Us foodies in and around Toronto are out full force this weekend: the long-awaited, highly anticipated Food Network Canada Delicious Food Show is finally here! As a sister show to the One of a Kind Show and other trade shows in the city, the Delicious Food Show is the first of its kind to hit Toronto, and I’m positive it’ll become an annual event after everyone has eaten and sampled their way through the weekend! If my memory serves me right, I found out about the foodie exhibition during the summer and I specifically remember posting a link on my Facebook page out of sheer joy saying, “I will be here!”. And I was.
I know it seems like a no-brainer that I would attend the show, but in all honesty I was still hemming and hawing if I was going to go up until last week! It’s a food show. Aptly named, “The Delicious Food Show”. In Toronto. OF COURSE I WANTED TO GO. But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to shell out the money for a ticket plus transportation so I almost let the opportunity of going to food heaven slip away from me until a little birdie informed me that Groupon had a 2-for-1 deal to the show. It took me all of 3 seconds to grab my credit card. My mum and I were all set to eat ourselves silly!
The Delicious Food Show is a culmination of all things food in all its various art forms: dining, cooking, designing, sculpting, and my favourite – sampling! The show is meant to provide us with more than just a retail sales floor; it aims to deliver a food experience, one that engages all of our senses in a way that encourages everyone to feel involved, excited, curious, and more knowledgable. There are cooking demos and seminars; hundreds of dishes to taste and sample from a number of Canadian and local Toronto businesses; beautiful food artistry to admire; promo materials and information booklets to take home and read (my free Delicious Food Show bag provided by Breville was bulging by the time I left the show!); products to purchase, and finally, a series of appearances, book signings, and speakers featuring industry leaders and Food Network Canada chefs and personalities.
Even though we all know that one of the main goals of any show is to make money and gain exposure (I can’t imagine anyone who would want to exhibit if that wasn’t the objective!), what the show offers is the opportunity for those with varying foodie interests to come together under one roof and to simaltaneously take part in different things. The interested cook and avid learner can attend seminars and watch demos; the star-struck foodie can see their favourite Food Network Canada celebrity chefs up close and in person; the kitchen and home decor fanatic can hunt down that great accessory to add to their oh-so-chic culinary domestic domain; the sweet tooth can munch their way through the myraid choices of cupcakes, chocolates, shortbread cookies, and fudge, and cake pops; and those who just plain love to eat can surely take advantage of the sampling!
My mum and I were at the show bright and early when the doors at the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place opened at 10am, and for the next several hours we sampled delicious food, found out about some amazing retailers and businesses operating in the city, and of course, bought some goodies to take home! There were some adorable foodie concoctions to drool over and admire such as the Alice in Wonderland inspired macaron towers by Moroco Chocolat in Yorkville by the front entrance of the show floor, and ChocoStyle‘s giant chocolate high-heel shoes and chocolate shoe adorned Christmas trees!
And the samples! We came prepared with extra tote bags and tupperware containers! I have never sampled more food in my entire life and it was A LOT of fun. I was dunking pretzels into different kinds of mustard, dipping wedges of bread into olive and garlic oils, scooping tortilla chips into avocado salsa and creamy guacamole spread, eating mini grilled cheeses and mini pizza slices made with delicious Daiya dairy-free, vegan cheese at Daiya’s booth, shoving mini red velvet cupcakes with frosting and mini marshmallows into my sweet tooth of a mouth, sampling cheddar kettle-cooked popcorn, nibbling on chocolate raspberry and almond amaretto shortbread cookies, drinking leek and potato soup, sipping hot mulled cider, and spreading pepper jelly and garlic spread on crackers. After all that my mum asked if I was hungry and wanted lunch 😀
Before we headed out for a midday snack, we picked up some fabulous goodies to take home, including a Tea Master tea brewer from Teaopia with a free 50g packet of one of their loose leaf teas (team Coconut Cream!), a gorgeous new stainless steel coffee mug for my mum, two bottles of roasted garlic oils, a jar of dijon parsley mustard, a jar of roasted garlic and spinach dip, a bag of whole wheat croutons, a bag of sea salt and black pepper crisps, six Taste of Nature snack bars (I’m so excited about my blueberry and cranberry bars!), some samples, and two scrumptiously sweet and pretty macarons from Moroco!
My absolute favourites from the show: 1) the cracker, bread, and mulled cider sampling station by Hawberry Farms of Manitoulin Island where my mum and I bought our garlic oils and spreads, 2) the cupcake vendors (obviously!) including Gladycakes and Bite Me Bakery, 3) Daiya’s dairy-free, vegan cheese, 4) the lovely demo and chat we had with one of the girls at Teaopia, 5) a sign by the dipping station at the Wicked Gourmet vendor that said, “No double dipping please. This is not an episode of Seinfeld!”, and 6) Moroco Chocolat and their amazing chocolates and macarons!
The show was fun, I had a great time with my mum, and aside from a less than positive experience I had today (a vendor at the show decided it was in their best interest to give me lip for taking a photo of the food display), I came away from the show with more than I came in with and I don’t mean material-wise! I found out about businesses I hadn’t known about before and I met some sweet folks who were genuinely nice and passionate about food and their craft. And to me, that was the most rewarding aspect of the show – being around those who share the same passion I do.
The Delicious Food Show presented by Food Network Canada is taking place from October 20th-23rd at the Better Living Centre, located at 195 Princes Boulevard at Exhibition Place. Check out the show official website here for more info!