Thursday, July 3, 2014

Southern Accent Restaurant Cookbook Launch

Southern Accent Restaurant in Toronto is one of those hidden gem type of restaurants that is tucked away on Markham road or Mirvish village in the Annex in Toronto,  but has been around for 30 years.  Staying open 5 years in Toronto is a huge accomplishment but let alone a long standing career of 30 years is a miracle in this city where things that were around for a long time and are iconic are all disappearing.  That's why I am so happy that Southern Accent is still around and hasn't changed a thing except maybe adding a few recipes here and there.

 I received a special invite from Toronto Film Critic Richard Crouse to attend a secret Cookbook Launch.  I didn't know who's cookbook it was for but I was game to find out.  I knew it had to be something that Richard had a connection to because he was going out of his way to find the right people to attend the cookbook launch.    I used to do makeup for the Rogers show Real to Reel when Southern Accent.  We had filmed Real to Reel there a few times.   I would squeeze my makeup into some corner of the restaurant and try and put it on in the very darkened restaurant.  But it was always fun being there.  The restaurant has a certain energy.  Richard's connection to Southern Accent goes way back to when he was a bartender/server there.  At that time the now chef/owner was just a bus boy but his partner was still his boss back then.  Frances hired Richard after a 5 minute interview and he has been connected to the restaurant ever since then.
Richard Crouse, Geoff Pevere and Katrina Onstad were the hosts of the show so I have known Richard for a long time.   I have stopped doing makeup and have spent that time working on this blog instead.   I was happy to find out that the Cookbook Launch was for

This was no ordinary book launch.   It was a real fun event.  There were fresh oysters being shucked, a Nawlins  dixieland style band playing on the patio,  Beers on tap, Sangria and very tasty Bourbon Sours which is what I sampled.
Then the food started coming out.  Shrimp Po'boy sandwiches, crab cakes, brisket and mashed potatoes, hush puppies and there was a huge pan of Jambalaya being made just when you walked in through the patio.  Drinks were flowing and everyone was enjoying the food and the music.

Andrea, owner Frances and Richard Crouse
Richard Crouse

Then came the little desserts,  Bourbon glazed bread pudding and Pecan pies.   MMMM goood.

Like a trip to New Orleans.   And speaking of trips to New Orleans, this whole cookbook started 20 years ago when Richard went to Louisiana with Frances the owner and found some crazy locals including the Mayor that gave them some of the tried and true recipes that went into the restaurant and the end result of this cookbook.   Richard and Frances and the now partner chef owner have lot's of stories of their experiences in Southern Accent over the years.   Maybe Richard will write a book of the stories of working and hanging out at Southern Accent.  Although it sounds like it might be a good documentary.  If I had some cash and a good crew that would be something I would be interested in doing for sure.

And the bonus of the evening for me was a complimentary Tarot Card reading with Kim.  My life sound interesting through those Tarot cards so I will have to wait and see what transpires over the next 12 months.   In the meantime I will be flipping through the pages of the Southern Accent cookbook and reading some of the stories included in the book.

Check out the photos of the Launch.  It was one of the most fun Cookbook launches I have ever attended and the food was great too.

Drop by during Summerlicious and get your Cajun on and sip a nice cool drink and some spicy food.   

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