TORONTO — The TOCA Restaurant team invited media to learn about its carefully curated selection of cheeses and fine wines last night as a preview to its Cheese Cave Event Series beginning next month.
Head chef Jitin Gaba, GM Peter Muir and resident sommelier Lorie O’Sullivan treated 15 guests to a selection of cheeses, expertly aged inside TOCA’s glass-encased, temperature-controlled Cheese Cave, paired with Ontario wines.
“The first thing I look for when I’m selecting a cheese for TOCA is, of course, the taste; after that I look for the story. Every cheese has to have a unique quality or story to tell — that’s what excites me the most and I love to share that with my guests,” said Gaba, who is responsible for overseeing the Cheese Cave’s collection of perfectly aged local and international cheeses.
Diners sampled varieties such as Avonlea cheddar, a cow’s milk cheese that gets its rich, robust flavour from P.E.I.’s salty air and iron-rich soil, paired with Château des Charmes Cabernet Franc; and TOCA’s best-seller, Lankaaster, a loaf-shaped hard cheese from Lancaster, Ont. Its buttery flavours pair well with TOCA Chardonnay from Cave Spring Cellars.
The new Cheese Cave Event Series begins Dec. 5 and will occur once a month until March 5, 2016. Each session, which costs $45 per person, will feature a different pairing theme, such as cheddar and beer, fondue and scotch or soft cheeses and Champagne. All pairings will focus on local cheese producers.