Fall Flavours 2016 With Chef Vikran Vij and Chef Mark McEwan

By | Culinary | No Comments

The Fall Flavours Festival, a month long culinary celebration highlighting authentic Island tastes and traditions, takes place during September in communities across Prince Edward Island. The Festival features a variety of acclaimed guest chefs hosting a wide range of unique culinary experiences including events featuring Chef Vikram Vij and Chef Mark McEwan.

Our Signature Events feature the very best PEI has to offer and have been created exclusively for Fall Flavours. Some are small and intimate, others will draw a crowd … all will delight.

You can join local hosts and pick potatoes, catch lobsters, harvest oysters or head off to Culinary Boot Camp. These are just a few samples of the many Hands on Experiences/Participatory Events that let you enjoy food from the source. Each experience offers an educational component with a local host, as well as a tasting and/or cooking opportunity.

There’s a wide range of Culinary Events from which to choose. A feast of bar clams on the beach? Perhaps a brewmasters dinner with PEI produced handcrafted beers? And those are just for starters.

Visit local Fall Flavours Festival restaurants which offer Island Cuisine showcasing the best of land and sea.


Chef Mark McEwan Tantalizes Crowds at The CNE

By | Culinary | No Comments

From his early years as Canada’s youngest ever, executive chef at Toronto’s upscale Sutton Place Hotel to his latest endeavor Fabbrica, Chef Mark McEwan is never content to rest on his laurels.

Using food as the ultimate palate for his boundless creativity and energy,Mark has led Toronto’s restaurant scene with North 44, Bymark, and ONE. He has taken another turn with his newest restaurant Fabbrica, where he has captivated customers with a rustic Italian cuisine in a warm, yet contemporary setting.

In early 2009, Mark hit the grocery retailer scene when he openedMcEwan’s. Always attentive to the changing needs of the consumer, he created this jewel box of a grocery store that caters to foodies and chefs alike.

Adding to his long list of talents, Mark is the author of the cookbooks, Great Food At Home and Fabbrica. He is also a television personality, hosting his own show The Heat on The Food Network and is the head judge on Top Chef Canada. His high quality cookware line by Fresco is sold nationally across Canada.

Canadian Chef Mark McEwan recently left the audience at the CNE this past Saturday August 27 inspired to go to their own kitchens to create innovative and out-of-the-box dishes of their own!


Chef Rob Gentile of Toronto’s Buca Restaurants Enjoys ‘The Game.’

By | Culinary | No Comments

Chef Rob Gentile of Toronto’s Buca restaurants enjoys the game. Mr. Gentile, who played tennis when he was a kid, even playing in a league, recalls, “I used to watch Andre Agassi and go to the Rogers Cup with my dad.”

While work has pulled him away from the court, Mr. Gentile’s familiarity with the sport means he knows what tennis fans want when it comes to throwing a viewing party. It’s still finger food, though not the traditional tea or Wimbledon classic strawberries and cream.

Chef Gentile doesn’t believe in serving sandwiches. He designed a menu that’s fun and summery and, best of all, offers food that can be held in one hand. And it complements the game, not overpowers it.

“Tennis lends itself to a fun party,” says Mr. Gentile. “When you have a bunch of people over and you’re entertaining, you want to have good, substantial food.” He also had mingling in mind.

The menu consists of Nodini, Buca’s bread knots tossed with garlic, rosemary and olive oil; Olive Ascolane, crisp olives stuffed with tuna and anchovy; Insalata d’Arancia, navel orange and red grapefruit salad with Taggiasche olives and barrel-aged vinegar; and Torta Cioccolatino, a gluten-free chocolate tart with cardamom and espresso cocoa powder (be careful if you’re wearing white).

Chef Gentile recommends pairing the food with a crisp lager, like Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Peroni’s balance of citrus and spicy aromatic notes complements the flavours, and the richness of the tart pairs well with the bitterness of the beer

“There’s an aspect of sophistication to watching a tennis match,” notes Mr. Gentile. “When you go to a tennis match, you get dressed up. So, when you have people over, you want a sophisticated party.”

He also developed the menu for the time-strapped home cook. Nothing in the menu takes longer than 30 minutes to an hour to make, and some dishes can be made the day before, like the salad and tart. Best of all, the food can be served buffet-style and held in one hand.

Whatever you do, the important thing is to ensure that everyone has good food, good drinks and a good view of the game. As for Chef Gentile, he’s still a busy man, but he hopes to catch a game or two at the Rogers Cup. No word on whether he’s going bring his own picnic basket or buy snacks.


Lovin’ Local Foodfest 2016

By | Culinary | No Comments

Learn How to Eat Local This Saturday – for Free! Sip taste and savour the creations of some of Toronto’s best chefs at Lovin’ Local Foodfest 2016, including feature chef Mike Ward, restaurants, food trucks, breweries and wineries; catch local musicians, artists and performers on the main stage, and shop till you drop at the green street market! It doesn’t get any better than this, Toronto! For more information visit the event website. Look forward to seeing you there!

Wek conference2

Rocking the CMW Opening Keynote at DMS 2016!

By | Culinary | No Comments
Digital Media Summit was pleased to announce Michael Wekerle as our 2016 opening keynote on Thursday May 5 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. Michael is a rock star in the world of Canadian finance, known for his shrewd value spotting in the fields of tech, biotech and media. As the founder and Chairman of the merchant bank Difference Capital Financial Inc., he oversees a fund that includes such successful growth companies as Hootsuite, Vision Critical, BuildDirect and Blue Ant Media. He also holds significant real estate assets, including an impressive portfolio of high-tech commercial properties in Waterloo, Ontario, as well as the historic Toronto entertainment venue the El Mocambo. And he is a partner in the Canadian franchise of Wahlburgers -Paul, Donnie and Mark Wahlberg’s Boston-based burger chain.
Michael lives in Toronto and is a doting father to six children. He donates millions of dollars to a wide variety of philanthropic interests, including UHN, CAMH, SickKids and Holland Bloorview, as well as the youth outreach organization Seeds of Hope and the acclaimed Baroque opera company Opera Atelier. Michael is currently featured on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, highlighting his entrepreneurial spirit. The show was truly a success and Michael was an integral part in kicking it all off!
Justin and Vikram

The Celebrity Chef Who Brought Posh Curries To Canada

By | Culinary | No Comments

It was a determination never to serve chicken tikka masala that almost stopped the career of celebrity chef Vikram Vij just as he was starting out.

Today Mr Vij is one of the best-known chefs in Canada, a regular on the country’s TV food shows, and the author of best-selling cookery books.

People queue around the block to eat at his three Indian restaurants in Vancouver. And his curry ready meals are stocked at supermarkets across the country.

Yet all the success, and his multi-million dollar fortune, almost didn’t happen.

Read the full BBC article 


IDEACITY 2015 – Connecting Minds

By | Culinary | No Comments

Now in its 17th year, the annual ideacity conference has rightly earned its reputation as Canada’s “Premier meeting of the minds.”

Over the course of three days, media icon Moses Znaimer presents a dazzling line-up of some of the brightest minds on the planet. Ground breaking scientists, visionary entrepreneurs, artists, scholars, activists and agitators – if it’s new, if it’s hot, if it will challenge your thinking, it’s at ideacity.

Characterized by constant reinvention and growth, and defined by one of the most culturally diverse populations in the world, Toronto is Canada’s most populous city and a hotbed for art, science, and inspiration. The city’s rich history and unique identity form the base upon which its most visionary and ambitious citizens continue to develop and thrive, making it a truly exciting place to call home or to visit

Each year, Toronto welcomes close to 21 million visitors, making it one of North America’s premier destinations, and it’s no wonder. With a world-class culinary landscape, acclaimed academic and cultural institutions, and an enviable tradition of accessible and wide-ranging entertainment, Toronto is far more than just Canada’s economic engine.

Sapphire Talent Lab represented innovators Michael Wekerle and Massimo Capra at IDEACITY 2015.


PEI Fall Flavours Vikram Vij

PEI Fall Flavours Festival 2015 – Most Memorable Yet!

By | Culinary | No Comments

The Fall Flavours Festival is a month long culinary celebration highlighting authentic Island tastes and traditions and takes place during September in communities across Prince Edward Island. The Festival features a variety of acclaimed guest chefs hosting a wide range of unique culinary experiences.

Organizers of P.E.I.’s Fall Flavours Festival say the month-long celebration of Island food has grown again this year, drawing both tourists and high-profile chefs.

Sebastian Manago, CEO of the Food Island Partnership, estimates attendance is up 10 per cent.

“It’s not just the big signature events that are growing. It’s especially the smaller events, like the guys at Clinton Hills, they’ve done a fantastic job,” he says.

“Fall Flavours hasn’t reached its ceiling yet, and that’s very encouraging to see.”

The closing weekend’s events also include an organic harvest meal Sunday, which is sold out. Manago say the festival is encouraging new partnerships with chefs from across the country.

It features several high-profile guest chefs such as McEwan, Food Network Canada’s star Chuck Hughes and Top Chef Canada’s Vikram Vij.

Manago says when the festival first started, chefs only came for the event and then left. Now he says they are spending more time on P.E.I.

“We’ve seen them come and spend a weekend with their partner or their family, exploring the Island, making connections with other chefs, some take a whole week and spend it on P.E.I.,” he says.

Manago hopes the extra time will help spotlight the province as a destination for food lovers

“For these busy people this is quite a big commitment of time, and these are opinion makers in the food industry in Canada and this is a fairly big part of our food industry as well.”

Read more at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-fall-flavours-festival-1.3255588

Boom 97.3 BBQ and Brews

Boom 97.3 Beach, BBQ & Brews Festival

By | Culinary | No Comments

It had all the essential ingredients for a perfect June weekend — Beer, mind blowing culinary creations hot off the grill and a top-notch three day concert schedule in Toronto’s very own Woodbine Park Bandshell.

The boom 97.3 Beach, BBQ & Brews Festival featured some of Canada’s best artists and experience demos and food from our country’s top culinary masters.

“We had a great schedule of family fun events and entertainment that didn’t disappoint, including some amazing Canadian talent all weekend long.” said Les Murray from Beerlicious Inc.

This year’s Grilling Tent was spectacular with demos by Chefs Massimo Capra, Matt Basile and Christian Pritchard.