Paintbox Bistro is quite different than your average restaurant. Structured around a “social mandate,” it’s focused on serving its community.
Located in Toronto’s Regent Park, Paintbox was opened by its president and head chef Chris Klugman in September 2012. The restaurant, along with its catering company, seeks to provide training and career opportunities to residents of the community.
Paintbox is the first restaurant and catering company in Canada to be B Corp certified, which means that it’s recognized for being a sustainable business that meets the high standards of social and environmental performance.
“We’re not just saying we’re a social enterprise, we are,” says Chris.
Paintbox Bistro is focused on using sustainable ingredients wherever possible and also contributes to the local community – just like us! That’s why we got Chris to create a recipe for us based on some of the sustainable materials found in Ford vehicles, such as the C-MAX.
These materials include soybean oil (headrests), corn (armrest handle) and sweet potato (map pockets). The recipe also uses dandelions — did you know that dandelion milk can be used to make rubber? We are currently working with our partners to create a sustainable, synthetic rubber from Russian dandelions that may soon be used in Ford vehicles.
In designing this recipe, Chris said: “We were really after a dish that people won’t be scared to make.” His goal was to “limit the ingredients, some of the complexity, and yet have a creative flair.”
Let’s take a look at the recipe, which Chris says is very simple to make.
Thai Curry Corn and Sweet Potato Bisque
with Crab and Dandelion Pesto
Says Chris: “I like the combination of Thai spicing with sweet potatoes. Crab and corn and sweet potato are a great combination for a bisque, and the Thai spicing and sweet potato work well because of the sweetness of the cuisine.”
- 5 cobs of corn
- ½ bunch dandelion greens
- 3 tbsp. soya or vegetable oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp. soya or vegetable oil
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, diced
- 2 (400 ml) tins coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- ½ tsp. ground coriander seed
- 1 bay leaf
- 227g fresh sustainable crab meat
- 1 tbsp. salt (to taste)
- Using a knife, remove the corn kernels from cobs. Set kernels and cobs aside in separate bowls.
- Make pesto: Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add dandelion, cook 1 minute; drain. In a blender or food processor, combine cooked dandelion, 3 tbsp. soya oil and lime juice. Process to a paste, set aside.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 tbsp. soya oil, shallot and curry paste. Cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are soft and golden in colour. Add sweet potatoes and corn kernels, cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add coconut milk, water, reserved corn cobs, coriander seed and bay leaf. Simmer 1 hour. Remove and discard corn cobs. In a blender or food processor, purée cooked sweet potato/ corn mixture in batches; add salt to taste; keep warm.
- Serve soup in bowls, topped with dandelion pesto and crab meat.
- Serves 4-6.
Try making this recipe at home and let us know what you think in the comments below! To learn more about Ford and the sustainable materials we use – and to test drive some eco-friendly vehicles – visit the Green Living Show in Toronto from April 12-14.