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Are You Not Entertained?!


Amex Cardmember & Ambassador life doesn’t seem like it could get any better. Seriously, over the years we’ve had the pleasure of attending countless live shows, concerts, movie screenings, sporting events and even dinning out with Front Of The Line which is part of the overarching Amex Invites program. Well, believe it or not, things just got better! Front Of The Line has grown immensely over the years and we’re more than excited to share the news.

American Express Canada has partnered with Live Nation Canada for a new multi-year deal! So, what does that mean for Cardmembers? Amex is now offering even more access (as if that’s possible) to tickets and shows than ever before. As part of the Live Nation partnership, Amex will be able to provide even more advanced tickets to your favourite events.

Front Of The Line allows Cardmembers advanced ticket access to special events as well as incredible seats as part of their exclusive allotment of tickets. So the next time your friends miss out on tickets to their favourite show, you can be that friend that saves the day!

This unique opportunity is available to ALL Cardmembers, no matter which Card you may have. So next time you’re interested in going to a show, make sure you take advantage of the American Express and Live Nation partnership, and get yourself to the #FrontOfTheLine!

For more info visit: americanexpress.com/canada

Follow @1LOVETO @AmexCanada @LiveNationON #FrontOfTheLine

Introducing Ritual


With a touch of a button customers will receive front-of-the-line access and incredible service at some of Toronto’s best local restaurants and cafes thanks to Ritual. If you haven’t heard of Ritual yet, it’s the latest app dedicated to connecting busy Toronto-based ‘urban professionals’ with great coffee and food spots around the city. The mobile technology allows users to make selections from a diverse range of options and place orders directly from your phone. Notifications keep you up to date on your order status and pick-up time so the experience becomes seamless, with no extra cost.

Ritual is currently offering their service in the following downtown Toronto neighbourhoods: King West, Entertainment District, Liberty Village, St Lawrence Market and The Discovery District.

Some of our favourite places available on the app are: It’z A Wrap, Magic Oven, Ravi Soups, Portland Variety, and Rose City Kitchen.


To see some of the tasty options visit their instagram page HERE.

For more info and a complete list of participating restaurants and cafes, check out: ritual.co

Follow @1LOVETO

Taste Of Toronto 2015


Taste of Toronto is back again this year, taking place on the historic grounds of Fort York with cooking classes, demonstrations, tastings, live entertainment and more! In its second year, the only North American outpost of the international Taste Festivals is once again offering visitors unique experiences to interact with the country’s top culinary talent, including Iron Chef and Michelin-starred Masaharu Morimoto; California cuisine innovator Jonathan Waxman of Montecito; Egg Farmers of Canada Chef Ambassador, and celebrity chef and owner of Ruby Watchco, Lynn Crawford; and MasterChef Canada stars Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Eric Chong.

General tickets start from $19, granting access to one of six lunch or dinner sessions from Thursday, July 2nd – Sunday, July 5th. Each session offers the opportunity for festival-goers to sample dishes from over 16 restaurants and participate in fresh and exciting programming.



Metro Master Class
The Metro Master Class offers visitors the unique opportunity to learn pro skills and pick up personal tips from their favourite chefs in hands-on cooking sessions. Each Taste of Toronto session includes three to four unique, 30-minute cooking classes.

The Tasting Room
Join top winemakers and Franco Stalteri of Charlie’s Burgers as they lead tastings of New World Varietals and Wines of Garnacha, share tips on food and beverage pairings, cellaring how-to and much more. Following last year’s success, Richmond Station is back with fan favourites like fresh oysters and Northern Divine caviar to pair perfectly with the summer’s best wines. Sessions in The Tasting Room are 5 crowns (festival currency, 1 crown = 1 dollar) each and spaces are filled on a first come, first served basis.

Cadillac Taste Theatre
See some of the world’s best chefs in the Cadillac Taste Theatre as they share secrets to creating their most well-known dishes. To kick things off on opening night, culinary master Masaharu Morimoto capture the audience as he breaks down a full tuna, live on stage. On Friday afternoon, sustainable seafood advocate Rick Moonen teaches spectators how to compose grilled True North salmon with refreshing cucumber gazpacho and marinated heirloom tomatoes. Throughout the weekend, the city’s most revered chefs, like Alvin Leung of R&D and Bo Innovation, Michael Bonacini of Oliver & Bonacini, Cory Vitiello of The Harbord Room and THR & Co., Elia Herrera of Los Colibris and El Caballito, Rob Bragagnolo of Marben and Adrian Niman of Rasa, among many others, also take the stage to reveal tricks that are sure to inspire. The Cadillac Taste Theatre is free, but seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

Taste x WayHome Stage
Taste of Toronto is partnering with the city’s hottest music festival of the summer, WayHome Music and Arts, to provide the perfect soundtrack for the weekend. The all-Canadian line-up includes indie darling Lowell, multi-talented singer-songwriter Melissa Payne, Juno-award winner Tomi Swick and Toronto art-pop adventurers For Esmé, all slated to appear at this year’s inaugural WayHome Music and Arts Festival happening just outside of Barrie July 24-26, 2015.

Taste of History
History buffs have the opportunity to peek into the past and explore the 1815 Officers’ Mess Establishment on the Fort York grounds. The Mess dining room exhibit showcases the table settings, furnishings, dining customs and mess lifestyle of British Officers stationed at Fort York during the year 1815. The oldest kitchen existing in Toronto, original from 1815, is located in the basement, along with a wine cellar and money vaults, while the kitchen on the main floor dates back to 1826. Expect to see a complete reenactment of kitchens from that time period, with cooks in historic costumes making original recipes that reflect Officers’ food of the early 19th century. Guests can enjoy free samples made from the recipes in cookbooks of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Vendor Marketplace
Visitors can sip, sample and shop from over 60 recognizable producers and premium brands, alongside up-and-coming names, of olive oils, jams, cheeses, beer, wine, kitchen tools and more, in the vendor marketplace at Taste of Toronto. This year’s vendors include local favourites like Blackbird Baking Co., Lee’s Ghee, Olive Oil Emporium, Mad Mexican and Ninutik Maple. Six vendors from the recently opened market space OK Friday Barn Fair, a collaboration between Burl’s Creek Event Grounds and the Karma Project, are also rotating throughout the weekend, adding yet another vibrant and local element to the festival.


Here’s a short-list of our Top 5 picks from the Taste of Toronto 2015 line-up:

Stuart Cameron, Byblos, Patria and Weslodge
Ted Corrado and Matt DeMille, The Drake Hotel, The Drake Devonshire and Drake One Fifty
Victor Barry, Splendido
Mark McEwan, McEwan Group
Rick Moonen, True North Salmon

For more info, please visit: tasteoftoronto.com

Previously: Taste of Toronto Experience (2014)

Follow @1LOVETO #TasteofToronto

If you aren’t already aware, Thursday’s are the new Friday’s, and if you weren’t at The Fitting Room Toronto’s event alongside the Handsome Brut, you most certainly missed out. It was an outstanding, intimate, networking evening filled with sparkling wine, savoury food pairings courtesy of Luther’s Chicken, and great conversations. Owned by Bryan Brock and Brian Cafua, this cut and culture shop knows how to get the conversations going. With the power of social media, a contest rollout was the initiative to a successful night:

“Enter for your chance to win an exclusive VIP experience at The Fitting Room with Handsome Brut on Thursday, March 19th from 8-10PM. Post a photo of your latest haircut on Instagram tagging @fittingroomtoronto and include the hash tag ‪#‎AreYouHandsome‬.”‬

Dim lights and mellow groovy tunes accompanied the relaxed ambiance of the lounge-like gentlemen’s grooming shop. The atmosphere was undeniably attractive. As the crowd mixed, mingled, sipped on some bubbly, and enjoyed h’orderves, Levi of the Handsome Brut, gave the crowd an informative insight on the creation process of the sparkling wine.


“The Niagara region is really bang on for Sparkling wine,” he said. “The climate, the soil type, the seasons — It’s perfect for it.”

The Handsome Brut is said to do things old school by believing in quality, tradition, and doing things right.

“The problem with bubbles is any little mistake you make with it, it’s going to show up in the wine; it’s a science.”

It takes longer and requires more work but the end results are worth it.

“I love making sparkling wine because it’s the hardest one to make. Reds and whites are a walk in the park,” Levi said as he threw his hands up.

The key to a successful sparkling wine is in patience and moderation with alcohol content and fermentations.


“With sparkling, you don’t want too much alcohol to begin with. You want to start off nice and low with under 10 per cent of alcohol because it’s going to go through two fermentation processes,” he said. “If you rush the process and go too high with the alcohol percentage, it’s going to kill the yeast and you’ll be left with too much residual sugar, which can lead to bacterial infections later on.”

The Handsome Brut is a true traditionalist. Their wines are handmade in the traditional method from 100 per cent Ontario Chardonnay and undergoes two fermentations in the bottle, where it also spends two years aging on average.

“The traditional method is putting the wine back into the bottle, putting the yeast with the sugar, and that’s what produces the bubbles in the bottle,” Levi explained. “We add to it what we call a dosage, a secret herb and spices — it’s the wine making secret. It take about 18 months to eight years.”

Much like The Fitting Room, the Handsome Brut loves great company. Bryan Brock had mentioned the importance of the evening’s event was to gather not only their loyal clients and supporters, but also some of Toronto’s creative influencers for a night of networking, building, and sharing. We all have hectic work and personal schedules and Brock found it fitting (pun intended) to host an intimate event where memories, experiences, relationships and conversations are guaranteed to be created.



Featuring the Handsome Brut tasting in Toronto’s newly opened lounge-like men’s barbershop was a no-brainer. Combining the culture and style of the city that’s conveniently located in the heart of Dundas West, it was only appropriate to also include local Luther’s Chicken in the mix for food pairings.

According to the beliefs of the Handsome Brut, “Bubbles are key to enjoying many foods, so, if it’s something you’d serve beer or soda pop with, you can serve Handsome Brut with.”

“I’d give it a go with all types of foods… You’d be surprised with that you’ll stumble across,” Levi said. “I think it would compliment a variation of dishes and spices and make the simplest dish fancy in flavour.”


Naturally, the Handsome Brut is said to be a great solo act that can go from posh parties to game-day hangouts. Either way, Handsome Brut classes up pretty much any occasion and it certainly outdid itself at The Fitting Room’s event!

As an added bonus, mucking around with sparkling wine and having fun with different flavours is highly encouraged, according to Levi.

“Maybe some Brandy, maybe some Cognac, maybe a little but of Port; just something to give it some complexity, and that’s the secret. It’s incredible how something so small can change the wine.”

In regard to the men of The Fitting Room, mixing more alcohol with alcohol shouldn’t be a problem. They aren’t groomed to be handsome brut’s for nothing!

For more info visit: fittingroomtoronto.com

Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO #AreYouHandsome #TheFittingRoom

The One Eighty Experience


On April 7, The One Eighty hosted an event to showcase the re-established 51st Floor of the Manulife Centre building, previously known as Panorama. Renowned for its spectacular, panoramic north and south views of the city of Toronto, and romantic atmosphere, The One Eighty introduces a unique LA-inspired dining experience.

The name refers not only to the 180-degree-view of the city, but also reflects the approach to the new food menu, spearheaded between Sebastien Centner, President and CEO of Eatertainment and Executive Chef, Christopher Matthews.

“We are introducing a new culinary experience unlike any other in Canada, and bringing the dining experience to a whole new level,” said Sebastien Centner, President and CEO of Eatertainment.

The One Eighty’s unique interior design and overall menu concept is inspired by Centner’s life changing travels around the globe. He mentions taking chances, creating experiences, and finding interesting ways to make situations enjoyable. For instance, the “Brussels Sprout Cesar” on the menu originated from his hate for Brussels sprouts until he ordered it during his travels.

“I saw it on a menu when I was travelling and I hate brussels sprouts but I ordered it because I want to try it and it turned out that I liked it,” he said. “So I thought, if there’s a way one can make brussels sprouts in a way that I like it, then we have to create it on the menu and find an interesting way to do it — so we did our own version!”


Introducing a fun, luxe takes on interactive tableside service to charm guests, servers visit tables between courses, offering exclusive gastronomic items and specialty cocktails from stylish bar-carts. Their tasty tapas dishes range from $6 – $9 and they are the perfect, sharable, snacks to tease the taste buds between meals.

“We had a lot of fun with the menu and the idea behind it is, it’s going to change seasonally but we have the flexibility of doing that more often if we wanted to. The moment we’re not inspired by something on it, we’ll just change that dish.” Centner said. “With the cart, we’re going to do it differently; every night will be different. Whatever the chef comes up with that he thinks is great, we’ll add.”

Select house cocktails are served bottled for a pop-art touch. Executive Chef of Eatertainment, Christopher Matthews, whose culinary inventions are inspired by great art and architectural designs, inspired this idea.

“The idea behind the cocktails is, there’s five ounces of liquid in that bottle and two ounces of it is alcohol,” Centner explained. “It’s suppose to look sweeter than it actually taste. It’s suppose to taste less strong than it actually is, and it’s an all-around tribute to classic cocktails with a twist.”

The Coconut Lavender Lemonade and Blood Orange Sangria are both vodka based with sweet and tart elements, making them ideal for the upcoming patio season, while the Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour will warm up even the coldest of Toronto days.


The 2,500 sq. ft. interior reflects a unique juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary luxury. Centner says despite that all, the real focus was on creating an outstanding menu that pushes the boundaries of innovation while remaining highly accessible.

“This was by far, the most collaborative menu that we’ve ever done,” he said. “We had my executive chef at catering, sous chef at catering, corporate chef, three other chefs involved, plus myself.”
The menu features fresh new takes on recognizable comfort dishes from culinary cultures around the world.

Appetizers and salads will include duck confit hash with rapini; and lobster gratin with kettle chips and lemony pea shoots. Mains include buttermilk fried chicken and waffles with chipotle honey and lemon; rosemary spatchcock Cornish hen with zucchini tagliatelle; green pea risotto with edamame and pickled beets; and house made white pizza flatbread with prosciutto and smoked provolone. For dessert, guests can choose from among the tempting molten chocolate macaron with vanilla ice cream; the decadent chocolate peanut butter tart; or the refreshing creamsicle panna cotta. The unique daily snack-cart offerings, not found on the everyday menu, will also offer a wide range of sweets!

Harmonizing the relationship between great taste, perfect texture and bold colour, each dish is founded by quality ingredients.




The One Eighty is open Sunday to Wednesday from 5pm – 1am and Thursday to Saturday 5pm – 2am. For more information, please visit the51stfloor.com.

Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO


To some hot dog’s are just hot dog’s, whereas to others hot dogs are a blank canvas, a delicatessen to be moulded, crafted and cooked with infinite possibilities. The “others” I am referring to in the last sentence are Christa, Julie and Simon. You’ve probably seen their wiener logo around. “Let’s Be Frank” humbly began a couple of years ago as a food truck, making its rounds within the city. In today’s highly saturated food truck marketplace their dogs eclipsed the competition pretty much everywhere they set up shop. Their mobile hot dog hut was a hit and the decision was made this year to setup a more permanent location at 460 Spadina. We were fortunate enough to get an invite to celebrate their opening this past Friday.

First things first, we were very well take care of. Having a light snack before we went was completely unnecessary. The variety and creativity in the array of concoctions we taste tested was ridiculously wide ranging. The Katsu dog was a banger, the Ketchup on the corn dog was spectacular and the dogfather was covered is Christa’s Nonna’s pasta sauce. If you love hot dogs you’ll love this place and if you’re on the fence about hot dogs Let’s be Frank will help give you a boost over the fence to the hot dog loving side.



Beyond the food, the culture championed by “Let’s Be Frank” is one that you will easily find yourself embracing. The three owners are awesome, that’s a given, but it’s the people they have surrounded themselves with, their employees are great ambassadors to the overall positive environment they’ve created. A couple of things, there is only 1 method utilized to play music @ “Let’s Be Frank.” You guessed it, vinyl. You can bring and play your own records on Tuesday’s (although I bet they would let you play mix master any day of the week), whether you’re an S Club 7, Megadeath or Buju Banton fan.

They also serve beer and assorted spirits. It seems pretty outlandish to be chowing down on a sausage sans adult refreshment so “Let’s Be Frank” ensured this travesty would not occur.


Finally, we got a chance to meet up with Dre, one of 1LOVETO’s original photographers, who now runs the kitchen operation. “Let’s be Frank”, If Dre’s on the payroll, these guys get our unapologetic co-sign. To learn more about “Let’s Be Frank”, visit them online at lets-be-frank.ca

Posted by Jesse Ingalls

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The Dirty Bird offers Southern Grub, the Northern Way!

TORONTO — New to Toronto’s eclectic Kensington Market area is yet another snack-dive grub spot. Don’t fret, it’s not another taco joint, it’s one your mother, your mother’s mother, your mother’s mother’s mother (you get the point) have been longing for. Welcome “The Dirty Bird,” home to Northern Fried Chicken and Waffles! Why the “Northern Fried Chicken” you ask? Well, chefs Adrian Forte and Brian Butler use their secret “Maple Dust” seasoning and other Canadian maple syrup derivatives to their chicken and waffle blends.

Rustic yet welcoming, “The Dirty Bird” gives you a raw wood and steal vibe, preparing you for serious business when getting down and dirty.

Far from playing dirty, “The Dirty Bird” team believes in inclusiveness and community as all their produce are locally sourced from St. Andrew Poultry in Kensington, and provide gluten-free options for all to enjoy.

“We believe in supporting other markets and keeping a community alive so it means a lot to us to keep our produce local and close to home,” said Flo King, media and marketing manager. Besides, it’s safe to say that the “Northern Chicken” wouldn’t be entirely Northern without the support of the Northern community.

On Monday evening, The Dirty Bird hosted an exclusive media night where those in attendance were treated to their entire Signatures and Desserts menu. Feasting like a true soul food Sunday dinner at grandma’s, the media gathered intimately around the rustic centre table where they shared: The ODB, The Clucker, The Up North Trip, The Dirty Bird’ger, and The Dirty Club.


‘The ODB’ offers a Boneless Thigh and Leg, accompanied by a Waffle, Buttered Maple, Dirty Sauce and your choice of Coleslaw or ‘Tato salad for $15. ‘The Clucker’ includes Wings (Buffalo, Honey Garlic or Dry & Dirty) with a Waffle, Buttered Maple, and your choice of Coleslaw or ‘Tato salad for $12. ‘The Up North Trip’ is definitely a trip with its 3PC Bone-in combo with a Waffle, Buttered Maple, and your choice of Coleslaw or ‘Tato salad for $13. ‘The Dirty Club’ is made with a Brioche Bun, Boneless Thigh, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle, Red Onion, Dirty Sauce, and Maple Aioli for $7. Last but not least, ‘The Dirty Club’ is a triple stacked club with a combination of Waffles, Boneless Thigh & Leg, Beef Bacon, Tomato, Lettuce, and Maple Aioli for $14. Another staple fact about The Dirty Bird is that all their produce are pork-free and their creamy ‘Tato Salad is special to chef Brian Butler as he uses his grandmother’s recipe. “My grandmother would never give her recipe to anyone but I begged her for it and I’m the only one who got it,” he said.

When it comes to the desserts, The Dirty Bird doesn’t play with their sweet and savoury selections for just $6 each. Their ice cream also comes locally sourced from Ed’s Real Scoop. ‘The PB&G’ offers a nostalgic taste with their miniature Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich, combined with Sweet Cream ice cream, Grape Jelly, and Peanut Butter. ‘The Swalty’ was made for the sweet and salty tooth which includes their signature mini Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich with Salted Caramel ice cream, Beef Bacon, and Rock Salt. Lastly, their ‘Sweet Nuttin’s’ dessert is exclusive to The Dirty Bird as their signature Sweet Potato ice cream with Candied Pecans was made especially for them, courtesy of Ed’s Real Sccop. As an added bonus, it tastes like a Thanksgiving party in your mouth!


An authentic Chicken + Waffles joint is long overdue in the Toronto scene and alas, it is here. Congratulations to chef Adrian Forte, chef Brian Butler, and the entire team! The grand opening for The Dirty Bird is on Wednesday, March 4th from 11 am- 8pm. Enjoy and bring an appetite!

For further Northern support, chef Adrian Forte will be on Chopped Canada on March 28 at 9 p.m. (EST). Tune in on the Food Network!

Posted by Christina Cheng

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In celebration of Black History Month, @1LOVETO, had the honour of attending the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) new Kitchen Conversations series courtesy of Palattes of Africa with New York based chef, Pierre Thiam. Now in its fourth installation, Palattes of Africa is a unique culinary event spearheaded by fashion designer/curator, Chinedu Ukabam in collaboration with a rotating cast of burgeoning and established chefs and occasionally artists. Equal parts history and culinary art, Palattes aims to delight the senses while engaging the intellect. In addition, this installation is a joint collaboration with the ROM’s new C5 Restaurant & Lounge space.


This month’s Kitchen Conversations series is neatly dovetailing in celebration of Carnival season, where Palattes of Africa will explore West African roots and interpretations of traditional South America and the Caribbean cuisines. Chef Pierre Thiam created a menu that connects the culinary dots between various food traditions from both sides of the Atlantic and in between. For instance, the menu consists of traditional dishes, flavours and spices such as: Jerk Chicken, Black Eye Peas steamed in Banana Leaves with Jamaican Slaw (Moin Moin), Brazilian Coconut and Fish Stew, and Haitian inspired Coconut Rice Pudding and Roasted Mango.


The Palattes of Africa experience excites our taste buds by drawing cultural inspirations from Jamaica to Nigeria and from Senegal to Trinidad, Brazil and Haiti. This Urban Contemporary African Diasporic Cuisine experience ties well with North America’s ever-growing diverse demographic.
New York based, Pierre Thiam, is a Senegalese born chef and cookbook author who has been one of the main proponents of African cuisine in the world for the past 20 years through his two Brooklyn-based restaurants and catering company.


After a successful six-course meal and a few glasses of wine, the celebrations continued with the ROM’s Friday Night Live (FNL) carnival themed event where guests jumped up, waved their flags and wined their waists to the mixes of Dr. Jay de Soca Prince DJ. Rocking your masquerade costumes was also optional.
For more information on the ROM’s Kitchen Conversations series in collaboration with Palattes of Africa, check out their Activities and Programs here, and for a full list of FNL carnival-inspired events for the remainder of Black History Month, click on their Events Calendar here.

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Greatness isn’t measured by how much you have, rather it’s gaged by how much you give.

Dear friends of @1LOVETO, Chef @AdrianForte (Food Network) has decided that for his 3rd annual community holiday dinner he wanted to team up with 1LOVETO to reach even more people in need. On Saturday December 27th, when everyone is out shopping for Boxing Day sales we will co-curate a dinner for members of our community who need it most. No matter the details of the story, if you or someone you know could benefit from this dinner, all are welcome.

We are excited to open the doors to our home Revival Bar (783 College St.), from 3-6pm on Saturday Dec 27th, with already confirmed attendance c/o Street Voices and Breakfast Club of Canada, this will reach people in need from every part of the city.

So now to you! We are inviting our readers to donate non-perishable food items at our Holiday Shuffle Party at Revival this Friday night Dec. 26th! A portion of the donated food will be used by Chef Adrian Forte for our 1LOVETO dinner and the rest will be donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank.


What: Holiday Shuffle Party

When: Friday, Dec 26th, 2014

Time: 10pm – 2am

Where: Revival Bar – 783 College St. West

For more info visit: facebook.com/shuffleparty or email: shuffleparty@gmail.com

Follow @1LOVETO #ShuffleParty

Haute Pan Toronto Serves It Up


Let’s face it, who has the time and energy nowadays to prep and cook a meal once coming home from a long day? Many of us don’t. Opting for take-out or attending late business dinners have sadly become the norm. With that being said, there is a solution and culinary expert, chef Adrian Forte and holistic nutritionist, Jennifer Lau of Fit Squad are willing to show us the way. For instance, last month, a group of ladies (who, much like myself) were invited to an intimate three-course cooking class and meal-tasting event entitled, Haute Pan, which caters towards ladies who are influencers; movers and shakers in the city. The Fit Squad duo demonstrated how to prepare quick, healthy and delicious meals from appetizers, entrees and desserts, while gaining valuable nutritional advice.


Upon attendance, the ladies were treated to specialty cocktails, a goodie table with various gourmet popcorn flavours, a makeup bar courtesy of Da Lish Cosmetics, a tarot card reading session, Fit Squad gift bags filled with health and wellness goodies, and a customized pen and notepad for jotting cooking tips while chef Adrian Forte kindly prepared (step-by-step) the dishes in front of us so we could learn how to easily replicate the dishes from the comfort of our homes.
On the Designer Dish Demo Menu, the ladies were introduced to the Tiger Shrimp ceviche with red beet hummus for the appetizer, Jerk marinated chicken cutlet on rice noodles and eatable flowers for the entrée, and organic Chocolate & Chickpea Brownies for dessert. These three simple and healthy meal options make for an ideal holiday party.


Yield: 6
· 1 cup Tiger shrimp (raw, peeled, deveined)
· 2 fresh lemons (Juiced)
· 3 fish limes (Juiced)
· 1 bunch cilantro (Chopped)
· 1 Medium red onion (diced)
· 2 teaspoon kosher salt

· Remove the shells of the shrimp, and rinse
· With a meat cleaver or chef’s knife, chop each shrimp into quarter of and inch pieces
· In a large A nonreactive bowl or pan—stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass
· Add diced onions, chopped shrimp and chopped cilantro
· Add ½ cup of citrus (juiced lime & lemons)
· Add 2 teaspoon kosher salt
· Mix well, refrigerate and marinate for no longer than 60 minutes


Yield: 1 liter
· 5 medium sized red beets (sliced)
· 3 tsp. salt
· 1 tsp. cracked pepper
· 1 tbsp. brown sugar
· 2.5 cups chickpeas
· ¼ cup coconut oil,
· 3 cloves garlic

· In the blender, 2.5 cups chickpeas, 5 medium red beets, 3 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon cracked pepper, 3 cloves garlic
· Add all the ingredients in vitamix or blender and pulse while pouring in ¼ coconut oil, add 1 tablespoon brown sugar
· Mixture is finished once it is lump free and smooth

Once complete, spread the hummus mixture on your choice of corn or rice based chip, or tostadas. Spread the hummus mixture on your preference of chip, add a spoonful of ceviche and top with micro greens to garnish and serve.


Yield: 30
· 1 ½ cup Almond flour
· ½ cup brown sugar
· 2 large eggs
· 5 cup Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas)
· 1/2 cup coconut oil
· 1 cup unsweetened melted chocolate
· 1 cup shredded almonds

· In a large bowl add 1 1 ½ cup almond flour, ½ cup brown sugar and whisk together
· In blender or vitamix blend 5 cups of garbanzo bean, ¼ of coconut oil and puree until smooth
· Add pureed garbanzo beans to flour and sugar blend, then add 2 large eggs and whisk aggressively mix
· Add 1 cup of melted (raw) unsweetened melted chocolate and mix aggressively until smooth and lump free
· In a parchment lined baking pan pour brownie batter in and bake for 15 minutes at 350Fo
· Remove brownies from the oven and drizzle ½ cup of melted unsweetened chocolate
· Add 180g of shredded almonds
· Cool before serving

For more information on Fit Squad’s personal training services, nutritional consultation; meal plans, food delivery, healthy catering and future Haute Pan events, please visit FitSquad.ca.

Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO

Midnight Snack Co. Launches In Toronto


Last Wednesday at the Midnight Snack Co. launch, @1LOVETO was in for a serious sweet tooth treat. Hosted by the young Toronto creative chef, Mary Margaret Wood, whose impressive experience includes working at the infamous Jamie Kennedy Kitchens, brought her sweet taste buds to life at her first ever independent launch — and it was an honour to be in attendance. Despite the city’s first heavy snow fall, the cozy underground Junction City Music Hall was filled with positive energy. The crowd mixed, mingled, and two-stepped to the jams and snacked on bite-sized sweet and savoury guilty pleasure goodies under disco balls and balloons. Mary’s business slogan is, “Night food for night people,” and she definitely delivered that vibe to a T!

This young chef has something unique up her sleeve, as the Midnight Snack Co. concept is creative and unique on its own. According to Mary, The Midnight Snack Co. is a small snack and catering company that focuses primarily on small batch productions “that are playful, and nostalgic, reminding us that some things just shouldn’t be taken too seriously.” Her theme paired perfectly with the Junction City Music Hall as the space instantly gives you a nostalgic feel with retro pinball machines and vintage games such as, “COMET”.


Mary’s Midnight Snack Co. menu included an assortment of homemade cookies including the infamous oreo cookie, and French-inspired macaron. Accompanying the sweet table was a three-tiered multi-coloured sprinkled cake, and sprinkled mini donuts to match. In addition, various ice cream flavours completed the table to fancy your acquired taste. Moving onto the more savoury side, Mary had prepped a delicious assortment of organic pickled veggies including: Spicy Pickled Green Beans, Pickled Orange Cauliflower, and Pickled Ontario Radish. Despite the many goodies scattered throughout the venue, everyone’s favourite item was definitely the homemade Korean BBQ Chips and dill dip to match. It was basically a match made in heaven. So much yum.







For those who missed out, the Midnight Snack Co. will be hosting more events in the near future. Keep on the lookout by following up with Mary on her website: themidnightsnack.co
Snack with you guys soon!

Photos courtesy of Becca Lemire (She Does the City)

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Fresh Off The Boat Opens In Toronto


Fresh Off The Boat is a newly open ‘seafood joint’ in the city’s vibrant and cultured Queen West area (404 Queen St W), which holds a heavy, yet clever tongue-in-cheek Asian reference and flair. Nonetheless, owner, Quinten Tran (who was also one of the founders of “Buster’s Sea Cove” food truck) found its derogatory term to fit appropriately by embracing its cheeky double entendre suitable for a seafood-centric spot.


Although the space serves as a mini dine-in and dive, it mainly focuses on takeaway, but offers minimal and intimate sized eating accommodations with a couple of tables pushed back against an aqua blue (mimicking the sea) leather banquette, and a bar-style option on the opposite side.

The space has all the characters of a trendy and modern sea shanty—fish printed wallpaper, ropes, lanterns, a wall of uniquely framed pictures, and other nautical trinkets—plus a few Asian elements, like a floor-to-ceiling shelving unit filled with Sriracha bottles.


The chalkboard menu (divided into picture frames) lists about a dozen seafood options and sides, with an influence on Asian-Canadian flair. For instance, their signature sandwich is the FOB ($11.95) which is also known as their version of an Asian poboy banh mi: battered catfish, Kim chi and burned aioli, served with broccoli house slaw and fresh cut fries with a bit of heat.


You can also go for the deep-fried battered Soft Shell Crab sandwich ($14.95) with remoulade, lettuce, tomato, fresh cut fries and house broccoli slaw. The featured specimen was intimidating at first as its legs and claws dangle over the edges of the sweet, dense brioche bun.

Catering to pescetarians and seafood lovers, this new joint has its advantage, as it’s exactly what the Queen West strip is lacking. Although they are squeezed between Kinton Ramen and Rose City Kitchen, and on the same block as Banh Mi Boys and Burger’s Priest, they stand as their own competition. It’s safe to say that Fresh Off The Boat adds a fresh new take to what has quickly become a densely delicious corner of Queen West.




Next time you have that seafood craving, check out FOB and tell ‘em that we sent ya!

Posted by Christina Cheng

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