Features

Masters of malt.

The craft of whisky making has not changed much in the Balvenie’s production during the past century, and the distillery is one of the last in Scotland to boast in-house floor maltings that used locally hand-cut peat.

Pride of plate.

Rob Gentile’s got a lot on his plate. In addition to running Buca Osteria & Enoteca—the Italian restaurant he heads in Toronto’s King West neighbourhood—he’s set to open the seafood-themed Buca Yorkville in the new Four Seasons Residences complex before the end of the year and a separate Bar Buca even sooner.

Fields of Grasse.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: To make its signature No. 5 perfume, Chanel only uses the very best Rosa centifolia, which has come from the same fields in Provence for the last 89 years.

Temple of gastronomy.

Located in the southwest of France some 30 kilometres south of Lyon, Vienne is a city famous for its cuisine. Yet when driving through its narrow streets, all the bistros, cafés, patisseries, and boucheries whiz past in a blur. For the diehard foodie there is but one destination in Vienne: La Pyramide.

An extraordinary mind.

Given the serious and slightly bleak tone of my last column, I had intended to make this one brighter. Then David Foster Wallace died, at age 46. I previously wrote about Wallace’s book of essays Consider the Lobster, but it’s important to bring his work up again. He was very likely the best and most important American writer of his generation.

Still sharp.

There is nothing stale about the historic headquarters of Faber-Castell, steps away from Nuremberg in the small town of Stein, Germany. Far from the sense that historic can imply, the stationery company’s birthplace is very much alive with its ongoing advancement of the pencil.

Made in Italy.

From La Marzocco’s headquarters in Scarperia, just outside of Florence, the Italian king of espresso machinery is still an artisanal operation.