Date: Sunday June 23 2013
Place: Chinese Cultural Center, Scarborough, Ontario M1B 5Z5
A friend and also a restaurant food blogger (http://idontcookblog.wordpress.com) told me about this food fest and got me on the media list. The TO Food Fest “brings together top foodie-reviewed restaurants and local hidden gems into one exciting event.” The TO Food Fest is where “established and aspiring chefs can be found, giving the local community a taste of unique and delicious cuisine.” Since I was on the media list I could see the vendors early and ask any questions and take photos. The vendors were very nice and accommodating even though they were getting ready for their day, and in some cases gave a sample and a quick blurb about what they make. 2013 came around and I said I would just go as non-media and to my surprise I got invited back as media. So the decision was made I signed up to return as media and got my sneak peek before the food fest started.
Here’s the rundown of my stops from 2012 & 2013:
All Mine Caramel
Started as a small home based business and as Shannon’s homemade caramels that she gave as gifts
became so well loved and received she started her own business.
Babi and co.
Indonesian street food.
Everything here has bacon. On the menu was bacon cheesecake, sticky toffee bacon cake, and bacon salted caramel popcorn. I bought some delicious bacon popcorn and I was happy to see bits of bacon nestled inside the bags and not just the flavour of bacon.
They make custom cakes and cupcakes.
Means bun is Chinese and here open faced sandwiches are served. On the menu was pork belly, veal cheeks and lobster.
Big Moe’s (Burgers – Fires – Funnel Cakes)
The idea for Big Moe’s is like Burger Priest; simplicity in the burger. Everyone is named Moe – Big Moe, Mini Moe and Cousin Moe. The Holey Moley” is a doughnut burger; and the Juicy Lucy Burger has cheese in the centre of the patty. One of the interesting things is they are the only place in Toronto serving Tornado Fries on a 18” skewer stick; which they import specially from abroad. All Halal meat is used in their burgers also.
This treat looks like a Samosa and started in San Paolo and consists of a deep fried pastry filled with chicken, beef, banana & nutella, pizza or a taco mix. These tasted great and the banana and nutella made a perfect dessert treat.
Bricks & Mortar
The menu looked great but I couldn’t eat everything so I settled on getting my drink from there I had the Hibiscus green tea for $2.00. I wasn’t too sweet and had a little bitterness from the Hibiscus. This was a really refreshing drink on a hot sweltering day.
Buster’s Sea Cove Food truck
A sea food focused food truck that sells oysters on the half shelf, lobster rolls, fish tacos, crab rolls & Key lime pie.
This restaurants motto is to serve “festive Filipino flavour“ and they want people to experience Filipino food. While the owner was talking to us one of the chefs was preparing the Halo Halo – a mix assorted fruits & sweet beans, custard toppings with shaved ice cream and topped with ube (taro) ice cream desert. I had never tried something like this before and I have tasted Filipino food and made it myself. The media that tried it like it.
Comida Del Pueblo
Means food of the people and they make American Latin fusion. They were highlighting their jalapeno cornbread grilled cheese. It looked delicious but I didn’t try it because of the jalapenos.
“Authentic gourmet food from Holland.” The goal for Dutch Frites is to give a twist on traditional North American finger foods and expose us to the foods of Holland in each dish.
I was so happy when I saw macarons! I made sure to come back and buy some, so I bought 12. Also on the menu was Sicilian cannoli and aranici, which are fried rice balls coated with breadcrumbs with something stuffed in the middle, like mozzarella or meat.
Fruity Splendor fruit Carving Designs
Do you want to learn how to carve fruit? There aren’t many specialty tools and what is produced is amazing. The carver told us it takes 1 hour to carve a honey dew melon. I was amazed at what she could do with such simple tools.
Gala’s Peppersauce 2012-2013
I bought this for a Jamacian friend who loves spice. There are no preservatives in Gala’s products so they only have a one year shelf life. The two flavours are Xtra Hot & Hot; and are made from scotch bonnets which are commonly found in Jamaica.
How Bout Those Meatballs
A young Italian boy making amazing meatballs: He has no recipe or measurements, his nona said “put love into it and it will always turn out well. He makes his meatballs (a mixture of veal and beef) in the backyard with his mom. Mr. C`s. Sandwich was to die for he said; he also wished I brought him more. The meatball was served on a Ciabatta mini bun with arugula and his marinara sauce. The menu has expanded and I bought the Isabella sandwich along with the meatball sandwich and it was spicy. Mr. C. got the spicy Isabella which he said was spicy and I got the regular Isabella, which still had some kick to is (avocado on it)
Ice volcano ice cream
“The coolest, coldest and fastest way of making ice cream… with -196°C liquid nitrogen.” Orange fresh strawberry, Mango and Milo are some flavours available.
Jamie’s Cracked Corn
Jamie’s cracked corn makes Kettle Corn with a recipe that is over 200 years old. He uses sugar cane, no nut, dairy, gluten or Trans fats. I bought a huge bag for home and I enjoyed it and wished I had grabbed two bags. It was light, airy and melted on my tongue. Lightly dusted with sea salt and not overly saturated with caramel coating. I would definitely buy this again. This year I went back and bought another bag and it tasted just a great as I remembered.
I wanted Greek food, now I should venture into the unknown foods but something about this Greek wrap drew me in and I didn’t regret it. Pork Souvlaki wrap 4$
Handheld Aussie styled meat pies served with ketchup. Vegemite is used in the pies and is a nod to the Aussie background. “An individually portioned, handheld, buttery pie filled with loads of meat, veg and gravy is intended to be eaten with one hand only (the other is strictly reserved for the beverage of your choice)!”
Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ
Served here today was pork skewers, pineapple soda and pulled pork on a bun. They were grilling on a large BBQ and it smelt and looks delicious. A secret BBQ recipe that has been passed down from generation to generations is used. That make no shortcuts and want a quality dish sent out everytime.
Little Tomato Catering
This is a catering company has a passion for food. Menus are custom tailored to each event and to meet your specifications and budget. Today they were serving Gourmet pizzas. Yum.
Mary Macleod’s Shortbreads Website: http://www.marymacleod.ca
This business has been around for 32 years and Holt Renfrew has been a client for over 25 years and Pusateri’s also carries their `treats. The story is one day a lady dressed impeccably head to toe in turquoise in the late 70’s early 80’s came in and tasted Mary’s shortbreads loved them and gave her a card, she worked for Holts and since then they make cookies every Christmas for them. The three flavours are Original, Belgian chocolate and chocolate crunch. I have never tasted chocolate shortbread before and thought shortbread had to be plain. That’s how much I new and I can see why they are still a favourite of Holt Renfrew for sure.
Travel eat share. Foods and taste from all over the world.
Traditional mocha with a twist.
Nom Nom Nom Crepes
Mr. C. and I split the Twinkie- Crispy fried crepe. It is a deep fried crepes rolled like a twinkle with raspberry jam. I tasted amazing and the raspberry drizzle the perfect balance to the sweet treat.
Today on the menu was churro’s.
Here a 300 year old family recipe that has been voted best in T.O. for Baklava by Blog. T.O. I love baklava and this was no exception; It was sticky and sweet, but not too sweet with the right amount of crunch and dusting of pistachio’s on top. Hands down the best baklava I’ve tasted.
Rodney’s Oyster House
Rodney’s Oyster House is the one of the most popular oyster houses in the city if not the most popular. It has great food and atmosphere. For the fest they had oysters on ice for us to enjoy.
A baking and catering company, which offers a wide variety of events services and products.
A passion for food is what SopSop has and their goal is to find the perfect balance between the familiar dishes with influences from cuisines around the world.
Lemonade is sold here and nothing is more enjoyable than fresh squeezed lemonade in the summer.
A bunch of 20 year old Asian young adults are putting their stamp on making taco’s with a unique flair; on such example is the deep fried squid taco.
Eat fresh, local, organic & eat more plants. This equals their local flexitarianism philosophy.
This was my second time every hearing the term Flexitarian. It basically means you don’t always want to eat meat.
What’s your cupcake? Muffin!!!
Gourmet cupcakes with unique combinations! A daughter and mom team make these out of their kitchen and we got to sample chocolate curry, strawberry peppercorn and wasabi chocolate cupcakes.