Wise Words from Barbara Bush

Incredibly sad news about the loss of Former First Lady and fellow Junior League member Barbara Bush. A strong and classy lady who leaves behind a wonderful legacy including giving back to literacy and the community.

“At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not wining one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.” – Barbara Bush

I am absolutely positive Mrs. Bush had no regrets.

RIP.

Meet our Junior League of Toronto’s Chef’s Showcase Host – Chef Christine Cushing

Meet the Host of our first Junior League of Toronto Chef’s Showcase – Chef Christine Cushing!

Christine graduated with honours from George Brown College before going on to finish at the top of her class at the famed Paris École de Cuisine La Varenne. In Toronto Christine worked at renowned kitchens such as The Four Seasons Hotel and Scaramouche then went on to the ground-breaking Food Network flagship series, Christine Cushing Live. Christine has since continued to share her love and knowledge of food on TV with Fearless in the Kitchen, the Marilyn Denis Show, and her documentary series, Confucius was a Foodie now playing in over 90 countries! Christine has been teaching viewers how to cook for 20 years and was recently nominated for ‘Best Host in a Program of Series’ at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards. The busy and accomplished George Brown alumni has also created her own artisan food line: Christine’s Cushing’s olive oil and sauces and her own youtube channel; ‘My Favourite Foods’ with over 10,000 subscribers!

Please join us for a fabulous evening of food created by George Brown Alumni Chefs, wine pairings by Noble Estates, a Silent Auction and opportunity to help the Toronto community. Tickets are $90 and available via the Junior League of Toronto.

Junior League of Toronto’s Chef’s Showcase

The Junior League of Toronto‘s Chef’s Showcase with Host Christine Cushing is an evening culinary event held at George Brown School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, in partnership with the College.

The price of admission ($90) allows all guests to have an interactive experience by getting up close and personal with George Brown Alumni Chefs as you taste the results of their culinary skills and enjoy wine parings from Noble Estate Wine and Spirits. It is a cocktail format from 6 to 9 pm and features a silent auction of unique food themed items. The event will also introduce and fund the JLT Culinary Scholarship*, in partnership with the George Brown Foundation, as well as fund other JLT programs and initiatives.

This year’s event will be on Thursday May 3rd. TICKETS ARE $90 and can be purchased at http://www.jlt.org.

Toronto – we hope you will join us!

We are the Junior League

I am a proud to 15 year member of the Junior League. I am forever grateful for all the leadership and community training and development it has provided me as well as many beautiful friendships. The Junior League has been a positive catalyst in my life and re-committed my desire to give back to others and my community.

Join us! We are UNSTOPPABLE! We are the Junior League!

❤️

Junior League of Toronto For the Love of Cooking Event

Dear Toronto,

Do you love indulging in cooking shows? Are you always searching for recipes to make something new? When you travel, do you like to visit local grocery stores, markets and food shops? Do love food, wine, conversation and a fun evening out? 

If the answer to one or more is a definite YES, please join us for the Junior League of Toronto For The Love of Cooking event on the evening of Thursday April 6th. The evening will include hands-on cooking lessons and dinner led by Chef John Cirillo (a former head of Canada’s culinary Olympics team) and his team. Olive Oil Sommelier Karen Rapp will run a tasting and Noble Estates will provide wine pairings. A silent auction and special surprises are also in store. This event is open to Junior League of Toronto, friends and the Toronto community. Men are also most welcome to join us too. Please share with anyone you think may be interested. 

The Junior League of Toronto is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Funds raised from the event will help support an array of programs for youth and families living in shelters and vulnerable individuals facing mental illness. 

To purchase tickets – https://www.jlt.org/?nd=p_event_detail&event_id=729

Remembering Katrina

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, I always had a fascination with hurricanes. Many evenings would be spent watching the approaching storms on various news outlets. Waiting for Hurricane Katrina was no different but as we know now that storm was different. The unbelievable destruction and loss was unimaginable to me. I had never been to New Orleans nor did I have any ties to the city but always knew it was a place I wanted to visit. I wondered if that would ever happen after Katrina. Little did I know that my visit would come in the form of a volunteer opportunity a year later.

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On a summer afternoon in 2006, an email popped into my inbox about the Junior League of New Orleans looking for volunteers for their ReBuilding Together weekend. Almost a soon as I read it, I forwarded it off to a group of friends. Before long we had seven Junior League of Toronto members signed up to travel to New Orleans on our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend to help rebuild. The Junior League of New Orleans made the ask and the call was answered in the form of 600 members from three countries. Truly amazing.

We had no idea what to expect when we arrived in New Orleans but quickly learned the impact of Katrina on a bus tour of the city and it was overwhelming. Street after street had been destroyed. Some yards only had steps left that homeowners once climbed to get into their homes. We saw houses that were no longer habitable, no birds, no bushes, no flowers, dead trees everywhere. The X’s that marked homes searched still remained. Katrina and the flooding were indiscriminate and everyone had a story to tell. I cannot tell you how many times people thanked us for coming to volunteer.

The volunteers were given opportunities of where they might like to help. As a lifelong foodie, I felt a calling to help at Willie Mae’s Scotch House Restaurant located in the Treme area of New Orleans after seeing this short film http://youtu.be/3uVUNpkvAiA. Miss Willie Mae Seaton had been making the best fried chicken in New Orleans for over 50 years and had received a James Beard Award in 2005 for it. Many well known Southern chefs including John Besh and John Currence worked endlessly to get her back up and running. In the sweltering heat, we scraped, sanded and helped paint to get her back into her kitchen cooking her secret recipe where she belonged. I had never been that dusty and dirty in my life but loved every minute of it. I had the amazing opportunity to meet Miss Willie Mae and was touched by her incredibly warm spirit, smile, her stories and that southern charm – “all you pretty, pretty girls”. She shared some of the reasons for her success – be nice to everyone and to always be real. Wise words from a beautiful woman who I was lucky to meet and help. While her great granddaughter Kerry is now at the helm, I was happy to be able to return two years later to see the restaurant completed and got to enjoy the fried chicken and other southern treats. They were worth the wait. Continue reading “Remembering Katrina”