TORONTO – Judging by the 1,200+ people who attended this year’s Brickworks picnic, the annual Evergreen/Slow Food Toronto fundraiser was another resounding success. This marks the third such event held at Toronto’s Brickworks, a once thriving industrial heritage factory now undergoing a renaissance of sorts (throughout the summer, Brickworks houses a Farmer’s Market for consumers every Saturday as well as one for chefs every Tuesday).
The eco-gastronomic event, organized by Evergreen (the non-for-profit organization that aims to build the connection between people and nature) and Slow Food Toronto (which builds community networks within the industry), “celebrates the pleasure, benefits and positive impact that come with supporting local producers and the chefs who showcase these sustainable foods.”
The theme of this year’s picnic was “locally global” and, for the more than 70 chefs in attendance, it was an opportunity to showcase a diverse range of menu offerings and to celebrate the industry’s bounty in an environmentally responsible way. Picnicgoers also sampled a variety of different Ontario wineries and brewers.
As Ruth Klahsen of Monforte Cheese said, “It’s all about conviviality.” For Jamie Kennedy, who was instrumental in the launch of this event three years ago, its success is particularly gratifying. “This has become the urban version of Feast of Fields,” said Kennedy, referring to the event he co-founded with Michael Stadtlander 20 years ago.
Proceeds from last year’s picnic allowed Slow Food Toronto to send delegates to Terra Madre, the Slow Food “meeting of food communities” in Torino, Italy.