By: Foodieprints  09-12-2011
Keywords: chef




Ottawa Foodie Challenge

(November 13, 2011)

Whether you are a food enthusiast or just someone who wants to learn more about Ottawa's vibrant edible landscape, consider the 2nd Annual Ottawa Foodie Challenge (OFC) this Sunday, November 13th. The OFC starts when a set of food related clues is released. The list will be released physically at

(424 Parkdale Avenue) at 9:00 AM. It will be posted on the

at 10:00 AM. Here is last year's


OFC is a photo scavenger hunt where teams of two compete by snapping photos, based on the clues, until 6:00 PM. "Solving" a clue, which can be as simple as making a "fish"-face in front of the Whalesbone Oyster House on Bank Street, rewards the team with points. The goal is to accumulate the most points.

Photos must be uploaded to Flickr, labeled, and placed in an album. The albums must be e-mailed to

before 6:00 PM. Winners will be announced at 7pm, the same day, at Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen & Bar (18 York Street).

Team registrations cost $50. All funds raised for the challenge will be donated to the Ottawa Food Bank.

What: Ottawa Foodie Challenge

Where: All Over Ottawa

Dates & Times: Sunday, November 13, 2011 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

How Much: $50 per two-person team


: Last year, the foodiePrints team participated in the inaugural Ottawa Foodie Challenge as a "


We met some great Ottawa locals who told us they were having a lot of fun on the scavenger hunt. Everyone highly recommended the experience.

Ottawa Locavore Artisan Food Fair

(December 10, 2011)

The holiday craft fair season is upon us. What sets an event apart? How about it being the second annual

(LAFF), originally conceived of by Michael Sunderland of

, Pierre Richard of

, Jacqueline Jolliffe of

, and Loreli Lees of


This year, LAFF will be held Saturday, December 10th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the new Crichton Cultural Community Centre (39 Dufferin Road) in New Edinburgh. It is open to the public. Admission is free.

More after the jump..

To be completely honest, Jenn and I gave up cable 6 years ago. I gave up on the Food Network sometime before that, more a fan of destination cooking shows popular in Europe. I think food television should be less about putting 4 talented chefs in a room with 40 kg bag of flour, a palette knife, a rubber chicken, and a bulldozer; and asking them to compete against one another to create the ultimate double chocolate cupcake. Reality television meets professional kitchen? No, thank-you.

Above all else, when I do watch television, I tune in for the food. Food in different parts of the world is an expression the locality, be it culture that developed over countless centuries of history or geographical specificity that fix dishes to indigenous ingredients. This is probably why I rather enjoy "cooking shows", produced on travel networks, especially ones that showcase farm to plate.

Case in point, Toronto Chef Massimo Capra of the venerable Mistura Restaurant (265 Davenport Road), hosts a new cooking show called Gourmet Escapes, premiering on Travel + Escape (formerly CTV Travel). Television regular (CityTV Cityline), national column writer (contributor to Globe & Mail's Life section), author of

, the show chronicles Chef Capra's "culinary quest" across the globe.

According to the T + E media release, Gourmet Escapes follows Chef Capra as he partners with local chefs from Switzerland, Iceland and Amsterdam, to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, even visiting his hometown of Cremona, Italy. He visits local growers and markets. He prepares local cuisines, immersing himself in the respective cultures, all the while sharing some of his rather flamboyant Italian personality.

Developing a keen interest in food by helping out in his mother's kitchen and father's garden, Chef Capra has spent nearly 2 decades, working in Toronto restaurants, including former

(150 Bloor Street W.) in Yorkville.

Since then, I've always wanted to travel the world, exploring food where it's harvested, at its most basic level. I've never stopped wanting to learn about gastronomy, and always wanted to partner with local chefs from those global destinations, creating amazing dishes together, with local ingredients and techniques I could then take back to my restaurant, Mistura, in Toronto, bringing the world to local palettes.

Source: Massimo Capra,

Having screened the premiere, I rather enjoyed Chef Capra's jaunt to the Emerald Isle, cooking with fellow celebrity chef

. Viewers will quickly warm to the host. His passion for food is genuine. His comments are insightful when he is in his element, preparing food.

My two criticism involve the post production shorts that were likely shot after Chef Capra and his camera crew left their location. While the narration provides context, cutting between a pastoral dining room with guests and what is likely a backdrop at Mistura becomes somewhat disorienting. I prefer the No Reservations-style, on location footage with voice-over narration. Blame hours watching BBC and Channel 4 programming with Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Heston Blumenthall, and Rick Stein. Also, a few scenes during dinner seemed quickly cut together, moving at an unnecessarily harried pace.

Otherwise, I liked watching the exchange of culinary culture between Chefs Capra and Moore, Capra's whites embroidered with a Canadian maple leaf.

For a taste of his on screen presence, watch this video of Chef Capra at Mistura.

The video also explains the style of Italian food Chef Capra prepares.

Thank-you to T + E for contacting us. We would have loved to have met Chef Capra in person for an interview. Time constraints made this impossible. Perhaps, we will make the opportunity when we visit Toronto next.

Gourmet Escapes premieres November 2nd (Today!) at 8 pm EST / 5 pm PST

More after the jump..




As some of our readers know, Claire, our wine blogger, is in Montreal today, attending the media event for La Grande Dégustation. Be sure to follow

for some fun wine-related tweets, previewing what can be had this coming weekend.

La Grande Dégustation

(Montreal, October 27-29, 2011)

Looking for something to do this week-end? Why not head to Montreal for

, a three day event of wine and spirits being held at the Palais des Congrès. This is the first of what will be a yearly event, high-lighting over 250 producers from over twenty countries (if you're familiar with the old Montreal Wine and Spirits Show, this is its new and improved replacement). Tickets are available for one day or as a Three-day pass.

The show is being arranged to allow for maximum contact between the public and producers, with linen-covered tables replacing the old, stand-alone booths. Visitors are encouraged to speak to producers, getting to know the story behind the products. For residents of Quebec, there will be opportunities to order wines by the bottle for delivery before Christmas.

This year's spotlight will be on France, with a special nod to over 100 sparkling wines (beware the flying corks!) for this inaugural event. With over 1500 wines, spirits and beers, you are bound to find something you've never tried before and sure to find something you like.

Although just a hop away, Quebec stocks a surprisingly different variety of wines and spirits than Ontario and this is fun way of testing the waters, so to speak. And Montreal is always a fun city in which to spend a day, an evening or even a week-end. So, come on down and join me. You know I'll be there!

What: La Grande Dégustation

Where: Palais des congrès de Montréal

Dates & Times:

Thursday, October 27: 4pm - 9pm

Friday, October 28: Noon - 9pm

Saturday, October 29: Noon - 9pm

How Much:

$15 - single day

$13 - group rate

$30 - three day passport

Beau's All Natural Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Beau's All Natural has launched a new "beer + music" series that pairs Beau's brews or blends with limited edition vinyl records.

The first release, called Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, is available now, direct from the brewery (10 Terry Fox Drive, Vankleek Hill). Only 5,000 of these gift boxes will be sold this fall. New pairings are slated to be released annually on Halloween.

This year's includes two 600 ml bottles of Beau's beer served at its annual

celebration. The package features the artwork by visual artist

on its labels and box.

According to the media release:

Dr. Jekyll is a blend of Beau's flagship beer Lug Tread and the fall seasonal Nightmarzen..A tribute to the Roggenbiers of Germany with a North American twist, Mr. Hyde is a deep copper colour, and is essentially a rye beer using predominantly German ingredients: a Roggenbier-meets-Rye [Pale Ale].

A coloured vinyl 33 rpm split 7-inch with 5 tracks rounds out the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde bundle. The record features Toronto punk outfits The Flatliners and Teenage X, alternative folk/country artist Elliott Brood and Ottawa-based garage rockers White Wires.

The gift box retails for $18.85.





This week's Media Release post comes a little early because we are working on an upcoming giveaway.

Natalie MacLean Launches Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines at Play Food and Wine


, about the force of nature that it Ottawa native Natalie MacLean in the world of wine. A highly published and distinguished wine and food writer, Maclean has earned much acclaim.

Last year, she was a recipient of the Les Dames d'Escoffier International MFK (Mary Frances Kennedy) Fisher Award. She has four James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards, including a MFK Fisher Distinguished writing Award. She has six Bert Greene Awards, presented by the International Association of Culinary Professionals; six awards from the American Association of Food Journalists (four, from the North American Travel Writers Association); and three honorable mentions at the National Magazine Awards.

Maclean has published a new book, entitled Unquenchable.

According to the related media release, Unquenchable's 320 pages chronicle her travels around the world, in search of value-oriented wine.

From the author of the bestselling Red, White and Drunk All Over, comes a new book, Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World's Best Bargain Wines (on sale October 25, 2011) that will amuse and enthrall with its character sketches of obsessive personalities, travel to gorgeous vineyards, mouth-watering descriptions of food and wine, "hidden" wine education and neurotic humour.Packed with colourful stories about the passionate personalities who inhabit the world of wine, award-winning wine writer Natalie MacLean whisks you to the mountainside vineyards of Germany, the baked red earth of Australia, and the shady verandahs of Niagara--as well as to scenic, offbeat locations in southern Italy, the Mediterranean, Argentina, Chile and South Africa--all in search of the best value bottles the world has to offer.

According to the video trailer, Maclean's travels for the book involved sharks, goats, polo horses, and magpies.

On October 25, Maclean

(1 York Street) on her national book tour, unveiling Unquenchable. The evening includes a reading and signing by the author, canapes prepared by Play's talented kitchen, and a tasting of Malivoire and Catena wines featured in the book.

Tickets are available for online purchase at


The ticket price ($50/pp) includes a signed copy of Unquenchable, which

for $19.76 (list price: $29.95).

Have a wine or food lover on your Christmas list? A signed copy of Unquenchable might be just the gift you are looking for.

What: Book Tour Release of Natalie MacLean's Unquenchable

Where: Play Food and Wine (1 York Street)

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2011


- 5:30 pm Wine Tasting and Reading

- 7:30 pm Wine Tasting and Reading

How Much: $50/pp


: Natalie MacLean will return to Ottawa November 13, 2011 for a

, during the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival, called a Vintner's Brunch. That event costs $87/pp.

Feast of Flavour

Want to participate in a food festival that spans more than one Canadian city? Consider

. Organized by the Canadian Association of Holisitic Nutrition Professionals (CAHN-Pro), the festival aims to celebrate the therapeutic and healing properties of fresh, flavourful, organic/local foods prepared in time-honored ways. It teaches

the significance of the flavour of a raspberry or the taste of cinnamon or garlic and how to combine your favourite ingredients to create food you love .. that loves you back

Inaugural Feast of Flavours events will be held in


, and Ottawa. In Vancouver, Celebrity

of the Food Network will be the keynote speaker at the Croation Cultural Centre (3250 Commercial Drive), Saturday, October 22, 2011. In Toronto, celebrated

will be the special guest at the Atlantis Pavillion (Ontario Place), Sunday, October 23, 2011. Accompanying him will be Pastry Chef Lorene Sauro and Bill Redelmeier of Southbrook Vineyards.

In Ottawa, Gemini Award Nominated Ottawa Chef Michael Blackie and celebrated Toronto

(also of the Food Network) will be the headlining guests at the National Arts Centre (53 Elgin Street), Saturday, November 5, 2011. Chef Crawford is the keynote speaker. Chef Blackie will be preparing and serving samples of some of his kitchen at Le Cafe's holistic specialties.

Attendees will have the opportunity to sample traditional and nutritious dishes; browse and chat with exhibitors (local growers/producers and chefs, showcasing whole foods, clean health and beauty products, natural traditional beverages, organic wineries, and breweries); and chat with certified holistic nutritionists.

Tickets are available for purchase online on


foodiePrints readers can enter a discount code, "FOODIEPRINTS", for 20% off the ticket price (20% off of $87), when purchasing from Eventbrite.

What: Feast of Flavour - Ottawa

Where: National Arts Centre (53 Elgin Street)

Date: Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Time: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

How Much: $87/pp (20% discount code: "FOODIEPRINTS", when purchasing at EventBrite)

More after the jump..

Jenn, Claire, and I would like to forward sincere thanks to the amazing people who generously donated to sponsor our grape stomp this coming Sunday (September 25, 2011) at


The stomp, that will be held at the Adult High School Parking Lot (301 Preston St), benefits a cause dear to us. It raises money for the


In total, a group of our readers have raised $855.00, 171% of our fundraising goal.

Moreover, a certain someone donated $100 in one go to sponsor me, so

. I'm off to find a dress..

And, this week, Claire will draw winners of three bottles of bubbly amongst anyone who has donated to date.

For every $10 donation, or increment of $10, donors will receive one entry in the draw for a bottle of sparkling wine..

These bottles of sparkling wine:

If by Friday, you do not win, do not despair. She will draw 2 more names for 2 pairs of tickets to


I won the tickets in one of the ongoing giveaways on the

. Each one is good for general admission, Friday, September 30, 2011.


, I will be volunteering on the grounds the following Saturday, so do not need the tickets.

Good luck everyone!

You are all welcome to come out to see us stomp!

Come participate in some of the many events at La Vendemmia this year.


: Claire drew the winning entries for the bubbly Wednesday (September 21, 2011)

    If you haven't already, please DM Claire to make arrangements for the wine.

    Update 2

    : Claire drew the winning entries for the Beau's Oktoberfest tickets

    • Kris won a pair of tickets for general admission, Friday, September 30, 2011
    • Michael won a pair of tickets for general admission, Friday, September 30, 2011

    An e-mail has been dispatched, notifying you.

    More after the jump..

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The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

Keywords: chef