Everyone knows we here at TheSceneinTO love all things food and wine, so when the opportunity to collaborate with Angela Aiello of iYellow Wine Club, and some of Toronto’s finest chefs came up, we knew we had a match made in heaven. Expect insightful interviews, details about your next favorite wine, and a few other bonuses along the way. Find the first of Angela’s series below. Enjoy!
This Summer I’m taking the opportunity to get to know 5 Chefs from across Toronto and having food and wine conversations over a bottle of Aveleda wine. Aveleda Vinho Verde from Portugal is a refreshing, light and crisp wine that is perfect for sipping on a patio and can be paired with all kinds of great summer fare.
Here I sit down with Chef Aiden Galligan from Uncle Smoke BBQ and we talk about what he loves about the wine and what he would pair with it.
Angela Aiello: What’s your favourite place to sip on a refreshing glass of white wine (like Aveleda Vinho Verde from Portugal)?
Chef Aiden Galligan: Nothing is better than sipping a glass of crisp white wine lakeside at the cottage, surrounded by friends and family, with some slow-cooked barbecue, watching the sun go down. Simply unbeatable.
Angela Aiello: Who most inspires you in your cooking philosophy?
Chef Aiden Galligan: I am most inspired by my family, my friends and my community. Cooking isn’t just about feeding people – it’s about caring for those around you, and trying to make the moment a little bit better.
Angela Aiello: What is the most challenging thing about being a chef?
Chef Aiden Galligan: Balance. Whether it is finding the right balance with flavours in a dish, or balancing my time in the kitchen with my family at home. I’ve learned that even being a little bit out of balance can end in disaster if left unchecked.
Angela Aiello: What do you love most about the Toronto culinary scene?
Chef Aiden Galligan: The endless inspiration is has to offer. Even after working in London and New York, I find Toronto is unmatched when it comes to culinary influences and creativity. From my home in East Toronto to my kitchen in the West, I pass by so many vibrant cultures with their unique foods and flavours. No other city can boast such diversity!
Angela Aiello: When you were thinking about a dish to pair with Aveleda Vinho Verde from Portugal, what kind of ideas came to mind?
Chef Aiden Galligan: Freshness. Spring is a very fresh time of year, the energy of the world around us awakening from the winter is what really drove this dish.
Angela Aiello: What did you think about this wine/these wines? Any recommendations you would like to share with us?
Chef Aiden Galligan: The wines were very refreshing; exactly the thing you’d want after a hard day of work. Sipping them relaxed and invigorated me; highly recommended after a long day in a hot kitchen!
Angela Aiello: Can you explain your dish and why it pairs with Aveleda?
Chef Aiden Galligan: The dish is simple; I wanted to showcase Ontario asparagus and add a little smoke to add another dimension of flavour. It pairs well with Aveleda because the crisp profile of the wine balances with the smoked asparagus. Both the dish and the wine are two sides of the same coin; both flavourful and refreshing in their own way.
Smoked Asparagus and Corn Salad, Serves 6
24 asparagus pieces (with woody ends trimmed off)
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 ears corn (kernels cut from the cob)
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup oregano, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup lime juice
3/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
For the vinaigrette, add the sugar and salt to the lime juice and whisk until dissolved. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified
Blanch the asparagus for 3 minutes in salted boiling water, drain and cool.
Marinate the asparagus in the olive and smoke for 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste then dress with the lime vinaigrette.
Lay the smoked asparagus side by side on a plate and spoon the salad on top.