1. Tell us about your new site Appetype.ca Appetype.ca is a labour of love between myself and my husband/fellow writer, Mario Stojanac. It’s an online, culinary magazine with a new issue appearing monthly and local updates happening more often/in between issues. We deliver some delicious content regarding our personal experiences here and afar. Our first issue looks at our experiences in Panama and Mexico- with a profile on Oaxacan Mezcal, touring the old city of Panama with our then 1 year old, exploring Panama’s Boquete region and discovering “Gesha” coffee and offering a distilled observation about a place, Oaxaca City in this case, in our “Periscope” section. The POV is distinctly our own and encompasses some of the places we love, the food we’ve enjoyed and the people we’ve met along the way who have made an impact on us and where they live.
2. What has been your most memorable adventure lately? Our next issue is all about the Southwest where we were lucky enough to explore Phoenix, Mesa, Florence, Gilbert and surrounding areas right before Halloween. The permanent fixtures of endless sunshine, dry heat (does a body good!), stately looking Saguaro cacti and smiling faces made this a special trip for all three of us (our 3 year old came with us, of course). We’ll be sharing some of our finds from the experience including the work of an agri-community in Gilbert called “Agritopia,” Arizona grown and pressed olive oil, local wine from Windmill Winery owned by one of the nicest men we’ve met in a long time, and about the sun-kissed, local food we were lucky enough to savour. Let me just state for the record that I wish we had a Barrio Café and a True Food Kitchen (list not inclusive) in Toronto!
3. Where are you planning to go on your next adventure? I’m heading off to Castilla y Leon at the end of this month on a Spanish cheese fact finding mission. Alas, my trusty travel companions won’t be able to come on this one with me, but Appetype.ca readers can join me post-experience.
4. What is Toronto’s best kept culinary secret? We’ve got great restaurants, shops and neighbourhoods in this city, without a doubt. But I think it’s our hobby cooks (some who are turning this hobby into full time second careers) who are finding a passion for a region’s cuisine and sharing it with a larger audience that’s exciting. From Peter Minaki’s regional Greek dinners (now held at least once a month) to Massimo Bruno’s taste of Italy studio dinners to Paula Costa’s love of her Portuguese heritage’s food- these dinners are a special way to taste the flavours of the world, without having to buy a plane ticket. And there’s usually a lot of research put into both the menu, ingredients and technique in making the dishes offered- stuff you likely can’t find at a restaurant concerned with table turnover, profit margins and the tricky business of operating a healthy business. I’m also a big fan of The Depanneur’s rotating line up of guest cooks/chefs- where almost all of the above-mentioned have cooked and where the ladies of Santo Pecado are currently taking Torontonians on a torta (Mexican savoury sandwich) tour of their home land.
5. What city / place would you recommend to others to visit for an incredible culinary experience? That’s a tough one. Cities by the sea have a place in my heart because I love fresh seafood (and the water)- so I’d have to say Barcelona rates highly for me, as does Colombia’s Caribbean jewel Cartagena (don’t miss the fried mojarra with patacones and the arepa de huevo!). On the must-eat bucket list of locations: going back to Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, summer island hopping in Croatia, the south of Spain (again) and Istanbul. Definitely Istanbul!