food writing

As I revisited my stories from my travelblogue on Food and Wine Writing in Languedoc-Roussillon 2006 to compile them into book form, I realized that it ended abruptly with no explanation of where the Kindness of Strangers post came from

I first encountered a Poke Bowl on a trip to Hawaii several years ago. Poke means "slice" in Hawaiian. The essence of a poke bowl is slices of raw fish served over rice with a selection of vegetables and sauces. For those like me who don't eat rice, a bed of salad greens or kelp is an excellent substitute. 

Before beginning our exploration of the new modern wing galleries of the Institute, we visited the new restaurant, Terzo Piano, a 160 seat restaurant with indoor dining and al fresco dining on a terrace that overlooks Millennium Park. The restaurant which opened in May 2009 when the Institute opened its Modern Wing, was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, for whom the restaurant is named.

The restaurant has a spectacular location, high above the city with a great view. We were seated at a comfortable sized table. I took the banquette seat looking outwards. My companion faced into the restaurant where she could watch the tables rapidly filling up. They have a large open kitchen area where one can observe the action. Doug, our server, was knowledgeable and attentive without being intrusive. He had worked in Vancouver and we shared perspectives on the incredibly abundant restaurant scene in the city.

On my last visit to Toronto during another cold, snowy spell, we visited Omi Restaurant in its old location on Church Street and had our first introduction to their Omakase meal. Omakase essentially is a chef's selection of dishes based on high quality fresh ingredients available on that particular day. On that first visit we were so impressed that we actually went back a couple of days later to try it again. Then it closed.

Today we visited the Chateau Abbey at Camon where Peter and Katie Lawton have created a welcoming environment and exquisitely decorated bedrooms in a restored 16th century Benedictine Abbey. Parts of the building date back to the 9th century. From a terrace there is a panoramic view of the green fields and trees of the surrounding valley.