Each year, I’m honoured to accept the invitation to cover EAT TO THE BEAT issuedby friend and PR colleague Peter Ashworth of Ashworth Associates Inc. and last night, I enjoyed all sorts of edible treats and drinks courtesy of 60 of Toronto’s leading female chefs. Raising awareness for breast cancer support with the Canadian Cancer Society as well as the $s is the focus of this annual event held at Roy Thomson Hall, and this band of happy volunteers greeted us at the front door, all dressed up to put smiles on our faces (below).
Thanks to KitchenAid who came on board as a sponsor this year – they donated so many wonderful kitchen gadgets for the silent auction (below)…who knows, this non-cook might just win a closing bid (am waiting for a phone call as I type!)So instead of me prattling on with text about the show, I think I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Be prepared for some major mouth-watering reading, and be sure to visit the restaurants of those chefs who donated their time and food to Eat to the Beat – I’ve listed them all at the bottom of the blog.I always look fwd to finding the lovely ladies of Succulent Chocolates – below – they always have such fab sweet treats!
I really liked this locally-produced Scotch (below)…mmmm, good!Below – Pumpkin soup anyone? So deelish!I love me some savories! Although there were lots of sweeties, I headed straight for the meat and seafood!!The crowd moved thru Roy Thomson Hall’s outer lobby in an orderly fashion, although some tables offered samples that just drew ’em in in droves…….like these awesome and spooky Halloween mini-cupcakes from Lolli Cakes.So many tastes and sights to take in….it was sensory overload!!Then all of a sudden, it was over – another successful event done and dusted!Congratulations to event organizers and their amazing team of volunteers, and especially to the participating chefs and restaurants (see below). Bravo, everybody!!
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.They 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.Apart 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!
Last night, I over-indulged in some of Toronto’s yummiest food and beverages, thanks to a last-minute invitation from KJ Mullins, publisher of www.newz4u.net. The event was Evening at the Market (hosted at the St. Lawrence Market) to benefit Food Share (foodshare.net) a non-profit organization that works with communities and schools here in Toronto to deliver healthy food and food education.
All the market vendors shared samples of their products with the crowds of eager foodies and I was thrilled to sample my favourite peameal bacon sandwiches from Paddington’s and Portuguese custard tarts from another fave store (lower 2 pics)
I always visit Peter’s Natural Health Foods (below) to buy my raw redskin peanuts – the only place in town I can find them.I enjoyed meeting the folks at Urban Fresh Produce, a brand new store in the Market. OMG, their samples were soooo deelish.And the salmon hors d’oeuvres across the aisle were tasty, too.So many fabulous treats, thank goodness I wore my stretchy pants…LOL!KJ and I found the ladies from Baci chocolates and spent a very long time taste-testing!!…followed by a nice shot of espresso, which meant I was up watching TV infomercials late into the wee small hours…yaaaawn!KJ just had to have one more dessert so we visited the lovely lady downstairs with the yummy macaroons.
Stonemill Bakehouse (below) offered so many different pastry and bread samples, it was hard to choose…Earlier in the evening, it was easy to belly up to the oyster bar at Seafront Fish Market (below), but by the time we left (around 9:30pm), the aisles were jam packed and I couldn’t even back up enough to take a picture. Glad I snapped this one before the hordes of foodies arrived!Thanks to the folks at the St. Lawrence Market for a fantastic event, and to all the friendly volunteers from Food Share who managed the soiree with elegant aplomb!