#SPOTTED: MARIO BATALI, TYLER FLORENCE, CHUCK HUGHES + MORE IN TORONTO FOR THE DELICIOUS FOOD SHOW 2014
One of my favourite annual Fixtures in the City is The Delicious Food Show and now in its third year, I’ve seen the Event develop from spectacular to somehow even more polished. Taking place at the Direct Energy Centre this weekend, the three-day Food Expo brings-in a star-studded list of Celebrity Chefs with countless opportunities to delight your tastebuds. Cooking Demonstrations, Autograph Signings, Food and Drink Sampling – the question is, what isn’t there to do at The Delicious Food Show?
The Chew Star, renowned Chef and Author Mario Batali headlines the Event this year delighting Fans by putting on a Demo, followed by a Signing today for his new Book AMERICA FARM TO TABLE, offering them a rare chance to get up close and personal. The new Book brought him one-on-one with Farmers across the U.S. gathering stories. He says, “We took pics of their mailboxes, their food, their chickens. Their food is even more delicious after knowing their stories”. The famous Croc-Wearer adds, “There is no gift more selfless and emotionally delightful than giving something delicious.”. Just last night, the Chef in a once-in-a-lifetime Op collaborated with BUCA‘s Rob Gentile at that Hotspot “gifting” palettes with some scintillating offerings and we hear Truffles were plentiful.
Popular Culinary Personality Tyler Florence also graced the Stage today promoting also his latest Book, INSIDE THE TEST KITCHEN. The Book is comprised of Recipes based on Twitter Fan Feedback and Photos shot entirely on his iPad. With the assistance of Technology, he was able to put together the Book at one-third the Budget which a Cookbook normally costs (approximately $130k). “I spent three hours on Twitter, thanks to in-flight Wi-Fi, crowdsourcing Recipes from the Community”, says Florence on the 125-Recipe release. “We found a way to cook a 16 lb. turkey in one-and-a-half hours and make bread rise with no yeast”.
Canadian Celebrity Chef/Hunk Chuck Hughes returns to the Event this year and as always is a Favourite. On the topic of cooking for Children, he revealed to Media that his Son absolutely is into chopped liver and he is experimenting with lots of pureeing currently. There was a consensus among Batali, Hughes and Florence at today’s Junket and that would be for Parents to stop offering their Children the “Kids’ Menu” option when dining out. As Batali says succinctly, “I hate Chicken Fingers”.
One huge announcement was made at today’s Gathering and we learned that in September 2015, the City will host the first-ever TORONTO FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL. Although details are still yet to be confirmed, it is said that it won’t be exclusive to downtown Toronto only. That is, other parts of Greater Toronto also will be engaged. This comes hot on the heels of successful Festivals in New York, Austin, LA, Hawaii, Atlanta, Barbados, and Aspen from the respected Publication.
The Delicious Food Show runs from Friday, October 17, 2014 through Sunday, October 19, 2014. More details here.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#FOOD: FIDEL GASTRO’S “LISA MARIE” OFFERS TORONTO A TRENDY CICCHETTI ELVIS-INSPIRED MENU
Those of you who’ve frequented the Food Truck Circuit in the Greater Toronto Area surely by now know of Fidel Gastro‘s famous Pad Thai Fries. Lisa Marie, situated at Queen x Bathurst gives us expanded options from their Food Truck Menu Offerings in a style of dining called Cicchetti (like Tapas sorta) – great for sharing in groups of Friends.
The dimly-lit Space, with Elvis-inspired decor also features a Shop at the back with their signature Soups (Kimchi Caesar, anyone?), Marinated Meats and Pickles, maybe perhaps drowned in bit too loud ’70s-inspired Soul and Disco. Chatting with Friends was a bit of a challenge amidst all the noise.
The Menu highlight certainly is the Sugo, which I learned all about when celebrating one of my dearest Friends Josh‘s Birthday. The Dish served with pieces of freshly-baked Bread, consists of a variety of slow-cooked Ground Beef, Brisket and Pork Belly in a Tomato Sauce. Although I’m mostly a Vegetarian, even I had to make it a Meat Day to try it. It is like a heartier and luxe Sloppy Joe. It was a Hit for all.
The Alabama Tailgaters on Skewers (Bacon-wrapped Grass-fed Carpaccio with Aged Cheddar and Kimchi) are outstanding and a Smoked Duck Mini Pizza was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The Hoisin Turkey Wing perhaps was a bit too heavy on the sweet, brown Sauce, but nonetheless cooked to tenderness.
The Dessert Menu featured a French Toast Offering with Banana and a Peanut Butter Creme (as Elvis would’ve loved) which despite sounding delectable, couldn’t be accommodated due to the amount of Food consumed during the Main Course. Next time.
Those of you going on Tuesday nights get a chance to sample the entire Cicchetti Menu for less than $80. Bring a few Friends.
Lisa Marie is situated at 638 Queen Street West. Website here.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)