The movement to make eating a healthier and more environmentally friendly affair is bigger than ever. Free-range meat is sold everywhere, the 100-mile diet is ingrained in our lexicon, and even the White House has a vegetable garden. In Toronto, a number of chefs and restaurants have long promoted a more sustainable dining experience with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients in oft-changing but always delicious menus. Where presents a primer on a few of the well-regarded establishments that are giving this city’s foodies even more reasons to go green. BY ALEX HUGHES
“From farm to table, nose to tail” is the motto of popular west-end bistro Cowbell, which embraces “full boar” many of the slow food movement’s principles by sourcing only the freshest seasonal ingredients for its high-end fare. Almost all of the organic meats—from Berkshire pork to red deer—and produce served here are from Ontario farms, and it’s also one of the few restaurants in Toronto to buy whole animals, which are butchered, smoked and cured on-site. It’s no wonder Toronto diners still clamour for chef Mark Cutrara’s daily menu. An added bonus: Cowbell hosts reservation-only “Farmers Nights,” where a five-course meal is created using ingredients from a single farm. Along with chef Cutrara, the featured farmers are also on-hand to discuss their craft at the restaurant’s communal table.