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Parts & Labour

We're raiding the larder of Ontario's buzzing metropolis.

Crows Nest Films crew are still travelling the globe in search of passion projects and this week we're in Toronto.  Along with Reed Pettit, Ninja Chef  Nick Liu and Jane Carswell, Carney has been hunting for innovative souls who are truly connected with their environment.

Amongst the multitude of delightful introductions, we met up with Chantelle Gabino at Parts & Labour, the cultural hub of Parkdale.  2 stories up from the basement level DJs, and above the gourmet Canadian haute cuisine of the restaurant, the rooftop is buzzing.  Chantelle was profoundly inspired by trips to Spain, Italy, Scotland, The Netherlands and England and was influenced by the importance given to individual ingredients in the drinks industry.  She has now reinvigorated the rooftop bar of Parts & Labour and set up and urban apiary.  Chantelle is delighted to invest in something so immersive that inflicts a positive change in the community.  The rooftop garden is a haven for bees, a cornucopia of plants herbs and vegetables.  Everything from applemint to lemon verbana, even sorrel and tomatoes.  Beyond Queen St West's hip hangout, these bees are pollinating the whole neighbourhood.  Honeybees, both wild and domestic, perform about 80% of all pollination worldwide, so they're saving the world.  In order to keep the queen bee and her colony healthy and content, Chantelle took a beekeeping course with conservation and educational group Alveole before setting up the urban apiary.  Now the hives are humming with happy honeymakers.

Nick Liu, executive chef at DaiLo and incredible human being, invited us out to visit his parents' Markham home in the suburbs.  The merry delve into Nick's personal life warmed the crew up perfectly for the foraging event in Toronto's High Park.  Having harvested lemon balm, begonia, chickweed, wood sorrel and green tomatoes from the family garden the group also embarked on a foray in the city's largest public park in search of indigenous edibles for a wild food menu with a flock of Toronto bartenders.  Joined by Nicole Dowzansky, Nishan Nepulangoda, Emma Minigan and a whole posse of pals, the coterie selected the ingredients for the evening's menu: Kimchi Pickled Fried Green Tomato, Wild Jerusalem Artichoke Dumpling, Sumac Sichuan Confit Duck Gizzards and 90 Day Aged Oliffe's Rib-eye with Honey Mushroom, Chickweed, Black Bean Bagna Cauda and Toscano Cheese.  The meal was finished off with Aloe Botanist Gin Sorbet and Wild Apple Fritters.  You can feast your eyes on the foragers food just as soon as we've cut the documentary.  Watch this space.