EL GASTRÓNOMO VAGABUNDO CHEF ADAM HYNAM-SMITH’S CURBSIDE COOKBOOK FEATURES INTERNATIONALLY INSPIRED RECIPES FROM ONTARIO’S PIONEERING GOURMET FOOD TRUCK
Chef Adam Hynam-Smith’s Curbside cookbook features recipes he’s perfected on his El Gastrónomo Vagabundo food truck, as well as at pop-up events (photos: Whitecap Books)
Political and bureaucratic roadblocks have conspired to stifle a Toronto street-food scene that not long ago seemed ready to explode. But that shouldn’t stop you from sampling some delicious food truck eats. Just pick up a copy of Curbside: Modern Street Food from a Vagabond Chef, the debut cookbook by Adam Hynam-Smith, chef and co-owner of El Gastrónomo Vagabundo, generally acknowledged as Ontario’s first gourmet food truck. Though he’s now based in the Niagara region, Australian-born Hynam-Smith has also cooked in Morocco, France, England and Thailand: these global influences pervade his dishes, from crispy cod tacos with smoked pineapple and habanero to braised pork hock steamed buns to son-in-law eggs. (The book also includes a smattering of dishes by guest chefs who’ve inspired Hynam-Smith’s cooking.)
Part of Curbside’s appeal is that its recipes, naturally, have been adapted for serving at home. If you just have to have the real deal, too, follow Hynam-Smith, his wife Tamara Jensen and their ever-popular truck at elgastro.com (and on Twitter @elgastronomo) to find out where they’ll be serving next. Or if you’ll be in Toronto on May 4, book a seat for the Curbside kickoff dinner at Bestellen, where chef Hynam-Smith will serve up a five-course prix fixe, including lager-steamed mussels, a scallop and zhoug ceviche, and braised pork belly with green papaya salad. The $90 meal also includes a copy of the Curbside cookbook. —Craig Moy
• Adam Hynam-Smith’s Curbside: Modern Street Food from a Vagabond Chef is now available for purchase online and in bookstores throughout Ontario.
THESE WEEKEND EVENTS AND PERFORMANCES ARE GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOUR TIME IN TORONTO EVEN MORE MEMORABLE!
The Eifman St. Petersburg Ballet performs Anna Karenina this weekend at the Sony Centre
THE MAIN EVENT
One of literature’s most famous love triangles is depicted with arabesques, jetés, grand pas’s and chassés on Friday and Saturday as the Eifman St. Petersburg Ballet presents Anna Karenina. At the Sony Centre, Leo Tolstoy’s 19th-century aristocratic chronicle about a restless socialite, her husband and her noble lover is passionately narrated through demanding dance routines choreographed by Boris Eifman and set to a Tchaikovsky score.
THE POPULAR LESLIEVILLE FLEA HOSTS ITS LAST INDOOR MARKET OF THE SEASON, BEFORE HEADING OUTDOORS FOR THE SUMMER
APRIL 26 In the market for vinyl records? What about some handmade aprons or jewellery? The Leslieville Flea brings more than 45 vendors to the Distillery District as part of a curated market with antiques, vintage and salvaged merchandise, and handcrafted goods like colourful afghans from Shop Betty, glassware and ceramics from Woo-Hoo Home Decor, crinoline skirts from Inspiration Vintage, and elaborately adorned belts from Belle Boutique. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. —Linda Luong
• Leslieville Flea, Fermenting Cellar at the Distillery District, 28 Distillery Ln.; leslievilleflea.com
A NEW ANTHROPOLOGIE ON QUEEN STREET CATERS TO THE CHAIN’S TORONTO ACOLYTES IN A RESTORED AND RETROFITTED 19TH-CENTURY CHURCH
Devotees of boho-chic style who pray at the altar of Anthropologie can find rapture at the U.S. chain’s newest Toronto flagship on Queen West. The two-storey shop is housed in a 19th-century church, and retains some of the building’s historic details—the facade, stained glass windows, and a carved fireplace and mantle. (Accenting the space are some new finishes made to look old, such as the reclaimed wood staircase and floors.) A full-time team of visual artists is employed by the nearly 7,000-square-foot store to create inventive vignettes and displays of the its housewares, linens, stationery, ladies apparel, footwear, accessories and more. Open daily. —Linda Luong
• Anthropologie, 761 Queen St. W., 416-603-0445; anthropologie.com
• Map and reviews
THESE FUN AND COLOURFUL RAIN GEAR OPTIONS WILL HELP GET YOU THROUGH GREY APRIL DAYS IN TORONTO
1 Trout Rainwear men’s bull jacket, $550, Holt Renfrew
2 Hunter women’s original asymmetric colour-block boots, $210, Capezio
3 Pasotti Stewart tartan umbrella, $165, Raindrops
4 Bogs kid’s rainbow stripes rain boots, $50, Kol Kid
VINTAGE LUXURY IS THE STOCK IN TRADE OF CLEMENTINE’S, A NEW MIDTOWN BOUTIQUE OPENED BY A FORMER HOLT RENFREW IMAGE CONSULTANT
Christina McDowell knows a thing or two about Toronto fashion. For more than a decade she was an image consultant and spokesperson for haute department store Holt Renfrew. Now she’s ventured out on her own to open Clementine’s. The Summerhill luxury showroom carries “like-new” dresses, coats, footwear, jewellery and handbags from coveted labels like Marni, Helmut Lang, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Rick Owens, Valentino, Etro and Brunello Cuccinelli. But be forewarned: many of the items are one-offs. If you like a piece, pick it up; chances are it won’t wait around for your return visit. Tuesday to Sunday. —Linda Luong
• Clementine’s, 1260 Yonge St., 416-966-2662; clementinesluxury.com
• Map and reviews
EXPLORE THESE TORONTO ART DISTRICTS TO DISCOVER EXCELLENT GALLERIES AND SOME OF THE BEST CONTEMPORARY WORKS FROM CANADA AND ABROAD
Olga Korper Gallery, just south of the Junction Triangle Toronto art district (photo: Olga Korper Gallery)
Think Toronto’s renowned public museums offer some cool views? Numerous commercial galleries have equally striking artworks to ponder—and purchase, if you like what you see. There are dozens of great galleries downtown—from edgy indie outlets to venerable fine-art dealers. Make the most of your browsing time by heading to these five Toronto art districts, which boast a significant collection of exhibitors within close proximity to one another.
CHECK OUT THESE TORONTO LUNCH COUNTERS TO GET A QUICK (AND DELICIOUS) SEAFOOD FIX.
A few of the fresh ingredients available at Market Street Catch
Junction-area fishmonger and lunch counter Honest Weight offers unique options for your midday meal. Try the okonomiyaki, a Japanese fish pancake, or just choose a fish from the display case and get it grilled to order. 2766 Dundas St. W., 416-604-9992; honestweight.ca
A quick-service spot from the owners of acclaimed restaurant The Chase, Little Fin serves up a smattering of sandwiches on distinctive charcoal-coloured buns. Larger appetites can also get a half or whole lobster dinner. 4 Temperance St., 647-348-7000; littlefin.ca
No matter your craving—be it fried halibut, barbecued octopus, an oyster po’ boy or lobster poutine—the diverse menu at Market Street Catch is sure to have you salivating. 14 Market St., 647-391-8140; marketstreetcatch.com
PATRICK MCMURRAY STILL KNOWS HOW TO SHUCK ‘EM AT PEARL DIVER, HIS REVAMPED, RENAMED RESTAURANT
A few of the offerings at Pearl Diver (photo: Peter Moscone)
Depending on the species, the lifespan of a starfish can range between three and 35 years. Oyster expert Patrick McMurray’s Starfish restaurant lasted 13—certainly a healthy age. This past winter the downtown seafood spot was reborn as Pearl Diver, a significantly more casual venue for savouring the champion shucker’s global selection of shellfish and crustaceans, ranging from B.C., East Coast and European oysters to Atlantic lobster to gooseneck barnacles. The inclusiveness of the dining room extends further into the menu: diners seeking turf over surf are accommodated with meaty mains including rib-eye steak and bone-in pork chop with a concord grape reduction. Wash it all down with the owner’s unique Scrimshaw Oyster Stout, a dark beer brewed in part with P.E.I. Malpeque oysters. —Craig Moy
• Pearl Diver, 100 Adelaide St. E., 416-366-7827; pearldiver.to
• Map and reviews
ORGANIZED BY THE CANADIAN STAGE, SPOTLIGHT SOUTH AFRICA ILLUMINATES THE COUNTRY WITH THREE WEEKS OF INNOVATIVE THEATRE, DANCE AND PERFORMANCE-ART WORKS
Left: Ubu and the Truth Commission (photo: Luke Younge); right: Dominion (photo: John Hogg)
APRIL 8 TO 25 Though the end of apartheid and its transition to democracy (21 years ago this month) made South Africa a major success story of reconciliatory nation-building, today it represents far more than a simple feel-good story. This month the Canadian Stage explores the country’s rich history and complex cultural tapestry in Spotlight South Africa. Featuring six unique productions—including the multidisciplinary, puppetry-incorporating project Ubu and the Truth Commission, and Luyanda Sidiya tribal-inspired dance work, Dominion—the festival both illuminates and interrogates South Africa’s past, present and future. Berkeley Street Theatre, $39 to $99; call 416-368-3110 or visit canadianstage.com for a full schedule and to purchase tickets. —Craig Moy
ADMIRE THE PHYSICAL BEAUTY, STRENGTH AND SEAMLESS INTERACTION OF HORSES AND HUMANS AS CAVALIA’S ODYSSEO RETURNS TO TORONTO.
APRIL 8 TO MAY 17 You can lead a horse to water, or you can bring water to a horse. At least that’s what Cavalia’s Odysseo would have you believe. In the splashy finale of this spectacular show, 300,000 litres of water floods the stage, creating a man-made pond that’s promptly descended upon by galloping horses. It’s a show capper that aptly sums up both the graceful aesthetic and overall ambition of the performance, as well as the majestic creatures that are its stars.
MOVIES HELP SHAPE YOUNG MINDS (AND VICE-VERSA) AT THIS YEAR’S TIFF KIDS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
APRIL 7 TO 19 Budding movie makers, critics and all-around enthusiasts are in the director’s chair at the TIFF Kids International Film Festival, featuring more than 100 screenings for children aged three to 13. The event, which includes 120-plus shorts and feature-length films from 37 nations, demonstrates the medium’s ability to both entertain and educate, and to act as a means of exploring different concepts and themes. Through to the end of the fest, attendees can also visit TIFF’s digiPlaySpace, an award-winning interactive exhibit that enables kids to unleash their imagination through play with robotics, mobile apps, video games, 3D printing and virtual-reality experiences. TIFF Bell Lightbox, adults $13, children $9, digiPlaySpace access $10, film and digiPlaySpace adults $20, children $15. —Linda Luong
• TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433; tiff.net
• Map and reviews