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Showcasing the Best in Canadian Cuisine for 2013

On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, enRoute magazine, Air Canada’s award-winning in-flight magazine, hosted an exciting and delectable gala in celebration of the top ten best new restaurants in Canada. The gala also announced the winner of the inaugural People’s Choice Award, the first award in the magazine’s twelve-year history. In this month-long process, Andrew Braithwaite, noted international food and wine writer, traveled across Canada to 35 different newly opened restaurants and choose the best ones that represented Canadian cuisine and hospitality. The result was a list of ten restaurants that represented the diversity and evolution of our Canadian culinary landscape.
The gala, held on the third floor of the Storys Building, had the vibe of a lively cocktail party with drinks, a photo booth, short films based on the winning restaurants playing in the background, and music provided by DJ iKhan in the corner of the room. Guests included established TV personalities and those in the food industry as they make their way to bar for the heavy-handed cocktails made with premium liquors including Zacapa Dark Rum and Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch Whiskey. Soon enough, the entire room was filled with hungry foodies with empty plates in hand as they stand in line at the restaurants’ stations. One of the stations that stood out from the crowd was Vij’s Railway Express, a Vancouver based food truck that received the People’s Choice Award. They served bite-sized pani puri filled with lentils, sprouts, and fried chiles coupled with fragrant chai tea. Other exciting dishes of the night came from Fogo Island Inn, a restaurant that cinched the number three spot on the list. This Newfoundland-and-Labrador restaurant brought the spirit of the east coast in this dish called, “Caribou and What it Eats”. The dish comprised of slow-braised caribou meat topped with caribou moss, wild sorrel, wild berries, and served on hand carved oar-shaped spoons. The restaurant that earned the number one spot on the list was Toronto’s own Bar Isabel, who prepared cold buttermilk fried chicken and marinated sardine crostini. While the chicken was moist with beautifully crispy crust, the majority of the guests stated the chicken would taste better if it wasn’t cold.
Near the end of the night, Ilana Weitzman, the Editor-in-Chief of enRoute magazine, awarded the winning restaurants with plaques to commemorate their win followed by taking their pictures with Lindsey Duffield, the president of Jaguar Land Rover, the gala’s presenting sponsor. The evening concluded with dessert of bite-sized buttermilk pies with whipped sour cream and shaved pecans from Toronto’s own American South-influenced restaurant, Electric Mud BBQ.

The evening successfully proved that there is more to Canadian cuisine beyond poutine and beavertails. The chosen ten restaurants signify an evolution in the profile of the Canadian culinary landscape and what it means to dine out in Canada.
© 2013 Article by Aleka Allen, Photos and layout TorontoArtsandEvents.  All rights reserved.  Editors please contact us for us.

Category: Openings
Start Date: 2013-11-12
End Date: 2013-11-12
Venue: Storys Building

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