By: Marie Lynn Birks

Let’s face it this city loves food! Any one who has ever had a “gourmet mac n’ cheese” or a jacked up version of a meatloaf now considers them self a “foodie” and refuses to eat the food we grew up on unless it has been fried in duck confit fat or has been marinated in this week’s most popular craft beer. Torontonians are spoiled with the huge number of original and daring restaurants we get to chose from for our Saturday night out. Most of us will sit around with our limited knowledge of cooking and food and debate about which new hot spot has the better menu, or better selection or who’s more original.

Well our uneducated debate can come to a close! Last month local chef’s Joe Friday and Devan Rajkumar started the new food event “Toronto’s Underground Chef Cartel”. Capitalizing off the hugely popular food network the event consists of two local chef’s who will square off against each other to compete for the most original and well prepared dishes show casing a specific ingredient they are given just seconds before the battle. The food is judged by a cut throat panel of chefs, food bloggers, restaurant owners and the general audience.

Admission is very reasonable at $25 a ticket, which allows you into the show a drink ticket and some appetizers. The entire night is filmed and features a local DJ for additional entertainment. Check out the latest battle!

So what do you think foodies? Are we ready to take our passion for food to a place that no longer includes actually eating the food? Do you want to watch your favourite local chef’s battle it out in an gritty no holds bar competition for bragging rights?

I know I do!


Snuggle up this fall with these delicious treats from the Food Network.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
11/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 overripe banana)
1/4 teaspoon banana extract (optional)
Heat about 2 inches vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl.

Whisk the egg, milk, mashed banana and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in another bowl. Add the banana extract, if desired. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Whisk the banana mixture into the dry ingredients until just moistened. Working in batches, drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 15 seconds per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, then roll in the cinnamon sugar while still warm.

Photograph by Andrew Mccaul

Read more at:,1946,FOOD_9936_483510_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html?oc=linkback

The Sea Chair Project, created by Studio Swine and Kieren Jones, is a response to the issue of growing levels of waste plastic in our oceans.  Merging craft, industry and design the project looks to harness the struggling fishing industry to produce a series of chairs created from plastic collected at sea.

The Sea Chair is made entirely from plastic waste collected from the ocean.  The plastic used to create the first Sea Chair originates from the shores of Porthtowan, a beach located on the Southwest Coast that is known to be the most polluted beach in the UK for micro plastic.  The Sea Chair was produced using the Sea Press, a machine that allows plastic to be heated and formed along with simple moulds and tools.

The chair is tagged with the geographical coordinates of where its sea plastic was harvested and carries a production number.

This is the new trend we spotted on all the most fashionable stars: from Kristen Stewart to Kirsten Dunst, Daisy Lowe or Cameron Diaz, this summer they all tie up their top. T-shirt, blouse or tank top… no more dangling! This is a fashion statement we can only like. Your turn now… chic!

What lipstick does the star wear on stage? The Aqua Red # 8! Ys, an iconic glossy red Madonna created with Gina Brooke, her personal make-up artist, for the brand Make Up For Ever. Its plus? A liquid texture, super fast to apply, which gives both the shine of a gloss and the holding of a lipstick… a must for a star, that is us!

Aqua Red No. 8 – Available in September.


Do not forget to take:

Shorts made of an old pair of jeans you just cut. Why add some unnecessary cost?
A straw hat and why not a wide-brimmed hat?
A striped overblouse, the chic must-have
A large canvas bag to slip in sunscreen, sunglasses and girls magazines
A pair of espadrille (the real rope ones!)

Long live farniente and idleness!

Here are some tips to avoid making styling mistakes.

Avoid too long or draped dresses as well as miniature ones.

We like red, orange, black, gray, pastels, not to mention floral prints (Super trendy right now). White is reserved for the bride.

The ideal dress? A model just above the knees, or almost, enhanced with pretty cutouts in the back and properly fitted to your body.

Demonstration by a star? Kate Bosworth wearing Hugo Boss