Everyone knows that the best parties always end in the kitchen. With our series, Kitchen Party, we’re sitting down with Feast On Chefs, brewers and restaurateurs to get to know them, and the local foods that inspire them, a little better.
Hawthorne Food & Drink
What’s your favourite seasonal ingredient?
Peaches, I love them spicy and pickled with my Charcuterie boards, dosed with ginger in a dessert, grilled on a salad, infused with lavender in a preserve, and most of all right off the tree with the juices running down my chin.
What’s your drink of choice?
Negroni – my mouth waters thinking about the hint of bitterness finished with the freshness of the orange zest. A good crisp Gin and Tonic works when that’s not available.
What are you most looking forward to showcasing on Hawthorne’s updated menu?
I am really looking forward to showcasing how versatile some of our local Ontario ingredients are. Taking flavours we are familiar with and presenting them in a different manner. One item I hope becomes a favourite in our new Bloody Caesar Flank Steak. All the flavours of one of Canada’s quintessential cocktails on your plate. I personally would pair it with some well chilled Ontario Vodka.
Any restaurant that makes me a meal for a change.
What’s the best part of working with Ontario food and drink?
The best part for me is being able to get products that are fresh, naturally ripened, and packed full of flavour and potential. With Toronto being one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Ontario food and drink producers have stepped up and offer an incredibly eclectic selection of products for us to play and create with.
Why is Feast On important to you and your restaurant?
Feast On is important to me, and by extension our restaurant, because I truly believe that supporting local purveyors, artisans and businesses benefits us all. In building strong relationships with those closer to home, we can collaborate with our neighbours, share and find inspiration with the all the diverse offerings in Ontario, and exercise greater quality control. Feast On also helps us contribute to a stronger local economy in which Ontario businesses grow, and therefore create more opportunities for job growth.
Fill in the blank: “If I entered a competitive eating contest, I’d definitely win if the item was ______”.
Cheese. Robust, strong, stinky, ripe, bites back a little. But, there’s also nothing wrong with something a little more mellow, subtle and toasty.
What does your ‘Perfect Weekend’ in Toronto look like?
It starts with sleeping in, and then spending time breaking bread with the people I care about. It would hopefully also include exploring one of the many mini cities within our big city – taking in some of the culture that they offer. Alternatively, waking up early, hopping on my bike and cycling 100 km or so around rural Ontario with a group of friends. Then hit a patio with beverages… plenty of beverages.