Jul 29, 2010

English Cheese-Tasting, Take 2

In April, air travel disruptions caused by an erupting volcano in Iceland incurred world travel havoc. With the cloud of doom no longer present, we finally get to renew and showcase our English cheeses with feature presenter and cheese expert, Helen Dallimore, this Saturday from 12-4 pm.
Helen Dallimore is a cheese expert from Coombe Castle International, with an array of fine English cheeses. This is a rare opportunity for a "guided tour" of specialty cheeses from the U.K.

12-4 pm at CheeseB. (click link to google map it)

Sampling encouraged!

Jul 15, 2010

Cheesekeeper: Day in the Life

Friday's are for the food service industry a frenzy at the best of times. Customers and resto's clamor at CheeseB for weekend plans as well as last minute orders. (We would always recommend an earlier day of the week shopping experience at CheeseB.)

When notified that 'Cheesekeeper' Afrim Pristine was adding to that regular Friday schedule, two PR events on Friday, July 16, we tagged along for an exposé to see how electric things might get, all in a cheesekeeper's day's work.
The morning PR work started with bringing breakfast to Humble Howard and Collen Rusholme at Boom 97.3. Featured guest chef Christopher Woods makes a weekly address for the Foodie Friday segment and invited Afrim along to promote CheeseB as well as an Italian themed BBQ event at Langdon Hall that night.

It was a treat to get a live show by Humble Howard, a veteran Toronto radio announcer, while they ate breakfast catered by CheeseB. Is that a contradiction to work and eat when on the radio? Flashbacks of Mom saying, 'don't talk with your mouth full.' The retort should have been "we're breaking for commercial."

From there, we headed back to the store for the day orders as well as prepare an Italian, Mrs. Pristine inspired themed BBQ. Langdon Hall is running a Summer Sizzler BBQ series each Friday and Afrim was a guest presenter for week 3 in tandem with John Szabo, Master Sommelier.
We're fanatical for Langdon Hall and evidently the world agrees with us as they were recently sighted as 77th best restaurant on the planet. Executive Chef, Jonathan Gushue and Afrim developed the menu and the Langdon team flawlessly executed the summer sizzler. Afrim's matriach hails from Naples of which Afrim appropriated much of his food acumen. Fish, meats, vegetables and cheese were the savoury offerings for guests on what turned out to be a splendid and clear summer night. Note: stars are visible out in Cambridge. Further incentive to haul yourself to an event out of the city.
John Szabo, Master Sommelier

Note: White Anchovies are a delicacy and an exclusive product now at CheeseB.
Highly recommended when looking for something a little different.

To complement the Italian theme, John Szabo matched cuisine with regional Italian wines. What Afrim is to cheese (Chevalier du fromage), John is to wine representing Canada as it's first Master Sommelier. Insights from his studies and travels coloured an entertaining presentation as to how pairing is considered for the table menu. Cheese and wine is an unbreakable marriage and we hope to cross paths with John sooner than later as his selections were seductive.Every foodie should consider reserving a night this summer at Langdon Hall's event...the scenery is sublime and the food, outstanding. This event is their inaugural summer series and we look forward to seeing it return in 2011.
Next year's menu item?

We were tweeting throughout that day last week and taking orders on the drive home. For future live event updates, CheeseB's tweets are here.

Jul 5, 2010

Langdon Hall: Summer BBQ's

Summer heat! When it gets this hot out, the best thing to do is to take it easy and chill by the pool.

Here's the ultimate summer get-out-of-the-city-pool-getaway plan to do just that....Langdon Hall is offering a casual gourmet experience with their sizzling summer BBQ series. Executive Chef Jonathan Gushue co-hosts with guest chefs each Friday with foodies and other 'culinarians' (new word alert for me-I like it). Last year at this time was Langdon Hall's 20th Anniversary event so this new summer event is something to look forward to based on past experience. Jonathan Gushue utilizes all elements available from the grounds....fresh everything from their own garden... including their own butter and bread made daily.

The BBQ series just started last week so plenty of opportunity for the rest of the summer to plan an outing. On July 16th CheeseB with Afrim Pristine will be presenting cheese selections as part of the evenings dishes and matching wines will be presented by John Szabo, Master Sommelier.

Register with Langdon Hall to reserve a stay or booking for an evening dinner is also available.

Jul 2, 2010

Raymification: Food Concert

Hi, I'm Raymi and I'm a celebrity blogger who also just so happens to be an eataholic. I come bearing no off button, so when Cheese Boutique invited me along for the Seafood for Thought event (Toronto Zoo's 2nd annual fundraiser that promotes Sustainable Food) eating tour I just about fainted. I photograph everything I put in my body on the regular (foodie gourmand extraordinaire in the making) so this event suited me juuust fine.

Seeing Cheese Boutique family upon entrance I kept my cool. I didn't want to let on how ravenous I actually was (coming off a suicide-mission fast). I networked a little with the FoodNetwork chicks then I politely excused myself to inhale three delicious cheeses
as Afrim explained ever so diplomatically whatever it was I had been shovelling into my maw (editor note: St. Maure pucks, Big Ed sandwiched with Sardinian Flatbread) , then chased down with some of that phenom in-house goat's milk yogurt. I find this is a theme for me when it comes to eating/sampling. It's hard to not have tunnel vision for the food in my hand on its way down my trap. I must learn to pay better attention and maybe eat something at a gas station enroute to foodietown so I can use a higher percentage of my brain whilst imbibing. I could've eaten a stingray (Which we got to hang with, feed, and pet. Amazing!).Off to the food tour and so many things to praise. From C5's poboy sandwiches to the wine, oh the wine, we love our wine. I was in a food vortex. A full-on food eating frenzy! Manouvering around damp soggy grass patches covered in cocoa moss chips the stuff urbanists use to decorate their gardens with, elbowing past foodies inhaling oysters and ahi, laughing shrimp from Belize (who knew shrimp even laughed?!! hysterical I love it!) in the Carribean, spicy catfish, more wine, strawberries and chocolate fountains oh my god I could get used to this. My poor pants might not though. I do love these events because we're all experiencing what we most enjoy, dressed to impress, on our best behaviour and loosening up as the wine keeps a-flowing. You do a circuit then you do another and another. Take a stingray chocolate fountain break then do it all over again. Gourmet buffet dining events are rock concerts for hardcore foodists and they are so fun. At many a juncture we would exclaim to one another how amazing everything was, utterly dumbfounded and you know, it beats a real concert hands down and I can say this because I've been drunk and bored at my fair share of concerts over the years, being a pro blogger of the city, by the people and all. I'd easily go back in time and swap numerous live music events for a food event in a high cholesterol hearbeat. Not a problem.

So here's the thing with sustainable food and why you should give a care about it. You can't just take a baseball diamond-sized net and drag it across the ocean anymore collecting up all the delicious creatures you'd like to put on melba toasts. I mean, sure at one point you could, but the world got greedy and now so many under water neighbourhoods are dismantled because of it, screwing over a LOT of fish. Think of all the fish they accidentally drag up in those nets trying to catch the big guys. Sadface. This is why if your goal is to incorporate elitist dining into your life you should at least attempt to go the ethical route.
Think globally, act locally. Hippie it up for a change. Or do like Cheese Boutique and introduce slow food into your world. A pox on fast food I say!
Another thing I learned at Seafood for Thought was that I deserve to walk around with a microphone just like that Roger Mooking soul food cat. He MC'd the event. What a character. You'd be dreamily feasting on scallop corn stew and all of a sudden this smooth croony voice would boom out of a jungle bush at you from all sides, where is that voice coming from? So funny. We chatted for awhile and didn't part ways until I let him know how much of a big deal I was (you're not the only one Roger ahha). He's since emailed making fun of me for that. I meant it!

I cannot wait for the next round.

Always remember, the slower you eat, the fuller you get, so hit as much and many tables as you can from the get-go if you're going to be a professional eater like me!

xo your pal Raymi.

the big cheese: Thank you Raymi, looking forward to seeing you come out to more 'foodie concerts'.