A Little Bit of Whisky #photos #whisky

7 04 2015

  So this is real whisky. It’s distilled in Toronto, Ontario. It is small batch and it is organic and made from local grains with a visible mash bill (it’s there on the label). It’s not technically Canadian whisky according to the Regulations that accompany the Food and Drug Act:

B.02.020. [S]. Canadian Whisky, Canadian Rye Whisky, or Rye Whisky

(a) shall

    (ii) be aged in small wood for not less than three years…

There is some other stuff in that regulation about potable alcohol distillates, grains being saccharified by the diastase of malt, and strangely how it has to “possess the aroma, taste and character generally attributed to Canadian whisky”…but I digress. Is it any wonder the Toronto Distillery was started by two lawyers?

Note: this whisky doesn’t contain caramel nor flavouring (both allowed in Canada)…it is a clear organic spirit…

Try it…might be worth the trip. 



Zach and The Meat Department

1 07 2013

Zach and the Meat, originally uploaded by psuba98.

This is Zach. He’s in motion at The Meat Department on Danforth Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. After watching these guys all day I have a suspicion there are a few of them who might end up suffering from repetitive strain injuries.

I was shooting with them for a few hours on Saturday and it was fun. I got to watch the guys in the back (John was not one of my fans,) and I captured some trimming, the scrap bucket, the band saw in action, and the mysterious room in the back where one alchemist was making various rubs and marinades for some of their own stuff.

Jose and Corin ran the counter with Jose taking the DJ duties seriously, and if you went from the front of the store to the back there were two competing genres of music, heavily contrasted at all times. The back, some pounding rockabilly and hard core country mix, driven out of an aging boombox (possibly covered in meat juices,) and the front of the house, some pretty rockin beats and occasional club mixes.

Everyone was friendly (customers and staff,) the atmosphere was welcoming, and the bbq’d steaks I had later were…very tasty! Was it all organic, hormone-free and whispered to sleep by a kid from 4H? No, but I know Zach is passionate and knows where every bit of protein comes from and the meat is of the highest quality, some of it aged in house, and I appreciate it. You can tell these guys care about their customers and their products.

Mostly shot with my 85mm, and the D4 was clacking along occasionally turned up to 11. It was difficult shooting as the place was a blur of motion (and not everyone was excited to see me with a camera,) but I have shot in busy restaurants before and I’m not bad at staying out of the way — it is more of a challenge when everyone has a sharp blade in their hands but I got away unscathed.

The board behind Zach was their board of who get’s to eat for free and who they refuse to serve. . .quite entertaining. Lots of neighbourhood people coming by and they were solidly busy while I was in there. I watched Zach cut meat for a few hours, others worked on chickens, washed trays and utensils, carved up special orders, and at any given time 3 guys were steadily butchering, trimming, prepping meat.

The Meat Department is a great place to go, watch, relax, ask about your food, enjoy a beverage, and soak up some of the local ambiance. I will return weekly. Yes, I am a carnivore!


Fish heads fish heads. . .

27 05 2013

Fish heads fish heads. . ., originally uploaded by psuba98.

You know the rest. This was snapped a few weeks ago at the famous St. Lawrence Market in Toronto while we were wandering around trying to come up with supper ideas. We did buy some fish, some meat, some veggies, and I even broke down and bought some mustard even though I make a superior produce with tender loving care.

This was captured (although the word capture is sort of a misnomer because their heads were detached from their bodies and they were on ice. . .so there was no escape!) but I digress. . .captured with my Nikkor 60f2.8 which is perhaps one of the most frustrating lenses ever made when it comes to shooting in low light! This was ISO 4000 territory and 1/60th so I was staving off the shakes while shooting one handed and scanning for my wandering children. . .

If you haven’t been to the market, check it out, upstairs, downstairs, and way upstairs which they rent out for weddings/banquets, etc. I had no place that upstairs existed until about a year ago! There is also a “North Market” across the street but it doesn’t seem to capture the same flavours, smells, and character.


The Double Stabbing

22 04 2013

burgers, originally uploaded by psuba98.

I was in Chicago for the Annual ABA Techshow and sure, I learned some stuff about technology, especially about security issues this year. This was an evening out at Au Cheval in the West Randolph area and the burgers were, pardon the pun, killer!

This was a dark place with small lights scattered here and there and packed with the crowd who knew where to be. . .and us. I took a few random snaps (not my usual Chicago shoot the food and staff from every angle a la Smoque trip,) that I have been known to do. This was strictly “hit and run” on our first trip there that evening. It was too packed to penetrate so we zipped across the street to another place to experience some Angry Birds (the beer not the game,) and relax until we could go full on burger.

This was just something to capture the mood while I dodged waiters, waitresses and patrons. . .not easy in that sardine environment. . .

The D4 was purring as usual and I was able to capture the coup de grace (x2) as this pair of meat meals were…dispatched.

Shot them at 1/50 @ ISO 4500 with my trusty 50f1.4 smooth as the challah buns they were delivered on!



Conversations with crustaceans

12 01 2013

Conversations with crustaceans

It started as a conversation, followed by a disagreement, and then well. . .he became dinner.

Yes, I know how to “sex” lobsters. This meal was a he, or really a group of lobsters, and yes, technically I think that would be a pod of lobsters although I’m not sure if they had formed any sort of bonds in their grocery store tank, in fact without the elastic band restraints they probably would have done their best to harm each other but hey, sometimes friends aren’t nice to each other. He and his friends were on sale for $5.99 a pound and made a nice dinner on Christmas Eve. They were served the traditional Maritime way, with drawn butter and nothing else. . .

So as I recall this was the D4 matched with the Nikkor 60f2.8 a decent crustacean lens as it turns out, ambient kitchen light, evening after sundown, batteries fully charged (camera batteries, not the crustacean’s batteries although I am aware you can use them as a power supply in a pinch.

Just wanted to post something as a place holder to remind myself to blog more this year. I want to squeeze in some more shots before the end of the month, can’t guarantee they will be food related but they will be. . .winterish.


Dressing the naked oyster

6 11 2012

oyster dressing, originally uploaded by psuba98.

This is not the way I enjoy my oysters. I suck my oysters back raw, unadulterated, naked, freshly shucked, and still screaming their pathetic oyster wail. . .this woman was into the sauce (for her oysters.)

Fun evening at Oyster Boy in Toronto, a variety of bivalvery. We consumed oysters, scallops on the shell, clams, and anything that was put in front of us. We were well taken care of by Chris, Luke and Tyler and the whole evening was fun and they were fairly relaxed considering I was poking a camera at them out of the evening, recording their every move of the oyster ballet.

I give full credit to my D4 (as always) and its phenomenal ability to figure out what I want to capture when I point it at something. The low light capabilities are unrivalled and it was a pleasure to shoot all night. At the end of the night I was happy…full, and inspired to go back for more oysters…Chris is a serious shucker!


Manual Labour Coffee TUM August

26 08 2012

Action in the evening, originally uploaded by psuba98.

I am not a food critic, let me say that up front. Last night we checked out the Toronto Underground Market at Evergreen Brickworks, wandered around, ate some food, drank some liquor, chatted with people and generally had a good time.

Now, the photo. This was a trailer tucked in a corner with lots of action around it. It was getting late at night and people were hanging out, talking, drinking coffee, and checking out what food was left. We stopped to talk and I noticed the light and decided I had to shoot something to capture the mood. The sign was made out of tinfoil and lightbulbs, the ambiance was 100% human frivolity.

I was shooting with my 50 f1.4 and the D4 was on autopilot. The Auto ISO setting was made for this late, late nite, open air, crystal clear, and, lots of action. There was no need to fuss, just focus on an area and start shooting.

The flat white at Manual Labour Coffee was spectacular, Matthew was talkative and almost forgot to charge for the coffee (well did forget, we reminded him.)

Overall TUM was fun. Kudos to Tromba Tequila who kept us lubricated, Matt Pettit from Rock Lobster Food Co who was busy slinging mini-toasted lobster rolls, and Kurt Krumme from West Side Beef for the awesome rib burgers. Those were the highlights for me. The lineups at Rock Lobster and Swine Shrine were outta control. . .longest of the night. There were others too. . .too much food to eat, too many samples, and not enough night.

The event was fun, the shuttles well organized, and the evening ended with a quick chat at Cafe Belong with Chef Long.

Will I check out the next one? I’m not sure but had fun last night. Check out the photos on Flickr.