This week, we’ve got a real treat for you…
Toronto food blogger Ken Samuel agreed to shed some light into his thrilling life of T.O food exploration and drink mixology. Not only is he a food writer for Bamboo Magazine, his passion for food extends to his own personal blog, inyourmouthtoronto.com (a MUST check out). His humble encounters with food allows followers the opportunity to experience the best of T.O cultural dining, while providing a ton of insightful reviews.
His vision is simple, “To be able to have you look at any post on (his) site for inspiration and go out and buy it or enjoy it.” Luckily for you, he strongly supports local and sustainable food; he likes to nosh with a clean conscience. This full-time eater is a self-proclaimed sake connoisseur and family man. Always showcasing hot recipes, great beer, wine, and profiles of food and drink and restaurants with utmost honesty, we want to thank Ken again for being an obvious candidate and participant. Let’s get to the main course, shall we…
When and why did you start writing about food?
In June 2010 I started my food blog as I was looking for a career change into the food business and needed an outlet to explore my options. I had always loved food but had no real experience in the business side. I did a mind dump onto my blog and now I run a successful restaurant marketing business from what I learned.
What do you love most about food?
Food is an expression of culture and an edible history that can teach us a lot about ourselves and those around us. Also, I am a bit ADD and need the variety and change that eating different types of food provides.
What do you do when you aren’t writing about or eating food?
Amazing Food Marketing. Searching for restaurants and food and drink products that have passion and need help bringing their passion to the masses. I call it passion searching for passion.
Do you cook? If so, what’s your specialty? If not, why?
I cook quite a bit for my family and specialize in low and slow anything. Specifically, I make a mean Mexican-style pork shoulder. It is really important for me to cook as it is time with my kids where I can share with them beautiful aromas, textures and flavours.
What’s your favourite type of food(s) and where do you go to get it?
It has to be Japanese for me, as when done right, the attention to detail, the artistry and the flavours are unmatched. It should be noted that California Rolls, fun maki and teriyaki do not qualify for Japanese food. Many have no idea what Japanese food is. What I am referring to is places like Sushi Kaji, Japango and Zen Sushi. Insider tip: Drop the menu and ask for Omakase. It’s a special chef’s tasting dinner that really showcases what the chef is made of.
What’s your favourite hidden gem?
I crave the Jerk Chicken sandwiches at Alwyn’s Bakery at York Mills and Victoria Park. They are cheap ($3.50 each), fresh, moist and super tasty, topped with coleslaw on a super soft cocobun. I usually order 10 when I go; 1 for right away, 1 for later on, and 1 for the morning. The rest are for the family, if I decide not to hide them.
What’s your go-to restaurant?
I am a big Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu fan. Super cheap, tons of flavour and their ban chan is killer. I cannot go a week without their spicy Soon Tofu.
What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?
My most memorable meal was Nobu Hawaii’s Omakase as my wife for some reason decided to say yes to my marriage proposal. Also, still pumping octopus sushi, bright orange uni, o-toro tartare, and some butter washu-beef and foie gras didn’t hurt either.
What’s one restaurant you have to try before you die?
That’s tough as there are so many. However, the most unlikely I will get to try is Jiro Ono’s Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo. That would be awesome. Also, though not a single restaurant, I would like to do a BBQ tour of the Mid-West and Southern States.
What’s your biggest restaurant pet peeve? (Play nice.)
I really do not get “bad food.” It should not exist in restaurants. It is akin to going for a massage from your local RMT and they come in and simply sing the Barney song to you, over and over again for the hour. Or, me deciding to open a salon where my concept is doing it in the dark. Boggles my mind.