Old School Quality & Style Butchery in Mount Pleasant Village By Stacia Carlton
You can see the gleam of commitment in his eyes and hear the buzz of excitement in his voice. It’s just that apparent to Ivan Tarazona, Chef/Owner of Celestin Restaurant at 623 Mt. Pleasant Rd, that he’s made the right call for the neighbourhood by opening his butcher shop.
Nemo Butcher Shop which is located one door north of Celestin, is the latest member of the Celestin Family and although it’s only been opened for just under two weeks the customers are coming back for seconds… and thirds. “This butcher shop is representative of what the neighbourhood wants. The customer is becoming more knowledgable… they’re ready for this quality.” Chef Ivan says and his customers are confirming that belief.
Chef Ivan has been working with Artisan Farms for some time in supplying the restaurant with the meat products. After much excellent feedback from clients and staff alike he decided that providing the growing population of home cooks with this same high quality product would be the next logical step.
Artisan Farms is a co-operative that deal with small farms all over Ontario. They provide as much grass fed as possible given our climate. And when it’s not possible they deal with only GMO free feed. These farmers know their product and they are committed to its continued excellence.
“You want to find people who are as excited about their product as you are about yours.” Multi generational farmers work with Artisan Farms and their investment in and knowledge of the product is impressive. “You can taste the difference once you get to know it.” Working with Artisan Farms gives Chef Ivan more control over the product he is supplying to his customers and that is the backbone of his work ethic. “I can work more closely with the customer and provide for their special requirements. I want to help to educate the home cooks so when they do go out and buy that expensive cut of meat they can taste the difference.”
It’s no secret that Celestin Restaurant is and has been a staple of exquisite French dining in the neighbourhood for over 15 years. The elegant brasserie has occupied the corner of Mount Pleasant and Manor Rd in what was once a bank and has since been gorgeously transformed. It is iconic for its stellar service and outstanding cuisine.
Although he at one time was operating a second restaurant further downtown, he gave it up in order that he could focus his attentions on the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. He states emphatically that he believes in the area and wants to see it diversify. With the much needed addition of Nemo Butcher Shop he is helping to do just that.
When you visit Nemo Butcher Shop you will be greeted by Niall Cordie who runs the shop on a day to day basis. Niall has worked with Chef Ivan for a few years as an apprentice. It became apparent to both Ivan and Niall that he understands this side of the business well. That knowledge combined with his amiable nature make shopping at Nemo a most pleasant experience. Ask Niall about their twice monthly recipes they like to share. It might be a Peruvian style stew or perhaps how to properly sear a steak. Whether it’s a sauce or how to roast a chicken, you will be encouraged to share your results. “It’s there to help the customer step out of their comfort zone and we want to help our customers do that with success… just
pop in and talk to the staff about it.” says Chef Ivan. “We just want to help open people’s minds to different ways of preparing meats.”
The interior of Nemo is utterly charming with a distinctly 1940’s feel in its simplicity. “We wanted to put our money in giving the customer the best quality and the best price.” It’s that approachable neighbourhood feel that will have when you drop in on your way home to pick up some gorgeous and locally raised meats. You’ll also have the option of prepared foods, made in house by the talented staff. Whether it’s a boeuf bourguignon, a bolognese sauce, some charcuterie or sausages or maybe just a simple chicken stew. Nemo is now open and providing some truly fantastic product in the heart of the Mount Pleasant Village.
Stacia Carlton is a culinary school graduate and food writer. You can find her weekly at www.bestillandeat.com