I’m always on the hunt for new, delicious ways to taste the best that Ontario has to offer – and there’s no shortage of great places in York, Durham, Headwaters to chose from. This season, as the mercury drops, I’m looking to discover delicious ways to get cozy and indulge. Next up: KB Food in Whitby.
The place is named after Chef Kevin Brown – the KB in KB Food. Brown is an industry vet who, with the help of his General Manager, Jamie Oosterholt, opened KB Food in 2012.
Inside, the space is warm and eclectic. There’s farm-themed graffiti on the walls and a long bar laden with craft spirits and locally-brewed beers on the tap rail. On the wine list, you’ll find a mix of wines from around the world, including lovely examples of Ontario VQA varietals.
“We wanted folks to feel like they could come here on any given Tuesday, not just for special occasions” says Oosterholt of the space. “We want to ensure the customers have a great night out, every time. We have regulars who come so often, Kevin will put things on the menu just because they asked for it.”
In the kitchen, the staff is constantly working to find ways to use what’s in season. The menu changes daily depending on what comes through the door, which keeps both diners and cooks guessing. On my last visit, I tucked into classic beef tartare with house pickled mushrooms and a beautiful house-cured pork loin with Brown’s riff on ‘bubble and squeak’ – an East Coast dish of cooked cabbage fried with potatoes.
If you think this kind of food is limited to dinner, you’d be wrong. Brunch is an equally delicious affair with cozy, thoughtful dishes like the Croque Madame made with a house made heritage pork terrine in lieu of the classic ham or their signature bread pudding which comes dripping with an Ontario cherry and maple syrup compote.
Once a month, something special happens in the restaurant. Chef Kevin pulls together his favorite seasonal recipes for a (very popular) immersive cooking class experience. Guests watch as he walks them through some of his signature dishes, while they enjoy perfectly paired wines. “It’s more of a communal dinner party than a cooking class” says Oosterholt. “People chat and mingle, have a couple glasses of wine and a great meal. It’s fun!”
Starting this spring, the experience will get kicked up a notch as they begin integrating produce grown on their newly acquired farm.
Located about an hour from the restaurant, the farm is already booked for number of weddings and events. Chef Kevin and his team hope to expand their roster of events as they expand their vegetable and fruit production in the coming months.
KB Food is open Tuesday to Sunday for dinner, as well as brunch on weekends between 11am and 3pm. Visit kbfood.com to book a table.
Written by: Agatha Podgorski, Culinary Tourism Alliance
Agatha Podgorski loves good food and is more-than-willing to travel for it. For the last twelve years, she’s made a name for herself cooking, eating and writing about just that. Today, she is the Director of Community Engagement at the Culinary Tourism Alliance.