Category Archives: Food

20161216_184023

URBAN GALLERY HOSTS IN MAGAZINE’S END-OF-YEAR BASH!

Last Friday (Dec.16/16) friends and sponsors of IN Magazine joined the publishing team for their annual end-of-year bash at URBAN GALLERY located at 400 Queen St East, Toronto (www.urbangallery.ca).

With delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails served by sister company Urban Source Catering, the guests enjoyed a fabulous night celebrating another successful year of publishing for the glossy magazine targeting Toronto’s LGBT community.  www.inmagazine.ca/20161216_180758The current show by local artist Meghan Thomas provided the perfect edgy backdrop for the festivities (below)20161216_174229 20161216_182237Publisher Patricia Salib is pictured above right with guests, as is Dir. of  Marketing Woodrow Monteiro (below, right).20161216_180817 20161216_181614The guests really enjoyed the specialty cocktails, especially the refreshing & highly potent Tipsy Elf (above/below)20161216_183359Charming server Melissa (below) kept everyone well-fed…20161216_181641…while bartender Mischa (pictured below) kept everyone well-lubricated!!20161216_174719The holiday spread was quite spectacular – my favourite is this amazing brie (below) with its crispy, crunchy, sugary crust…mmmm, yum!20161216_17472920161216_18063920161216_18074620161216_174750

Urban Gallery provides the perfect space for smaller corporate events (up to 80 cap.) or private functions so please visit their website for rental details www.urbangallery.ca. Likewise, UrbanSource Catering offers a selection of menus for cocktail parties, gala dinners or buffets or smaller family occasions. For menu selections, visit www.urbancatering.com

Gallery and catering company owners Calvin Hambrook and Wayne Abell (pictured below, L to R) wish all their clients and artists the happiest of holidays.20161216_181141

 

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GRAZING MY WAY THRU LAST NIGHT’S 21ST ANNUAL “EAT TO THE BEAT” FUNDRAISER

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the 21st annual Eat to the Beat fundraiser, presented by KitchenAid®, for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) which featured 60 female chefs supporting people living with breast cancer.  Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall became the mecca for urban foodies to experience the best Ontario’s culinary scene has to offer.20161101_192052 20161101_192441 20161101_192621 20161101_193335Eat to the Beat guests have the opportunity to enjoy specially prepared savoury and sweet dishes at 60 stations, along with wine, beer and a selection of non alcoholic beverages set up around Roy Thomson Hall’s outer lobby. “We are so grateful to our participating chefs, sponsors and supporters who have helped to make Eat to the Beat Toronto’s must-attend culinary event and fundraiser over the years,” says Cathy Park, co-chair, Eat to the Beat20161101_193704 20161101_193439 20161101_192116Started 21 years ago by sisters Lisa and Abby Slater, Eat to the Beat has raised more than $3.9 million since its inception. Funds raised at Eat to the Beat will support the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – dedicated to funding relevant and innovative research, supporting and advocating for the breast cancer community, and providing credible, unbiased information to help empower those affected by breast cancer or at increased genetic risk of developing the disease.

“Just like Lisa and Abby, we’re inspired by the strength of breast cancer survivors and those who are affected by this disease,” says Karen Malone, VP, Research & Programs, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, “Thanks to fundraising events like Eat to the Beat, we can continue to offer emotional support and information to anyone affected by breast cancer.”20161101_194217I ran into a number of friends there, including the lovely ladies from Succulent Chocolates (yummmmm), pictured below…20161101_191956…and lots of other talented bakers, chefs and chocolatiers…..20161101_195939 20161101_19211120161101_195643There was also a number of wineries sampling their products and the fellas from Still Waters Distillery offering shots of their new Stalk & Barrel Canadian whisky (just launched in LCBO stores) – pictured below. Mmmmmm, very nice and smooth.20161101_195441 20161101_195453On behalf of all us hungry foodies attending last night, thank you to all the participating chefs and congrats to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) for another successful soiree. For more information, visit www.cbcf.org

Big thank you to my dear PR colleague, Peter Ashworth (with me below) of Ashworth Associates Inc. for granting my media accreditation – my tummy really thanks you….burp!20161101_202703_001

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TSE INTRODUCES MUZIK EVENT CENTRE’S INTERIOR RENO’S & POOLS WITH SEXY NETWORKING SOIREE

The folks at Toronto Special Events were kind enough to invite me to the industry networking event over at MUZIK ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE in Exhibition Grounds to unveil their multi-million dollar renovations, pool installations and their oh so delicious catering thanks to the tasty Food Dudes.20160608_17223620160608_174623 Accompanying me was hairstylist to the stars (and me!) Cathie D of “Cut, Do or Dye” in-home hair services and being kinda silly when we socialize, we spent a great deal of time playing with the Boomerang app on my phone posting silly videos on Instagram. How old am I? LOL20160608_173358The cavernous interior of Muzik was made very intimate and cosy thanks to some great drapery and huge table displays in the various seating areas (below)….20160608_173534…and the food service was non-stop, both pass around and buffet style. This lovely young lady (below) kept Cathie and me well-fed all night!20160608_192009 20160608_17461120160608_18273320160608_175816(0)20160608_172224DJ Tay James spun hot tunes all evening although they stuck him in the dark surrounded by giant potted palms. Trust me, he was cute! And he’s Justin Bieber’s official tour DJ. Wonder if he does weddings & bar mitzvahs, too?20160608_173856We were also treated to lots of lovely cocktails – I played it safe with my usual G&Ts (gin and tonic, for those non-Brits reading this). Think I was on my 3rd round when Cathie snapped this somewhat demented pic…20160608_17341720160608_173327I was thrilled to run into old friend Omar Leslie (below R), a charming young man who was one of my earliest blogging inspirations. He attended with friend Paul (L) who works in Special Events/PR industry.20160608_193217(0)Out back of the giant showroom (formerly the Horticultural Bldg at the CNE)  is a series of glamorous terraces and patios including turquoise pools for swimming, paddling or whatever people do in public in pools…oh my!!!!20160608_194602 20160608_194430 20160608_194530Also scattered around the Muzik terraces are a number of statues (above) that are part of Toronto’s public arts programme.
Back inside, we watched some great promo videos on the giant screens , then Cathie decided I needed “one more for the road” and hit up the bar for another G&T.20160608_18072420160608_180713Big thanks to everyone at Muzik, especially Amy Tomes who gave me the best directions and parking info earlier. Check out the website for their weekly entertainment and corporate events info. www.muzikclubs.com20160608_173356_001

A redhead and a blonde walk into a bar…..(add your own punchline here!)

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Toronto singer DEENA performs live @ 70 DOWN in Yorkville, Toronto

The beautiful and talented DEENA entertained guests at Yorkville’s 70 DOWN resto-lounge this past Saturday evening, accompanied by JACK LENZ on keyboard and GRAHAM YOUNG on guitar.

Jack Lenz (with Deena, below) is a  multi-award winning composer who heads up Lenz Entertainment, a world-renowned film, television and music production company providing diversified creative services to the entertainment industry.  www.lenzent.com20160604_213430Graham Young (below) is a young musician currently exploring various genres including country, pop, jazz and rock. He sounds fabulous here with Jack and Deena.20160604_213443

Deena is a multi- talented recording artist who is also developing her acting and TV/film production chops. She can be seen in TV commercials and she frequently models for various advertising campaigns.  Based in Toronto, Deena has her sights set on a global music career that will allow her to promote arts & culture as well as share her philanthropic & humanitarian consciousness.  Deena has been performing since childhood and in 2015, honed her songwriting skills by collaborating on two original singles You’re Not Alone and Supernova with renowned industry professionals Derek Brin and Rupert Gayle.  http://projects.swiftweb.ca/deenatheartist.com/

One of my fave songs is Besame Mucho and I captured this quick video of Deena serenading us with her sexy rendition of the Latin classic.

Thank you, Deena, and BRAVO to you, Jack and Graham for a fabulous night of live entertainment.  We hope to see you back at 70 Down again real soon.

Check out all the live entertainment presented (Thurs-Sat) at 70 DOWN, 70 Yorkville Ave, Toronto  www.70down.ca20160524_184921(0)

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URBAN GALLERY HOSTS IN MAGAZINE’S PRIDE TORONTO LAUNCH PARTY

IN Magazine is Toronto’s premier LGBT glossy magazine and last night, Publisher Patricia Salib and her colleagues hosted a party to help launch this year’s PRIDE Month (and introduce the office PRIDE Guide) at URBAN GALLERY, catered by sister-company URBAN SOURCE CATERING. And what a fun party it was, too.20160601_18212920160601_18084120160601_182608(0)Sponsored by TD Bank, guests posed at the photowall, including Gallery director Calvin Hambrook shown here (below L) with Patricia and TD’s Regional Mgr of LGBT Business Development, Al Ramsey20160601_183633The delicious hors d’oeuvres circulated constantly…..20160601_180054 20160601_180131…and they disappeared just as quickly!20160601_181141Here’s Maria Khan (below L), Mgr of Talent Acquisition Strategies at Scotiabank who brought her colleagues to support IN Magazine. They’re posed in front of the beautiful paintings by Kirk Sutherland who’s exhibiting at the gallery during PRIDE month – his opening night party is tonight so I’ll share more of Kirk’s work with you later.20160601_180800Also in attendance, M.A.C. Cosmetics representative Drew Bowden who cut such a dashing figure in the crowd, esp. alongside friend Sharon Deebrah of Toronto City Planning (lower pic)20160601_18182120160601_181846More fabulous guests and IN Magazine folks and speeches….20160601_18314720160601_18272620160601_185622Thanks to the hard-working gallery and catering staff, and to Kelly who worked the door, checking the guest list and greeting everyone with her charming smile!20160601_181601 20160601_185832

www.urbangallery.ca

www.urbancatering.com

www.inmagazine.ca

 

20160527_190423(0)

URBAN SOURCE CATERING SCORES STANDING OVATION FROM TORONTO’s INSIDE OUT FILM FEST GOER’S

Another fabulous “pink” carpet event for Toronto’s annual INSIDE OUT FILM FESTIVAL this past Friday night, catered by those fabulous foodies at URBAN SOURCE CATERING [www.urbancatering.com] The delicious multitudes of hors d’oeuvres even starred in the local CBC TV newscast later that night!

Seafood Kokoda Spoons

Seafood Kokoda Spoons

Beef Tenderloin on Brioche

Beef Tenderloin on Brioche

Mediterranean Flatbread

Mediterranean Flatbread

Held at the Brainstorm Academy at King & Spadina, the guests enjoyed schmoozing with filmmakers & industry insiders, media and the Inside Out organizers who celebrated the Festival’s 26th year of showcasing films and supporting the LGBT community here and around the world. [ www.insideout.ca ].  Urban Catering has been a long-time sponsor of this prestigious event and has lots more Festival soirees to serve over the next week. 20160527_19114220160527_190149

Classic Crab Cakes

Classic Crab Cakes

20160527_190928Congratulations! to all at Inside Out, and to the Urban cater waiters and kitchen staff…..get a good night’s sleep and we’ll see you all back here tomorrow for another event.

Bacon & Sriracha Prawns

Bacon & Sriracha Prawns

 

70 DOWN RESTO-LOUNGE BRINGS AFGHANI-FUSION CUISINE TO YORKVILLE (TORONTO)

When I learned about the exciting, exotic and super-tasty menu on offer at the 70 Down restaurant/lounge in Yorkville, I couldn’t wait to go try for myself. Previously a late night lounge, the venue, located at 70 Yorkville Avenue, just W of Bay St, was recently transformed by owners (and brothers) Alex and Wali Seddiqi, who brought in two experienced chefs to completely renovate the kitchen and menu to showcase their family’s heritage dishes – Afghani classics with a twist of Greek and Mediterranean. www.70down.ca6_large[jPD6]Wanting to push beyond the conventional ethnic restaurants they encountered in Canada, the Seddiqi brothers created 70 Down as a hub for patrons of diverse cultures to feel comfortable and at home.

My brother and I had this great idea of one day opening a fine dining modernized Afghani cuisine restaurant, Alex recently told me. We were inspired by the great history of our country and noticed there was nothing like it in Toronto; the demand and opportunity was there as the city is known for its diverse and multicultural community.5_large[MLPr]This unique approach to food, ambiance and art/decor all contribute to creating a sense of modernism while retaining the essence of the Eastern/Afghani heritage the brothers brought with them to Canada. Appreciating the growing movement of healthy lifestyles and sustainability, 70 Down consciously integrates local and organic food into the menu.7_large[LAdc]

As Alex goes on to explain: We are totally blessed to have a fusion between two totally different types of chefs. Chef Hamayuun has been in the industry for more than 25 years and highly experienced in the culinary field specializing in traditional authentic Afghani food. Chef Sebouh is a highly skilled Armenian chef specializing in Greek cuisine. So we get to blend old school and modern style cuisine for our diners.

There’s a stunning patio fronting onto Yorkville Avenue providing great people-watching opps, but discreetly sunken slightly below street-level so that you’re not bombarded with traffic noise and exhaust from passing cars. It’s truly a perfect oasis of calm and serenity for sharing cocktails and nibblies with friends…or that special hot date!20160421_190627On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, 70 Down presents live entertainment courtesy of some of the city’s most exciting jazz, soul/R&B and Latin singers and musicians. Starting at 7:30pm each  night, the shows run until approx. 10pm and there’s never a cover charge!  20160422_200223The servers and bar staff (below) are friendly and eager to please, and able to make recommendations for your appetizer and entree choices (I always recommend the hummus…the best I’ve had in years!)20160422_202742The late night club life returns to 70 Down Thurs. through Sat. nights when the venue turns into a hot dance cave and hangout where the millennials blow off steam from their heavy work week. 70 Down offers VIP table & bottle service with special packages available for groups – details can be found on the website. 4_large[60H4]70 Down is ideal for private functions, corporate events (they can host up to 160 for cocktail receptions) and celebratory soirees. Send your enquiries to info@70down.ca or call 416-323-369670DownYorkville_Logo-2

www.70down.ca

20160516_114931

KANGA AUSSIE MEAT PIES CELEBRATES 2nd ANNIVERSARY IN TORONTO…YUMMM

I was thrilled to celebrate KANGA AUSSIE MEAT PIE’s two years of feeding Toronto’s hungry tummies when I dropped in to enjoy a couple of meat pies and some Lamingtons, too!

I must admit to a twinge of homesick blues as I walked thru the balloon-bedecked doorway….growing up DownUnder, meat pies were a staple on every school kid’s menu. Our school tuckshop doled out thousands of them at lunchtimes over the course of a year and I can still remember the glorious fragrance of fresh baked pies coming from the kitchen wafting through the class windows. That memory came back the minute I walked into Kanga!20160516_11425320160516_114921(0) As I walked in, my salivary glands were working overtime and Erynn welcomed me with a big smile from the front window….20160516_114306I immediately made myself at home with a steaming “traditional” Aussie pie topped with ketchup, or as we call it in Oz, tomato sauce. 20160516_115854 20160516_121732 20160516_121847….and soon made short shrift of the whole thing. Believe me, if I wasn’t out in public I would have licked the plate, too!!! The crust was flakey and light, just the way they make ’em back home.  And of course, no Aussie meat pie is complete until you finish up with a Lamington…..yummmmmm.20160516_114942 20160516_115545Erynn and Megan had lots of Kanga fans dropping in to wish them a happy anniversary, including these two lovely ladies who tucked right in…apparently they’re frequent flyers here at Kanga!20160516_122511Thanks for the great DownUnder hospitality, Kanga, and I can’t wait to come back for more.Logo card

Kanga Aussie Meat Pies, 65 Duncan St (south off Queen St W, just W of University Ave), Toronto.
Check their website for all the different pie flavours they offer: www.eatkanga.com20160516_121425PS: Look what Megan gave me as a surprise treat to go…OMG, I’m in Lammie heaven!20160516_130115(0)

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URBANSOURCE CREATIVE CATERING SPONSORS TORONTO UNITED CHURCH’S HEART & VISION AWARDS CONCERT

Boy, what a busy time UrbanSource Creative Catering is having…last week they catered a number of high profile events and last night, Monday May 9, they kicked off the week by providing the post-concert reception for attendees, VIPs, the entertainers and the esteemed winners of the annual Toronto United Church Council’s Heart & Vision Awards.20160509_220232The 8th annual concert honoured Roberta L. Jamieson, President of Indspire, Canada’s premiere Indigenous-led charity, and the first First Nations woman to earn a law degree in Canada, and Marie Wilson, one of the three commissioners on Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Musical entertainment was provided by: Alana Bridgewater, star of We Will Rock You, Christa Couture, Canadian Aboriginal Music Award winner, Brenda MacIntyre, Medicine Song Woman, Billy Newton Davis, Juno Award winner, Nukariik, Inuit throat singers, and Jackie Richardson, Gospel, Jazz, and Blues sensation
The evening was hosted by Hon. Bob Rae, lawyer, mediator, speaker, writer, and Ontario’s 21st Premier.
Proceeds from the concert and gifts to the Community Relief Fund support the Council’s partnership programs through which local congregations rebuild and equip their church facilities to enhance community social services.20160509_205741The hors d’oeuvre menu included Angus mini beef burgers, Cajun salmon cakes, Moroccan chicken rouelles (below)20160509_205639Also making an appearance: Urban’s famous Arancini risotto balls filled with luscious gooey buffalo mozzarella cheese and served with roasted chipotle pepper sauce (below)…20160509_211300….as well as Pear and Stilton Tartlets (my new favourite), and a Crostini Duo consisting of roasted grape with burrata, basil and balsamic drizzle, and fresh Bosc pear poached with port and cinnamon, with ricotta and candied walnut both served on toasted honey crostini.20160509_205617 20160509_211318As usual, Urban’s friendly staff (hear, resting up prior to service) kept everyone well fed and watered….20160509_210348…and here’s Sales & Events Coordinator Jean-Marc (below R) with bartender Yaz (below L)20160509_210011Chef Lyndon (below R) kept his kitchen staff hopping…preparing so many plates of treats that they could rival that legendary loaves-and-fishes event…20160509_20570520160509_205852The most popular treats of the night where the mini-burgers….they disappeared quickly off each tray as soon as they came out of the kitchen!20160509_220414And the dainty dessert trays were also a huge hit.20160509_205556 20160509_210259Compliments were freely offered by all attendees who were rarely seen without some yummy treat in their hands (and mouths)! 20160509_215435And the modest understated decor, also provided by Urban, was perfectly suited to the occasion.20160509_211531 20160509_210157Thanks to all involved and if you’d like to learn more about the Toronto United Church Council, please visit them here: www.tucc.ca/

And for all your catering needs…and then some! …..please contact UrbanSource Creative Catering here: www.urbancatering.com/20160509_221735

 

20160506_174157(0)

URBANSOURCE CREATIVE CATERING SPONSORS FOOD & REFRESHMENTS FOR INSIDE OUT 2016 Toronto LGBT Film Festival Launch Party

This past Friday evening, URBANSOURCE CREATIVE CATERING, one of Toronto’s leading catering companies (established 31 years ago) sponsored the sumptuous repast at this year’s INSIDE OUT/LGBT FILM FESTIVAL (May 26-June 5) VIP launch party hosted in the St. James Cathedral Centre.

I arrived just as Urban’s friendly kitchen staff were plating the hors d’oeuvres (below) and prepping the wine bar20160506_172802 20160506_172808 20160506_173226With the help of Urban’s Sales & Business Mgr. Wayne Abell (below, 3rd from L) I was able to wrangle the kitchen staff out front for a special photo opp (below)….20160506_174157(0)…and then enjoyed the fun as guests filled the party room, enjoying the photobooth and great music.20160506_180303(0) 20160506_173949 20160506_180244The delicious hot & cold hors d’oeuvre included pulled pork sliders, Cajun salmon cakes topped with comeback sauce, Arancini risotto balls (or as I like to call them “cheesy balls”) filled with gooey buffalo mozzarella cheese served with roasted chipotle pepper sauce (below, enjoyed by guests)…20160506_180903 20160506_184613….Greek potatoes with feta, olives, pickled onion and tzatziki, garnished with chives…don’t they look pretty? (below)20160506_181037 20160506_181043(0)…and also Moroccan Chicken Rouelles topped with mango salsa, Pissaladière Blanco on herbed Provençale crust  and Spanish Tortilla with roasted peppers, egg, potato and Manchego cheese topped with tomato jam. Yummmm,  guests couldn’t get enough of the tasty treats so the kitchen staff kicked it into high gear….20160506_182652 20160506_182704Even the press photographers were delighted by the food service (below)20160506_180221Wayne enjoyed networking, too – here he is at the photo wall with Inside Out’s Brad and Scott (LtoR)20160506_174825That photobooth was a real party favourite with guests dressing up and acting silly. Here are a few perfect examples of the perfect party guests….20160506_18145620160506_182837 20160506_182959…and of course, I just HAD to get into the act, too. Always the party princess….!20160506_173648_001Apart from all the fun and frivolity, there were the more serious chores of announcing this year’s film line-up, the complete InsideOut festival program and shout-outs to esteemed supporters, sponsors and guests, MC’d by Todd van der Heyden, news anchor with CTV News Channel.20160506_184218 20160506_184222Urban’s service volunteers really enjoyed their jobs, such as Neal (below) who had two lovely ladies flanking him and helping serve the wine.20160506_180453

InsideOut would like to thank….
Food and drinks generously provided by Urban Source Creative Catering, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, and Steam Whistle Brewing. Party Sponsors: Urban Source Creative Catering, Steam Whistle Brewing, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Jack Daniel’s, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire.
With tunes by Blockorama: DJs Craig Dominic, Blackcat and Nik Red; performances by House of Monroe; video projections by Roxanne Luchak, an art installation by Leuwebb and photo booth provided by Monocle Booth.

For information about this year’s film fest screenings and events, visit www.insideout.ca/

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