The Jew And The Carrot

Caplansky's Smoked Meat at 30,000 Feet

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share
Zane Caplansky

How will smoked meat taste at 30,000 feet?

Itinerant fressers at Toronto Pearson International Airport will soon find out.

Caplansky’s, the wildly successful deli empire founded by Canuck cured-beef maven Zane Caplansky, has unveiled plans for two concessions inside Pearson, Canada’s busiest air-travel hub.

Caplansky, who’s gone from one-man pop-up to culinary celebrity, will open Caplansky’s Deli, “a traditional Jewish deli offering breakfast plates, heaping deli sandwiches and home-style dinner entrees, as well as Caplansky’s Snack Bar, featuring simmering hot sandwiches made-to-order and other grab and go snacks,” according to an announcement from HMS Host, which manages food and beverage operations at the airport. The new outlets are slated to open early 2015.

It’s part of a huge expansion of food offerings at Pearson; Caplansky will join star chefs like Susur Lee and Mark McEwan, both of whom are overseeing brand extensions there. The culinary stars have been recruited by one of their own: Roger Mooking, a Toronto chef and television personality, who got the plum assignment of choosing purveyors for Pearson from HMS Host.

A surprise call from Mooking was the catalyst for Caplansky’s airport takeoff. “It’s one of those crazy moments when someone you’ve admired and watched on TV is calling to ask you to join his team,” Caplansky said. “Delis and the people who operate and patronize them are an important part of the fabric of this city. I think our authenticity is what appealed to Roger and HMS Host.”

The new locations mean Caplansky will soon manage his flagship deli, a cult-favorite food truck, and airport operations, along with a fourth restaurant soon to open at a still secret location.

To ramp up, Caplansky’s building a 6,000-square-foot production facility in Toronto’s west end. “The facility will allow us to maintain the quality and consistency our customers expect in the three restaurants, our catering business, and in the food trucks,” he told the Forward by e-mail from Japan, where he spent part of January on vacation. The facility should open in late spring, Caplansky said.

It will also enable Caplansky to expand beyond retail. “The big initiative for the next few years will be the growth of our grocery store products. I think four restaurants, food trucks (yes, there will be more), a great catering business and grocery store take-home deli products are enough for the foreseeable future.

But not everyone’s completely on board with Caplansky’s rapid expansion. “Here’s hoping Caplansky’s… sticks to its College Street roots by serving up quality eats rather than being another all-style-no-substance way to get ready for takeoff,” opined food blog Eater Toronto.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: caplansky's, pastrami, smoked meat

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.