Friday, November 18, 2011

Gourmet Food & Wine Show - wine it up

I just got home from the Gourmet Food and Wine Show at the Metro Convention Centre. Well for a person that doesn't drink wine it's an odd place for me to be hanging out I guess. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against wine but I really only like to cook with it but the big reason for me going to the show was to see Chuck Hughes from Chuck's Day Off on the Food Network. Even though he says he isn't very good at doing the standing up in front of an audience and talking and signing autographs don't believe him. He is great at it. He cracks jokes and answers questions all the way through his cooking demos, although on his second demo his assistant Tracy pretty much did all the cooking while he was like a moving target roving around the audience answering questions. He is one of the most entertaining chefs I have seen at one of these food network demos, the only other one that comes close to the same humour and warmth is Chef Lynn Crawford. They both entertain while cooking amazing food. Chuck's Day Off is one of my favourite food network shows at the moment because Chuck pulls back the curtain on the restaurant industry and shows all the people it takes to run a successful restaurant, from the suppliers to the regular customers to the prep cooks and even friends that support him. Chuck is a very tough on the outside but big heart on the inside kind of guy who doesn't take himself too seriously and enjoys every minute of his culinary career. He cooks and lives with a lot of Passion and it translates into his cooking and to the people he meets. Even though Chuck didn't win The Next iron Chef he is going to be one of the chefs to look out for because I believe he is going to be a Jamie Oliver, Rachel Ray kind of big time celebrity chef. Loads of fans and trying to do good things. He will be coming back to Toronto on Nov 26-27 for Bobby Flay's Chef Challenge a huge Charity Event for Mount Sinai Hospital for Cancer research. You have to raise $2500 in donations just to be at the Challenge to compete. I would enter if I could raise that kind of money. Maybe next year.

So Look out for Chuck on a TV or at a show near you again soon.

You probably want to know about the rest of the Food and Wine Show too right? Well I only tasted one wine that was a sangria and it was the Barefoot something wine. It was good but I am no wine expert so I don't even want to try and give you any wine information. But what I did love was the Margarita mix. Great lime and Strawberry slushi margaritas. It was so hot in the convention centre that it went down so well.

Food to note that I really enjoyed was at the Barbados booth. Great Fish cake and they had sorrel and rum drink. I tasted a bunch of cheeses, my favourites being the goat cheeses with herbs and red peppers on them. I had some nice chicken curry as well.

The most fun food item was a huge sub that the chef from the Drake Hotel made. You name it and it was in it. I got a sample of that and it was packed with flavour.

Early in the day when I arrived the show was very subdued but by the time I left at 8:30 it was like a wild night in a club on a friday night. Friday and Saturday nights are quite the party so if you are looking for somewhere to go and drink instead of a club this would be a good choice for you.

The show ends on Sunday so it's not to late for you to go and check it out.

Chuck Hughes has probably already gone back to Montreal but there's lots of wine to be had if you like to try all kinds of different wines from around the world.

A couple of things to note. Return your glass before you leave and $1 will be donated to Second Harvest and please don't drink and drive.


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