Sunday, June 19, 2011

Toronto Taste: THE food & beverage event of the year (and for a good cause to boot!)

Sunday, June 19, 2011
Mark and I were lucky enough to be Official Roving Twitter Reporters for Second Harvest's largest fundraiser, Toronto Taste, and it was a BLAST! If you do only one charitable thing next year, make sure it's Toronto Taste - it was a ton of fun for a great cause!

IMG_2132 Toronto Taste 2011

IMG_2026 Toronto Taste 2011

Since the first Toronto Taste 21 years ago (then known as Taste of the Nation), the event has raised over $4 million, enabling Second Harvest to secure enough fresh food to deliver over 8 million meals to those in Toronto living with hunger. That’s enough to feed almost every one of Regent Park’s 2,045 families with children three square meals a day for a whole year.

As it's held at the Royal Ontario Museum, the ambiance was great - with the way it's set up, you get the best of both worlds - food and drink were served up by 60 top chefs and 30 beverage purveyors both inside and outside the ROM. There was live music plus a ton of opportunities to win great prizes through a raffle as well as via live/silent auctions.

IMG_2007 Toronto Taste 2011

While we certainly didn't get around to every chef and beverage purveyor (you couldn't possibly in just one night!), we had a couple stand-outs to share:
  • Brisket burger with kimchi from Nota Bene
  • Cider-braised pork belly from Epic
  • Mushroom polenta from Scarpetta
  • Chicken lollipops in a mayo-spice sauce covered with Indian rice puffs from Roger Mooking which we paired with a Rickards White with the help of our friend Steve Riley from Better
  • Salty Chocolate Caramel from Xococava (served by men walking around with old-style candy boxes strapped to their chests no less!) and washed down with a Henry of Pelham 2008 Riesling
  • Ricotta orange donut with candied orange and cardamom orange smoothie shot from Pangaea
  • White chocolate mascarpone meringue with strawberry sauce from Baker Street
We also learned, again from our friend Steve Riley at Better, how to taste beer. Check out the diagram to the left or visit his site to find out more!

Food and beer pairing

Roger Mooking drops in

Like I said, if there is just one charitable thing you do next year, make it Toronto Taste. You will not be disappointed!

Yours in food,


Anonymous said...

Yummy. That looks like a mouth-watering combo. Did Steve say anything about how to use the pairing chart? I checked out his website but I didn't see any pointers on how to use it.

Ally said...

YUM. Jealous jealous jealous. I am really wanting a salted caramel now...with or without an old-fashioned dude serving it to me.

Tasting Toronto said...

Hey there! Here's how to read that beer tasting card:

Top left: *Yeast* gives these types of flavour profiles (isn't that crazy? in some cases it can give even a "bubble gum" type flavour to a beer!)

Directly below: *Malts* often give the sweetness to a beer, as you'll see chocolate and caramel as two of its flavour profiles.

Top right: *Hops* give these flavour profiles. If you've had a beer that tastes peppery, it's likely from the hops.

Below that: *Flavours or combos* - can be something brewers have deliberately added to the beer.

Very bottom (black bar): These are *faults* - you DO NOT want to taste these in your beer.

Hope that helps! - Stacey

Tasting Toronto said...

Ally - the salted caramel was to die for! Nothing like sweet and salty together eh?! -Stacey

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