Notable food happenings
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
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 cenaikostaples.com.
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