Toronto Food Aficionados Converge on Toronto Taste


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.

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Rosanna Caira is the editor and publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality, and Hotelier magazines. In her capacity as editor of Canada’s two leading hospitality publications, Rosanna directs the editorial and graphic content of both publications, and is responsible for the editorial vision of the magazines, its five websites as well as the varied tertiary products including e-newsletters, supplements and special projects. In addition to her editorial duties, Rosanna also serves as publisher of the company, directing the strategic development of the Sales and Marketing, Production and Circulation departments. Rosanna is the face of the magazines, representing the publications at industry functions and speaking engagements. She serves on various committees and Boards, including the Board of Directors of the Canadian Hospitality Foundation. She is a recipient of the Ontario Hostelry’s Gold Award in the media category. In 2006, Rosanna was voted one of the 32 most successful women of Italian heritage in Canada. Rosanna is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, where she obtained a BA degree in English literature.

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