Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Secrets & Lies: Pop Up Dinner Series

Over the last two months I've had the pleasure of working with a very talented team that host a series of pop-up dinners held in spontaneous locations across Toronto. The team is backed by Danny Gunam (Owner of the restaurant Ganzi), the chefs - Joe Friday and Devan Rajkumar, and the cooks - myself and Lucas Jones (part owner of Southern Smoke Truck).

The location is announced to rsvp'd guests the day of each dinner - the first at Cabal, the second at College Street Bar. There's always an element of surprise for us too - we had a health inspector show up for one and a shortage of plates during another! It's difficult to capture everything on camera with the commotion, but here's a small glimpse behind the scenes of Secrets & Lies.

A shot of rum to get the team started! From left to right: Devan, Blaine, Nicole, Lucas and Joe
Ramen noodles dyed with squid ink.

Joe plating the cold dish

Lighting the japanese wood, lit table-side with the pork belly.

Gin infused squash soup.
Shrimp served in shots of raita.
Lobster bisque ramen with poached lobster, calamari and bonito flakes.
The kitchen was a tight space, this is where the finished dishes went out.
Beef tongue steam buns with pickled coleslaw
Seared pork belly with crispy pork rind, and a side of Hawaiian poi.


Lucas slicing the beef tongue.
Charred scallions for garnish
 Brussels caught in action.
Scallops doused in frothy butter.
Dinner samples!
Blowing up Twitter.
Devan giving the servers a briefing

Pork shoulder arancini balls.
Jerk turkey steam bun with cranberry compote and a soy glaze.
Purple brussels with pickled onion, candied pecans and apple.
Getting psyched and waiting for orders to come in!
Some gin for a little fun.
This is the point when we ran out of plates. The chits wouldn't stop coming!
Lucas with a steam bun spewing turkey.
Dessert! Charred chocolate brownie with matcha ricotta icing, strawberry sauce and sesame syrup.

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