Munchies: Black Hoof

Uploaded by vice on 09.01.2013


JEN AGG: Every once in a while, people will be just
like, I don't know why you put Nutella on my foie gras.
Like, they don't get it.
They don't like it.
But that's far more rare than the people that
are like, oh my god.
I could eat 10 more of these.
And that's definitely me.
I love that dish.
It's absolutely a big part of the Hoof's identity, that
young, really talented cooks come in here and find their
voice and become chefs.
BRANDON OLSEN: I came up with this dish.
I wanted to do foie gras and banana bread.
And then I realized that I like eating
bananas with Nutella.
I also really enjoy pain perdu.
So I made banana bread into a pain perdu.
And then I combined it all.
JEN AGG: That's the genesis and the story of the
really, I think , though, is the cooks get to--
there's so much experimentation.
They're working with so many interesting things.
They have to have a really strong voice to begin with.
But I think every single person who's come through this
kitchen has only gotten better from working here.
JEN AGG: Hi, my name's Jen.
I'm owner of the Black Hoof restaurant in Toronto, raw-bar
and cocktail bar.
What would you like know?
One of the things that we are most known for and almost
every diner has --unless they're coming in
here all the time.
They might skip it occasionally-- is the
charcuterie, the cured meets.
We make everything in house.
It's been something right from the beginning, where--
it says it, actually, on the awning-- charcuterie.
And that's the starting point for what the Black Hoof is, is
that we cure our own meats.
BRANDON OLSEN: Small [INAUDIBLE] char, pickles.
Bar, one, two, three.
JEN AGG: Brandon is the chef.
And he's really on top of all of that stuff.
And he knows how to read the molds and how to understand
when things are ready.
Because you have to be very careful with it.
Is a very scientific approach.
BRANDON OLSEN: One of my favorite passions in life is
to make cured meat.
Here's our charcuterie board
It's a combination of whole mussels and salumis plus two
cooked products--
the mortadella and the summer sausage.
And it varies from day to day, depending on what I have and
what I want to use.
Spicy horse heart salami.
Summer sausage.
Pork mortadella.
All my pork is whey-fed Berkshire.
I have two farmers that I deal with.
I have another farmer.
That's beef.
And then I also have a horse farmer out in Quebec that I
get my horse hearts.
This is my favorite one.
This is beef and spruce.
It's like eating a Christmas tree.
In the spring time, we go out into the forest.
And we harvest the young spruce tips, chop them up, and
put them in a salumi farce and dry it out.
That's a charcuterie board right there.
It's a labor of love.
Table 11.
JEN AGG: People are in awe of what the chefs and cooks are
able to do on an electric stove.
It's the way that we started in the beginning.
I really love that this is how we do it.
The smoked sweetbreads are something we've had on the
menu, again, for a really long time.
There are one of the anchor dishes.
Sweetbreads are the thymus gland.
So it's here.
And it's around the heart in baby cows.
Smoked sweetbreads and tuna is probably one of my favorite
Hoof dishes, my favorite Brandon dish.
And you think about tuna crudo and smoked sweetbreads.
Most people are like, I don't know if I want have that.
It's so wacky.
It's so quirky.
It's so crazy.
But then it just works.
MALE SPEAKER: Know what I can picture you doing?
Pull out that John Travolta strut, listening to the Bee
Gees "Staying Alive."
BRANDON OLSEN: I could probably do that.
JEN AGG: Being friends with your staff, it happens no
matter what.
You can't avoid it.
So my extra super best friend Ian is here because everyone
else that I know is working.
And Ian used to work here.
So it kind of counts.
The bond that we have is so easy.
It's so--
we just pick up where we left off.
IAN MCGRENAGHAN: I consider myself a feminist, apart from
my previous womanizing tendencies.
Insofar as you definitely inspired me to stay in the
restaurant industry, despite the fact that I thought it was
a chauvinistic douche-bag industry.
And I mean that generally.
JEN AGG: It is a chauvinistic, douche-bag industry.
But you showed me that it could be something different
than that, insofar as-- on a individual level.
JEN AGG: And you've hired so many female managers.
IAN MCGRENAGHAN: Well, you know-- oh, Colin's calling me.
Ian met us at the Hoof.
And then Ian, Brandon, and I all went to Grand Electric.
It's this, like, taco restaurant.
You may have heard of it.
JEN AGG: Tacos and stuff.
Bourbon and tacos.
JEN AGG: Even though Grand Electric and the Hoof don't
feel like the same restaurant, I feel like they're connected.
IAN MCGRENAGHAN: Colin's my business partner.
And he likes knife fights.
We use to live with each other and also worked with each
other at Jen's restaurant.
JEN AGG: You almost said great!
They took a lot of things that they learned here and applied
them to a slightly different model of doing things.
And they've just--
It's exploded.
It's so amazing.
COLIN TOOKE: We specialize in fine Mexican cuisine.

We're going make something for you tonight.
Albacore tuna ceviche.
Marinated albacore tuna there, avocado mayo, tostada shell.
Now today, he's going to put a little herb salad on top, a
little bit of crispy shallots, tweaked Mexicano.
That looks pretty.
That's squid from Goo.
We stole it from Goo.
It's the best thing ever in the city.
So we just replicate it in a Mexican style.
He's going to make so it doesn't fall over.
We marinate it, deep fry it, sauce it.
Pretty grimy.
Squid sauce that we make, it's peppers and sweetness.
We make our own mayo.
Come on, bro.
Yeah, we make our own mayo.
Oh, this guy's building a mountain over here.
Put the serranos on there.
MALE SPEAKER 2: That's about it.
There you go.
COLIN TOOKE: Squid, man.
JEN AGG: With Ian and Colin, there was a bond
formed a long time ago.
And when they left, it was so hard.
But I was so happy for them and so proud of
what they were doing.
Ah, this is really good.
COLIN TOOKE: Brandon we--
I remember when you cried the last day at work.
When I left.
You were.
Remember on my last when you cried?
You remember when I left and you cried?
IAN MCGRENAGHAN: Brendan do you remember that?
How did--
Show me on the doll where he touched you.
BRANDON: I'm in touch with my feelings.
JEN AGG: Oh yeah, good idea.
Shots of bourbon.
IAN MCGRENAGHAN: This a reality show about being real.
COLIN TOOKE: Come let's be real.
IAN MCGRENAGHAN: 7 things of the Pappy 20 year.
JEN AGG: Oh, wow.
BRANDON: That's good, eh?
JEN AGG: It's like a gentle velvet strangulation.

Why are you wrecking my fucking comedy?
I think we're going, Colin.
Let's get ready to go.
COLIN TOOKE: There we go.
JEN AGG: Now I'm kind of drunk
I see them a lot, but we don't necessarily get
to hang-out a lot.
Oh Colin.
COLIN TOOKE: Bank walk.
JEN AGG: Ah, God.
Jesus, Colin.
Ah, shit.
That was really fun just to be squished up in a car.
IAN MCGRENAGHAN: There's something poking into
something else.
Oh, god.
Oh, fuck!
JEN AGG: There's spittle.
IAN MCGRENAGHAN: He's getting red and shit.
Oh fuck, Colin!
Yeah seriously, puke.
It's all oozing.
Cold Tea is the bar that we seem to be going to the most.
We're overrun with hipster bars.
And there are a couple of cocktail bars.
Matt and his partners, of course, totally nailed the
concept of doing a hipster bar.
But also, hey, there might be some people that want to have
a delicious cocktail.
That concept meeting each other, it's the first time
I've seen that done.
And they do it so well.
And the design of the place is just awesome.
The have a cocktail there.
Green Dragon, I think, is what it's called.
It's tequila, muddled pineapple, and cucumber, and
lime juice.
And it's so simple and is so good.
Would you say this is my favorite drink in the city?
SARAH PARNIAK: I don't know.
Would you say it?
JEN AGG: Normally, I drink wine.
But for Sarah, I drink this.
We should probably have some shots.
Um, yeah.
Bourbon and Bronco, sure.
Is that a thing?
Taste it.
Really good.
I was actually going to feed it to you, so
you'd look extra gay.
Get out of there.
No, no.
It's really good, right?
IAN MCGRENAGHAN: My ass pussy was sweating last night.
JEN AGG: Guys, you're giving me a headache.
JEN AGG: Yeah, I am getting a headache in my pussy.
Oh, well!
That's a good idea.
GROUP: Cheers.
JEN AGG: Pretty good.
It's bourbon and Bronco?
I could drink that for breakfast.
MALE SPEAKER 2: Yeah, you should.
JEN AGG: OK, we got to go do nachos now.
I'm fucking going to die.
How do people have the stamina for this shit?
It's fucking old, man.
IAN MCGRENAGHAN: Where are we going for the munchies?
JEN AGG: Ah, Black Hoof?
JEN AGG: I think it's pretty much--
It's a spoon.
This is all a spoon.
It's one giant spoon, except for Colin, who doesn't get
spooned at all.
COLIN TOOKE: I don't fucking care.
I ain't fucking [INAUDIBLE]
JEN AGG: Oh, bullshit!
You love spooning, no question.
COLIN TOOKE: Fuck that.
JEN AGG: Colin, don't be a dick.
JEN AGG: I think this where we're going to eat--
BRANDON: It's like you're breaking and entering.
JEN AGG: To eat nachos or something.
I really don't understand how I was physically able to put
that nacho platter together.
That was something.
I'm too old for all that drinking.
And I'm actually still recovering from that.
So thank you very much for all of that fun.
We're going to have some fairly ghetto nachos, even
though we've already had Mexican food tonight.
But this is more like whitey Mexican food.
We did sort of a Mexican-Tex--
Tex-Mex kind of influence, with lots of cheese.
Because that's not really super Mexican.
Grated three pounds of cheese.
Brandon made this--
This is a chili tongue, right?
JEN AGG: It's like chili but made with tongue.
Brandon, this smells awesome.
BRANDON: It smells awesome.
Looks like cat food, though.
JEN AGG: Doesn't matter.
It's nachos.
Mm, la!
All right.
It's pretty basic salsa.
I don't even want to brag about what's in it.
It's whatever.
But it is agave syrup.
It's really good.
OK, into the oven with you, Nessie!
One thing that I think is really important is a real
sense of family.
And I know that's something that everyone in the industry
says and pays lip service to.
But they're saying it.
And then there's actually doing it.
There's actually caring about the people who work for you.
And there's-- you know, you want to come, when you're
spending this much time in a place, you want to come
somewhere where you can be happy and
comfortable and feel good.

That was the worst.
That was just a mess.
MALE SPEAKER 3: No it wasn't.
JEN AGG: No it wasn't.
Brandon is--
may be--
may be an undiagnosed narcoleptic.
And that's been the been the joke around
here for a long time.
There's people everywhere.
There's nachos everywhere.
But that's his special skill is that he can
sleep anywhere, anytime.
It doesn't matter.
Yeah, and I don't think that'll ever go away.
I think that's his trademark.