...........An updated new gourmet food store and catering shop in Kensington Market.
St. Andrew Poultry was founded in 1962 by Jewish European immigrant Isaac Jesin. It was originally a processing plant but they expanded to add a retail side for their poultry products. Jesin handed down the operation to his son Dr. Jerry Jesin in 2012. Dr. Jesin a Toronto Dentist and foodie decided to kick the place up to a more modern shop and expand on the food products available. Since he was a dentist and not a chef he needed to find someone to help him with the vision that he wanted for the store. He asked around and was told to try Chef Bernadette Calpito's food.
Chef Calpito worked for many great upscale dining establishments including Roger Mooking's Kultura. She drew from all of her restaurant experience and kicked it into high gear to create some great upscale fast food dishes that people could drop into the shop to pick up and take home for dinner.
Together they created a "Foodie Bar" with hot meals like fried chicken, brisket sandwiches, ribs, fries and their own signature Shawarma's.
They also have updated their Meat Counter to include aged Beef and vacuum packed already seasoned chicken, brisket and beef items.
There is also a counter with prepared foods like fingerling potatoes in a lemon vinaigrette, heirloom tomato salad, malta ribs, salmon and various salads.
They also have a Delivery and Catering service that will deliver to downtown offices and cater your events. Chef Calpito noted that she is willing to provide whatever you need for your event, not limited to the items sold in the store.
Additional specialty items available in the store include some baked goods made by their in house baker and also a line of cheeses, fresh eggs and salads in Mason jars and a lot more.
I sampled a few things from their Foodie Bar.
I tried the Joy fried chicken which is a special process of cooking the chicken which keeps it crispy on the outside while being juicy on the inside. Try it with their hot sauce.
Their Shawarma's are a signature dish that have their own unique blend of spices that are a global fusion of flavours. I detected a bit of turmeric in the seasonings which gave the chicken shawarma a nice golden color. They have a nice selection of toppings for the shawarma's and they topped mine off with some of their vanilla infused french fries. You don't taste the vanilla but the fries are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle and are delicious.
Chef Calpito wanted to make tacos but didn't want to do the same tacos everyone else was doing so she used Beef Cheeks and changed the tortilla shell to a wonton wrapper shell and added toppings like a cabbage and pineapple slaw and feta crema to the top. Very flavourful taco with a great crunch.
They worked on many different combinations to get their burgers the way they wanted them. They were so juicy that the napkin that I was holding was soaked in juices. They used a beef brisket mix for the burgers and had them stacked with all kinds of toppings.
I also tried their Chicken Pot Pie. It tasted like homemade chicken soup with a nice puff pastry top on it. They have them uncooked and frozen ready to heat at home.
I tried a sample of their fingerling potato salad with lemon and herb dressing and loved the nice subtle flavour that enhances the potatoes.
I didn't have enough room to try the pistachio crusted lamb pops and their banana breads but the people I was with loved them. I tried as much as I could and picked up some chicken to take home for dinner as well.
The staff are all super friendly and helpful. Dr. Jerry loves food and wanted to make sure everything was the best it could be. Chef Calpito has an abundance of energy and charm and a passion for making the products in her own unique style with flavours from around the globe.