Tony Aspler

The Dish

Openings

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Introducing: Windows by Jamie Kennedy, the locavore chef’s new Niagara Falls venture

The man with his name on the place (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

Jamie Kennedy (Gilead Café, formerly of Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar and JK Rom, etc.), describes his new venture, Windows by Jamie Kennedy, as “a taste of Niagara and a feast for the eyes.” Given his commitment to local and seasonal food, it’s fitting that dining at Kennedy’s latest restaurant will require a journey to one of the world’s natural wonders. We took a trip down to Niagara Falls to check the place out.

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The Dish

Restaurants

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Windows by Jamie Kennedy set to open in Niagara Falls this February

Jamie Kennedy and chef de cuisine Ross Midgley (Images: Jamie Kennedy Kitchens)

Back in May, we reported that Jamie Kennedy was lending his expertise (and perhaps more importantly, his name) to a fine dining restaurant on the 14th floor of the Sheraton on the Falls Hotel, to be called Jamie Kennedy on the Falls. The restaurant is now set to open sometime in the next month, under a new name: Windows by Jamie Kennedy. “We’ve been told mid-February,” Jamie Kennedy Kitchens spokesperson Jo Dickins told The Dish. Partner Canadian Niagara Hotels has already started the search for staff to work under chef de cuisine Ross Midgley, with Tony Aspler running the wine program. The restaurant hopes to draw GTA residents familiar with Kennedy by sticking with his famously locavore philosophy—but we’re sure the views of the falls won’t hurt either.

The Dish

Drinks

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Can’t argue with results: wine biodynamics might be hocus pocus, but it doesn’t really matter

A biodynamic wine from Niagara's Southbrook vineyard

As consumer demand for organic wine grows, more and more wineries will be adopting the oft-contested growing method known as biodynamics. “It’s coming whether we think it’s bunkum or not,” Toronto wine expert Tony Aspler tells us. “Once growers start on organic growing, they usually will take the next step and go biodynamic.” With Halloween just around the corner, it’s probably an apt time to look into the merits of biodynamic viticulture anyway—critics often equate it with witchcraft.

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The Dish

Drinks

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Cork versus screw caps for wine bottles: the debate rages on

While there is an undeniable romance to opening a bottle of wine sealed with natural cork, more and more wineries around the world are switching to screw caps or plastic corks due to cost concerns and the now-infamous problem of cork taint. As demand for cork subsides, the cork industry is engaging in some heavy PR to get everyone buying its stuff again.

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The Dish

Drinks

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Should sommeliers sip wine before serving it? A debate is rekindled

Sip or sniff? Should sommeliers be pre-tasting wine? (Image: Eduardo Pavon)

Once upon a time, sommeliers would graciously pre-taste the wine of kings and queens in order to foil potential poisoning attempts. That tradition has stuck around over the centuries, morphing into something less dramatic: in some restaurants, the sommelier will take a small sip from a bottle before serving it to a customer—usually without the customer knowing—in order to ensure the wine isn’t flawed. It’s a practice that Eric Asimov of the New York Times is seeing more and more often—and it’s coming with more and more controversy.

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The Dish

Drinks

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Myth-busting study reveals that western wine can actually taste good with Chinese food

Cast pearls before wine: how to pair up when it comes to Chinese cuisine (Photo by Simon Law)

Cast pearls before wine: how to pair up when it comes to Chinese cuisine (Photo by Simon Law)

Drinking wine with Chinese food has always been a bit like wearing Kanye West shutter shades: more about fashion than function, yet still somehow missing the mark. That’s all about to change, though, thanks to a new study put together by Toronto wine expert Tony Aspler and New York master sommelier Roger Dagorn. The pair methodically paired up Cantonese dishes with western vino and delivered a thorough and objective (there was no sponsorship from wine producers) pairing guide that offers more than a few surprises.

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