Sunday, July 3, 2016

Being a Roving Twitter Reporter for Toronto Taste 2016

On Sunday, June 12, 2016, Toronto’s legendary culinary fundraiser, Toronto Taste, took place lakeside at Corus Quay. The 26th anniversary of Toronto Taste, presented by The Daniels Corporation, featured sumptuous dishes and drinks from over 90 of the most sought-after restaurants and beverage purveyors. Since 1991, Toronto Taste has raised over $11 million to support Second HarvestCanada’s largest food rescue charity. This enabled the organization to rescue enough fresh, surplus food to support hundreds of social service agencies across the GTA with more than 27 million meals for children, adults and seniors experiencing hunger in the city. This year, the event raised a whopping $850,000 for Second Harvest (Twitter; 2ndHarvestTO, Facebook: Second Harvest), enough to provide food for 1.7 million meals to people facing hunger across Toronto.

This year marks my sixth year as a social media committee member and my first year as social media lead for Toronto Taste. Till this day, I'm still very honoured to be part of this incredible event. The sheer number of people and hours dedicated to make this one-day fundraiser happen is simply astonishing!

Much like the past five years, I arrived to the venue several hours before doors open to reacquaint myself with the site and to make sure that all the media equipment is good to go. I also did a walk-through to check out what each chef and beverage station was serving.

New this year at Toronto Taste is the Delta lounge. Comfy seats are always welcomed!

Not only do guests at the annual fundraiser get to enjoy food and drinks from some of Toronto’s top restaurants and beverage purveyors, they can also bid on rare and fine wines (the wine auction this year had the most selection it has ever had). If guests aren't into wines, the silent auction was the next best things with hundreds of items from cookware, appliances, jewelry, and art to restaurant gift certificates, tickets to sporting events and memorabilia.

I write a blog post every year about my eating adventure at Toronto Taste. Believe it or not, I do try to sample everything at the event, from the food stations anyway (impossible with the beverage stations - my alcohol tolerance is not that high haha). In any case, prepare to feast your eyes on all the fabulous dishes, exquisite wines and thirst-quenching beverages I tried at Toronto Taste. I'll let you know what some of my favourite dishes were along the way...just don't mind the long post :)

JaBistro's oshizushi was one of my favourite dishes. These chefs make the best oshizushi in the city.

Guests starting to fill in shortly after 5pm.

By the way, a shout-out to this amazing band!

I misplaced my photo of the cavatelli from Antler but it was one of my favourite dishes at Toronto Taste.

One of the highlights of the evening was the live auction, specifically Second Harvest Ambassador and long-time supporter, Bob Blumer’s ‘A Surreal Experience’. The prize included a trip to Los Angeles along with a dinner prepared by Bob in his home including wines from his private cellar. Originally intended as one prize, its popularity encouraged Bob to generously donate an additional three packages, raising an impressive $49,000. This year's Toronto Taste had the most successful live auction in the history of the event.

 New this year, Second Harvest offered three individuals the opportunity to become sous chef during the Chef Challenge for one of the three competing chefs: Kaya Ogruce, Darby Piquette and Ivana Raca.

The culinary creations were judged by an all-star panel of judges: Cynthia Beretta, Chef Dennis Tay, Chef Matt DeMille and Chef Juriaan Snellen. After a close challenge, chef Ivana Raca was crowned the winner.

Boralia's dish was another one of my favourites.

Another favourite! This time from Pizzeria Libretto.

Patois' dish reminded me of the deep fried crab claws at dim sum. Favourite. So good!

You'll see me line up at the Gelato Fresco station every year. Favourite!

Favourite. I could have many of these from Kristapsons.

What a great success! Everything was only made possible through the great work from sponsors, hosts, chefs, beverage purveyors and volunteers. Toronto Taste wouldn't have been possible without them. Last, but not least, to everybody who came out to support the cause...THANK YOU SO MUCH! I hope to see you next year!

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