Royal Theatre

Royal Theatre – College Street

Aside from my antics, the Taste Buds don’t often have entertainment with a meal. Thanks to theBUZZ we set out on this new experience to attend  ‘Eatable’, Toronto’s food film festival at the Royal Theatre, located at 608-610 College Street, near Clinton Avenue. The Royal opened in 1939 in a community that was predominantly British. Today that area is the heart of Little Italy.

The builder of the theatre was a woman named Ray Lewis, who set out to create a venue that would be the entertainment centre of the community. Lewis was actually born Ray Levinsky, in Toronto, in 1883. She would become the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Moving Picture Digest, and eventually it’s owner. She was a pioneer, influential in the Toronto theatre scene at a time when it was not common for a woman to participate directly in owning and managing a company. INSIDE

I write all of this to give you a picture, history included, of how F***ing Perfect the night was for us and not just the name of the film.

Sergio Herman copy

Master Chef Sergio Herman

While we did not know what to expect, it quickly became clear that this film would hit home for us. F***ing Perfect is a documentary about Master chef Sergio Herman that captures the internal battle of most restauranteurs. Natalie and I have lived this revealing story about perfection, ambition and sacrifices.  It was very emotional for us. Chef Herman struggles with his need to let go of his 3-star Michelin rated restaurant, Oud Sluis, in order to fulfill his dreams. I will not disclose his decision or where the story goes, but the film is riveting and a must see !

Just as interesting was the menu for this evening, by Chef Brandon Olsen, that was set out for our

Brandon Olsen

Chef Olsen

movie watching experience.  We were greeted, upon entering the theatre, by Chef Olsen himself serving the perfect bite sized BC Albacore Tuna morsels infused with a brown butter shallot sauce and dill. We behaved, and did not go back for more, but the taste warranted several servings of this delicious morsel. The cocktail that accompanied this amuse bouche was a classic French 75. It was perfectly paired and we would later find out that it is Brandon’s favourite cocktail.

snack copyNo movie watching would be complete without snacks. The festival handed out the most quaint gift boxes filled with the Chefs choices for the evening namely; raspberry and passion fruit pâté de fruit, salted caramel chocolates, hand pulled mints, and finally spiced cheese pop-corn. Not to over do the evenings mantra, but it truely was a perfect watching experience.

We decided to delve further into the essence of the film itself and caught up with Chef Brandon Olsen, after the show, to ask him a few questions.

TBs: Can you relate to Sergio Herman? Does your search for culinary expression and perfection take front seat to all else in your life?

CBO: I can relate to Sergio in many ways. As I was watching the movie, I saw what my life would be like on film. The part where he spoke about his mind switching off when he’s not in the kitchen and half asleep, half out of it. I live that on a daily basis. My mind and body are constantly creating, and the kitchen is really the only place where I express myself.  My career has always been given the first seat; the drivers seat. I’ve given up so much in my life for cooking. If it doesn’t have anything to do with cooking or food, it’s goes on the back burner and I’ll deal with it later.

TBs: Would you give it all up for love and family?

CBO: I have been giving this my all for the past 15yrs. I have finally found someone that I love so much and she understands that this makes me who I am.  Sarah always pushes me to become both better inside, and outside of the kitchen. She is my rock. But naturally I can’t give it up, I need it as much as I need her. I  find a way to give her what she needs and still satisfy my need to be a culinary artist.

The passion for perfection was evident on this wonderful evening at the movies. The Taste Buds will be there next year for sure!


About the Author

Joie Lamar recently released her first novel 'Mambo Lips' to rave reviews, and is working on volume two of the series titled 'Salsa Hips' which will be out in November 2015. Natalie is famous for her ‘Dessert Diva’ cheesecakes and especially busy during the spring season baking for numerous long term clients and new celebrations. They both enjoy travel, writing, food and the arts.