Dec 12, 2007

Chef Massimo Capra with One Pot

Chef Massimo Capra of Mistura and "Restaurant Makeover's" Food Network Celebrity made an appearance at Cheese Boutique on Tuesday, December 11th where you could have gotten an early release of his book One Pot Italian Cooking and signed by the entrepreneurial author.

The book indulgences in Italian cooking that needn't go further than pot.

Personally I like the limited amount of cleaning that this book suggests to offer so with some ingredients from Cheese Boutique--I've got my reading glasses on--I have the book tilted just right on the kitchen counter and away I go.

You'll be able to find the book online--in the store--everywhere basically..its hot off the stove!

Nov 30, 2007

CLASSICS: essential wine and cheese

If you happen to pickup a copy of the Holiday Edition LCBO Food & Drink magazine... a chat between Food Critic James Chatto and CheeseB's cheesekeeper Afrim Pristine. The goal of the article affirmed that wine and cheese are timeless matches. There is always room for refinement of that mix which is explored, examined and described in detail.

Click on the pic to expand the article recomposed here in the blog all in one.

Nov 19, 2007

The mice are working overtime

Planning for the holiday season is steaming along at CheeseB.

This year be sure to investigate the array of chocolate truffle collections from Joseph Schmidt.

Joseph Schmidt--Cherry Bomb Truffles

Joseph Schmidt Chocolate Collections

Also--a reminder that CheeseB Holiday beef has been aging since the beginning of October...make sure to reserve your 60 to 80 day beef now before it all goes.

And be sure to check out the traditional assortment of XMAS treats while at Cheeseb.

Cans dangling from the back of the CheeseB Van

The last couple of weeks have been busy preparing for the coming holiday season.

This year at CheeseB it's been a year of constant energy and planning--just about every month of the year had some sort of happening and the end of October this came to a high pitch fever in celebrating the wedding of the cheesekeeper himself, Afrim Pristine.

Congratulations Afrim and Heather on your nuptials!

I hear that he brushed up on some Spanish for the honeymoon but for those stories...let Afrim tell you himself when you see him on the floor.

Oct 11, 2007

2007 is the year of events at Cheese Boutique

Cheese Blogging can get me carried away so much with photos that I spend hours editing and fall behind...perhaps digital camera shooting has spawned a new disorder because you shoot so much but can never decide what you want to show... so I'm a little behind in showcasing Greek Odyssey and Christine Cushing. I will get to it soon enough...

In the meantime I've been informed that another event is happening for the end of the month--although this time its more personal to the Pristine family. You may recall last year's announcement of Afrim Pristine's engagement. That day has just about arrived!

Cheese Boutique would like to extend a thank you to the community in congratulating Heather and Afrim in their union. Saturday, Oct 27, 2007, Cheese Boutique will make a rare exception in its yearly schedule and be closed for that day. Sunday will be back to normal with regular hours and only closing on New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Canada Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Pics of the wedding you'll be able to find here. I intend to fashionably crash it.

Sep 19, 2007

GREEK ODYSSEY @ CHEESE B! Sept 29th/30th

If visiting Cheese Boutique this weekend you'll already begin to get an inkling of the transformation the store will receive for the last weekend of September on the 29th & 30th. Those dates will be showcasing a festival entirely on everything you'd want to know about Greek....with a CheeseB gourmet twist. Among many activities, two very different chefs from two very different cultural and cuisine backgrounds will be using traditional ingredients to spin a gourmet twist.

While that is going on--for the kids there will be a plate pit pummel--who doesn't like to smash plates on purpose? Traditional Greek dancing and a host of other activities await your attendance at Cheese Boutique. The night before, Christine Cushing who launches her latest book "Pure Food" will carry over the book launch into the Greek Odyssey weekend. You'll even be able to buy an advance copy of her book before it hits the book shelves and it just coincidently has a lot of Greek Cuisine to sample in it.
Also on-hand will be Toronto Life Food Critic James Chatto. James is no stranger to Greek cuisine and has offered many passionate tales of his experiences and dedication to the ancient culture.

PURE FOOD: BOOK LAUNCH: Sept 28, 6 to 7pm

Watch the Food Network much? Then you probably know who Christine Cushing is. The popular host has completed her latest cookbook, "Pure Food" and Cheese Boutique will be hosting the "Pure Food" book launch on September 28th, 2007. You'll have the opportunity to meet Christine and ask her about... hmmmmm, how about ask her what her favourite cheese's are! While at the CheeseB sample immediately!

There will be samples of Pure Food making the rounds. Say no more see you there!

Sep 16, 2007

Mom always said to "Eat your food slow"

“The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”

“Those who are slow to know suppose that slowness is the essence of knowledge.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

September 16 and I find myself at Broadview Station about to board Cheese Boutique's sponsored shuttle bus to the Slow Food Picnic at the Brickworks. The sold out event was well received and definitely a movement that is working its way into the social consciousness.
Current Mayor and a past Toronto mayor were in attendance as well as our former Governor General that quickly led me to discern that this event has a lot to say to the community at large. People are hearing what Slow Food is about. Our environment and the way we consume food is a hot topic and appropriately a slow movement developed over years is gaining steam... ok well what about the food? Pics below, looking forward to next year.

Sep 9, 2007

GO SLOOOOOW! A little problematic though, you'll want to wolf it down!

Executive Chef, reds bar & bistro, slow cooked hog

Chef Mike Steh stewing Fondu-Niagara Gold

Right-Chef Mike Steh and to his right, Paul deCampo, Convivium Leader, Slow Food-Toronto

Here's what you missed over the weekend:

An entire hog slow cooked in its custom cooker that I've discovered IS the only way pork should be eaten. The sensation was such an experience that my DNA has now gene coded pork to how it is meant for consumption. Surely I will reject any future processed loin that is not prepared in this manner. Insofar as saying that, yes, I've become a hog snob one might say... the thing is, to make pork sing and not just grunt and snort, it takes awhile.....a loooooooooong long while to prepare actually. It is definitely slow go to get to.

However, this bogger has learned that the theme of cooking slowly is ironically, gaining speed!

Lifted from their brochure:
Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.

Executive Chef Mike Steh of reds bar & bistro (minisculing the name is part of their branding) was on the CheeseB patio for the entire weekend giving perfect examples of what slow food is all about. Saturday offered the PLT (Pork, Lettuce and Tomato) with right off the stem Coloured Sweet Corn dipped in butter and added sea salt granules.

On Sunday, Chef Steh returned and exhibited a Fondu made with Niagara Gold Cheese on reds house-baked bread. For the more adventurous, a choice of pear or apple could be swapped with the bread to dip in the Fondu.

Tangent moment; I think they should just change the name Fondu to Fun-du! Dip, lift, twirl and then munch = fun, period.

Cheese Boutique added to it a topping of Black Truffle slices recently released at CheeseB.

Take the CheeseB-BUS!

Slow Food is an organization born from a concept. To learn more, this coming weekend on September 16 is Picnic at the Brick Works. Going into the final week the event this year is sold out! Good news unless your still wondering how to get in. People are understanding that quality of life is a learned experience. Slow Food tandems a promotion of eco-friendly processes and lifestyle. Keeping with that energy Cheese Boutique is sponsoring a shuttle bus to get you to and from the event, free! It is highly recommended that if attending you take advantage of this service as parking is limited. A convenient and connected link can be taken at Broadview station on the Bloor-Danforth Subway line.

If you can't make it--Cheese blogger will be showcasing the pictures and sampling the food for you. It's a tough job, I know.

Sep 4, 2007

Miss this weekend at CheeseB, only means more for me!

If you don't show up you'll unfortunately miss Executive Chef, Mike Steh of reds bistro & wine bar. The event is a prelude to Picnic at the Brick Works. you may also want to know that this is just a warm-up for the Sept 16th event the following weekend. Cheese Boutique this year has a free shuttle from Broadview Station to take you to and from the event. Leave the car at home and take green to a new adding of course some Cheese Boutique yellow and orange.

Aug 5, 2007

A Wedding "Caked in Cheese"

Pick up the Aug 13 issue of Maclean's Magazine. On page 76, Jacob Richler has whipped up some anecdotes of weddings due in part to the summer season upon us, or, perhaps his own impending nuptials that he's pondering. Richler asks, what does one do to break tradition with the timeless white wedding cake? The answer for some, Cheese! Not just a sprinkle of shavings, not a sweet cheesecake either.... but a wedding cake layered in cheeses.

Richler seeks out to uncover the eclectic in wedding cakery where Chevalier Mark McEwan of Bymark and North44 offered a recent highlight.

"Actually I did one recently out in Cremore [Ont.] where the bride really didn't want a traditional cake... she's more interested in cheese."

Weird? As asked to the reader....

Not for Cheese Boutique it wasn't and they took on the challenge:
45 kg wheel of Comté
A 6 year-aged raw milk Gouda
4 one kilo bricks of chèvre noir from Quebec
five kilo Migneron de Charlevoix
5 kilorams of two year old Zamarano from Spain
3 kilo Riopelle de l'Isle from Isle-aux-Grues
Goat's milk Garrotxa
2.5 cm thick disc of Membrilla quince paste, La Tur from Peidmont
Caffarel dark chocolate
a topping of Époisses

All this wedding cake talk reminds this Cheese Blogger of the impending ceremony for CheeseB's own cheesekeeper, Afrim Pristine, this coming October. A 15-tiered tower of Cheese is being promised! Should we call Guinness?

Note to attendees: better start hitting the gym now, you only have three months to make room for the cake alone!

Jul 18, 2007

REDS.....with CheeseB's YELLOW and BROWN

Over the years Cheese Boutique has fostered strong relationships with many of the best restaurant establishments in Toronto. Among that list, Reds Bistro has taken on an impressive direction that this CheeseBlogger has come across recently...of course all cheese supplied by Cheese Boutique.

Reds Bistro is upping the notch to showcase cheese for its inquisitive palette conscious patrons. Reds has over 35 cheese selections from Cheese Boutique that match over 50 wines by the glass.

The assortment encompasses global representation that includes Australia, Ireland, USA, Canada, France, Scotland.... ok, well, if I'm going to outline Europe I‘d rather offer you a EuroRail pass--it could be quicker to review that way.

I met with Executive Chef, Michael Steh, and he informed me that this is just a starter for Reds‘ commitment to cheese. Once the kids end up back in school Reds will host wine and cheese tasting dinners/seminars.

But there‘s more! Starting in late September, Reds Fondu is back! Available in "Petit" and "Grande" and in three types of cheese from Classic Gruyere, Quebec Blue, Truffle.

Executive Chef, Michael Steh, Reds Bistro

See you there!

Jul 16, 2007

Roll', no, no, not the Cheese! The Camera!

Television cameras have come back to Cheese Boutique this week as a new show involving Afrim Pristine is being recorded for future broadcast. Here's a behind-the-scene-shot of Afrim at the cheese counter.

Cheese Blogger will of course "broadcast" the details of when this hits the air as soon as it becomes available.

Jul 11, 2007

Your not going to believe this but.....

L-R, Comte, Lindenhoff Dutch Gouda, Swiss Sbrinz. Click on the pic for a detailed closeup

Cheese Boutique actually sells cheese!

With all the posts of events lately from Chevalier, Festival of Chefs, Charity showcases etc; you'd think that the CheeseB's business is all about parties and hosting then acting as a premier gourmet shop.

And so, presented to you is a special announcement of recently released rounds from the vault!

-Cave-aged 4-year Swiss Sbrinz
-Vintage Cave-aged Comte 3-years old. This cheese was hand selected by resident Chevalier Fatos Pristine.
-Farmhouse Lindenhoff Dutch Gouda. A total of 6-years aging before today's announcement (2 years were in-house) that also happens to be one of Chevalier Afrim Pristine's personal favourite.

Make sure to discover these new releases and while there visit the vault to learn about how they patiently prepare the cheese for the consuming customer.

Jun 11, 2007

Harvest in June?

The spectacular weather weekends in Toronto keep on happening and its lending itself very well for events such as the Second Harvest annual event Toronto Taste. This year's event was held at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Cheese Boutique was among over 50 of the best that Toronto has to offer such as Scaramouche, Canoe, JK Kitchens.....hmmmm, starting to sound like an encore of Festival of Chefs all packed into one night!

Second Harvest has over 20 years of delivering fresh food supplies for feeding those in need. The event goes a long way in supporting the cause where participants can sample all. I overheard many establishments calling out how they intended to not leave home without polishing off all that they brought with them to share. Silent auction, wine auction, raffles and more made for an entertaining event...and the shots of course below.

Jun 7, 2007

Cuisine & Cuvée & Cheese Boutique

Cheese Boutique is never short of being busy. Not a couple of days past the May 2007 Festival of Chefs and they are right back out in the community to share, educate and promote.

On Tuesday June 5th, 2007, Cheese Boutique in its 7th consecutive outing proudly supported Providence Healthcare Foundation in their annual fundraiser. The pics exhibit a peek of the scene in the Governor's Ballroom at Liberty Grand, Exhibition Place.

Congratulations to Providence Healthcare as they celebrate their 150th anniversary.

11 months until the May Festival of Chefs... 2008!

The 2007 May Festival of Chefs was without a doubt the best yet. The food was exceptional and the weather was superb! Alas, the month long party came to a close to leave the palette only wanting more.

The final weekend hosted Executive Chef Anthony Walsh of Canoe and JK Kitchens very own proprietor and Executive Chef, Jamie Kennedy.

The pics below archive the closing days...

Another set of Black Cod on its way around the bend...

The how to of Black Cod layering....

Executive Chef Jamie Kennedy on May 27th. Rolling fingers just getting started

Festival of Chefs Llardo hat presented to Executive Chef Jamie Kennedy

Crepe with cheese wraped around asparagus

The Cheese Blogger looks forward to the 2008 May Festival of Chefs! In the meantime, stayed tune for many more happenings at the Cheese B over the next 11 months.