The Chef, Stefan Howard, the man who acted on a love of food, local food(from The Brick Market), aligned his idea of Wednesday Charity Luncheons(LOVE HOPE AND CHARITY) at the Palais Royale. Why? Well, there was this love of music as well. Think Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Glen Miller. I think of Mel Hamel, my piano teacher, who was really a Jazz pianist …and how awful it was for him to have to teach people like me.. .when all he wanted to do was compose and do gigs.
The venue is beautifully appointed, bordering Lake Ontario, an easy access from the Bloor subway station, down the main artery of Roncesvalles. The long kitchen stainless steel counters offer so much variation of food, prepared in healthy, artful ways by student chefs.
Howard chose this venue, not unlike my friend, Vangie, who chose this place for our reunion. Evangeline, after graduating in nursing, travelled in Europe, then went to New Orleans to do community nursing. This is where she learned to love good cuisine and good Jazz. She was my nurse manager at Havergal College and we so loved the Boarders and their contribution to our provincial lives. We also loved Nora Evans the innovative cook at Havergal, who would send up the most marvelous dishes on the Dumb Waiter(an elevator that transported food trays to the Health Centre). Maybe it’s our Prairie Roots, but both Vangie and I loved Nora’s Barley Stuffed Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls.
Howard was clear on this Historical Venue for many reasons.
It offers, certainly a view of the variations of blue (Lake Ontario), but it offers a history of Old Time Swing tunes(Palais Royale was a central focus of Dance Music at Sunnyside’s Amusement Park on Lake Ontario}. I remember my late husband telling me about Sunnyside and even my younger sister-in-law spoke about her family going to Sunnyside.
JUST IMAGINE TUCKING INTO A WONDERFUL ARRAY OF FOOD, OVER-LOOKING A BEAUTIFUL WASH OF WATER, AND SKY AND LAND ..UNDER the sheltered shade of AN AWNING OR UMBRELLA, TALKING TO FRIENDS IN SUNDAPPLED LIGHT(THINK MONET/MANET AND THINK THAT ANYONE WHO RECREATES SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL IS TO BE APPLAUDED.(PLUS all the fees for food go to registered charities).
Vangie resides with her family now in this area, a village-like setting, a lake near by, Hyde Park, and St. Joseph’s Hospital seems to rise up, near Palais Royale .