Last year, when we first encountered Idle Wild PEC at the first annual Homegrown County Craft Brewing Festival at Crystal Palace in Picton, I found that I kept getting drawn back for more of their perfectly fluffy steamed pork buns – I think I ended up eating three! A while later, I recognized their name when 555 Brewing Co. announced Idle Wild as one of their restaurant take-overs, so we thought we would give a full meal a shot and boy, are we ever glad we did. We are completely hooked!
When we first discovered them, I wasn’t aware that Paul had been the sous chef at The Drake Devonshire and then went onto being the chef at the Agrarian in Bloomfield. Prior to that – he worked with Chef Marc Thuet and Chef David Lee in Toronto. For us though – Mel and Paul both burst onto our scene through our experience with Idle Wild. Their current business model is a catering company that does pop-ups in and around PEC in places such as Midtown Brewing Co., 555 Brewing Co., The Brake Room up in Belleville and they just started doing Monday dinners at The Vic Café - another one of our favourite places here.
I would say their food is for sure Asian-inspired, but they are constantly weaving incredibly interesting ethnic dishes throughout their adventurous menus. I think we have done their pop-up at 555 three times now and it has never been the same but it is ALWAYS delicious and it is always a positive experience.
Tim and I have worked it out that each time we go – we order one of everything on the menu to share and it always leaves us pleasantly full, or maybe a little bit stuffed BUT we know for sure that everything on the menu will be awesome, and don’t want to leave without experiencing every tasty morsel they have on offer. They may even have just converted Tim to like eggplant now too, their roasted eggplant one night was to die for - I have been trying to convince him to eat it for years, but I clearly don't have their touch! The desserts are quite delicious too – one night Mel created a fantastic vegan & gluten-free chocolate cake that was a perfect and memorable way to finish off the meal.
There is such artistry and mastery in their work, they are such a lovely and hard-working couple and there is an awesome energy in the air when they are in the kitchen. If you haven’t already, you have to experience Idle Wild PEC– just remember the name and look out for their pop-ups. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for updates, links are below.
Also - if you are in need of catering – I would seriously consider working with these guys. I think on every level it would be a fantastic experience, for both you and your guests.
Idle Wild PEC
No Fixed Address!!