Food Diaries: The Pie Commission

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission – Candy Coated Culinista

“Gourmet-style handheld savoury pies born and baked in Toronto.”

Place: The Pie Commission
Location: 935 The Queensway (Entrance at rear – located off Queen Elizabeth Blvd), Toronto, Ontario, M8Z 1P3
Phone: 416-848-7427
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11am – 7pm, Friday 11am – 8pm, Saturday: 11am – 6pm

5” individual round pies are made from scratch in-house, using natural ingredients – premium cuts of Canadian meat, the freshest produce and homemade beef, chicken and vegetable stock all placed in an all butter crust. Pies can also be purchased hot (to eat now) or frozen (to eat later) at a later time.

When I drove up to the Pie Commission, I was expecting a smaller store footprint as the directions were at the rear, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was also very bust and the 7 or so parking spaces were full and customers were parking across the street in a factory’s side lot. (This is a good sign to me)

Before entering I read the menus outside. The standard menu includes: Braised Beef Rib Pie, Beef ‘n Beer Pie, Butter Chicken Pie, Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash Pie and Veg-ilicious Pie (Vegetarian). Also visited there was a seasonal menu that consisted of: Hog Squash, Lobster + Shrimp, Caplansky “Reuben” Pie and Marky + Sparky’s Pulled Pork and Jerk Chicken. I believe the Caplansky’s is named after Caplansky’s Delicatessen & Marky + Sparky’s Smokehouse. I’m not sure if they use their meat or the pies are just inspired by them, but I loved the Toronto reference and keeping it local. It gives me the feeling there is a sense of community within the food industry.

I selected the Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash Pie – Chicken along with cheesy bacon mashed potato in the pie and for Mr. C. I got him the Pulled Pork BBQ from their seasonal menu. We split everything so we could get a good sampling of their offerings. I also served the pies with a side of organic baby romaine, grape tomatoes and green onion with lemon poppy-seed dressing to give us a balanced meal.

The crust for these pies were to die for, they were buttery and so flaky. I found that I couldn’t taste the bacon in the Chicken Cheddar Bacon Mash, but that didn’t make me dislike the pie in any way. It was so so good and the cheese added creaminess to the mashed potatoes. The Marky + Sparky’s Pulled Pork was saucier that I expected and I welcomed that, as I love anything with a sauce. I found this pie was much denser as it was packed with a lot of pulled pork.

For dessert we split a Lemon, Lime Orange Chess Pie. It tasted like pie I have made before, but it was still delicious. A chess pie is a simple pie with a crust and filling made from, eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla and was originally an English pie said the cashier.

Sides on the menu included fresh hand cut fries, gravy, chipotle lime mayo, mixed green salad, coleslaw along with the soup of the day, and desserts like pies, fresh fruit crumbles and cookies and a selection of canned or bottle drinks.

The 3 items came to $25.36 – not the cheapest considering the size of the pie, but quality ingredients go into the pies and it was so filling I couldn’t eat my slice of pie and had to wait until the next day. I would definitely visit them again.

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Diaries: The Pie Commission – Candy Coated Culinista

The Delicious Food Show

The Delicious Food Show

The Delicious Food Show

When: October 17-19 2014
Place: The CNE Exhibition Place

For the first time I visited The Delicious Food Show this year. I took Friday off work to ensure I arrived pretty close to the opening time, as I just didn’t want to have to deal with an insane amount of people. My goal today was really only one thing to get my copy of Molto Gusto by Mario Batali signed and also buy a copy of his new book America Farm to Table. The Friday Celebrity Chef line up included Tyler Florence, Mario Batali, Mark McEwen and Chuck Hughes (who I have met prior, first in line might I add). Chuck was signing his books along with a quick snapshot so I just hung around and took a few shots of him. I will say I learned a few things about Chuck hanging around: He grew up in Etobicoke for a time in his childhood. I thought he had always lived in Quebec and he also lived very close to Humber College my alma mater. I overheard all this information when two girls from the culinary program at Humber College asked him to say a few words to the culinary class. He grabbed the microphone faced the camera and told the students to stay in school; and that this is the time when they can burn all the food they want and it will be ok, so do it now. He made a quick joke and did a mini mic drop. He shook the girl’s hands and was so helpful, encouraging and personable and this is why I admire this man, so much.

Now cut to Mario Batali and this did not turn out as I had hoped. I didn’t mind waiting 20-30 extra minutes for him, but others in line were complaining and mentioning other chefs didn’t do this. The one bummer was he wouldn’t allow a quick photo and to add insult he barely said a word unless you said something to him, which I did. I just thanked him for coming to the show and seeing us. Short and sweet and he said you’re more than welcome. Fans were also handing our books a helper to speed up this whole signing process, so we were feet away from Mario when he was signing. In comparison you could get close to Chuck and he’d chat with you for a second and even shake your hand of give a hug. I really haven’t had a signature from any U.S.A. chefs except for Cake boss & Georgetown Cupcakes; which are two TV celebrities and Smitten Kitchen a blogger, so I don’t know if this is a thing or just his personality, but lots of us were left feeling cold and turned off. I grabbed my book and went exploring the foods. The only upside to that experience was I was second in line behind Julie a contestant from the premiere season of Masterchef Canada who was knocked out seventh on the show.

The delicious food floor.
I ran into alot of my usual Food truck fare restaurants, but in a booth form today, so I passed on them. Oysters seemed to be popular again as well as gourmet doughnuts and cured meats, cakes, cake pops, tequila in 3 incarnation from one booth. My cocktail of the show consisted of J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Whiskey shaken with house-made sour mix topped with a splash of Jacobs Creek Shiraz. I don’t like wine but I love whiskey sours and this made me enjoy wine so much more. Of course I found Macarons from AG Macaron and left with 6 flavours and a sugar cookies from The Teeny Tiny Bakery. I also learned that Maille has over 6 flavours of mustard that can be found in Toronto in various store. I am now on the hunt for the fine herbs mustard and the and some delightful truffle flavored gouda cheese from the dairy farmers of Ontario section.

Exploring the floor I was wandering a little more and saw graphic tees. I looked at the designs and said I know this art; these are Pierre Lamielle’s designs from Top Chef Canada. I continued to look and choose what I was going to get and heard Pierre’s voice but the person didn’t look like him…he cut his trademark beard. I had seen him with a beard through Top Chef Canada and then many many months later on Chopped Canada, so I mentioned you are almost unrecognizable. To that he quipped – “my mother said you’re not my son” to his now absent beard. I choose a very culinary and totally cheeky tee and looked at some tea towels and went on my merry way. Pierre was a delight and just as funny and quirky as he was on TV.

My last stop of the day was the Tyler Florence demo to learn some tips as, I watch him on the Great Food Truck Race. I have learned following William Sonoma on Instagram that the two have a partnership together, so I made it a point to check this demo out. While he was cooking he answered questions and told us about his new book: Inside the Test Kitchen coming out at the end of the month. He even passed a copy of his book around for us to take a peek at, and showed us food pictures off his phone. Today he made an alternative to a Porchetta with a ham leg, buttered turnips and apple mustard. We were even treated to tasting the ham if we were willing to line up and wait. I will be trying this recipe on a smaller scale soon. Tyler showed so much passion and so endearing that I have become more than just a casual fan.

Overall the show wasn’t as big as I expected or that I hoped it to be. I went with the hopes of seeing and getting some tips and trick from some amazing chefs and that was definitely accomplished. I had a great time, even if I found the show rather small. I wouldn’t take a full day off work again for this unless I have a particular chef I want to see or am taking an exclusive chef series with a cooking personality. I left the show with a few more places on my quest and diaries list to try and an amazing peeler for those very hard to peel vegetables…I’m talking to you rutabaga.

Tyler Florence - The Delicious Food Show

Tyler Florence – The Delicious Food Show

Porchetta, Buttered Turnips & Apple Mustards - The Delicious Food Show

Porchetta, Buttered Turnips & Apple Mustards – The Delicious Food Show

Von Doughnuts The Delicious Food Show

Von Doughnuts The Delicious Food Show

Chuck hughes - The Delicious Food Show

Chuck hughes – The Delicious Food Show

Short & Sweet Cupcakes - The Delicious Food Show

Short & Sweet Cupcakes – The Delicious Food Show

Cured Meats  - The Delicious Food Show

Cured Meats – The Delicious Food Show

AG Macarons Maille Mustards  - The Delicious Food Show

AG Macarons Maille Mustards – The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour  - The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour – The Delicious Food Show

Purchases from The Delicious Food Show

Purchases from The Delicious Food Show

Books Signed by Mario Batali - The Delicious Food Show

Books Signed by Mario Batali – The Delicious Food Show

Maille Mustards  - The Delicious Food Show

Maille Mustards – The Delicious Food Show

Oysters - The Delicious Food Show

Oysters – The Delicious Food Show

Tequila - The Delicious Food Show

Tequila – The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour - The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour – The Delicious Food Show

Food Trucks - The Delicious Food Show

Food Trucks – The Delicious Food Show

TO Food Fest

Date: Sunday June 23 2013
Place: Chinese Cultural Center, Scarborough, Ontario M1B 5Z5
Website: http://tofoodfest.com/

A friend and also a restaurant food blogger (http://idontcookblog.wordpress.com) told me about this food fest and got me on the media list. The TO Food Fest “brings together top foodie-reviewed restaurants and local hidden gems into one exciting event.” The TO Food Fest is where “established and aspiring chefs can be found, giving the local community a taste of unique and delicious cuisine.” Since I was on the media list I could see the vendors early and ask any questions and take photos. The vendors were very nice and accommodating even though they were getting ready for their day, and in some cases gave a sample and a quick blurb about what they make. 2013 came around and I said I would just go as non-media and to my surprise I got invited back as media. So the decision was made I signed up to return as media and got my sneak peek before the food fest started.

Here’s the rundown of my stops from 2012 & 2013:

All Mine Caramel
Website:http://www.allminecaramel.ca
Started as a small home based business and as Shannon’s homemade caramels that she gave as gifts
became so well loved and received she started her own business.

Babi and co.
Indonesian street food.

Bake’n
Everything here has bacon. On the menu was bacon cheesecake, sticky toffee bacon cake, and bacon salted caramel popcorn. I bought some delicious bacon popcorn and I was happy to see bits of bacon nestled inside the bags and not just the flavour of bacon.

Bakin’ bits
They make custom cakes and cupcakes.

Baoss
Means bun is Chinese and here open faced sandwiches are served. On the menu was pork belly, veal cheeks and lobster.

Big Moe’s (Burgers – Fires – Funnel Cakes)
The idea for Big Moe’s is like Burger Priest; simplicity in the burger. Everyone is named Moe – Big Moe, Mini Moe and Cousin Moe. The Holey Moley” is a doughnut burger; and the Juicy Lucy Burger has cheese in the centre of the patty. One of the interesting things is they are the only place in Toronto serving Tornado Fries on a 18” skewer stick; which they import specially from abroad. All Halal meat is used in their burgers also.

Brazilian Pastel
This treat looks like a Samosa and started in San Paolo and consists of a deep fried pastry filled with chicken, beef, banana & nutella, pizza or a taco mix. These tasted great and the banana and nutella made a perfect dessert treat.

Bricks & Mortar
The menu looked great but I couldn’t eat everything so I settled on getting my drink from there I had the Hibiscus green tea for $2.00. I wasn’t too sweet and had a little bitterness from the Hibiscus. This was a really refreshing drink on a hot sweltering day.

Buster’s Sea Cove Food truck
A sea food focused food truck that sells oysters on the half shelf, lobster rolls, fish tacos, crab rolls & Key lime pie.

Casa Manila
This restaurants motto is to serve “festive Filipino flavour“ and they want people to experience Filipino food. While the owner was talking to us one of the chefs was preparing the Halo Halo – a mix assorted fruits & sweet beans, custard toppings with shaved ice cream and topped with ube (taro) ice cream desert. I had never tried something like this before and I have tasted Filipino food and made it myself. The media that tried it like it.

Comida Del Pueblo
Means food of the people and they make American Latin fusion. They were highlighting their jalapeno cornbread grilled cheese. It looked delicious but I didn’t try it because of the jalapenos.

Dutch Frites
Website:http://www.dutchfrites.ca
“Authentic gourmet food from Holland.” The goal for Dutch Frites is to give a twist on traditional North American finger foods and expose us to the foods of Holland in each dish.

Francesca Bakery
Website: http://www.francescabakery.com
I was so happy when I saw macarons! I made sure to come back and buy some, so I bought 12. Also on the menu was Sicilian cannoli and aranici, which are fried rice balls coated with breadcrumbs with something stuffed in the middle, like mozzarella or meat.

Fruity Splendor fruit Carving Designs
Do you want to learn how to carve fruit? There aren’t many specialty tools and what is produced is amazing. The carver told us it takes 1 hour to carve a honey dew melon. I was amazed at what she could do with such simple tools.

Gala’s Peppersauce 2012-2013
Website: http://www.galaspeppersauce.com
I bought this for a Jamacian friend who loves spice. There are no preservatives in Gala’s products so they only have a one year shelf life. The two flavours are Xtra Hot & Hot; and are made from scotch bonnets which are commonly found in Jamaica.

How Bout Those Meatballs
A young Italian boy making amazing meatballs: He has no recipe or measurements, his nona said “put love into it and it will always turn out well. He makes his meatballs (a mixture of veal and beef) in the backyard with his mom. Mr. C`s. Sandwich was to die for he said; he also wished I brought him more. The meatball was served on a Ciabatta mini bun with arugula and his marinara sauce. The menu has expanded and I bought the Isabella sandwich along with the meatball sandwich and it was spicy. Mr. C. got the spicy Isabella which he said was spicy and I got the regular Isabella, which still had some kick to is (avocado on it)

Ice volcano ice cream
Website: http://www.icevolcano.ca
“The coolest, coldest and fastest way of making ice cream… with -196°C liquid nitrogen.” Orange fresh strawberry, Mango and Milo are some flavours available.

Jamie’s Cracked Corn
Website: http://www.jamiescrackedcorn.com/
Jamie’s cracked corn makes Kettle Corn with a recipe that is over 200 years old. He uses sugar cane, no nut, dairy, gluten or Trans fats. I bought a huge bag for home and I enjoyed it and wished I had grabbed two bags. It was light, airy and melted on my tongue. Lightly dusted with sea salt and not overly saturated with caramel coating. I would definitely buy this again. This year I went back and bought another bag and it tasted just a great as I remembered.

Kalofagas
Website: http://www.kalofagas.ca/
I wanted Greek food, now I should venture into the unknown foods but something about this Greek wrap drew me in and I didn’t regret it. Pork Souvlaki wrap 4$

Kanga
Website: http://www.eatkanga.com
Handheld Aussie styled meat pies served with ketchup. Vegemite is used in the pies and is a nod to the Aussie background. “An individually portioned, handheld, buttery pie filled with loads of meat, veg and gravy is intended to be eaten with one hand only (the other is strictly reserved for the beverage of your choice)!”

Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ
Website: http://www.hawaiianbarbeque.ca
Served here today was pork skewers, pineapple soda and pulled pork on a bun. They were grilling on a large BBQ and it smelt and looks delicious. A secret BBQ recipe that has been passed down from generation to generations is used. That make no shortcuts and want a quality dish sent out everytime.

Little Tomato Catering
Website: http://www.littletomatocatering.com/
This is a catering company has a passion for food. Menus are custom tailored to each event and to meet your specifications and budget. Today they were serving Gourmet pizzas. Yum.

Mary Macleod’s Shortbreads Website: http://www.marymacleod.ca
This business has been around for 32 years and Holt Renfrew has been a client for over 25 years and Pusateri’s also carries their `treats. The story is one day a lady dressed impeccably head to toe in turquoise in the late 70’s early 80’s came in and tasted Mary’s shortbreads loved them and gave her a card, she worked for Holts and since then they make cookies every Christmas for them. The three flavours are Original, Belgian chocolate and chocolate crunch. I have never tasted chocolate shortbread before and thought shortbread had to be plain. That’s how much I new and I can see why they are still a favourite of Holt Renfrew for sure.

Me.n.u.
Website: http://www.menuft.com
Travel eat share. Foods and taste from all over the world.

Mocha King
Traditional mocha with a twist.

Nom Nom Nom Crepes
Website: http://www.nnncrepes.com
Mr. C. and I split the Twinkie- Crispy fried crepe. It is a deep fried crepes rolled like a twinkle with raspberry jam. I tasted amazing and the raspberry drizzle the perfect balance to the sweet treat.

Pancho’s Bakery
Today on the menu was churro’s.

Patisserie Royale
Website: http://www.patisserieroyale.com
Here a 300 year old family recipe that has been voted best in T.O. for Baklava by Blog. T.O. I love baklava and this was no exception; It was sticky and sweet, but not too sweet with the right amount of crunch and dusting of pistachio’s on top. Hands down the best baklava I’ve tasted.

Rodney’s Oyster House
Website: http://www.rodneysoysterhouse.com
Rodney’s Oyster House is the one of the most popular oyster houses in the city if not the most popular. It has great food and atmosphere. For the fest they had oysters on ice for us to enjoy.

Smash Cake
Website:http://www.smashcake.ca
A baking and catering company, which offers a wide variety of events services and products.

Sopsop
Website:http://www.sopsop.ca
A passion for food is what SopSop has and their goal is to find the perfect balance between the familiar dishes with influences from cuisines around the world.

Summertime Lemonade
Lemonade is sold here and nothing is more enjoyable than fresh squeezed lemonade in the summer.

Taco Cat
A bunch of 20 year old Asian young adults are putting their stamp on making taco’s with a unique flair; on such example is the deep fried squid taco.

Urban Acorn
Website: http://www.urbanacorn.ca
Eat fresh, local, organic & eat more plants. This equals their local flexitarianism philosophy.
This was my second time every hearing the term Flexitarian. It basically means you don’t always want to eat meat.

What’s your cupcake? Muffin!!!
Gourmet cupcakes with unique combinations! A daughter and mom team make these out of their kitchen and we got to sample chocolate curry, strawberry peppercorn and wasabi chocolate cupcakes.

Gala's Pepper Sauce

Gala’s Pepper Sauce

Bakin’ Bits

Bakin’ Bits

All Mine Caramel

All Mine Caramel

Urban Acorn

Urban Acorn

Bricks & Motar

Bricks & Motar

Nom Nom Nom Crepes

Nom Nom Nom Crepes

Grub

Grub

Babi and Co.

Babi and Co.

Little Tomato Catering

Little Tomato Catering

Gushi

Gushi

Kanga

Kanga

Kalofagas

Kalofagas

Smash Cake

Smash Cake

Tacocat

Tacocat

Fruity Splendor Fruit Carving Designs

Fruity Splendor Fruit Carving Designs

What’s Your Cupcake? Muffin!!!

What’s Your Cupcake? Muffin!!!

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