By T. U. Dawood
Foodies gathered in Toronto to try leading local restaurant food in a festival/food style type environment with proceeds going toward Second Harvest and its fight against hunger in Toronto.
Second Harvest is a charitable organization that for the past 26 years has been “picking up donated, perishable food, which would have otherwise gone to waste, and delivering it to more than 200 social service agencies in Toronto.” It is known for “its efficiency, conscientious administration, and high return to the community for every dollar donated.”
Held both indoors and outdoors at the Royal Ontario Museum, “Toronto Taste” presented by The Daniels Corporation attracted 1,500 foodies to sample gourmet food and beverage prepared by 60 of the city’s top chefs and 30 beverage purveyors. From this gathering, approximately $300,000 was raised, which will enable Second Harvest to provide 600,000 healthy meals for Torontonians in need.
Culinary personalities from across the country in attendance included Food Network Canada’s Celebrity Chef Roger Mooking (Everyday Exotic), Michael Smith (Chef at Home, Chef at Large, Chef Abroad) and Mark McEwan (Top Chef Canada, The Heat). Dishes were also prepared by acclaimed chefs such as J.P. Challet (Ici Bistro), Scott Conant (24 Hour Restaurant Battle, Scarpetta), Donna Dooher (Mildred’s Temple Kitchen), Dufflet Rosenberg (Dufflet), Chris McDonald (Cava), Rob Gentile (Buca), David Lee (Nota Bene), et al.
Bob Blumer, creator and host of Food Network Canada’s Glutton for Punishment and Surreal Gourmet, hosted the tasting and the live auction.
Mark McEwan, one of Canada’s top chefs, spoke to DelectablyChic! in an exclusive interview about how much he looks forward to this gathering every year. He stated, “I have high end restaurants and I feed fancy people so much of the time that it’s amazing that here Toronto so many people don’t have a meal to eat and we need to do something about. Second Harvest is a great charity that knows how to ensure people in need get fed.”
McEwan loves to run elbows with other chefs at Toronto Taste, admitting in the early days, he used to be much more competitive about it. These days, his energy is focused in expanding his work and he has just negotiated a deal to have his restaurants in airport terminals.
Top Chef Robert Mooking spoke at length exclusively with DelectablyChic!, talking about the melting pot of food available in Toronto – “You can get authentic ingredients from anywhere in the world here in Toronto” – and revealed his brand new hot spice products.
“I’ve spent the past four years trying to create a spice rub and hot sauce that will enhance all types of meat, fish, poultry and vegetables,” he shared, “This is my first public showing of my Spice Rub and Hot Sauce.”
“My Spice Rub is not about heat but about flavor,” he adds, “and my Hot Sauce has heat and flavor.”
Andrea Nicholson, one of the few female Top Chefs in the world, spoke to DelectablyChic! about her journey rising in a male-dominated profession and how much she enjoys the texture of food.
Photo Credit: T. U. Dawood
This article was originally published in DelectablyChic!