Happy Canada Day, everyone! I know not all of you are Canadian, but you read Ate by Ate so that makes you an honourary one in my book! Today was absolute MADNESS in the city! It was hot, scorching, and disgusting but that certainly didn’t deter any of the festivities that were going on in town: Pride parade, Euro, our Blue Jays game, Harbourfront Centre food events up the wazoo, and plenty of farmers’ marketing and patio dining all across town. Let it be known that I typically don’t go out on Canada Day, in the sense of being out on the town. In the past, I’ve either been working (hello, garden centre!), visiting my grandparents, or staying home to catch up on sleep and eat pizza. But this time, things were different and boy, did I ever have a blast being out today! I was hot, sticky, and gross and I was thisclose to coming down with a migraine because of the heat, but I’m back home squeaky clean, feeling much better, and ready to start July with a bang! Here’s some of the great food stuff we can look forward to this month:
New markets and market events: 401 Richmond is now hosting a farmers’ market and local food market in the building’s lounge on Tuesdays from 4pm-6pm, and while you’re at it, check out their beautiful rooftop garden! I haven’t been to the market, but I have been to the rooftop garden and it is absolutely beautiful. There’s such peace and tranquility up there and I think it’s great spot to enjoy a quiet bite and a good book. It’s a green space that everyone should take advantage of, so definitely check out when the rooftop garden is open with the staff.
And speaking of local food, Constance Dykun and Rachel Silva of Monforte Dairy have finally opened their local food market shop, Crème Fraîche, at 639 Annette St. in the Junction in the west end! Here you can find Monforte cheeses, DeFloured baked goods, bread from St. John’s Bakery, ChocoSol goodies, and more. I can’t wait to eventually check out their shop and get in some yummy Junction eats while I’m at it!
July is the month of BEER! Oh my good lord is this month ever overflowing with beer! For all of you who love your malts, stouts, and ale, this month is your month. First off, Evergreen Brick Works is hosting a beer party in honour of Canada Day weekend from 12pm-4pm TOMORROW, appropriately named the Constitutional Draught at Brewer’s Backyard! In addition to the event at EBW, The Stop is hosting 4, count ’em FOUR, Beer Gardens this month! Taking place each and every Sunday from 1pm-5pm, you’ll be able to enjoy local Ontario beer with some fabulous nibbles to go along with your ice cold beverage. The Stop’s Beer Gardens are spaces where you can taste and sample, learn about local beer purveyours and breweries, and meet people in the business. Oh, and did I also mention that July 27th marks the 18th Annual Toronto Festival of Beer?! Held at Exhibition Place, this highly anticipated event will feature over 200 brands on-site to sample and purchase, the World of Beer Pavilion highlighting the brews of Quebec, the Brewmaster’s Series where attendees can take advantage of workshops and seminars, and so much more!
July also welcomes the return of Summerlicious (July 6 – 22) and Tasty Thursdays (July 12 – August 30) and a host of food festivals including Harbourfront Centre’s Hot & Spicy Food Festival and its many cooking demos, food markets, and shows (July 20 – 22), Albion-Islington’s Fusion of Taste Festival (July 21), and Evergreen Brick Works’ Family Pizza Nights series every Tuesday from 6pm-9pm!
Harbourfront Centre is seriously dishing out the eats this summer and I am so, so excited for this particular event: TACO TAKEDOWN! On July 20 from 6:30-9pm, attendees will have the chance to stuff themselves silly with sample platters of tacos from taco shops and chefs from all over the city, vote for their favourites, and crown a winner the end of the night! This is somewhat similar to February’s Vegan Bake-Off where everyone gets to sample different things from different businesses and providers and at the end, vote on a winner. I was extremely bummed about missing out on the Vegan Bake-Off (I couldn’t get in the door!) and I’m telling you, I’ve already penciled the Taco Takedown into my calendar. I do not want to miss out on this!
Finally, to sweeten up and cool down the heat this month, Lisa Kates (aka. Food Gyspy and Soup Queen!) is hosting a cooking class, tasting, and seminar on Cold Soup at the Culinarium on July 11 where you’ll learn everything you need to know in order to make delicious chilled soups that are perfect for summer entertaining, while the ladies at Le Dolci are hosting their very first cheese, honey, and wine tasting! Mix sweet and savoury at this tasty soiree on July 8 at their new studio on Dundas Street West where you’ll get the chance to learn and sample wine, honey, and cheese pairings with the help of Rosewood Estates.
There is SO much more waiting in the wings and if you can believe it, I’m not finished with July’s Food Calendar – it is the largest one yet so don some shades, slather on the sunscreen, and get ready for one hefty month of summer eats!