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The Dish

Food TV

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Top Chef Canada exit interview, episode 9: whose palate is it anyway?

This season, we’ll be chatting with each week’s eliminated chef after they get the boot (or, rather, after their boot-getting episode airs—this stuff was recorded months ago).

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The Dish

Random Stuff

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Six things we learned about how chefs are dealing with rising food prices from today’s Star

The prices of many agricultural commodities are determined by traders at the Chicago Merc (Image: Matt Griffin)

Though the proliferation of exorbitantly priced hamburgers may make it hard to believe, most chefs hate passing the high price of food onto their customers. In the face of rising costs, Toronto chefs are taking steps to ensure that more expensive food doesn’t necessarily lead to more expensive meals, according to a piece by Tony Wong in today’s Star. After the jump, six things we learned from it.

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The Dish

Food TV

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Top Chef Canada season two contestants announced; here are your six Toronto chefs

(Images: Food Network Canada/Insight Productions)

UPDATE: Check out our recap of episode 1 »

With the sophomore season of Top Chef Canada set to premiere on March 12, Food Network Canada has finally introduced the 16 chefs hoping to cook their way to $100,000 (and, lest we forget, a GE Monogram kitchen). The group (which, perhaps responding to feedback about season one, is a tad more multicultural) once again contains six Torontonians, among them Marben’s Carl Heinrich and Ruby Watchco’s Ryan Gallagher. Tasting the food will be new host Lisa Ray, alongside head judge Mark McEwan and resident judge Shereen Arazm and a spate of guests that includes culinary personalities (Top Chef Masters winner Marcus Samuelsson) and sundry celebrities (handyman Mike Holmes, actor Alan Thicke, Kenny vs. Spenny’s Spencer Rice). We round up the Toronto contestants, starting with Victor’s David Chrystian »

The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Stasis Local Foods, the new Roncesvalles emporium for all things pickled and jarred (and preferably local)

Inside Stasis Local Foods, looking out onto Roncesvalles (Image: Caroline Aksich)

Up at the northern tip of Roncesvalles, just south of Dundas, sits the neighbourhood’s newest gourmet food shop, Stasis Local Foods. The store carries a tightly curated selection of local and seasonal gems, but the focus is on the made-in-house jams and preserves prepared by the shop’s young owner, Julian Katz. Katz has cooked his way across the Toronto dining landscape (C5, The Drake, Lucien, Ruby Watchco), but when not preparing $30 mains, he would pickle in-season produce and whip up scrumptious jams. One day, he had a revelation: “I looked around and saw that I had 30 or 40 cases of jam in my house, and I was like, ‘This is ridiculous! I can only give away jam as Christmas gifts for so long!’ ” Katz left his gig with Lynn Crawford in January to brave the city’s farmers’ markets, and then founded his company, Stasis Preserves. After a year of pestering his chef friends for access to their kitchens, Katz decided it was time to get his own.

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The Dish

People

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Q&A with Bobby Flay: the Iron Chef talks to us about comfort food, Toronto dining and his Thanksgiving dinner for 55

Bobby Flay is a busy, busy man. In between flipping burgers with President Obama and opening up new restaurants (he launches his ninth Bobby’s Burger Palace next week), he finds time to shoot five TV shows and write cookbooks (he’s penned nearly a dozen). As if that weren’t enough, he also races horses and raises money for charitable causes. We caught up with the Iron Chef, who was in Toronto this past weekend hosting the Chef’s Challenge, a fundraiser that supports breast and ovarian cancer research at Mount Sinai hospital. Here’s what he told us:

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The Dish

People

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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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The Dish

People

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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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The Dish

Food Events

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This year’s What’s on the Table fundraiser for The Stop features over 30 top chefs from Toronto and beyond

Eat well and feed the hungry along the way—that’s the concept behind the annual What’s on the Table benefit being held this year on November 2. Since 2005, the fundraiser has gathered $1.5 million for The Stop, the innovative community food centre whose goal is to increase everyone’s access to healthy food (check out our interview with chef Chris Brown from shortly after he joined The Stop). Dining stations open at 6:30 p.m., and patrons won’t be starved for choice; the event features offerings from over 30 chefs, including Lynn Crawford of Ruby Watcho, Anthony Walsh of Canoe and pâtissier Nadège Nourian (see below for the very impressive full list).

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Ruby Eats, Lynn Crawford and Cherie Stinson’s new gourmet food shop

Ruby Eats is the sister food shop to Lynn Crawford and Cherie Stinson’s nearby restaurant, Ruby Watchco. (Image: Gizelle Lau)

March 2010 saw the opening of Ruby Watchco, a new Riverside venture by Restaurant Makeover duo chef Lynn Crawford and designer Cherie Stinson (who also works at Yabu Pushelberg). Two weeks ago, the same team opened their newest venture, Ruby Eats, a new neighbourhood specialty grocery store.

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The Dish

Food TV

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Top Chef Canada recap, episode 10: puffed up

Guest judge Lynn Crawford with host Thea Andrews (Image: Food Network Canada/Insight Productions)

TOP CHEF CANADA
Season 1 | Episode 10

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This week’s episode of Top Chef Canada began with Vancouver-based chef François Gagnon mourning the loss of recently eliminated “hockey man” Darryl Crumb. What form did the tribute take? The ritual placement of a hockey stick in what we think was Crumb’s old bunk, of course (somehow it was fitting that the Bruins were already four goals up against the Canucks at that point). Last night also featured what we were primed to believe would be the demise of tough-as-nails Connie DeSousa, who, despite eight seasons of Top Chef history warning against the use of store-bought pastry, used it anyway. The fallout from that cataclysmic decision and a full recap of everything else that went down, after the jump.

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