Toronto Food & Wine Expo bigger and better for 2013
The Food and Wine Expo returned to Toronto on Friday for another showcase of new wines, spirits, beers, and food at the Metro Convention Centre. Featuring over 1500 different things to sip and slurp on, the event is its biggest ever, and requires more than a single night's attendance to navigate the myriad offerings at hand.
I visited during the preview on Thursday night and walked away with a number of impressions, and potential hangovers. If you're heading out there this weekend, make sure to partake in as much of the fantastic food that's available.
Whilst many familiar faces from the Toronto food and beverage scene are present, the real reason to attend is to get the scoop on the myriad new products being showcased, with libations and creations alike getting ready to hit the store shelves across the province over the coming weeks.
I sampled everything from Burlington's NickelBrook's fantastic new artisanal root beer (available on draught right now at Wvrst, Home of the Brave, and C'est What) to WoodChuck hard cider, hailing from Vermont, which is well worth snapping up from local LCBO shelves.
Food vendors were out in droves, from Rodney's (showing off some fantastic PEI Peasant oysters) to food trucks (Franki Fettucini) and pop-ups (Liko's, with their Hawaiian BBQ pork, and the accompanying pineapple salsa) giving out samples to the hungry throng.
In truth, the Food & Wine Expo is a packed affair, with punters arriving from all corners of the megacity (and beyond) to see what might next take Toronto by storm. Thankfully, the enthusiasm of the exhibitors means that even if you only catch a handful of stalls on a visit, you're still guaranteed a great time.
Hogtown's newer additions, such as Hudson Kitchen, were eager to show off their wares, dishing out braised pork sandwiches with pickled veg, sour cream, sriracha, and crispy shallots, whilst liquor companies like Three Olives enlisted the help of a Marilyn Monroe lookalike to highlight their strawberry vodka.
If you're heading down this weekend, make sure to catch the bartending competition, featuring some of the city's hottest bartenders, as well as some of the many educational seminars on offer from the LCBO. Otherwise, make sure you stop by the San Pellegrino guys for a non-alcoholic refresher, otherwise it might be easy for the evening to catch up with you pretty quickly.
Photos by Morris Lum
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