Toronto Taste 2009 – Good Eats in Pictures

Fabulous whitefish sandwiches from Epic at the Royal York.

We came, we saw, we ate.

Second Harvest’s Toronto Taste fundraising event was, by our observation, a resounding success. Spread out over Cumberland Street and the Village of Yorkville Park, over 30 of Toronto’s top restaurants, as well as a number of wineries and breweries, offered samples of their finest fare. While tickets were $225 a pop, attendees were offered unlimited food and drink, plus the opportunity to rub shoulders with some celebrity chefs including Michael Smith and Mark McEwan (anyone who lingered too long at the One booth could also have earned themselves a cameo in an upcoming episode of McEwan’s TV show The Heat), not to mention event host and TV personality Carlo Rota. It was wonderful to see attendees dressing up (I was tempted to start snapping photos of cute outfits as well as the luscious food) and even a little bit of rain didn’t put chefs or guests off their game.

Here is a collection of pics taken by Greg and I throughout the evening. There wasn’t a lot of signage or a list of who was serving what, so some of the food porn doesn’t have a chef or restaurant attached to it. Apologies in advance to the chefs who I haven’t been able to match to their food. If you were there and can identify the chef/restaurant of the mystery dishes, please let me know.

Finally, thanks to the organizers for such a fabulous event, to all the chefs and restaurants who made it a true feast for the senses and to the many, many volunteers who went out of their way to ensure that guests had forks and napkins and clean plates. Congratulations to you all – truly a job well done!

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The School’s Too Cool

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.

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Cookie Day

I have had what might possibly be the best day ever. The only thing that could make it better would be if someone were to show up at my door with a huge tray of oysters.

I hauled my butt out of bed this morning and headed to my alma mater, George Brown College, to take part in the Peace of Cake event. Every year staff, students and assorted volunteers get together and back a thousand or so fruitcakes, cookies, brownies and other treats and then package them up to be given to needy families, youth centres and the veterans in the long-term care facility at Sunnybrook hospital.

As is always the case when I leave early to give myself time to get somewhere during a storm, I arrived a half hour early. I was given an apron straight away, though, and was quickly put to work wrapping fruitcakes in saran wrap. As more volunteers arrived, I was put in charge of a group of kids from a local high school.

Many of the cakes meant for the veterans have to be diabetic-friendly, but when the baking was taking place yesterday, someone didn’t label the cakes made from Splenda properly. All that hype about how it tastes “just like sugar” is not exactly true. Sugar doesn’t make your tongue tingle.

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