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It all started 10 years ago in London, England when the first Taste festival was held. Fast forward a decade and Taste festivals are held in 20 world-class cities around the world including Milan, Sydney and Dublin to name a few. July 2014 marked the month that the first Taste festival was held in North America… hosted by, you guessed it, Toronto!

Taste of Toronto

Taste of Toronto (@tasteoftoronto) took place inside the historic walls of Fort York between July 24th and 27th. Tickets to the event started at $30 (which included $6 worth of crowns, the event currency) which granted you access to the festival grounds for the session of your choice.

Restaurant Pop-Ups

The four day event showcased 17 fantastic restaurants around the city including some of my personal favourites like Splendido, JaBistro and Rose and Sons. Each restaurant offered three signature dishes at different price points – six, eight and ten crowns (with one crown equivalent to $1).

Restaurant Pop-Ups

The festival grounds also featured a live music stage (curated by Arts & Crafts) and a vendor marketplace with 50 food and drink producers including Momofuku Milk Bar (@momomilkbar), Tequila Tromba (@TequilaTromba), TeAlchemy (@teALCHEMY), Ice Volcano Ice Cream (@IceCreamVolcano) and Juice Matters (@juice_matters).

Just a few of the 50 food and drink vendors

Other activities included interactive cooking sessions where Toronto chefs also shared their cooking secrets. And what’s a food event without celebrity chef appearances?  There were definitely some big names there including Momofuku’s David Chang (@davidchang) and Food Network Chef Chuck Hughes (@ChefChuckHughes).

Momofuku’s David Chang was one of the celebrity chefs who made an appearance

Without further ado, here’s a look at this year’s restaurant offerings:

Crispy Rice Salad with rice, ginger, cilantro, sour pork sausage, lime leaf & fresh roasted peanuts (8 crowns) from  Khao San Road

Crispy Rice Salad

Spicy Shrimp Salad with onion, red pepper, fish sauce, chili, garlic & cilantro (10 crowns) from Khao San Road

Spicy Shrimp Salad

Oshizushi – blow-torched & pressed sushi (10 crowns) from JaBistro


Duck Scotch egg with English accompaniments (6 crowns) from The Grove

Duck Scotch Egg

Octopus, pork, corn & black garlic (10 crowns) from The Grove


Griddled Crab & Prawn Roll with spicy pickled cucumber, avocado, crispy bacon & old bay chips (10 crowns) from The Harbord Room/THR & Co

Griddled Crab & Prawn Roll

BLT with Dr Pepper bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, feta & herb mayo (10 crowns) from Rose and Sons

BLT with Dr Pepper bacon

Fried Chicken with a buttermilk biscuit, housemade slaw& chipotle BBQ sauce (8 crowns) from The McEwan Group

Fried Chicken

Foie Gras Parfait with strawberries, pistachios & melba toast (8 crowns) from Bosk

Foie Gras Parfait

Roasted Atlantic Halibut with grains, fennel, citrus & basil (10 crowns) from Bosk

Roasted Atlantic Halibut

Coconut Tapioca Pearls with passion fruit, lime & pineapple (6 crowns) from Bosk

Coconut Tapioca Pearls

Station Ice Cream Sundae (6 crowns) from Richmond Station

Station Ice Cream Sundae

With a spectacular chef and restaurant line-up, it was no surprise that the food was delicious. See you all there in 2015!

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