Dec 23, 2009

The Man in Red...last minute checklist.

CheeseB would like to thank Santa Claus from dropping in while checking his lists before his big day. Even though there is plenty to look at in the store--its hard not to be jarred by a man in a red suit to bring the jolly's.

From the staff at CheeseB
Happy Holidays to all and to all a good-night!

Dec 20, 2009

The Tenor Mouse

Final bars of 2009, the Xmas accenting is at a symphonic peak and CheeseB was running on a high note with frenzied customers on Saturday....hmmmm, perhaps that line of musical perfunctory isn't translating well that this was no ordinary weekend.
John MacMaster, Tenor

Internationally renowned Tenor, John MacMaster, gave a surprise performance for midday customers. John's voice filled the room with good tidings where everyone enjoyed a first row seat to one of the best voices that Canada exports. CheeseB was delighted of the honour to have him perform.The set included a mix of festive carols and some classic Arias such as Nessum Dorma with a performance that extended over an hour. Like matured cheese, Opera has a way of connecting with the soul. It's textured, melodic, powerful and expressive... and having a front row seat as I did makes a fan out of all.
Accompanying John was Melody McShane, a top conductor, keyboard and coach with a long history working locally with such personalities as Andrea Martin, Gino Vanelli, the late Gregory Hines and Mickey Rooney to name a few. Melody was delighted to rejoin with John at CheeseB from the last time that they worked together in Phantom of the Opera.
Xmas, Cheese, Opera singing....something is needed....Sparkling Wine! Colio Estate Wines were in attendance sampling CEV Lily 2008—Sparkling Wine.

With the last week before Xmas...there will be another guest checking in to greet customers, especially the little ones to do last minute checklists of gifts before the big outing...try to catch him from 1 to 3 pm, Dec 22 & 23.

(Note to self--a video camera would have been a better medium to share with you all this enlightened and entertaining performance--I'm going to look to Santa on making that possible for 2010)

Dec 10, 2009

Ilir goes to Italy, attends Slow Food's Terra Felix event

Recently Ilir Pristine travelled to Campania, Italy, where he was representing CheeseB on a food-centric excursion of touring and tasting.

Highlights: street vendors selling mulled wine and roasted chestnuts, face-to-face meetings with the Buffalo that produce the Bufala Mozzarella, convenience stores that are more like Cheese Boutique than 7-11, even a factory tour of the Gragnano Pasta we've been so excited about lately.

But the main event and primary purpose of the trip was to attend Terra Felix:
Terra Felix is a promotional event which aims to promote the Campania Region amazing food products. It also aims at spreading the incredible delicious flavours of the whole Regional food and wine sector; it promotes traditional local products environment friendly and organic products from Campania agriculture businesses hoping to help agriculture businesspeople meet foreign qualified food experts, organize formative and informative courses in order to improve the knowledge of Campania agrifood excellencies.

Terra Felix basically means "Happy Earth". How fitting that Carlo Petrini, pioneer of the Slow Food Movement, was the keynote speaker. Representatives from around the world were selected by the Italian Chamber of Commerce-- and we extend our thank-you to them for inviting Cheese Boutique.

Dec 9, 2009

Media Event at Langdon Hall

On Sunday night, CheeseB was at Langdon Hall as one of a handful of featured suppliers showcasing our product: Cheese! Langdon Hall was the grande finale stop on a whirlwind media tour of Central Canadian Cuisine from Quebec through Ontario.
This was true gastronomic indulgence. The guests were led through different environments on the grounds, with each environment highlighting a different course to sample. Starting with charcuterie in the the fish market meeting a full course menu prepared in the dining room while CheeseB closed the evening with Ontario ice wine.

Guests sampled CheeseB exclusives such as 4 year aged Thunder Oak Gouda and the Pristine’s family guarded recipe of caramelized olives, among a few other evening treats. Ontario’s best was definitely elevated that night judging by reactions-- and of course, the second and third round helpings...or maybe that was just me :-)
Executive Chef, Jonathon Gushue, Langdon Hall/Afrim Pristine, "CheeseKeeper"
If you happen to note an influx of our neighbours South of the border on a food pilgrimage here in the coming months—now you know why.

PS. I ate like the king of kings that night, under the category of “intellectual cuisine” because of Executive Chef, Jonathan Gushue’s thoughtful fusion of senses . This past year at Langdon Hall can do no wrong by me—memorable place, memorable food-- I'm looking forward to further experiences in 2010!

Dec 7, 2009

Pasta feast at CheeseB on Saturday

Via Allegro's Chef Marco Zandona took over the pasta room (our Little Italy) at CheeseB on Saturday:

Afrim, Marco and the feature presentation: Gragnano pasta

Several kinds of pasta were prepared on-site, in the kitchen, for patrons to sample

"A spicy meatball"

Spaghetti, Bucatini, Linguine, Scialatielli al limone... a variety of formats with good sauce such as tomato ricotta. All served with yummy meatballs. Each version was prepared in literally minutes, as the cooking time for this caliber of pasta is quite fast, and the sauces were delicious simplicity itself.

In fact, after all of this inspiration, Oreagano and friends concocted a Gragnano pasta of our own shortly thereafter. Calamarata rigata (calamari-shaped rings), Cheese Boutique cheese, tender veal sausage, and a sauce made from cherry tomatoes-- a dish thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Dec 1, 2009

The Road to Happiness is Paved with Pasta and Cheese

Via Allegro Ristorante courtesy of their Gallery

We announced a few days ago that this Saturday, Via Allegro Chef Marco Zandona is coming to Cheese Boutique. Today we put this fine establishment in the spotlight.

Via Allegro translated means “road to happiness.” Specifically, we can say that the road to happiness might be the Queensway-- it leads us to CheeseB and to Via Allegro Ristorante.

With its surprising location and unassuming exterior, maybe it doesn't appear to be what many call one of the best restaurants in the city. Of course, at CheeseB we know that when you possess a treasure you can get away with an unorthodox locale.

Via Allegro offers treasures a-plenty. Wine-- over sixty available by the glass, a 20,000 bottle showcase mid-room, and an award-winning Sommelier team. Food-- authentic (avant-garde) Italian that has critics singing praises, and places them at number four in Toronto Life's Top Ten Restaurants.
Cheese Boutique at Via Allegro, 2007. Sometimes we go to them.

Read a great review with lovely descriptions at Taste T.O. It's not the most recent, but quite comprehensive. Platinum Beef and Italian Stallion, Lamb Trinity, Bison... Oh look, CheeseB is mentioned too-- where else would the kitchen find five year aged parmigiano-reggiano?

Here is a great chance to meet Chef Zandona, at Cheese Boutique: Saturday, Dec. 5, from 12-4pm. Featuring the Gragnano Pasta of Napoli, and more.

Speaking of Napoli, CheeseB's Ilir Pristine has announced that he is off to Naples for what he calls a "Food Excursion." Sounds very interesting-- everyone who works in CheeseB lives in a perpetual food excursion, so this has got to be good. One of his stop-overs will be a Pasta factory in Gragnano-- We look forward to the pics and updates he'll send from his new Twitter Account.