Chew Street Kicks Off 2015! Wine. Women Wealth.


Chew Street kicked off 2015 with 'Wine. Women. Wealth.'  The event, which took place on January 29th was held in partnership with my new friend Annie, of the fabulous food blog Chu On This, and generously supported by RBC.

With the start of the new year I wanted to give my bank accounts a break from Christmas shopping and Annie and I were both thinking about our financial goals for this year (and dreading tax time!).  

We decided to bring a group of women together for ‘Wine. Women. Wealth.’  a fun evening of wine  tasting and financial education.  Cveta Trajkova of the The Wine Shop, a 28 year veteran of the wine industry, shared her passion and knowledge of quality VQA wines that were all under $15 (seriously!) or under $20.   

We tasted four delicious wines, along with some yummy cheese and chocolate. Once we found out how affordable they were, our biggest dilemma was where were going to store all those cases we were going to buy to get us through this cold winter :-)  If you missed out on the event, you can always visit Cveta at The Wine Shop for a tasting and some advice on food pairings too!  The Wine Shop is having a case sale so your wallet and your palate will thank you :-)

Following the tasting we sat down for a chat with RBC Accredited Financial Planner Elissa Atlin for a frank discussion about money, relationships, work and achieving our financial goals.  Annie and I both work with Elissa and we love her ability to demystify complex financial issues in an entertaining and engaging way. She is also super supportive and  takes the time to talk or meet with me whenever I ask.  It’s like banking old school - actually sitting down and having a relationship with your banker instead of doing everything online.

As you know, Chew Street events raise money for children’s charities.  In 2013 RBC started a wonderful initiative called Kids Pledge.  They committed to a 5-year, $100 million pledge to help 1 million kids. The Kids Pledge supports a several different children’s charities that help in the areas of arts, education, health and sports, among others.  

Annie and I were both passionate about PBLO Law at Sick Kids - an initiative between Pro Bono Law Ontario and Sick Kids Hospital, and also an RBC Kids Pledge affiliated charity.  The program offers an in-house to meet with families at SickKids, sometimes at the child’s bedside, to provide legal advice and guide families through legal processes, or to connect them with a lawyer in the community who can provide the necessary legal services, all free of charge.  It’s a wonderful initiative run though generosity of time and money and RBC generously made a donation to the program as part of their sponsorship of 'Wine. Women. Weath.'  PBLO Law at Sick Kids is just one of the the than 2,000 kids initiatives globally financially supported by RBC. Check out how RBC is making a difference and consider donating your time or money to a Kids Pledge program your passionate about.  

From l to r :  Elissa Atlin, RBC; Annie Chu, Chu On This; Me!; Cveta Trajkova, The Wine Shop

Chew Street celebrates St. Lucia with Top Chef Nina Compton!

Last week I had the honour of hosting an event honouring Top Chef Fan Favourite Nina Compton.  I'm a huge fan of Top Chef and fell in love with Nina's drive, personality and creativity in the kitchen last season.  The fact that she is a proud St. Lucian was icing on the cake since my family roots spring from that beautiful island :-)


Since her stint on Top Chef, Nina has been appointed as St. Lucia's Culinary Ambassador and has been travelling the word sharing her refined take on Caribbean flavours.  The St. Lucia Tourist Board brought Nina to Canada and took her on a whirlwind culinary tour.  I was invited to attend a dinner prepared by Chef Nina where she showcased the versatility of St. Lucian chocolate. Her next stop was an appearance on The Social where she showed Canada how to make the recipes we enjoyed at the dinner.

After the social, Nina stopped by Chew Street!  I worked with the St. Lucia Tourist Board to host a meet and greet honouring Chef Nina for the Consul General of St. Lucia and St. Lucian expats.  We served hors d'oeuvres that showcased some of my favourite St. Lucian and Caribbean ingredients - plaintain, salt cod, breadfruit and scotch bonnet peppers.  I also created a custom cocktail for Nina - the UVF - using Chairman's Reserve St. Lucian Rum.  Guests got a chance for some one on one time with the Top Chef Fan Favourite.

YYZ Loves UVF - Event Menu

Breadfruit & Saltfish Croquettes
Chicken & Plantain Skewers
Shrimp & Plantain Skewers
Saltfish Crostini
Scotch Bonnet Aioli
Coco-Peanut Sauce
Mango & Dragon Fruit Kebabs
National Flag Sugar Cookies

The UVF - Ginger Beer, Chairman's Reserve Rum, Pineapple & Lime


This event was so much fun and it made me want to pack my bags and head back to sunny St. Lucia!  You can find out more about St. Lucia here and you can follow Chef's Nina's culinary adventures here.