It began with a duck egg—cold, smooth, a bewitching blue—pressed into my six-year-old palm by my mother’s friend, who suggested I use it to bake my first cake.
Until then, my kitchen deeds were confined to laying the table, sawing bread into wonky slices, drying dishes, and slipping under the spare arm of my aproned mother—the undisputed kitchen queen—for a quick squeeze while she peeped under the rattling lids of steaming saucepans, or pulled out the griller tray to turn sizzling, popping lamb chops.
It burns, but we brush aside the warnings. We ignore the Greek-chorus wailing coming from that evolutionary marvel of gustatory discernment—our tongue-scape’s tight huddle of taste buds. Read more…
We all love going to restaurants. The ritual of selecting a type of cuisine that follows a particular mood, or company, as a regular basis in our lives, is probably my favourite routine. Sometimes we like trying new flavours, new aromas, new menus. At other times we prefer to repeat a place that we enjoyed a while ago. Sometimes we choose proximity, sometimes we choose price. Sometimes eating out is an excuse to meet someone. Sometimes meeting someone is an excuse to dine out.
My favourite place to eat out is when someone invites me home for dinner. No restaurant has yet beaten the unique flavour that home-made meals can bring to my soul. What’s special is the sharing of food, which I find one of the purest representations of love.
Danilo plans his dinners pretty much along those lines. His invite comes to you in the form of personalised email, surprising you with the chance to book seats at a table of eight. You might want to take it—it only happens once a month. The other diners won’t be revealed to you until arrival, bringing some sense of new flavours from the very start.
Expect a nice, small, tidy, cosy, colourful, designed-and-curated living room. Expect a table. Expect eight chairs and two hosts. Expect conversations. Expect music that matches the table setting. Expect fine cuisine and also a revolution. Expect a theme. Expect three courses. Also expect three wines. Expect smiles.
Danilo invites you to experience a new night that combines knowledge and passion from the start. Whoever Danilo is, he challenges traditional forms of dining out, setting you a dinner table where food and love are found.
Yes, on the night, you can expect both.
In the meantime, enjoy this exclusive signature Danilo Sweet Calamari Cerviche Recipe:
SWEET CALAMARI CERVICHE
70g of fresh calamari
6 mint leaves
1 skinless orange
1/2 a red and green capsicum, finely chopped
70g of pickled green mango
2 cups of veggie stock
4 limes, juiced
4 lemons, juiced
1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 a cup of coconut cream
2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
micro-greens for decoration
Combine the lime and lemon juice with the onions and garlic in a bowl.
Add approximately 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper.
Clean and cut the calamari into 2 centimetres squares. Bring the veggie stock to boil. Add the calamari and leave to boil for four minutes. Strain the veggie stock and allow the calamari to cool.
When at room temperature, mix the calamari with the lime and lemon juice, onions and garlic. Let the mixture rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Cook the coconut cream and orange juice on low heat for about thirty minutes. When cool, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sliver 2 mint leaves and combine with the capsicum and some fresh cracked black pepper.
After 20 minutes, strain the calamari, then mix it with the coconut cream and orange juice.
Serve on a bed of green mango pickled. Garnish with a couple of skinless orange wedges, the mint and capsicum mixture. Decorate with micro-greens to finish.
Review by Natalia Alessi
Photography by Anthony Rodriguez
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Recipe by Danilo
APHRO CUISINE—DECEMBER ’14 FEATURE
I have been infatuated with the marriage of cardamom and rose water since I started my romance with Indian-flaired foods. An older flame of mine—Middle-Eastern fare—also uses pistachio with these wonderful flavors, and when I thought of the color of those bright nuts mixed with avocado, this recipe blossomed.
Raw, bright, tropical, aromatic, intoxicating.
Bring on summer love.
EATERS DIGEST MARCH ’16 FEATURE
It all started because I was craving a good old Anzac biscuit. If you’re not familiar with this Aussie biscuit institution, then imagine if you will, a golden, chewy-yet-crunchy, oaty, buttery, vanilla-golden-syrupy (Aussie light treacle) kinda happiness. It’s the kind of happiness denied to dairy and gluten-free eaters like me. I wanted to create something that felt at least a little like an Anzac biscuit, minus the key ingredients—butter, oats and flour.
CHERIMOYA FOOD —DECEMBER ’16 FEATURE
Preserving fruits—a wonderful exercise in getting back in touch with the roots of our food culture, by culturing foods! Spring is around the corner in the northern hemisphere, and our citrus trees—especially the fragrant and floral Meyer lemon—are burdened heavy with plump fruits. No better way to enjoy the sweet and bright flavor of the Meyers all year round than to borrow some culture from northern Africa and make some preserved lemons. They are much simpler than you think, and you can have a year’s supply done in an hour, from pick to pickle. Make succulent Moroccan tagines with them, spread them on toast, add them to dips or tapenades and they impart an extremely versatile and unique flavor.
Wenona Lodge – Kitchen by Pork Ninja’s
1069 Bloor St W Toronto, ON, Canada (1) 647-344-6444
Already known for its craft beer and friendly rustic vibe, Wenona Lodge has quickly become a favourite Bloor Street hang out. Wenona’s classic Ontario cabin-by-the-lake aesthetic, coupled with a wide selection of Ontario craft brews has already earned a place in Now Magazine’s ‘Best Beer Bars’ and Blog TO’s ‘Top 15 Bars on Bloor’. This month they’re launching a brand new menu by Pork Ninjas.
CHERIMOYA FOOD —DECEMBER ’15 FEATURE
More and more am I inspired and obliged to make smarter choices in the meat I eat. The conscientious consumer is becoming more aware of the benefits of eating meat that is raised humanely and as naturally as possible. These benefits go for both the animal during its life, and after that, for the person consuming it.
Last night’s rabbit feast marked a first for me in two things: cooking rabbit and making pâté. My effort was to use as much of the animal as I could, another important aspect of meat consumption for posterity and again for your own health. Organ meat is a lost commodity in the Western diet, most of us having lost our taste for it even though traditionally humans have consumed most an entire animal. The nutrients you get from eating liver, kidney, bone broth and so on, are unparalleled anywhere else in the diet. Read more…
This month we are excited to feature an interest piece on a great Canadian family business. Beau’s organic beer leads the way in sustainability, from both an environmental and community perspective. Beau’s brewery HQ is situated in country Ontario, Canada. It’s where they make their delicious organic beer, and hold an annual ‘Oktoberfest’ beer and music festival. I was lucky enough to speak with Jennifer Beauchesne and learn more about how the beer, with the sweetest label designs in the biz, has become so popular.
I’ve always had the heart of a quiet revolutionary. Women like Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, and Virginia Woolf have inspired and delighted me. I felt like there was too much inside me to hold it all in neatly. I was messy and wild and sat on buses cross-legged with both feet on the seats.
Bone broth is considered an elixir of life, health and vitality. Prepared correctly and with the right ingredients, bone broth is a rich liquid that can be used for both delicious meals and hot beverages. Yes. You can drink a steaming mug of bone broth just as you would a cup of tea.
She’s dark. The colour of bruised midnight. She’s swelled and ripened over three seasons and blushes crimson at her sweet summit—that meeting place for lines tracing up from her full-hipped beauty. Now, in low-angled autumn light under cool leafy canopies, she and her sisters wait in deep purple crowds. Read more…
APHRO CUISINE—AUGUST 2015
How to make dinner without bread, pasta, grains or starches? It’s a question I ask myself all too often, because there is something about the bite that comes along with those satisfying wheat-based goods that just makes you feel downright sated. Although for the health-conscious yet foodily inclined folk, we know having a light dinner makes for healthy humans. So, when I fortuitously stumble across an idea to give that same satisfaction in a meal of almost exclusively veggies (aaaaand about 40% ricotta cheese), I’m a happy camper. Given that you can get your hands on a mandolin, the zucchini makes an easy wrapping and replacement for the pasta part of your ravioli. Of course these succulent pockets can be filled with anything – ground and spiced lamb, a tofu substitute for ricotta, butternut & goat cheese, let your ravioli filling fantasies frolic free!
Goutte Media, Toronto Canada presents: Ultimate Cocktails: The Coco Russian
Music: ‘Obtus’ by Melanie Brulee, from the album ‘Debridee’ Available May 26th, 2015
1 oz Vodka
1 oz Kahlua
1 oz coconut milk
Stir & top with shredded coconut
APHRO CUISINE—JUNE 2015
The inspiration for this recipe came to me through quite mystic circumstances. As I sat solo at a small table listening to live experimental jazz entangling itself with the dreamy Japanese bamboo flute, I closed my eyes. I was immediately transported to a landscape in my mind beside a fresh Asiatic pond. Read more…
APHRO CUISINE—APRIL 2015 FEATURE 1
Need I say more than the title proclaims? Well, I’m going to anyhow. Legend has it that there was a French woman who fell in love with a Persian prince. Like any good French damsel, she thought: what better way to win his heart than to bake the ultimate cake teeming with flavors from his homeland with the exquisite touch of French gastronomy? I would have to think long and hard to come up with a better love spell. This cake is ludicrously easy—if you are not a French gastronome, don’t fret. And for all y’all gluten haters, you can celebrate too. Everyone is welcome on this delectable territory.
If you haven’t already heard about the overnight success of ‘Flowhive™’, the biggest leap in beekeeping since 1852, now is your chance! If you are already familiar with the ‘just turn the tap’ concept, here you can find out a little more, directly from the inventors of the technology. This month, Mojo Junction was lucky enough to spend five minutes with Stuart and Cedar Anderson.
As a photographer I love watching old movies for inspiration. One of my favourites is Casablanca. The way they played with light—deep, long shafts of light, small whispery slivers of light, soft touches of light on eyelashes and hair. It’s beautiful. I feel as though because they only had black and white film to work with it forced them to really play with the light. It’s beautiful to watch. Read more…
APHRO CUISINE—APRIL 2015 FEATURE 2
Green spring tendrils are beginning to wind their way up lattices in the March air of California. The farmers’ markets are spilling over with dozens of the sun-kissed varietals of our year’s first strawberries. Strolling and sampling, I found each strawberry’s dimpled skin still laden with the sun’s warm golden rays. The pea shoots unquestioningly cast their spiralling tendrils out to latch onto the bright flavors of those Sweet Anne strawbs. I knew they had to be together. So I paid a pretty penny, packed ‘em in my purse and clogged off home to make some brunch tartines, where they could happily rest on a bedspread of chèvre until their dying day. Their lives were short but sweet.
I was sixteen years old and it was a hot muggy seaside summer.
My father ran an art-house cinema overlooking the beach and we lived in a tiny shack right behind it.
I remember going to sleep at night with the sound of the waves crashing and the deep bass sounds of a car chase or a gunfight, or some romantic orchestral crescendo. I could pick the films that were playing by each muffled soundtrack vibrating through the thin walls. Read more…