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3 Life Lessons From Hamlet In A Hot Tub

Photo by Ben Powless: Hamlet In A Hot Tub at Nuit Rose Closing Ceremonies, Pride Toronto (2015). (1) You won’t learn a thing if you do it perfectly. There’s a difference between making a mistake in public and intentionally making a public mistake. We adapted the original production of Hamlet In A Hot Tub (HIAHT) so we could perform […]

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Culinary Arts Project

There’s Scallops In Them There Sausages – Day 53

TODAY’S TIDBITS Ice is used a lot in the kitchen – when we’re readying meat, it is always held in containers over ice. When we poached the fish sausages, as soon as they had reached the correct internal temperature of 145F, we immediately put them in ice to stop the cooking and to get the food […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Hot Dogs – Charcuterie’s most complex sausage yet…who knew? – Day 52

TODAY’S TIDBITS Italian Sausage is flavoured with fennel – take the meat out of the casing, fry it up with more crushed fennel, chile peppers, lemon, white wine and oregano. Tada – you have one of my favourite non-tomato pasta sauces. Spice Secret – Pimenton (which is a Spanish Paprika) – use both the hot […]

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Review

39 Steps: Union Square Theatre

REVIEW | The Reading Salon, Raymond Helkio | The two-time Tony Award-winning 39 Steps is a comedic spoof of the classic 1935 film. The brilliantly madcap story follows our dashing hero Richard Hannay as he races to solve the mystery of The 39 Steps, all the while trying to clear his name. Just 439 steps from our […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Like Skin off a Duck’s Back – Duck, Chicken Galantines and some Meat Glue – Day 51

TODAY’S TIDBITS When roasting butternut squash – consider adding honey, it really elevates the taste. You can use meat glue (Activa) to ‘glue’ lamb and scallops together and get an amalgamated surf ‘n turf. Don’t be afraid to use bread crumbs in ground meat and charcuterie – they act as a binder, but also ‘lighten’ […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Cumberland Sauce, Mustard, Chutney, Pickles and 3 bricks – Day 50

TODAY’S TIDBITS If you sliced meat a little too long in advance of serving, brush it with a little olive oil and it will regain that juicy look. (I actually used this trick on one of my practicals, using butter instead). Cut chives with the top-half of your knife – using the handle-end crushes them […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Paté En Croute, Foie Gras, and Makin’ Bacon – Day 49

TODAY’S TIDBITS Charcuterie relies on getting the proper fat to meat ratio, generally 30% fat. That clear jelly like substance on many charcuterie preparation is aspic (basically gelatin and flavouring). It keeps out air and bacteria, keeping the cooked meat fresh. Charcuterie came about from a need to preserve meat through the winter, and from […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Mickey Mouse, and the Shape of Things to Come – Charcuterie: Day 48

TODAY’S TIDBITS Lean meat is often encased in dough (eg. Paté en Croute, or Beef Wellington) to preserve the flavor and moisture. I fluked out and nailed my first beef wellington this summer at the cottage, and you could literally cut the meat with a fork it was so tender. Apparently, hundreds of cats get […]

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Advertising & Design Branding Toronto

My Business Ate My Life {A Recovery Plan}

Written by Elizabeth Verwey and cover design by Raymond Helkio, My Business Ate My Life has over 25 ideas to help you get back on track. Join us for a fun evening with other business owners and make new friends at the lovely Paintbox Bistro. This is a free event. My Business Ate My Life Book Launch  Monday January 25, 2016 […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Last day with Chef Ben, BBQ Chicken, Potato Salad, Panzanella and a film debut – Day 48

TODAY’S TIDBITS Make sure to apply potato salad dressing to WARM potatoes, they grab and absorb the dressing much better. Be careful in covering hot food with aluminum foil – this will react with any food that is acidic. Often catering companies put an intermittent layer of plastic between the food and the foil. Don’t throw out […]

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Review

It Runs In The Family

Pictured above: Larry Gutman, Michael Hardart* and Leonardo Altafini, photo by Bella Muccari. Set in a London hospital, It Runs in the Family by Ray Cooney has esteemed Dr. Mortimore on the brink of delivering the Ponsonby Lecture to an international conference of neurologists; but first, he must fend off a paternity suit, an ex wife, a […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Broccoli Rabe and a mighty fine lookin’ line – Day 47

TODAY’S TIDBITS Buttermilk is a magic ingredient imho – use it in dredging fried chicken or smelts: buttermilk slightly tenderizes the protein, coats better, and adds a light acidic element. Use buttermilk (or sour cream) in puréed potatoes – it makes them pop. Add cheese rinds when boiling your polenta for added flavor – you […]

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Review

Ophelia

Ophelia is a comedy about a hot male movie star who gets cast as Ophelia in an all-male production of Hamlet on Broadway but unfortunately, he knows as much about women as he does about acting. Ophelia is part love letter to the entertainment industry and part vicious indictment of traditional gender roles. The cast is […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Mexican Family Meal, Chayote, and the Head of a Pig – Day 46

TODAY’S TIDBITS A secret to making tasty beef for enchiladas are Ancho chiles and Spanish paprika “La Chinata” Use Meyer Lemons to ‘amp up’ your citronette. Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin. Don’t use cumin in Mexican food – lots of restaurants use it, but really it’s rarely used in Mexico. […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Asian Influences, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum and Togarashi – Day 45

TODAY’S TIDBITS The later you add your eggs to fried rice, the ‘stickier’ it will be. The Maitre D’s most important role is to make sure customers don’t all order their food at the exact same time. Yuzu juice rocks!!!! I was nervous about today, because while Alton and I were only responsible for coleslaw, […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Meatless Monday, Quinoa Patties, Beet Salad, and Yuzu Juice – Day 44

TODAY’S TIDBITS Bottled Lemon/Lime juice is cloudy because it has been pasteurized – this changes the flavor profile, to something much less desirable – yuck – use fresh lemon/lime juice. Eggs in Japan have a much shorter expiration date – because Japanese use a lot of raw eggs in their cooking, so they need to […]

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Culinary Arts Project

75 Liters of Chicken Stock, Roasted Chickens, and a little less Chaos – Day 43

TODAY’S TIDBITS The best way to reheat potato puree is the microwave (I know, a sin for most cooks). In a fast-paced kitchen, no bowls unless you need to toss or whip. They waste too much space – use square boys. Tortilla chips are simply tortillas, cut into 6ths, and deep fried. Today was breasts, […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Hanger Steak, Tortillas, Roasted Corn Slaw and Prep Lists – Day 42

TODAY’S TIDBITS Order “the line”: 1) starch 2) veg 3) protein. By the time people get to the protein, they’ve filled their plates, and so don’t take too much expensive protein. Cafeteria-style restaurants always put the desserts first, so people take them, which they wouldn’t if they were the last item in the line. You […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Family Meal Craziness and a Jacques Torres Buche – Day 41

TODAY’S TIDBITS (Also see Jacques’ below) If you rip basil ‘along the grain’, then you can do it a long time before service, because it doesn’t tarnish. If you rip it against the grain, it will wilt quickly. Fry Rainbow Chard stems separately from the leaves – unless you want to overcook the leaves and […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Level 2 Practical & Written Exams: Quarter a Chicken, Fillet a Fish and show me some Crème Anglaise Love – Day 40

TODAY’S TIDBITS When the vanilla bean seeds are floating in mid-suspension – your crème anglaise is done (also when the foam has disappeared and the it passes the ‘nappant’ spoon test) To feed 200 people, you need about 1 gallon of dressing, 2 gallons of sauce, 10 lbs of polenta, 20 lbs of pasta, and […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Wine Day: 6 Whites, 5 Reds and 8000 Years of Human History – Day 39

TODAY’S TIDBITS When uncorking the bottle, always try to face the label to the guest for the whole process. Salt, acid, fat, and protein in food all lower the acidic and tannin taste of wine. Sweetness increases the tannin taste as does spicy food, which also increases the alcohol taste. Olive oil also contains tannins […]

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Review

Gender: A Performance Project

Written by Cheryl King and Ashley Lauren Rogers, Gender is a show with an identity crisis of its own. Not sure what to call itself, Gender is billed as a ‘performance project’ which in this case means part play, part sketch comedy and part lecture.   The programme was printed backwards possibly on purpose but […]

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Culinary Arts Project

“CHICKEN OUR WAY” – Day 38

TODAY’S TIDBITS Put a little brown sugar in your chicken deep-fry batter – wow, amazing! (courtesy of Rachel) Deeply brown your chicken bones and trimming and add them to your sauce before straining – this adds a massive dimension to the taste. Slice your chicken breast rather than serving whole – it looks better, and […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Pasta Day: Gnocchi, Ravioli and Lasagna – Day 37

TODAY’S TIDBITS Don’t put oil in your pasta boiling water – it really has no effect, and can prevent the sauce from sticking to the pasta. Taste your pasta boiling water – most people don’t taste the water, but the saltiness is important. Make sure to press all the air out of your ravioli’s before […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Cheese Day: Little Miss Muffet and her Curds and Whey – Day 36

TODAY’S TIDBITS It takes 10 pounds of milk to make 1 pound of cheese – so no more whining about the price of cheese. A top from an opened can be used as a ‘diffuser’ by placing it between a pot and a flattop burner to prevent burning – particularly useful if you are simmering […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Wild Striped Bass with 5 Types of Mushrooms, and an Endive Salad – Day 35

TODAY’S TIDBITS When sautéing mushrooms in butter, throw in a sprig of thyme and a clove of crushed garlic before the mushrooms. This adds one more element to the flavor. For an added punch, add finely diced shallots near the end of browning. Use your fish spatula to rest your fish after cooking – saves […]