Tag Archives: events

On the Menu

14 May


Jenny and I have been lucky enough to attend a bunch of great food-related events in and around Toronto, most of which we’ve found out about from contacts we’ve made through Communal Table. Since this means people we know have started to look to us for what’s going on in Toronto’s food scene – and we don’t always remember unless we have it written down – we figured it’d be a good idea to start up a periodic listing of cools events we’ve found out about.

While we’re not planning to run this listing on any sort of defined weekly schedule – at least not initially – we will offer up a look at what’s “on the menu” once in a while, as we get wind of interesting happenings. Here’s what we’ve heard about recently:

86’D at the Drake Hotel:  Cheese Rave
Monday, May 16

Food-related fun is the focus of Monday nights at the Drake Hotel’s 86’D events, hosted by local food personality Ivy Knight. Each Monday evening features music, food cook-offs pitting local chefs or amateur cooks against each other over a themed dish (think battle pate or kimchi), and great drinks from the Drake’s bar staff. This coming Monday’s 86’d is all about cheese, as attendees sample different varieties in recognition of the upcoming Great Canadian Cheese Festival.

iYellow Wines of Niagara on the Lake
Wednesday, May 18

We’ve told you about the iYellow Wine Club in the past, and they’re back with another event aimed at helping people learn about and sample a selection of wines. This one will feature owners and winemakers from 26 different Niagara Region wineries, each sampling two of their newest VQA release wines. In addition to tastings, the event will include food from Oliver & Bonacini and three educational wine seminars. And here’s something cool – for every ticket you buy to the Wines of Niagara on the Lake event, you’ll get a free ticket to one of iYellow’s wine events taking place later this summer.

Recipe for Change
May 26

FoodShare is a Toronto organization with a mandate of ensuring good, healthy food for all. They offer school programs to improve the food knowledge of young people, a Good Food Box program to deliver quality produce to people all over Toronto, and focus on working to change food policy, among other activities. The Recipe for Change event is a night of great food, wine and beer from some of Toronto’s best chefs, as well as local wineries and craft breweries. Proceeds from the event help fund FoodShare’s programs for students. Jenny and I are excited by the list of chefs and dishes scheduled, and we’re planning on being there.

Donate a Can Project
Until May 28

Until May 28, the organizers of this initiative will donate a can of food to Second Harvest for every LIKE they get on their Facebook fan page, as well as a can of food for every follower they get to their Twitter account @donateacan. Sounds like a great initiative, and an easy way for everyone in Toronto and elsewhere to help feed people in need through Second Harvest.

Win Passes to the First Great Canadian Cheese Festival!

1 May


In a country where agriculture and food production are so central to our identity, it’s no surprise that Canada is home to some amazing cheese producers. Those of us in southern Ontario have easy access to some of the best of Canadian cheese, from Ontario producers such as Fifth Town, Best Baa, Thunder Oak and Monteforte. But the provinces to the east and west of us are also home to some great cheeses, from the likes of Bothwell in Manitoba and  La Fromagerie du Presbytère in Quebec, whose Louis D’or was named Grand Champion at the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.

While we’ve always had a wide array of great cheeses, we haven’t had an event focused solely on Canada’s artisan cheesemakers and their products – until now. The first Great Canadian Cheese Festival will take place June 4-5, 2011 in Picton, Ont. The festival is the brainchild of journalist, blogger and cheese lover Georgs Kolesnikovs (whose comments you might remember from our recent post celebrating Grilled Cheese Month).

Georgs Kolesnikovs
Great Canadian Cheese Festival founder Georgs Kolesnikovs

Georgs and his team have put together a great fesitval lineup, and they’ve given us a pair of passes to give away the Cheese Fair and Artisan Food Market taking place June 5 in Picton as part of the festival. If you’d like to win, keep reading to find out how.

First, back to that great lineup. Here’s a look at what the Great Canadian Cheese Festival has planned:

  • Those who are in Picton on the Friday before the festival, June 3, canjoin a cheese tour to see the process of cheesemaking in action, from seeing the cows produce the milk to the tasting the finished product.
  • A schedule of cheese-focused educational seminars and tutored cheese tastings is the focus on Saturday, June 4.
  • That evening, the Cooks & Curds Cheese Gala will feature great chefs from across Canada – including Toronto’s Jamie Kennedy, Anthony Rose from the Drake Hotel, Craig Flinn of Chives Canadian Bistro in Nova Scotia and Michael Blackie of Ottawa’s National Arts Centre – who will each cook dishes featuring Canadian cheese. Canadian wineries and breweries will be on hand to pour their products as well.
  • Sunday, June 5 is the Cheese Fair and Artisan Food Market, where a growing list of Canadian cheesemakers and artisan food producers will be sampling their products, and a variety of wineries and breweries will again be providing drink samples.

Each event on the Great Canadian Cheese Festival’s schedule is separately ticketed. Click here if you’d like to purchase tickets to any of the events mentioned above.

If you’d like to win two passes to the Cheese Fair and Artisan Food Market from Communal Table, here’s what you need to do:

  1. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite cheese is.
  2. For a bonus entry, visit Communal Table’s Facebook page, click LIKE, and then leave a comment on our wall letting us know you’d like to win the passes. NOTE: You MUST enter by leaving a comment on this post first before taking advantage of the bonus entry.

Entries will be accepted until midnight next Saturday, May 7, and we’ll announce a winner on Sunday, May 8. Good luck!

Photos courtesy of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival and Georgs Kolesnikovs.

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