Barrie Uncovered

Celebrate Solstice with Shalu at Simmering Kettle

Finally! Spring is arriving and “Barrie-ites” we’re more than ready for a celebration!

The Equinox

Spring Equinox known as “Ostara” is also called the “Vernal” equinox.  This is the celebration of equal daylight and darkness hours; renewal, rebirth and new beginnings.  A perfect time to put the winter months to bed – head outside and celebrate nature.

Shalu Persaud of Simmering Kettle on Bryne Dr. feels this year is especially important to celebrate.  “We’ve had such an unusual year that we need to look at a fresh start and new beginnings.”

Come Celebrate!

She’s inviting everyone to a “Parking Lot Party” March 21st!  There will be vendors and dancing to celebrate!  It’s truly a wonderful family event.

Ways to Celebrate Spring!

Here are some great ways to celebrate with your family and friends over the upcoming week:

Take time to enjoy and celebrate the new life outdoors in nature.  Go for a walk, a bike ride or a hike.

Start planting indoors for your outdoor gardens.  Do a winter yard cleanup.

Prepare a family feast using seasonal spring foods; eggs, spring greens, shoots, sprouts, local breads, wine etc.

Have or attend a bonfire where you might tell stories, dance, beat drums or play music.

Create art representing the four seasons.

Decorate eggs.

Bring spring into your home – forsythia clippings, pussy willows, force flowering bulbs etc.

Meditate upon new spring life, practice yoga to create inner peace and balance.

Spring clean, start something new, establish a new daily routine or rhythm to your day.

Above all – Celebrate Spring!

“I skipped between the dancers, twirling my skirts. The seated, masked musicians didn’t look up at me as I leaped before them, dancing in place. No chains, no boundaries—just me and the music, dancing and dancing. I wasn’t faerie, but I was a part of this earth, and the earth was a part of me, and I would be content to dance upon it for the rest of my life.

Sarah J. Maas, A Court of Thorns and Roses

Written by: Jane Laker

Photo Credit: Stephen Elliott

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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!

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…

TRAVEL THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR PALATE – Dosti Eats

TRAVEL THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR PALATE

Welcome to Dosti Eats where you can visit time and time again tasting bold, exotic street food from around the world.  Dosti is as “Hip” as Simmering Kettle (the family’s other restaurant just across the parking lot) is “Old World”.  And…Dosti Eats even sells some of their bold flavors now for your pleasure at home!  Shalu, the owner of Dosti Eats sells her  homemade Malsala Sauce for use in your own cooking.  What a great way to experiment with Tandoori or Butter Chicken recipes in the comfort of your ownkitchen.

As the staff at Dosti Eats like to say, “We slowly take you on a journey so you can travel the world through your palate.”  Come in to visit Mexico and try a variety of Tacos or even a Black Bean Burger.  Europe gives you everything from Italian Meatball Sliders to Lamb Souvlaki.  Travel through the menu to India and try Pav Bhaji (Mumbai’s favorite thick vegetable curry served with a grilled bun) or the Street Meat Combo.  If it’s Carribbean flavors that you’ve been missing, order the Jerk Chicken or Roti Wraps, they’ll be sure to tease your taste buds.  Settling in Asia, the Dosti Bento Box or Banh Mi Sandwich are wonderful choices.  Finally,  if you are craving good old North American cusine, check out the Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich or Wings by the pound.  It’s a great place if you’re taking out a group of people with distinctly different tastes!  It’s also a wonderful way to tease your taste buds as it’s really difficult to travel easily right now.

Something that Dosti Eats has become quite known for is their bold homemade Hot Sauce.  The staff are finding that the palates of the community have really grown in their search for new and exciting flavor, so be sure to try some on your next visit.

Shalu really thinks about her customers so often!  Today as we were chatting she mentioned that she is starting a “Take Home to Cook” section to her menu.  Boxed and ready for “take home service”, Shalu will have all the ingredients both fresh and dry premeasured with explicit recipe directions.  Shalu is doing this knowing that people are still a bit nervous about dining out but are missing the variety of choices in their diet.  I can’t wait, but while I do, I’ll be sure to drop in to Dosti Eats to quell the cravings.  Won’t you?

HAPPY DIWALI (Deepavali) 2020

CELEBRATE AT TANDOORI KINGDOM THIS WEEKEND WITH GREAT FOOD!

Celebrate! Celebrate! This weekend in Barrie, Tandoori Kingdom invites you to celebrate Diwali with them. Diwali is the Indian Festival of Lights, this year falling on November 15th. Tradition tells us that Diwali is observed on the 15th day of Kartik – the holiest month of the Hindu religion. The word Diwali means “rows of lighted lamps” in Sanskrit.

Diwali is actually a five day Hindu originated celebration that signifies the victory of good over evil.  It has become a huge celebration regardless of faith.  Celebrating normally with new clothing, fireworks, candles and the exchange of small gifts and sweets – this year Diwali celebrations are necessarily smaller. The staff at the Tandoori Kingdom at 428 Blake Street in Barrie have been very busy getting everything ready for your celebrations.

The five days of celebration are very similar to getting ready for New Year on January 1 in our calendar.  Day one is cleaning the home and shopping for gold, while Day two is decorating at home with lamps and coloured sand.  The main festival is celebrated on the third day with feasts and prayer.  The New Year is celebrated of the fourth day – that’s when you exchange gifts and sweets with everyone.  Finally, the tradition on the fifth day is to have brothers visit their married sisters who welcome them with a meal.

Getting ready for Saturday’s gift-giving should really include a trip to the Tandoori Kingdom. They are ready with an incredible array of beautiful Indian sweets. Choose your favourites and try some new ones. The staff will package them for you in beautiful gift boxes ready for presents. The gifts are very significant to the Diwali Celebration. Each gift is given to strengthen the feelings of fellowship and companionship while defining the bonding and connections between individuals.

So if Diwali is on your family calendar, or you’ve never tried any of the delicious Indian sweets, head over to the Tandoori Kingdom, http://www.tandoorikingdom.ca Share a meal, order takeout, or have them cater for you…but most of all pick up some of those tantalizingly delicious Indian sweets! Better yet – call! (705) 503 1400 to make your reservation now!

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