It’s been twenty incredible years at Canoe.
Earlier this year, Canoe hosted special Saturday openings featuring dishes from years past, dating back two decades. Canoe Twenty, the latest tasting menu at Canoe, commemorates the restaurant’s 20th anniversary with dishes celebrating the present day Canoe.
“You’ll taste ingredients that are in season, sourced from coast to coast from both small suppliers and larger producers. Over time, as the seasons spread across the country, we’ll change where we source some ingredients – which is pretty special when you think about it!” says Executive Chef John Horne.
Here are beautiful shots from my recent Canoe Twenty photo shoot – with insights from Chef John on each dish.
Mason Jar: “Coming from a farming family, preserving was the only way to keep your hard work from spoiling. This mason jar is a play on preserving ingredients at their peak so you can enjoy them throughout the winter and spring months.”
Lobster Carpaccio – pickled daikon, sesame shrimp cracker, lobster vinaigrette + screech Marie Rose sauce: “One of our long time suppliers, “Lobster George” of Yarmouth Lobsters was recently hospitalized. We wanted to continue to use his amazing Yarmouth lobsters to help support him while he recovers. Lobster is something that always has appeared on Canoe’s menu. We wanted to do something different and came up with lobster carpaccio.”
Forest Lasagna – wild James Bay rabbit, matsutake, heartnuts, caribou moss + evergreen Mornay: “This dish is very much about what’s in season in our forests that can be harvested. We also wanted it to remind you of a walk in the woods on a crisp fall day, and bring up some smells, textures and tastes you might experience in that setting.”
Fogo Island – jigged cod, Tanner crab boudin, ocean salt potatoes + pickled seaweed: “This was inspired from a recent trip to the East coast for a collaborative dinner with chefs from the U.S. and Canada. We were shown so much of Newfoundland – their sights, smells, and ingredients. Upon returning to Toronto, we were approached by a group of fishermen from Fogo Island to buy their crab, cod and other seafood delights. Buying direct ensures the fishermen receive 100 percent of the profits.”
Cerf de Boileau Venison – Swiss chard, Jerusalem artichoke soubric, dehydrated grapes + ice wine jus: “Venison is traditionally harvested at this time of year, so you can stock your freezer for the winter months. We sourced this amazing venison from a Quebec farm. Something that is often overlooked are the amazing grapes we have in Ontario at this time of year, so we wanted to highlight them with venison.”
100km Squash – cattail crêpe, white chocolate ice cream, Prairie seeds + grains: “We wanted to do a spinoff of the classic pumpkin pie. When we started to see the amazing squashes being harvested, we switched gears to highlight them while playing off of pumpkin pie.”