[GIVEAWAY] Interview with Chef-Turned-Artist Kristina Groeger

I’m really drawn to people who hold many talents. It might be that I see myself in them, but I think it’s mostly because it excites me to think of all the collaborations and conversations we could have, and the things that we can put out into the world. Chef-Turned-Artist, Kristina Groeger, has been a FGFS Fan Club member since Day One and was the first submission to roll in when we announced our gallery show, Fat In Public. If you live in or around Roncesvalles, or are an adventurer, you can see Kristina’s design work in the logo for Extra Butter, a nifty addition to the bourgeoning strip. I recently roped Kristina into answering a few burning questions about her work and life. kristinaG FGFS: Who are you?

Kristina: Oh, hi hello. I’m Kristina Groeger.

FGFS: What do you do?

Kristina: I am a visual artist that lives in Toronto. I was a chef for a good number of years and decided to do a bit of a career change to focus more on making art and comics.

FGFS: What gets you excited about what you do?

Kristina: Half of my life ago (in high school), I can remember feeling really excited by creating a whole world with paint or pictures. I loved the idea of telling a story through something so simple. It’s exciting to watch a blob of paint or plate of food turn into a person with personality or a symphony of colour and taste.

FGFS: You’re like me in that your talents are varied. We do it all. Web, photography, art, cooking. I can’t imagine life being any other way. How about you? Is that just who you are, and how you function?

Kristina: I think this is definitely something I still explore and struggle with a bit. Without seeming like a “Jill of all trades, master of none” I like to think of myself more as an absent minded professor who is super close to a breakthrough. I’ve tried very hard to string together why I am such a “renaissance woman” (read: distracted aquarius). But, as far as web, photography, art, cooking? I see them all as forms of creation, story telling, or challenge and those are my favourite things to explore.

FGFS: What dish are you really, really good at making? Either you’re known for it, or just can just bang it out no problem and impress everyone.

Kristina: I would say that I am fairly known for my savoury or sweet pies. I really love working with pastry, also encompassing pasta and bread. I love kneading and sculpting the mixture of water, flour, and fat. It’s crazy how powder and liquid takes form into a delicious vehicle for flavour.

FGFS: Why is it that you create imagery and art that deals with food so prominently?

Kristina: Food for me has been an enormous part of my life for a really long time. I’ve been on a strict regime for the past six months to have more energy and start getting back into some sporty stuff I used to enjoy (skiing, swimming, baseball). When I was painting the donuts [paintings featured in Fat in Public], it was having an intense internal struggle about eating for pleasure vs. eating for body fuel. I also notice that everyone takes photos of their food the same way people would take photos of their family. The way we view food has shifted. When you see the way chefs like Michel Bras, Jason Bangerter, Daniel Humm, or Graham Elliott plate food you realize that this is art. They are using textures and viscosity to paint a beautiful landscape and story. I love exploring this in all types of mediums.

Ref: Chef Michel Bras Gargilou Source

FGFS: Anything else to add?

Kristine: This is one of my favourite videos of all time that shows the melding of food/art : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ_zMnxR9z8

Kristina has generously given us some prints and stickers(!) of the donut paintings from her series, Round Food Makes You Round, that hung in out gallery show in February.

To be one of the lucky winners follow these steps: 1. Go follow Kristina on Twitter 2. Tweet using the hashtag #FGFSxRoundFood and let us know why you want to win!

For further exploration find Kristina at these hot online places:   Tumblrhttp://tumblr.kristinagroeger.com/ and Etsyhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/KristinaGroegerArt
Portfoliohttp://kristinagroeger.com/

Advertisements

[GIVEAWAY] Good Food & Drink Festival

goodfooddrink

The Good Food and Drink Festival is a three-day epicurean festival featuring all the best in gourmet fare, natural foods, exotic ingredients, and expert speakers.

Packed into the Direct Energy Centre for the 22nd year, visitors will be treated to delicious food, drink and discussion regarding culinary trends over April 4th thru April 6th.

Foodies from far and wide will be coming to listen to the likes of Vikram Vij, Frankie Flowers or Terry Salmond (Top Chef Canada) provide live demos and discuss all things food.

But beyond the celebrity demonstrations, you could visit some of the artisan vendors, get a crash course in how to be a sommelier or perhaps visit food truck alley to take in some of the delicious food whilst learning about food truck culture.

Tickets are $12 online or $15 at the door. With several different options available for 2014, including the Couples Option and the VIP Preview Party (available Thursday only) both in the $50 pricepoint.

We are giving away 1-pair of tickets to the Good Food & Drink Festival! So how do you enter?

1) Like Fat Girl Food Squad on Twitter or Facebook.

2) Tweet the following: Experience an epicurean delight at @GoodFoodDrinkTO with @FatGrlFoodSquad! #FGFSlovesGoodFood

3) This contest will run from Monday March 31, 2014 until Wednesday April 2, 2014 at 5PM. We will announce all the giveaway winners via our Twitter and Facebook, so check back there!

[CONTEST] Things are getting extra cheesy: Toronto’s first Grilled Cheese fest

grilledcheese

The nights are cold. But the butter is melted and the cheese is ooey gooey and will keep you warm. Don’t worry Toronto! There is one events company that is looking after your comfort food desires with their next amazing event, Grilled Cheese Fest.

Thanks to Joylister, who brought us the Toronto Poutine Fest in the summer, on February 28 we can sink our teeth into all things Grilled Cheese at Roy Thomson Hall. They have decided to bring out the best of the best in cheesy goodness such as:

-Cut The Cheese
-Cheesewerks
-Gorilla Cheese
-Johnny Jackson’s

… just to name a few.

Tickets are $39.99 plus HST and include all-you-can-eat grilled cheese sandwiches, gourmet soup, and 3 beer samples. You can find out more information regarding tickets here.

So if you feel like getting your Grilled Cheese on then do we have a prize for you! Joylister has provided us with a pair of tickets to Grilled Cheese Fest and it’s pretty easy for YOU to win.

The contest runs from Tuesday January 21 and closes on Monday January 27 at 5PM EST. Winners will be notified of their win 24 hours after contest close.

Contest Rules:
1. Follow Fat Girl Food Squad on Twitter
2. Follow Joylister on Twitter
3. Tweet the following: CHEESE PLEASE! Send me to the Grilled Cheese Festival @FatGrlFoodSquad #FGFSlovesCheese

[CONTEST] – Steamwhistle presents The Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival

roundhouse_wintercraftbeerfest

Nothing says winter like being warmed up with a solid craft beer. Thanks to our pals at Steamwhistle and the success of the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival (in August), they have announced a sibling event happening on Saturday January 25, 2014 titled the Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival. Break outta those Polar Vortex blues and head on down to the Steam Whistle Brewery to try out some suds.

This outdoor event will feature beer from a number of Ontario’s top craft breweries including Flying Monkey Brewery, Left Field Brewery, Beau’s Brewing, Lake of Bays Brewing and Grand River Brewing – along with many more.

Advance mugs are on-sale for $20 and mugs will also be available at the door for $25. All drink tokens are available for sale on-site. But that’s not all: the first 500 people through the gate are set to receive a signature Winter Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest toque.

So if you feel like getting your craft brew on with some of the finest craft brewers in Ontario, then do we have a prize for you! Steamwhistle has provided us with a pair of tickets to the Winter Craft Beer Festival and it’s pretty easy for YOU to win.

The contest runs from Monday January 13 and closes on Sunday January 19 at 5PM EST.  Winners will be notified of their win 24 hours after contest close.

Contest Rules:
1. Like Fat Girl Food Squad on Facebook
2. Follow Steamwhistle Brewery on Twitter
3. Tweet the following: Warm me up @FatGrlFoodSquad with some craft brews at the RoundHouse Winter Craft Beer Festival. #GetCraftedwithFGFS

[CONTEST] Angela Aiello Founder of iYellow Wine Club Inspires New Generation of Winos

DSC_0031

If you’re like me, wine only meant what was cheapest and what was easiest to consume. I never really understood their was difference in wine and flavours until I reached my late twenties and I discovered my passion for good wine from different regions.

Oddly enough, there are many other like-minded young urban professionals in Toronto who also share this passion for wine-tasting and good food. This is where iYellow Wine Club comes into play, filling in a void in the Toronto’s urban market. Angela Aiello, owner of iYellow offers a unique wine club that host monthly wine events at an affordable cost and specialize in reputable wineries region each month.

IMG_1250

The secret to iYellow’s success lies in Aiello knowledge and love of wine. I chatted with her about the club, building wine confidence and what people can experience.

(1) Tell me about iYellow Wine Club and how did you come up with the concept?

iYellow Wine Club was created when I moved from wine country to Toronto and wanted to share wine with friends. When I moved to Toronto in 2005 after University, I worked in the wine business for close to a decade. I had a fun time throwing wine parties built around wine education for friends, which inspired iYellow Wine Club. Now the club is 10,000 members strong!

(2) For people who are attending the wine club, what if they don’t have a background in wine – should they feel intimidated?

I’ve designed the iYellow Wine Club to be fun, social and very un-intimidating. Wine has always been so stuffy, and I think it needs to be more indie. The vision has always been around helping people understand wine, not making them feel stupid just because they don’t know. One of the greatest things about wine is that no one knows everything, so we all get to learn together.

(3) What is the average cost per class and what does an attendee get?

We run over 24 classes per year for iYellow Wine School and with each class you receive a tasting and tutorial through 6 wines and light food pairings. You can also book a small group or corporate experience through us as well, we have a really cool venue for you to use. When you enroll in 4 or 8 classes you receive a diploma as well.

DSC_0062

(4) Does the world of wine only end at red and white? What other kinds of wine are there that people may not know about and can experience through the club.

The world of wine doesn’t end anywhere!! There is so much to learn from sparkling wine to fortified, there is so much great juice out there!! The only way to learn about wine is to taste it and I think, you need to live it! That means it becomes a lifestyle where you love to eat, sip, travel and enjoy life.

(5) People think that wine can be a very expensive beverage to purchase but does the iYellow Wine Club help recommend good bottles in varying price points?


I’m a BIG believer in anything that offers value! So yes recommending great value and good tasting wines is what we’re all about. But more than anything we’re about Wine Confidence and by that I mean we help give you the tools to make your own decisions on whether you feel wine is your favourite or worth the money.

(6) Who are the type of people to attend and join?

A glass of wine unites everyone, but suffice it to say that we are all wino’s, foodies, travellers and friends!

IMG_1855

Fat Girl Food Squad is giving away a pair of tickets to iYellow Wine Club’s November 18th VQA Blind Tasting. It’s easy to win!
Contest runs from THURSDAY NOVEMBER 7th and ends on THURSDAY NOVEMBER 14th @ 5PM.

1) Like Fat Girl Food Squad on Twitter.

2) Like iYellow Wine Club on Facebook.

2) Tweet the following: “Send me to the VQA Blind Tasting with @iyellowwineclub #FGFSlovesiYellow”

[CONTEST] – Whisky Rocks in London, ON

LC13_009_W_R_T-Shirt_Back-397x397

Whisky Rocks is invading London on November 7th at the London Music Hall. Whisky fans from far and wide can take in and discover the unique and pleasurable tastes of five premium Canadian whiskies, while taking in some well, you may have guessed it – rock.

Performances by the top 3 finalists from the Whisky Rocks Showdown Competition – along with the band Theory of a Deadman will be happening.  For the three Whisky Rocks Showdown competitors, a panel of judges and Theory of a Deadman will select 1 grand prize winner of a $5,000 gift card for Long & McQuade.

A portion of the evening’s proceeds will benefit Dixon Hall, a United Way member agency, and its youth programs, which include opportunities to attend music school and music camps across Ontario, with participation of youths from London-based service organizations.

Fat Girl Squad is giving away 2 pairs of tickets to Whisky Rocks – a celebration of music and whisky – featuring a live performance by Theory of a Deadman. On Nov 7 at  the London Music Hall, 185 Queens Ave, you will catch the top three finalists from the Whisky Rocks Showdown Competition, sample sized drinks from our Whisky partners and rock out to a full closing set by Theory of a Deadman! Enter now for your chance to win! Must be 19+ to enter.”

Release:  By submitting an entry you release the LCBO, its directors, officers, employees, agents, suppliers, the London Music Hall and Fat Girl Squad from any liability arising out of or in connection with this contest and the awarding of any prize, now or in the future.

Winners: Will each receive a prize package consisting of 2 tickets to the Whisky Rocks Concert event in London On, Nov 7, 2013 at the London Music Hall. Prize package to be picked up at the “guest list” lineup at the London Music Hall. Entrants and their guest must be 19 years of age or over to attend. Proof of ID required. Management reserves the right to refuse entry. Ticket includes performances, sample sized drinks from our Whisky Partners, light hors díoevres, pop and water. No Cash bar available during this special event. Prize will be awarded as stated, and cannot be traded for monetary value.

How to enter:

2. Tweet @ us your favourite Canadian Whisky with the tag: #WhiskyRocksFGFS
Contest runs from Tuesday October 22nd through to Wednesday October 30th at 5PM EST. Winners will be notified of their win 24 hours after contest close.

[CONTEST] Monster Cereals Are Coming Back At Ya

2013-10-12 11.07.30By Acacia Christensen.

Currently it is #NationalCerealLoversWeek and there is plenty going on to celebrate that crunchy goodness you get first thing in the morning. At Fat Girl Food Squad we’ve decided to celebrate that and a mix of Halloween by bringing you a chance to win some special edition re-releases of some of our favourite cereals and a few that might be new to some of you.

monsters2013lineup

When I think of the cereal I ate as a child I tend to remember all of the crazy mascots and jingles as well as the prizes that came in the box. One thing that I find now living in Canada and making frequent trips to the US is that we have a much smaller variety of fun kid’s cereals available to us now. A specific example would be the General Mills brand Monster Cereals! Now we are all familiar with Count Chocula which is now only available on Halloween, but every year over the Halloween season there are releases of Frankenberry and Boo-Berry.

Many moons ago there were two other howling good flavours: Frute Brute – cherry ghosts with lime monster-mallows, and Yummy Mummy – orange ghosts with vanilla monster-mallows! These two flavours have not been available since 1988 and 1992 respectively. What the amazing folks at General Mills have done this year is re-ressurected all 5 flavours at once for us for a limited time only. Even crazier is that the original retro-packaging is available at select Target locations across the US. They are definitely a monstrously delicious sugar treat for breakfast that are as great as I remember them to be.
2013-10-12 11.05.10
Up for grabs are a box of Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy, the two resurrected flavours, in their retro packaging.
How to enter:
2. Tweet @ us your best spooky puns and/or jokes and use the hashtag #FGFSlovesSpookyPuns

Contest runs from Thursday October 17th through to Wednesday October 23rd at 5PM EST. Winners will be notified of their win 24 hours after contest close.

[CONTEST] – Cask Days Are Ahead!

Cask Days 2013

 

Let’s admit it, Toronto is a city that loves its beer. We have numerous  festivals dedicated to beer and craft beer, but one that is largely unique is happening October 19 and 20, 2013 at the Evergreen Brickworks: Cask Days.

 

The family behind Bar Volo have taken the festival Cask Days and made into one of Toronto 9th annual premiere festival for craft beers. First up, the festival will feature over 200 cast conditioned ales from over 100 Canadian microbreweries. If that didn’t tickle your fancy, 36 beers from the UK and international breweries from across the world are being highlighted to demonstrate the roots of “real ale”.

 

Beyond the amazing lineup of beer, Cask Days has lined up an array of on-site workshops, music and some delicious food vendors including: Bar Isabel, Parts and Labor, Ceili Cottage, Hogtown Smoke and more.

 

Cask Days 2013 will host over 4000 people two days, will you be one of them? Well you could be! Fat Girl Food Squad is giving away a pair of tickets to Sunday October 20, 2013 portion of the festival.

 

The contest runs from Friday  October 11th and closes on Thursday October 17 at 5PM EST.  Winners will be notified of their win 24 hours after contest close.

 

Contest Rules:

  1. Like Fat Girl Food Squad on FaceBook
  2. Follow Cask Days on Twitter
  3. Tweet the following: I’m a beer geek @FatGrlFoodSquad! Send me to the 2013 @CaskDays! #FGFSandCASKDAYS

[CONTEST] – 2013 Everything to Do with Sex Show

sexshow2012-logo-nobg

The 2013 Everything to do with Sex Show is just around the corner (happening October 18-20, 2013 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre) where those looking to explore their deepest fantasies in a safe and open space can do so.

The show weekend is filled with everything your heart could possibly imagine. From toys and accessories, and swings you won’t find at your average Toronto park to in-depth discussions and seminars given by several different sexperts including Breanne Benson, Charmane Star, Pastel Supernova, Ashley Fires and Sunny Lane, just to name a few.  The Everything to Do with Sex Show has got all your bases covered.

Take this weekend to test out that collar that you’ve always envisioned trying on.  Explore that inner kink you’ve never thought of.  Look into stripperobics and try your moves out on the pole.  Whatever the case may be, you can do so while you’re at the Sex Show.

Thankfully, the Fat Girl Food Squad care not just about the food that you enjoy, but if our readers are having healthy and happy sex lives too!  So in that vein, we’re giving away 5 PAIRS OF TICKETS to the 2013 Everything to Do with Sex Show.

The contest runs from Wednesday October 9th and closes on Tuesday October 15 at 5PM EST.  Winners will be notified of their win 24 hours after contest close.

Contest Rules:

  1. Like Fat Girl Food Squad on FaceBook
  2. Follow The Everything to Do with Sex Show on Twitter
  3. Tweet the following: Spice up my life @FatGrlFoodSquad! Send me to the 2013 @The_Sex_Show! #FGFSenjoysYYZsex

CONTEST: Win Spots to Discovered Culinary Competition Finals

PinkMafia_NellaCucina_YuliScheidt_15

Have you been following Discovered Culinary Competition hosted by Nella Cucina? Through Semi-Finals and Fan Favourite votes we’ve been watching as talented Canadian chefs go up against each other, testing their skills and trusting their talents in front of a live audience and judges panel.

Chefs with raw talent, like Alex Shute from Bestellen, have faced judges such as John Placko and Carol Belmonte of Belmonte Raw and Michael Hunter, Executive Chef at Reds Wine Bar,. Really just the cream of the crop of industry in Toronto, along side some relatively unknowns. Think of it as one of those chef chanlenge TV shows, but this one happens right in front of you. Sounds like the ultimate for a foodie, right?

Well, the final week is here and it’s The Finals! The Winner will be named and the losers will pack up their knives and head home to check their meez. Spots in the Peanut Gallery are opening to everyone but these are the finals, people! Spots are filling up fast. But FGFS and Nella Cucina have you covered. Enter this contest and you have the chance to win two spots to the event, that includes hanging out with us, your Toronto Squad!

How it works:

1. Go like Fat Girl Food Squad on Facebook

2. Go like Nella Cucina on Facebook

3. Comment on this post on our Facebook

Simple as that! Contest closes Friday, July 19th at 11:59PM

Contest now closed! Congrats to Laura A. who will be joining the Squad on Monday at the event!