Barrie Uncovered

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REALLY – CHRISTMAS IS COMING!

REALLY - CHRISTMAS IS COMING!

No one’s sure what the Holiday Season is going to be like this year.  One thing that you can count on though is that there’s always great food!  What’s even better than great food – is when it’s made for you!  Whether you need a break for a light meal after rushing around, or you’ve been chosen to host your social circle – you can count on Simmering Kettle (https://simmeringkettle.com) or Dosti Eats(https://dostieats.com) to save the day!

Shalu Persaud, owner of both, understands your need for sustenance.  Both Simmering Kettle and Dosti Eats are set up well for catering.  Whether it’s a very intimate fathering at home or a larger group at the office, they’ve got you covered.  If your crowd is looking for something a bit different, Dosti Eats offers ethnic choices from around the world.  Simmering Kettle has those wonderfully traditional dishes to add to your menu.

If you’ve been hard at it – shopping for loved ones, and need a break, pop in to relax over a good cup of coffee and a great meal.  Just taking some time for yourself will make the shopping chores easier.  Better yet, meet a friend and just catch up over an all day breakfast or a soup and salad.

Either restaurant will fit the bill.  Both are found in our South End Retail Centre at 531 and 535 Bryne Drive, located across the parking lot from each other.  As you’re making holiday menus, you may want to check out the website at www.simmeringkettle.com.  Shalu has added a very valuable Meal Plan Menu as well.  Shalu knows how much time is spent in your kitchen to prepare good meals, so this menu has been added to give you a real break.  Everything is done for you to eat seriously good food in your own home.

Call (705) 828-2257 to talk to Shalu about catering, meal plans or even hosting your Christmas events.  Like I said, “She’s got you covered!”

CHEF OF THE MONTH – LINX KITCHEN and SOCIAL

INTERVIEW WITH CHEF KATHLEEN

Kathleen Forsythe, Executive Red Seal Chef at Linx, Kitchen & Social took time from her very busy day to talk food with me. Let me tell you, the conversation caused serious hunger pains!

When Kathleen starts to talk about food, her passion for fine dining becomes VERY apparent. Her vision for Linx, Kitchen & Social is a classic fine dining menu. Going over some of her Fall menu offerings is when the hunger pangs began! In discussing the 10 oz. Prime Rib that’s now on the menu for Friday and Saturday evenings, I learned that the roasts are cooked very low and slow to an internal temperature of 140 degrees. This gives a wonderfully rare serving. At that point, it can be finished to individual taste. The prime is served to you with seasonal fresh vegetables, mashed Yorkshire pudding and that “Oh So Delicious!” Au Jus!

Now, just so you know, the menu at Linx has been created to suit the service of your choice. You can enjoy very fine dining in the Kitchen Dining room or a more relaxed yet still refined setting in the Lounge. If you’ve chosen the Kitchen, you may be tempted by appetizers so distinctly different, like hand-cut Calamari with garlic comfit and caper aioli, or Beef Carpaccio, a bit of heaven with pepper encrusted AAA beef tenderloin on a bed of arugula, and shaved parmesan…even before you choose an entree!

The choice of entree is also very distinct!  Imagine a Seared Breast of Duck drizzled in a sour cherry reduction, or Lobster Ravioli served in a white wine shallot cream sauce to describe just two of the offerings.

If you’re looking for the same great flavours in a more relaxed, yet still refined setting, choose to reserve at the Social. The offerings are still exquisite, but a slightly lighter flare.

Kathleen’s History and Training

Kathleen has trained extensively in a wide array of cuisines;  Italian, French…even 3 years of Sushi fun. She belongs to the Canadian Federation of Chefs and Cooks, having completed her Red Seal at Sir Sanford Fleming.

Before coming to Linx, Kitchen & Social Kathleen started in the kitchen of Millcroft Inn and Spa then served as an Executive Chef at the Caledon Inn as well as being an Event Chef at Friday Harbor.

Kathleen’s use of local products is wonderful. She’s even hoping to reach out to one of Barrie’s newest butcher shops, Delzotto’s, opening on Big Bay Point Road, having dealt with their Alliston location in the past. She’s already using our own Fox’s Bakery for bread as well as a number of other local suppliers.

Kathleen was also chosen from 53 candidates to provide very nutritional meals from scratch for the Elizabeth Fry Society Women’s Shelter. She has served up over 47,400 meals for them since the beginning of the Pandemic!  As busy as Kathleen is, as the Owner/Operator of Dish It Out, located in Innisfil, she still does some executive catering as well.

To be sure of a tasting from this very talented Chef, book your reservation at Linx, Kitchen & Social soon. Either visit their website or call 705-503-5469. Then dress up and dine out! You’ll be so happy you did!

EAT YOUR WAY RIGHT ACROSS THE COUNTRY!

EAT YOUR WAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY!

ARE YOU A "FOODIE"?

From one coast to another there are a lot of “foodies” in Canada.  We have such cultural ethnicity.  The other thing that we have is an extremely diverse landscape with each Province and Territory offering up their own uniqueness.  On top of that we have our local areas which have many different menus to tantalize us even further.

Starting on the East Coast we can try everything from a Jigg’s Dinner, Lobster Rolls to Screech Rum.  As we head into Quebec we all seem pretty familiar with Poutine, maple syrup and tortierre.

It’s in Ontario where things become a little different.  Here we are certainly known for our outstanding wineries and craft breweries, but our favorite foods are as diverse as the population!  We have our seasonal treats like corn on the cob or garden fresh toasted tomato sandwiches, however as food goes – I think our diversity shines in our “street eats”.

If  you were to Google the favorite food in Toronto you’d likely find it’s a veal sandwich, Ottawa – Beaver Tails, Barrie – Skewers, a Korean BBQ restaurant and so on.  We have different flavors on every corner it seems.

As we head into Manitoba it becomes very particular again.  There you’d find mouth watering pickerel most often pan-fried with a bit of butter.  Saskatoon actually got it’s name from the all-important Saskatoon berry either made into a pie or jam.  Alberta is beef, beef, and more beef, with Vancouver being salmon and of course Nanaimo bars.  In Nunavut we find the somewhat strange Muktuk (fried whale) or, surprisingly…Shwarma!  Finally in the northwest Territories we are told Artic Char and game meats such as caribou and muscox are the favorites.

Travelling through Canada is divine for “foodies”.  We have so many very unique tastes to savor.  Again though, I have to say how nice it is to be in Central Ontario – Barrie to be exact.  I love our diverse menu offerings.  There are so many exciting flavors!  One of the “favs” for sure is the Korean Street Food found at Skewers, just up from Downtown at 9 Clapperton Street.  Don’t take my word for it though – go ahead – try it for yourself!

SPICE IT UP!!

Spice it up!!

“Barrie-ites” are so lucky to have such a wide variety of ethnic cuisine.  I read an article today followed with this comment by one of the other readers: “As a new visitor to Barrie, I think it must be a great place to live because there are so many restaurants serving so many kinds of food!”

I totally agree!  I love to cook – but I also love to taste authentic ethnic dishes.  One of my favorite things to do is to figure out the layers of spices used to create such tatalizing meals.  Today my mind drifted back to learning about “The Spice Road” in elementary school.  Imagine the thrill of the Portuguese sailors as they were loading thir ships in India that first time?  At that time in history spices were very important because they helped flavor foods that weren’t as fresh as we get today.  The historical trader’s clamored for Black Pepper, known as the King of Spices.  Also known as black gold, it was one of the very first spices traded for in India.

Indian food is steeped in history, rich in flavor with a medley of spices.  I think my favorite Indian Restaurant in town is Barrie’s Tandoori Kingdom at 428 Blake Street.  One gray afternoon not too long ago I was trying to determine which spices were in the dishes I was enjoying there.  I was joined by one of the owners, who shared his love of spices with me.

The main Indian spices are black pepper, cardamom, chilli peppers, cinnamon, coriander seeds, tumeric, cloves, ginger and mustard seeds.  They are often oil-fried or dry-roasted to release their aromatics and flavors.  The spices are also carefully blended to create individualized curry blends.  As I was figuring out the flavors I was close – but no win!

The dish was Chicken Korma, rich and creamy, full of spices and flavor…Mmm!  With fresh Naan it’s a piece of Indian heaven.  I had correctly guessed coconut milk, garam masala, curry, tumeric, coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom.  However, I missed the nutmeg and cumin seed.

chicken-korma-curry-naan-bread-high-angle-view-chicken-korma-curry-149390010

Creamy Chicken Korma at Tandoori Kingdom is the stuff dreams are made of.  Head down to 428 Blake Street to dine in or call (705) 503-1400 for pickup and take a little taste of heaven home.

THE COMFORT OF OLD-WORLD VALUE

THE COMFORT OF OLD WORLD VALUES

How my taste buds tingle as I reminisce about the very first spoonful of Onion Soup at Simmering Kettle in the South End.  I am a lover of Onion soup, French or otherwise, and this onion soup is likely the very best I’ve ever had in the otherwise category.  Mmm!  I’m praying that the Simmering Kettle owner, Shalu Persaud, will share the recipe!

SIMPLY GREAT FOOD!

In discussing with Shalu her love of food, I was very pleasantly surprised at the attention she gives not only her menu choices, but her customers as well.  One of Shalu’s first comments was “There’s just so much chaos in today’s world that I want every customer to enjoy the comforts and values of the old world.”  All choices are to be of the  highest possible standard using fresh produce and ingredients from two of her  local suppliers, Stewart’s Wholesale and Sunrise Wholesale Produce.  Even her breads are Artisan loaves.

Shalu believes in reading the  ingredient lists on everything and wants them to be as short and free of preservatives as possible.  Making everything from scratch and watching her ingredients is her investment in the health of her customers.  In her mind, her customers value what they’re eating and she values her customers.  Win – win for everyone!

Shalu reminded me that Simmering Kettle is carefully set up for takeout as well as catering for office, home and party needs.  With Christmas fast approaching I was quick to ask if gift certificates were still available – they make great envelope gifts – and yes they are!

Shalu is happy to see her customers again, and she knows that they actually battle traffic to get to her South end location.  She has a suggestion though…rather than battling the congestion on Mapleview, come across Verteran’s Drive and Commerce Park Drive.  

I must say that the nicest thing I notice each and every time I visit Simmering Kettle is that it has truly become the South End meeting place.

Kinda’ like – comin’ home…

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