730 Queen St. East
September 13, 2010
$200 per person inclusive
Tickets available August 12, 2010
Visa Infinite and Visa Signature Price:
$150 per person inclusive
Visa Infinite® and Signature® Tickets available August 9, 2010
HOST VENUE - Ruby WatchCo
Know the Food Network, know Lynn Crawford, the ebullient star of Pitchin' In, who splashes through Canada, dancing with piglets. As well, an Iron Chef contender and host of Restaurant Makeover. Know, too, that she threw over the Four Seasons Hotel in New York, where she was the luxury chain's only female exec chef, to open her own place in Riverside.
Crawford and her co-owners, designer Cherie Stinson and her husband, Joey Skeir, have transformed the old Citizen resto into comfort funk, a sinuous space ornamented with found objects retrieved from the area's industrial past. Up front is a casual café morphing into a formal line of banquettes opposite the long bar, then opening into a glowing dining room lit by the open kitchen and chef Crawford's command post.
Crawford may have left the cuisine of luxury hotels but she's not left behind the techniques with which she mastered it. Note the way the shallot butter sweetens the bitter chard, the presentation of cubed carrots, the rich short rib gravy and the horseradish lemon aioli that enliven the steak, the subtle flavouring of the pork. And there's a vegetarian option — a risotto rich with mascarpone, topped with al dente mushrooms.
Irresistible little rectangles of bread soaked in melted butter then grilled accompany the cheeses — Glengarry Celtic Blue made by Margaret Morris, its dry sharpness matched with a chutney of ice wine-poached pears and sultanas; Fifthtown Dairy's creamy Improv complemented with black pepper rhubarb chutney.
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GUEST CELEBRITY CHEF - Jonathan Waxman
Combining his "less is more" philosophy with fresh, seasonal ingredients, Jonathan Waxman has influenced the U.S. culinary world for the past thirty-years working alongside and training many of today's most notable chefs.
Jonathan Waxman first stepped into the culinary scene in 1970 when he decided to retire from his career as a professional trombonist to enroll in the La Varenne cooking school in Paris. There he was trained and inspired by some of the most notable three-star chefs. Jonathan returned to California to define his newly found voice within the culinary community.
After working in renowned kitchens such as the prestigious Chez Panisse alongside Alice Waters and Michael's in Los Angeles, Jonathan took his west coast culinary style east and opened Jams in New York City. With the likes of Julia Child, James Beard, and Wolfgang Puck frequently visiting his new restaurant, Jonathan established himself amongst the most prominent names in the U.S. culinary scene. Soon after, Jonathan opened the famed Washington Park. Today, he is chef-owner of Barbuto in New York City's West Village as well as West County Grill in Sebastopol, California.
In September 2007, Jonathan published his first cookbook, A Great American Cook, a culmination of his culinary vision and love for creating bold flavors with simple ingredients. Jonathan strives to show how fun cooking can be and that there is a great American cook in even the most amateur chef.
In November 2007, Jonathan opened an outpost of Barbuto on the island of Guadeloupe in the heart of the Caribbean, where he will source all ingredients from local purveyors.
2010 brought Top Chef Masters calling and Chef Jonathan represented well, making it to the finals.
Aside from his duties in the restaurant world, Jonathan finds time to work closely with City Meals-on-Wheels, March of Dimes, and the American Cancer Society. He also serves on the American Airlines Chefs Conclave with fellow contributors including Paul Prudhomme, Bradley Ogden, Jasper White and Dean Fearing. For his contributions to the culinary world, Jonathan was named one the most influential Americans by Esquire magazine. He resides in Manhattan with wife and three children.
HOST CELEBRITY CHEF - Lynn Crawford
RESTAURANT - Ruby WatchCo
Lynn Crawford has a 26 year history of extensive culinary experience. Chef Crawford has traveled throughout Canada and the United States and gained her culinary strength and knowledge by surrounding herself with world renowned Chefs working at top destination restaurants and hotels.
Chef Crawford has received tremendous media attention as the Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto and New York City and is pegged as Canada's Top Female Chef. To survive in the kitchen requires a mix of tenacity and lack of fear. Chef Crawford marries the characteristics together in perfect harmony.
The creation of a delicious meal requires passion and quality ingredients. To have one without the other would seem unnatural and would go against everything that Lynn Crawford stands for. She has made it her priority to have positive relationships with local farmers and growers and has built an appreciation for the difference that fresh makes and incorporates these values into her work in the kitchen.
Maintaining a philosophy that food needs to be celebrated and shared with family and friends, Lynn believes that food is not something that should be kept to oneself but shared amongst many as a means of providing a sense of enjoyment. "I love people. I love food. And I love sharing so if that's my role and future, then that's perfect for me."
HOST CELEBRITY CHEF - Lora Kirk
RESTAURANT - Ruby WatchCo
Lora Kirk is regarded as one of Canada's leading chefs who has 14 years of international culinary experience. While growing up in Peterborough, Ontario, Lora was greatly influenced by working on her grandparent's farm and it was there that Lora learnt the importance of supporting local farmers and growers. She then set out to pursue her dream of becoming a professional chef. Chef Kirk graduated from Algonquin College's culinary program and soon after moved to London, England. She gained her culinary strength and knowledge by working with renowned Chefs, Gordon Ramsey and Angela Hartnett at the famous Connaught Hotel for three years.
Chef Kirk continued to shine in the industry as an innovating chef and took on her next position as Truffle's Chef a the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto. Chef Kirk received tremendous media attention and awards under her leadership, including the Five Diamond award for two consecutive years, four stars in Toronto Life, OHI Top 30 Under 30 Award and was given the distinct honor of cooking at the James Beard House and in Kitchen Staduim on Iron Chef America in New York City. It was then that Lora knew that she needed to continue her culinary journey and moved to Manhattan's Allen and Delancy Restaurant as Chef de Cuisine with Neil Ferguson. Chef Kirk received the Top 10 New Restaurants award in the New York Times and a very prestigious Michelin Star for her talents. Chef Kirk went on to run the kitchens at the SOHO House In New York.
Chef Kirk returns home to Canada as one of the most high-profile women chefs, ready to share her talents, fine culinary acumen and expertise as Chef of Ruby Watchco in Toronto. Going back to her roots and passion for cooking, Chef Kirk is an advocate for supporting local farmers and growers, those who give top chefs the best quality products to cook with. Locally grown, harvested and raised, cooked to perfection with heart.