Explore The Food Of The Philippines at Conquistador

There’s a pretty neat event taking Toronto by storm on June 10th and 11th. Three all-star chefs — including Ricky Casipe from Feast On™ Certified Hawthorne Food & Drink — are leading us through the Spanish influence of their  respective cultural cuisine. It’s hard to define what “Toronto food” is or means. There are so many varied cultures, influences and experiences at play — it’s more of a patchwork quilt than a blanket. What makes it unique though, is when chefs take the culinary traditions they grew up with and reinvent them with Ontario grown products.
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Just one of Chef Ricky’s innovative dishes: waffle fried Ontario bok choy with black sesame and candied red chilies. Photo by: @agapod

That’s what’s happening at Hawthorne Food & Drink when Chef Ricky Casipe, Chef Rossy Earle of SupiCucu and Chef Rudy Boquila of Lamesa Filipino Kitchen get together next week.  “I wanted a platform to celebrate my families culture while still upholding the standard of local and sustainable food.” said Chef Ricky Casipe. “We have a chance to show people exactly what Farm-to-Fork City Food means. There is a huge population of Filipinos in the city and I want them to see that they can eat and cook local without ditching tradition.” That’s why he invited like minded people like Rossy and Rudy.
“Being a young chef in the city I know that I need to constantly surround myself with people that inspire me. Just because I’m the Chef of my own kitchen doesn’t mean I don’t have mentors anymore — and that’s the key, constantly learning and always having people to look up to. Any chance I get to collaborate with good cooks, I take it. Because I don’t want to stop getting better.”
He’s been getting better every day in fact. Ricky joined Hawthorne 3 years ago when Chef Eric Wood was running the operation. This was just a few months after the restaurant opened. From there he worked for a lot of great chefs. He worked for Mark Cutrara, and credits Cutrara saying it’s where his love for farm to table and whole animal butchery sprouted.
“For me, I love my city, I love my province and I love my country. So when I call my food “Farm-to-Fork City Food” it means I’m supporting Ontario while celebrating Toronto. I use every culture and neighbourhood I’ve come across in my city to create my dishes. I want to be part of the force that is changing the farm to table movement. My version of farm-to-table is more than just getting local product and cooking it. It’s more than just meat and potatoes. It has city boy swagger. Farm food you’d eat in downtown Toronto.”
And this collaborative dinner with Chefs Rossy and Rudy? It’s just one of the unique ways Hawthorne Food & Drink stays on top of the game. It’s a win-win really — Chef Ricky gets to explore cooking the food that makes his heart sing, Ontario farmers get celebrate on the plate and we get to eat some seriously delicious dishes!

To get ticket for June 10th or 11th, check out Pass The Table.

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