1. Stella’s Cafe & Bakery
2. Tallest Poppy
3. Deer + Almond
You are hungry. You want delicious, homestyle, from-scratch cooking – possibly with a creative multicultural spin – and you’ll do anything to get it.
Go back to 1999. Preheat your oven.
Take out your bowls and sifters and spread them out over seven restaurant locations, plus a bakery and a catering commissary.
When choosing ingredients, remember that they should always be fresh and of the best quality, sourcing locally when possible and keeping in mind issues of organic and sustainable food practices.
So soak your dried chickpeas, because buying canned chickpeas requires shipping water across the country, and that’s an extra strain on the environment.
Make this a team effort, by collaborating with others who are a part of the process. When you make changes, ask everyone involved to give feedback.
When you start creating some interest and loyalty, just keep doing your thing, consistently understated. Let your product speak for itself. After all, it is way tastier than a marketing campaign.
Now take a break and have a cocktail or two. Cooking is hard work, but it’s going to be worth it.
Turn on the oven light and have a peek. It’s looking good. It was totally worth it.
Now think about the dining room decor. What aesthetic are you going for? Dark colours and wood paneling? Or sleek and urban, with dashes of brightness? Go for both, or either, depending on your mood and the neighbourhood.
Remember, ambience affects flavour too.
When the oven timer beeps, turn it off.
Congratulations! You made a tourtiere with grass-fed beef and ground pork in a flaky, buttery crust with a maple cream sauce! And just in time for Christmas!
Or, you know, you could just go to Stella’s. Because they’ve already made this recipe for you.
Published in Volume 71, Number 13 of The Uniter (December 1, 2016)