Every culture has a food they are known for.
When Toronto Celebrates Sudbury later this month, former Sudburian-turned-Toronto-restauranteur Ed Ho will try to recreate the taste of the Nickel City.
“They wanted to create some Sudbury-ness to the menu,” said Ho, the man behind Toronto's Globe Bistro. “I was charged with trying to figure out what Sudbury cuisine is, or what people miss about (dining in) Sudbury.”
Ho said he is going to give Sudbury's best-known classics from places like the Caruso Club, Tarini's Meat Market and Leinala's Bakery a Toronto twist. Of course, he said he plans to include other “Sudbury food memories” like lake fish, wild blueberries, Golden Grain bread, Deluxe's chicken on a bun and Frank's pastrami on the menu.
“My kitchen team is very talented, but it will be interesting to try to channel our memories through their hands,” Ho said.
Ho, who grew up in the South End, said he has his own recollections of local cuisine.
“I have some very distinct food memories,” he said. “I wanted to, however, make sure that it wasn't all about me, so I asked a lot of people of different ages.”
One of his most distinct dining memories from the city came in the form of dinner conversation with Mark Gregorini, proprietor of Verdicchio Ristorante Enoteca.
“I was going into the restaurant business without much experience managing one,” he said. “(Gregorini) and his mom took a similar path taking over the spot at Verdicchio. He said they use a lot of common sense, do whatever is right for the customer and everything else should work out. Pretty simple philosophy.”
The guests at Toronto Celebrates Sudbury, particularly those living away from the north, will certainly feel nostalgic when sampling the menu at the event.
“I want to leave some details to surprise people, but we will do everything that we can to recreate a number of (Sudbury's) favourite dishes,” he said.
Toronto Celebrates Sudbury is taking place Nov. 14 at 99 Sudbury Street in Toronto.
In its second year, the event will raise funds for Health Sciences North.
Tickets to the gala are still available for $200. They can be purchased online at www.torontocelebratessudbury.com.