Winterlicious has become an annual excuse to get out of the house during the long cold months in Toronto. While part of the city-wide food celebration is to offer Prix Fixe lunches or dinners at affordable prices to the masses there are some unique experiences to be had.
I admit that one year my mom was excited to try out a restaurant that was listed under the Winterlicious program. We were disappointed. While $35 seemed to be a reasonable offering (this was about 5 years ago) for dinner it was no more than glorified roasted chicken and no better than a fast food outlet. So, since then I decided that Winterlicious wasn’t for me.
But then a friend of mine encouraged me to venture to a peruvian spot on the Danforth…much better. They had offered different tapas styled dining and more choices. After speaking with the server she had mentioned that they appreciated diners who were more interested in the food than the price of the meal.
So, this year someone had asked me about recommendations based on the restaurants participating in Winterlicious. I perused through the book and suggested places like Fabricca and Destingo — places I know would come through anytime of the year. Stellar service and equally great food.
But something caught my eye in this year’s Winterlicious selection. The Tempered Beast event was intriguing and said something about if you’re a serious foodie, this is for you. It drew me right away. I booked as quick as I could and managed to nab one of the last remaining tables at Beast where the event would take place on Temcumseh Street. In case you haven’t heard of Beast you may want to ask Anthony Bordain...or check out his Toronto Layover episode.
So, the event…. Two nights. Two chefs.
Scott Vivian of Beast and Bertrand Alepee of The Tempered Chef. Both extremely talented chefs working together in one kitchen. Each chef created four courses with the same main ingredients…Scott did savoury and Bertrand did sweet. #sucrésalé
The event started with both chefs introducing themselves to the diners and explaining what we were about to experience. Scott also encouraged enjoying dinner with drinks…”and if you’ve had too much I’d be happy to take you upstairs and tuck you into bed for the night!” That’s all kinds of AWESOME!
I won’t explain out every dish there were 8 in total. And I was full at about dish #5. But this was crazy…Course #2 by Scott was this cuttle ink marinated scallop wiht mandarin & boquerone salad, resmsco, toasted hazenut and salsa verde. Absolutely perfect, creative and beyond orgasmic!
I didn’t want to take photos. I’m kinda of becoming more aware of everyone photographing every dish that is set before them. So, my resolution as a food lover is this… unless I’m asked to, or I’m reviewing for one of the sites I write for, I will not be taking photos of the food. I personally find it disrespectful to the chef to be taking food snaps without their knowledge on occasions like this. There is a time and a place.
Plus I wanted to enjoy my food….and I figured I can photo credit theirs! Their lighting is way better than the dim lighting in the dining room.
This event renewed my interest in Winterlicious and made me so proud to live in a city where we have such incredibly talented chefs who continue to push forward and challenge our tastebuds.
(Photos credit: Beast’s Facebook page)
But I’m wondering…do you take photos of your dishes when you’re out? And if you’re a chef, what are your feelings on this?