Archive for January, 2011

Winterlicious is upon us once again, in case you hadn’t seen the many ads around town. It’s running between January 28 to February 10, and reservations for the prix fixe treats are now being taken.

The lunch menus are running at $15, $20 or $25, and dinner menus are at $25, $30, or $35. These all include starter (or appetizer, as I like to say), entrée (or main course — never understood why the French word for “appetizer” has somehow become “main course”, anyone?), and dessert.

Drinks, taxes and tip are additional.

The City of Toronto site has a handy restaurant list where you can sort restos by various criteria, including Price, type of Cuisine, and Neighbourhood. And I’m very excited to say that one of the Cuisine criteria is Local/ Fresh Market.


Now exactly which restos are truly Local and which are Fresh Market is hard to tell. I’m thinking we at LocalFoody may have a good opportunity here to broaden our database.

All that said, LFP is promoting three of its certified local restaurants:

Reds Bistro
Auberge du pommier

Bon appétit!

Eating local is akin to eating seasonally, and the benefits are widespread for the eater, the economy and the environment. Most of the time, eating seasonally is also a lot of fun, you get to discover new foods and learn new ways to prepare them. But what are we supposed to do in the middle of winter?

Eating local in winter often means eating the foods that were picked and sometimes preserved in autumn, at the end of the last harvest. Look at the foods your grandmother (or great-grandmother, depending on your age) would have prepared: soups, stews, breads, meat (for meat-eaters), root vegetables, fruits, pulses, pasta, grains.

Thanks to the wonders of the greenhouse and winter farming, we do have access to delicious local food in winter.

Here is a list of locally available foods. It is by no means exhaustive, but I want to show that while our choices are more limited this time of year, we still have some decent options.

Vegetables: Beets, carrots, cabbage, celeriac root, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, red kale, leeks, button mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, Portobello, shitake, red and yellow onions, parsnip (everyone’s fave!), fingerling potatoes, rutabaga, acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, turnip, sweet potatoes.

(Thank you Pfennings, for listing where your food comes from on your website)

Fruit: apples, pears, dried fruits — like apricots, raisins, prunes, cherries, apple, certain berries, etc.

Grains and pulses: wheat, spelt, oats, barley, rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa, flax, corn, buckwheat, hemp, beans (pinto, kidney, navy beans, black), lentils (red, green), split peas (green, yellow).

Animal foods: milk, eggs, yogurt, kefir, cheese, beef, chicken, duck, pork, turkey.

Seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, sesame.

(Thank you Grassroots Organics for listing your bounty)

If you aren’t always able to find local foods, don’t fret. Take a minute to think about your reasons for choosing local in the first place, and apply these same principles to the foods that are available. If you’re concerned about nutrition or the environment, opt for the foods that meet your criteria ( organic, sustainable, fair trade, etc.).

In the meantime, as we wait patiently for those first cherries to appear, we can become soup and stew experts. Here are a couple yummy winter recipes to help get you started:

Epicurious – Celery Root and Potato Puree with Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke “Croutons”

101Cookbooks – Lively up yourself lentil soup

I’m pretty excited for this event:

Join us for a special Toronto screening of The Economics of Happiness at the William Doo Auditorium, New College, University of Toronto. The film will be preceded by a reception and exhibit of artwork by Sheridan College students entitled ‘Animating Good Food Ideas’. It will be followed by a panel discussion with producer Helena Norberg-Hodge, activist chef Joshna Maharaj and urban farmer Eric Rosenkrantz, moderated by author Wayne Roberts.

when: 5:30 pm – 9:00/9:30 pm, Monday, January 24th

5:30 – 7:00 pm – Animating Good Food Ideas, Exhibit and Reception

7:00 – Introduction to the film and screening

8:30 – Panel discussion

where: William Doo Auditorium, New College, University of Toronto; 45 Willcocks Street, in the basement of the New College Residence (Enter the William Doo Auditorium through the door at the Southeast corner of Willcocks Street & Spadina Avenue).

organizational partners: Sustain Ontario; New College (University of Toronto); Equity Studies (New College, University of Toronto); Office of Residence and Student Life (New College, University of Toronto); Hart House (University of Toronto); Hart House Social Justice Committee; FoodShare Toronto; Local Food Plus; Toronto Food Policy Council; The Stop Community Food Centre; Meal Exchange; and Sheridan College.

*** update: This event is free!

It’s another new year and some of you might have decided to entertain a resolution or two. After avoiding such things for the past several years, I decided to creep into 2011 on a quieter, more contemplative note and have come up with a few priorities for myself.

On the topic of changing habits, and of course, more specifically, food habits, check out the TedxHart House lectures of last month, The Future of Food.

Jason Qu, recent graduate and coordinator of U of T’s campus agriculture program, discusses campus food initiatives, and suggests a more holistic approach to food is the starting point that will stick.

The Secret Classroom

Lauren Baker, Director of Sustain Ontario, discusses changing the farming system and creating more opportunities for the little guy. Here, here!

10 Good Food Ideas

I can’t find the lectures of the other speakers, Dan Donovan (chef and product developer for Ontario’s Own), and chefs Jeffrey Crump and Bettina Schormann, of Ancaster Mill.

If anyone has those links, please share!

Bonne année!

LocalFoody places mentioned in this entry:

We’re all very excited to announce that LocalFoody is now a member and tenant of the Centre for Social Innovation in downtown Toronto.

In their own words:
The Centre for Social Innovation is a dynamic space in downtown Toronto, Canada. Our mission is to spark and support new ideas that are tackling the social, environmental, economic and cultural challenges we face today. We’re creating the spaces that social innovation needs to thrive and we’re contributing a few of our own ideas along the way!

We are honoured to be joining the ranks of such successful organizations as the David Suzuki Foundation, Spacing magazine, Toronto Cyclists Union, Ontario Nonprofit Network, Professional Writer’s Association of Canada, and

Watch this space for more updates as we increase our momentum and do more and more to help people find good food.