Earlier this month I attended the Taste of Toronto food festival at Fort York. This annual event showcases restaurants, chefs and food brands in a casual, back-yard-barbecue kind of setting. I had a great time there last year, so when tickets went on sale for this year’s event I snapped up a few tickets for my friends and family.
I managed to get a media pass for this years event, so I was able to go to more than one session. The food that the restaurants serve stays the same from session to session, but the presenters and workshops change.
I watched a little bit of Chef Carl Heinrich’s presentation, but otherwise I was just focused on eating great food. And oh my gosh, was there ever some great food there! Here’s a look at the delicious dishes that I tasted (many of which are available at the restaurants if you want to try them).
One of my favourite dishes from the event was the Lobster Chow Mein from R & D. Look at the size of those pieces of lobster!!! I really enjoyed the Asian flavours in this dish, which didn’t overpower the lobster at all.
Another wonderful dish was the Ahi Tuna Poke Cocktail from America Restaurant. How gorgeous is this dish? I didn’t care for those black things (I think that’s fried fish skin) but the rest of the dish was very tasty. Also, the macadamia nuts tasted like bacon. Just putting that out there!
My absolute favourite dish from Taste of Toronto was the Truffled Gnudi from Rasa. I ate this at both sessions that I went to! The gnudi was soft and creamy, which was delicious when paired with those earthy mushrooms and the bright herb sauce that was underneath. I’m not sure if the black pieces were truffles or something else… they were a tiny bit hard. But it was a very strong dish overall.
One dish that I thought really suited the whole outdoor-bbq feel of the event was the Fried Chicken from Weslodge restaurant. I didn’t love the sauce (it was too salty), but the perfectly crispy chicken and fluffy biscuit were awesome! That biscuit would have been even better if it was warm and buttered…
My only complaint about the event this year was the lack of water or juice. Last year Metro grocery had a stand set up where you could get a glass of water, and relax in the shade. That stand wasn’t there this year, and several people were having a hard time trying to find a suitable drink for their kids to have. As much as we all love alcohol, pop and caffeinated beverages, it’s good to have more kid-friendly options too. Especially when it’s so hot out!
We were dying for a cool non-boozy drink, or at least something icy, to get some relief from the heat. I think whoever comes up with a slushy stand next year will make a lot of money… Anyhow, we eventually found a Pure Leaf Tea stand. And get this, WE GOT THESE FOR FREE! Yup, these are samples, completed with a lid and straw so you don’t have to worry about spilling tea all over your cute summer outfit.
Oh Pure Leaf, you really get me.
Of course, no summer festival meal would be complete without some dessert!
I headed over to Richmond Station‘s booth to see what pastry chef Farzam Fallah had come up with. His surprisingly tame (but still delicious) Funnel Cake with berries and ice cream really hit the spot. Carnival food for the win!
I also enjoyed the simple but sophisticated Peaches & Cream dessert from Bosk. This summery treat was made with fresh peaches, with Darjeeling-flavoured cream. The tea was almost a bit too strong for me, but it was a very comforting dessert.
Another nice aspect of the Taste of Toronto event is that you can check out historic Fort York while you’re there. Their employees are all in costume, and do several demonstrations during the day that are fun to check out. I enjoyed watching these guys fire their guns. (Sorry, someone walked into this shot, so now it’s cropped awkwardly.)
Did you go to Taste of Toronto this year? Let me know what your favourite dish was in the comments below!
This is not a sponsored post.
I attended this event as a media representative, but I also purchased several tickets for other people.