Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Win Taste of Toronto Tickets – MoVernie + Ice Volcano Icecream Contest

To my followers, friends and peeps!

Do you like food?
Do you love to eat?
Have you heard of Taste of Toronto? (this week from July 24 to July 27 at Fort York)

Now, for a final question! Do you want a chance to WIN a pair of tickets to Taste of Toronto?

As you know, I am always looking out for you. Whenever there are great opportunities, I will collaborate with the great sponsors & provide you with goodies. This time, I am collaborating a MoVernie Contest with the Ice Volcano Icecream. In case you haven’t heard, Ice Volcano Icecream is the coolest, coldest and fastest way of making ice cream with -196°C liquid nitrogen, catering for Wedding/Corporate events/Birthday events, etc.

This is how you can win!

You just need to do 2 things:

1) “LIKE” MoVernie Facebook Group page by clicking here, in the MoVernie/Ice Volcano Icecream photo, like the photo and tell us what you look forward to do at Taste of Toronto if you are the winner.


2) “LIKE” Ice Volcano Icecream Facebook Group page by clicking here, in the Ice Volcano Icecream/Taste of Toronto photo, like the photo and tell them your favourite ice cream flavour.

It’s that simple! You have to do just BOTH steps & you are eligible to win!

NOTE: A winner will be announced tomorrow (July 23) at 5pm tomorrow (EST)!

Good luck! Follow me @MoVernie on Twitter & @RealMoVernie on Instagram for more upcoming goodies, contests, giveaways and cool events!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Food Tasting - Exclusive Meet & Greet with Celebrity Chef Mark McEwan

Two weeks ago, I was invited among with 29 other exclusive attendees to attend this special meet and greet event with Canadian Celebrity Chef, Mark McEwan. Mark not only a great and well-known chef but also an excellent entrepreneur who opens a number of great restaurants such as North 44, Bymark, just to name a few. On top of that, Mark also opens his own grocery store called McEwan Foods.

On this evening, the lucky 30 attendees arrived at McEwan Food grocery stores. We saw a number of food stations being setup. From fresh oysters seafood station to beer and wine station and other interesting dessert and bakery.

I got a chance to chat with Mark in a number of occasions during the entire event. I told him that one of my bucket list items was for me to dip my feet wet at the ocean shore, pick up the biggest oyster and shuck it on the spot and eat it. Mark told me the best spot would be during the fall season at Prince Edward Island (PEI) when it's oyster season and I can even try the blue fin tuna as well.

The entire evening was amazing, we got to try so many delicious food items that were signature items at various McEwan restaurants. I had a blast. It was also great to meet other food bloggers in person as we often chatted on various social media channels.

Below are the photos that I took during my meet and greet at Mark McEwan Food Tasting Event:

Le Bernardin - New York City (3 Michelin Stars)

My brother and I were invited by several number of fashion designers to attend their fashion shows during New York Fashion Week. For me, it's all about enjoying life, having a lifestyle that fits my life. I wanted to utilize my time during my stay in New York City and I decided to search for some nice restaurants that are highly rated by the Michelin Food Guide. My brother and I came across this restaurant called Le Bernardin, which is located in Manhatten, Midtown District, with the highest Michelin Rating of 3 stars! It's a french cuisine restaurant co-owned by Chef Eric Ripert.

Right after we attended our last NY Fashion Show, we took a cab to arrive at the lunch reservation that we made before our trip from Toronto to New York. Moment we walked into the entrance, we took off our winter coat and placed them at the coat check. Immediately, we were greeted by the host, then the server and many other staff. The decor of the place is modern, luxurious and elegant. It's definitely a very comfortable place to have a nice lunch meal.

In this issue of my MoVernie vs Food blog, we will explore all the amazing dishes of food that I got to taste via this journey of the photos that I took during my lunch tasting experience at the Michelin 3-Stars at Le Bernardin.

Me posing in front of Le Bernardin Entrance
My brother, Kenrick, posing in front of Le Bernardin Entrance
Beautiful met tag to get our winter coat at the coat check
Beautiful head piece at our table
Amazing decor and the top quality of plates and utensils

Welcome to Le Bernardin
Complimentary freshly baked bread and spread
Roasted bone marrow with sea urchins on top
Thinly Shaved Razor Clam; Lemon Confit, Piquillo Pepper, Baby Zucchini, Pesto Broth
Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna; Foie Gras and Toasted Baguette, Shaved Chives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh scallops with sea urchins
Pan Roasted Lobster 
Truffled Salsify, Red Wine “Sauce Américaine"

Crispy Black Bass; Wood Ears and Water Chestnuts Black Truffle Hot and Sour Pot au Feu
CHOCOLATE MILLE-FEUILLE: Caramelized Phyllo, Thyme Gelée, Salted Milk Chocolate Ice Cream 
OPERA: Chocolate Mousse, Praline Feuilletine, Brazilian Coffee Ice Cream
Beautiful hallway to the washroom

Monday, 12 May 2014

International Diversity Days - Tasting Foods From Different Countries

May 12, 2014 is declared to be International Diversity Day.

So..what is an International Diversity Day? International Diversity Day, officially known as “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development,” is a United Nations-sanctioned holiday for the promotion of diversity issues. It was developed to help communities understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony.

Today, my company provided all the staff with a beautiful lunch to celebrate International Diversity Day. It featured foods from around the world. It was to share a new experience with our colleagues while sampling new flavours and reinforcing the importance of supporting a diverse firm culture and society.

There were tons of food that were inspired by foods around the world.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Speak Easy 21 - A New Resto-Bar Hotspot in the Financial District

Every time I walked by the Scotia Plaza and saw the SpeakEasy 21 “Opening Soon” sign, I always wondered when it will open. Finally! This place is now open for business. Let me tell you, the financial district, especially in this Bay/Adelaide area really need a hotspot like Speak Easy 21 to provide the great food, a patio spot and a conveniently location for the Bay Street people. I still miss the large patio space from the South of Temperance, sadly, which now turns into a multi-floored business complex.

I got invited on Media Tasting Day to check out this new spot. Honestly, beforehand, I was very much curious about the utilization of the space because from the outside looking in, it doesn’t look like it can hold up anyone. But in reality, they got to give props to the designing team because they utilize this space with perfection. This place is in good size, it has a nice long bar area, a number of dining tables with high stool chairs. The place is spacious. The designing team also blends a modern element of 1920s speakeasies using lacquered woods, brushed aluminium, plush leather and raw steel in the restaurant.

There were two ways to enter this restaurant. The main entrance is facing north side of the Scotia Plaza building (when you are walking outside in the summer) or the indoor entrance inside the Scotia Plaza (great for the winter season when you want to use the Toronto Path). The friendly, smiling staff greeted me and guided me to the media tasting area. It’s always nice to see some of my old media friends again or meeting new people.

Speak Easy 21 offers great food, cocktail selections, live music that will cater to many people. I think having live music will be a KEY component as many busy people wants a place to relax after a long day of work.

The SpeakEasy 21 cocktail includes fresh juices cold –pressed in house, generous pours of quality spirits and a selection of classic and unique recipes. I highly recommend the “Billionaire” and “Adelaide”, they were really generous pour and really great taste.

Some of the features that are cleverly and thoughtfully considered by the designing team are the phone station where you can check your phone at the door, where it will be charged in an individual cubby while you can enjoy libations and conversations. And if you want to make a call and close out a business deal while sipping a cocktail? You can slip into the 1920s hotel-style phone booths that are audio proof, which is nice and quiet for you to talk.

Having live music at this place really builds up the positive vibe and just helps loosen everyone up. Speak Easy 21 features live music on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a DJ on Saturday evenings. And best thing yet, there is NO cover charge. I really like how they roll!

For more information, click here.

21 Adelaide Street West
Toronto, ON
M5H 1N1

(416) 601 - 0210

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Check out the photos that I took at Speak Easy 21 Media Tasting Day below.

One of many freshly made cocktails at Speak Easy 21
Live music on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and a DJ on Saturday night.

Lively but spacious space for people to chill and have a relaxing time!

Audio proof 1920s hotel-style phone booths

Generous pours of quality spirits and a selection of classic and unique recipes.

Whitefish tacos

Freshly made sandwiches

Nice view out the window of Bay/Adelaide, can't wait to check out its 3500 square feet of patio space in summer!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

College Street Bar

Last Thursday, I got an exclusive media invite to check out this College Street Bar, located at 574 College Street, which is in the heart of the Little Italy and full of live vibrant music along the streets. I was invited because College Street Bar was the night to be, an evening that featured comfort foods, that was created by Executive Chef, Joe Friday and Dan Gunam. As well, signature and long lists of hand-crafted cocktails that were created by two of Canada's top mixology experts, Gavin MacMillan and Micahel Birdsey.

So, this College Street Bar has been in the area and in the business for 23 years, they simply want to spice up the food items and invite the media to the launch of its newest menu creation.

The moment I arrive, I was greeted by lovely and ever smiley hostess. I could see candle lights dimmed the room. The place was vibrant and you could hear live music at the back of the room. Along the mid-section of the room, you could see the mixologists interacted with the patrons, starting great conversations, all while preparing the signature cocktails.

I got to taste some of its signature cocktails. In particular, I highly recommended the "The College Street Car" and "Friends with Benefits". Yuppp!!!! Just by hearing these cocktail names, it sure fire you up! The mixologist took some time to prepare each drink but let me tell you, but the precision of the amount of each ingredient being mixed into the drink was worth the wait. Watching the fire flames on the final touches of the College Street Car was a just a treat to watch!

If you want to know the ingredients and other signature College Street Bar has to offer, click this link here.

I thank Evolution PR and their lovely ladies for the invitation. They are always hard working and pleasant to coordinate things, making my media coverage so much easier and allowing me to enjoy a wonderful night as well.

If you want to know visit the College Street Bar, click here.

College Street Bar
574 College Street
Toronto, Ontario M6G 1B3

"College Street Bar" Cocktail

"Friends with Benefits" cocktail

Mixologist working hard to prepare the College Street Bar's signature cocktails