A busy schedule and lots of travel put my writing on standby for a while but I had to make sure I got this tasty article up and readable to share!
Back on February 28th, Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market looked like a stage set for a culinary celebration! The event – Toronto’s Annual Event – Recipe For Change
I timed my arrival to the North Market Building for the 6pm door opening and before I could reach the inner sanctum of the market building, I experienced a taste-bud explosion by way of an amazing Smoked Duck Tostada by @FidelGastros – Matt Basile, star of “Rebel Without A Kitchen”.
The evenings’ event was a market done in complete transformation! This building is generally left to those farmers and craftspeople selling their edible bounty to the public of fresh fruit, eggs, vegetables, cheeses and many other tasty little bits of flavour. That night the team at FoodShare designed a map through a garden of flavor overload put forth by those who rise to the top, sometimes are seldom seen by the general public, and have a deep love for their craft, for their annual Recipe for Change fundraising event.
Over the course of the next few hours, with fork, napkin and wineglass in pocket, the room filled to capacity with over 400 Toronto eager food fans supporting such a good cause and sampling culinary delights from over 30 chefs and students, 8 wineries from Niagara and Prince Edward County, and a few breweries as well. I eagerly sipped, nibbled and photographed as many tasty tidbits as I could. This year’s FoodShare event was presented by GE Cafe Appliances and students from both the Bendale Business and Technical Institute and Eastdale Collegiate presented some tasty offerings that they cooked in their culinary programs that are in collaboration with FoodShare.
Some of my most memorable bites were: Brisket Steamed Buns from Momofuku Toronto, Yakitori Bar/Seoul Food’s vegetarian Bibimbap, Torito Tapas & Monforte Dairy’s collab of Dates stuffed with Toscano Cheese, Orrechiette with White Pork Shoulder Ragu by Ascari Enoteca, Savoury Bread Puddings by the George Brown Chef School, and the Luscious Beet Root Chocolate Brownies from Pimenton.
It was a joy to see that Toronto’s culinary community spotlights the collaborative efforts for such an amazingly good cause. It was fun night to be out and about as many enthusiastic chefs served their very best and I had a chance to catch up with some of my favourite restauranteurs, chefs, bloggers and food writers. From the culinary schools to top chefs, breweries, wineries and to my love…the Detour Espresso Bar, Recipe for Change certainly gave those of us in attendance, an honest testimony to the talented and creative culinary industry in this city I now call home.
Food Share empowers and enables Ontario children to identify what good food is, where it comes from, not only teaching them that healthy food also tastes great, but educating and helping them learn to choose it for themselves. The organization is leading the challenge to create a healthier future for our children by working with students from JK to Grade 12 ,parents and educators to ensure that good food education is an included part of the Ontario curriculum and make Food Literacy a requirement for graduation. Children across Ontario are being taught how to plant, tend, harvest, prep ,cook and compost – something I took for granted growing up when I was a child, having a family involved in food and backyard farming.
This year’s event also marked the launch of FoodShare’s first cookbook – “share:Delicious Dishes from Foodshare and Friends” which showcases affordable, healthy, and culturally-diverse cooking that is a joy for the palate and the eye. Just $24.95 + HST at your favourite bookstore or available on www.foodshare.net
“A delight for the palate and for the eye, share showcases the joy of healthy, affordable culturally-diverse cooking and highlights the power of good food to bring people together. Celebrate home-cooked meals with Adrienne De Francesco and Marion Kane as they guide you through recipes that are thoughtfully selected, carefully tested and thoroughly delicious. Feast on contributions from FoodShare’s chefs, staff, volunteers and program participants, along with local celebrities who all share their favourite recipes in this beautiful full-colour cookbook.”
Take time to support the Foodshare community on any level ! I came with to Recipe for Change with an appetite on full tilt mody, ready to be amazed and flavour – challenged by the 30 chefs works in food and I left satiated with an even better appreciation of the chefs I know and new wonder from all the ones I met for the first time and what the Culinary Culture of Ontario truly has to offer. A delish food adventure experience that I would highly recommend all of you look out for next year and make certain you have tickets as soon as you can.
For the past while I have been very MIA online…feeling like a little blip just bumping along in admiration of so many others but lost on my purpose and intent that I started writing this blog with.
Before I connected with my purpose and learned to look within, I remember many of my days being punctuated with an intense longing.
A missing sense of magic and unconditional joy in my life.
The feeling was especially strong in moments of unwanted stress…
When I did any kind of soul-sapping task, it left me thinking, “what am I doing with my life?”
The feeling left me drained. Momentarily disillusioned. Unable to function as creatively, intuitively or energetically as I knew I could or should.
I’ll go out on a limb and say you know this feeling I’m talking about.
I took some time and now I am re-energized. TBEX is happening this week and I know I am planning on being such a giant sponge as I prepare this blog to become what it was meant to be.
Over the coming weeks you will see a few changes, contests and definitely more from me and some amazing guest bloggers who will share with you their knowledge, experiences and photography.
I hope that you will join me on this new journey as TravelciousDee v.2.0 takes flight on her new magic carpet ride!
Some great tunes to remind you of the “magic” –
Deborah Peniuk aka TraveliciousDee
There are times when I wish I was still a teenager and this just might be one of them! If you know of or have some keen teenagers who are looking to get into the Aviation biz this just might be the opportunity of a lifetime of experience.
Cathay Pacific has opened applications for its “I Can Fly” Toronto program, inviting young Canadians with a passion for aviation to participate in the popular program.Grade 11 and 12 high school students from the Greater Toronto area may submit an application online at http://www.cathaypacific.ca/icanflyon or before Sept. 12/2012.
The program will run from September through November 2012 and offers high school students a rare behind-the-scenes look at the airline industry. Manned by Cathay Pacific staff volunteers, the eight-week academy covers a range of aviation topics and explores various careers in the industry from airport operations to in-flight catering to passenger sales.
These real-world settings will provide invaluable perspective for students who will soon make choices about their future education and careers. The “I Can Fly” program was launched back in 2003 in Hong Kong and due to its success was brought to Canada for the first time in October 2009. The program will run weekly and operates after school hours out of multiple locations including the Toronto Pearson International Airport, its vicinity or within downtown Toronto.
When traveling you often find many opportunities to donate to programs that are actually based for support in your destination. While I was in South Africa, I came across many of these opportunities to support various groups and charities and I wanted to highlight a few that are doing great things for the wildlife and the people of this amazing country.
93.4% of all of Africa’s RHINOS are in South Africa. RHINO FORCE in union with other committed corporations leads the fight against the plague of RHINO poaching. Profits from lovely beaded bracelets go to the Endangered Wildlife Trust and are used to fight Rhino poaching through projects solely focused on saving the RHINO population.
One War We Can’t Afford To Lose.
Beautiful Creatures Music Video
Kalahari Spa has initiated the Kalahari Beads Project in conjunction with various Khoi San communities in the Kalahari Desert. These communities make delicate traditional Ostrich Egg Shell Beads and in turn they commission a good number of disadvantaged women to assemble these unique bracelets for them.
The proceeds from these bracelets goes towards supporting participating Khoi San families in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. The Kalahari Bead Project helps to raise awareness and to bring a better understanding, appreciation and respect for the Khoi San – the real people whose language and traditions are being lost.
I purchased mine while visiting the amazing Cape Grace Hotel in Capetown and wish I could have brought home many more of this great fundraising and culture preserving initiative.
One of my favourites is Monkey Biz, as I had been made aware of them a few years ago at a travel trade event I had attended hosted by GoWay. The amazing wire bodies that were hand beaded to form not only animals but people where amazing and I promised myself that if I ever got to Capetown I would look them up and go into the shop. Currently we are having conversations to perhaps one day soon, incorporate some of their goods for purchase through my company AYA Life to help continue the support that this company does.
MONKEYBIZ BEAD PROJECT SOUTH AFRICA
Through creating various sustainable employment, Monkeybiz focuses on women’s economic empowerment and health development in the most economically under-resourced areas of South Africa.
The project, which has established a vibrant community of more than 450 bead artists, many of whom are the sole moneymakers in their households, has transformed the large beaded arts market in South Africa. Departing from the culture of mass-production curio craft, each Monkeybiz artwork is unique,signed by the artist, ensuring that individual artists receive recognition for their work. They provide their artist’s community with beads and all of the material that is needed for the making of the bead art for free. The company also invests in skills development, entrepreneurship and self – employment with their artists.
All of the profits from the sales of the artworks are reinvested back into local community services, including but not limited to the weekly soup kitchens, restorative yoga, drama , and also a burial fund for the artists and their families.
A Brief History: Historically, bead work, in a South African context, has been the domain of women largely within the Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele and Sotho communities. The women are introduced to the craft directly through their mothers, grandmothers and other women in the community. Up until more recently, the oldest bead found in Africa was dated to roughly 10,000 BC. Excavated in the Kalahari Desert on the northern border of South Africa, it was chipped from the thick shell of an ostrich egg. Then, in 2004, the archaeologist Chris Henshilwood found marine shells and ostrich egg shells at Blombos Cave (Late Stone Age site on the south coast near Cape Town) that are at least 20,000 years old and had in all likelyhood been beads on a necklace.
Beads became integral to the Zulu society. In a non-literate culture, beading developed a whole language of symbolism to communicate messages of love, devotion and betrayal. The famous Zulu ‘love letters’ (which are tab pendants made by eligible young women and offered as coded tokens to the unmarried men) was one of the first pieces I ever owned to introduce me to the beading of the continent of Africa. It is one of many pieces I now own and have on display in my home – to be shared and seen not locked away – the work is so often beyond amazing!
Make sure you do some research and talk to the people if they have a storefront about how they source their goods and how they support their artists who create so many interesting items. But definitely take the moment and the minimal dollars to support the locals and as much or as little as you can do is always appreciate.
Giving back is a very wonderful thing and having great causes to support can lift your spirits and theirs like nobody’s business!
This past month I was able to visit one of the top places on my bucket list – South Africa! Now 3 weeks is nothing to sniff at for time away but it surely was not nearly enough time to really explore the entire country and its beautiful landscape and beautiful people. Over the next couple of posts under this heading I will do my best to do justice to the country that has captured my heart and is just the nibble of the big continent I intend to discover more of over the next decade! Here are just a small sampling of some of the great Capetown Big 6 – six unforgettable experiences that are a “must do” on any visit to this amazing city and its surrounding areas.
- Cape Point
- Constantia Vineyards
- Robben Island
- Table Mountain Cableway
- V&A Waterfront
These by no means are the limits of what you should or could see in and around Capetown but it is a fantastic landing pad for lots of interesting day trips but the city itself can take you days to see depending on what you are interested in. A must though of course is Table Mountain! Although it has not been 100% confirmed, it is believed that Table Mountain is at least 6 times older than the Himalayas – originally an island until the sea receded millions of years ago.Glaciers carved its flat surface and then the mountain gradually rose up, thrust up by the tectonic forces . The Cape’s original inhabitants, the Khoi San, named the mountain “Hoerikwaggo” which means “Mountain of the Sea” – when you are there – ask a local to help you pronounce this name properly.
Now no visit to Cape Town is complete without a glimpse of the mountains interesting phenomenon – the famous tablecloth, a meteorological phenomenon that actually causes a cloud cover to tumble down the mountains slopes like a layer of billowing fabric. There are many stories and songs shared about this interesting site and Capetonians will tell you the ins and outs of how to tell what the weather will be like by it as well. There is one story or legend that tells a tale of a retired pirate, Jan Van Hunks, who encountered the devil on the mountain and in order to save his soul, challenged the devil to a smoking contest. Allegedly they stoked their pipes and have been smoking ever since – the table cloth represents this smoke which happens on a daily basis.
Now Table Mountain is many things to many people but to true Capetonians, it remains the spiritual and geological heart of their city.
Did you know that Table Mountain is now one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature? The mountain’s most common animal is the Dassie or Rock Hyrax. Most likely you will see dozens of them sunning themselves on the rocks up top. They look like fat brown rabbits minus the ears.
A Strange but True fact about the Dassie or Rock Hyrax, is that in a twist of nature that is stranger than fiction, its most closest relative is the African Elephant. There is zero resemblance, they are the size of a house cat and ironically they don’t charge!
Table Mountain Cableway
Take the time to really map out the best choices for your personal interests when you look to plan your trip to South Africa! If you need assistance never be afraid to ask a travel professional like myself.
Seven Sisters Wine was featured at the South African Consulate of Canada’s Black History Month event at the TD Center in Toronto that I attended this past month. As I am soon to be off to their homeland I thought to share with you a little insight on this wonderful story of the Seven Sisters and how the Wine company came to be.
Seven Sisters Wine represents Women in the Wine Industry, Indigenous South African Ownership and Black Economic Empowerment. Their wine has become synonymous with sisterhood and celebration, and is an absolute hit amongst women in a restaurant/celebration environment.
Here is their full story: Seven Sisters YouTube its definitely inspiring!
They can also be found on Facebook – Seven Sisters Wine
Contact Here in Ontario Region for Private Sales :
This is G Inc.