Tag Archives: catering

pridegroupshow2017

URBAN GALLERY LAUNCHES ITS ANNUAL PRIDE GROUP SHOW IN TORONTO

What a wonderful showcase of multi-media artworks from four talented Toronto-based artists from the LGBT community!!  Congratulations to URBAN GALLERY and its curator Allen Shugar, for presenting an outstanding exhibition of paintings, text-based graphics, digital and acrylic on canvas art celebrating this year’s annual PRIDE month.  I got there nice and early and had the gallery to myself to record a quick video walk-around:

The first artist to arrive at the gallery was the charming Eugene Nam whose striking large format acrylic-on-canvas works were both powerful and beautiful. The textural quality of his work was such that I wanted to reach out and touch the brushstrokes…..but I resisted!20170610_135912 20170610_134428 20170610_134503 20170610_134610Eugene came to Toronto a few years ago from S. Korea, via San Francisco. I asked him why he left the city by the bay to come all the way to Toronto and he told me….  In South Korea, our sexual identity must be kept hidden – homosexuality is not openly tolerated. As soon as I could, I left and went to the U.S. to pursue my passion for painting but once I heard of Toronto’s attitude of acceptance and inclusion, I knew that’s where I belonged. Since arriving, I have felt such freedom to live, love and create. I’m so happy to participate in Urban Gallery’s showcase so I can share my feelings with you all through my work.  20170610_135902(0)The next artist to arrive was TV and commercial producer Barbara Zumer whose love of creative writing and words she now showcases in her art.20170610_134402 20170610_140527One of Barbara’s pieces is actually printed on a mirror so I had a bit of fun with it…just so happens I recently had my hair done so the message is very appropriate, don’t you think?  LOL20170610_134358I was definitely pulled towards the digital anime-like images created by the very tall Jeffrey Mason (below).20170610_140557(0)His whimsical and wild illustrations of cat-like pop culture icons created quite the stir – people chuckled as they gazed at the instantly recognizable references…20170610_13410020170610_134111_001 Jeffrey also published a book of his work and copies were quickly snapped up by gallery visitors.20170610_140616Former digital producer and part-time teacher at Centennial College, Hank Blondeau (below) is exhibiting some pretty striking images….20170610_14184220170610_134133…below is Hank’s pair of huge digital art prints titled Lightimage Left and Lightimage Right20170610_134203 20170610_141830Do these stripes make me look thin?20170610_144201There was something for every taste in art and I must say, it’s one of my favourite shows in recent months.20170610_140814 20170610_141723 20170610_140824 20170610_140958 20170610_141649Even the catering, courtesy of Urban Source Catering, looked like works of art…and it all tasted simply delicious!20170610_135023 20170610_135027 20170610_135032 20170610_135038 20170610_135043 20170610_135055(0) 20170610_135101 20170610_135113(0)The PROUD ART show runs until June 30th and I encourage you to visit in person to view all of the above and more.  URBAN GALLERY is located at 400 Queen St East, Toronto – just East of Parliament St.  www.urbangallery.ca

But hurry…the art is selling quickly. Jeffrey’s Bunny Sushi already has a red dot on it!!20170610_141958

 

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URBAN SOURCE CATERING DELIVERS THE YUM @ INSIDE OUT FILM FEST GALA EVENT

Last night (Tues. May 30), my culinary friends at URBAN SOURCE CREATIVE CATERING tickled the tastebuds of some 150 guests at the Inside Out/Toronto LGBT Film Festival Centrepiece Gala Reception presented at the Artscape Sandbox in downtown Toronto. And oh boy, did they ever deliver some delicious treats ….20170530_183845 20170530_183837 20170530_183849The cheerful and efficient Inside Out volunteer waiters were barely out of the kitchen door before guests reached out for the trays of hors d’oeuvres…and yes, the wild blue and pink lighting created some pretty funky effects!20170530_184045 20170530_18510820170530_190950(0) 20170530_184932…so I ambushed the serving crew as they exited the kitchen to get more “normal” lighting…LOL!20170530_194842 20170530_192542 20170530_192556The shrimp were a big hit, especially with this excited guest (below)20170530_185133 20170530_185248The fabulous well-stocked bar was provided by Stud Vodka and Inside Out, offering wine, beer and smart cocktails served by bartenders who were always on the lookout for thirsty party-goers….20170530_184147Lots of fun, food and photo opps for all….20170530_191904 20170530_185138 20170530_19321720170530_184034Wayne from Urban Catering posed at the photo wall with colleague Cybele (below) in between schmoozing with guests and Festival organizers …..20170530_185434Inside Out/Toronto LGBT Film Festival runs to June 4th in downtown Toronto and you can learn more about the films, filmmakers and social activities at www.insideout.ca 20170530_194343Congratulations on a job well done, Urban Source Catering…your food and kitchen staff were terrific. For more details on Urban’s menus and special events catering, please visit: www.urbancatering.com 

All gone….no more….go home!

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TORONTO’S URBANSOURCE CATERING CELEBRATES 32YR ANNIVERSARY TODAY!

I’d like to offer a very special shout-out to my friends Wayne Abell and Calvin Hambrook who, as UrbanSource Catering, have fed-n-watered Toronto’s corporate and private sectors for 32 years….yes, today is their anniversary and I’m thrilled to present them with this virtual celebration!

Starting off on Yonge Street (south of Eglinton), Wayne and Calvin (pictured below L to R) opened their first store in 1985 offering prepared foods, lattes and lots of catering advice.Crazy Owners Opening DayThey soon outgrew their quaint shop housed in a terrace of historical buildings, and based on customer demands, they changed the business model from a retail store-come caterers to a full service catering company. The catering biz grew fast so they moved to their current location on Queen Street East which houses a large commercial kitchen and a suite of offices. Several years ago, the space next door became vacant so Calvin and Wayne took that over and launched Urban Gallery, a non-commission independent art gallery that also serves as a great event space for rent. Needless to say, they cater ALL the events in the gallery.20161216_184023 20160930_181245 20140918_175000Apart from their corporate events, private parties and spectacular wedding soirees, UrbanSource Catering has supported many of Toronto’s philanthropic causes, catering fundraisers, media launches and special events, eg: United Church’s Heart & Vision Awards, Fife House, PRIDE Toronto, plus the annual InsideOut Film Festival.

Bravo and congratulations to Calvin, Wayne and the staff of UrbanSource Catering – you continually deliver the best, on time and on budget!Calvin, Wayne and the URBAN SOURCE CATERING Crew

www.urbancatering.comC

 

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TSE INTRODUCES MUZIK EVENT CENTRE’S INTERIOR RENO’S & POOLS WITH SEXY NETWORKING SOIREE

The folks at Toronto Special Events were kind enough to invite me to the industry networking event over at MUZIK ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE in Exhibition Grounds to unveil their multi-million dollar renovations, pool installations and their oh so delicious catering thanks to the tasty Food Dudes.20160608_17223620160608_174623 Accompanying me was hairstylist to the stars (and me!) Cathie D of “Cut, Do or Dye” in-home hair services and being kinda silly when we socialize, we spent a great deal of time playing with the Boomerang app on my phone posting silly videos on Instagram. How old am I? LOL20160608_173358The cavernous interior of Muzik was made very intimate and cosy thanks to some great drapery and huge table displays in the various seating areas (below)….20160608_173534…and the food service was non-stop, both pass around and buffet style. This lovely young lady (below) kept Cathie and me well-fed all night!20160608_192009 20160608_17461120160608_18273320160608_175816(0)20160608_172224DJ Tay James spun hot tunes all evening although they stuck him in the dark surrounded by giant potted palms. Trust me, he was cute! And he’s Justin Bieber’s official tour DJ. Wonder if he does weddings & bar mitzvahs, too?20160608_173856We were also treated to lots of lovely cocktails – I played it safe with my usual G&Ts (gin and tonic, for those non-Brits reading this). Think I was on my 3rd round when Cathie snapped this somewhat demented pic…20160608_17341720160608_173327I was thrilled to run into old friend Omar Leslie (below R), a charming young man who was one of my earliest blogging inspirations. He attended with friend Paul (L) who works in Special Events/PR industry.20160608_193217(0)Out back of the giant showroom (formerly the Horticultural Bldg at the CNE)  is a series of glamorous terraces and patios including turquoise pools for swimming, paddling or whatever people do in public in pools…oh my!!!!20160608_194602 20160608_194430 20160608_194530Also scattered around the Muzik terraces are a number of statues (above) that are part of Toronto’s public arts programme.
Back inside, we watched some great promo videos on the giant screens , then Cathie decided I needed “one more for the road” and hit up the bar for another G&T.20160608_18072420160608_180713Big thanks to everyone at Muzik, especially Amy Tomes who gave me the best directions and parking info earlier. Check out the website for their weekly entertainment and corporate events info. www.muzikclubs.com20160608_173356_001

A redhead and a blonde walk into a bar…..(add your own punchline here!)

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URBANSOURCE CREATIVE CATERING SPONSORS FOOD & REFRESHMENTS FOR INSIDE OUT 2016 Toronto LGBT Film Festival Launch Party

This past Friday evening, URBANSOURCE CREATIVE CATERING, one of Toronto’s leading catering companies (established 31 years ago) sponsored the sumptuous repast at this year’s INSIDE OUT/LGBT FILM FESTIVAL (May 26-June 5) VIP launch party hosted in the St. James Cathedral Centre.

I arrived just as Urban’s friendly kitchen staff were plating the hors d’oeuvres (below) and prepping the wine bar20160506_172802 20160506_172808 20160506_173226With the help of Urban’s Sales & Business Mgr. Wayne Abell (below, 3rd from L) I was able to wrangle the kitchen staff out front for a special photo opp (below)….20160506_174157(0)…and then enjoyed the fun as guests filled the party room, enjoying the photobooth and great music.20160506_180303(0) 20160506_173949 20160506_180244The delicious hot & cold hors d’oeuvre included pulled pork sliders, Cajun salmon cakes topped with comeback sauce, Arancini risotto balls (or as I like to call them “cheesy balls”) filled with gooey buffalo mozzarella cheese served with roasted chipotle pepper sauce (below, enjoyed by guests)…20160506_180903 20160506_184613….Greek potatoes with feta, olives, pickled onion and tzatziki, garnished with chives…don’t they look pretty? (below)20160506_181037 20160506_181043(0)…and also Moroccan Chicken Rouelles topped with mango salsa, Pissaladière Blanco on herbed Provençale crust  and Spanish Tortilla with roasted peppers, egg, potato and Manchego cheese topped with tomato jam. Yummmm,  guests couldn’t get enough of the tasty treats so the kitchen staff kicked it into high gear….20160506_182652 20160506_182704Even the press photographers were delighted by the food service (below)20160506_180221Wayne enjoyed networking, too – here he is at the photo wall with Inside Out’s Brad and Scott (LtoR)20160506_174825That photobooth was a real party favourite with guests dressing up and acting silly. Here are a few perfect examples of the perfect party guests….20160506_18145620160506_182837 20160506_182959…and of course, I just HAD to get into the act, too. Always the party princess….!20160506_173648_001Apart from all the fun and frivolity, there were the more serious chores of announcing this year’s film line-up, the complete InsideOut festival program and shout-outs to esteemed supporters, sponsors and guests, MC’d by Todd van der Heyden, news anchor with CTV News Channel.20160506_184218 20160506_184222Urban’s service volunteers really enjoyed their jobs, such as Neal (below) who had two lovely ladies flanking him and helping serve the wine.20160506_180453

InsideOut would like to thank….
Food and drinks generously provided by Urban Source Creative Catering, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, and Steam Whistle Brewing. Party Sponsors: Urban Source Creative Catering, Steam Whistle Brewing, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Jack Daniel’s, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire.
With tunes by Blockorama: DJs Craig Dominic, Blackcat and Nik Red; performances by House of Monroe; video projections by Roxanne Luchak, an art installation by Leuwebb and photo booth provided by Monocle Booth.

For information about this year’s film fest screenings and events, visit www.insideout.ca/

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Traditional Akha (1)

TUES. SEPT. 29 is INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY! MEET CANADA’S FAIRTRADE Doi Chaang Coffee Company

These days, we have a special day for everything…Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, bagel day… and tomorrow it’s International Coffee Day so I thought I’d join in with my own spirited tribute to caffeine by telling you about a new Canadian free-trade coffee company I recently encountered during the Toronto Int’l Film Fest – the Doi Chaang Coffee Company headquartered in Vancouver, BC.  BlendsFamilyCI first met their representatives during a TIFF gift lounge visit and was thrilled to receive a bag of their Social Medium beans to try at home. OMG, the flavour is rich, aromatic but not acidic and has no bitter after-taste. My kinda brew!20150909_123025Thanks to their PR & Marketing Manager Brittany Brown for sending me some cool photos and product information; so here’s the story behind this unique Canadian company that is helping farmers and their families create a financially and agriculturally viable industry in Northern Thailand.Bean Sacks (16) Doi-Chaang-45-of-131Doi Chaang Coffee Co. is a Vancouver-based coffee company whose unique business model has been gaining recognition nation-wide. Since 2006, the company’s ‘beyond fair trade’ model has supported farmers living and working in a northern Thailand village with steady access to running water, electricity and improved infrastructure.

“We’re proud to be a family-owned business that allows us to give back and support our global community,” said John M. Darch, co-founder of Doi Chaang Coffee (pictured below left at the TIFF gift lounge in the Shangri-La Hotel). “Our relationship with the Doi Chang Village farmers stemmed from our desire to help a community that, despite their dedication and determination, have not been successful in helping themselves.” Doi Chaang has an equal partnership with Doi Chang village, in northern Thailand, meaning its farmers receive 50 per cent of the company’s profits. While Fairtrade partnerships provide fair working environments, wages and labour rights, Doi Chaang goes a step futher by providing 50 per cent ownership to the workers involved, which they’ve coined Beyond Fair Trade®. “Our sustainable sourcing model has enabled us to distribute to the eastern market which will help the Doi Chang Village continue to thrive,” said Darch. “Our customers are investing in the welfare of the farming families in Thailand, enhancing their standard of living, health care, education and cultural heritage and identity.” 20150909_123022Doi Chaang Coffee Company is one of the most innovative, socially responsible, yet economically viable, specialty coffees on the market. Rated among the top 1% in the world, the coffee is the only single-estate, 100% Arabica, USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified and shade grown coffee grown in Thailand. The beans are cultivated and processed by the indigenous AKHA hill tribe in small, family owned gardens in Doi Chang Village located in the Chang Rai Province of Northern Thailand, but freshly roasted and packaged in B.C. 

Doi Chaang coffee is available in Single-Estate roasts, Blends and biodegradable Keurig-compatible, single serve aroma cups in independent and major retailers across the country including Choices, Safeway, Thrifty’s, Longo’s, Sobeys and FreshCo.  For more information, visit http://www.doichaangcoffee.com/.Social Medium & Hardwired - English - 2 of 2So the next time you fancy a brew-up, think about the impact purchasing fair-trade coffee has on the lives of those who grow and harvest the beans that make our mornings so bearable!  HAPPY INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Big poppa