As the food charity season winds down, we finish off with the biggest of the lot. Last night, Second Harvest’s Toronto Taste took over the lobby of the Royal Ontario Museum, as well as much of the street along Queen’s Park as 2000 guests descended upon 60 chefs and restaurants, and over 30 beverage purveyors for a night of eating in support of one of Toronto’s most beloved food charities.
There is no possible way the average person can sample every item, and even though Greg and I tried to share things, we still couldn’t get to even half of the things on offer. But here’s an idea of what we came across.
Foodshare‘s fabulous Recipe For Change event migrated to the North St. Lawrence Market this year, allowing for more space, which in turn allowed for more chefs and more guests. I love that organizers make a point of not overselling the event, so it’s never packed; line-ups at food stations are short or non-existent and there is no sense of frenzy involved.
Recipe For Change is FoodShare’s annual fundraiser in which they raise monies directed toward their Field to Table Schools program which teaches school children about where their food comes from. Everyone I talked to on Thursday night considered the event a great success; hats off to Adrienne De Francesco and everyone at FoodShare for a fantastic time.
Below, check out some of the offerings from participating chefs. We didn’t try everything (and I somehow missed most of the desserts, which has got to be a first), but everything we did have was wonderful.
Above: Chickpea polenta topped with ratatouille and fresh mozzarella from Chef Marc Breton of the Gladstone Hotel.
Back in January, I posted a rant on TasteTO, asking where were the Canadian chefs, activists, TV shows and documentaries that would advocate for better food in our country, as is the case with chefs in the UK such as Jamie Oliver. I specifically called out CBC, suggesting that they should start running food-related documentaries, especially related to various political issues.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email advising me that CBC would be running a 4-part documentary series called The Great Food Revolution. The first two episodes ran last night, and the final two will run next week.
Now I know these docs had to have been in the works well before I posted my rant (part of the second episode was filmed at an event I attended in November – my chest makes a cameo appearance), so I really can’t bitch too much about the fact that they don’t exactly address the issues I mentioned. But part of the problem is, they don’t exactly address much of anything – and what they do address is kind of scattered and incomplete.
When I toured the George Brown Centre for Hospitality and Tourism back in January to write about their Yes, Chef! fundraising program, there was only an inkling of what the renovated building would look like. There was still hoarding up outside the two street-front eco-labs; the railing that looked down onto the centre atrium was blocked; and the dust and dirt from the construction was being tracked throughout the building as students hurried off to class.
What a difference a few months make.
This past Tuesday’s open house event at the 300 Adelaide Street East facility revealed a bright, inspiring space in which students could learn and grow, a starting point in which they would develop the roots of the career knowledge that will take them to jobs in some of Toronto’s best restaurants and beyond.