Sunday, February 28, 2010

A long, but VERY productive week


I'm back! Sent an e-mail to the 2 Ladies down at the Pastry Shop down the way ( today to see if we can meet up and chat. I want to see what kind of arrangements and relationships we can develop. Which btw, GREAT shop! Space is beautiful, and the food is exquisite! In fact, the ladies don't know it, but they made a slab cake for our guests at our wedding, and it was FANtastic! Some of the best cake I've ever had!

All that to say that they mentioned that I hadn't written since the I thought I would get to it... considering I've been getting to it every day for the last little while...

Since we last left off, we were lucky enough to have ourselves a little help! Thank goodness!

Last weekend we had my Dad, Uncle, Wife, Brother, Brother In-Law ( - yay for the Graphic Designer in the family!), and FIL and I! Holy! Did things ever move and groove!

First, drywall continued and is pretty much done until the inspector comes in to check out all the electrical I've been doing...... insane...

Secondly, and probably one of the biggest things, sanding..... We bit the bullet, rented the equipment and sanded.... when we weren't running down the stretch of the Space with the sander, we were on all fours spot sanding... thanks so much to my little brother and my wife...

Then of course... with all that extra help.... my office has come to life! Studded and ready for an inspector to see the plugs. :)

You now know why I haven't had 2minutes to write an entry. It's been go go go....

Now that things are moving ahead, I will be heading out to meet some farmers and producers shortly! Have to line everyone up so that we can make some food after all this work. I'm getting really excited to get our hands on a beautiful whole pig and work our way through it day by day, making new and exciting meals with everything... including our own pancetta and bacon....

Oh! I also met with the Curtis Refrigeration guys! yay! Its all ordered and ready to come in! Will be a few weeks, but things are finally coming together. It's always a nice feeling to see things being built. I told FIL the other day... It's almost real.... :)

A guy was in to get all the sprinklers together and legal today and friday... all done. Ceiling should be painted out this week as well (another job we passed along to someone else) and then we can do the walls shortly there after...

Ok I'm going to leave it at that.... Hopefully all approvals come through early this week with the City and we can move forward. As soon as I finally get the electrical all in order we'll have an inspector in for the rough in inspection and then we close walls up.. wow.. it never ends!

Can't wait to meet with Sweet and Savoury Tomorrow!

À Bientôt!


Thursday, February 18, 2010


so.... I just received a Tweet... about one of the greatest things!

Why didn't I think of this before!

National Pig Day!

Check it out!


I'm back!!!


So after many an e-mail, and many a long day, we have gone ahead and done quite a bit of work in the last week. Hence why I haven't written.... well kind of.. that and the fact that now that we're not demolishing things, there is nothing 'big' going on....

We have FINALLY nailed down all the plywood at the back of the shop and the plumbing is in :)

In fact, thanks Robert... we had a few additions as things went ahead.

Met with Curtis Refrigeration as well to discuss our needs and get the drawings for the Walk-ins! :) I had to poor a little cement to even out the floor behind the safe ( I thought I was done with that) but now we have the Perfect little nook for 2 refrigeration units :) yay!

I have to say that it's nice to be able to walk on solid ground now and not worry about falling through.. which.. I have....

Another great milestone is the Drywall! yay!

Fil and I got about 6 sheets up today and the rest will be finished tomorrow. Better get things going, I have a slew of helpers for the weekend! My dad, uncle, brother and my Wife! Holy cow! mmm cow..... :)

Ok I'm cutting it short here.. not much to say, I'm pretty much babbling now.

Don't expect anything til wednesday night. I'll be pretty busy doing about a million things.

Have fun! I will!


Friday, February 12, 2010

The Joy of Joists

Most days we get off on the right foot, today we started on the right joists.

That's right, after negotiating with my landlord to cover almost the entire cost of the floor
reno (which btw, is his responsibility really, and plus, I'm covering all the labour, it's the LEAST he can do) we purchased all the materials and had them delivered to the Shop.

A few days ago I posted a photo of the large hole tha
t was at the back of the building, well today, that void was filled with PLENTY of wood and nails! To top it all off, it's all level and plum! Wow, what a concept. Now I won't be scared of installing my walk-ins right over top of the rotted out floors :)

I decided that some people reading this may want to see what I look like, in case we meet in the street. So popped into the washroom and took this, oh so flattering, self portrait. It's my 'reno, things are banging, and I'm too cheap to let the furnace run before I make any money' Get Up. Not bad eh? You'll also notice that I'm wearing my ever comfortable Winter Beard. My beautiful wife dislikes it... In fact, she doesn't dislike IT per say, she doesn't like giving me a kiss when I wear it. It tickles her nose. So this season, we're both in luck, I get to keep it uninterrupted, and she doesn't have to worry about the tickle. Win win I'd say... kinda.....

Anyways, on to one last thing and this is directed to all my friends and collegues from the kitchen. So working in the industry (food) you get to use all these Extra Large Tools that you wouldn't see in a regular home cook setting. Working in the Construction Industry, you Also get to use tools that are oversized, even, I would go as far as saying on steroids.

Today I used a Paslode. Now I had used one many times before, but not before I met FIL and he showed me one. Today I was thinking to myself, I wonder how many people have seen a Hammer on Steroids....... and then it came to me! This is EXACTLY like a Commercial Immersion Blender! Colours and all! I just thought I would share this piece of knowledge with you all... you know.... for betterment of the general public.

All and all productive day.

and before I leave you for the evening, I'd like to share an epiphany of sorts that FIL and I had today. Plumbing, is for plumbers.... Hence, we decided to hire a plumber to do the work... This may have ensued from several things. Could have been the amount of work we Already have to do. Could have been that it will be fairly lengthy process. OR it could have been from the 16 inch wide crawl space, full of god knows what, that we saw and realized that one of us, probably the younger of the two, was going to have to be on all fours crawling through. In case you didn't know, I'm claustrophobic. THIS; not a good idea. And really, even if I wasn't, I don't think it would have happened. So we hired a plumber. Needless to say, I'm going to have to cut somewhere...

A quick question (wow this never ends): I've been thinking of posting the blog address in large letters on brown paper in the windows of the shop.. get people going and looking.... thoughts? Eventually i was going to put the website, but.... I was thinking of waiting. Is it too early?

Please stay tuned....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It continues...

Well it continued on again today.... one slow step after another... I'm going on two weeks and one day off... and you know what... NOT even tired! I'm excited each and every time we walk in and walk out of the room!Firstly, I'm glad to say that we are finally getting to a point where we aren't necessarily tearing things apart, and more so, putting them back together. I showed you up to date pics yesterday, but really, this is what it looked like, not 2 weeks ago.

Now don't get me wrong, that's a pretty unbelievable sight, but I was glad to see it go. Thanks to great friends that come to Help (Merci JL)

Today however, there is an entirely different scene on hand. FIL(Father In Law) and I Finished all the patching of hardwood with old wood he had sitting around his shop. Here it is in 3 easy steps! I jack hammered the cement slab, REFILLED the cement slab, and then we set down the wood.

Once everything is done, we will resend the entire room and give all the wood the same natural finish. Should give for an interesting look.

You can really see the contrast between the old and the new, but that's mostly because the old is filthy :)

When we were tearing up the carpet (they used to offices for a bank) at the back of the building we found that all the carpets were humid.... very humid... I would even say wet. There had been no vapour barrier set down just below and about 1.5 feet down was the ground. Yay.

So after a few conversations with the building owner (no, I do not own the building, and yes, we are STILL pouring our heart and souls into the work) he finally agreed to pay to have it set down and the floor taken up. I, being a good guy, and not wanting it left to someone who may do a Half-*** job, said we would do it if he covered materials.

Well, turns out, 100 year old joists, covered in 35 year old gravel, start to Rot.... so once everything was opened it was just as easy to convince the Landlord for a little more money and Voila! we're replacing joists tomorrow!

Here is what it looks like now that we've torn them all out... bear with me... you'll understand why I'm going on about these in a few seconds...

Now that you've seen the mess, see what we pulled from the mess...

That's right, these 100 year old babies aren't all in that bad shape... and will soon become shelving and or a centre table for display! Yay! yes, yes, I took the ones that weren't Dry Rotted.

Also spoke with our lovely Neighbour, Dawn, owner of Serendipitea; a nice little tea room beside us, and she is interested in purchasing breads, wholesale purchasing jams and chutneys etc.... could be a nice thing...

Ok that's enough for today... hopefully soon, we'll be talking food... but I doubt it...

I dreamt of home made pancetta last night..... Insane!

Ok no, I really need to go. Jamie Oliver at Home is waiting anyways!

Tomorrow I build a brand new floor! Joists and all!

Wish me lucK! (wow this is long!)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Renovation Marathon


so you've read the first post, you know what I WANT it to be, but what about how I GET it to look that way...

Over the course of the next few months, I will post as many renovation updates and pict
ures as possible... and somewhere, in there, I will try to post some food photos too!

Where: Midland, ON
Building: 248 King street, and Old Bank and once General Store (I know, that's soooo cool!)
What: A Locally Focused Food
Shop, Take-Home Meals, Catering, and hopefully, in due time, Culinary Learning Studio

We got our keys on Dec 31st and have since started gutting, and tearing apart this space to get it just right! We have removed the Carpets, Tiles and 5-8 plywood.... We discovered ORIGINAL hardwood and for the most part, it's beautiful! A couple of patches here and there. Luckily, my father-in-law is a contractor and knows what he's doing!

We have removed the suspended ceiling and extra wiring and discovered original tin....again, amazing! Thank goodness for my beautiful wife and her ability to let me dream! At this point, she has stayed back in Ottawa, waiting for an opportunity to join me. I know, crazy....

I'll keep this short, but lots of pics!

(FYI - they guy in the photos, not me, my little brother, ain't he cute!?)


The Creation of a Destination Food Shop!

Hello to all!

You find yourself here probably for the same reasons I did; curiosity.

Some 5 years ago, I decided that working at a desk was not for me and that I needed to pursue my dreams of being a Chef. Working in the world of Communications and consulting was just not going to be enough to keep me stimulated. Before I knew it, I was immersed in a world or scrumptious foods coming from all corners of our Region (Ottawa at the time) and couldn't get enough of it all. After meeting my mentor, Bruce Wood (Check him out on Salt Spring Island, Bruce's Kitchen) I was inspired to cook with as much local and sustainable food as possible. It was love! With the ingredients, not Bruce ;)

Since then I have in my circle of friends, people who raise geese, make cheese, grow and forage mushrooms and make artisanal breads among other things.

I felt however, that these people needed to have their products and the love for their products better represented. The further along I went, the more I felt that these people, our producers, farmers, foragers and bakers, needed a medium of their own. And so, Ciboulette et Cie was formed. As the name implies, we are a partnership. We have started this shop and catering company in order to create an exposé of sorts. A place where we can showcase local products and their producers. Now don't get me wrong, I love the avocado and from time to time a lemon will find it's way into our cooking. But for the most part...

In order to continue this journey, I find myself knee deep in old wood, tin ceilings, work boots, jack hammers, etc etc etc... A dream come true to be honest.

This blog is to help chronicle the new beginnings of our food shop.

Alright. For my first entry this is a fairly long one, so I will cut it short here. Stay tuned for posting of Several photos of the renovation.

Cheers and bon appetit!