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Toronto Taste, a Matter of (Very Good) Taste... (May 27, 2005)

One of Toronto's favourite food and wine events is coming up! If you're in town you won't want to miss the 15th anniversary of Second Harvest's Toronto Taste on Sunday, June 12, 2005.

Great chefs will be preparing their absolute best to be paired with heavenly wines, and all for the extraordinarily worthwhile organization Second Harvest. Every day, this dedicated not-for-profit group picks up donated, high-quality perishable food, which would otherwise go to waste, and delivers that food to social service programs in Toronto. Second Harvest currently provides food for about 12,000 meals a day to children in breakfast programs, seniors on fixed incomes, women fleeing domestic abuse, psychiatric patients, homeless people, and many others who have fallen on hard times.

The popular fundraising event brings together the best of Ontario's gourmet foods and wines. This year, 70 of Toronto's top chefs will create an array of delectable delights that will be enjoyed with refreshments from 30 of Ontario's premium vintners and beverage companies. Some of the 2005 culinary offerings include barbequed veal with maple-chipotle glaze, raspberry lobster gazpacho, and campofrio jamón Serrano, and that's just for starts. The desserts are from legendary bakers, and seconds, even thirds, are encouraged!

All this for such a good cause. As a teaser, our recipes are not from chefs, but from the best-selling cookbook A Matter of Taste: Inspired Seasonal Menus with Wines and Spirits to Match. Co-authored by Lucy Waverman, who did the spectacular recipes, and James Chatto, who suggests perfect wines to go with each dish, it immediately became an "alpha cookbook," one that stays out and is used week after week for recipes and menus or simply inspiration. These two are veteran professionals; Lucy is an award winning author and food writer, while James, also an author, is the restaurant columnist and food writer for Toronto Life magazine, among others.

Needless to say, the food and wine in A Matter of Taste is as good as you'll get, and we'll say unequivocally that James and Lucy could go knife to sharpener with any chef at Toronto Taste!

Do try and be in Toronto June 12 for the taste of your life... if you simply can't get across to us, then give these recipes a try... and send a donation! Everyone wins!

On today's menu:

Download these recipes in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (70 KB)


Tuna Confit

This amazing dish was first tried by James at L'Impero restaurant in New York. A confit usually refers to duck or goose that is cooked slowly in fat. In this case, tuna is cooked gently in olive oil. Don't be put off by the large amount of oil – the tuna does not absorb it.

Use a skillet or saucepan just gig enough to hold the tuna snugly in a single layer. The olive oil should cover the fish completely.

Serve the tuna over fava beans.

Serves 4

  • 4 tuna steaks (about 6 oz. each), 1½ inches thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups olive oil, approx.

Season tuna with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat until a cube of bread bubbles very gently when dropped into oil. Temperature should be about 220°F.

Immerse tuna in oil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until tuna is cooked on outside but still rare in center and feels soft to the touch. Immediately remove tuna to a strainer, drain, season to taste and serve.

Accompanying wine? Tony recommends...
A named growth of Beaujolais – Moulin-a-Vent, Morgon, Fleurie, etc., Ontario Pinot Noir, Tavel Rosé


Lemony Tart

This is a very lemony French tart that everyone adores. Serve it with licorice ice cream.

The basic French tart pastry is rich and shortbread-like (leftover pastry makes fine cookies). However, because of the high fat content, it can be tricky to roll out. If necessary, pat the pastry into the pan with your fingers. Most pastries for tarts or quiche are baked blind. This means they are weighted down and partially or fully baked before filling.

Serves 8, with leftovers (oh sure...)

    Sweet Tart Pastry
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter, diced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup lemon juice

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor or by hand. Scatter butter over flour. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Beat together egg yolk and lemon juice. With machine running, pour egg mixture through feed tube. Pulse just until liquid is incorporated into flour. If dough seems dry, add a little lemon juice.

Turn mixture into a bowl and knead together gently until it forms a ball. Flatten into a disk.

Wrap pastry in plastic wrap and chill for 15 minute before using.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Roll out pasty on a floured board and fit into a 9-inch tart pan. Cut away excess pastry. Prick pastry base with a fork, line with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake for 5 minutes longer or until pale gold. Cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Whisk together eggs and sugar. Stir in melted butter, lemon zest and juice. Pour into pastry shell.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until just set. Cool on a rack.

Accompanying wine? Tony recommends...
Select Late Harvest Riesling, Icewine


Licorice Ice Cream

Let 2 cups vanilla ice cream sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Combine softened ice cream with 1 Tbsp Sambuca or Pernod and ¼ cup fine chopped black licorice candy. Refreeze for at least 4 hours.

Makes about 2 cups.


Toronto Taste, June 12, 2005
For more information, visit
Abby Robins, Communications Manager, Second Harvest
(1-416-408-2594 /

We wish to thank Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. for permission to publish material and photographs from A Matter of Taste, © 2004 Lucy Waverman and James Chatto. All rights reserved.

Jacket photographs by Rob Fiocca. Author photograph by Evan Dion.


Happily tested by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

Download these recipes in printable form as an Adobe Acrobat PDF (70 KB)




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