Twenty-five years ago one of Toronto’s most popular retail gourmet food shops opened its doors, aiming to attract customers who appreciate delicious products handmade in small batches from the finest ingredients.
All The Best Fine Foods was founded by Jane Rodmell. As its president, she and her staff are dedicated to bringing the ingredients for fine cuisine to a multicultural city.
Asked about her thoughts on the current “eat local” craze, she says she has signed on but “it seems we were doing this 25 years ago so what is all the fuss about?”
Now a new generation of foodies is taking advantage of the shop and “a lot of them have young children so we are making things that we know they are going to eat.”
Riding high on the store’s success, Rodmell has compiled All The Best:300 Delicious and Extraordinary Recipes (Robert Rose, $27.95 paperback).
To appease those who like more substance to their cookbooks, Rodmell asked her journalist friend David Cobb to contribute a collection of food essays.
Here is a recipe to respond to those wondering how to eat local in the winter.
Northern winters can be long and chilly and the variety of fresh vegetables shrinks considerably. That’s when you have to get creative with carrots and cabbage and such. Here from All The Best is a tasty creamy slaw that is popular all year long.
head red cabbage
head green cabbage
1 red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
175 ml ( cup) mayonnaise
15 ml (1 tbsp) Dijon mustard
15 ml (1 tbsp) natural rice vinegar
10 ml (2 tsp) freshly squeezed lime juice
10 ml (2 tsp) brown sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) minced garlic
5 ml (1 tsp) toasted cumin seeds
Kosher or sea salt
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped cilantro
Cut out and discard hard core of red and green cabbages. Cut cabbages into fine slivers or shred in a food processor with a slicing blade or using a mandolin. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
Slice carrot and bell and jalapeno peppers into juliennes. Add to cabbage. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic and cumin. Add dressing to vegetables and mix thoroughly. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro.
Makes 6 servings.