Toronto Taste 2012

Buca culinary team hard at work.

Toronto Taste

In support of Second Harvest!

Toronto Taste is the ultimate food lover’s experience. This one-evening event held May 27th highlighted over 90 of the city’s best chefs, wine merchants, restaurants, and yes bakeries! It was an overwhelming mix for the senses with tantalizing sights, aromas, and tastes. Presented by Second Harvest, an incredible charity that works throughout the city providing meals for those in need, this single event raises enough funds annually to offset the cost of over 800,000 meals, while reminding Toronto food enthusiasts why we love this city so much.

Bear Prosciutto from Petite Thuet Toronto

Toronto Taste hosted by Food Network’s chefs Bob Blumer and Roger Mooking, brought celebrity chefs, such as Mark McEwan, Michael Smith and others, in support. Beloved local brands such as Baker Street, Dufflet, Ace Bakery, Rodney’s Oyster House, Mill St. Brewery, and so many other top-class food outlets made this evening a truly unique Toronto food and beverage experience. Held at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), large white tents erected street side, housed many of the chefs. A great silent auction and Victoria Gin bar were located inside the grand venue. Each participating vendor operated from a dedicated section, with their team working hard behind the scenes, and an outgoing representative greeting guests at the front of each booth. Chefs’ selections provided for sampling were elegantly staged alongside information on establishments, and best of all wonderful conversation with the creators of the bite-sized delicacies.

With so many food and beverage experts donating their time, talent, and fare, something for everyone was available. Guests sipped Canadian wine, beer, and spirits, mostly Ontario varieties, as they made their way along food-laden aisles. What great fun it was observing complete strangers sharing in a culture of food-pleasure, exchanging notes and opinions, which often invoked moving sensory emotions.

Chef Rob Gentile’s prosciutto green salad.

This event was undoubtedly a unique taste experience for every guest. A perfect example of distinctive fare was Chef Mark of Petite Thuet’s Bear Prosciutto, cured from the meat of a bear he personally bagged while hunting in Alberta. The resulting flavorful prosciutto served on a slice of toasted bread was heavenly. Bean spread over cream cheese on toasted brioche was yet another tantalizing treat prepared by Chef Mark McEwan. From Buca’s light salad to All the Best’s elaborate five-tiered chocolate sour cherry cake, Dufflets sweets and Frank Restaurant’s homemade cinnamon sugar sticks, every vendor represented themselves and Toronto in high style. Reunion Island staff worked long into the evening providing freshly created coffees, lattes, and cappuccinos for guests. Inside the ROM, the aforementioned Victoria Gin Bar created a martini boasting of fresh herbs and a powerful floral taste, marking this fundraising occasion impressively. The very large and generous silent auction, with each item featuring a retail price tag, along with a notation of the number of meals that Second Harvest could prepare with its purchase, attended to the generosity of bidders.

Hand Made coffee

The food and drink in this magnificent indoor-outdoor venue was made all the more enjoyable by the shared experience of guests who soundly recognize Second Harvest as an incredible charity benefitting Toronto’s most vulnerable. I would recommend this unique evening to all true food enthusiasts.

Laine Valin

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