Nella Cucina grants the fabled power of food preparation to neophyte cooks through a variety of classes. Each month brings new classes and new cuisine styles, ensuring that you’ll find at least one tasty tutorial in which to immerse yourself. The month of May, for example, kicks off with a Malaysian-cuisine class ($95) in which instructors from Arvinda’s Artfully Created Indian Spice Blends will teach the spice-tinged ins and outs of the Indian-Thai hybrid cuisine through such dishes as fragrant lemongrass-coconut soup, Malaysian chicken curry, and vanilla-coconut-chai ice cream. Break open a piñata of possibility with May 11’s class in Mexican cuisine ($125), taught by chef Jose Hadad of Frida Restaurant & Bar, or scale summits of pasta and prosciutto at May 19’s class in authentic Italian cooking ($125), courtesy of chef Gabriele Paganelli of Romagna Mia. The snowy winds of summer bring classes in Latin-American cuisine ($125) on June 16, classic soup and stew stocks ($95) on June 19, and authentic Chinese cooking ($95) on July 7. Peruse Nella Cucina’s list, with classes detailed into the autumn months, to find the cooking course that best speaks to the ladle of your heart. (The letters next to the prices are a key to the types of classes: I for individual, G for group/team, D for demonstration.)
Inspired by the boutique markets of New York and France, Fresh & Wild's King and Spadina and Bloor West locations buzz with activity as customers browse produce, meat, and artisan goods sourced both locally and from across the globe. Within the King and Spadina store, a high-powered media system plays rock and blues as shoppers lasso tapenades and fresh tomatoes into carts. A modern café echoes Italy as it brews fair-trade coffees, leans slightly askew, and dishes out flaky pastries from local bakeries. The Bloor West location celebrates the bounty of nature by displaying vibrant green plants within indoor and outdoor cases.
Each morning at 4 a.m., the grocery's buyer arrives at a food terminal to acquire fresh items and potatoes, which he then uses to fuel his car back home. Additionally, Fresh & Wild employs a catering team that stack gourmet sandwiches and shake up organic salads until they plead for mercy.
Whether crowned with berries or decorated like castles, wedding cakes from Leslieville Cheese Market look just like traditional nuptial desserts. There's just one difference: every cake is made from wheels of cheese. But despite being the most extravagant dish Leslieville's team makes from its stock of local and global cheeses, cakes are upstaged by the eatery's most popular dish.
That would be the grilled-cheese sandwich, named one of the best in Toronto by BlogTO. Each sports gourmet fixings – from aged white cheddar to artichoke hearts – between slices of house-made rye grilled for exactly six minutes on panini presses. More sandwiches adorn Leslieville's catered platters, as do smoked salmon, cured meats, and plenty of cheeses, including vegetarian-friendly rennet-free brands. To further spread their cheese appreciation, Leslieville's proprietors host private tastings and classes focused on skills such as pairing cheese with beer or anything .
Named one of the best cheese shops in the city by blogTO, Cheese Emporium curates cheeses from at least a dozen different countries, celebrating the unique cheese-making character and tradition found in each locale. French and Italian cheeses dominate the dairy cases in the shop, whose selection Toronto Life describes as “defiantly European.” Pungent and creamy Delice de Bourgogne fills a cheese plate alongside one of three Roqueforts, and Italian offerings such as Sardinian goat cheese and buffalo mozzarella mingle with swiss gruyere. More local cheeses stroll over from other provinces and the USA, including a 12-year Quebec white cheddar and a smoky Oregon blue. Toronto Life also describes an “extensive olive bar” from which customers can harvest a wide variety of googly eyes for the sandwiches at their next business lunch.