The most rewarding part of my job is all the great people I get to meet. Wait -- it's the food. And also, all the great people I get to meet. I am so lucky to have developed terrific relationships with the restaurant owners we've filmed with over these last three seasons. These folks have become like an extended family to me.
Dan Clapson is one of Calgary's top foodies -- eating his way across the city and rubbing elbows with some of the most exciting up-and-coming chefs. Dan curates the April edition of the CHEF'S BOX -- a monthly food subscription box delivered by FoodiePages.ca. We got the inside scoop on his favourite eats (in recent memory) and must-visit spots for Canadian foodies.
The youngest contestant from season three of Top Chef Canada, Rory has a passion for butchery and charcuterie (and loves nothing more than to escape from the city to hunt, fish and forage for Canadian delicacies). Currently Rory wows the patrons of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and this month he is curating the January edition of the Chef's Box.
It's the first day to purchase coveted seats for this year's RAW:almond pop-up restaurant and Mandel Hitzer is doing brisk sales. The project that started as a what-are-we-getting-ourselves-into experiment earlier this year enters its second go-round as the hottest table in a city that suddenly needs to be on every culinary travellers' itinerary.
A couple beers in, we're both yawning. The conversation starts to dry up. We're now talking the ceiling fixtures. Talking about lamps hanging from the ceiling is a sign we're both starting to space out. I'm also getting tweets from my comedian guy friends, who know I'm on a date. All of a sudden, I wish I was with them.
New Yorkers Salm and David Chang of Momofuku have invigorated Toronto's dining scene with culinary ambitions on a massive scale. Momofuku Toronto opened last September in an expansive 6,600-square-foot property adjacent to the Shangri-la Hotel. It features three restaurants, a cocktail lounge, and the recently opened Milk Bar.
While dining with an American couple, I mentioned that I would be adding an 18 per cent tip, knocking down my customary 20 per cent a little due to the poor service. Well, you would have thought I had announced my support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad. I was informed that it is now customary at better restaurants in the U.S. to tip a minimum of 20 per cent.
Going against North American restaurant norms, an Australian sushi restaurant has banned tipping. The restaurant compensates by paying their staff higher wages and making the menu slightly more expensive, as is done in Japan. As a Canadian working as a server in Australia, there are many reasons this policy should be adopted worldwide.
Where should we go to eat? It's pondered 17 million times a day in this country: That's how many visits Canadians make to restaurants, according to the CRFA. If you've heard of a place, you're more likely to give it your business -- even if it's mediocre quality and a poor value choice for your money.