Secret Recipes From Top Chefs in Toronto

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Three ways for foodies to celebrate September and beyond in Toronto, straight from the city’s top chefs.

Brunch. But not just any brunch, mind you. Thai brunch. Yes, we said Thai. Linda Modern Thai, the same group that has been cooking it up at Salad King for decades, have spent the summer serving up weekend brunch. The weather may be turning, but that’s no reason to turn down the heat. Staples such as Eggs Benedict and Steak and Eggs get the Linda treatment, with smoked duck and panang curry adding a bit of bite to the Benedict, while a partnership with Toronto’s famed Barberian’s Steak House adds a meatiness – with a 5oz wet-aged New York Strip – to organic chicken eggs, any style you like, of course.

But it’s the Thai Banana Egg Pancake that’s really a multi-culti melange of street-food meets high street tastes. A delicate crepe wrapped around bananas and coconut has a Paris-meets-Bangkok flavour. Lucky for us, the chefs at Linda Modern Thai have also shared the recipe. Sawadee!

Linda Modern Thai, 11 Karl Fraser Road, North York; (416) 642-3866;

Thai Banana Crêpe

Crêpe batter (enough for five crêpes)
3 whole eggs
150g coconut milk
100g all-purpose flour
80g rice flour
20g potato starch
pinch of salt

Crêpe filling (per crêpe)
1/3 of a banana, cut into slices
1/2 tbsp coconut flakes
1/2 tbsp chopped peanuts
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 whole egg, beaten
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1 tbsp condensed milk

1) Mix crêpe batter ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

2) Under medium heat, brush butter onto a large frying pan. Pour batter onto pan and spread it even and thin.

3) Spread egg evenly onto crêpe and cook for 30 seconds.

4) Add banana, coconut flakes, chopped peanuts, and sugar to the centre of roti. Fold corners of crêpe over to form a square.

5) Keep cooking until bottom of crêpe becomes a nice golden brown. Flip crêpe over and cook again until the other side is also golden brown.

6) Transfer onto a plate and drizzle condensed milk over top.

Cocktails & Canapes. The perennial hot spot that is Nota Bene on Queen West is launching a new Ceviche Bar, just for this month. Fresh fish is at it’s peak right now, and Chef Lee is taking advantage of the season: Ceviche Classico – Hamachi ceviche, lime, chilies, coconut and coriander; Ceviche Yucateco – Cuban shrimp and calamari ceviche, Thai basil and peach; and Ceviche Ostras Al Aguachile – oyster ceviche, Serrano chilies and tomatillo made with freshly shucked oysters.

Can’t decide? Try all three, as the kitchen will be offering the ceviche as a flight of three, or share your favourite with the tapas sized plate or order it a la carte as an appetizer.

Then, make a toast with the Ruby Dee Cocktail. Nota Bene mixologist Nick Baldassarre was inspired by American actress Ruby Dee, and is launching this fresh and fruity drink, made with Tequila Tromba, Cassis, grapefruit and lime.

Ruby Dee Cocktail

1 oz Tromba Blanco
0.5 oz Cassis
1 oz Grapefruit
0.5 oz Lime
One dash Angostura Orange Bitters

1) Shaken, served up in a coupe.

2) Grapefruit zest oils expressed over top then discard.

Have a steak. But not just any steak, mind you. Have a Hy’s steak. Did you know that the restaurant was founded in Calgary by Hy and Barbara Aisenstat in 1955? In October 2015, Hy’s will be celebrating its 60th Anniversary. Of course, it’s still an all in the family affair. Following in the footsteps of his parents, the couples’ son, Neil Aisenstat has maintained Hy’s legendary tradition of serving perfectly grilled Canadian Prime steaks and cold martinis in a relaxed, refined atmosphere. And you don’t need to be in Toronto’s Financial District to tuck into the restaurants renowned fare. Hy’s has 6 locations across Canada: Whistler, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa. From Toronto, Hy’s Bar Manager Raimey Bristowe feels that his Oaxacan Sunset would be perfect for a fall celebratory drink. Cheers!

Oaxacan Sunset

3/4 oz Leyenda Tlacuache Mezcal
3/4 oz Amaro Nonino
3/4 oz Aperol

1) Combine ingredients in a mixing glass, stir and serve over a Big Rock in a rocks glass.

2)Garnish with orange zest.