You might think that one of Canada’s top chefs would have a big team on hand to orchestrate his elaborate Christmas feast. But in the case of Mark McEwan, it’s not so. “I’m always on tap to do the cooking, but that means I don’t have to clean up,” he says.
McEwan has plenty to celebrate this year, with successful restaurant openings under his belt (Fabbrica in Thornbury, Ont., and its quick-serve sister in Toronto’s Financial District), a third gourmet grocery store coming soon, on Toronto’s Bloor Street, and having just wrapped filming on season seven of Top Chef Canada, where he is a judge. He’ll spend Christmas at his family cottage, where he typically roasts a goose with juniper sauce and all the trimmings after spending the day outdoors.
Here, he shares a few of his favourite gifts and entertaining essentials.
1. Lavazza Coffee
“It’s a busy time of year and I will start my day with a few cups. I use Lavazza Super Crema at home.”
Lavazza Super Crema espresso whole-bean coffee, $31.24 for 2.2 pounds through amazon.ca.
2. Robyn’s Cookies
“I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but Robyn’s Cookies are perfect for the holidays. They are locally made, have really unique flavours and also make gluten-free and vegan options.”
Assorted holiday cookies, gift boxes from $30 through robynscookies.com.
3. Northern Divine Caviar
“A beautiful gift and very special to serve during the holidays. Northern Divine are sustainable (recognized by OceanWise) and are a wonderful Canadian company out of B.C.”
Northern Divine caviar, $375/100 grams at McEwan Gourmet Grocery.
4. Refuel Juice
“The holidays mean overindulging and lots of parties. I drink Refuel Juice in the morning to try to help keep a balance.”
“Beet It” Refuel Juice, $9.50 at McEwan Gourmet Grocery.
5. Chapon Chocolate
“Chapon is a quality chocolatier with beautifully packaged treats. They make wonderful host gifts!”
Chapon pure origin Chuao chocolate bar 75%, €8.80, tablette noir Bolivie 74%, €7.20, through chocolat-chapon.com.
6. Kozlik’s Mustard
“I cook a lot over the holidays and one of my go-to meals is a big roast dinner. There are always leftovers and I love using horseradish or mustard in a roast beef sandwich the next day.”
Kozlik’s Dijon Classique, $6 through kozliks.com.
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