Newcomer Kitchen – Communication Basics


Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 5.24.37 PM

The outpouring of support for this project has been incredible and overwhelming! Our team is working hard to be able to do this again ASAP, and to keep everyone in the loop.

To start we have set up some basic online resources for those who want to stay up-to-date on this project, or who may want to support it further once we figure out our next steps.

There is now a Facebook Group you can join:

A mailing list where you can add your email:

Or you can follow it on Twitter or Instagram @newcomerkitchen

Direct inquires can be sent to

We will continue posting to the website, you can check in on updates here:

Newcomer Kitchen – April 20

Another amazing day, this one including a full shopping trip, and making hundreds of delicious kibbeh from scratch! A huge thanks for all the hard work of our volunteers, and to Joe’s No Frills for their generous contribution towards our groceries.

Newcomer Kitchen – Day 1

Wednesday was an exciting and important day for The Dep, the realization of a project that an amazing group of volunteers have been working on for many weeks. The idea was simple: there were many Syrian refugee families stuck in hotels awaiting relocation, often for weeks on end, with no access to kitchens. Could we make The Dep available to them so they could cook food for their themselves and their families, in a fun, social setting?

It was more challenging than expected to find a way to connect with the community of families in the hotels, navigating bureaucratic and language barriers, but thanks to the hard work of some amazing people including Rahaf & Esmaeel Al Akabani and Yasmine Nasef from The Welcome Project, Mahmoud Allouch and Roula Ajib from the Arab Community Centre, and the incredible support of Caroline Keenan, Andrea Diaz Varela, Cara Benjamin-Pace, Michelle Krasny (who also took these great photos) and Basil AlZeri, it all came together.

The day was a big success, with nearly a dozen mothers, young and old, coming together to cook and hang out and share a meal. The goal is to try and make this a regular event at The Dep, and once they get comfortable in the space, to invite them to make extra food that can be made available for sale for pick-up or delivery, providing them a revenue stream and entrepreneurial opportunity. There are still lots of logistical issues to figure out, from transportation to scheduling to child care to translation, but if today’s success is any indication, this amazing group will figure it all out.

As we figure out new ways to help this project along, we may be reaching out to our community for support. To stay up to date on the project as it evolves, check in on

2016: The times are a-changin’…

 Hey y’all… Can you believe The Dep has been putting out interesting food things for nearly 5 years?!? You can expect more great culinary adventures in 2016; I’m presently working on nailing down some moving parts, but here are some of the changes you can expect in the new year:
  • We’ll be keeping our great hands-on Monday Workshops and weekend Supper Clubs. We haven’t raised the prices in 5 years, so starting in 2016, these events will be $50 (+HST).
    NOTE: if you buy Gift Certificates before Dec. 31, you’ll pay the 2015 price ($40), but can apply it towards any 2016 event!
  • We’ll be keeping our Friday-night Drop-In Dinners, with a different guest cook every week; The Dep is still committed to being a showcase for all the amazing amateur & professional culinary talent we have in Toronto.
  • We will be winding down our Tues, Wed and Thurs-night Drop-In Dinners. It’s hard to let them go, as I love cooking for our community, and have really enjoyed working with the talented Emily Zimmerman who has run our great vegan nights in collaboration with Fresh City Farms. You can be sure that she will continue to be a regular fixture at our Workshops, Drop-In Dinners & Supper Clubs.
  • I will converting my own Tuesday Drop-In Dinner and the great Table Talks series into a ticketed monthly event so I can offer our guest speakers a honorarium in addition to dinner.
  • B.K., the Free Range Human, continues his fantastic Thick Cut Brunch every Sat & Sun, and we’re presently scheming on ways to get even more amazing breakfast & lunch into your mouths.
  • The Dep will still be available to rent for Private Events, both on weekends, and now we will be able to accommodate private workshops, team-building events and dinners on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday nights as well.
The Dep will be CLOSED Dec 21–Jan 15 for a bit of a holiday break and a chance to put some of these changes in place. Brunch will continue every weekend throughout the break, plus stay tuned for details on a special New Year’s Day Brunchtacular event.

TABLE TALK: Jose Arato

jose rebecca

Photo Credit KATHY HO

Once an accountant in Venezuela, Jose Arato’s life and career is one of transition and exploration. Arriving in Toronto some 13 years ago, Jose’s passion for food led him from culinary school to a job as a creative pastry chef working mostly in the wedding industry. Continue reading