Showing posts with label Food festival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food festival. Show all posts

The Big Feastival is taking over Ontario this weekend!

All pictures in this post are from past UK events courtesy of Faulhaber Communications
People in the UK know how to party. For the last six years, Jamie Oliver has been connecting foodies and their families for a weekend of music, family friendly entertainment, and of course tons of food. Given his love for our country, in 2017, he's bringing the Big Feastival to Ontario as Canadians gather at the Burl's Creek Event Grounds to partake in what our UK counterparts have enjoyed so long.

There's an array of musical acts from the family friend Fred Penner and Splash 'n' Boots, to musical groups like Weezer or the Strombellas. I can imagine it already... sipping on a frozen cocktail or chilled wine while dancing up a storm with my friends.

Where I hit a predicament is what to eat... wow there's a TON to choose from. Some are perennial favourites like Caplansky, Eva's Original Chimneys, and Buster's Sea Cove. Then there are many that I've never had the pleasure to try but sound enticing: Hawley Crescent, Wafel Bar, and Tori's Bake Shop, I'm coming for you!

At some point, the Cheese Cave will be a welcomed respite from the sun as the Cheese Boutique, ACE Bakery and Adamo Estate Winery come up with a great tasting. Hopefully, I'll even learn a thing or two from Chef Rob Gentile and Alexandra Feswick at their Cooking School. Having attended one of Vikram Vij's event and seen Dan the Prescott at the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference, I know already they curated a great line-up of individuals to learn from.

Who knows, if I've had enough to drink, maybe I'll partake in a yoga class, listen to Victor Barry tell a story, or snap a selfie with Paw Patrol. The sky is the limit!

Tickets range from $45 - $145 for a single day pass, depending on your age and whether you want access to the coveted VIP tent. Those with children 12 and under, they go for free! With so much to do, you could go the entire weekend ($85-$255) and if you want to stay over camping and really party into the night, a weekend with camping combination are selling for $100-$295.

I'm excited to be going with a group of girl friends - not glamping for the entire weekend, but rather making a day trip out of it from Toronto on the Saturday. Having never experienced it before, I'm excited for, as one friend describes it, Coachella for foodies!

Although I'll likely leave my flower crown and fringe at home, the iPhone and appetite will be coming with me. Follow me on Instagram or Twitter on August 19th to get a glimpse of the day with me. Or come back later to read all about the day - love, food, and peace!

If you want to join in for the day of fun, you can head to their website to purchase tickets

How To Find Them
 Dates: August 18 - 20
 Address: Burl's Creek - 240 Line 8 S (Oro-Medonte,  Ontario)

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more -

Visit Destination Thailand at Yonge Dundas Square

Destination Thailand’s third anniversary means another huge festival at Yonge Dundas Square. One of the largest in Canada, the Royal Thai Embassy transforms downtown Toronto into the friendly warm country with traditional dances, exotic fruits, crafts, massages, Muay Thai, entertainment, and of course authentic cuisine!

The Royal Thai Embassy also operates a worldwide certification program, Thai Select, which grades restaurants on their authenticity. Aside from using traditional ingredients, chefs are also judged by their cooking method and how closely that matches actual approaches used in Thailand. In Canada, the 88 restaurants that meet their requirements are given a premium or red status. At the festival, eight local establishments will be featured:

  • Bangkok Garden
  • Golden Thai
  • Linda Modern Thai
  • Pai Toronto
  • Patchmon’s Thai Dessert
  • Soi Thai
  • Stratford Thai Cuisine
  • Thai Noodle
Having sampled eats from six of the eight vendors at a media event, I can say attendees are in for a treat. Although these will likely be the dishes served at the festival (ranging from $5-$10), the selection may change depending on ingredient availability.

Pai’s gai ping is the most flavourful and tender grilled chicken skewers I’ve ever had. Chef Nuit Regular freely shared that the meat is so succulent due to being marinated in coconut milk. Meanwhile, the rich flavours are derived from a paste of tamarind, fish sauce, lime juice and chilies.

For something different try their moo nam tok, slices of grilled pork jowl mixed with a spicy sweet and sour tamarind sauce that goes perfectly with steamed sticky rice. The dish smells a good as it looks, just be sure you can handle the heat as the chili and herb sauce on top is surprisingly spicy.

With the success of the Regulars’ restaurants (Khao SanRoad, Pai, Sabai Sabai), it’s not surprising that Chef Nuit is Thai Select’s ambassador of Canada where she’ll promote the program and encourage fellow restaurateurs to uphold authentic standards. Having dined at their restaurants, there’s no doubt that they serve the best Thai food I’ve ever had – as I write this I’m wistful for another skewer of gai ping.

If you enjoy sauce drenched rice like myself, try the massaman lamb curry from Golden Thai. The lamb is melt-in-your-mouth tender without any gaminess and the flavourful curry goes so well with rice. Vegetarians, Golden Thai will also be serving tempeh or grilled tofu and vegetable satay skewers (served with peanut, sweet Thai, or hot sauces).

The second non-meat offering at Destination Thailand comes from Bangkok Garden who will be featuring a golden vegetable curry. If you’re a carnivore, try their spicy cashew chicken, which although looks innocent has a flavourful punch.

Linda Modern Thai has been experimenting with their menu to ensure it can be reproduced with their high standards. At the media event, they were showcasing the likely contenders:

  • An interesting Thai beef salad consisting of flank steak marinated with Thai basil coconut syrup, which has a sweet tartness to it not unlike balsamic vinegar.
  • Traditional grilled lemongrass chicken is elevated with a seafood sangwa sauce that the chef explains is like a salsa verde with fish sauce and lemongrass. It’s salty and sour against the smoky grilled chicken and the dots of homemade sriracha are spicy without being overpowering.  

Soi Thai, based on College Street, generally sells dishes reminiscent of the street foods in Thailand. At the festival, they will be offering a hearty complete meal: khao kha moo or succulent braised pork hocks stewed in a flavourful soy sauce broth studded with star anise, cinnamon, cilantro root, garlic and white peppercorns to give it an earthy and slightly sweet seasoning.

If you find it overly rich, dip it into the spicy chili-vinegar on the side that helps cut the grease. The pork hock arrives shredded over steamed jasmine rice and is served with blanched gai lan (Chinese broccoli), pickled mustard greens, and half a hard-boiled egg … you’ll leave full after this dish, so share it!

My first taste of Thai desserts was an introduction with Patchmon’s, a family run eatery that concocts a wide variety of sweets. I love the kha-nhom chun, a chewy glutinous coconut layer cake – you can actually peel each layer apart. Put together with coconut cream, pandan juice and tapioca flour the dessert is light and delicious. It’s normally served at special occasions and wishes a person good luck as they travel up the layers.

For those who like savoury and sweet combinations, the kha-nhom sai-sai is a dumpling stuffed with a savoury shredded coconut filling, lightly sweetened with palm sugar and coconut cream, and then steamed in lotus leaf. Their ta-goe is another surprising dessert, starting off as a luscious coconut cream on top but below a slightly salty tapioca layer with young coconut and corn studded throughout.  

With tons of desserts, Patchmon will be offering a mix-and-match plate. Arrive early and try their gleeb lum duan cookies shaped like a flower. The shortbread like cookies are finished with a food safe candle that adds a light charcoal taste and fragrance, but it can dissipate as the day advances so won’t be as pronounced for later customers.   

Judging by the hot sunny weather Toronto has been graced with this year, it’ll likely be a beautiful warm day. So, you’ll likely want a cold drink to wash down all the spicy eats. Luckily, Singha beers will be on hand selling their brews for $6; head to their special seating area for a refreshing cold drink.

Don’t forget to pick up a free passport and have it stamped at each vendor. Visit at least five of the restaurants and you’ll receive a free t-shirt and be entered into a contest to win meals for two for one year (limited to two visits per month)!

Visitors can even get a relaxing massage at two places: Shivaga Thai Massage and Traditional Thai Massage Association of Ontario. They’ll offer services with varying timing, but a massage is about $65. After an afternoon of eating and drinking how relaxing would a massage be? Just try not to fall asleep. 

How To Find Them
 Date and Time: Sep 10, 2016 from 11am - 8pm
 Address: Yonge and Dundas Square
 Pricing: Free entrance; extra for food, crafts and services

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more -

Sweetery: A Food Festival Supporting Sick Kids, Will Sweeten Your Weekend

As the weather warms in Toronto, the street festivals begin. Most food festivals are culture based, Sweetery will instead focus on all things sugary with recipes that’ll entice your sweet tooth. The best part is that you’ll have an excuse to indulge in the taste test, scavenger hunt and piñata breaking activities – 100% of the proceeds will go to support the Sick Kids Foundation!

Key Details

Date: Weekend of August 15 and 16
Time: noon to 10pm
Location: Front Street West and Portland Street
Admission: Free

With the plethora of vendors in attendance, bringing friends and family is a must to be able to try as many sweets as possible. The Hungarian chimney from Original Chimneys, butter tart from Beverley’s Bakers, sakura mocha milk from Kakigori and Vietnamese coffee cheesecake from Catering Diva has my name all over them!

George Brown Pastry chefs will be at the festival making pastries so you can see what it takes to concoct these decadent treats. Famous home cook, Christopher Siu of Master Chef Canada, will be offering Chinese inspired macarons and matcha crepe cakes.

There will also be the Canadian favourite sweet treat Beavertails, vegan cupcakes from Bloomer’s, bespoke marshmallows from I Love Puffy Love, Filipino desserts from Tito Rons and Mexican pastries from Pancho’s. But, if you want to have a meal before dessert, Fufu Rocks will be serving up savoury meals.

Check out Sweetery and take a whack at the piñata to help reach their $10,000 goal to support Sick Kids. Sweet treats will be available from $3-$5 and all attendees will receive a complimentary loot bag that gives you a chance to find a “golden ticket” to win a prize. So I encourage you to channel your inner Charlie and visit the chocolate factory this weekend.

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 510 Front St. W. (at Portland St.)

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more -