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Food & Drink

Here’s what it looks like when 10 top chefs work together for a one-night-only dinner service

By Caroline Aksich| Photography by Caroline Aksich

For the third year in a row, Toronto’s top chefs have volunteered to cook together for a cause. The Chefs for Change series in support of Community Food Centres Canada—an organization that builds healthy food infrastructures in low-income areas—hosts five ticketed dinners at Propeller Coffee Co., the second of which took place on January 26. Each dinner sees a different group of chefs collaborate on a multi-course menu, with students from George Brown’s culinary school lending some helping hands. This year’s roster of chefs includes Alo’s Patrick Kriss, O&B’s Anthony Walsh, DaiLo’s Nick Liu and Montreal’s Antonio Park. To date, the initiative has raised $115,000. Here’s how the second night of the series went down.

All of the CFC dinners are communal affairs.
All of the CFC dinners are communal affairs.

 

The place setting.
The place setting.

 

Propeller doesn’t have a full kitchen, so the chefs did most of cooking in this garage.
Propeller doesn’t have a full kitchen, so the chefs did most of cooking in this garage.

 

Chabrol’s Doug Penfold, inspired by Peruvian causa (a spicy potato dish), mixed mashed russet potatoes with pink peppercorns and rocoto peppers, then topped it all with cured mackerel and crispy leeks. width=

 

Raca Café and Bar's Ivana Raca (centre) serves appetizers to guests and CFCC president, Nick Saul (centre left).
Raca Café and Bar’s Ivana Raca (centre) serves appetizers to guests and CFCC president Nick Saul (centre left).

 

Chris Brown (Citizen Catering) whipped up these savoury crispy chicken skins bites topped with salt-cured trout.
Chris Brown (Citizen Catering) whipped up these savoury crispy chicken skins bites topped with salt-cured trout.

 

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George Brown students help to prep the first course.
George Brown students help to prep the first course.

 

Park's Antonio Park (left) and George Brown's Joel Roussel (right) put the finishing touches on the first course.
Park’s Antonio Park (left) and George Brown’s Joel Roussel (right) put the finishing touches on the first course.

 

And Park torches salmon for it.
And Park torches salmon for it.

 

The first course was a collaboration between Antonio Park, Joel Rousell and Chris Brown. The trio kicked the meal off with a hoedeopbap, which Park introduced as a “Korean poke bowl”. The 24-ingredient dish with a base of brown rice, barley and beans was crowned with heaps of veggies, swordfish tartare and torched New Zealand salmon.
The first course was a collaboration between Antonio Park, Joel Roussel and Chris Brown. The trio kicked the meal off with a hoedeopbap, which Park introduced as a “Korean poke bowl.” The 24-ingredient dish, with a base of brown rice, barley and beans, was crowned with heaps of veggies, swordfish tartare and torched New Zealand salmon.

 

For the second course, Buca’s Ryan Campbell and DaiLo’s Nick Liu made a Chinese New Year–themed plate in celebration of the Year of the Fire Rooster. They merged a stuffed pork trotter (zampone) with truffle rice noodles, black trumpet mushrooms and pickled sunchoke.
For the second course, Buca’s Ryan Campbell and DaiLo’s Nick Liu made a Chinese New Year-themed plate in celebration of the Year of the Fire Rooster. They merged a stuffed pork trotter (zampone) with truffle rice noodles, black trumpet mushrooms and pickled sunchoke.

 

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Liu presents his dish.
Liu presents his dish.

 

George Brown students help Chabrol's Doug Penfold (centre left) and Le Séléct's Albert Ponzo (centre right) plate the third course.
George Brown students help Chabrol’s Doug Penfold (centre left) and Le Séléct’s Albert Ponzo (centre right) plate the third course.

 

For the third course, Ponzo braised beef short rib in chocolate, while Penfold made a stew with hominy and hunks of fried cassava.
For the third course, Ponzo braised beef short rib in chocolate, while Penfold made a stew with hominy and hunks of fried cassava.

 

Liu (centre) plays with fire, while Raca (right) plates the dessert course.
Liu (centre) plays with fire, while Raca (right) plates the dessert course.

 

For dessert, Ivana Raca and Anthony Walsh (O&B) made a chocolate porter tart with caribou moss. Raca complemented the rich slice with a square of almond cake topped with lime crème fraîche and lavender honey.
For dessert, Ivana Raca and Anthony Walsh (O&B) made a chocolate porter tart with caribou moss. Raca complemented the rich slice with a square of almond cake topped with lime crème fraîche and lavender honey.

 

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The whole team.
The whole team.

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