TORONTO — Toronto’s food lovers were out in full force last night as Toronto Taste held its annual food extravaganza featuring food, wines and entertainment.
The annual roving food picnic in support of Second Harvest was held this year at the Evergreen Brick Works, which was transformed into a vintage circus with aerialists, acrobats, fire-eaters and fortune tellers. Food aficionados shelled out $260 per ticket to indulge in dishes from 50 of the city’s top culinary talents, while sampling from a bevy of beverages.
Participating chefs and restaurants included Mark McEwan, who served Braised P.E.I. Beef Short-Rib with charred eggplant relish, cashmere chili flakes, eggplant purée and toasted Barbari Bread from his Diwan Restaurant; Mamakas restaurant, which highlighted its grilled lamb-rib; and Rocco Agostino’s Enoteca Sociale restaurant, which highlighted pasta carbonara. In addition to myriad dishes, a collection of craft brewers, wineries and spirit companies poured a selection of beverages to complement the array of dishes.
According to Lori Nikkel, CEO, Second Harvest, the annual charity-fest raises 15 per cent of Second Harvest’s operating funds, “which keeps our drivers and trucks on the road rescuing and delivering food to hundreds of social-service organizations, providing fresh, nutrient-rich food to over 330,000 people experiencing hunger each year. Second Harvest is also expanding food rescue with FoodRescue.ca, helping to keep more fresh food on tables and out of landfill. We simply could not do what we do without your incredible support.”
A highlight of yesterday’s event was a Chef’s Challenge, which pitted chefs Romain Avril, Elia Herrera from Colibris and Ivana Raca from Ufficio against each other. A trio of judges, including Susur Lee, Mark McEwan and Juriaan Snellen chose Raca as winner.
The success of Toronto Taste relies on an elaborate network of volunteers, sponsors, restaurant and beverage participants, donors and guests. Each of the dishes created by the 50 chefs and their culinary teams was donated by them. For the past 24 years, Second Harvest has been sponsored by The Daniels Corporation.