Kennedy won't stop
Tonight Jamie Kennedy launches his latest resto. Located directly next door to his duly celebrated Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, the 36-seat room will be branded Jamie Kennedy Restaurant . It'll have a more formal scene than the foodie free-for-all at JKWB and a pricier card that includes the likes of olive-oil-poached Pacific halibut with beef fritter and fresh horseradish ($42) and a starter Kennedy calls the Streets of Toronto ($18).
"It's a pastiche of Toronto street food," Kennedy explains down the blower from a Toronto Life photo shoot. "It might be an Italian pizzette with sausage and some fried fish, the kind of thing the public health board doesn't seem to allow."
Somehow the astonishingly youthful cook-slash-trademark doesn't think that's enough to keep him busy. So this spring he returns to his old museum stomping ground at Bloor and Avenue Road, albeit in the overhauled Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art rather the ROM across the street, where his third-floor eatery, JKROM, gave the gallery a needed cachet.
"I was asked to return, but the deal wasn't what we were looking for," says Kennedy. "And the Gardiner is going to be an awesome, awesome restaurant."
It's name? Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner , of course.
He's also one of the founders of Organic Advocates, the non-profit pro-organic organization that he and Michael Stadtlander helped start 16 years ago. Besides acting as an ad hoc advocacy and educational group, it also produces the annual Feast of Fields foodie fest, this year being held on the afternoon of September 18 in the bucolic Albion Hills conservation area just north of Bolton. Tickets are $120, available at www.organicadvocates.org and 905-859-3609.
What began as a simple meet-'n'-greet between farmers and chefs has evolved into one of the most anticipated events on the culinary calendar. More than 40 vendors set up tents and teepees under the trees, where attendees wander about with wine glass in hand sampling the organic wares. Last year's highlights included Kennedy's deliriously good pulled pork wrapped in buckwheat crepes served on a leaf plucked from a nearby maple and Stadtlander's magical mushroom concoction, which he doled out from a psychedelically painted Partridge Family school bus.
"The message has always been the provenance of food," he says before dashing back to the cameras. "It's very gratifying that the public has embraced it."