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.