Canoe Restaurant

We are presently partnering with the ‘Ontario Spring Water Sake Company’, located in Toronto’s Distillery District. We are feeding the sake distillers grain to the animals in a method similar to the Japanese approach to feeding Wagyu animals. This product has recently been on the menu at the Canoe Restaurant.


Wagyu Rib Eye with smoked mustard, cattail yorkshire pudding, roasted carrots, crispy Kennebec potatoes and immature juniper berry jus.

What better way to raise Wagyu cattle than to feed it sake mash?

This was the opportunity presented to Canoe’s Chef de Cuisine John Horne by Ken Valvur of the Ontario Spring Water Sake Company (OSWSO), eastern North America’s first sake brewery.  Wagyu, an extremely prized cattle breed originally from Japan, is well known for its exceptional marbling and what John describes as butter-like tenderness.   But if you blinked, you would have missed all the Wagyu magic as the different cuts were only served throughout the month of December as specials.

The relationship between Canoe and OSWSO began two years ago with a quest to produce a blended sake together.   Acting as a liaison between farm and table, Ken approached Brian Knox, a farmer from Formosa in Bruce County, Ontario to raise a Wagyu cow fed that was fed mash from OSWSO’s sake production.  The cow, raised exclusively for Canoe and crossbred with the Black Angus breed, landed in the care of long-time supplier, The Butcher Shoppe under President Allan Wiseman’s direction.  Calling it a “special animal”, Allan developed a well thought-out plan that involved aging the cow whole for 50 days and then breaking it down into smaller cuts, with some being aged longer than others.

For John, the most exciting surprise was in the Blade steak cut, which contained incredible marbling in the shoulder.  Though the epic journey had to end with Wagyu Rib-Eye steak as the last cut used, John is always on the lookout for the next adventure.

Or maybe it’s just the sake talking.

How Much Does John Horne Love his Moo?

Favourite Way to Eat Wagyu: Straight up – seared with nothing else but salt and pepper.

“If I could do anything with Wagyu…”: Whole roast a Wagyu cow on a spit over coals for days and have one hell of a BBQ party. The fat would keep the meat moist and take on the smoky flavour.