Best Meal for your Money in Toronto


There are no shortage of amazing places to have dinner in this lovely city of ours and at times even trying to make a decision on where to go for dinner can be overwhelming. But in my very humble opinion, one of the best places to get the best value for your dollar is The Depanneur. Every month they hold a couple of fantastic supper clubs where they invite different chefs to create amazing multiple course meals. These meals are served family style giving you the chance to meet other like minded food lovers.

the depanneur supper club

Last month clients at our kitchen, M&T Food Services were the guest chefs and they created a menu inspired by the food of the Ottoman Palace. Dish after dish of traditional food was served and it was such a success that it sold out almost faster than a Rolling Stones concert and a second night was added ;).

MT Food Services Murat Ozsuvari,
MT Food Services Tolga Ay

If you weren't lucky enough to snag tickets to this amazing supper club, you can still try Murat and Tolga's amazing food by ordering meal delivery from their web site. And if you want to experience one of the great supper clubs at The Depanneur you can sign up for their newsletter and be among the first to know which chef will be appearing next. I can tell you that the next supper club will be both a meal and a magic show. Tell me where else you can get that for $40 a person.

But right here, right now for one very lucky person,  I am giving away a $50 gift certificate to M&T Food Services website. Tell me why you love the local food movement and you could be the winner. (Available only to those who live in the GTA).

Toronto Rental Commercial Kitchen

Manning Canning Kitchens

It started as a dream 3 years ago and over the past 6 months we have been working hard to make it a reality. A rental kitchen in Toronto where small food producers, chefs, caterers, etc could bake, preserve or create.

Why did I want to open up a commercial kitchen? You may not know this but all food that is produced in Toronto and made available for sale HAS to be produced in a certified commercial kitchen that has been inspected by the City of Toronto. And when I started my preserves company, I quickly discovered that these types of kitchens were very hard to find. It quickly became the biggest challenge in my business and as I spoke with other producers that I met at food shows and farmer's markets, I realized I wasn't alone.

I was very lucky that I found the East Scarborough Storefront and for just over a year I was able to use their fabulous kitchen once a week at NO CHARGE to make my jams, jellies and pickles. And if you happen to live in the KGO (Kingston, Galloway, Orton Park) area you should definitely acquaint yourselves with all of the wonderful work they do and the amazing services they provide. 

And then I got lucky for a 2nd time; one of the stores that carries my products allowed me to use the kitchen in their basement. SCORE! It had 2 - 10g steam kettles and really allowed me to increase my productivity and batch up my recipes.

But even with access to these 2 wonderful kitchens, which is more than a lot of food producers manage to find, it was limited and my business could not grow fast enough to keep up with demand. My husband and I knew it was time to really push ahead on our dream of Toronto's rentable commercial kitchen space.

But building a commercial kitchen is EXPENSIVE and we knew we would need some help making it a reality. So in late September we launched our kickstarter campaign. We reached our goal (thank you, thank you, thank you) and it has been full speed ahead ever since.

Below shows you some of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the space.

The very first step was to ensure that the floor in the main kitchen space was food space. This involved degreasing the existing floor, sanding it down, and painting it several times with a food safe apoxy that left it shining.

main kitchen before and after

The existing space was set up as a cafe/coffee shop so we started by tearing out their seating, removing the 3 pc bathroom and building the great wall of canning.

Progression of the space from cafe to 2nd rental kitchen and Manning Canning production space

Progression of the space from cafe to 2nd rental kitchen and Manning Canning production space

During the construction, we were also sourcing all of the equipment for the kitchen, buying expensive transformers, working with master electricians, dealing with water outages. But each hurdle we came up against, and each hurdle we jumped took us that much closer to the finished product.

The hunt for the equipment

The hunt for the equipment

Today for the first time after many months of hard work, set backs, picking ourselves up all over again, painting and then painting some more along with a few other things thrown in there for good measure - my team and I worked in the brand new kitchen for the first time.

toronto rental kitchen

And it was GLORIOUS! We didn't have to carry all of the ingredients and tools we needed down a flight of stairs and soon I will transfer all of my preserving tools into the kitchen and I will be able to walk from my vehicle to the kitchen with nothing but my keys in my hand.

And the great thing is that we have created a space that makes this possible for other people as well. It has been amazing being able to see and SMELL all of the wonderful goodies the people using our kitchen have created.

Producers putting the kitchen to the test

Producers putting the kitchen to the test