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Cava’s Chris McDonald has invited me to join him to cook a special Latino dinner for Slow Food Toronto’s culinary series, and I’m excited.

This will be the first time working with Chris, his Cava partner Doug Penfold and Carlos Rodriguez from Hart House. It will be the second time working with Marina Quierolo, owner of Surkl Empandas.

It’s very important to say that it’s much easier to educate non-Latinos about our food than it is to get our community to support the local food movement, so we’re going to bring the two together.

The good thing is that, for a few years now, some local farmers have begun to cultivate crops native to Central and South American. We’ve now got blue potatoes, tomatillos, cape goose berry and chayote growing in Ontario, and the list goes on.

In fact, local dairy and meat is already being used to make different kinds of queso fresco, chorizo sausage and other Latino-style charcuterie here in Toronto

La Tortilleria sells fresh corn tortillas. Fresh Mexican-style sauces made by  Jose Hahad owner of Frida Restaurant and the Mad Mexican food company. I’ve sung the praises of Segovia’s chorizos here before, but you can never say enough good stuff about them. We Latinos chefs — and anyone who wants to support local food and learn about Latino food and culture — can now do it locally, and that’s pretty exciting, too.

This Slow Food event is going to be a great follow-up to the Latino representation at the Brick Works Picnic last September. With friends Eduardo Lee and  Marc Lukacs of Arepa Café, Adrian Marquez, sommelier at  AGO, Veronica Laudes and Luis Valenzuela from Torito Tapas Bar and Marina Queirolo , we got to spread the word and the flavours of Latino cuisine. I only wish more Latinos chefs will come out to be part of this great event.

On the menu

Venezuelan Arepas, stuffed w/ queso fresco, caramelized onions & fresh thyme

Peruvian style ceviche, mussels and sweet potato

Marinated  heart skewers w/ spicy herb salsa & potatoes Huancaina style

Andean style pickled beet tongue with escabeche

Argentinian BBQ w/ chorizo, sweetbread, grilled bread and chimichurri

Sweet corn tamales stuffed w/prunes , candy orange & served w/white chocolate pistachio sauce

Yours Celebrating Local Latino food and culture


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*Spanish for: "Mmm. Wow. That's good!"