Ottawa is increasingly internationally minded, increasingly culturally diverse, and, most important for this story, increasingly food crazy. Last month, Ottawa Magazine’s food writers took to the streets, tasting their way through a smorgasbord of cuisines and documenting their discoveries. Along the way they visited the kitchens of local embassies to jot down the diplomats’ homegrown recipes, scouted food markets to uncover standout ingredients from the four corners of the globe, and stopped in at dozens of neighbourhood eateries to savor the most intriguing “global staples” on their menus: those key food items — pasta, bread, sweets, and rice — that are popular the world over. Enjoy the multicultural buffet.
See the editor’s letter and full table of contents below.
Letter from the Editor
The cover story is entitled “Think Global, Eat Local,” but I prefer to think of this as the “diversity and deliciousness” issue. Before Ottawa Magazine’s food writers even began their eating odyssey, we brainstormed over lunch (some truly fine south Indian takeout, as a matter of fact). As we ate, we discussed regions and restaurants, favourite pho joints and Mideast food stores, cool condiments and exotic fruits. We often worry about appearing provincial, but when it comes to food, Ottawa rivals much larger cities for diversity of cuisine. Steady numbers of immigrants and a strong diplomatic presence play a huge part in bringing new foods to the region, where they quickly become part of mainstream food culture (pickled turnips or Vietnamese coffee, anyone?).
With global, local, diverse, and delicious in mind, the four keen food writers divided their eating into regions (the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia), as well as universal ingredients that cut across most regions (rice, bread, pasta, and sweets). And then they ate and ate and ate. Along the way, they made time to collect a few diplomatic recipes, take a personal tour of the city’s biggest Mideast grocery store, and deconstruct the ethnicity of one foodie neighbourhood. It all comes together in 13 pages crammed with sumptuous food photography and just as sumptuous eating ideas.
And with all the food going on in this issue, it seemed the perfect opportunity to sit down with chef/food magician Marc Lepine. When he launched Atelier in 2008, common wisdom held that Lepine’s science-inspired set menu would never make it here in conservative Ottawa. One year later the restaurant was still going strong, buoyed by a glowing write-up in enRoute magazine, which billed Atelier as one of the top 10 new restaurants in Canada. Two years on, writer Fateema Sayani profiles Lepine, discovering a man who revels in “pun-filled, smart-aleck absurdity.” It’s part of his personality and translates brilliantly into the dishes he creates.
Coming up: The homes edition showcases the best offices and showrooms in the city, two former political insiders dish on their startling career changes, and food editor Shawna Wagman looks at the changing faces (and flavours) of Little Italy.
-Sarah Brown, editor
Table of Contents
An Inconvenient Truth
When 250 families were faced with the loss of their homes in 2008, most of the city was indifferent. Residents of the Bellwood trailer park in Bells Corners give their take on the fight to save their community, working with city hall, and class snobbery in the capital
Think Global, Eat Local
Ottawa is increasingly internationally minded, increasingly culturally diverse, and, most important for this story, increasingly food crazy. Last month, Ottawa Magazine’s food writers took to the streets, tasting their way through a smorgasbord of cuisines and documenting their discoveries. Enjoy the multicultural buffet
The Humble Warrior
Mark Holst is the first person from Ottawa to compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the premier league of the grueling sport of Mixed Martial Arts
Light ideas with Ottawa’s new superprofessor • Gateway etiquette • Rapping with Inuit hip-hop artist Mosha Folger • Telling Tales of newlyweds and divorcés • Cooking for a cure • History made sexy
Ten things Looney Tunes animator Jessica Borutski can’t live without
Modernized Glebe gem hits the house tour circuit
Celebrating retro style and all things orange
Chef Marc Lepine serves up cheesy humour and clever plates
Touring Niagara in Malivoire Winery’s personal helicopter
The apple finally gets its due in Ontario
Southern comfort in Chinatown • Delightful turnovers • Winging it, Asian-style •
Plus our star-rated reviews
Flash photography at FESTIVAL X • Celebrating kid rock with YO GABBA GABBA • VINYL on the comeback • Plus our arts and entertainment listings