When spring arrives, he’ll celebrate by serving asparagus on every plate. He also buys extra, pureeing the stalks and pickling the tips to decorate charcuterie plates next winter.
“It takes a lot of extra work to make connections with all the different producers, and tomatoes available today may not be available tomorrow, but it’s a commitment and it’s something we all love, so it makes it a little easier for us,” he said.
Arron Carley, executive sous chef at Volos Estiatorio downtown, is one of the few Toronto chefs who visit the Ontario Food Terminal occasionally to find out what’s new in produce and what’s coming next.
“In the summer our supplier tries to get us Ontario as much as he can, not only because he believes in it but it’s generally a better price,” Carley said.
His Greek menu uses five kinds of tomatoes, a riot of bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, fennel and herbs in colorful raw side salads and grilled vegetables drizzled with olive oil.
“We get produce in six days a week, and it’s all got to be fresh,” he said.