Eight Culinary Tastemakers Reveal Their Favourite Holiday Dishes
Here at BPR, we are already hungry for the holidays and look forward to enjoying delicious food with family and friends! Whether it’s carving the holiday bird or indulging in a seasonal sweet, everyone has one dish they only enjoy during the most wonderful time of the year. To inspire your festive feasting, we’ve asked some of our favourite culinary experts what they will be cooking up this holiday season.
Aburi Restaurants, originators of Aburi Sushi (flame-seared sushi) in Canada, expanded their roots and opened Miku Toronto, their first East Coast location in 2015. Combining traditional Japanese flavours and techniques with local elements, Head Sushi Chef Kazuki Uchigoshi and his talented team create truly unique dining experiences.
Chef Kazuki Uchigoshi, Head Sushi Chef
Favourite Holiday Dish: Toshikoshi Soba
“It is Japanese tradition to usher in the New Year with a simple, delicious bowl of buckwheat soba noodles. As the end of the year approaches, I enjoy eating Toshikoshi Soba. These noodles are very long and thin, representing long life and prosperity. They are also easy to cut or break, symbolic of breaking free from any hardship from the past. It’s a tradition full of symbolism.”
With more than four million visitors annually, The Forks is Winnipeg’s number one tourist destination. Visitors can enjoy unique attractions that located throughout the site’s natural and historic features and exceptional culinary offerings. Nuburger is one of the many dining destinations serving local proteins and fresh ingredients.
Kyle Matheson, Co-founder of Nuburger
Favourite Holiday Dish: Manitoba-Made Pierogies
“My favourite holiday food is pierogies, pinched by a Baba, of course. Pierogies are such a Manitoba holiday staple, Nuburger paid homage to them during this year’s Le Burger Week competition. Our Obi-Wan Pierogi was a fan favourite in The Market.”
My Roti Place, Toronto’s first fully customizable roti restaurant, has garnered a strong following since its first opening in May of this year. Roti lovers throughout the city rejoiced after tasting Chef KK’s flavourful dishes featuring a classic spice palette of traditional Indian curries and sauces.
Chef KK, Head Chef and Owner
Favourite Holiday Dish: Vegetable Lentil Stew
“I love to enjoy Vegetable Lentil stew (Sambar) with steamed rice and papad. The simple reason is that it’s healthy, tasty and homemade. My mom makes it the best.”
Hailing from Lyon, France, fourth-generation pastry Chef Nadège Nourian opened her first Toronto patisserie in 2009. NADÈGE Patisserie has locations across the city and has just launched their 2018 holiday collection – the perfect sweet treat to spread holiday cheer.
Chef Nadège, Head Pastry Chef and Owner
Favourite Holiday Dish: Oysters
“It is tradition, in France, to eat oysters for Christmas. Canadian oysters from the East coast are my favourite, they are sweet and meaty. I like to eat them with the traditional mignonette made of red wine vinegar and shallots.”
Labora is a full service Spanish restaurant and bar located in Toronto’s King West neighbourhood. Opened in 2017 by Chef Rob Bragagnolo, Labora offers simple and rustic regional Spanish cuisine inspired by Chef’s time in Mallorca, Spain.
Chef Rob Bragagnolo, Head Chef and Owner
Favourite Holiday Dish: Red Wine and Dark Chocolate Braised Oxtail with Patatas Riojanas
“My favourite holiday dish is Red Wine and Dark Chocolate Braised Oxtail with Patatas Riojanas [Rioja style potatoes]. Rioja style potatoes are a traditional Spanish dish made with chorizo, bell peppers and served hot. It is often enjoyed in the winter months because it’s nutritious and suitable for the colder weather.”
Beretta Farms is dedicated to raising animals organically without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. Co-founders Mike and Cynthia Beretta, have been committed to Sharing What Matters and providing Canadian families with healthy alternatives.
Cynthia Beretta, Co-owner of Beretta Farms
Favourite Holiday Dish: Porchetta
“Family is always an important part of every holiday event that I host. Mike and I have family and friends visiting throughout Christmas Day, and it’s important to have plenty of delicious holiday offerings ready at a moment’s notice. Porchetta is the perfect choice. I roast it in the morning, slice it and everyone can fill their plates all day long.”
As a former MasterChef Junior semi-finalist impressing the likes of Gordon Ramsay, 16-year-old Zac Kara is a rising culinary star. Constantly honing his craft, Zac recently ran a pop up restaurant in Toronto, serving a nine-course meal to some of the city’s top media and influencers. His impressive culinary skills and attention to detail make his favourite holiday dish an interesting choice.
Chef Zac Kara, Teen Chef
Favourite Holiday Dish: Side Dishes
“Everyone seems to overlook side dishes but I believe they are hidden gems on the table! I love an elegant side of potato terrine or glazed multi-coloured carrots, buttery green beans or roasted cauliflower. This year during the holidays, I’m focusing on how to make sides dishes the main talk of the table.”
Located in the heart of Toronto’s King West neighbourhood, Oretta serves authentic Italian cuisine with a modern twist. Boasting a stunning Art Deco space, Oretta is open for lunch, dinner, aperitivo and even weekend brunch. Hailing from Sicily, Chef Gabriele Di Marco recently came onboard as Oretta’s new head chef bringing passion and a lively Sicilian flavour to every dish.
Chef Gabriele Di Marco, Head Chef at Oretta
Favourite Holiday Dish: Lasagna and Roasted Chestnuts
“My favourite foods to eat during the holidays are lasagna and roasted chestnuts. Lasagna brings back all the good memories of being home in Sicily celebrating the holidays with my family and roasted chestnuts are the snack I used to eat between meals as a kid.”