Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Food Docs to check out at Planet in Focus

The Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival takes place this weekend and they have some fantastic Food Documentaries in their program this year.   These are some of the films that will be screened at the festival.  I have seen a few of them and I can tell you that they are worth checking out.

On the Saturday of the festival there will also be a FOOD Panel after a couple of the films during the day at Innis Town Hall.

My recommendation is to make sure you go see WASTED: The Story of Food because you will have this film in your head at every step of your everyday life.

FOOD COOP Thomas Boothe, France, 2016, 97 min
Sitting between the immersive institutional portraiture of Frederick Wiseman and 
Broad City’s knowing send­up of gentrified Brooklyn, Food Coop offers an engaging and often humorous look at Park Slope’s wildly successful socialist supermarket.

This film is an interesting look at a new way to shop for your weekly groceries and eat better food for less money and at the same time getting to know a like minded community of people.  It has a very New York feel and you will like the different people in the community of Co Op people.

Saturday 21 October, 12:30pm ­ Innis Town Hall
Screens with FIXED! (Cat Mills)

MODIFIED Aube Giroux, Canada, 2017, 86 min[Canadian]
Canadian director Aube Giroux’s first feature, 
Modified, weaves stories of her participation in citizen led movements to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), with interviews from activists Jane Goodall and Rachel Parent, and personal narratives of family, gardening, food, health, and loss. A touching and thoughtful film, Modified, is activism inspired by love.

I haven't had a chance to see this one but hoping to see it at the festival on Saturday.  GMO food is something that everyone should be educated on because people estimate that there may not be enough food in the world to feed everyone by 2050 but is GMO food the answer and what will it do to future generations?

Saturday 21 October, 3:45pm ­ Innis Town Hall
Guest: Aube Giroux

WASTED! THE STORY OF FOOD WASTE Anna Chai/Nari Kye, USA, 2017, 85 min
Slick, solution­-oriented, and featuring Anthony Bourdain at his sardonic best, 
WASTED! The Story of Food Waste is that rare social issue documentary that’s every bit as entertaining as it is informative.

I absolutely loved this film, so much that I watched it intently twice.  I love Anthony Bourdains sarcastic, brutal honesty and his straight forward no B.S. delivery of the reason this film was made.
It  has the same visual appeal as his show Parts Unknown which was Emmy winning.   It also has the great story telling and fact driven intensity that keeps you interested in the subject and the speakers in the film.  I have seen a lot of documentaries so it wasn't extremely shocking for me but for those that aren't as educated about where our food comes from and goes to, it's a real in your face reality check.  I highly recommend you see it with your friends and family because you may have a great discussion about what you are doing everyday and ways to make changes.   Since watching this documentary I have started a Wasted Soup Crockpot that my coworkers have contributed their excess food scraps to and it's been simmering away almost every day for the past 2 weeks.

Saturday 21 October, 6:45pm ­ Innis Town Hall
Screens with THE POACHER (Nicholas Jones) 

DEAD DONKEYS FEAR NO HYENAS Joakim Demmer, Sweden/Germany/Finland, 2017, 80 min
Famine stricken Ethiopia is exporting food to Europe while receiving aid from the World Bank to feed its population. Director Joakim Demmer investigates this scandalous situation, showing how the government has leased or sold bountiful land to foreigners while locals survive on handouts from abroad.

I have not seen this film yet but I have seen the trailer and it looks pretty interesting and kind of eye opening at what goes on with food that is supposed to help people in need.  

Saturday 21 October, 9:30pm ­ Innis Town Hall
Screens with KÉKWU (Sean Stiller)

THE LAST PIG Allison Argo, USA, 2017, 53 min
The Last Pig, by Emmy award­-winning filmmaker Allison Argo, is an intimate reflection on animal treatment, following ethical pig farmer, Bob Comis, as he contemplates his transition out of raising animals for slaughter. The film takes a meditative approach to animal activism.

What happens when a Pig farmer decides he has a crisis of conscience and decides to stop being a Pig Farmer.  The Last Pig is one mans journey to change his life plan and look at what his contribution to the world is.

Sunday 22 October, 2:30pm ­ The Al Green Theatre at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre


CAN YOU DIG THIS? Delila Vallot, USA, 2015, 85 min
Self-­described “Gangsta gardeners,” including the charismatic Ron Finley, are leaders in the emerging urban gardening movement springing up in notoriously rough South Los Angeles. These gardeners embrace life and their positive energy permeates the community, changing the meaning of what it is to be gangster.

This film is super inspiring to see people struggle but at the same time 1 person can make a difference just by planting a garden.  With a whole host of characters from low income communities and the champions that take it upon themselves to make a difference.

Sunday 22 October, 7:45pm ­ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
Guests: Ron Finlay 

Ron Finley, and executive produced by John Legend. Following the film Finley will be presented with the 2017 International Eco-Hero award and will give an address about his practice.

Also of note there will be a tribute to the late filmmaker Rob Stewart (Sharkwater) who was a friend of the festival.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Edgy Veg Cookbook launch

I got an invitation to the launch of Candice Hutchings new Cookbook the EDGY VEG at the YouTube space downtown.  Although I had never heard of Candice who has a YouTube channel with her recipes I was curious to find out about what she has been cooking up.  She claims to make Vegan food that will satisfy a carnivore.  Candice wrote the cookbook with her husband who isn't a vegan so she was trying to come up with recipes that would satisfy his tastebuds and that they could both be happy with.

I have to say that the Youtube space is a very cool little spot and they had Activated Charcoal lemonade as well as Kombucha Mimosa's for everyone to sample along with wine.

I was there with my fellow bloggers Natalie (Cooking Quidnunc) and Shuang (The Teleporta).  The room was filled with all kinds of people including Abbey Sharp from Abbey's Kitchen and Home Economist/tv personality Mairlyn Smith who we had a very nice chat with.

I can't say that much about the food because I only sampled 2 things,  the Pulled Jackfruit Slider which was really good and was meant to be a substitute for pork.

I also had a small bit of the "cauliflower chicken wings"  basically a tempura like batter dipped cauliflower with a chicken wing sauce.  I love cauliflower so I also enjoyed this bite.

We didn't stay very long so I think we missed a few things.  I saw that there was a Vegan chocolate Mousse that we missed.  

But I did like what I tried and would recommend checking out Candice's Youtube channel or picking up her new EDGY VEG cookbook at an Indigo bookstore near you.


Facebook: /theedgyveg

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Grand Opening - Northern Maverick Brewing Co.

The grand opening of Northern Maverick Brewing Co.
King West's newest brewery and restaurant. ​

Northern Maverick Brewing 
Tuesday, September 26
115 Bathurst St., Toronto 
T 416-540-4030

Hashtag: #NorthenMaverickBrewing
Twitter: @NorthernMavBeer
Instagram: @NorthernMaverickBrewing


I was lucky to be invited to the Grand Opening of the New Northern Maverick Brewing Co on Bathurst Street just north of King Street.   Maverick Brewing is a Restaurant/Bar with a Beer store attached to it.

It's a huge beautiful space with a large open patio.  With very high ceilings that have barrels hung from the ceiling as their decor.  The space is lovely and open and the Bar stretches the length of the restaurant.

When I arrived there was a long table full of high quality cheeses.  They will have Great Canadian cheeses and charcuterie boards available on their regular menu.

The charcuterie station was at the other end of the restaurant and popcorn on the tables.
They had a long oyster bar and a selection of PEI and BC oysters.

They had passed food served around and one of the best things I tried was their Oxtail Jamaican Patty.  I think they only had a few at the beginning so I was lucky to get one.   I also tried a zuchiini ricotta cake, a smoked trout on potato cake, a vegetarian slaw on wonton chip,  and Duck pate on a crostini.

It was a really hot night and the windows were all open so it was extremely hot inside so I was really happy to see little cups of their maple bacon ice cream.  It melted pretty quickly but it tasted great.

Although it's not in an area near my home or office I hope that I get a chance to check out their regular menu at some point.

It's a great place to hang out with a bunch of friends for drinks.  Although I don't drink beer and didn't try their own Northern Maverick beer I can say it's a great place to chill if you do enjoy beer.

They also have a brunch menu so it might be worth a try on a weekend morning meetup with your best pals.

* Disclaimer:  The food was complimentary but the opinions and photos are my own. #sponsored