The last time the words “sizzle reel” were deployed on TorontoLife.com, they were in reference to Lake Shore, the ill-advised GTA-based Jersey Shore takeoff that thankfully never got off the ground. This time, we’re happy to say the promotional video is for Odd Bits, a spin-off of Jennifer McLagan’s hit offal cookbook from last year. In the clip, McLagan is shown preparing testicles—yes, testicles—with Parts and Labour’s Matty Matheson (after demonstrating to the tattooed chef the proper peeling technique, she actually drops the groaner, “Takes a girl to know how to handle testicles”). McLagan tells us that she shot a pilot for the show this summer, which also features segments at Beast with Scott Vivian (water buffalo tongue, heart and marrow) and Buca with Rob Gentile (blood). Here’s hoping it gets picked up—while we doubt home cooks would actually make too many of the recipes, the demonstrations should make for good, squirm-inducing TV.
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Yesterday, the James Beard Foundation announced the nominees for its 2012 Book Awards, and the list this year includes two Canadian titles. The Art of Living According to Joe Beef by Montrealers Meredith Erickson, Frédéric Morin and David McMillan, which took first place in this year’s Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks, is up for the Cooking from a Professional Point of View category, and Odd Bits, last year’s offal bible by Toronto’s Jennifer McLagan, is up for the Single Subject category. We’d wager the odds on Odd Bits are a bit better than those on Joe Beef, given that the latter is up against Modernist Cuisine (you know, the 2,400-page, 50-pound summation of all known cooking techniques). Also nominated was one-time Toronto son Paul Grieco, who oversaw the wine program at the family restaurant (formal Italian standard bearer La Scala) before decamping to New York, where he’s now the co-owner of Terroir Wine Bar. He’s up for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional.
While it might be easier to just wait two hours for a meal at The Black Hoof, we suggest getting a foodie friend something useful for the holidays, like Odd Bits, a cookbook that lays out the intricacies of at-home snout-to-tail cookery. We look forward to tongue sandwiches and pig heart (left atrium only, please) tacos all next year. Click here to see 18 other presents we picked out for the at-home butcher, baker and boozer »
Available at Good Egg (267 Augusta Ave., 416-593-4663).