Toronto's annual Gourmet Food & Wine Expo takes over the Convention Centre November 16 to 18 for three days of sippin' and samplin'. The highlight will be a cook-off on the Food Network Stage that pits nine critic-picked up-and-coming chefs against each other, including NOW nominees Daisuke Izutsu of Kaiseki-Sakura, Sadia Cazranee of Eastern Twist, Patrick Wiese of Fuzion and Mark Cutrara of Cowbell. Help decide the winner by voting online at www.nowtoronto.com/9ofdine. For more info, go to wwwa.
Let 'em eat cake
Brussels-based patisserie Le Pain Quotidien is set to open two upscale local outlets this fall, the first at the York Mills Shopping Centre on Bayview close to the Bridle Path and the second at 508 Eglinton West in Forest Hill. Expect prices for the house's acclaimed baguettes and croissants to match the nabes.
Watch for the Food Network's highly rated Restaurant Makeover, with controversial chef Susur Lee and his partner, designer Brenda Bent, tackling P.K. Singh's Dhaba (October 8) and the Four Seasons' Lynn Crawford - with Bent again - helping launch Rodney "Rosebud" Bowers's wildly successful Citizen (November 5). Want to meet RM's resident enfant terrible in person? David Adjey signs copies of his just-released Deconstructing The Dish at the Cookbook Store (850 Yonge, 416-920-2665) on October 6. Far cuddlier RM chef Massimo Capra of Mistura does a meet 'n' greet there to promote his One Pot Italian Cooking (both Whitecap) on November 10. www.cook-book.com.
Harbord makes Room
Yes, former Drake sous Corey Vitiello and Czehoski co-founder Dave Mitton are set to unveil the Harbord Room (89 Harbord, 416-962-8989), a smart supper club in the now shuttered Eduardo's on the south Annex's restaurant row. It's "the kind of place where you can get something really great to eat when you're wearing shorts and flip-flops," says first-time chef Vitiello. Watch for a December launch.