This is certainly a week of “Coming Soon’s” here in Chefferworld.

First and foremost, coming soon is our grand opening.   All of the planning, building, checking, changing, sorting, and guessing comes to fruition this month.  Excitement garnished with a sprinkle of apprehension is the recipe I’m working with this week.  I’m looking forward to seeing some of our “earthlings” as they come out of winter hibernation in the coming weeks.  I just thought of this though – for the first time since Jumbo Video back in high school, the Chefferman will pull a retail shift.  I’ll try to refrain from reverting back to quotes like “would you like tape protection?” and “these are due back by midnight tomorrow”.  (For those of you just reaching legal wine-tasting age, the “tape” refers to something called a VHS – it goes in a VCR).

Also coming soon is my little Johnny’s birthday.  Those of you who were privy to the pictures of little Johnny no-neck in the roasting pan will feel very old when I tell you he’ll turn 3 this coming week.  So I can share with you the topic of my next entry – it will be the making of a pirate ship birthday cake.  I rarely bake, I more rarely bake cakes, and I have never constructed a pirate ship out of anything, let alone eggs, butter, chocolate, and flour.  This should be interesting.

Also coming soon is the best meal you will have in a long time.  Where will this meal be you ask?  I’m glad you asked.  It will be at Tôi (read “toy” a la an Asian word as opposed to “t-wah” as la a French word).  12 Queen Street in St. Catharines I believe.  Mrs. Cheffer and I had a fluke babysitting session on a Thursday night (thanks Granny) and went for what I consider to be just about the best meal I have had in St. Catharines proper.  Vietnamese-French fusion in a tapas style delivery.  I can’t say enough about the menu, food, décor, and service.  On a slow Thursday night, we had time to chat with our server Mai about the chef, his background, and the restaurant’s concept.  This is truly a labour of love and a personal culinary postcard from a passionate chef.  They do seem to suffer from “St. Catharines-itis” – a term I am developing for this area’s insistence on only dining out at 7:30pm on a Saturday night.  If a restaurant serves 300 dinners a week, 250 of them are on Saturday.  You should go to Tôi.  You should go on a Thursday.  You should go so we can insure they won’t soon become the best new restaurant in Burlington.

Finally, coming soon is the May 24 weekend.  For most, it’s the kickoff to summer.  For me, it’s time to kiss my wife and kids good-bye and get to work for the next 4 months.  Time to make hay, it’s summer in Niagara.  Take a cooking class, taste some wine, and have some lunch.  We’ll be here!!  Chow!