Before you enter Taste of Toronto, you must first brace yourself with a hungry appetite to dig into a haven of food and drinks galore. Taste of Toronto is among the top opportunities of the year to grab your favourite food-loving friends and leap across the greenery of Fort York to explore the range of offered free activities, eat at the stalls of Toronto’s restaurants or, make a new discovery from artisan producers.The event, held at Garrison Common at Fort York spans over 4 days: Thursday to Sunday with two sessions available each day with currency as pre-loaded “crowns” on cards, $1 = 1 crown. There are plenty of opportunities of interaction with these Chefs, from the – my favourite things to do is learn from the leading people of the food industry and discover foods and drinks from places old and new.
The led Tasting Rooms and Metro Master Classes have me most excited. My number one tip is to get in early and reserve your spot for the sessions you’re looking forward to, Taste of Toronto has loads to offer in experiences, you simply need to sweep in and take up those opportunities! For the Saturday, I made my visit to the Metro Master Class that is complimentary to all. Metro Master Classes are available at three times a session on a no charge, first come, first serve to sign up on the day of the event. Chefs another dishes that composed of the 2016 addition of Metro Master Class are Rob Bragagnolo of Craver with a Chorizo & Ginger Steamed Blue Mussels, Mark McEwan of McEwan Group with a Mushroom & Truffle Risotto and even a Sushi-Making class with Chef Kazuya Matsuoka of Miku Toronto. I can say in all that it is the Taste of Toronto experience.
The Metro Master Class Experience
Prancing across to the east side of the field, we joined into the Metro Master Class led by Toronto chef Anthony Rose (as you will know, popular for Bar Begonia, Fat Pasha, Schmaltz Appetizing, Rose and Songs and Big Crow…). Chef Anthony introduced us to the favourite and most popular dips at his restaurants, and even showed us how to make his favourite – the Msabbaha a hummus variation of chickpeas of course.
All set up at our station, our ingredients to put to use are all fresh and simple: chickpeas, lemon, olive oil and tahini – all supplied by Metro in containers, making it a simple portioning breeze to assemble an identical finished dish. Myself and Karen (of Sincerely KN) worked as a team over this Metro-created masterpiece. Chef Anthony took his time between steps to walk through the aisles and check on each work station to observe and comment.
It was such an exciting class to partake in, laid out simply for us, each step was easily explained by Chef Anthony on the stage, but most of it being ingredients added by eye -haha. I had my first go at using the Braun machine to blend the tahini with lemon and oil. Each station had the classic roast cauliflower to side, as well as a tangy sauce to drizzle. The end work was an approval from Chef! Upon completion, we presented our dish for the Chef’s approval and enjoy the creation for ourselves, of course, the praised cauliflower eaten first!
Now, it was time to go forward with your day at Taste of Toronto!
The day was warm and we each needed something to cool down to, coincidentally Metro ambassadors were handing out chilled Metro lemonade and watermelon. Perfect.
Our first wine taste was a summery refreshing Beaujolais, as well as finding the people of Fever Tree and discovering two new fruity additions to the shelves, the free delicious foie gras parfait with any coffee from Nespresso, a pint of filtered as well as unfiltered from Pilsner Urquell, then on we went to a KetelOne Kitchen for a Caesar-making class with Chef Matt Pettit.
Making a Caesar in the KetelOne Vodka Kitchen with Matt Pettit
The Caesar-making classes ran for 20-minutes each, and for $10 crowns you get a walkthrough of tasting KetelOne Vodka, and, the recommended construction of the only man that I could think to be suitable to lead, Chef Matt Petit of restaurant Rock Lobster and the Matty’s Seafood brand.
Maille Flavour Studio
Maille Canada had the neatest display, for $2 crowns, you can create your own mustard. Each creator also receives a cocktail made with Maille’s mustard! Provided is a wooden mortar and pestle and a eensy perfect-sized jar with a blank label to call as your own. It was a three step process, choosing your base, two additives and then the final touches. I went all out… My ideal type is slightly sweet and super tangy with a musky wow. And, it has been achieved.
Here are some food items we came across… the first sighting is the churros & ice cream from El Cabilitto. from Mamakas Taverna, we had to try out the lamb that was casting a delicious aroma that could be smelt from the middle of the field – and with no regret we dove in. Also sampled is from Mark McEwan – the Ace black bun with crispy calamari, absolutely delicious and hit the spot to a tee.
The Tasting Room
Drop-in class at $5 crowns a person to learn of bubbles, prosecco & champagne led by CB Wine Program and hosted by Jamie Drummond, the oysters were a treat and paired well with the bubbly prosecco.
Metro Irresistibles Product Range
I received the opportunity to try out Metro’s newest premium private label products, Irresistibles. Presented to be superior quality and exclusive products at competitive prices, products that are available include no trans fats, artificial colouring or flavours as well as seperate lines for organic, market fresh and gluten free. Among my favourites of my Metro Irresistibles goodies are the lemonade – I’ve made incredible, refreshing use for this, drinking it on it’s own and in a white sangria, the decadent chocolate chip cookies, rosemary sea salt which I have used in this post to season sockeye salmon. It’s so great to see a range of products all specific to Metro using only high quality ingredients. Oh – and of course, I can’t wait to use the Montreal BBQ sauce for this warm BBQ season!
Taste of Toronto is a true showcase of the flavours that create the city’s food scene, by the brands and Chefs that represent and craft the product. I wonderful time to be apart of, thank you to Taste of Toronto, Metro Canada and Maille Canada.