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The Week in Yum May 9-14 Paramount and a taste of Terroir 2015 at Jump

Four course journey into rediscovering Flavour at Jump

See that beautiful, blueberry pie up there? That pie was baked for me by the mayor of Mono. You heard me, the Honourable Laura Ryan hand baked a slew of pies for the members of the media who joined in on the media tour of Headwaters. I just want to say that if this whole Mayor thing doesn't work out for you, Ms Ryan, you have a bright future in baking ahead of you.

Can you imagine what our former mayor might have whipped up if the roles were reversed?? Gives crack pie a whole new  meaning.

Paramount Fine Foods

As a nice little treat, Paramount Find Foods invited me to bring a guest to their newest outpost on Bay St, just north of Bloor. As a lover of Middle Eastern food and seeing that I have never been to Paramount, I was pretty happy to say yes and I grabbed The Kid and we enjoyed a Mother's Day lunch on the house. Well, it was not totally on the house as this soft opening also served as a fund raiser for Jesse Ketchum public school, we left a hefty tip as our donation. In addition to the ash donation towards Jess Ketchum's Nutrition Initiative, Paramount will also be lending their executive chef to the school for a hands on cooking experience. It just so happens that both my Mother in Law and my Grandmother in Law both attended Jesse Ketchum back before Yorkville became the tony neighbourhood that it is today, so I felt like it was kismet.

We shared a bowl of Moutabbal($5.99), a puree of smoky eggplant and tahini and a couple of pitas and it was my favourite part of the meal. The falafel plate ($8.49) came with 6 big, crispy falafel and the lamb skewers ($18.99 for two) were quite good - for some reason it did not come with the promised side of hummus, which would have rounded the plate out nicely-  but it was the moutabbal that I would return for.

It is being billed as a higher end dining experience but I didn't see any evidence of that. A side of garlic sauce was brought in a little plastic take out container, tea was served as a cup of hot water in a mug with tea bags and sugar that you steep yourself and the turkish coffee was served in styrofoam cups. There is nothing wrong with these things but nothing about it would indicate that this is a higher end dining experience, right?

Don't get me wrong, the food was tasty, well priced, the servers were lovely, it's a bright airy space and I would definitely return. For a chain restaurant with locations all over Ontario, it's a wonderful alternative to similar chain restaurants, serving really fresh, tasty food. I would rather eat here than at most any other chain restaurant, that's for sure.

If you go, don't miss out on that Moutabbal and bring some back for me.

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Three perfect little pork meatballs in delicious tomato sauce at Hey Meatball in Leslieville. Who needs pasta when the meatballs are this good?


I have just begun to start to work my way through this crazy pants, generous gift basket from the Headwaters folks.

Terroir 2015 - Rediscovering Flavor at Jump

The week ended with a surprise invite to a Terroir dining event at Jump Restaurant, courtesy of my pals at Gastropost. I met up with Fouad of Zero to Gourmet , a fellow Gastroposter, and together we enjoyed a great evening of tasty food, great wine from Niagara's Flat Rock Cellars, Beer from Samuel Adams and at the end of the evening, everyone got to take a signed copy of The Dorito Effect, by Mark Schatzker. Mr Schatzker kicked off the evening with a really thought provoking talk about the links between flavour and our health and how the invention of Doritos was a pivitol moment in the death march away from natural flavour. For the last fifty years, we have been making the food we SHOULD be eating blander while making the foods we shouldn't be eating more flavourful more exciting. In other words, as chickens, pigs and produce have been bred to larger but blander, chips, pop and breakfast cereal have been engineered to pack more and more flavour punch, but there is hope. The farm to table movement is just one attempt to redirect flavour back into food again - really interesting read.

As I said, we were served beautiful wines from Niagara's Flat Rock Cellars as well as yummy Samuel Adams Beer (Sam Adams sponsored the dinner). The meal started things off with a really interesting dish. I missed the description but I didn't miss the flavour with this one. Fuoad and I agreed that although it was a challenge, aesthetically - ashy grey is not generally thought of as being a beautiful tonal palette when it comes to food, the flavours were outstanding. Perfectly poached, tender shrimp sat on top of a smokey looking poached egg - think a Chinese tea stained hard boiled egg except that when I plunged my fork into it, soft, creamy yolk came streaming out, melting into the surrounding dollops of creamy something or other to make the afore mentioned unattractive but DELICIOUS grey sauce. We both stopped just short of licking our plates.

Mexico City is home to so many fabulous restaurants and I was really excited to taste whatever MeroTro's Chef Jair Tellez was slinging. I was rewarded with a delicious slab of white turkey meat that was hiding some velvety nuggets of dark meat that were snuggled in underneath, all napped with two different sauces - one clearly a pepita mole of some sort. Again, I couldn't hear the description of the dish and my only complaint of the evening was the lack of printed menu.

Chef Luke Kennedy had home advantage, bringing out a tasty plate of pork three ways from a local farm. Again, we were told very quickly where things came from and there was a card listing all of the sources for everything on the menu but it didn't specify what was from where.

The meal finished with a perfectly cooked chunk of beef with local fiddleheads, swimming in a really flavourful jus like sauce. By this time, we were on our third beverage, things were getting blurred together and I was pretty full so that by the time our dessert of alfajores showed up, I was unable to manage more than a wee bite.

All in all a great evening and a wonderful testament to flavour. It was a meal that celebrated the food on the plate, nothing was strongly spiced or overpowered by smoke and mirrors. It was all just delectable egg, turkey that tasted like turkey and grassy fiddleheads that were allowed to shine.
My belly thanks you, Gastropost.

Litehouse Foods, a company that is actually owned by it's employees, sent me some stuff to try out last week and I have been loving these freeze dried herbs. Unlike dried herbs, this stuff reconstitutes when it hits moisture making them a much nice alternative to fresh herbs than dried. The dilly salad blend in my smoked tuna has made a great sandwich greater. These are getting a definite THUMBS UP from me.

I closed out the week by teaching a What's For Dinner class at the Musgrave Loblaws

Pin of the week: Click this and win a trip to Jordan. You know you want to.

Instagram of the week: This St John's Newfoundland's feed is a joy

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this should happen this weekend
Posted by The Yum Yum Factor on Thursday, May 14, 2015

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