If you’ve made the most of your CNE visits (and made the least of your restraint), by now you’ve already eaten every deep-fried and chocolate-dipped concoction there is. To remedy that midway malaise, we asked four chefs for their own preposterous carnival creations.
From left to right:
Wanting to create a layered dessert, Bero chef Matt Kantor turned to his pastry chef, Sophy Han, to see what kind of sugary nesting doll she could come with. “This is the turducken of dessert,” Han says. “It’s chocolate, wrapped in a brownie, wrapped in cookie dough, wrapped in doughnut dough, then deep-fried and rolled around in lemon sugar. I can assure you each layer tastes gorgeous.” She’s right: Under the fluffy doughnut exterior is a warm molten chocolate cake oozing with bittersweet chocolate.
889 Queen St. E., 416-477-3393.
Catch’s Cone-y Island cornucopia
Charlotte Langley’s mountainous cone is made from sponge toffee and packed with popcorn, housemade peanut-butter cups and peppermint patties, and candied blueberries, rosehips, and pears (since it’s not apple season yet). All of the chef’s favourite sundae toppings are jammed into a giant Bugle that’s drizzled with bourbon caramel. “[The cone] is something that’s over the top and sweet and sticky—and probably bad for you,” she says. And because a creation like this demands attention of epic proportions, it’s finished off with flakes of gold. “It’s one big party.”
744 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-658-0568.
Rose and Sons’s poutine-stuffed whole fried chicken sandwich
“Big bird, little bun” is how Rose and Sons and Big Crow chef Chris Sanderson describes his mega-sandwich, for which a whole Cornish hen is deboned, buttermilk-fried, then stuffed with poutine, spread with maple-mayo, and placed between two delicate egg buns. “What I really like is a good fried-chicken club instead of some of the crazier midway foods,” he says. “It’s just that I also put all the sides into the sandwich.” It’s all in there: fried green-tomato slices, crunchy coleslaw, thick-cut bacon spiked with Dr. Pepper—oh, and a pickle on top, “to keep it fresh and light.”
176 Dupont St., 647-748-3287.
Whippoorwill’s fried bacon with Red Bull glaze
Chef Tyler Cunningham loves midway food (funnel cake was on his dessert menu), but he’s also a fan of practicality, so this is for the carnival-goer who needs a portable snack between rides. He takes maple-cured pork belly, lightly poaches it, and fries it to a fatty crisp before adding a syrupy Red Bull sauce and a zing of chilies, cilantro, and peanut brittle. “I wanted light and bright flavours,” he says. “But this has everything: It’s spicy, sticky, meaty, and deep-fried on a stick.”
1285 Bloor St. W., 416-530-2999.