No­table food hap­pen­ings

Ottawa Magazine - - CONTENTS - BY SARAH BROWN

Bread and Roses An Aus­tralian bak­ery chain, known as Bak­ers De­light in other parts of the world, opened Cobs Bread in Bar­rhaven ear­lier this year. Mean­while, in the ByWard Mar­ket, Quelque Chose Pâtis­serie has opened a third lo­ca­tion, of­fer­ing mac­arons and other treats out of a small café be­side La Bot­tega on Ge­orge Street Slice of Life G’day mate! Care for a loaf? How the heck does an Aus­tralian bread fran­chise (with 700 lo­ca­tions and count­ing world­wide) make it to Ot­tawa? Turns out,

be­gan its foray into Canada in 2003 in North Van­cou­ver when the son and daugh­ter of the Aussie own­ers came for a visit, fell in love with the coun­try, and set­tled here. That one store has now bal­looned to 102 Cana­dian lo­ca­tions as Cobs Bread moves steadily east. Cobs Bar­rhaven (Strand­herd Cross­ing mini-mall, 3161 Strand­herd Dr.) is the first Ot­tawa lo­ca­tion, helmed by hus­band-and-wife team and who ran a Cobs bak­ery in Toronto for close to a decade be­fore mov­ing back to set down roots in Mirsky’s home­town. From the front counter, cus­tomers can see into the back of the 1,260-square-foot store, where all the breads and pas­tries are baked fresh daily. No such thing as day-olds here — any left­overs are do­nated to char­i­ties at the end of each day. Top sell­ers in Bar­rhaven? The multi­grain and sour­dough breads are huge, as are cin­na­mon buns and choco­late crois­sants. In­ter­est­ingly, mini veg­e­tar­ian piz­zas and dou­ble choco­late scones were not pop­u­lar at the cou­ple’s An­nex lo­ca­tion in Toronto but fly off the shelves here. “Must be all the kids around Bar­rhaven,” Mirsky says.

Cobs Bread Emily Mirsky

County Bounty

Craig Cochrane,

comfy-modern look. It’s a big en­deav­our (North Docks boasts just over 100 seats in­side and 65 on the pa­tio), but Dubeau says he and his part­ner are up for the chal­lenge, craft­ing an imag­i­na­tive fam­ily-friendly menu grounded in clas­sic Amer­i­can fare. “I’ve al­ways been in love with the diner and road­house cul­ture in the U.S.,” Dubeau ex­plains. Al­though he’ll ob­vi­ously play a strong role in menu-mak­ing, he says day-to-day kitchen duty will be in the hands of a chef he trusts and re­spects. Cor­ner Store

— Donna Chevrier’s lit­tle cor­ner ta­que­ria in Vanier — has ex­panded into the pre­pared-foods sec­tor. When the house at­tached to Ola Cocina (62 Bar­rette St.) came up for rent a few months ago, Chevrier jumped at the op­por­tu­nity to take it over, ren­o­vat­ing it into a pre­pared-foods shop.

(co­mida, for the record, trans­lates to “food” or “meal”) will be filled with Chevrier’s cre­ations. It will also be serv­ing as the new pick-up spot for Ola Cocina take­out. The am­bi­tious restau­ra­teur says she had felt squeezed at the tiny Ola Cocina and was itch­ing to ex­pand. While she left the wall be­tween the two build­ings in­tact, Chevrier at­tached them through a door at the back of Ola Cocina, which leads to a big prep kitchen, built with the idea that it will al­low much more space to ser­vice both the restau­rant and the pre­pared-food shop. What’s in the fridges and freez­ers? Lots of the things Ola Cocina is known for — con­tain­ers of salsa and gua­camole, home­made chorizo, tor­tillas, de­con­structed en­chi­ladas to re­make at home, and Ola Cocina sauces — but there are also lots of sur­prises. De­pend­ing on the day, there might be paella to go, shrimp and chorizo pot stick­ers, and meals in­spired by Chevrier’s French-Cana­dian her­itage.

Ola Cocina Co­mida Ola

Sweet Talk Bak­ers would do well to book­mark

new blog, both for its recipes and for its playlists. The for­mer Fair­mont Château Lau­rier pas­try chef makes hunt­ing for recipes a mouth­wa­ter­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, shar­ing sim­pli­fied ver­sions of

Ce­naiko’s Adam ce­naikosta­

his favourite recipes at In an in­dus­try no­to­ri­ous for se­crecy, it’s sur­pris­ing to find a pas­try chef will­ing to dis­close his best recipes, food ex­per­i­ments, and cook­books, but Ce­naiko says he looks for­ward to shar­ing his know-how. His wife, Anne-Marie, looks over each post and helps him sim­plify. “Even if a cer­tain recipe is a bit com­pli­cated, I try to fig­ure out ways to make it non-in­tim­i­dat­ing — like my blog post on how to add bub­bles to choco­late to make a home­made Aero bar. It’s ac­tu­ally not that hard to do, but it’s re­ally im­pres­sive!” At the end of each post, Ce­naiko in­cludes a YouTube link to a rec­om­mended tune to lis­ten to while bak­ing: The Bea­tles’ “Straw­berry Fields For­ever” matches up with his straw­ber­ries and cream tri­fle, while a tune by garage rock band The Choco­late Watch­band ties in with his tu­to­rial on aer­at­ing choco­late. “I col­lect vinyl, so con­nect­ing to mu­sic I was play­ing or think­ing about while I was recipe-test­ing just adds a fun layer to the post.” Set­ting the Stage Go big or go home. That’s the think­ing of lo­cal food-tele­vi­sion pow­er­house

which re­cently opened a 13,000-square­foot tele­vi­sion stu­dio, post-pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity, and cor­po­rate HQ in the south­east end. The im­pres­sive site, which in­cludes a 3,500-square­foot sound stage and a 1,000-square-foot com­mer­cial kitchen, is proof that pres­i­dent and CEO is in­tent on keep­ing his ever-ex­pand­ing em­pire in Ot­tawa. Since mov­ing into the space in Novem­ber, he notes, Gusto has shot sea­son two of Flour Power as well as a new Ital­ian food se­ries fea­tur­ing TO-based chef and MasterChef Canada judge Michael Bonacini. At last count, they had a dozen shows in de­vel­op­ment, so it looks as if the stu­dio will be a busy place. When asked whether star-struck Ot­tawans might soon be able to pop by for live tap­ings, Knight left the door open. “We’ve had no live au­di­ences so far, but we do have a cou­ple of cool show ideas that lend them­selves to hav­ing peo­ple watch­ing,” he said. Stay tuned.

Me­dia, Chris Knight Gusto World­wide

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