LOVE AT LE DOLCI: It may be January, but many are planning February food events, starting with Le Dolci cooking classroom and bake shop on Dundas St. W., where Feb. 14 will see a full day of fabulous food activities to keep the love flowing.
Evening will see award-winning and lovingly tattooed chef Dave Mottershall of Loka hosting a five-course meal with chocolate inspiration for each course.
Teaser: The main course is a roast duck breast, with coco nibs, a dark chocolate jus and smoked fingerlings — $160 per couple, it includes wine and honey cocktails (mead) from Rosewood Winery.
The afternoon is for guests to enjoy a chocolate truffle-making class, where they’ll roll, dip, cover and taste test their chocolates and take them away to enjoy with the evening’s romantic plans for $85 per person.
Star-crossed lovers, or parents and their kiddies can indulge in a Vday cupcake decorating class filled with hearts, fondant, sprinkles and magic.
Each guest takes home a dozen made with love creations.
There’s more, of course — check out the web page for details.
LE DOLCI, 1006 Dundas St. W.; 416-262-3400416-262-3400; LeDolci.com.
PARACHUTING A CUP OF JOE: Coffee lovers take note: Door-to-door delivery of fresh, small-batch roasted beans!
Parachute Coffee is the creation of Michael Potters and Jake VanBuskirk, who launched the company last spring — and they believe coffee tastes better in the comfort of your home — especially during cold, snowy, Canadian winter months.
These well-caffeinated Torontonians are serving up Canada’s premiere monthly subscription delivery service for small-batch coffee roasters.
The company has partnered with award-winning small-batch Canadian coffee roasters and delivers handcrafted beans straight to your front door.
Once a month, they ship anywhere in Canada.
A monthly subscription includes a 12-ounce bag (good for 35-40 cups), delivered straight to your door, tasting notes for the roast, a message from the roaster of the month, about $25 per month (includes tax and shipping).
For more info, check out Parachutecoffee.com.
COUNTING SHEEP WITH COFFEE: Speaking of coffee, there is a new coffee brewing up a storm in Canada, but here’s the catch: You drink it before you go to sleep!
Counting Sheep Coffee is a gourmet, decaffeinated coffee based in Vancouver, which uses Arabica beans and an all-natural herbal supplement, organic valerian root.
Valerian is known for treating sleep disorders, restlessness and anxiety.
Counting Sheep coffee uses a Swiss water process that does NOT use chemicals, but does remove 99.9% of the caffeine.
It’s the first and only coffee designed specifically for rest, relaxation and a great night’s sleep.
Founded by Deland Jessop, (for his wife, who loves coffee but can’t touch the stuff after 3 p.m.,) it comes in two versions: 40 Winks (for relaxing, taking the edge off) and Lights Out! (with even more Valerian Root).
Available at Amazon.com, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Metro.
Priced from $11.99 to $14.99 (available in bags and K-cups).
For additional info, check out Countingsheepcoffee.com.
COOKING WITH LE CREUSET: Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Le Creuset is introducing its new Sugar Pink Heart casserole — ideal for those looking for an alternative to the heart-shaped chocolates and flowers.
This piece is 1.9 litres and made of Le Creuset’s signature cast-iron, priced at $225.
This is also a brand-new colour that’s arriving in Canada for the first time.
Available in Le Creuset boutiques across Canada.
Check out Lecreuset.ca.
Vineyard is small talk of the town: NIAGARA-ON-THE LAKE — Small Talk Vineyards is making a name for itself by taking a novel approach to tried-and-true products.
It started last summer when it launched Shiny Apple Cider, and is going a step further during this month’s Niagara Icewine Festival by featuring a blend of Shiny Apple and its Icewine for a brand-new taste sensation.
Shiny Apple Cider is a unique drink unto itself, a combination of 100% natural apple juice and Small Talk Vineyards’ best-selling Riesling.
The young spritzy craft apple cider tempers the sweetness of the well-aged 2009 Vidal Icewine.
Taking place over several weekends in January, the Niagara Icewine Festival is a celebration of the uniquely Canadian dessert wine that is in demand the world over.
The festival takes place Jan. 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25 at various locations throughout the Niagara wine region.