The first Taste of Toronto festival that occured on the last weekend in July, brought together Food Network Canada celebs, some of the city’s best chefs and food lovers to enjoy sunshine, delicious food and some fine drinks.
Chuck Hughes hosted a breakfast for some early birds on Saturday, where he served chicken and waffles with chanterelle mushrooms, lemon granola yogurt parfait and an amazing tomato, cucumber and avocado salad, with deep fried cheese squares (why didn’t we think of this?):
Photo by Lina Truong
Mark McEwan manned his McEwan Group booth, helping his staff serve hungry patrons, taking lots of photos with fans and being altogether charming.
He was serving fried chicken with a cheddar biscuit and crunchy slaw, lobster poutine, and lamb bolognese crostini with minted ricotta.
Dishes are pictured from left to right below.
Roger Mooking showed off his culinary skills at a cooking demo and then signed cookbooks for fans.
From left to right: Chuck Hughes holding a festival goer’s delicious baby (photo by Lina Truong); me with handsome chef Mark McEwan; golden boy Roger Mooking signing cookbooks for fans.
Top Chef Canada season 2 winner Carl Heinrich was representing his restaurant Richmond Station, dishing out comfort food favourites like this ice cream sundae with preserved cherries, toasted almonds and rich, dark chocolate and a sensationally savoury burger on a milk bun with Oka cheese and beet chutney. Potato chips are the preferred partner for anything between two slices of bread. Carl knows this and so does Cory Vitiello of The Harbord Room and THR & Co; his griddled crab and prawn roll with crispy bacon and pickled cucumber was served with Old Bay potato chips.
The Grove, named best new Canadian restaurant in 2012 by Maclean’s magazine, served a gussied-up version of the Scotch egg (left) and their take on surf and turf (right); octopus with pork belly, corn, and black garlic.
Patria was dishing out their saffron-scented seafood paella from an enormous pan, while a Spanish guitarist serenaded patrons. With the intense sunshine on Saturday, it almost felt like being on the Spanish coast.
At a special event on Thursday, David Chang’s Momofuku served their famous pork bun, a kale salad, and summer ramen (pictured left). The Shangri-La Hotel’s restaurant, Bosk, served roasted Atlantic halibut with grains, fennel, citrus and basil—a perfect summer dish—and to finish off with something sweet, coconut tapioca pearls with passion fruit, lime, and pineapple.
All festival goers received a Food Network Canada tray that helped to balance their plates while standing and nibbling all the delicious food. A few fans shared photos of their trays.
Taste of Toronto will return in 2015 and there’s talk that it will expand to more cities across Canada. We’ll keep you posted!