The last week of July in the GTA was PACKED with fantastic events throughout the downtown core. With events like Beer Fest and the Beaches Jazz Festival rocking downtown, we had a quite a tough time deciding where to check out first.
So where did we end up? TO Food Fest’s first ever event!
Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto
5183 Sheppard Avenue East
Canada M1B 5Z5
Other than the fact that TO Food Fest featured hip and popular Toronto/Scarborough/Markham food vendors like Boass, Big Moe’s, Rodney’s Oysters, Mary Macleod’s and Comida del puelo, this event was brainchild of a very talented bunch of young entrepreneur foodies called Youth in Business. With a goal to help local hidden gems launch their business, they charge as low as $100 for student vendors and allowed their vendors to sell all their food and keep all their profits. They hope to make this a monthly or quarterly event.
Oh, and did I mention they are youth themselves too? AND there is no entrance fee or ridiculous parking issues?
Love it! Love it! Thank you!
TO Food Fest’s premiere event was held at Scarborough’s Chinese Cultural Community Centre. It’s actually just off the Markham Road exit on Highway 401 East. The Urban Craze and many of our fabulous blogger friends arrived a little before noon for our vendor question and answer tours. A quick shout out to all our favourite foodies out there! After we were numbered off into small groups, we were treated to a visit with each of the vendors to hear their interesting stories and, most often than not, try their food (yes!). Kudos to the planning team for some fantastic organization skills right there.
The event ran from 1pm to 6pm and by 1:30 the place was absolutely jamming!
I think half of Markham’s young adult population was out there!
About 22 vendors showcased their amazing talents.
Find out more about them here http://tofoodfest.com/index.php/feature-vendors/
Some to note were:
Baoss – where Chinese savoury buns meets a taco. Pretty much impossible to get a hold of at TUM. Still quite a line up here but we got 3 in 20 minutes here! Score! Too bad they ran out before 3pm!
Bake’n – the love child of Bacon and Baking. Fresh thickly sliced bacon on cheesecake topped with a whiskey sauce… and other heart-stopping food fantasies. Wow.
Gala’s Pepper sauce – gourmet hot sauce. It comes in hot and very hot. Tasted fantastic and boy was it HOT.
Fruit Splendor Fruit Carving Displays – 20 years of carving amazing art on delicious medium.
Mary Macleods – handmade all butter shortbread, current seasonal vendor and best seller at Holt Renfrew
Big Moe’s – stuffed, juicy burgers. Sliders were 0.5 ounce of cheese and 0.5 beef. They featured and Juicy Lucy.
Comida del puelo – name means “Food of the People”. Jalapeno cheddar grilled cheese anyone? Fantastic chef – works at Grand Electric by day and fantastic street food vendor by night… and Sunday afternoons. Also seen at TUM.
Rodney’s Oyster – fresh, succulent oysters from this big Toronto name. Need I say more?
Jamie’s Cracked Corn – best kettle corn I’ve ever tried – lightly coated with organic cane sugar, sea salt, and Canadian canola oil. I wish I bought 10 bags, not just 1!! The guy looks like he’s ready to do some welding.
Casa Manila – Filipino cuisine. oh their braised beef was off the charts. So tender and juicy… They have a new restaurant.
(yes, that’s me being a total creeper in the back)
How about those meatballs? – recipe is from grandma, herbs and sauce are fresh from their own garden. SO GOOD.
Would I recommend future iterations of this event?
Yes. I love the concept and the heart behind this event but even more than that there some seriously good eats there. Nothing flashy, just good ol food. Super happy to see hip vendors from other foodie events but even happier to know that I get to actually taste their food without having to line up for over an hour. No entry fee and no parking problems. Great organization from the planning committee. Thank my lucky stars. Plus we’re supporting the youth… right?
The Damage: About $5 a serving