Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This just in: Trains, avocados and a TIFF of the toque to Vegas

Today, in the spirit of Mexican Independence Day and Canadian multiculturalism [and marketing savvy], 20,000 Mexican avocados will be handed out at Union Station starting at 6 a.m. while a live Mariachi band plays, festive Mexican dancers perform, chef Juan Salinas creates avocado recipes and the Mexican flag is raised, transforming a regular workday commute into a rush hour fiesta.

But it’s not all about guacamole and strolling musicians. Rated as the world’s most nutritious fruit in the Guinness Book of World Records (la-dee-da), avocados contain almost 20 essential nutrients such as folic acid, protein, iron, vitamin E, vitamin K and a variety of B vitamins. The also contain about 9 grams of fibre per avocado – more than any other fruit. They’re cholesterol free, a good source of lutein, which helps maintain healthy eyesight, they’re a source of potassium and are low in sodium.

Who knew taking the train could be so healthy?

In other news, it seems like Vegas chefs are taking over T.O. during TIFF. Chef Carlos Buscaglia from Las Vegas' Fiamma at the MGM Grand made the rounds as he "popped up" a restaurant with Chef Rob Gentile (ONE, Bymark) in his soon to open Buca, nestled along King Street West’s restaurant row. Penelope Cruz enjoyed Chef Buscaglia's signature gnocchi with lobster and white truffles. Two days later the chef was at it again, this time transforming Brassaii into Fiamma for the likes of George Clooney, Jason Reitman, Jason Bateman and Bill Murray, where they dined on braised Piedmontese style short ribs and truffled potatoes, heirloom tomato salad and a wild Ontario blackberry Neapolitan.

Meanwhile, John Schenk, Executive Chef at Strip House Las Vegas was in the kitchen at Jacobs and Co. for an evening, working his meaty magic on Ed Norton, Kerri Russell, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman.

Not to be outdone, I was recently spotted at a TIFF party, chewing a piece of gum while standing near Naomi Watts, Jimmy Smits and Anthony LaPaglia, and a couple of days later, almost tripped into Colin Firth’s chest while he left a Yorkville sushi spot. So, I’m basically like a Vegas chef.

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