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Forget about where we took him, where would YOU take Chef Fergus Henderson in Toronto?

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Last week Fergus Henderson, Chef of St. John restaurant and author of Nose To Tail Eating/The Whole Beast, was in Toronto to act as keynote speaker at the Terroir Symposium.

www.terroirsymposium.com

As a few of us work on the organisational committee, we had the job (read: extreme pleasure) of showing him around Toronto for a few days...

Here's where we (Arlene, Rebecca, Danielle, Ivy, Malcolm, and I) decided to take him:

Beast
Marben
Langdon Hall
Lassale Farm - with Langdon Hall/Stratford Chef's School cooking
Cowbell
Parts and Labour
Le Select
Jamie Kennnedy Gilead
The Drake
The Harbord Room
Hooked... the new sustainable fishmongers
Cookbook Store
Niagara Street Cafe
Porchetta
Caplansky's

I think that it would be fair to say that we all have a bit of a meat/wine hangover...

Now the question is... what did we miss out? (Hoof excepted as it is closed for the time being

)

What should we include next time?

Oh... and some pics of some of the places mentioned:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/20066223...

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Niagara Street Cafe
169 Niagara St, Toronto, ON M5V1C9, CA

Le Select
432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

Marben
488 Wellington Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 1E5, CA

Harbord Room
89 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

Langdon Hall
1 Langdon Drive, Cambridge, ON N3H 4R8, Canada

Caplansky's
356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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  1. You forgot Burger Shack and Stockyards..

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    Burger Shack
    233 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M4R1A9, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: petek

      Ya see... I knew we would have overlooked some places...

      1. re: Non Doctor

        Sorry,those are just a couple of my favorites.
        Maybe Guu or Kaji? I don't see any Asian on your list/

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        Guu
        398 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2A2, CA

    2. Sultan's Tent.

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      Sultan's Tent
      49 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E1B3, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: Herb

        why? for the mostly mediocre food?

      2. Looks like you have missed a whole bunch if you are looking at Chowhound ..........

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/765205

        1. I'm more curious about what he thought of the restaurants you did take him to... any reviews?

          1 Reply
          1. re: LearningHow

            A number of the visits were to see old friends and/or past stages from Fergus and Trevor's restaurants.

            There was also a mission to introduce him to some of the young Chefs who were invoved in the Terroir symposium.

            As far as I am aware they were most impressed with both Toronto's food and hospitality.

          2. Ah, I read the article about his trip in the Toronto Star:

            http://www.thestar.com/living/food/ar...

            Slightly off topic, but, do you know where Lassdale Farms got the seal meat from that they served him? (P.s., did you make a typo on that or did Toronto star, re: the farm name).

            3 Replies
            1. re: ylsf

              Ha... My typo.

              Sorry.

              1. re: ylsf

                They got it from Nunavut, the Stratford kids went on a trip there last year...check out the blog here for more info:

                http://local-come-lately.blogspot.com...

                http://local-come-lately.blogspot.com...

                1. re: ylsf

                  and here's a post about the actual dinner at Lassdale Farm:

                  http://local-come-lately.blogspot.com...

                2. Just curious...why'd you skip out on the Black Hoof?

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                  The Black Hoof
                  928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: myriam5555

                    I was under the impression that they were closed for redevelopment?

                    Did I screw up here?

                    1. re: Non Doctor

                      Hoof Cafe closed to be revamped...as far as I know, the original Hoof has remained open throughout.

                      1. re: Wahooty

                        The Black Hoof was closed from the 24th to the 28th.

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                        The Black Hoof
                        928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                        1. re: table4onthefly

                          I stand corrected. :)

                  2. Ah too bad, very bad timing!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: myriam5555

                      Yeah, although one would think that the last thing Fergus Henderson would like to eat is food similar to what he does himself. Kind of like having Thomas Keller as a guest and serving him Oysters and Pearls and finishing the meal with Coffee and Doughnuts...

                      1. re: table4onthefly

                        Well they did take him to Beast and Cowbell. How did he like those places?

                    2. Maybe something not white. I mean Toronto is pretty culturally diverse and that list doesn't really reflect that imo. Especially since there's such a big Chinese population...

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: AngelSanctuary

                        right, the list is too "white", but I'm not terribly surprised by it.

                        The industry folk I've come across are hyper aware of others in "their" scene, which all those restaurants fit under. Especially with the proliferation of twitter keeping everybody in touch w/ every minute detail. Most aren't hip to food outside the scope of this "sustainable/seasonal/naturally raised" utopia that they surround themselves in.

                        Getting dt'ers to travel north of bloor is like pulling teeth.

                        1. re: aser

                          Which restaurants would you select to showcase our cities' multi-culturalism?

                          1. re: justpete

                            Basically search any "We're visiting toronto, any rec's" threads and you'll see lots of posts by everybody listing various ethnic places. Personally, I like to take into account the visitor's home, see what they lack vs what Toronto excels in.

                            LWH
                            Casa Imperial/Victoria
                            Yang's
                            Graceful Vegetarian
                            John's BBQ
                            O'Mei
                            Ba Shu Ren Jia
                            Sun's Kitchen
                            Omega 3
                            Rap's
                            Guu
                            Tien Thanh
                            Gourmet Garden
                            Sukhothai/Khao San Rd

                            -----
                            Gourmet Garden Restaurant
                            4465 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S, CA

                            Ba Shu Ren Jia
                            4771 Steeles Ave E, Toronto, ON M1V, CA

                            Guu
                            398 Church Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2A2, CA

                            1. re: aser

                              Folks, we've removed a number of replies here that were unfriendly and very personally focused. If you want to offer up your own suggestions, please go ahead and do so, but please omit speculating on the motivations of your fellow hounds or declaring their posts offensive or silly -- rate chow, not chowhounds.

                          2. re: aser

                            That is very good point, and something that I am very guilty of myself, hence my question.

                            1. re: aser

                              A very legitimate point aser, and something that we would love to address in the future with the Terroir symposium.

                              1. re: Non Doctor

                                I'm glad you didn't take offense to what I said. Angelsanctuary brought up a good point, I just expanded upon it. I like to think I can see things from both sides of the coin, being involved in the industry like you and at the same time growing up in communities driven by the success of immigration.

                                Would be interesting to see a meeting of the minds between these wonderful food scenes. It's a shame there isn't much interaction, it's like 2 different worlds to be honest.

                                1. re: aser

                                  I'm all for it.

                                  SERIOUSLY.

                                  For further discussion offline?

                                  Please be in touch... I think I'm pretty easy to find email wise?

                                  1. re: aser

                                    While aser points out that the list was "too white", I'd go further to suggest the list was predominantly "WASPy/Continental", rather than " too white".

                                    Chiado, Malena, Mistura, Buca, Joso, and lower-brow restaurants like Europe or Cafe Polonez are technically "white", yet they also didn't end up on the shortlist.

                                    Maybe Chiado and Joso weren't considered because they don't fit with the "ON terroir" thing, since their menus/some ingredients have more to do with their regional European terroirs than ON terroir. Mistura and Buca on the other hand, generally do fit into the concept of "ON terroir".

                                    I would think Cafe Polonez's Polish tripe soup and Zorba's Greek tripe soup (patsa) might have been interesting to Henderson, but I have a feeling that Cafe Polonez and Zorba's are not the types of restaurants that Team Terroir tends to visit, so they'd be off the Team Terroir radar. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

                                    Middle Eastern (93 Harbord or Tabule- Tabule uses ON lamb, not sure about 93 Harbord since it's been a while since my last visit), Ethiopian, Persian (Banu uses Cumbrae's meats, so in that sense, they might fit with the Terroir thing), and West Indian cuisines (WI being mentioned already by pinstripepriness,and Rap's mentioned by Aser) also didn't get any attention.

                                    I would be tempted to bring a visiting chef to Ravisoups, to show another type of culinary success in Toronto, that also reflects our multiculturalism.

                                    When I have non-chef, food-oriented visitors from out-of-town staying for a couple days, we often end up with a dim sum meal somewhere near Hwy 7, a meal of mezes (or maybe a late-night souvlaki) followed by galatoboureko/bougatsa/loukamades on the Danforth, a wooden plate combo platter at Cafe Polonez/Chopin/Europe, a locally sourced meal at an upscale continental resto (such as Cava, Globe Bistro, Starfish, Zee Grill, or JKWB way back when), and a dozen pasteis de nata from Doce Minho.

                                    re: Asian restaurants that deserve attention from visiting chefs, I'd add Northern Dumpling Kitchen to the list.

                                    re: Continental restaurants that could have been included. George. I would take a visiting chef to George.

                                    Mind you, most of the restaurants I've suggested, and quite a few of the restaurants others have suggested, lack a certain hip factor. Anyone that has tried to manouevre through the crowd at the Brickworks picnic knows that the hip factor, as well as some impressive people-watching, goes hand-in-hand with terroir and locavores in Toronto. Few of the restaurants on nondoctor's list have low hip factors. Le Select's hip factor is relatively low since it's been around for such a long time, but at least its address is relatively hip, and it has a massive wine collection. Langdon Hall has the lowest hip factor, but it does have the culinary pedigree that the hippest restaurants on the list might be lacking.

                                    ;-)

                                    -----
                                    Tabule
                                    2009 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8, CA

                                    Cumbrae's
                                    481 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA

                                    93 Harbord
                                    93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA

                                    Mistura
                                    265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

                                    Chiado
                                    864 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A3, CA

                                    Joso's
                                    202 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J2, CA

                                    Cava
                                    1560 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4T 2S9, CA

                                    Zorba's
                                    681 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J1L2, CA

                                    Cafe Polonez
                                    195 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R2L5, CA

                                    Raps
                                    1541 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E, CA

                                    Ravisoups
                                    322 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

                                    Harbord
                                    147 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H1, CA

                                    Northern Dumpling Kitchen
                                    550 7 Hwy E, Richmond Hill, ON L4B3Z4, CA

                                    Buca
                                    604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

                                    Doce Minho
                                    2189 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6E, CA

                            2. Can't say I've heard of this chef, but I think you missed a few worthy spots.
                              Some ethnic places showing TO's diversity would have been my rec. Also I question Parts n Labour and Caplansky's? No high end places either, to showcase some fine local dining! Why? (Langdon, yes, but that's not TO)
                              Next time!

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                              Caplansky's
                              356 College Street, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                              1. And so ends another interesting episode of Toronto food scene cliques.