Thursday, April 4, 2013

Popup Dumpling Event at The Beer Academy, Toronto

This popup event featured some wandering stars, like chef Nick Liu, who is setting up his new resto, Gwai lo, and chef Bertrand Alepee whose catering company, The Tempered Chef, moves him around as well, chef Chris Brown of The Stop, who helps out where he can, chef Zane Caplansky whose resto is the go to deli south of Eglinton Avenue, chef Steve Gonzalez who is soon to open his resto, Bushwick and chef Scott Vivian of Beast.

Very delicate, well made, squid ink saturated dumpling wrappers stuffed with cotechino sausage, accompanied by raw shrimp and sea urchin foam, on a base of lentil puree seasoned with preserved lemon, all topped with a squirt of mustard oil, from chef Chris Brown, of The Stop.

Chef Bertrand Alepee's version of onion soup, featuring chopped black truffle seasoned quenelles topped with chopped scallions and crispy croutons.

Buffalo milk ricotta gnudi with pine nuts, masala, eggplant pickle and black garlic vinaigrette. Chef Vivian told me that this dish goes back to his roots, a lovely rendition that well represented both Italian and Indian traditions.

Chef Nick Liu did a Chinese influenced, scallop potsticker with delicious, small, crispy chunks of pork belly, julienned slivers of mildly bitter endive, wood ear mushrooms, pickled Ontario walnuts and chopped cilantro, all dressed with a truffle vinaigrette and XO chili sauce.

Chef Steve Gonzalez made a Latin American inspired fried empanada stuffed with a potato and pork puree, accompanied by cabbage slaw and some very good, spicy aji (chopped tomatoes, hot peppers, onions and cilantro flavoured).

Helen Zuckerman inspired kreplach, stuffed with ground beef, onions fried in chicken fat, pepper and smoked meat, in a good chicken broth with sliced carrots. A wonderful traditional eastern European specialty prepared by chef Zane Caplansky.

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