Behind the Food: The Courtyard Restaurant

It’s the MOST delicious time of year…Food & Drink Fest time!  The Festival with Taste is returning on March 23, 24 & 25 at The Careport Centre on Longwood Rd. S. Hamilton, Ontario.  Before Food & Drink Fest, we hope to bring you a “behind the scenes” sneak-peak of many of the restaurants, gourmet food options, bakeries, local wineries and breweries.  Getting to know the Chefs, Bakers, Winemakers or the Brewmasters behind our local culinary scene isn’t always an experience we, the foodies, are privy to  have. The team at Food & Drink Fest believes that it is an important and organic step in a foodie’s culinary experience, so we encourage you to read on…then have the opportunity to meet these individuals at the show. If you have any questions of your own, please feel free to them through and we would be happy to ask on your behalf. Cheers!

Company Name: The Courtyard       

The Courtyard on Locke Street, Hamilton

The Courtyard on Locke Street, Hamilton

http://www.thecourtyardonlocke.com/

Q: Three adjectives to describe your Culinary Style

A: Local, Organic, and French Inspired

Q: What made you fall in love with food?

 A: The owners Stephen Bernstein, and son Bob Bernstein, have had the distinct pleasure of living on the farm Willow Pond in Dundas, which supplies the restaurant with some of its local and organic fare. Stephen Bernstein, has taken groups to Paris France for the last 10 years, and has always been impressed with the French Cuisine. The two of them decided to begin a restaurant that while maintaining close ties to local markets, could tackle the amazing world of French cooking.

Courtyard's owners Bob & Stephen on one of their inspiring trips to France

Courtyard’s owners Bob & Stephen on one of their inspiring trips to France

Q: Most essential Kitchen Tool/Gadget:

A: A knife. A sharp knife.

Q: What is your favourite or most frequently used herb in the kitchen

A: Thyme

Q: What inspires you in the kitchen? (EX: Music (if so, what kind), the season, the ingredients, your customers, the people you work with or is there something else?).  Why do these things inspire you?

 A: There is nothing more satisfying than completing a wonderful Herb Crusted Ontario Rack of Lamb dish, with Celery Root Mashed, Local Mixed Beets and Carrots, and finished with Pan Jus and Port with a stem of rosemary, start to finish. Cooking allows one to experience everything from collecting raw goods, to putting the finishing touches on every dish.

Q: What is your food philosophy? (EX: 100 mile diet, creativity, “always use butter?”)

A: We serve fresh, local and organic fare that will light up your taste buds. Creativity, locally, honesty, healthy, simplicity, are some words that describe our menus.

Q:  What would your ultimate “Last meal” consist of (in a less morbid way, what dish always makes your mouth water? lol). Please include your beverage choices as well as dessert!

A: The Ontario Rack of Lamb mentioned above paired with a glass of Tawse Organic Cab Franc, and finished with a traditional vanilla crème brule.

  

The CourtyardThe Courtyard will be at Food & Drink Fest 2012

Check out The Courtyard Restaurant at 7th Annual Food & Drink Fest…the Festival with Taste in booth #226

March 23, 24 & 25, 2012

The Careport Centre

270 Longwood Rd S., Hamilton

www.FoodandDrinkFest.com

Like Us on Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/FoodandDrinkFest

Behind the Food: The Toasted Tangerine Mobile Sandwich Press

It’s the MOST delicious time of year…Food & Drink Fest time!  The Festival with Taste is returning on March 23, 24 & 25 at The Careport Centre on Longwood Rd. S. Hamilton, Ontario.  Before Food & Drink Fest, we hope to bring you a “behind the scenes” sneak-peak of many of the restaurants, gourmet food options, bakeries, local wineries and breweries.  Getting to know the Chefs, Bakers, Winemakers or the Brewmasters behind our local culinary scene isn’t always an experience we, the foodies, are privy to  have. The team at Food & Drink Fest believes that it is an important and organic step in a foodie’s culinary experience, so we encourage you to read on…then have the opportunity to meet these individuals at the show. If you have any questions of your own, please feel free to them through and we would be happy to ask on your behalf. Cheers!

Company Name: The Toasted Tangerine 

http://thetoastedtangerine.com/

Q: Three adjectives to describe your Culinary Style: Feel good, Delicious, Comfort Food

Q:  What made you fall in love with food?

A: Chef Adrian Tangerine has grown up in the restaurant industry his whole life. Living in a house with a baker, butcher and cook really taught him at a young age that food truly was his passion. Adrian has worked at his family restaurant for the last 15 years and in the last three years taken over the business with his wife and business partner Alyssa Tangerine. Recently they decided to sell their restaurant and continue their devotion for food in the form of a food truck. The Toasted Tangerine Mobile Sandwich Press is a true extension of their passion for food and rock n roll.

The Toasted Tangerine Mobile Sandwich PressThe Toasted Tangerine Mobile Sandwich Press

Q:  Most essential Kitchen Tool/Gadget

A: Sharp Chef’s knife

A: What is your favourite or most frequently used herb in the kitchen?

A: A dash of this and a pinch of that lol!

Q:  In your opinion, what is the most underrated ingredient in the kitchen?

A: Mustard

Q: What inspires you in the kitchen?

A: Music- Specifically Led Zeppelin any song and every song! Led Zeppelin is a band with such a variety of sounds- from heavy drum solos to ballad acoustic love songs. This variety inspires me to constantly add new flare and flavour to my cooking.

Q: Aside from your own restaurant, what’s the best thing you have ever ate locally? It can be from a restaurant or a dinner party. Please include the name of the dish and if it is a restaurant, please include their name.

 A: Crispy Beef- Faley’s in Rexdale, ON http://www.faleyrestaurant.com/

Q: What is your food philosophy?

A: Great food, great people, great music.

Q: What would your ultimate “Last meal” consist of (in a less morbid way, what dish always makes your mouth water? lol). Please include your beverage choices as well as dessert!

For her: Crispy beef, Fettuccine Alfredo, freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and Dr.Pepper cherry.

For him: 20 oz cowboy steak medium rare, crispy beef, side of our Mango Jalapeno coleslaw, skip dessert and give me a whiskey;)

Toasted Tangerine Team: Alyssa & Chef Adrian TangerineToasted Tangerine Team: Alyssa & Chef Adrian Tangerine

Check out The Toasted Tangerine at 7th Annual Food & Drink Fest…the Festival with Taste in booth #140

March 23, 24 & 25, 2012

The Careport Centre

270 Longwood Rd S., Hamilton

www.FoodandDrinkFest.com

 

 

Fans of Chuck Hughes will not be disappointed at Food & Drink Fest this weekend!

small chuck.jpg

Celebrity Chef Chuck Hughes will be appearing on stage at this year’s Food & Drink Fest… The Festival with Taste at Copps Coliseum on Sunday at both 1 and 3 pm. Most famous for his hit show on the Food Network “Chuck’s Day Off”, Montreal native Chuck Hughes has become a household name; bringing outright talent, sex appeal and fun back to the kitchen. Most recently, Chuck took down the competition, Bobby Flay, in Kitchen Stadium on the Network’s show “Iron Chef”. At age 34, he is only the second Canadian chef to emerge victorious with a score of 45-41. He is also the first Canadian to beat the illustrious Flay, the youngest Canadian and first Quebec chef to compete on the show.  To fans of Chuck and attendees to this weekend’s Food & Drink Fest this is all good news! Why? Because the secret ingredient with which Chuck brought home the title of Iron Chef is the very same he will prepare on stage Sunday at Food & Drink Fest! LOBSTER! Not only is this a popular staple fare at his Montreal restaurant, but it is also one of Hughes’ personal favorites (he has a big tattoo of the crustacean on his forearm!) So needless to say, those who nab a seat in the cooking demonstration area Sunday at Copps Coliseum will not be disappointed!

Chuck’s Menu is as follows:

  • Beef TarTar  with local cheeses, olives and bread
  • Jerk Lobster
  • Maple Syrup Pie (His Mom’s Recipe!)

Chuck and his honorary at-show sous chef Tracy Winkworth from the Belworth House in Waterford will be showcasing a number of local ingredients in their recipes, with offerings from Jensen Cheese, Sam’s Cheese at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market and Railway City Brewing. Be sure and get your seat, which is FREE with admission to Food & Drink Fest… The Festival with Taste! this weekend, April 8th, 9th and 10th at Copps Coilseum.

Written by Jennifer Odell

Mott’s Clamato Caesar School is in Session!

Mott’s Clamato and the Dean of Caesars, Len Fragomeni are setting up shop at this year’s
Food & Drink Fest… The Festival with Taste!

Be the first to introduce a new Caesar experience to your friends and family this summer by learning four variations on the classic Canadian cocktail.  First created in 1969 in Calgary Alberta, the Caesar quickly became an instant hit with locals. Since then, it has enjoyed rising popularity and taken it’s place among Canadian culture. Somehow a weekend at the cottage just isn’t the same without a  celery ladened pitcher of spicy Casears!
 

Motts Clamato Caesar School

Motts Clamato Caesar School

 

Food and Drink Fest… the Festival with Taste has become the region’s largest food and beverage show of it’s kind. With attendance numbers soaring year over year and involvement from some of the area’s most renowned and highly acclaimed restaurants, wineries and breweries, we are now proud to be hosting Motts Clamato as an added component to the Food & Drink Fest experience. Throughout the three day event we invite people to join Mott’s Clamato and the Dean of Caesars, Len Fragomeni, for a 45-minute class where you get to go behind the bar and learn hands-on, the latest techniques for preparing a Caesar. Enjoy four variations of the classic Canadian cocktail, some savory snacks and take home a special gift from Mott’s Clamato. Be sure to visit the Mott’s Clamato in Booth QA to learn and actively participate in the art of making the perfect Caesar!
Click HERE to pre-register for a Caesar Class

Food & Drink Fest.. The Festival with Taste
April 8th, 9th & 10th
Copps Coliseum
www.FoodandDrinkFest.com

Must be 19 years of age or older to attend. Please drink responsibly

Written by Jennifer Odell

Taste Test Black Fly Coolers in Hamilton & Burlington LCBOs

Hey gang!

Just wanted to give you a heads up that Blackfly Coolers, Ontarios first Micro-Distillery will be hosting tasting sessions at different LCBO’s in and around Hamilton and Burlington.  I have included the LCBO’s they will be visiting.  Also, don’t forget to visit them at the 6th Annual Food & Drink Fest…the Festival with Taste in booth #123.

A little Bit about Black Fly: Made and bottled in London, Ontario, Black Fly Beverage Company is Ontario’s first Micro-Distillery founded by husband and wife Rob Kelly and Cathy Siskind-Kelly in May 2005. Having spent the summers of his youth in Muskoka, Rob drew the name Black Fly from the reputation of the small but determined Canadian insect that like this micro-business can come in under the radar but deliver a mighty bite. The pure wild blueberry juice used in two of the vodka cooler flavours Cranberry/Wild Blueberry and Black Currant/Wild Blueberry also goes to the Black Fly name, as the black fly pollinates wild blueberries. It is truly a proud “Canadian Made” cocktail!

Black Fly Beverage Company

Black Fly Beverage Company

I have personally tried the Cranberry Blueberry and Black Current and Blueberry Vodka Coolers and find both cocktails vibrant in taste and very refreshing (especially with spring and summer just around the corner). They have a new flavour out called Strawberry Rhubarb, which is a great combination in the world of food, so Im excited to try those flavours in a cooler form.  The new flavour will be available to taste at Food & Drink Fest and at select LCBOs.

Another brand new Black Fly drink is their new Premium Pour Cocktail called Black Fly Tequila Sunrise.  This bright and tasty concoction is created from a perfect blend of pure orange, pomegranate juices and genuine Mexican blue agave tequila, which they will also be sampling at select LCBOs.

Since Black Fly products are made using real fruit juices, I don’t find them overly sweet and I have not had to endure the chemical after-taste of artificial sweeteners.  They are a great, colourful drink for your next dinner party and a light alternative to the typical beer and wine choices.

Listed below are some of the LCBO’s and dates and times where you can receive a free sampling of one of Black Flys cocktails and coolersion

LCBO Tasting Locations

Ancaster/Meadowlands LCBO: April 3, 2011-12noon-4pm

Hamilton/Barton St E LCBO: April 7, 2011- 4pm-8pm

Stoney Creek/Rymal Rd E LCBO: April 7, 2011-4pm-8pm

Burlington/Fairview LCBO: April 7, 2011-4pm-8pm

Hamilton/Fennell Ave E LCBO: April 9-11:30am-3:30pm

Waterdown LCBO: April 9 4pm-8pm

Cheers

Shannon

6th Annual Food & Drink Fest 2011

April 8th, 9th & 10th, 2011

Copps Coliseum

www.FoodandDrinkFest.com


Food Drive at Food & Drink Fest…the Festival with Taste!

Calling All Socially Conscience Foodies! We need your help with

Stocking the Shelves for Hamilton Food Share

at 6th Annual Food & Drink Fest…the Festival with Taste!

April 8th, 9thm & 10th, 2011~Copps Coliseum

www.FoodandDrinkFest.com

There are many trends swirling around the world of food right now such as buying local and sticking within a 100 mile diet.  Others include eating raw or organic food or supporting independent restaurants.  All are worthy causes and  should become more a just a trend; but rather a part of our community’s lifestyle.

The team at Food & Drink Fest 2011 also wants to support the local community and promote another important “Foodie Cause” by helping to collect food items so that the less fortunate people of our community also have access to nutritious meals on a regular basis.  6th Annual Food & Drink Fest is encouraging fellow foodies to bring in a few canned goods or nonperishable food items  to the 6th Annual Food & Drink  Fest (April 8, 9, & 10, 2011 at Copps Coliseum), to donate to Hamilton Food Share.

Please drop off your canned goods at the ticket office when you buy your tickets for the Food & Drink Fest 2011.  We hope to raise over 2,000 canned goods for Hamilton Food Share. Even if you can’t stay for the show, we welcome all donations.  PLUS, we challenge you to be creative in your donations and bring some healthy and delicious non-perishable food choices with you.  Leave that old can of cream of mushroom soup at home lol!

For more information, please visit http://www.foodanddrinkfest.com/HamiltonFoodShare

Cheers

Shannon

 

 

Food & Drink Fest “Up-Close” with Cupcake Diner

I had a chance to talk to Natalie from The Cupcake Diner.  Aside from making me crave sweet treats, I learned a lot about a revolutionary business right in our own backyard and a little cupcake history…..

Q: Name of Your Company: Cupcake Diner

www.cupcakediner.ca

Natalie, owner and master baker of Cupcake Diner

Natalie, owner and master baker of Cupcake Diner

Q: Describe Your Company using three adjectives: Unique, Trendy, Gourmet…& I have to add Fun!!!

We are the first to bring a mobile cupcake shop to Canada – this is huge for the country! The gourmet food truck craze is ever so present in hip parts of the States such as New York City, Washington, LA and Chicago, so we are right on-trend with this phenomenon. Something Canada has yet to experience until now! We use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to inform our customers of our daily and hourly location.  Our pick cupcake truck comes right to you, serving cupcakes curbside – what would be more fun than that! You can also have the Diner come to your event.

Q: What is your favourite type of beverage to pair with a cupcake: Tea – no question about it! The tartness of the tea balances out the sweetness of the cupcake

Q: Much of your company is inspired by the nostalgia of the1950’s.  Describe what you call the Classic 1950’s Cupcake

Yes, it’s all about the 1950’s! To us, the 50’s represents a time of good old fashion service. Goods are made with care and served with a smile.  Our cupcake, 1950’s Classic is themed on the Hostess Cupcake which in the 50’s really put cupcakes on the map.  The 1950’s Classic is a chocolate cupcake, filled with vanilla cream, frosted with chocolate ganache and topped with swirls of white icing. A timeless indulgence!

Classic Chocolate Cupcake from Cupcake Diner

Classic Chocolate Cupcake from Cupcake Diner

Q: What is your favourite combo of cake and icing? This is a tough one – there are so many! If I had to choose one it would be our Caramel Apple Pie Cupcake – this is our vanilla cupcake with slices of baked apple, gently spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, frosted with vanilla buttercream & topped with a light drizzle of caramel. It has all the elements that make for a great cupcake – Delish!

Q: What is the cake/icing combo you just love and wish people would try more? Any cupcake with fresh fruit! Like Mango or Lemon Blueberry. I think people aren’t used to fresh, quality ingredients such as these in cupcakes. I encourage everyone to try them! – Simply decadent.

Q: What is the most unique or “out there” flavour of cupcake? I would have to say our Cannoli Cream Cupcake. You get all the deliciousness of a cannoli in a cupcake – what could be better!

Q: Aside from cupcakes, what would your ultimate “Last meal” consist of (in a less morbid way, what dish always makes your mouth water? lol) Another tough question to ask a “Foodie” like myself! But, I would have to say my all-time fav, whole wheat penne pasta with grilled veggies, tossed in a light olive oil garlic sauce, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. A mixed greens salad and glass of white chardonnay.  A cup of tea and a cupcake for dessert of course!

*In addition to the curbside service Cupcake Diner caters to social events, corporate events and weddings.  They offer: Cupcake Trees, Cupcake Buffets, Fondant Covered Cakes and the Diner live at your event. Your guests will never forget their pink (yes, PINK!) cupcake truck pulling up and serving gourmet cupcakes! They also offer water, pop and coffee on board, as well as custom cupcake toppers, such as company logos and celebratory signs.

Let The Cupcake Diner sweeten up your next event!

The Perfect Gift! YUMM!

The Perfect Gift! YUMM!

Cupcake Diner will be participating in Food & Drink Fest 2011 in booths #195 & 196

Food & Drink Fest 2011

April 8th, 9th & 10th, 2011

Copps Colsieum

April 8: 5pm-10pm, April 9: 1pm-10pm, April 10: 12noon-5pm

www.FoodandDrinkFest.com

Imagine, drinking a great Cabernet Sauvignon….Centre Ice

After 4 years at The Hamilton Convention Centre, Food & Drink Fest…the Festival with Taste is moving to Copps Coliseum.  The Food & Drink Fest team is incredibly excited about The Big Move and pumped to tackle the challenges of working in an unknown building, which was built for concerts & hockey games, and not to facilitate the needs of 35 restaurants, 50 wineries and 15 craft breweries…all at once!  The participating restaurants, wineries & craft breweries are happy about the move because it gives each of them more elbow room to create and represent their unique menu choices.  The participating exhibitors are also happy because moving to Copps allows for larger aisle spaces so patrons can chat with the exhibitors and enjoy their food & drink without being jostled or carried away by the crowds of people. Repeat customers I have chatted with are ecstatic because the move to the larger venue eliminates the 45minute long line ups to get into the show on Friday & Saturday nights.

Copps Coliseum

The Big "C", Food & Drink Fest's new home!

Despite all of these positives, a few people I have spoken to are a bit worried that moving Food & Drink Fest to Copps Coliseum will cause it to lose the classy, intimate feeling the Festival with Taste has been known for.  But I have to disagree.  While I agree with all of the above listed positives about The Big Move, I am also excited to house the Food & Drink Fest at Copps for another reason: The building’s energy.

I’ve spent numorous days sitting in the middle of the ice rink imaging how the show will work and measuring out booth square footage, staging sizes and figuring out traffic flow strategies to make the show is larger, but still exciting and accessible for all.  Even empty, Copps Coliseum itself gives off an energy, excitement and anticipation unlike any other convention facility I have ever been in.  At Copps, you feel the jubilant vibes of past concerts and hockey games with screaming hometown fans, both young & old, pulsing through the corridors.  I think all Hamiltonians have several fond memories about Copps Coliseum, whether it be a Bulldogs game, open skates, the big U2 concert, your very first concert (mine was Neil Diamond…yes I know), The Brier, The Canada Cup 1987, or Disney on Ice.  It is very rare that an entire community has such open access to a large scale, multi-functional facility. Because of that access,

Copps Coliseum Rink

Copps Coliseum Rink

Copps Coliseum brings about feelings of positive community morale as well as personal nostalgic memories.   In addition, the staff at Copps Coliseum is the most friendly, passionate and knowledge group of folks I have ever met in the industry.  In a nutshell, the building itself has a memory & a life of its own that I believe will serve as a fabulous foundation for Food & Drink Fest.

Along with the buildings thriving energy, the layout of Copps Coliseum is going to allow people to go on a culinary journey at the Food & Drink Fest.  I view Food & Drink Fest as the opportunity to explore the best the Hamilton, Halton & Niagara Regions’ have to offer in the way of great food and drink…in one location and in one night. Even though Food & Drink Fest is just a snap shot of the regions’ “You Gotta Taste This” stuff; it certainly is not an experience that is meant to be rushed.  Rather, it is an experience that should be savoured, shared, gushed over, educated about and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone involved.  From past shows, we know that some people like to zip through the

The crowds at last Year's Food & Drink Fest

The crowds at last Year's Food & Drink Fest

exhibitors then double back to indulge in seconds at their favourite stations, while others like to linger over their plate or a cold sample of beer in a quiet corner before choosing their next tempting dish. Copps Coliseum affords us the room to ensure that everyone can travel this food journey at their own speed.  Having the Food & Drink Fest at Copps also allows the foodies to create their own path and food & drink pairings because the layout is favourable to meandering up & down and side to side along the aisles; allowing individuals to be drawn from one succulent aroma to another.  Just like the region, we plan to create some great sites for people to see and hear throughout their journey.  Look forward to seeing a plethora of cooking demos, exotic & eclectic entertainment (as well as some returning favourites), a boisterous piazza, local artists showcasing their works, relaxing cafes for some great people watching and of course, a few surprises.

So when you come to the Food & Drink Fest…the Festival with Taste, I encourage you to come thirsty, bring your friends, your appetite and your adventurous streak to experience all the scrumptious delights on April 9th, 10th & 11th, 2010, Copps Coliseum….centre ice.

My Dirty Little Food Secret

I am one of the event organizers for the Food & Drink Fest…the Festival with Taste, which takes places annually in the spring.   This year we moved to the larger space of Copps Coliseum, Hamilton because the festival is expanding so quickly.  Boasting over 50 of the Hamilton-Halton & Niagara Regions’ top independent restaurants, over 35 local & international wineries, 25 craft breweries and dozens of spirits, liqueurs, bakeries and gourmet foods; the Food & Drink Fest is Southern Ontario’s Meca of all things gourmet food and drink.  My Dirty Little Secret: Despite being in the driver’s seat of the region’s largest culinary event, I can’t cook to save my life.

Up until this point, I really could care less if I could cook.  Throughout university I lived on coffee, veggies, chocolate, peanut butter and more coffee, so cooking wasn’t a necessity.  However; once I started working fulltime at Beau Monde Productions (the company that produces Food & Drink Fest), my foodie boss introduced me to the wonderful world of actual food and suddenly peanut butter just wasn’t cutting it anymore (unless of course it is used in a Chicken Stir-fry with peanut sauce over wild rice. Yum!). Even when my taste buds began to crave all things hot, spicy, Indian, Mexican, Japanese, German (you get the picture, I basically didn’t meet a calorie I didn’t like); I still didn’t feel a great desire to learn how to cook.

The Tipping Point

After a really long, busy week, my boyfriend and I voted on a quiet Friday Movie Night.  On Friday afternoon, an unfamiliar and slightly disturbing urge came over me; I wanted to surprise him and cook dinner! I pushed aside the domestic unease and took up the cooking challenge.  My dinner choice was a hardy, home-cooked meal of pasta and spicy Italian sausage in a red sauce with bruschetta and salad to start.  I raced around after work; going to the market to get the food and cleaning the apartment. By the time my boyfriend got home; I had dinner cooked and a beer freshly uncapped and ready for him.  He was really surprised and appreciative….until he took his first bite.  His first and last bite, I might add.  It turns out I excel at burning, over cooking and under spicing….and thats about it.  So after all of my hard work, we ended up ordering a pizza and the only “A” I got was for effort.  I decided that night to learn to cook, because even though my first attempt ended up in the green bin, the process of planning, shopping for the fresh ingredients and the creation of the actual meal was fun and incredibly rewarding.  On top of that, I now had the motivation to prove I actually can cook.

So with the help of my boyfriend (who is an excellent cook), advice from the office foodies, Jay & Stacey, and endlessly searching the internet for recipes; I have embarked on my cooking journey.  I’ll be sure to update on all of the tips and tricks I pick up along the way.  More importantly, I’ll be sure to fill everyone in on all of the fabulous restaurants I have to frequent after I experience one culinary casualty after another at home!