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The Essential List

The Essential List: Shannon Stephaniuk

Talk of homemade Ukrainian food and signature cocktails has the LBB team pining for a dinner party invite from the Toronto-based founder of glossy

The Essential List: Shannon Stephaniuk

After reading Shannon Stephaniuk’s Essential List we really hope that one day she invites the LBB crew for dinner. Admittedly, none of the LBB team currently lives in Toronto but we have a feeling that her varenyky (Ukrainian pierogi) and signature cocktails would be worth the journey (it’s currently a watermelon margarita with roasted jalapeño syrup). And if that doesn’t quite work out, she is more than clued up on where to eat in her hometown. 

Shannon is also a prominent figure in Toronto’s advertising industry. In 2006 she set up glossy, a PR and marketing agency that works on behalf of some of the industry’s finest and most creative companies. Get to know her better below. 


Travel



o Place of birth: Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast.
o Hometown: Although I was born on the west coast, I grew up on the east. I consider Toronto to be my hometown as it’s the place I’ve lived the longest. 
o Staycation: I love swimming and being in a lake, so for a get-away that’s close by you’ll find me at one of Ontario’s many lakes in Muskoka or Prince Edward County. While there I’ll either be swimming or roasting marshmallows. If only you could do both at the same time.

Staycation

o Vacation: My partner's family is from New Zealand and, although I’ve only been once, I can’t wait to go back. On top of it being crazy-scenic, the people are so nice! People say Canadians are polite, but we’re rude assholes compared to Kiwis. 
o Place of work: My dining room table or Soho House.

Home office

o Miscellaneous Travel Essential: One of two awesome Sri Lankan bed sheets that my friend Amalie Bruun brought back from one of her many charitable working holidays there. On top of being a sheet or a light blanket, they also serve as a towel and sometimes a wrap or a scarf. 


Culture



o Musician: I’m the biggest New Order fan ever and love the Peter Saville cover art as much as I love the music. 

New Order covers

o Commercials director: Ringan Ledwidge. ‘Getting Dressed’ is one of my favourite commercials ever.
o Photographer: I’m currently digging Gavin Burn’s architecture photos on Instagram @wandering.scot.
o Film: My favourites are Rear Window, To Kill A Mocking Bird, Wings of Desire and The Fifth Element. I know, that last one feels like it doesn’t belong on my list. On top of loving sci-fi, the costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier are a feast for the eyes. “Chicken. Good.” 
o Series: Right now I’m binging on Catastrophe on Amazon Prime Video and I have been watching some Icelandic shows on Netflix, like Case and Trapped. Sadly, I have not picked-up any Icelandic.
o Commercial: My all-time favourite is Nagi Noga’s ‘Alex & Juliet’ for Franc Franc. It should be required viewing for the holiday season.



o Music Video: Either Daft Punk’s Around the World, directed by Michel Gondry, or OK Go’s ‘This Too Shall Pass’, directed by James Frost, who I was lucky enough to do PR for at the time this video launched. James Frost has directed many other super cool music videos like Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’, Radiohead’s ‘House of Cards’ and Alabama Shakes’ ‘Sound & Color’.



o Video Game: I’m old school. I love Frogger and recently got an Atari off an auction site.
o Board Game: Monopoly. I have a Game of Thrones edition.
o Book: Truman Capote’s Music For Chameleons. It’s not true crime and I dig that. 
o Miscellaneous Art: I’m a big fan of Toronto-based illustrator and artist Ashley Barron and I’m so happy to have three of her paper-craft pieces in my home. I’ve also been really into having Toronto-based Ian Campbell retouch, blow-up and print old iPhone photos. I recently had three blown-up from an old iPhone 4 and they look amazing. 

Retouched old iPhone photos


Food and Drink



o Restaurant: Union on Ossington Avenue. It’s close to my home/office and it never disappoints. Oh, and they have half-price bottles of wine on Mondays. 
o Cheap bite: Pho Tien Thanh, also on Ossington Ave. #14 and #24 are our go-tos. 
o Dish: I’m of Ukrainian heritage and have mad food-rolling skills. I make a mean sour cabbage roll, but I’m also pretty famous, among my friends, for my varenyky (Ukrainian pierogi).

Prepped - but not yet cooked - Ukrainian food

o Guilty Pleasure: Oysters and wine at Cote De Boeuf, a local butcher shop that’s also a restaurant. And, you guessed it, it’s also on Ossington Ave.
o Bar: For wine I head to Midfield Wine Bar on Dundas Street West and for a great cocktail I head to The County General on Queen Street West. Their Kentucky Punch never disappoints.
o Miscellaneous food: Any of the crudo at Ufficio on Dundas West. 
o Miscellaneous Beverage: My friends know me for making a signature cocktail. Lately it’s been a watermelon margarita with roasted jalapeño simple syrup. It’s delicious and I’m pretty sure it’s good for you as tequila is the only alcohol that’s not a depressant and I juice my own watermelon.

Signature cocktails


Kit



o Phone: iPhone 6S.
o Computer: MacBook Air.
o Headphones: White leather and rose gold FRENDS. They were a gift.
o Camera: iPhone 6S, FujiFilm Instamax mini 7S or my Olympus Stylus Epic. I also collect super 8 cameras.

Cameras

o Soundsystem: Sonos and Apple Music.
o Pen / pencil: Pilot G-2 05 with black ink.
o Where you document an idea: With super messy handwriting in a ruled Moleskine.
o Casual wear: Well, if I’m working from home and have no meetings, you’ll find me in pyjamas and fuzzy slippers. The mailman thinks I never get dressed. If I have to leave the house, I’ll usually throw on a dress, jeans or a jumpsuit.
o Smart wear: A friend once described my style as “sexy-utilitarian”. I usually wear dresses or jumpsuits. My go-to places to shop in Toronto are Horses, The Future of Francis Watson, Gaspard and Fawn. I recently got Henrik Vibskov’s Love U Dress from The Future of Francis Watson. It can be worn as a dress or a coat. I love a multipurpose item! 

The Love U Dress

o Footwear: Anything with a low heel as I’m a klutz and tend to twist my ankles in high heels. 
o Digital work tool: Coverage Book for making media reports.