leaping along

Even with that extra leap day in February the month flew by.ottawa february snow 2016IMG_7011

The month started off with dinner in a high school. Not really a place that makes one think of exciting culinary events, but Longfields Davidson Heights Secondary School has something special going on.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the sixth annual Food for Thought where students in LDHSS’ culinary program are teamed up with professional chefs to cook and serve a six course meal to over 100 guests. The whole thing was for a good cause and was a great success.

Leading up to the big dinner I spent a day at the high school catching up with my old drama teacher who is now the VP, and seeing the specialty program in action. It was Friday, so I was treated to their “souper Friday” lunch — a soup and sandwich made from scratch (broth, bread and all) by the grade 12 students in the culinary program. It was an early indication of the calibre of the teaching in the kitchen.

Both chefs Kent Van Dyk and Tony Christoforatos, who run the culinary program at the school, said their goals in the kitchen classrooms went beyond basic kitchen capabilities. They described the life skills and the creativity that students take away from the experience, but most importantly how cooking together breaks down barriers. Christoforatos explained that sharing food brings people together, and by mid-semester there are no cliques in his class, each kid is comfortable working with every one of their classmates. You can read more about the event here — I know I’m hoping to be back next year!

Though we didn’t do much for Valentine’s Day, I did manage to catch up with one of my favourite sweet spots in Ottawa. Mike Holland’s Cake and Shake opened the summer I started working at the brewery in Hintonburg, and being right around the corner from each other was definitely a perk of the job. Though weekly visits for their quirky desserts or sandwiches were probably not the healthiest habit, it was a lot of fun.

Putting his signature tongue-and-cheek twist on Valentine’s Day treats, Mike Holland (aka the Pastry Overlord) was kind of enough to share a couple recipes with me for Apt613. Though the sardonic sentiments might not work all year round the cookies sure do, so next time you’re looking for a great shortbread recipe — or squid ink truffles — try these ones out.love stinks (1 of 4)ACL!And so with foodie fun, a new job, a quick trip to the bay and an even quicker one to Montreal, February flew by. March has started off with what seems to be becoming a bit of a musical tradition. For the third year in a row, I’m lucky enough to be singing and dancing alongside some very talented folks at Centrepointe Theatre in Ottawa. This year we’re high kicking in A Chorus Line.

It’s been a bit of a whirl wind as I try to fight off a pesky cold while performing, but drowning myself in lemon & honey tea and kleenexes seems to be helping a bit. Either way, I’m so happy to be in a production of one of my favaourite musicals ever, and I’m sharing the stage with my twin brother (!), so I’m just grateful for the singularly sensational experience. Hope to see you in the audience! xo

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