Thomas Keller

The Informer

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See, Hear, Read: our experts pick the movie, music and book release of the month

They love it. We want it. Three red-hot releases

See, Hear, Read: Safety Not Guaranteed, directed by Colin Trevorrow (Oct. 30)
“I’m a big fan of science fiction films with decent storylines and character development. An overload of special effects makes me fall asleep. Safety Not Guaranteed, about a small-town eccentric who claims to have built a time machine, is sci-fi, but it also works as a quirky romantic comedy. It’s the ultimate underdog movie, and deeper than the average Hollywood flick.”
—Ed Guca
Owner of Movie Art Décor

Safety Not Guaranteed, directed by Colin Trevorrow
(Oct. 30)

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The Dish

Food Events

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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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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Yours Truly, a new Ossington restaurant and bar with a chef whose resumé includes Per Se, Alinea and Noma (no, really)

A cook does some prep work at the bar before opening (Image: Renée Suen)

Yours Truly, a new restaurant and bar on the still-hot Ossington strip, opened with no great fanfare in mid-December, but now it’s causing quite a stir. Behind the place are ex-Vancouverites Matt Cherkas, Dan Hawkins and Aleem Jamal-Kabani, who found that Toronto put up a less fierce barrier to entry than their hometown did. Initially, they’d planned on opening a little watering hole to call their own with a few bar snacks, but everything changed after they found their new chef, Jeff Claudio. At only 28, Claudio has an impressive pedigree: he’s worked at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York, Rockpool in Sydney and the Toronto branch of Scarpetta, where he was chef de cuisine. He also staged at Noma (a.k.a. the best restaurant in the world) and two of Chicago’s best restaurants, Alinea and Charlie Trotter’s. Hence the buzz.

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The Dish

Random Stuff

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Menus trick diners into spending more, $26.50 brownie mix, the manliest cooking magazine

corks

The brownie mix from Bouchon

Amy Pataki taste-tests a $26.50 brownie mix from the bastion of expensive cooking supplies, Williams-Sonoma. The mix, modelled on Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery chocolate “corks,” fared better than the Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker mixes she also baked, but the brownies were a pain to make, and so buttery they stained the photographer’s table, and overall were not worth the money. A $26.50 jar of powder rarely is. [Toronto Star]

Globe restaurant critic Alexandra Gill turns the tables, so to speak, when she takes up a waitress gig at one of Vancouver’s hottest restaurants, Cioppino’s. Spoiler alert: it’s harder than she thought. Gill struggles with the Saturday shift, incorrectly calls the chef by his name (in kitchens, the chef is always referred to as “chef”) and has trouble memorizing the daily specials. Perhaps after these new life lessons, Gill will have a few memorable posts for the myriad angry waiter blogs. [Globe and Mail]

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The Dish

Random Stuff

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Best cookbooks of 2009, five tips for dining with kids, Paul Sorvino gets into the tomato sauce racket

EarthToTable• Lucy Waverman’s list of the top cookbooks of 2009 has (like the Junos) both Canadian and international winners. Canadian authors Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann score for their locavore tome Earth to Table: Seasonal Recipes From an Organic Farm, though Waverman chastises them for not featuring any Canadian chefs. Prince Edward Islander Michael Smith gets a nod for The Best of Chef at Home: Essential Recipes for Today’s Kitchen. We’re intrigued, considering that Smith is incessantly advocating cooking without a recipe on his Food Network show. Internationally, chef David Chang of Momofuku (the name of his restaurants and book) gets a nod, as does Thomas Keller. [Globe and Mail]

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The Dish

People

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Q&A: legendary chef Thomas Keller on his culinary empire

thomaskeller

Thomas Keller at his first Toronto appearance (Photo by Renée Suen)

A crowd of 450 (including top Toronto chefs Ted Corrado, Mark McEwan, Bonnie Stern and Donna Dooher) gathered at the Toronto Reference Library on Monday night to hear from Thomas Keller, who was in town to promote his new cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home. In the book, Keller, the only American chef to receive Michelin stars for two restaurants (The French Laundry, Per Se) at once, reveals recipes from Ad Hoc, his restaurant in Yountville, California, which serves a different prix-fixe menu every night. We wrangled some alone time with the chef to talk about his culinary empire.

It’s your first time in Toronto. Will you be exploring much of its culinary scene?
Unfortunately, I got in late last night and am leaving early tomorrow morning, so I won’t really get to see much this time. The one restaurant that is on my list is The Black Hoof, which I heard from a friend is very good.

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The Dish

People

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Thomas Keller comes to Toronto to hawk Ad Hoc to foodie flock

Thomas Keller, famed chef at French Laundry in Napa Valley, is coming to Toronto for the first time on November 30. The renowned chef, whose California and New York City restaurants have each earned three Michelin stars, will be here promoting his newest book, Ad Hoc at Home. The recipes come from Keller’s newest restaurant, Ad Hoc, which opened in 2006 and serves a family-style prix fixe menu each night. Keller will be interviewed by Alison Fryer of the Cookbook Store, then take questions from the audience. At $80, tickets (which include a copy of the book) are pricey, but are a far sight cheaper than eating at any of the aforementioned restaurants.

Thomas Keller, Nov. 30. $80. Toronto Reference Library, Appel Salon, 789 Yonge St., 1-800-268-6018, torontopubliclibrary.ca/appelsalon.