Toronto Life Insider Chef's Pantry curated by Alexandra Feswick

The Toronto Life Insider Chef’s Pantry

The Toronto Life Insider Chef’s Pantry features recipes and ingredients curated by Toronto Life's Chef-In-Residence. Every month will feature curation by a different marquee chef in the City of Toronto. We hope you enjoy it.

This month's theme is Holiday Delights. From intimate gatherings to date nights at home, the Toronto Life Chef's Pantry has you covered.


Toronto Life Chef-In-Residence

Chef Alexandra Feswick

Executive Chef of Drake Devonshire

Alexandra Feswick is the Executive Chef of Drake Devonshire. She joined Drake Hotel Properties as Chef du Cuisine in 2014. She began her training at George Brown Chef School in 2005.  After gaining an apprenticeship at the Ancaster Mill under Chef Jeff Crump, she eagerly developed a passion for fresh, local produce served in unique and elegant ways. She then relocated to Toronto, and began to impact the city’s culinary community at some of its best restaurants including Wine Bar, Brockton General and Samuel J. Moore. In 2014 Alexandra’s prestige was recognized by competing in the invitational Gold Medal Plates. Chef Alexandra thrives on her involvement with the community and charitable contributions with organizations such as The Ontario Hostelry Institute, The Stop, The Daily Bread Food Bank and Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support. With her growing reputation, varied background and commitment to quality, Alexandra provides customers with the comfort food critics, regulars and new-followers have come to treasure.

Exclusive Recipes by Chef Alexandra Feswick

hearty greens, roasted garlic, parmesan + thyme



  • turn oven on to 400
  • put stock in a pot on the stove and bring to simmer
  • sweat onions in 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes
  • add sliced garlic and continue to sweat for 1 additional minute
  • add barley and toast for 2-2 minutes
  • add in wine and slowly reduce over medium heat until the wine is nearly gone from the pan – be sure to stir occasionally while wine is reducing
  • while the wine is reducing, roast mushrooms in the oven
    • on a baking sheet, toss mushrooms with 3 tbsp of olive oil + salt before baking for approx. 10 minutes / until the mushrooms are soft and caramelized
  • back to the barley: once the wine is reduced, add stock to barley incrementally, each time just covering the grains. stir consistently and continue to add stock until the barley is tender.  this takes approx. 15-20 minutes.
  • while the barley is finishing cooking, sauté hearty greens in a pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil and roasted garlic until soft. season with salt + pepper to taste and set aside on a separate plate or baking sheet until the barley is finished cooking
  • when the barley is finished cooking, remove from heat.
  • fold in parmesan and butter until fully combined.
  • season with salt, pepper and lemon juice
  • fold in mushrooms and hearty greens
  • plate risotto and finish with additional grated parmesan to taste
  • enjoy!

• 2L vegetable or chicken stock
• 6-8 tbsp olive oil, divided
• 1 tbsp sliced garlic
• 2c pearl barley
• 1.5 c white wine
• 1.5 # mushrooms, roughly chopped
• 2 cloves roasted garlic
• 2 c hearty greens (kale or swiss chard), roughly chopped • 1/2 c Spanish onion, diced
• 1/3 c cold, unsalted butter, cubed
• 2 c parmesan cheese + some for garnish
• ½ fresh lemon
• 2 tbsp chopped parsley
• 3 sprigs thyme, picked
• salt + pepper to taste



To learn how to cook these amazing recipes, please join TL Insider for Chef Alexandra Feswick's Virtual Masterclass on November 26 from 530pm-630pm. To sign-up simply provide your email and we'll send you the complimentary event details.



Looking for more items? Then explore Door2Door Fresh for more fresh meats, produce & pantry selections.