Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Happy Chinese New Year! Let's Welcome the Year of the Fire Rooster!

Ready to bid Adieu to the Year of the Fire Monkey and Welcome in the Year of the Fire Rooster? 

Last weekend, on Saturday and Sunday January 21st and 22nd, 2017 I had the pleasure of hosting my annual Chinese New Year Preps FoodWalks, complete with curated dim sum and shopping for necessary decorations and cooking ingredients to be ready by the evening of Thursday January 26th. We had newcomers who relocated to Toronto, adventurous travellers yearning to get behind-the-scenes with locals, and best of all, long-time Toronto residents with vivid memories of a changing city.  Those lucky folks love the fact that Chinese New Year festival last 15 days! Yes, that translates into 15 glorious days of feasting! If you missed my Chinese New Year's Preps FoodTours, you are still in luck, as I have the Celebrations FoodTours and for the Grand Finale, the Lantern Festival FoodTours. 

                Saturday February 4th, 2017 
                Sunday February 5th, 2017

               Saturday February 11th, 2017  
               Sunday February 12th, 2017

Chinese Lunar New Year's Eve takes place in 2017 on Friday January 27th. Traditionally, Chinese New Year's Eve is the evening for the Grand Feast. Some Chinese families might have the multi-course dinner at home on Friday night if mom or grandma is home to cook all day long. Some families might celebrate with a big bash on Saturday, the Firdt Day of Chinese New Year. Some families, like mine for the first time, will celebrate on Sunday night due  to busy school and work schedules! Some folks would have pre-booked tables. Some will pre-order for take-out. 

The traditional Chinese Lunar New Year banquet in China is always a sumptuous, communal feast of at least ten courses and occasionally more. 

For many Chinese, the banquet at the beginning of the lunar year is more than a meal, as it gathers together a family of several generations. A New Year’s menu is a poetic collection of rich symbols, omens and superstitions as well as a family’s food history. 

This year, my family's food history really comes to the forefront in threefold.  First, I'll be sharing my early childhood connection with chocolate, as we savour during the chocolate tastings, the artisan chocolates I created as SChocolateMagic . Second, the unique fish which Simon, co-owner of historic Kowloon Seafood Dim Sum Restaurant will proudly pick for our Whole Steamed Fish dish, which will bring back memories of old school Cantonese cooking and be a memorable experience for banquet newbies. Third, replacing the deep fried chicken dish with a new dish, the Salt-Baked Chicken, a dish that is made from a recipe of tradition, but prepared in the classic manner. While discussing this revised menu with my mom, I discovered that this main course dish has a dish my mom eaten once during her childhood in Guangdong, China. We are talking about early 1930s, and it was made by my maternal great-grandmother, bound-foot and all ! Since arriving in Canada in 1952, my mom has not had it prepared in the classic manner.  

The following New Year‘s Day meal will welcome the Year of the Fire Rooster at Kowloon Seafood Dim Sum Restaurant, one of the oldest remaining Chinese restaurant from Toronto's lost first Chinatown area, while paying homage to local Food Historian Shirley Lum’s ancestral Cantonese roots in Guangzhou and celebrates the completion of her Professional Chocolatier Certificate (chocolate tastings of artisan chocolate concoctions using quality chocolates, Valrhona Chocolates, Michel Cluizel and Callebaut Chocolates).  

Culinary Historian Shirley Lum of A Taste of the World hosts 
2017 Chinese New Year 12-course Banquet 
Saturday January 28th, 2017 6:00-9:00 P.M. 
Kowloon Seafood Dim Sum Restaurant, 5 Baldwin Street, Toronto. 

 *** Menu for Chinese New Year 12-course Banquet *** 

* Chocolate Tastings (artisan chocolates by Shirley aka @SChocolateMagic )
* Sweet and Sour Chicken 
* BBQ Platter 
* Crab Meat & Fish Maw Soup 
* Braised Oysters & Fatt Choy on a Bed of Lettuce 
* Phoenix Nest with Medley of Vegetables 
* Classic Salt-Baked Chicken 
* Braised Medley of Vegetables 
* Steamed Whole Fish 
* Double Lobsters in Garlic, Scallion & Ginger 
* Yeungchow Fried Rice
* Yee-Fu Noodles 
* Sweet Soup: Red Bean  

EVENT CAPACITY: Two Tables with 10 seats each

Tickets (includes pre-ordered food, tea, Chinese New Year’s Food History Talk & memento, and chocolate tastings):

$80.00 CAD p.p. by E-Transfer at by WED. JAN. 25th 9:00 P.M., After which, ticket price of $85.00 will be accepted by Credit Cards only. 
RESERVE your spots using your Credit Card by calling (416)923-6813
(NO SHOWS will be charged $85.00 on the Credit Card) 

Note: At the time of publication of this blog, Table One just Sold Out. 
Purchase your seats now as seating is limited to ensure an intimate and memorable experience for all! 

Happy New Year! 

San Nin Fai Lok in Cantonese ! 

Xin Nian Kaui Le in Mandarin !