Posts Tagged ‘Chef’


The company I work for has a policy that if you work overtime then you must take off that time within two weeks. I wanted to take full advantage of that day off but it was November and it wasn’t exactly ideal weather to fly somewhere for a for a long weekend.

I was racking my brains what to do – and then I came up with the idea to drive for an hour and a half so I could be pampered at  Ste. Anne’s Spa. Sometimes, I really do have great ideas!!

As you can see from the schedule, I was going to have a great day.

st annes - scheduleOf course, the day included some time in their outdoor hot annes - outdoor hot tubPlus I made sure to spend as much time as possible, hanging out in their robes.

st annes - robeI found out that there’s a new chef in the kitchen and I must say that I noticed the improvement, since my last visit a few years ago. My food not only was presented beautifully but it was cooked to perfection.

st annes - lunch

Not complaining that my day ended off with a gorgeous Afternoon Tea.

st annes - teaI would highly recommend Ste. Anne’s Spa but please note that they are a very busy destination so book as early as you can!! You will love their facilities, food, warm and welcoming service and attention to detail. Promise.

Please note that they offer many fantastic “packages”.  There’s a February package, a March Getaway Package and even a Yoga Retreat.

For more information:


Address: 1009 Massey Road, Grafton, ON, K0K 2G0

Reservations: 1.888.346.6772 or

Disclosure: My visit was complimentary, however all opinions are my own


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On Saturday night we hosted a dinner party. This is not unusual as I love entertaining but this particular party was certainly special.


Because all I had to do was set the table. (no joke)

chef - table

The Chef Upstairs provided everything else! Here’s a bit more information about The Chef Upstairs…they are a cooking studio that offers classes & they also offer private dining events where guests choose the menu, wine & decor. As you can see, I had the opportunity to experience the latter!!

At 4 pm, the talented Chef and his lovely assistant showed up.

chef - chef:assistant

The Chef brought with him everything he needed as he had done the grocery shopping, prepping etc. So I gave him a tour of the kitchen and he started to do his magic.

chef - arrival1

When our guests arrived at 7 pm, I  was actually relaxed and not exhausted as someone else had done all the work (grocery shopping, prepping, and cooking)

We started off with some appetizers:

chef - appetizers

Then w all sat down at the table and I swear to you I did NOT get up ONCE. I didn’t get up to serve, not to check something in the oven, not to clear – I sat like I a guest and it was freakin’ awesome.

The food we ate was spectacular too. We were over the moon happy with everything we tasted. The Chef was clearly trained and had experience in a 2 star Michelin restaurant – this was all evident.

We had discussed the menu prior to the dinner party so the following menu can be tailored to your desire. But here’s what was served!

chef - food

Amuse Bouche
– Rabbit Confit with brandy and fig compote in puff pastry with balsamic pearls (beyond delicious)

First Course
– Warm Avocado soup with brie cream and citrus Pico de Gallo and volcanic salt

Second Course
– Arugula salad with Sherry vinaigrette topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and Bellavitano cheese

– AAA Beef tenderloin with wild mushroom compound butter, served with roasted garlic french beans and shiitake mushrooms and red beet and horse radish puree (everything was cooked to perfection)

– Lemon Granita and espresso cookies with raspberry, lime and vanilla bean coolis

-Naturally we had some pretty special wine to go with our meal.

chef - wine

Our guests loved the experience as much as we did. It was truly special to feel like you were in a restaurant but you weren’t!

Thank you again to The Chef Upstairs for this incredible birthday gift!

For more information:

Address: 516 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S 2M2
Phone: (416) 544-9221



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I had the opportunity the other day to visit the Chatelaine Kitchen and meet celebrated Chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I was familiar with these two chefs as many of my friends have their cookbook and I’ve often leafed thru it while chatting with them in their kitchens.

When I posted on facebook that I was at this event. ..there was a lot of very positive feedback. Clearly they have a HUGE following!!

The lovely Claire Tansey who is the Chatelaine Food Director, introduced both chefs and then asked them a few questions while they prepared a salad. (which I forgot to take a photo of..arghh).

cookbook - claire, 2 chefs

Questions from the floor were also taken:

-What are some under used ingredients: They answered – Tehina, Maple Syrup, Rose Water and Sumac.

-Who would they like to cook for?: They answered – Nigella Lawson!!

I was thrilled to find out that all the guests would be receiving an autographed copy of their recently launched cookbook: Ottolenghi: The Cookbook!!

cookbook - signed

I’ve been flipping thru it and have  spotted a few recipes I’m sure I will be trying in the near future. Specifically:

-Portobello Mushrooms with Pearled Barley and Preserved Lemons

-Danielle’s Sweet Potato Gratin

-Fennel Cherry Tomato and Crumble Gratin

This cookbook features 140 recipes with bold and flavorful ingredients. I’m sure I’m going to love it!!

Happy Cooking!!

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About 6 years ago, my parents went to Barcelona. When they got home my mom showed me pictures of the Boqueria Market (or Mercat de la Boqueria) and I knew that I had to go there one day. Finally I made it happen! On my  back from Israel to Toronto, I made sure to book a few days in Barcelona.

Clearly visiting the Boqueria Market was high on my list of “things I wanted to do”. I hope the Picasso Museum forgives me!. I wandered up and down the aisles of this spectacular market – snapping photos with my iPhone 5. I also ate. (what else is new?)

barcelona - market 3

I had several friends tell me that I must( must) go to El Quim  and I was thrilled that was I able to find it amongst the hustle and bustle!! My neighbor at the bar was an American who now lives in Barcelona and visits El Quim every Saturday morning with his kids. He’s a “regular” and was all to happy to introduce me to the Chef.

barcelona - el quim

I ordered squid with eggs thanks to a few email exchanges with @DeliciousDishTO who told me it was the best …and she was RIGHT!!

barcelona - el quim squid:eggs

As you can see, I just couldn’t stop taking photos. Aren’t these gorgeous bundles of Bouquet Garni?
bouquet garnisThese zucchini blossoms are pretty gorgeous too.

zuchini blossomsThe Boqueria market is so spectacular that I’m going to return on my last day for one more visit to make sure that I saw EVERYTHING. I’m sure I will be taking more photos and enjoying some more food as well.

ps the coffee is from La Virreina and I’m definitely going back there for another cappuccino!!

For more information about Barcelona please visit their website.

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