Trista Sheen’s Local Faves
After hours with the Bar Begonia chef
By Corey Mintz
Being the boss means twelve-hours days for Trista Sheen. From ten in the morning to ten at night, the chef cooks up classic French fare — duck rillettes, ratatouille tartine, boeuf bourgignon — in the twinkly-lit cocktail bar setting of Bar Begonia.
In between, she’d ideally be tending to her balcony herbs, mustard greens and kale, watering the other tropical flora inside, or studying her neighbours’ gardens on strolls of the Annex and Little Portugal. “Orchids are one of my favourites,” says Sheen. “My mom is a florist and avid gardener so growing up I was always around plants.”
When Sheen does go out, it’s to small local-filled bars in the Dundas West area, like Swan Dive, where she’ll play with their assortment of games, a Magic 8- ball or mini Connect Four, while sipping on tart Paper Planes.
Or she’ll head to Three Hands, run by the Wilson siblings. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, a flautist plays hip-hop instrumentals (Salt-N-Pepa, Drake) as a soundtrack to Sheen draining cans of Woodhouse with Jaeger chasers. “They have an awesome fried chicken,” says Sheen. “If I haven’t eaten at work and I’m hungry, I’ll go there because they serve food till 2.”
For a real meal, Sheen is loyal to Enoteca Sociale for their enduring hand made pastas, and especially loves the spaghetti with heirloom tomatoes, brown anchovy and bottarga.
Of course, like most chefs who snack all day on the small tastes that chefs must take of everything in the kitchen, Sheen often craves something lighter. For that, she heads to Imanishi for non-sushi Japanese — pickled eggplant or a salad of mizuna and silken tofu.
“You crave vegetables after you’ve been snacking on frites, cheese — and a lot of bread and butter — all day,” she says.
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