Pangaea: Why it Tastes so Good? reveals the true secret behind Chef Kouprie’s celebrated dishes.
Since Pangaea opened thirteen years ago in Toronto’s tony Yorkville district, Chef Martin Kouprie has cultivated relationships with farmers, foragers, cheese makers and other artisans to ensure that he has the best local and imported ingredients for his recipes. Along the way has garnered awards for his culinary creations from the the Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) for four years running, and the Ontario Hostelry Institute (OHI) named Kouprie and his partner 2009 Gold Honourees. Although a few recipes such as the Wild Mushroom Risotto and Grilled Calamari with Brown Butter are always available at Pangaea, most of the menu changes seasonally since the availability of the best quality ingredients needed in those recipes is not constant. For instance, Mahogany Glazed Salmon with Baby Bok Choy and Lime Caramel Butter is one of Martin Kouprie’s signature dishes but it is only offered when wild, sustainable salmon sources are available.
Whether the ingredients used at Pangaea come from near or far, they are always prepared with care to create exceptional results: Exotic imported Ib rico ham is expertly shaved into whisper thin strips to highlight its light, buttery texture; likewise, stream grown Japanese wasabi is hand grated on sharkskin for each individual order so that its pungency and perfume are fresh. Equal reverence is shown to the ingredients sourced from Pangaea’s own backyard: Quebec raised muscovy duck is wet-aged to become succulent and supremely tender while wild blueberries are hand sorted so that every blueberry tart is an exquisite work of art that tastes as good as it looks.
Pangaea features photos that show how local ingredients are produced or procured and how imported ingredients arrive and are stored and prepared. Pictures of farmer, forager and artisan suppliers with Martin Kouprie and other Pangaea staffers will also be included in the ingredient sections to emphasize thecentral role people play in making Pangaea a destination. Martin Kouprie eaches readers what they need to do to improve all of their cooking. Studio quality photographs bring to life the menu items that have made Pangaea a critic’s choice for more than a dozen years.
Selected as one of the Fifty Best Toronto Restaurants:
“A smart and stylish favourite of those seeking a dining experience of exquisite taste. Classic dishes are prepared with a modern visionary’s aplomb, introducing flattering twists on many favourites. Land, sea and seasons are well-respected, as are the freshest vegetables and glorious game. Fish and seafood are the specialities, and receive TLC. Attention to detail and thoughtfulness extend to the marvelous desserts. The wine list featuring Italians and Burgundies, is full of unexpected treasures. Afternoon Tea, another specialty, is offered daily.”
After more than thirteen years as the executive chef and co-owner of Toronto’s acclaimed Pangaea Restaurant, Martin Kouprie has proven himself to be more than just a gifted cook. He’s a savvy businessman, a mentor and even a pretty good dishwasher. In his personal life Martin Kouprie is an accomplished carpenter and a specialty scuba diver. He is the father of a son, Oliver and is married to cookbook author and food concept architect Dana McCauley.
Since getting his start capturing memorable images in black and white and shooting live performances of rock bands for entertainment magazines, James Tse has become one of North America’s most sought after photographers. As his talent evolved, so did Jame’s philopsphy and subject matter. Today his practice has a focus on food, people, environment and still life images and his clientele include Martha Stewart Living, Food & Drink, Toronto Life and other notable publications.