Category Archives: Q & A

From the ashes of The Social rises The Dog & Bear

Richard Lambert at The Hoxton

Decked out in a Tijuana t-shirt and rocking there-was-no-water-in-my-apartment-this-morning hair, Richard Lambert taps his foot on the hardwood floor of The Hoxton. Between chats with his landlord and phone calls from contacts he reassures are not being purposely ignored, Lambert mulls over what exactly The Hoxton is. Situated at King St. W and Bathurst St. in a building with no street number (the address is 69 Bathurst St. for the curious), The Hoxton will mean many things to many people.

“It’s an event space. It’s a nightclub, it’s a corporate event space, it’s a concert hall, it’s all of the above and that would be perhaps the reason for its possible success,” Lambert told OurFaves last week. “You’re not leaning on just one concept. ”

If you’ve never heard of Lambert, you probably know him through his food, club and vintage fur coats. The nightclub impresario is behind the uber popular Parts & Labour, 69 Vintage and The Social (now defunct). Up until about six months ago, Lambert was an ever-present figure at his beloved Parkdale restaurant, Parts & Labour, but most recently, he’s been logging long hours in the west end at The Hoxton prepping it for its opening just in time for the Toronto Film Festival.

Once The Hoxton is up and running, Lambert won’t have much of a break. With the closing of The Social comes a new project – The Dog & Bear pub – slated to open in November. It’s an homage to an identically-named pub in Canterbury, England owned by Lambert’s father.

If you’ve ever wondered where one of Toronto’s most prolific trendsetters dines, drinks and rests his head, read on. Continue reading

President’s Choice Home – Fall Preview

A kitchen scene at the President's Choice Home preview

You’re probably guilty of it. Walking into your local Superstore or Loblaws supermarket with a shopping list for the night’s dinner and walking out with pajama pants and candle holders beside your red bell peppers. Impulse shopping at the Canadian chain is going to get more exciting (or more complicated, depending on who you ask) this fall. With the introduction of a new electronics brand, J+/-, and the launch of new home products, eggs and milk may be beside the point the next time you hit the grocery store. Continue reading

Q&A: Toronto artist Jay Isaac on the state of art in the city

Jay Isaac

When life threw Jay Isaac a blank canvas and an eye for beautiful objects, the Toronto-based artist turned it into a successful art magazine, an antique business and a thriving art career. The magazine is called Hunter and Cook and is distributed around the world, the antique store is the hip and carefully curated Silver Falls store on Queen Street West and the career has yielded colourful canvases that have hung on gallery walls around the city.

Life didn’t exactly hand the New Brunswick native lemons, but Isaac is drinking pretty good lemonade (with chia seeds, to be precise) these days. Isaac and the team behind Hunter and Cook are celebrating the magazine’s ninth issue and he’s about to open a new space down the street from Silver Falls that will act as  the headquarters for Hunter and Cook as well as a gallery. Recently, OurFaves caught up with the Tom Cruise doppelganger over a glass of the aforementioned chia seed lemonade and talked art, the cynicism that often accompanies it and how Toronto’s art scene is changing for the better. Continue reading

Q&A: Biko’s Corrine Anestopoulos

It’s a sunny day in Corrine Anestopoulos’ studio in Little Italy. There’s Chet Baker playing in the background and a lawn mower humming outside the window. Anestopoulos is the creative force behind Biko, the Toronto-based jewellery company, that has been churning out “modern nostalgic” costume jewellery since 2004. Recently, Anestopoulos invited OurFaves into her work space to talk about about where she finds inspiration for her designs, her new spring and fall collection and the creative rut she occasionally has to shake off. Continue reading

The Drake Hotel’s Anthony Rose dishes on the Dining Roadshow and the secret to his famous burgers

Later this month, The Drake Hotel is hitting the road but isn’t leaving its backyard. Beginning June 23, Chef Anthony Rose and his audacious posse of cooks are taking the dining room on a field trip to a mess hall and Chinatown. The “restaurant-within-a-restaurant” concept will come complete with ketchup and mustard squeeze bottles, cafeteria trays and tomato alphabet soup. In September, the restaurant will transform yet again into circa 1940s Chinatown in Los Angeles. Just in time for TIFF, The Drake Hotel will be dishing out pork belly fried rice, firecracker maple shrimp and oxtail wontons. Continue reading

Q&A with Mogette Bistro’s owner and chef Daniel Muia

Daniel Muia, the owner and chef at Mogette Bistro, has a culinary upbringing that foodies can appreciate. Starting in the dining room at the Granite Club on Bayview Ave., Muia worked his way up the ranks to eventually took a position at The Fifth under Didier Leroy and eventually moved on to work at Restaurant Didier, Celestin, and Lumiere in Vancouver with the Food Network’s Rob Feenie. Before opening up his own restaurant, Muia was the chef de cuisine at Jamie Kennedy Restaurant.

We caught up with the busy chef recently and asked him about his gastronomic inspirations, favourite cooking utensil and his secret affection for Star Trek. Here’s what he had to say… Continue reading

The devil is in the sweet details: Q&A with cake master Bonnie Gordon

Intricate, detailed and fussy. That’s how master cake artist Bonnie Gordon loves her cakes. Over the years, as a cake instructor and decorator, Gordon has paid her dues, putting in serious time with precision pastry cutters, paint brushes and her trusty turntable. Now serving as the director of the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts, it’s Gordon’s turn to have her cake and eat it too.

On Sunday (May 15), the college will host its annual Cake Show at the Artscape Wychwood Barns in Toronto’s St. Clair and Christie Neighbourhood. The event will be a battling ground for ardent cake artists to showcase their sweet stuff in various competitions. One competition, the Cake Star Face-Off seems especially grueling – 3 contestants (accomplished cake decorators in their own right) will have 6 hours to create a cake that evokes the four seasons. For the faint of heart, another competition will feature 3 designers who will be given one hour to create a mere 6 cupcakes.

On a recent afternoon, Gordon invited OurFaves to visit the college for a behind-the-scenes peek into a real cake factory. With furrowed-browed students working carefully on their final cake projects in the background, Gordon let us in on the cake the brought her out of her self-imposed cake-making retirement, her favourite dessert (it’s not cake!) and the first baking cookbook she ever owned. Continue reading