Jamie’s Italian in Yorkdale

So I have to admit that I have a small (BIG) crush on Jamie Oliver.  I can’t help it, he is just amazing! So when I was in Toronto recently for a conference and saw that he has a restaurant there, I took it as a sign.  A BIG SIGN…eat here…drag your friends here…hahahaha!

Lucky enough that I have some pretty awesome friends who will come with me whereever I want to eat so it was pretty easy to convince them!

So off we went! Got the reservation…check, get the uber…check, get your friends…check AND WE WERE OFF!

Now the restaurant from where we were staying was a good 30 minute drive but it was worth it!

We show up and were seated…guess where we were seated? Right…by…the…OPEN KITCHEN.  Now granted everyone in the restaurant was seated in the same area, but thats not the point.  The point is that this is always the best seat in the house.  Its like being at your own viewing of a cooking show.  Whenever you go and eat somewhere, ask if they have a chefs counter, it won’t dissapoint!

The food was awesome! To start we shared the Crispy Ravioli, this is such a great appetizer to do for a crowd…hmmm…side note – remember to do a post on this one…and we shared the Charcuterie Board.  Ms. Munro and I … well actually everyone in my life…has a healthy love of charcuterie boards.  They are just soooo good! The cured meats, the pickled vegetables, cheese, olives…I could go on and on but I think we get the point.

Then for dinner I had “Gennaro’s Tagiliatelle Bolognese”.  Now this sauce, I could dream about this sauce over and over again.  Slow cooked pork and beef in a red wine sauce….ugh…so good!! Ms. Munro had the Fresh Crab Spaghetti, Ms. Cool had Gennaro’s Famour Porchetta and Ms. Cox had the Fish with olives and tomatoes.  We each tried a little bit of everyone’s and I can say that everything was delicious!

If you are in Toronto…eat here!!

Crispy Ravioli with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Charcuterie Board
Gennaro’s Tagliatelle Bolognese
Gennaro’s Famous Porchetta
Fresh Crab Spaghetti
Whole Roasted Fish with Olives and Tomato

Beef Bourguinon

Beef BourguignonThis dish to me might be the perfect winter comfort food! This would be a great dish to make for friends and family.  It can be made well in advance, leaving you more time to enjoy your company.

This recipe is from Julia Child’s Cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.  The recipe calls for stewing beef, however we used Beef Shanks instead and it was delicious!

Whenever possible we like to buy our meat or produce directly from the farm.  I like knowing where the product is coming from and also knowing the quality as well.  We purchased our Beef from an Alberta farm called Rose Ridge Farms.  Check out their website for all of the products that they provide.

If you are going to try out this recipe give yourself plenty of time.  You do not want to rush anything.  Plus the great thing about this is the longer the dish cooks the better it gets! Slow and Steady!

Follow this link for steps on how to make this great dish! Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon



Tyler Florence … One of the best!

Over the holidays I was wondering through Williams Sonoma with my sis and saw Tyler Florence’s new cookbook. Perfectly titled “Tyler Florence Fresh”. I have been a fan of his for sometime now and so I was super excited to find his new book. His show on the food network “Tyler’s Ultimate” was one of the first that I started to watch. He has a great recipe for lamb and berries that I have cooked for my family a couple of times and it has become a favourite!

I love to read cookbooks like people like to read a good novel. It is extremely relaxing and calming to me to sit down with a new cookbook and a glass of wine and read it cover to cover. Looking through the pictures and ingredients and thinking about when I would I try out the recipes. Most of my books are filled with notes and ear marked pages!

This one was no different. I loved reading the beginning of his book and how he talked about how food has changed and the importance of getting back to real food. This is something that I am really interested in and I love the idea of trying to use local ingredients and buying from local farmers. Unfortunately in the City I live in, it is a bit difficult to do that in the winter. In the summers we are getting more and more farmers coming into to sell their products so Hopefully it will continue to get bigger!

I decided that I would try to make one of the recipes and post his picture of the dish and my picture! I tried the Herb Roasted Pork Loin with Bananas, Charred Onion and Herb Aioli. At first I wasn’t sure about pork and bananas but I love it! I also have never made an Aioli before, my blender didn’t work the best (I’m hoping for a Vita Mix from the hubs lol!) but for my first try, I was pleasantly surprised! The Rosemary, Sage and Thyme really came through with the pork and the Aioli!

I would definitely recommend everyone to buy his new cookbook!