My Latest Work

Momos are Hot at the Momo Spot – Apartment613

Ottawans, prepare to discover the warmth and joy of Nepali cuisine! The Momo Spot finally has a brick-and-mortar location to serve you their delectable dumplings (known as momos) and sauces. Friends and co-owners Rahul Bura, Milan Nepali, Dev-Ashish Subpa, Kripa Dongol and Ashik Shrestha are all devoted to bringing the flavours of Nepal to our nation’s capital. After coming together for a fundraiser in 2015, the friends began to work together in earnest, selling their momos at the Ottawa Farmer

Harmon’s steakhouse opens on Elgin St. with chef Michael Korn at the helm – Apartment613

At the end of September, Ottawa’s newest steakhouse, Harmon’s, quietly opened its doors to the public. Although work on the restaurant remains unfinished, diners were invited to see, experience and taste what is complete, and the reviews so far are very positive. At the helm is chef de cuisine Michael Korn, a veteran of Ottawa’s finer kitchens and formerly a senior saucier at Beckta. He made the move to the Whalesbone group for the opening of their Elgin St. location, quickly rising through the

Carefor’s Feast of Fields 2021 was a sold-out, socially-distanced smash success – Apartment613

At 5pm on the front lawn of Ottawa City Hall, volunteers were setting up for Carefor’s sold-out Feast of Fields event on Wednesday night. Sound checks, taste tests, power cords being connected. A few VIPs had arrived. While the skies were grey, the mood was decidedly lighter. “We’re able to properly celebrate with some of the communities that were hit hardest by the pandemic,” said event organizer Robin Duetta. “Seeing the Ottawa chef community come back and pair up with the farmers who work so

Placeholder Update: Almost Married Edition! Support Local Restaurants –

Gah! Has it really been over a month since I posted anything here? Readers (if any of you are still out there), I am so sorry. Life, you know? I’ve been busy with work, taking care of the house and pets and, of course, planning a wedding during a pandemic! So, let’s not talk about me. I don’t have any hot takes or snappy recipes for you today. If you’re a resident of Ottawa like I am, let’s just talk about some of the fantastic local restaurants you should be visiting until I get back to provid

Coming soon: Justin Champagne’s new restaurant Perch pledges “playful elegance,” sustainability in all things – Apartment613

A new high-profile restaurant being announced always piques the interest of Ottawa foodies, but the announcement of chef Justin Champagne’s Perch is especially intriguing. Champagne, previously sous-chef at lauded Ottawa restaurant Atelier before becoming chef de cuisine at Bar Lupulus, boasts quite the culinary pedigree. His unique approach to ingredients and technique makes his food stand out among the finest in the city. “I’ve been really fortunate to have been granted a lot of freedom to cr

The up-and-comers: Arlo sous-chef Mitchell Hahn – Apartment613

We’d like to take a look at some of the up-and-comers in our Ottawa Food and Beverage scene. These are the people to watch when it comes to local and delicious fare. Over the last year, Arlo Wine & Restaurant has become one of Ottawa’s most sought-after dining experiences. While this can easily be attributed to the hospitality of the ownership and waitstaff, funky-cozy atmosphere, and impeccable natural wine list, the kitchen must also receive credit. Your mind may first go to chef Jamie Stunt,

The Last Service

The Last Service will bring together the best of Canadian culinary with a national tour featuring 100 notable chefs from 10 regions across the country. By following these chefs at pivotal moments in their day, we see what a day in the life looks like for any chef. Each moment illustrates a challenge that chefs regularly face, many of which existed long before the pandemic struck. Through these tableaus, we hope to foster better understanding of just what it takes to be a chef and run a restaurant.

The up-and-comers: North & Navy’s chef de cuisine Eric Chagnon-Zimmerly – Apartment613

We’d like to take a look at some of the up-and-comers in our Ottawa Food and Beverage scene. These are the people to watch when it comes to local and delicious fare. Ask around Ottawa what’s the best spot for a dinner out on the town, and North & Navy is sure to come up. The six-year-old Northern Italian restaurant is well-loved by its neighbours and foodies across the city. North & Navy boasts a well-curated and varied wine list, a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, superb service and, not

At Last, Date Night – Mind of a (Former) Chef

At Last, Date Night It finally happened. Last Sunday night, Liz and I went out on a date night to a restaurant. It feels like it’s been forever. Dining out is one of our greatest pleasures, and I can’t even tell you all how much we’ve missed it. So, now that I’ve passed my two weeks since my second vaccine dose, we braved the outside world on a night out. It was a beautiful summer evening. The weather was warm and just a little muggy. We walked to our destination, savouring the outside air, taking in the sights of our neighborhood. Largely unchanged, but somehow a bit unfamiliar after all these months.

The up-and-comers: Kathryn Ferries – Apartment613

We’d like to take a look at some of the up-and-comers in our Ottawa Food and Beverage scene. These are the people to watch when it comes to local and delicious fare. Among the Ottawa culinary community’s brightest rising stars, Kathryn Ferries possesses both a strong list of achievements and a tangible love for the local food scene. Since moving here from Winnipeg with her family at the age of 10, Ferries has adopted Ottawa as her hometown. Raised with a love of food, cooking and family recipe

You Can't Be Depressedo When You Make Your Own Pesto – Mind of a (Former) Chef

A good summer morning to each and every one of you! It’s been a hot few weeks here in the nation’s capital, lemme tell you. Amidst this heat comes some good news, though. Indoor dining is set to return next week! W00T! All my restauranteur friends are breathing somewhat of a sigh of relief. Now, finding new staffing to work with the increased business flow… well, that’s another story. Good luck to all. Anyways, hot summer weather is what we’re talking about here. The kind of weather that basil

The up-and-comers: Julia Gindra – Apartment613

We’d like to take a look at some of the up-and-comers in our Ottawa Food and Beverage scene. These are the people to watch when it comes to local and delicious fare. Let’s play a quick word-association game: I say Whalesbone, and I bet most of you say “fish!” Makes sense. But if you follow the restaurant group on social media, or if you’ve frequented any of the locations lately, you may have also said “desserts!” The name behind those scrumptious desserts is Julia Gindra, pastry chef for the W

A Soup For All Seasons – Mind of a (Former) Chef

Hey friends, welcome back! Glad to have you with me again. Apologies, blah blah blah, long absence, blah blah blah, life etc. Anyways, I hope all of you have been holding up well, getting vaccinated and are dealing okay with a scorcher of a summer. Speaking of summer weather, today’s dish may seem like a bit of an odd choice, but as the title says, it really is a soup for all seasons. Of course, I’m talking about one of Italy’s most famous soups: Minestrone. This one is closer to a Romagna-sty

Ottawa’s food and beverage MVPs of the pandemic: Part Two – Apartment613

A couple of weeks ago, we published a roundup of some of Ottawa’s food and beverage industry MVPs during the pandemic—folks who made particular efforts to address hunger and food insecurity in our community over the past 16 months. We invited readers to share their own local food heroes with us so that we could highlight them here as well, and several of you did write in with your suggestions. This week we proudly present three more people whose work during the pandemic really shone through the

Strawberry (and Tomato) Fields Forever –

Readers, where you at? I know it’s been yet another extended absence on my part, but I hope you’re all well and eager to read my latest update. Exciting things, for sure, have been happening. The most exciting and important thing is that Liz got her second vaccine dose on Friday! She’s now immunized and I couldn’t be happier. That’s a huge worry off of my plate, and I hope all of you are getting your vaccines as well. Also, I am proud to announce that I’m the new Food Editor of apt613! Yours t

Ottawa’s food and beverage MVPs of the pandemic – Apartment613

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: The last 15 months have been hard for everyone. No matter what you do, your life was affected in some way. One of the hardest-hit industries was our food and beverage sector, as everyone from restaurants to grocery stores hustled to adapt to the “new normal.” Meanwhile, people in our city (including many food and beverage workers) struggled with day-to-day food insecurity—some for the first time, while others found their existing precarity compounded by the pande

The Most Misunderstood Dish of All: Risotto –

Happy weekend, dear readers. I got my first vaccine shot yesterday and I’m feeling pretty great about that. I hope that all of you are close to getting vaccinated, too. I’m feeling a bit out of sorts, though. A little achy and overtired, nothing to worry about to be sure. Just a little blah. The rainy, grey weather today certainly isn’t helping. You know what would help? Comfort food. I wanted to discuss a particular dish today. One that, I think, may be one of the most misunderstood dishes of

Grass-Fed, Sustainable and Delicious: BC Bison

When it comes to choosing the focal points of our family dinners, there is a list of usual suspects. Chicken, beef, salmon and pork are some. Dr. Christoph Weder, owner of The Bison Guy and Venator Ranches, would insist that bison be on that list as well. “These animals are just fantastic,” said Christoph. “They’re the ultimate survivors, completely built for their environment. Being such a low-intervention species means it’s so easy to raise them humanely in a low-impact, sustainable way.” Ch

From banquet to BBQ: Former hotel chef Pat Riggins has shifted gears to making homestyle family BBQ – Apartment613

For Pat Riggins, life before the pandemic was regimented. As the banquet chef at Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier for the past three years, he played an enormous part in the lavish spreads and stately dinners for the high-class events and weddings that often booked one of the hotel’s many banquet halls. Prior to this role, Riggins was the hotel’s restaurant chef for five years. Wilfrid’s Restaurant, Zoe’s Lounge, and the in-room dining program were all under his watchful eye. But that was before the pa

First Bites

Perhaps carrots aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of bacon. Tyler Steeves, founder of Carrot Bacon, wants to change that. For the last year and a half, Steeves and his team have been transforming the humble carrot into deeply flavoured types of crispy vegan jerky. “We’re not trying to replicate pork,” explains Steeves. “This is meat-free, without the filler. The sweetness of carrot lends well to taking on the umami flavours sometimes missing for people who don’t eat meat.” The team sources Nantes carrots locally from Pfenning’s Organic Farms in New Hamburg and transforms them using charcuterie techniques like curing, brining and dehydration. “Our flavours are big but balanced,” says Steeves. “We’re always looking to maintain the equilibrium of salty, savoury and sweet while incorporating other massively flavourful ingredients.” Carolina Smoke, one of three flavours, provides an immediate sensation of salty-sweet-umami, followed by background smoke and lingering heat. Applewood and Toasted Tokyo Sesame offer their own unique, well-balanced taste combinations. In the coming months Steeves hopes to develop more flavours of Carrot Bacon and begin experimenting with other vegetables, or perhaps even jackfruit. “I think of Carrot Bacon as a feel-good ingredient or snack,” says Steeves. “It’s great on a hike, it can hit those junk food cravings, and anywhere you’d want crispy bacon, I think you can incorporate Carrot Bacon.” Can the carrot BLT be far behind?
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