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NEWS & VIEWS

TO’s War On Cyclists

UPDATE (November 8, 2016): The other day I got my Notice of Trial in the mail, it was notarized by the city clerk on my birthday. It could be a coincidence or maybe it’s just the city’s way of saying happy birthday, we love that you live here! The ticket was for $325 which is what […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Kitchen Tidbits: Vongole Posillipo

I’m so excited, my book, Kitchen Tidbits is now available through Amazon! The book is filled with the tips and tricks that I picked up while studying at the International Culinary School in New York City. All proceeds from the book are being donated to the Nikibasika Development Program in Uganda. Thank you, thank you, thank you to my amazing teachers […]

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Art Canada LGBT Live Theatre Opinion Queer Politics Toronto Toronto Queer History

Come See Us At The AGO, Wednesday at 7pm

PLEASE to join us at the AGO this Wednesday at 7pm for a legendary performance by KEITH COLE, featuring gay porn star Ryan Russell, drag sensation Maria Delmonte with cinematic landscaping by queer filmmaker Raymond Helkio. This commissioned work is part of TORONTO: Tributes + Tributaries which explores the work of Canadian artists active between 1971-1989 through modern day performance art. TWO SHOWS ONLY: Wednesday, October 26, 7pm […]

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Advertising & Design Branding Healthcare Richmond Hill Toronto

Mind, Body, Beautiful by Design

With graphic design by Raymond Helkio Infinity Yoga + Fitness opened September 6, 2016 in Richmond Hill and carries with it the inspiring lessons from the infinity loop, it’s a perfect synergy of mind and body fit for a queen (or king) by Joanna Sherman. Also this month, Marguerite Arbour debuted HEAVEN SCENT, her latest line of handmade coconut oil based […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

EMBARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE (Chapter Thirteen)

I feel the warm air rising up from my bedroom vent as I hold my hands on top as homeless men do over huge oil can fires in movies. As the heat flows back into my body, the scenes from last night form like Sea Monkey crystals into my consciousness. Sprawling out like a gummy […]

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Branding Canadian politics Chairity Healthcare LGBT Queer Politics Sexual Health Toronto World Politics

HOW CANADA CAN DEFEND AND PROMOTE FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS FOR LGBTI PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD

Graphic design for the Dignity Initiative: Raymond Helkio | Recent years have witnessed significant progress in many countries around the world in the realization of the fundamental human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, from securing decriminalization of our sexuality and protection against discrimination to achieving recognition for our relationships and families. But […]

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NEWS & VIEWS

Sky Gilbert on Black Lives Matter, Intersectionality & Tokenism

(Select) COMMUNITY LEADERS WHO HAVE TAKEN ACTION: Sky Gilbert “The Sad Irony of Black Lives Matter“.

Categories
NEWS & VIEWS

The Remington’s Steal

It’s no secret that strippers who hustle stand to make a lot of money. The same goes for the waitstaff, bartenders and anyone else who relies on tips to make a living. The trouble only surfaces when the balance of hustle to customer gets out of whack which has become the case for poor old […]

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NEWS & VIEWS

Official Selections + Special Mention From The Jury Of The Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival (India)

The Reading Salon had two films screening at the Kolkata Short Film Festival in India and “…When The Bullying Ends” got a Jury’s Special Mention Award! The documentary (film trailer below) looks at the life of Enza Anderson who continues to make international headlines for her work as an anti-bullying and queer rights activist. Yet behind the headlines is […]

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Canadian politics LGBT Opinion Queer Politics Sexual Health Toronto Toronto Queer History World Politics

#BlackLivesMatter Is The Best Thing To Happen to Pride Toronto Since The Orlando Shootings (An Open Letter To Mathieu Chantelois, Pride Toronto)

When I heard that 49 of my Orlando brothers and sisters died as a result of the one man’s hate fuelled rampage I felt sick because I know it’s caused by a culture that rewards homophobia, sexism and oppression. Sometimes I wonder if we are no longer in modern times but have gone back in a time machine to […]

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NEWS & VIEWS

#BlackLivesMatter Is The Best Thing To Happen to Pride Toronto Since The Orlando Shootings (An Open Letter To Mathieu Chantelois, Pride Toronto)

When I heard that 49 of my Orlando brothers and sisters died as a result of the one man’s hate fuelled rampage I felt sick because I know it’s caused by a culture that rewards homophobia, sexism and oppression. Sometimes I wonder if we are no longer in the modern era but have gone back in a time machine to […]

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Art Canada LGBT Live Theatre Toronto Queer History

RAID: The Soundtrack

HAPPY PRIDE! Now you can re-live the RAID experience again and again with RAID: The Soundtrack. Written by David Bateman and Raymond Helkio with Stewart Borden and featuring songs by Keith Cole, Johnny Salib and David Bateman. Produced by The Reading Salon. FREE

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

The Bare Necessities (Chapter 12)

?“Annie, make sure it’s locked.” Hilary says choosing a needle from a few she has in her blue velvet jewelry box.  I ask her, “Why do you need to do this now?” When we get into the change room in the lingerie department at the Bay I see how she tosses the pile of slips and bras aside to get something […]

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Free Speech LGBT Opinion Queer Politics World Politics

An Open Letter To The Orlando Shooter

You’re a fucking asshole. With that out of the way I can tell you what’s really going on for me. I am raging mad at you and my heart is literally melting in my chest because of what you did. It’s not the shooting which is so horrible but it’s the intention from which you carried […]

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Advertising & Design LGBT Sexual Health Toronto

Call For Bloggers: Queer & Trans Men

QueerTransMen.org brings you great up to date info on the issues facing queer trans guys and the guys that dig them. They are looking for a few good bloggers to join them in spreading the word about trans guys and sexual health. And they pay! For more information please email them. Brought to you by the super-fine folks at the Gay Men’s […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

Hunting and Gathering (Chapter 11)

Hilary wants to know what exactly was the deciding factor which reeled me into agreeing with getting our freelancing license,  I can only say that it’s enough people telling me I’d have to start out waitressing before bartending and I really couldn’t stand working in place doing that. Also, the strip club Charlie T’s is […]

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Art Canadian politics LGBT Live Theatre Queer Politics Sexual Health Toronto Queer History

RAID: Operation Soap to premier at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre during Pride week!

It’s been 35 year’s since the Metropolitan Toronto Police simultaneously raided 4 bathhouses, arresting over 300 men in grotesque display of power intended to humiliate the men they found. These raids were the catalyst for one of the most significant turning points in Canadian LGBT history. Dubbed Operation Soap by police the raids sparked outrage among the […]

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Review

Julie Andrews is the Devil

  Julie Andrews is the Devil is a funny and charming love story about Tabitha, played by a magnificent Andrea Alton, who is a lesbian nun fixated on Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music. When Tabitha goes to Provincetown during Women’s Week she meets her love interest, a guitar wielding lesbian folksinger hot-pot named Marissa, played by the […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

Charley T Are You For Me? (Chapter 10)

My feelings of insecurity are quickly assuaged entering this suburban strip club by strippers with average sized chests wearing jelly bean colored push-up string bikini’s and sarongs, making it a day at the beach under the black light. As much as my eyes wanted to fixate on the girls the stage was hard to ignore. […]

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Review

Lady Bunny in Trans-Jester!

Trans-Jester is a fitly, potty-mouthed, politically incorrect, mean spirited show and the most fun I’ve had in years. Behind the succession of cheap-shots and endless poo jokes is a deeper, philosophical commentary about a culture of inclusive political correctness that has started to suck the uniqueness right out of the human race. But who really cares about deeper meanings when you’ve got comedy of this […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

Synchronicity City (Chapter 9)

When Hilary and I have a disagreement, I usually cave in and let her win. She appoints herself with a mental gavel and adjudicates the discussion. According to her, my defense has too many holes in it. My weakly formed arguments get wiped away like spider webs in the basement.  Having a disagreement can take […]

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Review

Line

Israel Horovitz’s Line is an authentic New York theatre experience in part because at 45 years it’s the longest running show and also because it’s a fine-tuned drama at it’s most absurd. Line takes us into the lives of five people who struggle to be first in line for a completely unknown event. It’s the story of their […]

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Review

I Will Look Forward To This Later

I Will Look Forward To This Later is the story of author Wyatt Holloway who passes away leaving his family to deal with the aftermath of a tumultuous life fuelled by Bourbon, art and infidelity. James Himelsbach plays Wyatt, the eccentric playboy who is a seamless combination of Ricardo Montalban from Fantasy Island and Henry […]

Categories
Review

Fuerza Bruta

Seriously, WTF was that?! The Fuerza Bruta experience was like watching the MOMA have sex with The Roxy – for our Canadian friends that’s like the AGO copulating with The Guvernment Nightclub… I’m definitely going back. Fuerza Bruta Daryl Roth Theatre 101 East 15th Street TICKETS

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Review

Dying Like Ignacio

“It’s as moving as it is disturbing”

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

More Research Is Needed: Jilly’s And Filmores (Chapter 8, Part 2)

Instead of having to scam mister streetcar driver with old transfers Hilary and I do our slithery step shimmy up through the back doors as they stay open when the passengers get off. We slide into the back seat putting our feet up. Just as we pass the Eaton Centre I look down to see […]

Categories
Review

House Rules

A clever play about forgiveness, House Rules is a smartly layered story about two Filipino families trying to make sense of the impending deaths of each others ailing parents. Mia Katigbak is hilarious as Vera, the sharp-witted mother of duelling sisters Twee and Momo whose stage presence is rivalled only by JoJo Gonzalez’s deeply moving performance as Ernie, the miserable bed-ridden […]

Categories
Review

Golden Boy by The Instigators

Golden Boy by Clifford Odets is about Joe Bonaparte whose gives up on his dream of becoming a violinist when he gets seduced into the world of prize fighting. Joe Bonaparte is played by an entertaining Fergus Scully who could rival Billy Elliot for genuine tenderness. His on again off again relationship with Lorna Moon, played by Alexandra Allwine was […]

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Review

REVIEW: The Snail

A native of Italy, Fabio Zito has a history of work that has continually been supported and produced by his home theatre but the topic matter of his latest work proved to be too much and for the first time his script was rejected. Not being discouraged, Fabio went of the hunt for a replacement company […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

More Research Is Needed, For Your Eyes Only (Chapter 8, part 1)

Today I’m distracted at the Have-a-Java with images from last night’s investigation playing in my mind. Smoothing out a fresh layer of wax paper in the basket for the raspberry squares I see a redhead twirling around the pole at Las Vegas. When removing the soggy garbage from the condiment stand I see the muscular […]

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Art Canada Chairity Free Speech Fundraiser LGBT Print Queer Politics Sexual Health Toronto Queer History

What People Are Saying About Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Fuck You.

DAILY XTRA, MARCH 14, 2016, Chris Dupuis Queer zine redefines family and supports Glad Day in the process MyGayToronto.com, February 29, 2016, Drew Rowsome Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Fuck You: A Zine About Family eBook PDF download Buy Now ($8) Limited addition hardcopy in-store at Glad Day Bookshop or send us an email.

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

THE INVESTIGATION: ?PART 2: ZANZIBAR, LE STRIP & BRASS RAIL (CHAPTER 7)

Zanzibar is much bigger than Las Vegas, and pretty much looks like what I’d imagine a strip club should with red stage lights, red vinyl booths and black lacquered tables. The colour scheme seems as suitable as chrome and turquoise would be for a 50s diner.  Even the customers matched the standards of the bar, […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

The Investigation: Las Vegas Strip Club (Chapter 7)

Hilary and I begin to invest time in seeking the perfect strip club the way some people search for the perfect car.  Before our nighttime journey it was intrinsically necessary to spend some prep time in one of our all-time favorite hotel bathrooms. This particular bathroom features a fantastically chic peach powder room lounge complete […]

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Review

Boy

“THE BLINDING POWER OF LOVE, THE ENIGMA OF GENDER, AND THE COMPLICATED MYSTERY OF HOW WE BECOME WHO WE ARE.” INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY. In the 1960s, a well-intentioned doctor convinces the parents of a male infant to raise their son as a girl after a terrible accident. Two decades later, the repercussions of that […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

Overall Inspiration (Chapter 6)

Today wasn’t starting out very good. From the moment I forgot to take an umbrella to the second I became drenched by the rain I wished I never had to leave my room to come to work at the Have-a-Java. When I did arrive in the safety and privacy of our tiny back room my […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

#HumpDay PSA: Modern Bitch

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Chairity LGBT Sexual Health Toronto

The Cruising Counts Guide (GMSH)

A PROGRAM GUIDE FOR ONLINE SEXUAL HEALTH OUTREACH IN ONTARIO CREATED BY THE GAY MEN’S SEXUAL HEALTH ALLIANCE (GMSH) Graphic Design: Raymond Helkio Written By: Woodrow Clarence Thank You: Dane Griffiths This guide is designed for workers in Ontario who provide online (sexual health) outreach services to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM). […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

It Took Me Years To Slow My Roll

Walking home it dawned on me just how slowly my body was moving. The pace was slower than my usual brisk gait but more than the recognition of the languid rhythm, was the clear waves I kept feeling of how this is a luxury for myself. I’m treating myself to moving slowly. Here is some […]

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Review

10 Reasons To See “A Broad Abroad”

(10) To hear her secret(s) to a happy life (9) Because you love Paris in springtime (8) And German Sing-A-Longs (7) To feel like you’ve toured the world (6) To see D’yan Forest face down, spread eagled (5) Learn how to get laid by a camel (4) You love a good story, especially when it involves sex (3) […]

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Review

Adults Only

  #CoreAdultsOnly | Directed by Alex Correia, Adults Only is comprised of seven one-act plays by Dean Imperial that illuminate the dark, ironic and awkward world of adulthood. Boosting a cast of thirty incredibly talented actors, Shane Allen’s delivery during The Heart Attack was dead-pan brilliant as was Katie Lawson’s was captivating performance in The Polish […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

Somethings Cooking (Chapter 5)

Please don’t try this at home.

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Culinary Arts Project

Restaurant Kitchen Lingo, and Some Incredible Tastes.

TODAY’S TIDBITS “Order” – you can start preparing the food, but don’t cook it. “Fire” – ok, cook the food and plate it. “All day” – how many orders+fires do we have of a particular dish. It was my fourth day at JoJo today. I was helping Matt prep for, and then, help execute the […]

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Culinary Arts Project

We Made It!!!!!!! The Practical Exam, Tequila, and a Pigeon – Day 79

TODAY’S TIDBITS Add calvados to your apple tart to make it “pop” Add grand marnier to your chocolate mousse to make it pop Add tequila to your lemon tart to make it….you guessed it…pop! We all made it…yahoo!!!!!!! Congrats to everyone!!!!!! Today was the dreaded final practical exam. We all arrived early but were locked […]

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Culinary Arts Project

The Final Practical Exam is tomorrow, and three incredible days at JoJo – Day 78

Tomorrow is the day that all of Level 4 has been leading up to. We start 30mins earlier (we all had to sign a sheet okaying this), walk in, pick a number out of a hat which will tell us what and when we’re going to be tested on. If we pick “A” Garde Manger (salads […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

The Nooner

I went to AA and CA meetings in Toronto when I was twenty-four and then stopped. I went back at twenty-six, and by being back I was at a meeting every day and was ‘working the program’ with a sponsor. I would make it a habit to hit this one meeting at noon on Mondays […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

Misery Loves Lunch (Chapter 4)

By the time I get to the Eaton Center I’m just another creature in this massive aquarium. Stopping off at the counter in the Bay I fiddle with the latest samples that are promoting someone in marketing’s idea of the “Grunge” look. I debate picking up some heavy studio fix for my face as controlling […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Defeated by the Lemon Tart, and a Scavenger Hunt – Day 77

TODAY’S TIDBITS Remove the pin bones from your fillet before removing the skin. The skin will keep the fillet in shape while you slightly mangle it trying to remove the pin bones. When having to drink a shot of green chartreuse on a scavenger hunt, the yellow label will not do. The green one has […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Lemon Tart, The Interrupting Fish, An Air Duster and the Jacques Torres Demo – Day 76

TODAY’S TIDBITS When zesting a lemon, turn the lemon as you move down the zester. This insures you get just the outer zest (no bitter rind), and is much faster (courtesy of Erik). Peel your celery before making a julienne of it – this removes those tough-to-eat fibers leaving a delicious flavor. In making a […]

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Review

Tea in the Afternoon

When Elizabeth, portrayed by the illustrious Tayler Beth Anderson, discovers that her grandmother has died and left the estate to a ‘mystery’ aunt named ‘Bes’ she is hurt. She locates Bes who comes alive because of a spunky and heartwarming Alice Spvvak whose character attempts to make sense of their increasingly confusing situation. Tea In The Afternoon unfolds into a story about fantasy, money, misunderstanding, and […]

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Culinary Arts Project

All You Need Is Love, and that darn Hollandaise – Day 75

TODAY’S TIDBITS To keep your Hollandaise hot, put it in a thermos (courtesy of Diana Colman) 3 times – this seems to be the magic number of times that ‘most’ of us need to really nail a dish, unless you’re A2. When pressing the final roll of fettuccine through the pasta roller, I have found it is […]

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Culinary Arts Project

The Battle of the Hollandaise, James Beard House, and Kitchen Vocabulary – Day 74

TODAY’S TIDBITS When rolling your pasta dough through the final time to create the fettucine from a wide piece, trim the ends so you don’t end up with spikey and uneven fettucine. If you cut your bread before service, put a damp towel over it to keep it fresh. Never close the oven with your foot […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

Red’s Corner (Part 2)

Tommy’s face was always red. He had brown rocker hair with puffy bangs and thinner wispy parts in the back. He had white business cards with a black font reading: Master Tim – Bartender. Tommy was the quintessential New Yorker from the 70’s who wore the same outfit, tight black jeans, white t-shirt and black […]

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Culinary Arts Project

“Old School is Gooood Schoooool”, Boeuf Bourguignon, and Pure Mayhem – Day 73

TODAY’S TIDBITS Cut a small slit in your papillote when pulling it out of the oven so it doesn’t deflate (more on this dish next week). Your pasta dough is properly kneaded when you stick your finger in it and it springs back 90% of the way. Use clarified butter to brown your croutons to […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

A Hustling Heaven Historical Landmark: The Chez Paree (Part 1)

It’s a slightly drizzly evening in February when I begin my investigation in San Francisco’s Union Square. I decide to take a chance and follow my intuition by exploring the neighboring area around my hostel. I’m 20 years old but don’t look a day over eighteen and now owned a brand new pair of black […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Another Mock Final, The Trail Report, and dirty dishes – Day 72

TODAY’S TIDBITS Always shave before going to a “trail” (see note below). Rotate your profiterole pan in the oven half-way through the baking. You can really see the different hotspots in oven with a tray of profiteroles. Some definitely get baked before others, so it’s always a good idea to rotate anything you’re baking half-way […]

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Culinary Arts Project

The Sun Also Rises – Back on our feet – Day 71

TODAY’S TIDBITS Add the powdered sugar to your cream only after it starts to gain some volume. This results in a better whip. When cutting the tops of your profiteroles, align the bread knife parallel to the bottom of profiterole. It’s natural to align the knife with the top that you’re cutting off, but may […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin Jewish Strippers On Heroin

NEW THINGS TO TOUCH AND TASTE (CHAPTER 3)

“Heeeyyyy guys glad you can make it out to my place,” Kendal’s words were that of genuine gratitude and happiness, but her face seemed to tell a different story. Her long, thick, shiny, black healthy hair was all shaved off. How could she shave off all that hair? I was shocked. As a result her […]

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Culinary Arts Project

The Hammer Drops: Blood, Sweat and Tears – Day 70

TODAY’S TIDBITS Powdered sugar through a cheese cloth gives a much finer “sprinkle” than through a sieve. Chives+chervil+Tarragon is a great combination of herbs for fish – beats the standard parsley by miles. (especially the tarragon). Gently tap the salmon skillets under plastic with the side of a butcher’s hammer to flatten them out so […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin Jewish Strippers On Heroin

My Third Song Is On (a Poem)

Jewish Strippers on Heroin is based on true events but of the names have been changed.  Unfolding curled slightly damp, American Dollar Bills. These are for me. A plastic red heart shaped basket is passed around by Azita who chimes, “I’ll do your basket!” when David Bowie’s song Heroes kicks in from the jukebox, in a […]

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Advertising & Design Art Canada Canadian politics LGBT New York City Opinion Toronto Video Documentaion

Closet Case: New Web Series Premiering on theBUZZ

From Toronto’s East End to New York’s East Village we take you on an uncensored journey into the closets and behind the alter egos of our communities most beloved queers. Welcome to Closet Case. From Toronto’s East End to New York’s East Village join us as we go behind the alter egos and into the closets of our communities most beloved queers. Thursdays […]

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Culinary Arts Project

A Mock Final, 158 Verbs, Nicoise-Chicken Combo, Dolma gets an A+, a MeatBall Contest – Day 69

TODAY TIDBITS A quick blanch (boil) before you fry your potatoes will: a) improve the golden colour because it gelatinizes the outer starch, b) will “infuse” salt into the potato enhancing flavour, and c) kill the enzymes that cause “purpling” while you air dry. Blanching is the first step in potato rissole The chef recommends […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Chicken Grand Mere, Celery Root Puree, and a Smoking Gun – Day 68

TODAY’S TIDBITS You don’t need a trussing needle to truss a chicken. By making a cut in the skin near the end of the legs (where you eventually manchonner), the string can grab the legs and keep the chicken together – you can also loop the chicken legs instead. If you’re serving sliced grilled meat, […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Vacuum-infusing a Watermelon, Sous Vide, and Salade Nicoise – Day 67

TODAY’S TIDBITS Magic infusing liquid: Yuzu juice + Elderberry Cordial. This combination of sweet and sour tastes incredible. To instant peel a hard boiled egg – roll it around hard on the counter till it’s all broken like a web and you can peel it off in once piece instantly. “Snap” your green beans AFTER […]

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Culinary Arts Project

“Truth in Menus”, another Mock Final, and one more Fire Alarm – Day 66

TODAY’S TIDBITS Never try and put one over on the chef Yesterday, Chef Dominique told us all never to try and trick the chef. One student tried to say she had put sugar in her Crème Chantilly, but the Chef was pretty sure she didn’t. This brings up the topic of “Truth in Menus”. “TiM” is a […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin Jewish Strippers On Heroin

Wake Up And Make Up (Chapter 2)

Jewish Strippers on Heroin is based on true events but of the names have been changed. Today I wake up resentful as usual of going to work. Not even the thought of getting paid later motivates me to leave my bed. Propping myself up with a pillow I find my head throb slightly and my […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Chitchat Chitchat – oops, look what I cooked, Skate Grenobloise and an Apple Tart – Day 65

TODAY’S TIDBITS Present a skate with the round side facing the customer, like a smile. Also, it turns out skate fish is not kosher. When reducing sauces or soups, it’s a better idea to add salt only at the end. If you add salt near the beginning, it might taste fine but as it reduces the […]

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Review

Key Change

Theatre Review by Raymond Helkio, The Reading Salon

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Culinary Arts Project

Learning by Teaching, and being called “Chef” all evening – Day 64

TODAY’S TIDBITS Skate is a unique tasting seafood (think fish meets scallop), but goes bad fast. They urinate through their skin (like sharks), so they start to smell like ammonia pretty quickly – served fresh, seared, they taste pretty amazing. To evenly brown croutons, soak them in clarified butter and then sauté and shake constantly […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Mock Final Exam – Day 63

TODAY’S TIDBITS On a gas stove, if you want to heat something but only ever so slightly, you can just use the pilot light flame. When flambéing, take the pan off the stove, add the brandy, then put the pan back on the stove tilting the pan so the flame just catches the brandy. Badaboom! […]

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Culinary Arts Project

The Stars Look Very Different Today – Day 62

Stopping at David Bowie’s apartment/vigil again this morning definitely set a different mood for the day for me, and either way there was definitely a different vibe in the kitchen today – “everything was under control”. We had all done our dishes yesterday and today was going to be different! For me I was in a “Zen” […]

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There’s Gotta Be More Money At The Have-A-Java (Chapter One)

Jewish Strippers on Heroin is based on true events but of the names have been changed.  Every one of us shares a mutual pride in our brand new Have-A-Java on the third floor in the Eaton Centre. The sun pours down on my face through the enormous glass sky-light ceiling. Having glass walls also works to […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Level 4: Under Pressure – Day 61

TODAY’S TIDBITS Serve a pork chop ‘bone on the left’, so the customer can cut into it from the right. When frying a pork chop, fry the presentation side first – the first sear gets the best color. When frying a fillet, also fry the presentation side down first – in the case of a […]

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Jewish Strippers On Heroin

Jewish Strippers On Heroin premieres this #HumpDay

Join MISS Butter at 8PM #HumpDay for the premiere of the absolutely insane real-life antics of Jewish Strippers On Heroin right here on The Reading Salon. Oy vey! MISS Butter & The Reading Salon present: Jewish Strippers On Heroin Wednesdays at 8PM January 13, 2016 Premiere episode: January 13, 2016

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Culinary Arts Project

Ashes to Ashes: Level 3 is Dust – Day 60

TODAY’S TIDBITS Use Ghee (browned clarified butter) in your Indian dishes rather than butter. It adds a whole new dimension of nuttiness and even sweetness. Apparently the best curry is in London. Curry Powder is a British invention to mimic the “Indian colony’s cuisine” whose key ingredients are turmeric, coriander, cumin, mustard, and chili. Curry […]

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Review

MDLSX

The needed change is so profound that we call it impossible, so deep that we call it unthinkable. But the impossible will come and the unthinkable is inevitable. –Feminism Is Not Humanism, P.B. Preciado MDLSX is an 80-minute performance/monologue/ DJ set performed by the award-winning actress Silvia Calderoni and directed by Motus founders, Enrico Casagrande […]

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Culinary Arts Project

ACTION STATIONS – Day 59

TODAY’S TIDBITS Add the butter to the boiled cream ‘off’ the heat in an alfredo, to avoid the butter breaking. A restaurant trick is to use Grana Padano ‘in’ the sauce, and then top the pasta with Parmigiano. ‘Parm’ is over twice the price of Padano. When rolling pasta, you should be able to see […]

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Culinary Arts Project

CHARCUTERIE BUFFET, and then getting ready for Action Stations – Day 57

TODAY’S TIDBITS Hang the rinds of your cheese in your cream when reducing it for an Alfredo sauce – gives it additional flavor. Use “00” flour to make your pasta slightly stronger but silkier. Throw some Semolina flour in your pasta dough and the pasta will ‘grab’ the sauce slightly better. Today we finally got […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Pig’s Eared Julienned, Planning the Buffet – Day 56

TODAY’S TIDBITS Fill an egg carton with hickory, set it on fire, and put it the oven with your chicken, to get an incredible smoky flavour. (Maybe not try this one at home). Thanks Joanne so much for having filled in yesterday. Great job. And doubly thank you for this morning’s pre-exam flash card quiz […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Let Them Eat Brioche, and Sweating like a pig! – Day 55

Hi everyone, it’s Joanne here. Stewart was sick, so I volunteered to fill in for today. Like Stewart, I’ve changed careers, I used to be a theatre director in LA – now I’m taking the culinary program because I want to write my father’s Italian cookbook, and learn better technique. You can find out more […]

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Culinary Arts Project

Zen and the Art of Doing Dishes – Oh, and Brining a Pig’s Head – Day 54

TODAY’S TIDBITS The FDA recommends washing dishes at an uncomfortable 110 degrees to get rid of harmful bacteria. The hot water from the average ‘hot’ faucet is 110F. I can’t imagine being able to clean dishes in 100% hot water from the hot faucet. Ouch!!!! Never order a fish special on Monday – this is […]

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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 […]