Toronto’s most revered restaurants and chefs will gather again for the third annual Taste of Toronto, this June 23 – 26.
Expanding to Garrison Common at Fort York for four mouth-watering days, Taste of Toronto, the premier food festival will once again keep food lovers busy with hands-on master classes, live demonstrations, a marketplace, and of course, fueling their taste buds with the finest flavours and cuisine that Toronto has to offer.
The second annual Taste of Toronto drew more than 22,000 foodies and notable guests, who altogether enjoyed over 60,000 dishes, with celebrity chef appearances by Iron Chef and Michelin-starred wonder Masaharu Morimoto, Michelin-starred chef Alvin Leung and Michael Bonacini of Oliver & Bonacini. Continuing to grow on its success, this year’s event will welcome new chefs alongside returning favourites, as well as more than 70 exhibitors in the vendor marketplace, plus new programs and to ignite every guest’s experience.
TheSceneInTO: In your opinion what continues to make this event such a great success year after year? And what has brought you back?
Ted Corrado, Executive Chef, The Drake Group: Taste of Toronto has become a marquee food event for the summer that really showcases the Toronto foodie scene. It draws an incredible line-up of chefs and it’s a great way to reach a different audience. Last year we had so much fun and received so much positive feedback – we couldn’t wait to come back.
TheSceneInTO: Any crazy dishes you’re preparing this year? Any secrets you can share of what we can look forward to?
Ted Corrado, Executive Chef: Well, we’re still finalizing a few recipes, but food lovers can expect that ‘Drake Twist.’ Our main dish will feature fresh Canadian lobster, duck and crispy pork belly – all together!
TheSceneInTO: Are there any chefs you’d like to see at the festival that you haven’t in the past years? Is it more of a reunion feeling or a competitive food match?
Ted Corrado, Executive Chef: It’s definitely more of a reunion for me with participating chefs like Anthony Rose, Cory Vitiello and Rob Bragagnolo, but I’m also really excited to see new restaurants getting involved like Miku and Alo. The talented chefs at Taste just push us all to do better and serve quality dishes. Can’t wait!
Joining this year’s lineup is Kazuya Matsuoka of Miku Toronto introducing the signature flavour and aroma of Aburi Sushi to Toronto, David Lee of the recently renovated Nota Bene and Chris Kalisperas of elegant Greek taverna Mamakas. Fan-favourite Victor Barry will showcase his new Italian restaurant, Piano Piano, and Rob Bragagnolo is back with his recently opened sandwich shop Carver. Also returning to Taste of Toronto 2016 are Mark McEwan of McEwan Group, Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station, Ted Corrado of The Drake Hotel, Drake Devonshire and Drake One Fifty, Elia Herrera of El Caballito Tequila y Tacos and Los Colibris and Adrian Niman of Rasa. Each pop-up restaurant will offer three signature dishes to festival-goers.
TheSceneInTO: What enticed you to join Taste of Toronto this year?
Chef Kazuya Matsuoka, Executive Chef, Miku Toronto: I think it’s an amazing opportunity to work with other great restaurants and chefs while showcasing our cuisine and educating people about what we do and why we love it. We’re very excited to introduce Miku to people that haven’t tried it and connect with individuals that know and dine with us.
TheSceneInTO: What can festival goers look forward to from Miku?
Chef Kazuya Matsuoka, Executive Chef: Festival goers can look forward to trying our delicious signature dishes, including our Aburi sushi. Aburi sushi is unique because it is flame-seared with signature sauces, enhancing the natural flavour of the fish. It’s an experience we’re excited to share.
TheSceneInTO: What makes Toronto differ from other cities in terms of food and drink?
Chef Kazuya Matsuoka, Executive Chef: Toronto is very dynamic and multicultural. The city has everything from high end to casual and authentic to brand new cuisines, at any time of day really any type of cuisine is available to you.
TheSceneInTO: In your opinion what continues to make this event such a great success year after year?
Tina Doull, Marketing Director, Taste Festivals Canada: As the only Taste Festival in North America, Taste of Toronto continues to be a powerhouse event that highlights the city’s impressive food scene. Taste hand selects the city’s top chefs and restaurants along with local artisanal producers, giving visitors an opportunity to experience our unique and diverse cultural flavours and dining scene.
TheSceneInTO: Any personal favourites guests should not miss?
Tina Doull, Marketing Director, Taste Festivals Canada: It’s hard to choose from our incredible roster of chefs, but ones to watch are returning favourites Chuck Hughes, Anthony Rose, Mark McEwan, Carl Heinrich and Franco Stalteri creator of Charlie’s Burgers.
General tickets start at $19, youth under 12 are free, and youth 12 to 17 are $10. VIP and AMEX ticket packages are also available. With an exciting festival ahead, more talented chefs and restaurants, plus new and exciting programming will be announced soon. For more information visit tasteoftoronto.com or follow us on Twitter @TasteofToronto and Instagram @TasteofToronto.