Tom Colicchio

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Openings

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Introducing: The Chickery, the new roast chicken joint from David Adjey and Danny Farbman

Co-owners of The Chickery: David Adjey and Danny Farbman

The Chickery opened in early May, seeking to bring yet another lunch option to the hoards of creative-types working in and around the Spadina and King West junction. Behind the QSR (quick-service restaurant, i.e. fast-food joint) are Food Network chef David Adjey (Restaurant Makeover, Nectar) and Danny Farbman, whose latest (and fanciest) What-A-Bagel location is in the same building. The space was done up by Sodi Designs and features two long high-top communal tables, a handful of banquettes and an open kitchen—where you might just see Adjey behind the fryer if you’re lucky.

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Food TV

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Top Chef Texas crew spotted in Vancouver, presumably filming the finale

(Image: heydrienne)

Rain, Lululemon, hippies and now… Top Chef? Eater drew our attention to a series of tweets that suggest the entire Top Chef Texas crew is filming the show’s finale in that most Texan of cities, Vancouver. Judges Tom Colicchio and Emeril Lagasse were allegedly spotted dining at Hawksworth, while Owen Lightly, a catering chef, tweeted that he “Saw a bunch of contestants from Top Chef Texas in Whole Foods on Cambie today shopping for ingredients.” If the rumours are true (and it seems like they are), that would mean the Lone Star State ponied up $400,000 to host the series and was then shut out of the finale. Does that qualify as messing with Texas? Read the entire story [Eater] »

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Food TV

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Under the Bajan sun, Mark McEwan drops a few hints about season two of Top Chef Canada

(Video: Si Si Penaloza)

At the Barbados Food and Wine and Rum Festival in November, Canada was represented by Toronto chefs Mark McEwan (Bymark, North 44, One, McEwan Foods) and Tom Brodi (Toca, Canoe), along with the likes of celeb chefs Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Marcus Samuelsson. In this clip, we grilled chef McEwan, head judge on Top Chef Canada, about the upcoming season. With the Bajan sun beating down and the gas stove cranked up, McEwan, struggling with his gnocchi, dropped a couple of tiny clues. First, just as in the U.S. version of the show, the calibre of chefs in season two seems to have been ratcheted up. Second, it appears as though there will be more than one Toronto chef in the final six. Of course, we’ll have to wait until March 12 (and the weeks thereafter) to find out.

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People

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Q&A with Padma Lakshmi: the Top Chef host, who’ll be in town for the Delicious Food Show, talks about her favourite contestants and places to eat

Padma Lakshmi, the model, actress, sometime singer, Top Chef host and bestselling cookbook author, will be in town this weekend for the Delicious Food Show at the Better Living Centre. The show, which will also see appearances from Mark McEwan, David Rocco and Afrim Pristine of the Cheese Boutique, will feature cooking demonstrations, tastings, a wine-stomping and more. We chatted with the former supermodel about some of her favourite places to eat, her Top Chef co-star Tom Colicchio and her impressions of eating out in Toronto.

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TIFF

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SPOTTED: Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio feeding the stars at last week’s Moneyball cast dinner

When you’re feeding Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Anna Faris and Jonah Hill at the Moneyball cast dinner, it makes sense to spring for decent grub, which is presumably why the people behind the Vitamin Water rooftop at the Burroughes Building brought in Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio to cook for the stars last Friday. Before dinner, the guests munched on pork belly confit wrapped in Boston bibb lettuce and threw back watermelon gazpachos with cucumber and tobiko. The meal itself began with (among other dishes) hamachi crudo with coriander vinaigrette and celery hearts, and ricotta ravioli with roasted summer squash, before moving on to mains like roasted diver scallops with shallot butter and preserved lemon, and red wine–braised short ribs with baby root veggies. It finished off with an assortment of petit fours. Sadly, we were not in attendance.

Find this story on our Star Spotting Map, where we plot the locations of celebrities spotted around Toronto. Send us your tips: tips@torontolife.com

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Food TV

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Top Chef Canada recap, episode 1: playing with knives

TOP CHEF CANADA
Season 1 | Episode 1

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Like most fans of the original, American Top Chef, we came to last night’s premiere of Top Chef Canada with some pretty serious expectations. Would the level of competition be as fierce? Would Thea Andrews be credible as the host? Could we blindly trust head judge Mark McEwan the way we do Tom Colicchio? Would the producers be able to cram in as many egregious product placements?

We needn’t have worried. Top Chef Canada is eerily similar to the original—same structure, same music, same sound effects, same stock phrases—but with an extra dash of Canadian hokeyness added in. Here, our recap of the best dishes, quips and insidious sponsorship.

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The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Toca, refined Canadiana at the Ritz-Carlton

Back in October, we reported that chef Tom Brodi (formerly of Canoe, North 44 and Gramercy Tavern in New York, under Tom Colicchio) would be behind the new Ritz-Carlton’s signature restaurant. When the luxury hotel opened last week, we got our first glimpse at Brodi’s year-long project, Toca (the name is a play on TOronto, CAnada).

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The Dish

Openings

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Ritz-Carlton announces its locally focused anchor restaurant

Puttin' up the Ritz: Toca and the hotel to which it's attached will open in January

Since news broke that the opening of the Ritz-Carlton had to be pushed back to January due to flooding, the chain has been looking to share a little good news. Well, this week, they got it. The Simcoe Street hotel announced the details of its signature restaurant this week. (Hey, at least now they have an extra month to get the place ready.)

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The Dish

Random Stuff

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Menu psychology, fake blood recipe, the value of calorie counts

Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio succumbs to the vampire craze by appearing in a viral promotional video for HBO drama True Blood. In the video, the chef prepares a “synthetic blood nourishment beverage” that vampires drink as a substitute for the real thing. Ingredients include star anise, beets and a big heaping spoon of shamelessness. [Youtube]

• The absence of the dollar symbol on menus isn’t a pretentious trend but rather a tactic restaurants use to trick people into spending more. A study from Cornell University says getting rid of the dollar sign makes people disassociate the number from the price. [Baltimore Sun]

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