Sunday, September 24, 2017

Rocket Ride for Rehab launch

Event:        Rocket Ride for Rehab Launch
Website:    Rocket Ride For RehabHashtag    #spin4the6
Date:        Tuesday, Aug 22nd 2017 (launch)Time:        5:30pm to 7:30pmLocation: Lodge on Queen, 251 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON

A friend sent me an invite to a lunch for an event called Rocket Ride for Rehab #Spin4the6 and I decided to RSVP to check it out.  I never heard of it before and wasn't sure what it was exactly but I thought it might be interesting to see what it was all about.  While I am not a Spinner I am always happy to promote events that will help people who need a bit of assistance.  I was only at the event for a short time but I did enjoy some of Fidel Castro's catering including the delicious charcuterie platter and their Jalapeno Mac and Cheese.  Kevin Brauch was the Bartender making some fancy cocktails.  I was a last minute decision to go so I am glad I did to find out about this event.  I hope that if you are into Spinning you will join them at Nathan Phillips Square on Oct 24th and help them break a Guinness World Record and help the Toronto Rehab Foundation reach their goals to help as many people as they can.  You can also make a donation to the Toronto Rehab Foundation here:  Toronto Rehab

Participate in the Rocket Ride for Rehab
Location: Nathan Phillips Square
Date: Saturday Oct. 24, 2017

Toronto Rehab Foundation is proud to announce the Rocket Ride 4 Rehab. This 5-hour static cycling event will have over 1,000 participants that will be united in a purpose and will be going for a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for the most money raised by a static cycling event.


  • This Spin-a-Thon will be lead by Toronto’s top spin instructors.
  • The outdoor party will take place in historic Nathan Phillips Square.
  • Fun day for the whole family!
  • To raise funds for Toronto Rehab Foundation supporting the #1 Rehabilitation research centre in the world

Toronto Cider Festival

Festival:     Toronto Cider Festival
Date:          August 26, 2017
Location:   Sherbourne Commons at Sugar Beach
Price:         $30 per session

My friend won tickets for the Toronto Cider Festival and asked me to join her and normally Cider Festivals are not my thing but it was a really beautiful day and it was being held by the Lake at Sherbourne Commons at Sugar Beach so I thought at least it might be nice to hang out for a bit in the sun by the lake.

This compact little festival hosted 28 Cider Vendors and about 6 food vendors.  Although light on the food vendors for my liking it was in a relatively small area and it was all about the different Ciders.  I am not a Cider lover but I did sample a few of them.  The one that stood out to me was a Blood Orange Cider as you can see I am holding it in the picture on the right.

What I was surprised to find was how well it was set up and how fun it was.   With this silly little photo area set up for a contest my friend Natalie (Cooking Quidnunc)  and I had a bit of goofy fun and entered their contest,  she is disguised as an Owl that I am shooing away or you can look at it another way depending on how much alcohol you have consumed.

We didn't try much of the food except for the Oetker pizza samples, the apple crisp pairing and some snacks but they had a few food trucks serving up some tasty looking food like this taco that the person sitting on the benches next to us were eating.  They said it was delicious and it looked pretty nice from what I could see.

It was a more mature and chill crowd than I have seen at other beverage focused festivals and it really had a fun community feel.  Although we wished there was a bit more food vendors we ended up having a really great time.

Travel Massive 7th Anniversary

Event:           Travel Massive 7th Anniversary
Location:      Trillium Park Ontario Place
Date:             August 23, 2017
Website:       Travel Massive

I have only been a Travel Massive Toronto Chapter member since 2016 so I have only had a chance to experience about a half a dozen of their local events but they have all been really fun and interesting but I have to say their 7th Anniversary event was the best one I have attended so far.

I joined the Travel Massive group to be able to expand my opportunities and find out more about travel blogging.  I have been blogging about Toronto mostly and would like to expand to Travel food blogging so I thought joining Travel Massive would give me some great insights.  So far I haven't been able to get too far out of Toronto but have been able to attend some fantastic Travel Massive events like one on the fairly new UP Express to a Banquet Hall and one at a downtown restaurant/nightclub for Montreal's big Anniversary year.

This event was the first one I have attended outside and although it was a trek to get there because it was at Ontario Place's new Trillium Park at the same time as the CNE was going on but it ended up being well worth the trek there.

It was my first look at the new Trillium Park at Ontario Place in a formerly really boring undeveloped area of the Park.  Now there is an open air Pavillion, a summit, trails, garden and my favourite part was the big fire pit.

We sampled really great appetizers while our hosts provided information about Ontario Parks all being showcased in the Ontario 150 year.  Ontario Place was also celebrating their 125 year.

They had different stations where we were encouraged to take selfies to win prizes.  There was a really fun canoe set up and a camping set up and a station where you could make a fishing lure and information provided at each booth.

The view from Trillium Park is fantastic and it was a lovely evening a bit cooler by the lake but the best part was sitting by the Big FIRE PIT making Smore's.

One of my friends even won a free stay in a YURT in the winter.  She didn't even know what a Yurt was until she won the prize so I am looking forward to hearing about that experience.

I really want to do more exploring and travelling outside of Toronto in the near future an these little events help me dream and experience new things.  If you are a travel blogger I encourage you to join Travel Massive and hang out with fellow travel adventurers.

For more info on Ontario Parks:

   To Join Travel Massive:

Big Feastival at Burl's Creek

Festival:       The Big Feastival
Location:      Burl's Creek - Oro Medonte
Date:            August 18-20, 2017
Website:       The Big Feastival
Price:            $85 plus and kids under 12 are free

It was the first year in Canada for the Big Feastival a festival that started in the UK with Jamie Oliver and friends as a family friendly food and music festival.

Although Jamie Oliver was not affiliated with the Canadian festival the Big Feastival was created in the same format as the UK festival.

With the options of weekend camping or day trips it's a festival that aims to attract the whole family whether it's for the live music from some well known artists or the Celebrity Chef demos and the various food vendors.

Held at a huge camp ground in Oro Medonte it's a bit of an out of the way destination that you can really only get to by car or by a shuttle available in downtown Toronto.

My friends and I drove up on Saturday as it was the only day my friend who was driving could go.
During the drive there the weather was cloudy but really nice out but as we got closer the clouds began to darken and as we entered the festival it started to drizzle rain.   We were able to walk around and check out about half of the vendors and then it started to rain harder.  We high tailed it into the VIP tent for cover and hoped that it would clear up so that we could continue.  The rain stopped and we ventured out of the tent to continue checking out the different stations but then slowly the rain started up again until it kicked into full out pouring and by this time my flip flop and sandal wearing umbrellaless friends had enough so we didn't end up staying and seeing any of the Chef demos or some of the bands.  I was really sad that we drove all that way and didn't even see all of the great chefs and bands, so I can't really tell you about all of that but I can tell you about some of the vendors that we were able to check out. We enjoyed lots of samples from Jerky to peanut butter.  I picked up 2 products I really like, the Carnivore's BBQ Jerky and Cocoa covered almonds.  There seemed to be a lot of Iced tea vendors there. While it was raining we took cover under one of the demo tents where they were doing tea cocktails so I got an Ice tea cocktail that I customized in a large mason jar that I was able to keep.  I was fully loaded down between the mason jar and peanut butter, snack bars and even detergent samples.  It's a great festival for families but it can get pretty pricey between the entrance fee and purchasing food.

 By the way,  friends were there later and the weather seemed to clear up for the evening and the next day had glorious sunshine so our timing was just really off for getting the most out of the festival.

I am not gonna lie the price is pretty high if you are only going for a few hours to see a band it's a lot but I guess the price is what you would pay to just see the bands.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Culinary Showdown Montreal



The Jewish General Hospital and Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation Host Celebrity
Chefs Tyler Florence, Kimberly Lallouz, Mark McEwan; Danny Smiles, Michael Smith and Top 50 Fundraisers in Quebec’s First Annual Culinary Showdown

Culinary Showdown is a peer to peer fundraising event and gala dinner for home cooks,
amateur chefs and foodies, who all have one thing in common – a strong passion for food and the
cause! This extraordinary challenge gives culinary enthusiasts the opportunity to fundraise for a chance to cook alongside celebrity chefs in the type of team cooking challenge normally reserved for TV.
Chef Mark McEwen

It will be held on Sunday October 29, 2017 at Arsenal Contemporary Art, 2020 William St, Montreal, Quebec and will include a Celebrity Chef School from 10:30am-3:00pm before the showdown begins at 6:00pm-11:00pm.

This extraordinary challenge gives culinary enthusiasts the opportunity to fundraise for a chance to cook alongside celebrity chefs Tyler Florence, Kimberly Lallouz, Mark McEwan; Danny Smiles, and
Michael Smith, Hosted by Brad Smith - Chopped Canada, in support of two incredible organizations. 

The Jewish General Hospital provides general and specialized care of the highest quality in a safe, humane and caring manner. The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation is the only non-profit organization in Québec devoted entirely to the fight against breast cancer through research and innovation, raising awareness and providing education and support to those affected by this disease and their loved ones.

The Culinary Showdown is an exclusive experience that sets the tone for true culinary education.
Celebrity chefs will coach participants on epicurean techniques while the teams compete to be the
next Culinary team.

Enjoy a gourmet meal as the celebrity chefs and their teams of top fundraisers take the stage, but
keep your keen culinary skills handy throughout the dinner, as members of the audience may be
called upon to participate. The 50 highest fundraisers earn the right to test their culinary talents live
on stage alongside their team and celebrity chef. Five teams will compete under the spotlight to
create three unique dishes, applying the skills mastered during Celebrity Chefs School. Each food
course is time-sensitive and will be judged by a discerning panel for taste and presentation.

Fuel your food passion at the Celebrity Chef’s School, as the Celebrity chefs will coach you on how to become a culinary master. They will cover everything from picking the perfect ingredients to plating. You’ll learn trade secrets on food prep, knife skills, cooking methods and more. You’ll learn what it takes to keep your cool when things heat up in the kitchen.

Food lovers, cooking connoisseurs and novices alike are invited to this one-of- a-kind opportunity to
learn from the best chefs in the country and support JGHF and QBCF, register for the Culinary
Showdown at

I attended the launch recently at Mark McEwen's restaurant ONE in Yorkville where we sampled on some amazing appetizers while we learned about the Montreal version of the Culinary Showdown.

I have participated in raising funds for the Culinary Showdown in the past but unfortunately not enough to be able to participate in the live Culinary event.  I would love to participate in the MONTREAL version and if YOU would like to sponsor me I would be happy to represent Toronto in the city foodie rivalry that is Montreal and Toronto.

Please drop me a line if you would like to support me in fundraising.

About The Jewish General Hospital
Since 1934, the JGH has been providing cutting edge treatment and compassionate care to patients
from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds in Montreal, throughout Quebec and beyond, we are
one of the province's largest and busiest acute-care hospitals

About Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation
For more than 20 years, the Foundation has focused its mission on promoting the well-being of affected people and their loved ones through research and innovation, support and raising awareness. Find out why our foundation is now the reference and your best ally for a life without breast cancer.

Dine Out for Restaurants for Change - Oct 18

Top Canadian chefs cook up a storm for Restaurants for Change Oct. 2017

National fundraising event supports community food programs in low-income neighbourhoods across Canada

On October 18, 2017, 92 restaurants in 19 Canadian cities will join together to donate proceeds from dinner service to Community Food Centres Canada, supporting community food programs that build health, hope, and belonging in low-income communities across the country. Funds raised will directly support local Community Food Centres that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food for all.   

Participating in the event is easy: Diners visit to find a participating restaurant near them and make a dinner reservation for October 18.

More than a dozen chefs from participating restaurants across Canada flew to Toronto on September 17 and 18 to learn more about the issues of food insecurity, poor health and social isolation that affect low-income Canadians, and how Community Food Centres Canada is using food as a tool to build healthier and more inclusive communities. They then launched the Restaurants for Change campaign with a packed event at Baro restaurant, where they cooked their favourite dishes from their menus—dishes that Canadians can order when they go out for dinner on October 18.

Pictured above from left to right: Ben Kramer (Ben Kramer Pop-up at Kitchen Sync, Winnipeg), Glen Manzer (Creative Restaurant Group, Calgary), Lora Kirk (Ruby Watchco, Toronto), Erin Vrba (Creative Restaurant Group, Calgary), Duncan Ly (Foreign Concept, Calgary), Nick Saul (President and CEO, Community Food Centres Canada), Kevin Gilmour (Fat Pasha, Toronto), Tyler Shedden (Planta, Toronto), Bettina Schormann (Earth to Table Bread Bar, Hamilton and Guelph), John Vettraino (Backhouse, Niagara-on-the-Lake), Blair Lebsack (RGE RD, Edmonton), Jeff Crump (Earth to Table Bread Bar, Hamilton and Guelph), Anthony Rose (Rose and Sons, Toronto), Renée Lavallée (The Canteen on Portland, Dartmouth), Tim Steele (Drake Hotel Properties, Toronto), David Gunawan (Farmer’s Apprentice, Vancouver). Photo credit: Gabriel Li.

Restaurants for Change 2017 is made possible by generous participating restaurants and sponsors:

2017 restaurants
Calgary Alforno Bakery & Cafe, Bonterra Trattoria, CHARCUT Roast House, Cibo, Cucina Bistro, Deane House, Foreign Concept, Mill Street Calgary Brewpub, NOtaBLE ~ The Restaurant, Posto Pizzeria & Bar, River Café, Royale Brasserie, Scopa Neighbourhood Italian, Teatro Ristorante, The Nash, Vendome Cafe Edmonton RGE RD Halifax/Dartmouth Agricola Street Brasserie, Battery Park BeerBar & Eatery, enVie A Vegan Kitchen, The Brooklyn Warehouse, The Canteen on Portland Hamilton Earth to Table: Bread Bar, Papa Leo’s Restaurant Guelph Artisanale French Country Cooking, Earth to Table: Bread Bar Kitchener The Berlin Alexandria The Quirky CarrotMontreal Garde Manger, Hopkins, Le Bremner, Monkland Taverne, Park, Porco, Restaurant L’Orignal Niagara-on-the-Lake Backhouse Ottawa Atelier, Clover food | drink, North & Navy, Union Local 613 Perth Fieldhouse Pickering PORT St. John’s Mallard Cottage Stratford The Hub at 27 Marketplace Bayfield Black Dog Village Pub & Bistro Toronto Actinolite, Alo, Bar Begonia, Bar Isabel, Baro, Barque Smokehouse, Bar Raval, Beast, Beaumont Kitchen, Big Crow, Cafe Belong, Carmen, Dailo Restaurant, Drake Commissary, Drake Hotel, Drake One Fifty, Edulis, El Rey, Fat Pasha, Flock 97 Harbord Street, Harry’s Charbroiled, Isaan Der, Kanpai Snack Bar, Madame Boeuf, Mamakas Taverna, Maple Leaf Tavern, Peter Pan Bistro, Piano Piano, Planta, PrettyUgly Bar, Rasa, Richmond Station, Rose and Sons, Rose and Sons Swan, Ruby Watchco, Tennessee Tavern, Union Vancouver Burdock & Co, Farmer's Apprentice, Jamjar Commercial Drive Wellington Drake Devonshire Winnipeg  Ben Kramer Pop-up, Chew, deer + almond, Forth, King + Bannatyne, Promenade Cafe and Wine

2017 sponsors
Lead sponsor: Garland Canada. National media sponsors: Global TV, Food Network, Cooking Channel. Media sponsors: Toronto Life, Avenue Calgary. Community partners: Culinary Tourism Alliance,Terroir.  In-kind partners: J Sutton Communications, Open Table, The Siren Group Inc.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Sweetery

Festival:     The Sweetery
Location:    David Pecaut Square
Date:          August 12  & 13, 2017
Website:     The Sweetery

I'm a bit late in writing this post but I wanted to make sure I gave a bit of props to the Sweetery Festival.  It's a small festival that is billed as Canada's largest sweets festival.  I don't know about that but It's a very cute and compact festival with lots of great things.

It's only a couple of years old but they seem to be getting into their groove now.  It's run in conjunction with George Brown College Culinary students and the team I believe are all students.

Some of the proceeds go to Second Harvest which is a great local food rescue charity.

George Brown College has a fantastic display of classic french pastries. I sampled a light and flakey croissant that was oh so buttery.

It was also great to see Holy Cannoli who are at most food festivals in Toronto and they even sold out one of the days they were so busy.

One of the best things I tried was from the food truck Wafel Bar.  They make the best Liege waffles I have ever eaten.  Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and the flavour is perfection.  I had mine with chocolate ice cream and it was perfect.

They had some savoury food there as well and I had a taste of sweet and spicy corn salad.  I think that was the first thing I tried and my actual breakfast but it was delicious.

I also sampled a Macaron slider.  Although a bit weird to see a burger in a macaroon with nori in the middle it did taste pretty good.  I wonder how people decide to use a macaron for a burger bun but I can only imagine since most of the vendors are young and creative.

I didn't eat a lot because I had another festival to go to afterward but everything I tasted was great.

The thing I like about the Sweetery is the location.  It's located at David Pecaut Square on King St. West.  I like this venue because it's compact and easy to get to and there is a grassy area in the middle where they place big red and white umbrellas to sit under and enjoy your treats.   They also have music to enjoy while you are sampling away.

It's an easy festival to attend because there are no entrance fees and you can just pick and choose your sweet and savoury treats and relax in the sun.

I hope you get a chance to check it out next year and get to see it before people find out it's a sweet little festival.