Working for a magazine has its few perks and in my case a free 10-lb, freshly caught wild salmon that was used in a photo shoot. My good friend Natalie and I decided to cook this beast and serve the sea monster to a hungry crowd. After scouring the internet and cookbooks for that perfect recipe, we came across a simple one which instructed us to stuff the fish with roasted fennel and plum tomatoes, seasoned with a handful of fresh herbs, olive oil and white wine. We did just that and whipped up a few accompanying sides. I could describe in detail the magnificent meal we all devoured, but in this rare, special case, I think photos speak louder than words. Follow Salavadore-Gilbert (our communal name for the fishy friend) from the kitchen sink to a picture-perfect plate.

Did you know fresh fresh smells like cucumbers? Thanks Tessa for that interesting fact. Click here for a play-by-play of what went down.

Whenever I think of patties, I think of Jamaican patties, like the ones found between coco bread. But thanks to my favourite Haitian, Henri, I have now experienced Haitian Patties. Imported all the way in a box from Laval near Montreal (Henri’s yet to find them in Toronto), these little gems were brought as an appetizer to a holiday pot-luck dinner party.

How did these patties compare to the Jamaican kind? Plus, read on for a glimpse of what’s inside these little bitties.

We at Plato Putas adore our Mammas. We love how they filled our childhood with more activities than we can remember (swimming, skating, dance, gymnastics, soccer, baseball), instituted family day on Sundays, wiped our disgusting snotty boogers when the weather was cold and packed our lunches every day. Realistically, the list is endless. But one of the main reasons we love our Mammas is because they always love us back with a heartfelt home-cooked meal. Last time we honoured Mamma Riyait, and today we continue our homage to moms everywhere. The Double P’s will enter the homes of Mammas to stir up some of the good stuff, unlock family secrets and share the best recipes you won’t find in a cookbook.

Our second featured mother is Nellie Wong. Hailing from Canton (aka Guangzhou), China, Mamma Wong moved to Toronto in 1965 and is the proud mom of two kids. Her Mongolian Hot Pot (aka Chinese Fondue) is one of my favourite reasons to head home for a Sunday dinner. It’s basically meat, seafood, vegetables, noodles and other goodies cooked in a hot broth. On this occasion (my bro’s b-day), she put together a seafood-specific feast.

Okay kids, get out your pen and paper, it’s note-taking time. Mamma Wong warms up the winter by showing us how to prepare your very own Seafood Hot Pot.

Follow along step-by-step with this visual guide and soon you’ll be scooping out delicious salmon, shrimp and clams from the most flavourful soup.

Last week, Plato Putas were reunited in Toronto and there was only one way to celebrate. Food, of course! We met up with three other friends and headed over to the brand-spanking new Guu Izakaya, the first-ever Toronto location. Guu is a Japanese pub chain that’s popular in Vancouver thanks to a menu filled with tapas-style dishes meant to be shared with your dining companions.

Since there were five of us and we waited over an hour for a table, our stomachs demanded we order the hell out of the menu, which is exactly what we did. Here’s a step-by-step (in no particular order) of each dish we ravenously consumed. Up first, Cheesy Bibimbop.

What the WHAT! That’s right, you heard us correctly, a bibimbop with cheese! Now read on to find out how it tasted.

Goodbye 2009 and hello 2010! The start of the new year is an exciting one, with so many places to visit and so many culinary adventures to dig into. We asked some our favourite food experts to tell us about the one restaurant they want to hit up this year.

Erin McKenna, Chef and Owner of BabyCakes NYC
Woodfire Grill in Atlanta! I was a big fan of Kevin Gillespie on this season’s Top Chef. Even though I don’t eat pig, he is thoughtful and down-to-earth with his approach to cooking. I want to go to his restaurant so bad!

Daniel Muia, Chef and Owner of Mogette Bistro
I’d like to go eat at Buca in Toronto. Rob Gentile is a talented guy, he was a top guy with Mark McEwan for a long time so he knows his stuff. I’ve read the reviews, heard really good things and I’d like to check it out. I believe I heard somewhere that he was using all his Nonna’s recipes, sounds good to me.

Read on ’cause we’ve got more great chefs, a Martha Stewart recipe writer, fellow food lovers and yours truly naming the delicious places in Paris, London, Toronto and New York that we want to visit this year.