Nov 18, 2006

Longue vie au Chevalier! The Order of the Cheese

The CheeseB's own festivities honouring Fatos Pristine on becoming a Chevalier of France were held today. The thing is, you wouldn't have known about this party and neither did Fatos!!! Seeing his face of surprise made the goal all the more sweeter or in this case, cheeeeeesier. Patrons were equally surprised with greetings of Champagne and cake for all. Special thank you from Chef Bertrand Alépée of Amuse Bouche for the massive pastry. The pics offer a chronology of the event....the setup---the arrival---the surprise---the party----and nothing stops the boss, he just goes right back to work, tea for all!

LCBO : BYOC (bring your own cheese)

As part of an ongoing program at the LCBO, Afrim Pristine was invited to educate and present the intricacies of cheese. How to buy. How to preserve. Questions to ask. Wines to pair with.....and of course....sampling cheese. For more information on LCBO programming---link is to the right (update for direct link coming up). There will be (tentatively) more CheeseB show and tells at the LCBO in the 2007 winter program, Summerhill location.

Nov 14, 2006

Chevalier: the details

You don't get to meet an honoured Chevalier everyday so this Cheese blogger did a little more digging to inquire what it means to be one and how it's acheived. Jacob Richler of the National Post wrote a couple weeks back, "Mr Pristine, who turned his father's cigar shop into the country's largest and most impressive cheese retailer and affineur, is being recognized for his efforts by the most prestigious cheese society in the world, he will attend a ceremony at the SIAL exhibition booth of a magnificent cheese maker named Juraflore. He will get down on one knee, and be tapped on each shoulder with a sword and then rise again as an official inductee the French order of cheese."

James Chatto writes from his blog:
Life always seems a little brighter when you hear of an honour being bestowed upon someone who truly deserves it. On October 23, my friend Fatos Pristine, proprietor of the renowned Cheese Boutique, was inducted into the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Taste Fromage de France......Anyone who has watched Mr. Pristine hold a room silent and spellbound while he discourses on the glories of some favoured fromage, his passion for the subject apparent in every word he utters, will agree this knighthood is totally merited. The new Chevalier is the champion of cheese, the count and conquistador of curds, an educator and an enthusiast as much as a merchant.....

Acquired below is the offical Order certificate and below that, the letter of consideration.

(below in french--its not too hard to translate---talks a bit about Fatos' background, the commisioners who presented his name for consideration and a little history of what kickstarted the Cheese boutique to its current form today)


Aprés de brillantes études : sciences politiques à NAPLES en Italie–et sociologie à l’Université de TORONTON- il est depuis 36 ans à la direction et au développement de << Cheese Boutique >>, mentor de la 2éme génération, travaillant pour la 3éme.

Vos fromages préférés sont le Brie de MEAUX, le Comté, la Mimolette, l’Epoisses, et les chevres de Valençay.

Monsieur Louis AIRD votre 1er Parrain, signale qu’il n’est pas la seule personne à considérer Monsieur Fatos PRISTINE comme l’un des peres fondateurs du commerce gastronomique à TORONTO.

On peut faire ses emplettes en toute confiance chez un véritable affineur. << The Cheese Boutique >> qui tient le plus beau et vaste choix de fromages de spécialités en ville, s’est construite grâce à la passion d’un seul homme qui depuis des décennies a changé les habitudes alimentaires de la population Torontaise.

Votre grande passion : le fromage est ma vie : je travaille, je mange, je rêve fromage, je prends plaisir à informer et a éduquer les gastronomes ; en échange je me nourris de leur énergie et de leur passion.

C’est en 1970 que vous avez importé le Brie de MEAUX à TORONTO, vous l’avez affiné à point pour le faire découvrir aux nombreux amis qui vous entourent.

Bienvenue parmi nous. Je suis tres heureux d’être votre 2 éme parrain.

A Definitive Guide to Canadian Cheese

A new book about Canadian Cheese. Actually, make that the only book exclusively on Canadian Cheese. The book launch at the CheeseB was held last night at the CheeseB. Gurth Pretty traveled back and forth between the provinces to highlight the coming of age of cheese in Canada. It was really great to see the turnout for the event--the foodie force was strong last night and not just the smell of the cheese. To pick up the book the Whitecap link is to the right.

Nov 12, 2006

Knight of the Round.........CHEESE!!!

Ahhhh there any other city like it? Fatos Pristine returned this week from the city of lights where he was inducted into Knighthood-entry level- in the Order of the Cheese. I kid you not. For real. Yeah, I didn't know such a thing existed either. But now that I know you can bet that that honour validates Fatos as a cheese purveyor to a level that need not be questioned. The prestigious annual industry food show, the Salon Internationale d'Alementation (SIAL) played host to the ceremony. A delicate tap on the shoulders with a sword and the honour of being inducted is secured with a medallion around the neck. More updates to this coming soon.....for now details have been sketchy, but I happened to run into Fatos at the store and he promised me more details as soon as the travel fatigue wears off....some snaps below and James Chatto's blog also discussing the event in the links---->

Fatos Pristine and his wife Modesta

Nov 9, 2006


On November 8th, The CheeseB participated in a charity dinner/silent auction at the Palais Royale. The event was created by the STOP Community Food Centre to aide in their cause. They are an organization that strives to increase access to healthy food in tandem to building a better healthier community. One of the event highlights was the sampler dinner provided by each food booth. This blogger couldn't help notice the that the CheeseB were on a non-stop rotation of cutting and serving. Ahhhh the irony---there was no stopping going on that night with Agim at the helm. Take some time in learning more about STOP and how you can help. Their link in the links column----->

Nov 5, 2006

Recipe: a little bit of Thuet, a little bit of Steam Whistle Pilsner and a whole lot of SWISS CHEESE = FONDUE at the CheeseB!!!!!!

At the CheeseB on Saturday, November 4th, celebrity Chef Marc Thuet, with Thuet's Bakery Chef David Wilson were greeting patrons at the door. They were serving up Swiss Cheese Fondue using Thuet's Bakery-Bread selections. This of course wasn't an ordinary Fondue...... ummmm....... is anything ordinary at the CheeseB? Added into the pot, Steam Whistle Pilsner. The alcohol evaporates in the reheating process with the leftover being just the taste. At least that's what they tell me. I did note patrons bumping into each other in the aisles after wandering into the store (after sampling the Fondue), but that's normal fair for a Saturday at the CheeseB. I willingly go along with the explanation given. Pics of all the gooey below. Links to Thuet Bistro/Bakery and Steam Whistle Brewery to the right------>

Chef Marc Thuet

Oct 20, 2006

A Round of Roussel

This past Wednesday the 18th the CheeseB had a special guest of honour come by and visit. Monique Roussel of Le Bergerie aux 4 Vents Ltée, and her husband André Martineau produce Internationally reknowned Tomme cheese. Their cheese is proudly hosted at the CheeseB made from sheep and cow's milk. It's not only great cheese but made right here in Canada, Champ Doré, New Brunswick, where they have their own sheepfold. Unfortunately, as much as the Cheese Blooger would like to just let you sample the cheese from the comfort of your computer--tasting is believing so please come out and ask for a sample.

(L-R) Agim Pristine, Fatos Pristine, André Matineau, Monique Roussel and Afrim Pristine.

Announcement: The Definitive Guide to....

Come join us at the CheeseB for the book launch of the Definitive Guide to Canadian Artisanal and Fine Cheese. November 13th, 6 to 8 pm. Meet the author Gurth Pretty, Canada's Food and Beverage Ambassodor with the book's subject matter Cheeeeese! Taste samplings are a given..... of the Cheese, not the author. It's about indulgence and history and illuminating new tastes. See you there...

Sep 28, 2006

He went for the cheese... he came back yodelling! Hodi-Oh-Chee-eese!!

Afrim's first visit to Switzerland specially invitated by Emmi and the Swiss Consulate. The search for cheese and how it becomes traditionally prepared then ending up at the CheeseB ready to serve was an invitation that could not be refused. Afrim found that nothing echoes better than the Swiss Alps on a sunny day. To prove that point, show up at the CheeseB and you'll be hearing Afrim's echo in the form of amazement from the experience.

What would this blog be without some pics to show where some of that great cheese they sell come from...

Legendary cheese masters making their famous Swiss Emmenthal.
State-of-the-art cannot compete with tradition!!

Curing butter.

Afrim in the caves of Le Marechal...... a kid in a candy store.

Beautiful Marechal cheese curing in the salt bath...
...a crucial time for a cheese.