Dining Diaries: What director and cat lover Aaron Hancox ate before his film premiered

What this director ate before his film premiered


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Aaron and his cat Beau

Director and producer Aaron Hancox filled us in on all his eats in the week prior to the Hot Docs cinema screening of his film Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit. You can watch it online here at CBC.ca.

Friday, March 16 —Sound mixing 
I order a weekly veggie basket from Mama Earth Organics and I’m dead set against food waste. As a result, I often find myself eating veggies for breakfast. Today it is steamed broccoli with tahini and two hard-boiled organic eggs. For lunch, leftovers: homemade lemon curry chicken and sautéed Swiss chard, eaten while mixing the feature version of Catwalk with my co-director Michael McNamara. Later, out for dinner, Pinky’s Ca Phé, Hanmoto and Bar Isabel all have two-hour waits, so my lovely girlfriend Christina I and grab bar seats at Superpoint. We drink a Paper Plane cocktail and Ace Hill Pilsner and enjoy the standout broccolini, with pecorino cheese, garlic and anchovy. We also split shishito peppers and a delicious rigatoni with smoked pork, pecorino and ’nduja sausage. 

Saturday, March 17 — Radio chat 
Needing to get rid of my butternut squash, I try a little morning experiment. Coconut squash fritters with nutmeg, with eggs and sautéed lacinato kale. Later, right before jumping on Newstalk 1010 with Michael, I order my favourite at Kanga Aussie Meat Pies: the “Canadian,” served with a surprisingly fresh side salad. At dinner with the Italian (future) in-laws, as always, there’s way too much delicious homemade food — roast beef, roast chicken and, of course, homemade wine. I brought Guinness for St. Paddy’s Day. My favourite is their giardiniera antipasto. I could eat that stuff all day long. 

Sunday, March 18 — Day off
Christina and I skip breakfast and grab a coffee at the new Balzac's Powerhouse location while running some errands. After our errands, we explore the Junction triangle and stop in at an old Portuguese favourite — Dupont BBQ Grill House. I have the stickleback, feijao a portuguesa and green beans. Christina has churrasco chicken. Dinner is homemade roast lamb shoulder (from Sanagan’s in Kensington) with mint and garlic, served with a side of roasted double-smoked bacon Brussels sprouts. 

Monday, March 17 — Business lunch
I soaked some kippers overnight, to desalinate them, and fry them up for breakfast with a couple of eggs. For lunch, Michael and I head to Bar Raval. We chat over savoury tapas about plans for our upcoming documentary, about the science of salt in our bodies. The kitchen bread is the real showstopper here: white anchovies on crunchy bread with garlic mayo and roasted peppers. We also have house-smoked mackerel and cured beef with pickled root veggies. After a couple of Ace Hills, we finished it all off with Sam James coffee. I make an afternoon coffee stop at Empire Espresso on College, my favourite in the city. For dinner, I try iQ Food Co. and am not disappointed with the power-food offerings.

Tuesday, March 21 — Hosting talent
It’s a hectic day, and on my way to finish the colour grading for Catwalk, I whip back into Dark Horse on John Street to fuel up. Michael, Beau (my cat) and I wrap up an interview at Sirius XM in Liberty Village, and I grab a chicken shawarma wrap at my local Ghazale on College. My visit includes a complimentary ginger tea (they are the nicest). That night, I drive to Pearson to pick up the stars of Catwalk, Bobby (cat) and Kim Langille (owner), who have just arrived from Moncton, N.B. Kim needs a pit stop at the hotel to use her anti-static product on Bobby, then we grab dinner down the street at La Bettola di Terroni. Michael and Catwalk producer Judy Holm had snagged us a table. We quickly get caught up and order some pizzas to share. Late night drinks at Soho House finish up the day: two vodka sodas with Tito’s vodka.

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