It’s the question that keeps you up at night: What would “The Twelve Days of Christmas” look like if it were food? Well friends, we’ve decided to solve that conundrum, with some help from a dozen Toronto chefs.
A partridge in a pear tree
Victor Barry, Splendido
Barry deboned a partridge and rolled the thigh meat with sausage. Consider it a meaty festive log (classier culinary term: ballotine). He seared the breast meat and jazzed it up with pear and vanilla purée, walnut crumble, liver mousse, and walnut snow.
Splendido, 88 Harbord St., 416-929-7788.
Christine Fancy, Origin Liberty
The Fancy household has a thing for Turtles during the holidays, so the pastry chef decided to make an avian version of the chocolates. Her nests of chocolate-covered pretzels and potato sticks are held together with toffee and coconut shavings. Inside are peanut “dove eggs.”
Origin Liberty, 171 East Liberty St., Unit 100, 416-649-4567.
Three French hens
Scott Vivian, Beast Restaurant
“The three in the lyrics actually stands for faith, hope, and love,” says Vivian. “In certain cultures, pork means prosperity and hope, so I stuffed the French hen with pork belly. For love, I brushed the hen with an aphrodisiac glaze of honey and maple syrup. For faith, I thought of the body of Christ, so I added challah bread and blood sausage in the stuffing.”
Beast Restaurant, 96 Tecumseth St., 647-352-6000.
Four colly birds
Leor Zimerman, Quinta
We thought it was “four calling birds,” too. But no. (Turns out a colly bird is a blackbird.) Zimerman opted for silkie chicken, a bird with inky skin and flesh, traditional in Chinese soups. In keeping with his Portuguese cooking, he served it with a spicy homemade piri-piri sauce.
Quinta, 1282 Dundas St. W., 416-534-0407.
Next page: Five golden rings to Eight maids-a-milking