Words: Sumona Roy Images: HUMSandy
Fort York was the host to an interesting and diverse food and flavour experience — The Second Annual Taste of Toronto.
There were close to 50 dishes offered from some of the city’s hottest chefs and restaurants. For the guests it was an action-filled day with activities that ranged from interactive classes by star chefs; food demonstrations; food tastings; food pairings; artisan vendors to colourful cocktails & drink.
Some of the highlights if you were looking for celebrity chefs included Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Bonacini, Mark McEwan, Lynn Crawford amongst many others. These chefs were either providing live demonstrations or master classes throughout the four day event.
What was the most impressive aspect of this event was the producers market where over 70 artisan producers and premium brands provided a bounty of the best food and beverages from Toronto and around the province that you could bring home.
Some of the vendors that caught our eye were very innovative and grassroots. Small businesses and new businesses that really reflected knowledge, quality and great customer service. Foodie Studio was one of those vendors that really reflected all of these their business.
They were selling high quality aprons and chef aprons that had global food dish recipes represented by beautiful pictures of each spice on the apron. The chef aprons were also adjustable for different heights with a very easy snap system.
Queen of Sheba proprietor, Ms. Sadiah was a wealth of information about her natural handmade products for hair and body products as well as accessories. She can also be found on Fridays at the Burl’s Creek Art and Farmers Market.
A new Greek Olive Oil Company has just arrived in Canada. Sacred Olive Estates has amazing Olive Oil with an amazing taste that comes from Messinia, Greece. They took the time to explain the process of how their ultra premium 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil was produced. The smooth and exceptionally well balanced taste was very intense and fruity.
TemiBakes is a custom-crafted confectionery store where the owner gave us a sample of her delicious port chocolate brownie. It was delicious and she does personalize her cakes, favours and other items for corporate functions as well as the traditional wedding favours, mehendi cakes and any other cakes for all occasions.
Zhen Tea had a delightful array of Chinese Teas that would please everyone’s palette. There was also Lee’s Ghee who offered more than the traditional Ghee flavour. It is made in Canada and they offer flavours such as sage, cardamom and even maple. Another interesting company was the Fever-Tree Premium Natural Mixers who offered amazing mixers for Gin and Rum that had a 1/3 of the sugar found in the usual mixers.
As you walked around the event there was Vita Coco giving away bottles of coconut water, sparkling water San Pellegino paired themselves with restaurants Byblos, Patria & Weslodge to give away sparkling water with meals, Nespresso who were giving away free coffee and coffee inspired drinks, Pilsner Urquall had amazing beer and was an official sponsor as well as local favourite Brickhouse Ciderhouse. Walter All-Natural Craft Caesar Mix was absolutely fabulous and they even offered an option with whiskey which really worked with its taste profile.
Sponsor Delta Airlines offered a great VIP lounge which offered drinks, water and of course those small bags of airplane snacks in a very relaxing setting with couches indoors or outdoors to just take a break.
Independent local wine & spirit producers such as Distillerie Rheault Distillery, King’s Court Estate Winery, Rosehall Run, and Shiny Apple Cider are proof that artisan care can produce quality and competitive products.
So many things to see and do and so little time. After leaving the event we felt that we really needed more time to explore and listen to the vendors. This was a definite learning experience about food and beverages from a wide range of vendors which kept you definitely engaged and entertained.
Looking forward to next year…