It seems as though these days I have a penchant for hitting the ground running. And so it was that I found myself sitting on the streetcar, nodding off to sleep while jolting across River Street bound for Leslieville. I had just arrived back in Toronto after a 15 hour flight from Hong Kong the previous night and with only three hours of sleep under my belt I found myself barely conscious as I skipped into Ruby Watchco.
I have been meaning to visit Chef Lynn Crawford and Lora Kirk’s celebrated East End eatery ever since they opened doors their doors in 2010. When I was invited by the folks at Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate for a special tasting I eagerly accepted, even though I knew I’d likely be feeling the zombie jet lag. Shortly after noon the room filled with some of my favourite Toronto food personalities. It wasn’t until I plopped myself down at a table that I realized and appreciated how much I missed home along with my favourite friendly faces.
First things first, I sipped on an aptly titled Pitchin In cocktail, a nice nod to Chef Lynn’s much loved show on the Food Network. Ice cubes clinked in my glass as I swirled an autumn inspired fusion of carrot, ginger and sailor jerry spiced rum. The glass was embellished with a Green & Black’s Organic Dark 70% rim, an indication of how Chef Lora Kirk would use G&B’s premium chocolate bars that afternoon to create her very own cocoa love menu.
Over the course of the next two hours Chef Lora whisked herself in and out of the kitchen to march us through her menu. I was impressed by the savoury dishes she had created as each offered up a touch of chocolate to dishes which rarely celebrate cocoa. Roasted chestnut soup with the subtle sweet of milk chocolate was a perfect pairing for those looking to be warmed up on a blustery Fall day. Decadent lobster was served wrapped in thick cream, roasted hazelnuts and G&B white chocolate.
Of course we were all most curious about how Chef Lora would explore chocolate in its most traditional form, the sweet finish. Dessert that afternoon thankfully forced me into the food coma I needed to rest the afternoon away. G&B’s burnt toffee folded together with peanut butter in a tart which forced a jaw drop, silent stare and sigh.
Pitchin’ In Cocktail
carrot puree, ginger syrup, sailor jerry spiced rum, green & black’s organic dark 70% rim
Roasted Chestnut and G&B’s Organic Milk Chocolate Soup
Lobster with G&B’s Organic White Chocolate Hazelnut Brulee
Cocoa Nib Crusted Pork Tenderloin with G&B’s Organic Dark 70% Chocolate and Red Wine Jus
G&B’s Organic Sea Salt with Chevre Noir and Goat Yogurt
G&B’s Organic Burnt Toffee Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart