“Chef Artois” heads to neo-bistro Lapinou for a culinary mêlée

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On the next episode of “Chef Artois”—an eight-part culinary miniseries in support of Rally for Restaurants—we’re heading to Toronto’s Entertainment District, where Lapinou Executive Chef Jamie Ullrich will judge two home cooks as they try to make one of his signature dishes: handmade garganelli pasta infused with tomato vines and topped with a sauce made from the very same tomatoes that once clung to the stems that give this green pasta its hue.

Hosted by Pay Chen, “Chef Artois” takes you inside some of Toronto’s best kitchens, where renowned chefs will unveil the recipes behind their signature dishes. These chefs, however, won’t be making the dish. Instead, two home cooks will be putting their culinary skills to the test in a competition to earn the coveted title of Chef Artois alongside a $1,000 prize pack.

Lapinou’s warm service, gorgeous Belle Époque-styled dining room and phenomenal Franco food make this 11-month-old restaurant one of the best spots to dine on King West. Lapinou isn’t your grand-mère’s bistro, though. Ullrich is serving up contemporary Canadian takes on the French classics. The ever-changing seasonal menu of neo-bistro fare fuses classic French techniques with local produce and international accents. Recent globe-spanning spicing highlights include za’atar, XO sauce and curry leaves. 

For the “Chef Artois” contenders, Ullrich has chosen a seemingly simple pasta as this week’s challenge dish. This pasta dish may look straightforward, after all it’s just four ingredients—pasta, tomatoes, basil and Ontario gouda—but the home cooks are about to find out that sometimes less is more… More challenging that is.  

Will the contestants be able to recreate Chef Ullrich’s handmade pasta plate with only 60 minutes on the clock and no time to prep? Get a taste of the cookoff action below—then come back to torontolife.com/chefartois on September 30 for the full episode.