The Toronto Food Fest debuted this past weekend at the Chinese Cultural Centre in Scarborough with local vendors showcasing their new and innovative culinary artistry with foodies and the like. I was lucky enough to be invited as media, which means I get to have fist dibs on samples and speak to the vendors before it was opened to the public. I would probably have gone to the event any way, regardless, but it is always nice to be invited. I will not talk about all the vendors in this post, coz there were far too many and this blog would be long and winded. However, I will blog about those that were noteworthy from the event.
And in no particular order:
1. Sticky Toffee Bake’n Cake (pictured above) by Bake’n. The concept of adding bacon to anything is not new but Bake’n’s Toffee Bake’n Cake is a definite MUST! The cake was really moist, heck it was soaked in syrup, and the bacon on top was a marriage bliss of flavour. Kudos to the three young creators of this bacon-cake concoction. They also had cheesecake and popcorn. I didn’t get to try the cheesecake as there wasn’t enough samples when we were touring each vendor as groups, and they had no more samples when I came back. Hopefully, I will run into them again at one of these events.
2. Mary MacLeod’s Shortbread. Okay, it is clearly the middle of summer, but if you want that Christmassy feeling you get when you bite into a shortbread cookie, well fellow foodies, this is it! These shortbreads were to die for! They were nice and crumbly and the flavour was divine. They had three samples; Original/Plain, Chocolate Crunch and the Dutch Chocolate Crunch. I enjoyed both the Original and Chocolate Crunch but partial to the Dutch Chocolate one. The Dutch Chocolate was just a little too overpowering for my tastebuds. But I would definitely order some of these for the coming Holidays. And you should too. I believe they have a store on Queen Street, but they are definitely available at Holt Renfrew’s at Christmas.
3. Jamie’s Cracked Corn. This is probably one of the best popcorns I have ever had. And trust me, for me to say that is huge since I don’t care too much for popcorn. I know, it’s weird, but I just don’t. But this one made me like it. Made from mushroom kernels (it means the corn pops like a mushroom ball), organic cane sugar and sea salt, cooked over an oversized popcorn machine; this popcorn was just perfect! If you ever see Jamie’s Cracked Corn at a food event, make sure you stop by and let them entertain you first with how they cook the popcorn before you have some. Definitely worth it.
4. Patisserie Royale. Okay, I may be a little biased here coz I actually go to their store on Lawrence Avenue in Scarborough to get pastries when I am in the area. I was introduced to them by a friend one afternoon whilst looking for Middle Eastern snacks. And I got to say that they did not disappoint with their samples at the event. You must check out their store and get some fresh baked pastries. They are just divine!
5. Tony Chiu’s Hong Kong style milk tea. Very glad to have been introduced to Tony Chiu and his award winning Hong Kong style milk tea, which is also awesome coz it is available in Scarborough at his Marathon Donuts & Coffee Shop at Midland and Finch. I frankly do not remember milk tea when I worked in Hong Kong, but I am glad I found it now. This was a definite must try! Tony had samples for everyone and the tea intrigued me to find out more. I will definitely be visiting his shop in Scarborough.
There were other vendors at the TO Food Fest. The unfortunate part for being there earlier was some of them were still setting up as we walked and visited the vendors. I didn’t get to try all the vendors for the simple fact that some of them were restaurants, however, I promised I will visit and give their food a fair share and review when I do. I only got to the ones that only do festivals and that alone left me stuffed through to next week.
Thanks to the organizers of TO Food Fest and for inviting me. Looking forward to the next one!