"Although the idea is far from new (the team tip their hat to the inspiration of the late Charlie Trotter), in this case, the marriage of food and wine mirrors the pair’s own 10-year match — both adapting to and challenging the other... At a recent media dinner...Rebecca was seen dashing back to the kitchen with samples of wine for the chef to taste before sending the plates to diners, allowing him to fine tune sauces, garnishes and other elements to [what was in] the glass."
"What’s new with Chef & Somm is they firmly believe re-inventing the wheel is not necessary, since everything has been done. However, they want to preserve the locally-sourced ingredients in their purest form and perfect the dish around the taste of the wine. What’s special about this dinner...is that we got to be our own Sommeliers, given various wine choices and playing around with our taste buds by pairing them with different ingredients on the plate."
"Through seven courses, Rebecca paired the biodynamic winery’s wines with precision. At the table she explained her methodology: she tasted intensely with Chef Liebman as he developed the dishes. Usually, it’s the sommelier’s job - and possibly problem - to pair what they can find with whatever their chef has decided to cook. In the case of a meal designed to showcase a wine or winery, some chefs might take care to choose foods that roughly pair, but harmony on this front is rare. This couple collaborate from the beginning right to the finish. From our table we could see Meïr-Liebman taking glasses of wine to the kitchen so Liebman could adjust his seasoning allowing each dish and glass complimented each other to the greatest extent possible. I was at the table with Southbrook’s Paul DeCampo, on hand to speak to the wines, and he was duly impressed".
Malcolm Jolley, Hummus & Chardonnay from Chef & Somm, goodfoodrevolution.com, Sept 2015
"My biggest pet peeve with regards to wine is that often most people overthink what goes with what. Whether you stick to the simplest of rules red with red meat and white with white meat or freestyle your pairings, once you have had the chance to taste a perfect wine and food pairing you finally start to get it. A perfectly paired dish will elevate both the wine and the food to another level".
André Proulx, Chardonnay and Hummus, André wine review, October 2015
"I must admit I’ve never had falafel or hummus with wine before, but these dishes showed that these pairings do work. It was a very nice start to the evening. Our first dinner with Chef & Somm was a great experience. The Liebmans demonstrated how thoughtful food and wine pairings can bring out the best in both."
John Tan, Hummus and Chardonnay - a Middle Eastern Dining Experience by Chef & Somm,
Best of Toronto.com, October 2015
"While Liebman hasn’t officially buried the chocolate dinners, he’s moved on to explore other things. If you’ve met the man before, you’d understand that his mind is constantly conjuring up ideas, concepts and creations. He’s the right mix of crazy - because who would think to put white chocolate and lobster together? - intellectual, quirky, and talent".
Yvonne Tsui, L is For… Private Dining Experiences, th3hungrycat.ca, July 2015
“After experiencing the enviable skills of this chef for the first time, I very much look forward to his future culinary endeavours. He is one to watch, of that I have no doubt. Keep an eye on his website for information about further events.”
Jamie Drummond, Eyal Liebman Chocolate Dreams, goodfoodrevolution.com, August 2013
"It was fascinating to watch each dish being assembled; layer upon layer of flavour enhancing elements were added to each plate, being built up until the final piece was added. Each dish put together to both entice the eyes and stomach. Each dish was a delicious work of art, devoured quickly by everyone in attendance. Everything from the pouring of the wine to the placement of the potatoes in a sinuous line down the plate is calculated."
"This supper was truly the first time I experienced how wine can add to and alter the flavour of the dish in front of you. The dessert was an almond cake with white chocolate and beet mousse. The cake on its own was dry, but when you paired it with a sip from the Henry of Pelham Vidal Ice wine, surprise, taste altered and cake no longer dry. For those of you who have done wine pairings in the past, you may already have experienced this moment, but for a newbie, it was like an awakening".
René Samulewitsch, L is For… Many Things, The Scene in TO, January 2015
"...if you are looking to hold an amazing intimate dinner, a big event, or anything in-between L is for and their amazing team really know how to not only make the most interesting feast to delight and tantalize your palete, they really know how to put on a fun and adventurous night!"
I think this chocolate tasting dinner has changed my mind completely. "In France, I’m just another guy,” says a humble Liebman as I applaud his inaugural tasting dinner. I think he is a truly talented chef, full stop.”
"This dinner isn’t just a showcase of Eyal and Rebecca’s talent, though that aspect is certainly self-evident, rather, it is a showcase of their love of creating the unique and memorable... this was one of the most beautiful dining experiences I’ve had to date".
Annie Chu, Special Meals: A Chocolate Dinner, Chu on This Blog, June 2015
“Vision, depth, and thoughtfulness are ingrained in Chef Eyal Liebman’s repertoire; not only with regards to his food philosophy, but in how he views society at large and the role each one of us plays to make meaningful contributions to it.”
"Interestingly, Chef Eyal Liebman spent most of the evening in the kitchen preparing the dinner for everyone and we didn’t see him until near the end. What a modest man, letting his work speak for itself, making it more about the food than his face."
"I finished off the evening on a high-note which left me wanting more... an avant-garde approach to dessert: tomato gelée, olive oil and white chocolate mousse, strawberry and lemon confit salad. Everything about this dish was delicate and soft and drool-worthy. You might not think that tomato and white chocolate go well together, but trust me: they do! Plus, this dish looked like a piece of art."
Ama Scriver, Eyal Liebman Delivers Chocolate for Dinner, fatgirlfoodsquad.com, November 2013
"Chef Eyal confirms that chocolate is not reserved for just decadent desserts - it can be extremely versatile. With its smooth and silky texture, chocolate is not only an incredible texture-builder but also a key ingredient for bringing out other flavours in a dish; especially darker chocolates with their slightly acidic bitterness. It can thicken sauces, it can add colour too...the possibilities of chocolate are endless. Will we see more chefs in the city utilize this wonderful ingredient? I have my fingers crossed."
Stella Yu, La Joie de Vivre aux Chocolat - A Sweet and Savoury Chocolate Tasting Dinner,
foodjunkiechronicles.net, December 2013
"Guests finished the meal in awe of Eyal’s creativity and Rebecca’s expertise to collaboratively and seamlessly pair two, sometimes incompatible, flavours. What we thought would be an overly rich, cloyingly sweet meal felt deliciously light and well-balanced. Even the dessert had a blessed balance of savoury and sweet!"
Abbey Sharp, L is For.. Loving Chocolate @ Eyal Liebman's La Joie De Vivre Au Chocolat #2!,
abbeyskitchen.com, November 2013
“Even with six full courses: two appetizers, a fish, main, cheese, and dessert, Chef Liebman did a commendable job of walking the fine line between satisfying and over-stuffing diners. He also showed that plates at beer dinners don’t need to be a four-foot slab of barn board covered in a mountain of meat. Instead were attractive and carefully presented without being fussy.”
"Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of chocolate – I know it’s a shock. Neither would I have thought it’d go with something like salad. But after tasting the salad caprice de reine, my mind changed. The greenery - endive, arugula and apple - was crisp, light and vinegary. But, as you continue on the shavings of Valrhona blond chocolate subtly comes through adding a creaminess and extra essence to an otherwise simple dish."
"I will admit, I wasn't initially sold on his choco-thoughts, until I tasted. Chef Liebman is incorporating cocoa powder and chocolate into remarkable main course. 'Adding chocolate to a dish adds a rich depth of flavor and a great contrast of sweet and savoury', says Chef. What sets Chef Libeman apart from the crowd? He believes that 'the fundamentals of classic French cuisine risk extinction' and he passionately strives to preserve them. And take them to the next level".