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Summer is officially underway! That means plenty of alfresco dining, rosé all day and, of course, mouthwatering Summerlicious dishes featuring lots of fresh fruits and veggies. On that note, we asked our diverse team of chefs to share their favourite warm weather ingredient to enjoy at their restaurant or at home, as well as their tips and tricks for sourcing and preparing those ingredients. (Spoiler alert: tomatoes for the win.)

“I think every cook or chef can relate to the excitement when a supplier walks through the back door of your restaurant with the first of something from that year, whether it's the first asparagus or the first strawberries,” says Executive Chef Michael Wilson (Luma, Canteen). “I think that’s natural because we have a love for food and enjoy working with ingredients that are near and dear to our hearts."


Canoe's rainbow trout with creamed Holland Marsh leeks, licorice poached potatoes & sauce nero
(Photo: Shiori Mine)


WILD LEEKS

“They’re a little more in season in the spring, but my pick is wild leeks. My favourite new way of preparing them is in a kimchee with pickles, or sautéed with anchovies. I forage them from a big patch on our property that my grandfather showed me. They’re amazing and so versatile. I love incorporating them into pasta or fried rice.”
- Chef John Horne (Canoe, Auberge du Pommier, Jump, Liberty Commons)

“I know everyone says ramps, but I never had the chance to work with them a lot out in England, so now that I'm back in Canada, I can see why everyone praises them so much. Their flavour is so unique and they’re really cool because you can make a salt out of them, pickle them, or try to preserve them – because the season is so short.
- Chef Malcolm Campbell, Auberge du Pommier


Leña's orecchiette with seared squid, guanciale, sweet peas, rapini & tomato (Photo: Shiori Mine)

TOMATOES

Tomatoes are perfectly in season - so they appear in a variety of our Summerlicious dishes like the salmorejo, the zucchini salad, and the orecchiette. We get them from Tamarack Farms and they’re so sweet they’re like sugar. They taste SO good. I look for non-mealy, non-refrigerated tomatoes with plenty of natural sweetness and a little bit of acidity, and a nice and firm flesh. I don’t like mushy tomatoes! I just love fresh tomatoes in a salad with sherry vinegar, olive oil, lots of fresh herbs, salt and pepper. I also love keeping the late tomatoes at the end of the summer/early fall so I can confit them, jar them and just spread them on toast.”
- Chef Julie Marteleira, Leña

Yellow tomatoes. They’re sweeter than the red. I like them fresh, chopped with basil, lemon and salt."
- Chef Suyeon Myeong, Beaumont Kitchen

Ontario tomatoes are so beautiful in season. To pick a great ripe one, look for one that is red and plump, without greenness. At home, do not store your tomatoes in the fridge. Keep and serve them at room temperature. It is a night and day difference if you put them in the fridge—don’t do it. To prepare them, simply wash and slice them, then season very simply with salt and pepper. Let the slices sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the salt to be absorbed, then serve them. The heirloom tomato salad on our Summerlicious menu is the perfect example of how tomatoes, simply prepared, shine on their own.”
- Chef Miheer Shete, Jump

Tomatoes, peaches, beans, mushrooms… I can’t pick just one! I buy all my produce in Kensington Market. I like to keep my cooking simple and let the ingredients do the talking.”
- Chef Chris Barrett, America


Auberge du Pommier's Mojito aux Framboises with white rum, fresh raspberry juice, mint & lime - just $8
(Photo: Cindy La)


BERRIES

"I also love fresh berries, because raspberries, blueberries and blackberries have the lowest sugar content of any fruit so they’re a nice and refreshing snack or dessert. They’re also really versatile – you can make a gastrique, a gel, a purée, or just enjoy them on their own."
- Chef Malcolm Campbell, Auberge du Pommier

STONE FRUIT

“I love fresh stone fruit like plums, nectarines and peaches. When shopping, you have to look for stone fruit that’s not too mushy and not too firm. Also, whatever you do, do not store them in the fridge! I hate cold fruit – nature grew them outside for a reason!”
- Chef Darren Nadkarni, Bannock


Canteen's grilled salmon with dill yoghurt, orzo, olive & cucumber (Photo: Cindy La)

CUCUMBERS

“I loooove cucumbers. There’s nothing better than growing cucumbers in your garden, picking and eating them – and they’re still a little bit warm from the sun. There’s so many different varieties, too. I’ll usually incorporate them into salads or with fish and chicken. Also in soups, like a gazpacho with melon and cucumber. My daughter loves cucumber too – she has it every day in her lunch!”
- Chef Michael Wilson (Luma, Canteen)

BASIL

 “I have five plants on my balcony. I make tons of pesto, combining the basil with olive oil, heavily toasted pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice. I make pesto scrambled eggs almost every morning.
- Chef Michael Hay (Beaumont Kitchen, O&B Café Grill, Bayview Village)

CORN

"I go nuts over Ontario corn. It's so much better and sweeter than the corn in the U.K. There's nothing better than corn on the BBQ with a little butter."
- Chef Ryan Lister, Liberty Commons


Jump's Ontario sweet pea bruschetta with lemon crème fraîche, tarragon, pine nuts & grilled cornbread
(Photo: Shiori Mine)


SWEET PEAS

"I love to eat whole sweet peas raw. It’s something I’m going to get my cooks here to try, so they can experience the true pea flavour.”
- Chef Suyeon Myeong, Beaumont Kitchen

RADISHES

"I love raw radishes with butter. Don’t try to cook your radishes, unless you’re ready for a stench!”
- Chef Michael Hay (Beaumont Kitchen, O&B Café Grill, Bayview Village)

Browse our Summerlicious 2017 menus, available from July 7 - 23, 2017, and book your table today!

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Going meatless isn’t just for Mondays anymore! Armed with a bounty of fresh and local fruits and veggies, our chefs love crafting unique and flavourful dishes that go way beyond standard tofu and steamed veg. Here, five of our chefs pick their favourite vegetarian-friendly option from their Summerlicious menus.


The Jump California Rice Bowl with charred avocado, brown rice, red kidney beans
& grilled corn pico de gallo (Photo: Shiori Mine)

1. JUMP CALIFORNIA RICE BOWL

"This dish takes inspiration from our southern neighbours, with a Jump flair, of course! I didn’t want to do your common guacamole, so instead I brûlée the avocado so each piece has a nice charred look and taste. The stars of the pico de gallo are Ontario corn and tomatoes. This bowl features so many different flavours, ingredients, textures. It is a meal with great depth, and is ideal for the health conscious diner who want something heartier.”
- Chef Miheer Shete, Jump


2. LEMON SPAGHETTINI

“The flavours are so simple and fresh, with lots of strong parm and lemon. The fresh summer peas add a nice touch.”
- Chef Suyeon Myeong, Beaumont Kitchen


Leña's Salmorejo with boiled egg, picual olive oil & jamón (Photo: Shiori Mine)

3. SALMOREJO

“I love the Salmorejo, which is a chilled tomato soup. It's a classic Spanish dish originating from Andalucia. The garnishes on top are super pretty and add some great colour. All you have to do is hold the jamón and you have yourself the perfect vegetarian starter.”
- Chef Julie Marteleira, Leña

4. SASKATCHEWAN LENTIL FRITTERS   

“This dish is 'Middle East meets Canadian prairies'. We wanted to give a nod to other cultures and try to sneak in a few interesting influences on the menu. The dish includes a tabbouleh-style wheat berry pilaf and preserved lemons that we make in house.”
- Chef Darren Nadkarni, Bannock

5. CODDLED EGGS PIPERADE

“They’re baked into a beautiful red pepper and ancho pepper stew, and an example of classic French cooking at its finest.”
- Chef Bill Osborne, Biff’s Bistro

Browse our Summerlicious 2017 menus, available from July 7 - 23, 2017,
and book your table today!

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Bar George Now Open in Montréal!

05/19/2017 | 13:57 PM


O&B is thrilled to launch the long-awaited Bar George, a modern-day rendezvous located inside the heritage home once belonging to Sir George Stephen. Chefs Anthony Walsh and Kevin Ramasawmy are honouring the former resident's roots by cooking up contemporary U.K. fare, spiked with  Québécois quirks.


Cornish Hen - toasted oatmeal skirlie stuffing, traditional bread sauce


Golden Square Mile Sour - gin, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, cidre, citron, œuf


The Strathcona Room

Tucked away in the mansion's former quarters, Bar George's private dining rooms feature ornate heritage details and stylish furnishings, and serve as the perfect spots for elegant dinner soirées, breakfast meetings, and more.

Capacity: 40 seated, 60 reception
View Event Package (PDF)
 
For booking inquiries, please click here.

LE MOUNT STEPHEN

O&B will also be the exclusive events and catering provider for Le Mount Stephen, a boutique hotel and national historic site located in downtown Montréal's Golden Square Mile.



Available daily from breakfast until late, the luxurious Salon Elizabeth ballroom is ideal for corporate functions, sophisticated weddings and grand galas. Headed by Chef Amanda Ray, our events and catering team is excited to bring exceptional food and service to our clients in Montréal.
 
Capacity: 350 seated, 375 reception
View Event Package (PDF)
 
For booking inquiries, please click here.

Photos by Cindy La

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O&B Does London (Again!)

04/28/2017 | 16:43 PM
Our team at O&B has a particulary devout affection for London. The city is bursting with inspiration, from knockout cooking to jaw-dropping spaces and architecture to under-the-radar, charming details. Since it has been over a year since Michael Bonacini, Anthony Walsh, and Andrew Oliver's 72-hour foodie adventure, it was high time for another trip across the pond. For this round, Anthony and Andrew led the charge overseas, and in tow were District Executive Chefs John Horne and Michael Hay, Canoe GM Maša Nikolić, and the soon-to-be-open Bar George Chef de Cuisine Kevin Ramasawmy.

In addition to touring mainstays like Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa, St. John, and Duck & Waffle, the group ate at less familiar restaurants such as Black Axe Mangal, Canto Corvino, and The Jugged Hare. From Scotch eggs to roast bone marrow, there was no shortage of delicious eats along the way. Scroll through the photos below for some trip highlights!


And they're off!


The impressive meat locker at Barbecoa


We see what you did there, Andrew.


The whole gang at the iconic Chiltern Firehouse


The scene at Duck & Waffle


And how about the view from Duck & Waffle?


One round (of many) cocktails at Duck & Waffle


Maša and Chef Walsh at St. John


Just a few of the many dishes served at Mere


Post-meal at Mere - looking good!


Approaching Quo Vadis


A little menu inspiration


Contemplating what to order?


Getting ready to tuck in at The Quality Chophouse (Hi, Andrew!)


Standing outside The Jugged Hare



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Trashed & Wasted 2017

03/07/2017 | 22:38 PM
Trashed & Wasted 2017


Who says you can't eat trash?

On March 1, 2017, hundreds of people came together savour "garbage" at Trashed & Wasted, an event in support of Second Harvest. 

With the goal of bringing awareness to reducing food waste, seven of Toronto's chefs got inventive at Wychwood Barns, using food odds and ends that might normally be discarded, to create some delicious bites. 
 

Trashed & Wasted 2017

Our very own Chef Chris Barrett and his team from Oliver & Bonacini Events and Catering served Grilled Bannock (using bannock dough ends) two ways:


Trashed & Wasted 2017
1) with crispy prosciutto ends (hand shaved to use every bit left) with a mushroom duxelle (made with various mushroom stalks) and Parmesan rind espuma (made from rind ends from a block of Parmesan)


Trashed & Wasted 2017
2) brown butter cauliflower (purée made with stock and leaves) and toasted hazelnut crumbs (literally - nut crumbs from the bottom of the bag)


It was a great evening, bringing awareness to reducing food waste - here are some highlights.

 

SaveSave Trashed & Wasted 2017
Rainhard Brewing Co. & Yongehurst Distillery Co. kept guests from getting thirsty with their creative offerings, including beer made from bread and milky whey vodka



Trashed & Wasted 2017
Hooked Inc.'s smoked mackerel and crispy fish skin onigiri


Trashed & Wasted 2017
Sanagan's Meat Locker's pickled tongue and lamb brain on crostini


Trashed & Wasted 2017
Sanagan's Meat Locker's cinnamon chicharron with whipped lard and buckwheat honey


Trashed & Wasted 2017
Montgomery's Restaurant's cold fried chicken tails


Trashed & Wasted 2017
Arepa Café's vegetarian mechada on green plantain tostones


Trashed & Wasted 2017
Actinolite's spent-grain pickled kohlrabi


Trashed & Wasted 2017
CXBO's bumped and bruised chocolates


Trashed & Wasted 2017
Imperfect produce donated by the Ontario Food Terminal for guests to take home


SaveSaveSaveSave
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