Behind the scenes: 24-27

Our final photoshoot recap. It was 9 exhausting weeks of incredible fun at McKaskell Haindl Design Build! We had the pleasure to spend some time with the best chefs in town and also learn a little bit more about the passion that drives them forward! Working in a kitchen is long and exhausting, but they all do it because there's true beauty in their craft. They provide meaningful experiences to everyone who eats their food and create long-lasting beautiful memories around the table! 

We are so lucky to have a blooming, thriving culinary scene in this city! Explore it!!  

Day 24: Wayne and Jocelyn DeGroot from ZenZa Pizzeria, Chandany Chen from Abruzzi Ristorante, Rob Howland and Shaune Macnamara from Clarke Road Secondary School

What a sweet sweet day!! We had dessert from 12-6pm today, filling the McKaskell Haindl Design Build studio with sugar and much love! 

Starting with a wonderful healthy vegan pizza dessert made by 'King-Talbot' power couple: Wayne & Jocelyn. A pizza like you've never tried before... all ingredients are natural, 100% fresh, locally grown, packed with nutrients and very VERY tasty. A one of a kind pizza that will fill you up with vibrant energy and positive vibes! 

From one power couple to another, we welcomed Pastry Chef Chandany and her partner in crime, Matt. They are a true restaurant love story, it is impossible not to smile when you have them around! ❤ Chan prepared 3 magical desserts that will bring you to many places with each bite. From a fresh 'beach vibe' sticky rice pudding to a comforting fall pumpkin pot de creme, passing through a decadent Habitual Chocolate parfait. Little advice: remember Chan's name.. cause her creativity and talent are so incredible that we know her name will be heard very very far! In the meantime you can taste her delightful creations at Abruzzi! 

Enough dessert? We don't think so... It was time for creme brûlée and maple pecan pie with whisky ice cream. Created by the exceptional Pastry Chef Rob. A great inspiration and role model for his culinary students. His knowledge, experience and sense humour make him the best at what he does! 

After 6 delicious desserts, it was time for some dinner. We wrapped up the day with another inspiring figure from Clarke Road Secondary School, Chef Shaune Macnamara with a very flavourful, rich and tasty Thai inspired dish. Home made noodles, locally grown beef, red curry paste made from scratch, plenty of spices, veggies and sprouts. A perfect recipe to warm your heart during the colder days.. and a perfect recipe to finish another wonderful day! 

Day 25: Meaghan Biddle from Locomotive Espresso, Jason Astels from Spruce of Wellington, Kris Simmons from Restaurant Ninety One and Barbara Czyz from Unique Food Attitudes

Busy fun day.. From science experiments to cooking experiments, with some leftover desserts from yesterday and a new bottle of wine! 

Starting with expert barista, coffee guru and brewing mastermind Meaghan and her friend Poe, not even a broken train in the middle of Richmond Road could stop them from coming to the studio today, to show us that science can be fun, specially when there's coffee involved! It's incredible to hear her speak about the brewing methods, bean varieties and coffee culture.

Right after, Chef Jason amazed us with his his talent, from a neat and tidy mise en place to a beautifully plated bison feast. It makes us extremely happy to hear that he found his ideal restaurant, a place where he can truly evolve, constantly experiment and find new challenges! Our new generation of chefs is coming very strong!! 

The talent line up continued with Kris, who got the privilege to have Angie Murphy as his Sous Chef for a day, what a lucky guy!! These two are an incredible team, it shows that they truly enjoy working together and supporting each other.. in a restaurant to call home, with a team to call family! <3

The next chef at the studio is a big inspiration to all chefs and women. Chef Barb moved all the way from Poland to Canada to start her dreamed restaurant, a place where she feels complete and happy, where she offers traditional polish food and most importantly she offers a cozy, family style, homemade experience. To honour her restaurant's name, we must say that her attitude is very unique.. always with a smile on her face and a positive look in her eyes! 

Day 26: Bryan Lavery Ethical Gourmet  and Matt Rice from The Black Trumpet

What a great day to wrap up the recipe photoshoots!

The first star to light up the McKaskell Haindl kitchen was Bryan Lavery, who continues to amaze us more and more every day! He's an incredible writer, mentor and friend.. and today we discovered another one of his many hidden talents, turns out he's an amazing chef too! His recipes were full of vibrant colours and deep flavours, celebrating Ontario's best ingredients to let everyone know how lucky we are for living in this bountiful land! 

We also had a very special visit this morning, our dear friend Annette Markvoort from Leap Junction at Fanshawe College who with her charming personality made everyone have even more fun! We love having you around <3

Right after, we welcomed Matt Rice and his 'sous chef for a day', Justice. 
Matt is such a great chef to work with; enthusiastic, full of positive vibes, passionate, patient, creative and fun to talk to. His recipe selection.. outstanding! Thinking outside the box and incorporating grains, spices and ingredients in a very creative way. They are the kind of recipes you will prepare over and over again until you memorize them! 
Spoiler alert: one of them includes a reduction of Forked River Brewing Company porter beer!

Day 26-Part II: Julianna Guy - Winner of the EatDrink Magazine Recipe Contest! 

The final shot from on our final photoshoot day was literally a WINNING shot! It was prepared by Chef Julianna, the winner of the EatDrink Magazine recipe contest! 

Thank you so much Chris McDonell and Bryan Lavery for organizing and taking on the difficult task of choosing only one winner! We couldn't be happier! Watching, smelling and finally tasting Julianna's recipe was a treat. We will only say this once: Apple Crumble + Candied Bacon + Aged Cheese + Bacon Caramel = a recipe you need to try!

Truly a grand finale to remember!

Day 27: COVER!! 

We spent our last day at the McKaskell Haindl studio brainstorming and shooting some cover ideas. We don't have any behind the scenes to show you, but we can say that it looks incredibly GORGEOUS!

Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us and for all your incredible support! :) It literally means the work to us!! 

Whats next: 

We now have all the pieces of the puzzle and we are fully ready to start putting them all together!    There is still a lot of work ahead of us but every day it gets a little bit closer.. Soon we will be able to hold this incredible 300+ pages cookbook and jump in the kitchen for some delicious treats by the hands of our talented local chefs!!!