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On a hot and steamy Sunday, our friend Daliah from the team at KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival took us on a tour of the Street Eats Competition and the Marketplace.
|Kultura Filipino Arts Festival|
167 Augusta Ave.
The Festival, as the organization describes it is:
Canada’s only multi-disciplinary Filipino Arts Festival; Featuring a visual art exhibit, theatre readings, film screenings, a Philippine culinary competition, live music stage, and a marketplace of Filipino artists and entrepreneurs.
We dropped by on day 5 of the festival to check out some of the street eats and the arts and crafts.
We arrived around 1:30pm and the place was already bustling. The Street Eats festival ran from noon til 7pm. Essentially, hungry guests can go around to all the booths, buy tasty snacks to eat and vote for their favourite tent.
Our friends at Tocino Boys served up some BBQ skewers with chicken and longganisa, which is a sweet Filipino sausage which tastes quite similar to the Chinese Red Sausage, except it’s a little sweeter and a little softer. They also offered longganisa on a steamed, open-faced Chinese bao. This was the first time I’ve ever tried longganisa and boy am I a new fan!
Next stop we dropped by to chat with our friends at Lamesa Filipino Kitchen. We met with the Head Chef at Lamesa who was preparing Beef Tapa, which is cheese steak provolone, tomatoes and onions on a baguette. We also had a delicious helping of their tasty Halo Halo, something we had tried at TO Food Fest this year, except we were in for a fantastic surprise when we realized they added peaches and cherries to this one!
Next we dropped by to visit the crew at Barrio Fiesta who own a Filipino grocery store, restaurant and catering business. This group served many traditional dishes including Beef Caldereta, which is a cool (temperature) beef stew and Lumpia Shanghai, which is the spring rolls.
Lastly, we dropped by the small market in the building. There was a neat little selection of arts, crafts and beverages. We saw a stage there set up for live music but unfortunately, no one was playing when we were here.
Overall, would I recommend this festival? Yes. From what I know, there really aren’t many large Filipino arts and cultural celebrations in the GTA and given what I saw on the last day of this festival, I think this is a real treat for anyone who would like to learn more about the food and arts. The food was really tasty, the serving prices typical of any street food event ($3-7 per serving), and the line ups were short. They also had a lot of great professional culinary talent at this event. A bonus was that since this was a relatively smaller event tucked inside a neighborhood, parking was not an issue. Filipino culture – there is much to celebrate and learn!
The Damage: $3 – 7 per serving