Tast­ing Notes

DINE and Destinations - - ON THE COVER -

The new mantra: Food with in­tegrity. But whose in­tegrity are we talk­ing about any­way? Ex­treme food-ism is shock­ing my sen­si­bil­i­ties to the core. Eating dirt? No thanks, even if it is gath­ered near a grove of pines. Eating moss? Eating the en­trails and of­fal of an­i­mals that in­clude ev­ery sin­gle smidgen of what was al­ways con­sid­ered ined­i­ble? The glean­ings of ex­treme poverty have be­come haute cui­sine, with price tags to match. What in the world is go­ing on? Are we so des­per­ate for nov­elty that we are for­sak­ing de­li­cious­ness and our ba­sic rai­son d’etre?

In restau­rants, the noise level is high deci­bel enough to cause hear­ing loss. “Turn up the mu­sic,” I hear own­ers com­mand. We are con­demned to tex­ting at restau­rants while we eat and drink, and nei­ther speak nor hear.

Farm to ta­ble, farm to counter, farm to food truck. We all love the true flavours of fresh food, food that is real and tastes good and is pre­sented in a de­lec­ta­ble and bal­anced man­ner. We seek hor­mone free, grass-fed beef cat­tle, chicken and turkey. We like fish that has been nur­tured in lakes and oceans rather than in fish farms. In Eu­rope, where the cui­sine is the cul­ture, nat­u­rally grown, pre­pared with love and pre­sented at its peak sea­son, it all seems to taste bet­ter.

So whose voice can you trust? In this tu­mul­tuous world, gone are the days when one could wan­der into strange neigh­bour­hoods, sit at any ta­ble and have a won­der­ful din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with­out a qual­i­fied rec­om­men­da­tion. Our aim at DINE magazine is to be that voice, and of­fer our read­er­ship an ed­u­cated culi­nary opin­ion, at home and wher­ever you travel.

In our eighth is­sue of DINE we’ve seen a lot of changes. There is a new ex­cite­ment about neigh­bour­hood din­ing, and the evo­lu­tion of the artists and the ar­ti­sans to main­stream ap­pre­ci­a­tion. We ex­plore the unique ap­proach of ho­tels in Ja­pan to main­tain rel­e­vance within their culi­nary mi­lieu. We in­dulge in epi­curean Caribbean des­ti­na­tions, and soak up the vibe from the Amer­i­can south coast.

The small ci­ties and lakes in north­ern Italy of­fer an un­hur­ried and joy­ous life­style that de­lights and sur­prises us. Haute French cui­sine is alive and well in Mon­treal and ready to be savoured. In Toronto, we rec­om­mend a range of restau­rant ex­pe­ri­ences that ex­press our di­verse life­styles and so­cial tastes. Come dine with us.

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