Sunday, July 22, 2018

Taste Canada Awards 2018 - Short list

Taste Canada Awards 2018 shortlist for Canada’s cookbook and food writing awards 

The winners to be revealed on October 29th at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto

Hosts Claire Tansey & Noah Cappe
Now in its 21st year, Taste Canada Awards / Les Lauréats des Saveurs du Canada ( has announced the shortlist of cookbooks and food blogs competing for a coveted culinary writing award.  
A champion of cookbook authors and food bloggers, Taste Canada inspires and encourages readers at home and abroad to discover delicious recipes and diverse food stories written from a Canadian perspective.
Each year, Taste Canada presents awards to some of the best food and beverage writers in both official languages. The jury is comprised of volunteers from Canada’s culinary profession appointed by an independent selection committee.  This year, 91 cookbooks and 50 food blogs entered the competition. The shortlist narrows the competition to a maximum of 5 entries per category.
The 26 gold and silver award winners will be revealed at the Taste Canada Awards Gala on October 29 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. The Gala, a one-of-a-kind gastronomic celebration, brings together writers, publishers, chefs, farmers, industry, media and cookbook fans and promotes a vibrant national conversation about food and the art and culture of culinary writing.

Some photos from the 2017 Taste Canada Awards

Joel McCharles and his wife with their cookbook Batch
Coup de Grasse author Sam Joubert

David Rocco
Nutritionist Julie Daniluk with her husband and sister Lynn

 And some familiar faces at the Awards including Lisa Marie's Matt Basile serving up some meatballs at the reception afterwards.

Harvest Wednesday at the Gladstone

What: Second Harvest’s Food Rescue Challenge Kick-off

Who: Bob Blumer, Celebrity Chef & Liam Lewis, 15-year-old Toronto Chef (The Little Locavore)
Time: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 7-9pm
Where: The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West, Toronto ON

Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue organization, launched For The Love of Food Challenge, a one-month program that challenges Torontonians to reduce their household food waste by 50 per cent.

Commencing on Earth Day, the goal of the program is to educate and raise awareness about household food waste, greenhouse gas emissions and how to make a difference at home.

To kick off the challenge and encourage pledges, Second Harvest, will be hosting a cooking demo
featuring Celebrity Chef Bob Blumer, and 15-year-old, Toronto chef, Liam Lewis. The two will create a dish showcasing a simple way to use leftover food items in your kitchen that would otherwise go to waste.

The kick-off is hosted in collaboration with the Gladstone Hotel’s Grow-Op Exhibit and Harvest
Wednesday’s Food Series launch, a new event that showcases some of the Hotel’s favourite Ontario

There were many different local Food and Drink Producers on hand for sampling such as Fifth Town Cheese and Chocosol chocolate, Island Oysters, Honey from the Bee Keeper Collective, Alchemy Pickle Co. and Sapsucker water and more.


Coming up on August 22nd,  Bob Blumer is back at the Gladstone Hotel for a Harvest Dinner to once again battle food waste, a cause that he is passionate about and which benefits his charity Second Harvest.

For more information and tickets:

I also had a quick peek at the Grow Op Installation upstairs at the Gladstone.  I picked up this free plant there.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Feast of St Lawrence - Dinner under the Stars



When:    Saturday July 14, 2018
What:     Media Preview for Dinner Under the Stars
Why:      Charity Event for Second Harvest
Who:      Sponsored by Audi Toronto
Where:   Preview at 4 participating restaurants in the St. Lawrence Market Area

On August 10th there will be a great Sit Down Charity Event called the FEAST OF ST LAWRENCE -DINNER UNDER THE STARS that will take place at St. Lawrence Market.  It will feature restaurants in the St. Lawrence Market area and the proceeds from this event will be donated to the Food Rescue Non-Profit organization Second Harvest I really love what Second Harvest does because it tackles the food waste problem while also taking care of food insecurity for so many people in Toronto. Sponsored by Audi Toronto.

On a very humid Saturday afternoon I joined fellow bloggers/influencers for a walking tour and preview of some of the participating restaurants for The Fest of St. Lawrence - Dinner Under the Stars.  Unfortunately I missed the first stop at Pearl Diver because of the subway closures but luckily I have been to Pearl Diver many times so I know they are fantastic. I haven't had a chance to go to the Feast of St. Lawrence but I have heard that it's an amazing event and it's a gorgeous night out at the Market while doing great things for so many people.

1st Stop: Pearl Diver
Location: 100 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON
Tasting: Oyster 

2nd Stop: Omni King Edward Hotel
Location: 37 King St E, Toronto, 
Tasting: Ancient grain and hazelnut clusters, roasted summer vegetables, charred pickled onion, petit tender - Beef, Chimichurri crema. Vegetarian Alternative: Ancient grain and hazelnut clusters, roasted summer vegetables, charred pickled onion, squash blossoms, carrot cider puree.
3rd Stop: Farmr
Location: 140A The Esplanade, Toronto, ON
Tasting: Pickled Watermelon Salad, local tomatoes cucumber, arugula, finger chilies, tomato vinaigrette, micro basil
This was probably my favourite on the tour only because it was a hot day and this was so refreshing and light and we had it sitting outside on their cozy patio sitting on picnic tables so it really felt like summer.

Location: 45 Front St E, Toronto
Tasting: Gooderham & Worts Four Grain Canadian Whisky and
Cocktail Toronto -  J.P. Wiser’s Deluxetriple Sec, Lillet Liquor and fresh Lemon.
Herbed fries with dips.

This Lounge is beautiful with some fantastic huge chandeliers and a long bar and cozy seating.  The building has a ton of history and you sort of feel it when you are there.

Now for more details about the actual event including the full menu and ticket information:


The Feast of St. Lawrence begins on August 10th with an exclusive, al fresco fine dining event for charity. Two hundred and fifty guests will be seated at two continuous tables on Front Street (between Scott and Church Street) and served a sumptuous five-course dinner prepared by chefs from some of the top restaurants in the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood including Biff's Bistro, Farmr, ARDO, The Hot House Restaurant, The Omni King Edward Hotel, Pearl Diver, The Sultan's Tent and George Brown College. 

Wine pairings from Prince Edward County vineyards and Creemore Springs beer will
be served with the dinner and CC Lounge will present a special Whisky tasting bar. The 18-piece JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band will provide added ambiance in the beautifully illuminated Berczy Park lounge area.
The event begins with a reception featuring hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer starting at 6:00 p.m. and ends at 11:00 p.m. 

A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Second Harvest.

Tickets are $200 and are on sale now!

Purchase tickets:

By Phone: call 416 410 9242
Location: Front Street East (between Scott and Church Street)
Friday August 10, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Official Accounts:

Official Hashtags:

Second Harvest: Second Harvest is the largest food rescue organization in Canada and a global thought leader on food recovery. With a goal to drastically reduce the amount of food wasted while ensuring people have access to the good, healthy food they need for success, Second Harvest works across the supply chain from farmer to retail to capture surplus food before it ends up in the landfill and negatively impacts our environment.
Since 1985 we have rescued and delivered more than 127 million pounds of food and prevented over 70 million pounds of greenhouse gas equivalents from entering our atmosphere. Currently, we rescue food from over 470 donors and deliver that food to 253 social service agencies in Toronto and food hubs across Ontario, providing enough food for 30,000 meals a day.

No Waste. No Hunger.



Oyster Station (Pearl Diver)
Whisky Bar (CC Lounge)
Beer Bar (Creemore Springs Brewery)

Biff's Famous Chicken Liver Parfait (Biff's Bistro)
Falafel with Tahini Sauce (The Sultan's Tent)

Stanners Vineyard 2016 Lincoln Lakeshore Riesling / Stanners Vineyard 2016 Prince Edward County Chardonnay / Broken

Stone Winery 2017 Estate Pinot Noir


Chilled Melon Soup with ginger (The Hot House)
Rosehall Run Ceremony Blanc de Blanc Brut

Tagliata di Spada - Nova Scotia Sword fish with Ardo sour dough, breadcrumb green peas mint pure, pickled cipolline


Closson Chase 2017 K. J. Watson Pinot Gris


Pickled Watermelon Salad, local tomatoes cucumber, arugula, finger chilies, tomato vinaigrette, micro basil (Farmr)

Karlo Estates Winery 2017 Frontenac Gris Rose


Ancient grain and hazelnut clusters, roasted summer vegetables, charred pickled onion, petit tender, Chimichurri crema

(Omni King Edward Hotel)

Vegetarian Alternative: Ancient grain and hazelnut clusters, roasted summer vegetables, charred pickled onion, squash

blossoms, carrot cider puree (Omni King Edward Hotel)
Keint-he Winery & Vineyards 2013 Queenston Road Pinot Noir


Tonka Pavlova with Ontario peaches, wild blueberry and basil cream (George Brown College)
S'mores Tart with smoked chocolate, toasted marshmallow and crushed raspberry (George Brown College)

Broken Stone Winery Exuberance Sparkling Riesling