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SHUFFLE-DINNER-WEB

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.

DONATIONS CAN BE MADE HERE

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

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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.

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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.

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TIGER SHRIMP CEVICHE WITH RED BEET HUMMUS
Yield: 6
Ingredients:
· 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

Method:
· 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

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RED BEET HUMMUS
Yield: 1 liter
Ingredients:
· 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

Method:
· 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.

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CHOCOLATE & CHICKPEA BROWNIE
Yield: 30
Ingredients:
· 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

Method:
· 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

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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”.

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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.

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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

Follow @1LOVETO

Fresh Off The Boat Opens In Toronto

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO

FREE-1

Last week we attended the official launch of “The Creator Class”, a channel dedicated for those who share their passions for a living. It’s a new breed of creatives in Music, Style, Adventure, Arts and Culture that have become the voices of our generation.

The night was produced by FREE – a next generation content studio built for Creators, by Creators – in partnership with Canon. They featured the art of Camille Jodoin-Eng, the music of Dead Horse Beats, and the food of FeasTO. Everyone who attended also got the chance to get their hands on the brand new Canon 7D Mark II.

Some of the notable attendees included: Visionelie, Sean Brown, Jayscale, Jackie Beale, and many more.

With so much talent in the city, and around the world, a project like this only makes sense!

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For more info, visit thecreatorclass.com

Congrats Chris & the entire team!

Follow @1LOVETO #thecreatorclass

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As Amex Ambassadors and Platinum Cardmembers, we decided to take full advantage of the benefits of the card, which includes the exclusive American Express ‘Taste from Platinum’ Program.

We didn’t know what to expect, so we called the Platinum Concierge at 1-866-323-6979 to learn more about the participating restaurants in the Platinum Dining Program. The Concierge informed us that Amex holds a reservation at hundreds of the most acclaimed restaurants here in Canada, US and abroad. After letting the Concierge know that we wanted a reservation in Toronto, they named off some participating spots including; Weslodge, North 44, The Chase, Colette and Splendido. As soon as we heard ‘Splendido’, we asked for help securing a last minute table reservation with all the special ‘Platinum’ perks. The Concierge is also on hand to review menus and wine lists, and offer advice on house specialties; provide travel directions to your restaurant of choice; and make special arrangements such as accommodating a group or making sure flowers are waiting at your table.

We’ve driven by Splendido countless time’s, always making a mental note as a place we’d like to try. After tasting their incredible oysters at this year’s first annual Taste of Toronto Festival, we knew we’d enjoy this restaurant. What we didn’t know was that we were in for a unique dining experience full of fancy perks. The Concierge made sure we got the best seat in the house, complimentary champagne, one of a kind appetizers and even a small take home desert item.

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Our night started off with a warm welcome and a chilled glass of complimentary champagne at the bar, accompanied by a delicious appetizer. We felt like VIPs right from the start!

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We finished our drink and appetizer and made our way to the dining room, with the help of our server Aldy. (Side Note: Aldy is hands down the best server… ever!) After reviewing the menu options customized by the chef, we decided to go with Splendido’s 5-course meal, including: Caviar and ice-cream, lobster, oysters, sashimi, house-made bread and butter, carrots, steak, salad and more.

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Everything Splendido offered as part of the Amex ‘Taste from Platinum’ Program surpassed our expectations. From atmosphere, staff, cocktails and of course the food, we recommend Splendido for your next special occasion. Tell them that we sent you ;)

Check out the full list of participating restaurants at americanexpress.ca/platinum

FYI: The Platinum Card is not limited to just dining, Cardmembers can take advantage of everything from exceptional travel perks from over hundreds of fine hotels & resorts, airport private lounge access, exclusive entertainment offers, and of course the impeccable Concierge service.

To learn more about the American Express Platinum Card, please CLICK HERE.

Follow @1LOVETO @AmexCanada #DineWithAmex #PlatinumDining

TOT1

We hope you got the chance to enjoy the inaugural 4-day Taste of Toronto festival, sponsored by American Express Canada! From Thursday July 24 to Sunday July 27th, Fort York was transformed into a foodie heaven, with specialty menus from some of Toronto’s best restaurants, top local chefs, Q&As, interactive cooking classes, tasting sessions, and more.

If you’re an Amex Cardmember there’s a good chance you got to experience a few of the perks that Taste of Toronto had to offer. For example, with a flash of our Amex Card we were escorted past the main line up to the VIP priority entrance. The time we saved by not waiting in line allowed us to start taste testing before anyone else!

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After checking out a few of our favourite spots like Momofuku, Shocka Coconut Hub, Barque Smokehouse, and Splendido, we decided to take a break at the exclusive Amex VIP Lounge. The lounge offered comfortable seating under a giant tent (which provided some much needed shade on Saturday) with a variety of snacks and complimentary water for each guest.

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After a quick recharge in the Amex Lounge we made our way to our reserved seats (courtesy of Amex) at the Taste Theatre, to watch Christina Tosi, chef and owner of Toronto’s Momofuku Milk Bar. Let’s just say we learned a thing or two about cooking, lol.

If you like attending events such as Taste of Toronto, Amex Cardmembers get access to presale tickets, plus exclusive VIP perks that help to make an unforgettable experience. As proud Amex Ambassadors, we can tell you firsthand how exciting it is to get the VIP experience at every event!
We can’t wait for next year!

Tweet us your favourite photos from the festival using @1LOVETO @Amexcanada @TasteOfToronto #DinewithAmex #TasteofToronto

InspiredBy-Amex

In a city as big as Toronto we sometimes get stuck in our comfort zone and forget to explore what the rest of the city has to offer. A recent study commissioned by American Express, reveals more than half (53%) of Canadians feel stuck in their comfort zone, and almost everyone (98% of respondents) believe exploring our home towns or cities helps us live a more enriched life.

Toronto is filled with so much potential, not only the people, but the places. At 1 LOVE T.O. we constantly get the chance to explore and be #InspiredBy the different places throughout our city.

We’ve selected 5 of our ‘potentials places’ that highlight areas in the city where we get inspired through healthy living, fashion and style, music, reading and food/cooking.

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1. Healthy Living: When it comes to clearing our minds and taking a break from the daily grind, while staying healthy and active, we head over to High Park to hike the trails. You can’t help but be inspired when you’re surrounded by mother nature.

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2. Fashion: If you’re anything like us, we love to people watch! On any given day you can pull up a chair, or find a spot on the giant rock in Yorkville Park and you’ll see all different types of style. Summertime is the best time to get inspired by this place.

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3. Music: There’s something special about watching a concert outdoors! We’ve always been inspired by live music at the Molson Amphitheatre, especially in recent years with the now iconic OVO Fest. Seeing artists from Toronto like Drake, Kardinal and The Weeknd share the same stage as Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Eminem, TLC, Stevie Wonder, (the list goes) is nothing but inspirational.

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4. Reading: Believe it or not, we love to read on the Subway and/or Streetcar. Passing the time on your daily commute gets a whole lot better when you’re reading an incredible book.

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5. Food: Shopping for food is almost as much fun as eating! Wandering around St. Lawrence Market has always been something we enjoy. Seeing the different types of food, people and the history of that building is all inspiring to us.

We want you to help us ‘realize the potential’ of Toronto by telling us your favourite places and hidden gems that provide you with inspiration?! Tweet your suggestions to @1LOVETO & @AmexCanada using the hash-tag #InspiredBy or leave a comment below.

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Summer is in full swing and we’re back with one of our biggest SUMMER SALES events to date! Join us this weekend, Friday-Sunday at The Distillery District as part of Bacardi’s Festival Libre. Our pop up shop will be featured in this three-day cultural experience, celebrating rum culture in Toronto’s largest licensed outdoor patio! There will be everything from live music, food, cocktails, art, fashion, and of course more rum than you can drink.

Tees and Tanks are on sale for $20 this weekend, or 2 for $35! Make sure you check out the map below to see where all the action is taking place!

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For more info: festivallibre.ca

Follow @1LOVETO #FestivalLibre

Digest Digest

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Digest Digest is a day of making, tasting, and good conversation celebrating the past, present and future of food. Programmed as a series of talks, interviews, workshops, and tastings, culminating in a dinner infused with narrative and theatre – Digest Digest examines the ways we create, consume and interpret food.

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The next instalment will be held on Thursday, June 26th at The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen St West) with the following schedule:

2-4pm: Raw Food & Bev Lab Workshop
4-6pm: Future of Food Speaker Series with Ken Waagner, Rob Bolton, and Scott Friedmann
6-9pm: The Centre for Genomic Gastronomy Performance
10pm: DANCING! Natural Animal DJ Set

For more info & tickets visit: digest-digest.com

Follow @1LOVETO

Dine-Alone-Foods-4

Recently we got the chance to enjoy a unique tasting experience with the good folks from Dine Alone Foods. That’s right, Dine Alone Records founder Joel Carriere and Alexisonfire’s Jordan Hastings launched Dine Alone Foods with three all-natural sauces, including a classic Southern Blues BBQ sauce, a sweet smoky Northern Soul Chipotle BBQ sauce, and a spicy Rock N’ Roll hot sauce.

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The event took place at the Dog and Bear on Queen St West with food by Hogtown Smoke and Parts & Labour Catering. The highlight of the night was a three-tiered BBQ sauce fondue fountain ready for dipping! Our favourite sauce was definitely the Northern Soul Chipotle (it’s a must try).

If you’re looking to try something new, here’s where you can buy it in Toronto: dinealonefoods.com/where-to-buy

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Photos by Becca Lemire

Follow @1LOVETO

Taste Of Toronto

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Taste, the World’s Greatest Restaurant Festival is touching down in Toronto this summer from Thursday July 24th to Sunday July 27th. Toronto is the first North American city to host a Taste Festival validating the notion that TO is in fact, a Foodie’s paradise. If you want it, you can find it here, and the rest of the world is beginning to take notice.

The Taste of Toronto festival will feature food from establishments such as Richmond Station, JaBistro, El Caballito and Rose and Sons, just to name a few.

We were fortunate enough to attend the preview to see what the festival will offer this summer. Our taste buds were engaged by the spicy shrimp salad from KHAO SAN ROAD and we were especially satisfied by Ninutik and their Canadian inspired cheese and maple syrup pairing, appropriately titled “SASSeh!”.

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For more info: tasteoftoronto.com

Posted by Jesse Ingalls

Follow @1LOVETO #TasteOfToronto