The World’s Greatest Restaurant Festival teases chef’s culinary secrets of Toronto
In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, Taste of Toronto’s chefs are letting us in on 150 of Toronto’s best-kept foodie secrets. This year, several participating chefs have shared everything from the most delicious burger in the city, to locating the perfect cocktail spot, and even where to forage for first-rate ingredients. The full list can be found online through the Taste of Toronto website.
Now entering its 4th year, Taste of Toronto will be returning to Garrison Common at Fort York, taking place from June 15-18. This year’s event features an all-star cast of chefs hailing from some of the most influential restaurants in the city’s thriving culinary scene. New additions to the festival this year include Café Boulud, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Bar Buca, and Bar Isabel, alongside returning favourites The McEwan Group, Richmond Station, The Drake, Nota Bene, Piano Piano and more.
A Few Secrets…
Victor Barry, of the city’s coveted Italian hotspot Piano Piano, reveals his top sushi choice in the city – Yasu. “You sit down and you sit at the sushi bar and he feeds you whatever he’s making that day. There’s no choices, there’s no California rolls, and it’s incredible.” says Barry.
Grant van Gameren, of Bar Isabel & Bar Raval, shares his guilty pleasure in the form of a late-night slice of pizza “My favourite guilty pleasure, which I experience four times a week, would be ordering pizza from Pizza Gigi – thin crust, well done, pepperoni, bacon, onion, two cokes, two garlic dipping sauces. That’s kind of my routine and I’m known for it.”
Alexandra Feswick, Chef de Cusine at the Drake Properties, shares her favourite hidden cocktail bar – “one of my favourite secret places in Toronto—maybe not so secret— is The Gift Shop on Ossington. Their secret bar in the back, everyone should go there and try the Willy Wonka cocktail. I don’t think you can go there without trying that.”
Rob Gentile, of Bar Buca, shares his go-to for artisanal ingredients at the Cheese Boutique – “I would say there’s no better one-stop shop with the most incredible ingredients, produce, stuff out of Italy, cheeses, meats than with Afrim Pristine, Cheese Boutique. Everything is in one building and it’s all the best.”
Michael Hunter of Antler Kitchen and Bar, shares his top spot in the Greater Toronto Area to forage for wild ingredients – a staple in his kitchen. “My favourite place to forage is a bit of a drive, it’s about 45 minutes North West of here [Toronto]. It’s where I grew up in Caledon and it’s just so plentiful of wild produce. I guess my secret drive would be Forks of the Credit [Provincial Park]. It’s a really winding, scenic drive in Caledon and there’s a provincial park there with a waterfall, and it’s just a pretty cool spot to hike.”
This Year’s Special Guest Chef
Taking part in the Taste Theatre, as well as participating as a judge for Best in Taste, Taste of Toronto is excited to welcome this year’s special guest chef, television personality and restaurateur, Aarón Sánchez, who will be on-site for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening sessions. Chef/owner of Johnny Sánchez restaurants, with locations in New Orleans and Baltimore, Aarón Sánchez is also the co-star of Food Network’s hit series, Chopped and Chopped Junior, and will be joining MasterChef as the third judge on Season 8.
For Friends Who Feast
Taste of Toronto will run six sessions from June 15-18, with a limited number of tickets available for sale at TasteofToronto.com:
Thursday, 5:30pm – 10:00pm
Friday, 11:30am – 4:00pm
Friday, 5:30pm – 10:00pm
Saturday, 11:30am – 4:00pm
Saturday, 5:30pm – 10:00pm
Sunday, 12:00pm – 5:00pm
SOURCE: Taste Of Toronto