In Christine Channer’s opinion, one of the most magical elements of eating is the way that good food brings people together. Sticking with such spirit, food has undoubtedly brought Christine together with us at View the Vibe. Sharing her passion for fine edibles through her blog, Fellowship of Food, she is on a non-stop quest for the most delicious of delights. Check out what dazzles, entrances and disappoints her around the Toronto restaurant scene on this week’s edition of Friday’s Foodie…
Feed us an appetizer. Who are you and what do you do?
I am a fabulous foodie who shares the things I love with others. In my day job I work with food distribution channels and the rest of my time is spent planning my fab wedding, enjoying amazing foodie experiences and chronicling many of these experiences on my blog Fellowship of Food, which just turned 1 year old on April 11th!
What do you love most about food?
I love how food literally brings people from all different backgrounds together and that every meal has a story. Like my blog name suggests, there always seems to be a “fellowship” when we share a meal. Some of my closets friendships started around a delicious dinner table.
What do you love most about the food scene in Toronto?
I love the variety that the Toronto food scene offers. Variety of cultures, variety of how we can access food (food trucks, restaurants, at pop up events, etc.), and the variety of different stories each plate has.
What type of cuisine would you say is lacking in the city?
Toronto is great because there truly are so many different options to choose from that can appease almost every palate, but I would say the cuisine we lack is good ole fashioned, soul food cooking — deep south, Southern cuisine. Any time I travel to the southern part of the US for work, I make sure that I stop at a restaurant where I can get my southern fix. Most times, it’s a heart attack on a plate, but so are French fries covered in delicious cheese curds and rich gravy. I know there are restaurants that put in the effort to provide southern options, but I have yet to find a spot that is dedicated to Soul Food and cooking it the right way. There are endless options in TO, why not add some southern comfort, y’all?
What’s your favourite type of food(s) and where do you go to get it?
Well, my first answer is automatically anything that the Viv (my mom) makes. It’s in her kitchen where I learned to appreciate great, quality food, made with a ton of love and with real ingredients. Outside of my mom’s house, there are just too many to pick just one. I love experiencing foods from all over the globe. I get to travel a bit more now with my job and have recently experienced amazing meals in the most random places around this country and abroad.
What’s your hidden gem/go-to restaurant?
One of the many hidden gems in Toronto for me is Corks Beer & Wine Bar at Longo’s in Maple Leaf Square. It’s a great little spot to go for great wine, beer and other delish snacks at an affordable price! Perfect if you just need to unwind after work or chill before a game at the ACC. Thursdays are my favourite because with every glass of wine or beer purchased, you receive three free oysters that are brought in fresh from Glacier Bay – I don’t know anywhere else in the city where you can get such an awesome deal. The staff are super friendly and many of them are certified sommeliers – double bonus!
What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?
I have so many amazing stories and memories that have happened around a great meal, but if I must just choose one right now, I would say my 16th birthday. When I turned 16, I asked my mom if I could host a formal dinner party for six of my best friends. We created a multiple course menu that was served on formal China and silver platters by servers in bowties. I referenced Emily Post’s Etiquette, had place cards, formal table settings, sparkling mock wine — the works! I pretty much felt like a super star. I relished every moment and will never forget the day I officially fell in love with the dinner party.
What’s the one restaurant you have to try before you die?
The French Laundry in California.
What’s your biggest restaurant pet peeve? (Play nice.)
Oh lord, I could go on for hours about this… If I had to pick one, it’s when people feel the need to talk with their mouth full of food and then proceed to lick each finger in the most audible way possible. I would personally like to slap these people when I see them doing this in public. Generally, any bad table manners drive me berserk!