Tag Archives: brits in toronto

Totally biased product review by me — Black Cow Cheddar

Black Cow Cheddar

Looks like a hockey puck but it’s not, so don’t be fooled

We first heard about Black Cow Cheddar at the British Beverage Showcase in the summer. Luckily able to try the recently imported Black Cow Vodka (made with milk!) with some cheese, the product of choice was … of course, ha! … the accompanying Black Cow Cheddar.

As you can see from the stylishly shot, balancing-on-the-plastic-towel-rail-in-the-bathroom photo above, the cheese looks like a hockey puck. It is extremely hefty in the hand and could also be used as a door stop or paperweight for the cheese lover in your life.

But that’s not its purpose. Obvs.

The only place we’ve found this product so far is at Pusateri’s — they bigged it up via Twitter a while back — but we’re sure it’s more widely available. Bit pricier than your average cheddar but you get what you pay for.

It’s not a crumbly cheddar this one. It holds its shape when you cut a wedge off. It’s also not a sharp cheddar. It has a sweeter taste that really lingers after the first bite.

Has the “OMG” factor if you’re trying it for the first time. Not sure it would suit a Ploughman’s lunch, but definitely holds its own in the taste factor.

To sum up, this is currently our favourite cheddar cheese and we give it a Brits in Toronto 5/5 stars.

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Successful Brits in Toronto: Ruby Sohi

Ruby Sohi

Ruby has yet to discover a good chippie and pub in Toronto … leave your suggestions in the comments

We got so caught up in the excitement of the World Cup draw today — England face Belgium, Panama and Tunisia (not bad!) — that we forgot there was a Successful Brit in Toronto just sitting there in our in-box waiting to be unveiled.

So, here we go. The World Cup is one of the biggest events in the word, and the beautiful coincidence is that Ruby Sohi works as the Chief Event Organiser at Royal Blue Events Management, which has no connection whatsoever to the World Cup but we’re sure their events are top notch too.

Here’s Ruby’s route to Toronto …

What made you decide to choose Toronto as a city of choice? Did you plan a permanent move, or wanted to “try it for a while and see how it goes” and it turned out to be longer than planned?

My husband has always loved Canada and actually spent some time in Toronto as a child. He introduced the idea of emigrating shortly after we got married in London. I had visited Toronto a couple of times before but never really considered such a big step. After a few more visits we decided to make the move shortly after our first son was born.

Eight years on, we love Toronto and are so happy to call it home!

What steps did you take to land your first Toronto job? Did the infamous “Canadian experience” hinder you in any way?

As we prepared to emigrate, I decided to use this opportunity as a spring board to set up a business and work for myself. I had always dreamed of running my own business doing what I enjoy most. I prepared for the launch of a boutique event planning agency; Royal Blue Events Management whilst still in London.

Within three months of landing, I was out networking and building this new brand. It was certainly a challenging time, being a new immigrant on top of launching a business with the hopes of establishing a new network of friends, colleagues and clients. Within six months, I was fortunate enough to have secured my first client!

Today, I have executed all kinds of events including festivals, conferences and galas in and around Toronto, Kingston, London, Waterloo, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.

What’s the best/worst aspects of living in Toronto?

In addition to the beautiful parks and awesome city events, the best aspect of living in Toronto is the diverse mix of people. Toronto is a cosmopolitan city and everyone has been so welcoming, I love the inclusivity within this community.

As for the worst, I have to say the cold winters. They definitely take some getting used to. That said, the summers usually make up for the bad winters.

Do you make an effort to connect with other Brits in the city, or just meet them when chance allows it? Any recommended pubs/eateries/other places for homesick Brits to meet each other and network?

I don’t make any special effort to seek them out but it’s always great when you detect an accent and end up having a great conversation with a fellow Brit!

I am yet to discover a good chippie and pub, although the local British shop usually fuels my craving for Robinsons Blackcurrant Squash and Quavers!

Open question/comment: feel free to write anything here/advice/tips on a Brit living in, or moving to, Toronto.

Moving to Toronto was a big (and brave) step, but its safe to say it was definitely a step in the right direction.

Thanks Ruby! If anyone wants to connect, here’s her LinkedIn profile.

Hemingway’s is looking for a football supporters’ club to make it their HQ

Hemingway's

The future HQ of your football supporters’ club or a stock photo stolen from Google?

Hemingway’s is a great pub with an even better patio. If you haven’t been there or are new to Toronto we highly recommend it. (That should earn us a free pint.)

Joking aside, Daimin reached out and alerted Brits in Toronto to the fact that the pub is looking for a football supporters’ club to make it their regular HQ.

Here’s what he wrote:

“Reaching out, we are interested in getting one of the supporters’ clubs that is looking for a home down to Hemingway’s.

“Our only challenge is we are looking for a smaller club … the room we would make available only holds 50-60. So I know that rules us out of some of the bigger clubs, but perhaps there is a group out there where we could be a good fit.

“Anyway, e-mail me at daimin AT hemingways DOT TO if interested.”

So, there you have it. Run a football supporters’ club with no place to cheer or commiserate come match day? Sorted.

Successful Brits in Toronto: Lucy Waverman

Lucy Waverman

Lucy Waverman is confident her mum’s Loose Mince is the best you’ve ever had

Brits in Toronto recently went to an event welcoming Scottish-produced haggis to Toronto, and — as to be expected — the place was packed with food experts, sampling and chatting about the tasty treats on offer.

We bumped into Lucy Waverman, Food Columnist for the Globe and Mail and Food Editor, Food & Drink Magazine … among many other achievements.

Skipping the Q&A format this time, here’s Lucy’s story … and a bonus recipe too!

My father was a doctor in Glasgow who thought nationalized medicine was a terrible burden to live under. He decided to emigrate to Canada and my mother, brother and I followed later.

I went into Grade 11 when I was only 14 because the Scottish education system was so much better than here. My parent’s friends were all other Scottish doctors and it was a difficult time for me. I rejected Canada and went back to live in Glasgow.

However I soon realized that the future was here not there and I returned and went into journalism at Ryerson. Taking Radio and TV arts for a year they pummelled my accent out of me so I fit in. If I was going to live here then I was going to be part of the society.

It was not until later years that I realized how much I missed my hometown and my family who lived there. I am always happy to see Scots and bond with them immediately but I have not sought them out.

I love Burns Night and we either have a Burns Supper or we go to one. That way I meet lots of Scots. I have a close Scottish girlfriend here but it was happenstance that she is Scottish.

You can get everything here now but I miss Bendicks Bittermints. Recently Amazon started to carry them and I think I am their best customer.

I go back more frequently now to see family and always love it but my home is here.

Being a food writer I cook everything but one of my favourites is loose mince, a true Scottish dish and only to be made at home. Once a week my mother made loose mince. Everyone loved it. HP Sauce was the secret ingredient to enliven the mince. Serve over mashed potatoes or mashed turnips.

Here is a recipe that serves 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup sliced onion
½ teaspoon chopped garlic
1 pound lean ground hamburger
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch cayenne
1 cup canned peeled tomatoes, with their juice (chopped)
1 cup beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons HP Sauce
4 ounces mushrooms, coarsely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
1 cup green peas
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Add oil to a skillet on medium high heat. Stir in the onions and sauté until softened slightly about 2 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and beef , season with salt and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes or until the meat loses its pink colour. Stir in the mustard and cayenne.

Add the tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire and HP Sauce.

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and peas and cook uncovered for 20 minutes longer, or until mixture is saucy.

Add parsley and taste for seasoning adding, salt and pepper.

Totally biased product review by me — Taste Of India Vindaloo Sauce

Taste Of India Vindaloo Sauce

The price is comparable at $7.00 which is quite good actually as that’s a saving of $2.01 which helps a little bit if you have a fiscal imperative to save the spondoolies

Where do you go when you need a beautiful table ornament made out of gold paint-sprayed pine cones, holly and twigs? A fetching turquoise blue glass jar? A plaid cushion that you’re proud to show guests?

You got it — HomeSense!

Where do you go when you need a vindaloo sauce?

You got it — er, HomeSense?

Yes, trust us. We were surprised too when we stumbled across this product when browsing for home furnishings. At only $4.99 for a large packet, we had to give it a go.

It’s a sauce inside, but be careful not to get it on you as it’s pretty oily. Maybe it was Ghee, a staple of British-style curries back home.

But what set this product apart was the little extra bags of spices that came with it. A bit like those crisps that came with a little blue salt bag back in the day, the diner of this product can choose their spice level. It’s not just culinary democracy — it makes the whole prep time a fun experience too.

This one had a bay leaf, some chili powder, vindaloo spice mix and that little twig thing that you forget about until you crunch it and it goes between your top back teeth and into your gums. We didn’t use that one.

Taste? Very authentic for a shop-sold product. Nicely rich and flavourful. Throw some chicken in there, onions, tomatoes, peppers and minced ginger/garlic and you have a decent curry. It also freezes well for re-heating.

All in all, very impressive … and we give it a Brits in Toronto 5/5 stars.

Welcoming Scottish-produced haggis to Canada

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This must be the place!

Had a massive craving the other day for a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach.

Luckily, Brits in Toronto had been invited to a networking reception to taste the very best of Scotland’s food and drink. Keith Brown MSP, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, was also in attendance to celebrate the arrival of Scottish-produced haggis to Canada for the first time in 46 years.

It was organized by Scottish Development International and took place at the Berkeley Bicycle Club, a pretty nice venue on Jarvis.

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Guests were treated to this fine assortment of Scottish fare

To meet Canadian regulations, offal is not included in this particular haggis, but it was still very tasty via the samples we tried. The haggis was even piped in:

Keith Brown made a speech and then posed for photos. Here he is with Chef John Higgins:

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Chef John Higgns (left) and Keith Brown

It was a really fun evening with some great Scottish food and drink on offer.

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Scottish salmon was a big hit

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For those with a sweet tooth

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Whisky tastings for those who fancied a tipple

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Or feel like some Scottish gin instead?

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And last but not least — don’t forget me!

Be transported to London, England … in 2004 … but in Toronto … with Shaun Of The Dead

Shaun Of The Dead

Don’t forget to bring your cricket bat

Remember that excellent classic Shaun Of The Dead? Had the ginge from the Star Trek reboot and Mission Impossible in it. Bloody good it was too!

Well, British comedy zombie fans … now you can relive that fun time of having your face bitten off — in Toronto!

Be transported to London, England, to experience the 2004 zombie epidemic documented in the film Shaun Of The Dead: The Movie Experience. Join the actors from October 25-28, when The Monarch Tavern will transform into The Winchester Pub.

From lights to sounds to scripts to props, all guests will participate in a re-creation of cinematic delights while professional actors will bring scenes from the iconic film to life.

Dress Code: 2004 British pub wear and/or zombie attire.

So, if this sounds like DEAD fun to you, or something you’d like to GET YOUR TEETH INTO or — ha ha, stop there! — then click here for all the details and buy tickets.