June 3rd, 2012

Location: The Culinary Loft at Aphrodite Cooks

Chef Aaron Foster, Executive Chef LA’s Italian + Bar takes us on a trip through California`s wine country.

Existential angst seen through rosé coloured lens.
Inspired by the market fresh, terroir-based, Cal-Ital food enjoyed in Sideways, Reel Eats offered diners a four-course tasting menu by award-winning chef, Aaron Foster.

A graduate of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, he trained under head chefs Chris Zielinski, Massimo Capra, and Michael Wilson. In ‘08, he moved to Thailand to open RedSky, for Centara Hotels. The following year, he rocketed to national fame with the honour of “Best New Chef in Bangkok”. Aaron currently helms LA’s Italian+Bar where he creates Italian with a fresh twist, using “quality products, cooked properly, with bold flavour,” and as much local, seasonal product as possible. 

With storytellers Ann Shin, Patricia O`Callaghan and Daniel Speck

The Menu

Miles’ Green With Envy green and white asparagus, smoked burrata, tomato jam, green sauce

Joker Jack’s Laughing Bird shrimp cavatelli, fava beans, mint pesto, pecorino

Stick Your Neck Out roast pork neck, house-made sausage, brown butter, fork-crushed fingerlings, walnuts, Bourbon-apple reduction

Life’s Agri-Dolce Strawberry shortcake with 12 year-old balsamic, black pepper, crème frâiche

If you missed this event, you also missed Patricia O’Callaghan’s amazing singing.  Listen here

Monsoon Wedding

Saturday, April 21 2012

Location: The Culinary Loft at Aphrodite Cooks

Chefs  Arvinda and Preena Chauhan of Arvinda’s Indian Spice Blends

Chef Nettie Cronish  – co-author of  Everyday Flexitarian


Abdullah Aumeer  – HSBC

Jasmine D’Costa – Curry Is Thicker Than Water

Naomi Duguid – Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through South-East Asia

Inspired by the pageantry and festivities of an Indian wedding, Reel Eats offered diners a true Indian feast prepared by Arvinda’s Spices co-owner, cookbook author, food blogger and cooking instructor Preena Chauhan. Joining her is multi-cookbook author, vegetarian food expert and culinary instructor Nettie Cronish. Preena explains, “Typically meat is never served at an Indian wedding (ceremony) – the meal is always vegetarian as the ceremony involves the presence of God.

In the film Monsoon Wedding, the wedding ceremony took place and the dancing and celebration took place immediately afterwards, so the meal would be vegetarian.” With that in mind, the two women have crafted a vegetarian Indian Feast fit for a Rajah.


Aditi’s Apricot Black Lentil Soup with Masala Spices

Hemant’s Crisp Pappadum Wafers

Roasted Cashew Curry with Cauliflower and Peas

Sumptuous Saag Paneer- Indian cheese in a creamy sauce with spinach

Wedding Day Mattar Rice Pullao Basmati rice with peas

Celebratory Channa Masala Chick Pea Curry

Cooling Mint & Cilantro Raita with mild spices Served with Cilantro Sesame Garlic Toasted Naan

Sweet Endings Vanilla Coconut Chai Spiced Ice Cream with Sliced Mangoes

Aromatic and Romantic Masala Chai featuring Arvinda’s premium Chai blend


March 27, 2012

Location: The Culinary Loft at Aphrodite Cooks

Chef – Bruno Elsier

In the spirit of la belle France, we are honoured to have chocolatier, pâtissier and bon vivant Chef Bruno Elsier creating our Chocolat-inspired menu and helming the stove. Chef Bruno will be supported by the professional culinary talents of our own Chef Vanessa Yeung. We are pleased to present 


Dwayne Morgan –  “The Making Of A Man“

Mardi Michels – Co-founder of Food Bloggers of Canada

Patricia Bradbury –  Writer, teacher, editor and journalist 

Chef Elsier has had a storied culinary career in Europe and Canada. In 1981-1985, he trained in culinary Arts at the Brussels Hotel School COOVI-CERA, Belgium. Bruno worked with some of Brussels top chefs, fine dining restaurants, the officers club of the Belgian Army and Eurest-Wagon Lits Group (now the Compass Group). In 2000, Bruno arrived in Toronto where he worked for Rahier (a fine Belgian patisserie) and was culinary advisor to Costco. Bruno has run his own patisserie and, among others, has worked as Corporate Chef at Loretta Foods and actually as Executive Chef at TFS/ with a menu fit for Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. And if you break your Lenten fast for this, mum’s the word.

Bruno is a contributor to Culinaire Saisonnier/Patisserie and Desserts/Pastries in Europe and a Callebaut ambassador. He is a frequent winner at culinary competitions and assists and judges in Iron Chef events, Culinary Salon Competitions, regional CCFCC competitions, the Canadian Chocolate Master and Inter-Collegiate Chocolate Masters. Bruno is a member of the Escoffier Society of Toronto and the Canadian Federation of Cooks and Chefs.

As per June 2011 Chef Bruno became a member of the Trillium Chefs Society preparing for the IKA Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt 2012

The Menu

Salad with Bacon Bits and Pine Nuts Sautéed in Cacao Butter with a Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette

‘Serious Mayor’s’ French Shallot and Lentil Cream Soup with Cacao Butter. Seriously delicious!

 ’Handsome’ Bean Cassoulet and Toulouse Sausage with a soupçon of Milk Chocolate

Goat’s Cheese Sorbet with Flaming Armagnac

Burgundy Beef Stew prepared with Dark Chocolate, Frites and Spicy Chili Chocolate Mayo

Vianne’s Shades and Heat of Chocolate : White Chocolate Mousse with Lime,

Crème Brûlée of Milk Chocolate and Dark, Hot and Spiced Chocolate Drink

The Big Night

February 27th, 2012

Location: The Big Ragu

Chef Carmine Accogli of The Big Ragu shows us what a real Italian meal should be.

The music, the drama and the food. Oh, the food.

The Big Night is a long-standing tradition at The Big Ragu. Chef Carmine showed off his flare for food and showmanship.


With the help of his father-in-law, Nicolla and our own Chef Vanessa Yeung, the meal that night was rivalled only by the movie itself.

Boun appetito, tutti.

The Storytellers

Inna Gertsberg –

Tom Campbell – Painter and Sculptor

D.M. Ubaldino -The Five Steps To Sainthood –

The Menu

Primo’s Brodo di Taccchino (Primo’s Turkey Soup)

Risotto all’Italiano (Italian Risotto)

The Big Night Big Timpano Cognillio alla Caccciatora (Hunter’s Rabbit)

Porchetta Che Buone (Porchetta So Good)

Cannoli Your Mamma Would Be Proud Of


Watch a Big Night in action

Eat Drink Man Woman

Januray 29th, 2012

Chef – Vanessa Yeung

Location: The Culinary Loft at Aphrodite Cooks  

Chef Vanessa takes from her own background to create a meal so fabulous that Chef Chu himself would approve.

Family is everything and food binds the family together. You can be happy or sad. Angry or in fits of laughter. It matters not, at the table you are always welcome.


Carol Devine, “The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning”

Diane Tso, playwright

Grace Lynn Kung, Gemini-nominated actress


The Year of the Dragon Winter Melon Soup Jia–Chien

“Perfectly Balanced” Snow Pea Shoots Sautéed with Garlic

Family Unity Chicken and Cucumber Salad

Chef Chu’s Abundant Blessings Braised Pork Belly with Choi Sum

Double Happiness Taiwanese Clams

Shan-Shan’s favourite Dumplings Ginger Chicken Potstickers Made in the Yeung Family Tradition

Lucky Steamed Rice

Fortuitous Deep Fried Bananas with Ginger Ice Cream