Taste of Toronto is just about a month away from its first Canadian iteration, and if you consider yourself a bit of a culinary enthusiast it must be on your summer events list. The Taste Festivals have become synonymous around the world with premiere gatherings for gastronomes. From July 24th-27th, over 20,000 food enthusiasts will descend upon historic Fort York to experience an array of edible offerings from 17 of Toronto’s top restaurants.
The Taste Festivals started 10 years ago in London, England and now host their gatherings in 20 international cities, including Amsterdam, Melbourne, Mumbai, and Johannesburg, to name a few. Part of their success can be attributed to the presence of head chefs from each of the participating restaurants.
Allow The Grove’s head chef Ben Heaton to serve you his duck scotch egg with English accompaniments. Get a chance to personally compliment Top Chef Canada winner and Richmond Station chef and owner Carl Heinrich on the suppleness of his signature burger. Toronto legends and local kitchen stars like Mark McEwan (McEwan Group), Victor Barry (Splendido), Anthony Rose (Rose & Sons, Big Crow, Fat Pasha) and Sam Gellman (Momofuku Noodle Bar) will all be manning their own stations and ready to chat about their creations and influences.
The festival will offer six designated half-day sessions. Each 4 to 5-hour session will require a separate ticket purchase, so if you want to catch a glimpse of Momofuku’s David Chang during his talk and book signing, make sure you buy passes to the opening night (July 24th). A few of the chefs will be operating at session specific times as well, so consult the full schedule before purchasing.
Luckily, if you’re debating between sampling from Yours Truly’s Lachlan Culjak (Friday only) or Hopgood’s Foodliner’s Geoffrey Hopgood (Saturday only), for example, we’ve got a bit of insight thanks to a #TasteSafari preview this past week…
The Yours Truly bunch will be dishing up their ever-popular salt cod inari ($6/6 Crowns), which sold out swiftly during the recent Stop’s Night Market. Chef Culjak will also present a gorgeous plate of charred BC octopus with chorizo and green mango ($10/10 Crowns).
Chef Hopgood will delight with a delicate piece of raw Albacore tuna with preserved summer tomatoes, basil and crispy shallots ($8/8 crowns).
We also got to sample some stunning dishes by chefs making daily appearances, like David Neinstein’s (Barque Smokehouse) smoked duck tacos with pickled radish, carrots, crispy fried chicken skin, and a hoisin BBQ sauce on a flour tortilla ($6/6 crowns). The Wagyu hot dog on house bun with beet mustard and beef cheek marmalade ($8/8 crowns) by Weslodge’s Stuart Cameron provided the perfect snap.
Tickets to the festival will start at $30 and include entry, access to feature presentations (Taste Theatre, Cookery Masterclasses, and Music Stage) and $6 Crowns – the onsite currency that can be loaded onto a re-fillable payment card. These tickets also include a $20 voucher for new Uber users (or $5 off for existing Uber users). The gate price of $30 includes entry only.
Will you be heading to the Taste of Toronto festival this year? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.