By Rosanna Caira
TORONTO —Toronto’s food aficionados were out in full force last night at Second Harvest’s Toronto Taste. The annual culinary feast was held at Corus Quay and featured 60 of the city’s top chefs, who created a smorgasbord of savoury and sweet dishes.
Now in its 26th year, Taste Toronto is presented by The Daniels Corporation and chaired by Neiliesh Daji, with Franco and Barbara Prevedello serving as this year’s Honorary Chairs. Taste Toronto is the city’s top culinary fundraiser, in support of Second Harvest, an organization that rescues fresh, surplus food and delivers it to more than 220 social service agencies in Toronto, making a difference in the lives of more than 100,000 children, adults and seniors in the city who are experiencing hunger.
Since 1991, the event has raised more than $11 million to support the food-rescue program, with which much of the city’s restaurant community are involved. With more than 20 per cent of all Second Harvest funds coming directly from Toronto Taste, this event is critical for the organization’s success. In fact, last night’s event was expected to raise more than $800,000.
This year’s event — set against the backdrop of Sugar Beach, at Corus Quay, gave food lovers and connoisseurs a taste of summer, indulging in the season’s flavours. Top chefs such as Mark McEwan, Rob Gentile and Brad Long served an array of summer dishes alongside 30 of the region’s top beverage purveyors who offered a collection of wines, spirits and beers.
In addition to noshing on culinary delights and quaffing a variety of drinks, attendees also were able to bid on a series of silent auction items and fine wines.
This year, the fundraiser also highlighted a new feature — a Chefs’ Challenge with three top chefs vying for the title of Toronto Taste 2016 Chef Challenge Winner. Kaya Ogruce, Darby Piquette and Ivana Raca competed for the distinction, aided by a team of three sous chefs who also happened to be the event’s top individual fundraisers.