Life / Food

Toronto Cooks: Book features city's best recipes, from Mercatto to Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Follow along as Andrew takes an intriguing person out for a night on the town, visiting some of Toronto’s newest hot spots and offering tips on how you can create your own date night. 

I was looking forward to going on a date with Amy Rosen, author of Toronto Cooks, to chat with the award-winning food and travel writer about her thoughts on the city’s recent restaurant renaissance.

We met in the heart of the financial district at Vertical, a restaurant featured in her new cookbook. The dining room was packed with Bay Street’s suit-set over the lunch hour, and the space was filled with business banter as patrons made their way through Chef Giacomo Pasquini’s Italian-inspired culinary creations.

Rosen grew up in Toronto’s Willowdale neighbourhood and attributes her love of food to mom.

“It was the Julia Child era and my parents ran a regular gourmet group, which has now been running for 40 years,” she says. “We’d make spun-sugar desserts and snack on escargot. I was never afraid to eat anything, as the exotic was always brought into our home.

“For years, Toronto offered middle-of-the-road British hangover food — meat and potatoes. In the past decade, there has been a percolation happening. Torontonians and the city’s chefs travelled more, the economy boomed. The world discovered our city.”

Toronto Cooks, Rosen’s highly anticipated third cookbook, features the city’s top chefs, who share favourite recipes from their restaurants.

So how did Rosen go about creating this list?

“I wanted to feature places that I enjoy. From the east, west, north and south. Old favourites to new hot shots. My only criteria was that each chef’s recipe be easy to replicate at home,” she says.

Toronto Cooks features a beautiful collection of playful chef portraits, and recipes that represent the heart and soul of their kitchens.

Rosen is proud to highlight the fact that the book features a colourful, multicultural lineup and a large number of female chefs.

Food fans can look forward to discovering secret recipes by restaurants ranging from Doug Neigel’s Mercatto to Rosanne Tripathy’s Jelly Modern Doughnuts.

Rosen had just returned from a jaunt to New York City, so I asked her how Toronto’s culinary scene stacks up. “I ate at a lot of restaurants in New York,” she replied. “Right now, I can definitely proclaim that Toronto’s restaurants are better.”

A mighty honour bestowed upon our little city on the lake.

Meet Amy Rosen

Toronto foodies: Mark your calendars for Oct. 9. That’s when food and travel writer Amy Rosen will be on hand to sign copies of her newest book, Toronto Cooks. She will be at The Bay on Queen Street, 7th floor, from 6 to 8 p.m.


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