Tea, Vegan Sweets, Supper Clubs & Valentine’s Love – The Sweet & Delicious Month of February!

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I’m still here, everyone!  I know I’ve been MIA for the past month but rest assured, I am coming back and I have a lot to share with you all!  First things first though: February Food Calendar!  I am still adding stuff to this but I wanted to get at least the food fests up and running as this first weekend of February is jam-packed with amazing stuff!  We’re talking the 1st Toronto Tea Festival, the 2nd annual Leslieville Farmers’ Market Souper-Bowl, and what will most likely be another crazy turnout for this year’s Vegan Bake-Off!  Get ready folks, February is going to be a sweet and delicious month!

Food Festivals & Events

Toronto Winterlicious 2013, January 25 – February 7.  Across the City of Toronto.  $15-$45 price-fixe price points.  The highly anticipated food event of the season!  Restaurants all across the city participate in this annual fine wining and dining occasion, offering 3-course price fixe menus for lunch and dinner.  All menus can be viewed online (perfect for the ones who are indecisive and/or just enjoy planning ahead!), most vegetarian and vegan options are specified, and reservations are recommended.  http://www.toronto.ca/special_events/winterlicious/2013/

Italian Culinary Battle at Terroni Restaurant, February 1.  8pm-11:30pm.  57 Adelaide Street West at Terroni Restaurant.  $100/person ($85 for L’Altra Italia members).  It’s going be a culinary evening to remember!  Organized by L’Altra Italia, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to showcasing Italian arts and culture and creating and maintaining Canadian and Italian relationships through events.  Enjoy an Italian feast filled with authentic dishes and wine while watching two executive chefs go head-to-head with dinner and wine menus filled with eggplant parmigiana, orecchiette, rigatoni, lamb stew with pecorino, and plenty of wine!  http://laltraitalia.org/blog/home/tavola-con-laltra-italia/

Toronto Tea Festival, February 2.  10am-5pm.  789 Yonge Street in the Appel Saloon on the 2nd floor of the Toronto Reference Library.  $15/person on-site.  Being an avid tea drinker and lover of tea has never been more fun and engaging!  Join other tea aficionados at this festival devoted to all things tea!  Purchase accessories, sample hundreds of tea, take part in workshops and demos, sit in on tea seminars, learn about tea and culture, art, cooking, and so much more!  http://teafestivaltoronto.com/

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5th Annual Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off, February 2.  2pm-4:30pm.  750 Spadina Ave. at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre.  $8/person.  Price of ticket includes admission for one, two plates of delicious vegan treats with voting ballots to choose the winners of all the different categories, and soymilk.  One ticket per person; buy up to 4 for you and 3 others.  Tickets are purchased through Paypal and tickets MUST be printed out and brought to the event.

Get ready for one of the city’s BIGGEST food events of the year!  Bakers, bake shop owners, and vegan culinary giants come together for this sweet treat event devoted to all things yummy, creamy, crunchy, decadent, baked and vegan!  Participants compete in a number of different categories to win your heart and votes.  Indulge in your sample plates (categories are first come, first serve so show up EARLY!), vote for your favourites and take part in one very fun and crazy delicious event!  http://bakeoff.veg.ca/#&panel1-3

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Leslieville Farmers’ Market 2nd Annual Souper-Bowl, February 3.  10am-3pm.  1001 Eastern Ave.  Pay-what-you-can donations; please bring your own bowls/jars and utensils.  Le Papillion on the Park teams up with Leslieville Farmers’ Market for their 2nd French onion soup extravaganza!  In an effort to raise funds for market expenses and support, this winter warm-up soup event is the perfect time to meet fellow market go-ers, soup lovers and foodies in and around the community, and of course to get revved up for the big game later on in the evening!  http://leslievillemarket.com/souper-bowl-2013/

Trinity Bellwoods Chocolate Tour by Tasty Tours, February 3.  3pm-5:30pm.  Trinity Bellwoods Park and surrounding area (specific starting point and address information is provided upon tour booking).  $35/adult, $15/child age 7-12 (children under 7 are free but please note that treats are not provided for children under 7).  The Tasty Tours crew has been expanding their foodie tour options and chocolate just happens to be one of them!  Explore sweet treat shops and chocolatiers around the Trinity Bellwoods area (Queen Street, King Street, Ossington Ave. and more), sample plenty of delicious chocolate, and receive discounts from participating merchants.  http://www.tastytourstoronto.com/bookatour2.php

Winter Grilling with Executive Chef Rob Rainford – Winterlicious, February 3.  4:30pm-9:30pm.  50 Prince Edward Island Crescent at Gossip Restaurant.  $120 + HST and gratuity/person.  As part of the Winterlicious culinary event lineup, hometown Canadian chef and Food Network star Robert Rainford shows you the ins and outs of winter grilling with a global inspired menu!  The succulent menu includes brandy-butter infused grilled beef tenderloin, bacon-wrapped chicken chops, Thai-style BBQ beef flank steak with noodles, seared tuna, and more!  http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/CEvents/0819B492ECAC529985257AC400809821?OpenDocument

In The Kitchen: Historic Menu, History-Inspired Theatre – Winterlicious, February 4, 6 and 7.  6pm-9pm.  160 Queen Street West at the Campbell House Museum.  $65 + gratuity/person.  Turn back the hands of time at this Winterlicious culinary event!  Dine as you would in the 1800s in the Campbell House Museum’s open-hearth historic kitchen with period cocktails and a 3-course dinner menu, served family style created by food historian Liz Driver: soup, roast chicken, sides, wine, dessert and seed cake.  Then, sit back and enjoy a theatre show in commemoration of the War of 1812.  http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/CEvents/E2C2A71B89DEFA8985257AC4007FF998?OpenDocument

Hal’s Kitchen What’s Burning – Winterlicious, February 7.  6:30pm-10:30pm.  2026 Yonge Street at Mysteriously Yours…Mystery Dinner Theatre.  $69 including HST and gratuity.  Mix fine food and foul play at this fun and extravagant mystery dinner theatre show as part of the Winterlicious culinary event lineup!  Chefs team up to prepare a Latin-inspired 4-course dinner menu with cocktails that guests will enjoy as they figure out ‘whodunit?!’.  http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/CEvents/30527D0585249CBC85257AC4008154A7?OpenDocument

Parisian Pleasures – Winterlicious, February 7.  6pm-8pm.  425 King Street West at the Calphalon Culinary Center.  $60 including HST/person.  As part of the Winterlicious culinary event line-up, Parisian Pleasures will entice the tastebuds with classic French Parisian bistro fare that will make you feel like you’re dining in Paris!  Enjoy a cooking demo and a menu of endive salad with grilled pear and Roquefort cheese (sheep’s milk blue cheese from southern France), steak with green peppercorn sauce, haricots vert provençal (French green beans), fingerling potatoes and crème brûlée!  http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/CEvents/6D69A114368A4BC685257AC4007F3492?OpenDocument

Small Luxuries by Emily Zimmerman – A Rusholme Park Supper Club at The Depanneur, February 9.  4:30pm. 1033 College Street.  $40 +HST/person.  Join Depanneur fixture, chef Emily Zimmerman, for a Canadian winter vegan meal to brighten up those winter blahs!  Emily shows us how to turn what little fresh produce we have, our “small luxuries”, during these bleak winter months into something vegan, delicious, healthy and fantastic!  Menu will include chickpea, celery root and watercress soup, fresh baked olive bread, grilled leeks and onions, veggie “meatballs” in hearty romanesco sauce, creamy orange gelato, and more!  http://thedepanneur.ca/event/supper-club-small-luxuries-by-emily-zimmerman/

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Red & White Valentine by Robert Rubino – A Rusholme Park Supper Club at The Depanneur, February 10.  7:30pm. 1033 College Street.  $40 +HST/person.  Get those heart rates pumping and cheeks a flushin’ with this Valentine’s supper club at The Depanneur!  Hosted by chef Robert Rubino, a Toronto native and Culinary Institute of America alum who’s travelled and cooked around the globe in Italy, France, and Argentina, the menu will include seductive offerings such as avocadoes and oysters, “love letters” stuffed with ricotta, swiss chard, and sweet garlic cream, red velvet cake, and much more!  http://thedepanneur.ca/event/supper-club-red-white-valentine-by-robert-rubino/

Valentine Candy-Making Family Workshop, February 10.  1pm-4pm.  67 Pottery Road at Todmorden Mills Heritage Site.  $20 +HST/person; $15 +HST/child over 6.  Event for those ages 6 and up.  Travel back in time at this sugary sweet event full of candy and chocolate-making!  Learn historic and old-fashioned candy-making techniques, get hands-on experience in the historic kitchen and more!  http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/featured-events.htm#todmorden

Valentine’s Day Sweets & Chocolate Tour by Tasty Tours, February 10.  11:30am-1:30pm and 2pm-4pm.  321 Spadina Ave. at Ding Dong Bakery.  $30/person.  Forget the flowers; it’s all about the sweets and treats on Valentine’s Day!  Join the Tasty Tours crew for this special Valentine’s Day love edition full of desserts, samples, and sweet treat shop exploring in and around Kensington Market!  Participants will explore 6 shops, taste samples, get special discounts from participating merchants and more.  http://www.tastytourstoronto.com/bookatour2.php

From Burgundy to Bordeaux: The Fine Wines of France at Bata Shoe Museum, February 13.  7pm-10pm.  327 Bloor Street West at the Bata Shoe Museum.  $95/person, $170/couple.  Sip and savour your way through the French countryside at this special evening of wine tasting and food pairings!  Inspired by the BSM’s Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection collection and exhibit, the event takes you to France with a tasting of 5 different wines with pairings – perfect for the wine lover and avid traveller!  http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/events/index.shtml

Vive Le Dépbec Libre! by Arthur Hill – A Rusholme Park Supper Club at The Depanneur, February 17.  7:30pm. 1033 College Street.  $40 +HST/person.  This supper club event is an ode to Quebecois cuisine and culture.  Hosted by Chef Arthur Hill, Hill fuses history and tradition with flavour and culinary flair with a dazzling menu: carrot and brown butter soup with winter green pesto, confit pork shoulder (you cannot celebrate Quebecois without pork!) with braised mustard Savoy cabbage, and to end the evening on a sweet note, a traditional Quebecois dessert,  ‘Pouding chômeur’ with crème fraîche chantilly.  http://thedepanneur.ca/event/supper-club-vive-le-depbec-libre-by-arthur-hill/

Butter Love with Lauren Eden Jones – A Rusholme Park Supper Club at The Depanneur, February 23.  7:30pm. 1033 College Street.  $40 +HST/person.  Let’s be honest: many of us have a soft spot for all things warm and buttery.  Chef Lauren Eden Jones shines a spotlight on this culinary staple and showcases it in dazzling 3-course feast: butterfish gravlax on brioche toasts,  Côte de Boeuf (ribsteak) with leeky butterbeans, buttery butternut squash mash and buttered greens, and classic butter tarts with poached apricots and brandy butter.  http://thedepanneur.ca/event/supper-club-butter-love-with-lauren-eden-jones/

Mad for Marmalade, Crazy for Citron! at Fort York National Historic Site, February 23.  10am-4pm.  250 Fort York Boulevard.  $50/person +HST.  In association with the Culinary Historians of Canada, this annual celebration of marmalade (in its 4th year!) incorporates everything jam, jelly, and preserve in marmalade workshops, tastings, and a special lunch.  In addition, witness the Marmalade Competition and tour the Fort York historic grounds during the event.  http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/featured-events.htm#fort

Recipe for Change, February 28.  6pm-9pm.  92 Front Street East at St. Lawrence Market North.  $125/person.  Presented by FoodShare, Recipe for Change is an annual culinary event of gastronomical proportions!  Toronto chefs come together to present this evening of food, wine, and local beer in support of FoodShare’s many programs promoting food literacy, food security, education, health and well-being, and so much more.  Indulge in this fantasy food land with an abundance of sample plates, gourmet food, and beverage pairings!  http://www.foodshare.net/recipeforchange

Moroccan, Italian, Seafood, One-Pot Meals and Plenty of Cakes, Cupcakes & Sweets! January Cooking Classes & Workshops!

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This is the whole she-bang for January so far!  I’m going to be splitting up the cooking classes into their own individual listings and pages, but for the time being, check out the massive array of options this month from Le Dolci, The Chef Upstairs, Nella Cucina, The Culinarium, Marni Wasserman, Aphrodite Cooks, and the LCBO!

Cooking Classes, Demonstrations, and Seminars

Cake Decorating & Design at Le Dolci, January 5.  1pm-4pm.  1006 Dundas Street West.  $129 +HST/person.  Learn the tricks of the trade at Le Dolci’s introductory class as you decorate your very own 6” vanilla cake with professional cake decorating tools, fondant, sugar paste, colouring, gels, and more!  Class participants will learn how to properly level, layer, and frost their cake while working with rolled fondant and sugar paste to create intricate designs and flowers.  http://ledolci.com/class-schedule/

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An Introduction to Wine Appreciation at the LCBO Kingsway, January 7, 14, 21, 28.  6:30pm-8:30pm.  2946 Bloor Street West at LCBO Kingsway.  $100 +HST/person; to register and book tickets, please visit the participating location.  Are you interested in the wide and wondrous world of wine but know little about the worldly beverage?  This introduction to wine class at the LCBO will demystify all things wine as you explore four types (white, red, sparkling, and fortified),  learn about wine tasting and wine-making.  http://www.lcbo.com/learn/winescourses_kingsway.shtml

An Introduction to Wine Appreciation at the LCBO Summerhill, January 7, 14, 21, 28.  6:30pm-8:30pm.  10 Schrivener Square at LCBO Summerhill.  $100 +HST/person; to register and book tickets, please visit the participating location.  Are you interested in the wide and wondrous world of wine but know little about the worldly beverage?  This introduction to wine class at the LCBO will demystify all things wine as you explore four types (white, red, sparkling, and fortified),  learn about wine tasting and wine-making.  http://www.lcbo.com/learn/winescourses_summerhill.shtml

A Mid-Winter Day’s Feast at the LCBO Bayview Village, January 8.  6pm-8pm.  2901 Bayview Ave. at the LCBO Bayview Village.  $60 +HST/person; to register and book tickets, please visit the participating location.  Banish the winter blahs with Chef Chris Smythe of the Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake as you enjoy a delicious and comforting winter brunch using many local and seasonal ingredients.  Menu includes tangy hollandaise, smoked chili-glazed roast chicken salad, poached free-range eggs with Berkshire ham, and baked Niagara apple, walnut and cranberry crumble with crème-fraîche ice cream among other dishes!  http://www.lcbo.com/learn/cookingclasses_bayview.shtml

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Everyday Chinese – Aphrodite Cooks, January 8.  6:30pm-9:30pm.  201 Weston Rd.  $65 +HST/person.  Chinese food isn’t just popular take-out!  Learn the ins and outs of incorporating Chinese dishes into your everyday cooking routine.  On the menu: vegetable fried rice, Chinese steamed fish with fresh herbs, sautéed snow pea shoots with garlic, almond jelly with tropical fruit salad and more!  https://www.aphroditecooks.com/class.aspx?c_id=1864ee12-5b1d-4664-9385-d79e9ff1b028

Winter in Italy I – The Chef Upstairs – January 8.  6:30pm-9pm. 615 Mount Pleasant Rd.  $99 + HST/person or $149.50 for two.  Italian cuisine is delicious during any part of the year, so indulge in some great Italian food and cooking at this seasonally appropriate cooking class!  On the menu: warm Italian salad with fennel and pine nuts, minestrone soup, and winter risotto with garlic and leeks.  http://www.thechefupstairs.com/cooking_classes.html

An Introduction to Wine Appreciation at the LCBO Summerhill, January 9, 16, 23, 30.  6pm-8pm.  10 Schrivener Square at LCBO Summerhill.  $100 +HST/person; to register and book tickets, please visit the participating location.  Are you interested in the wide and wondrous world of wine but know little about the worldly beverage?  This introduction to wine class at the LCBO will demystify all things wine as you explore four types (white, red, sparkling, and fortified),  learn about wine tasting and wine-making.  http://www.lcbo.com/learn/winescourses_summerhill.shtml

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Authentic Moroccan Menu at the LCBO Bayview Village, January 9.  6pm-8pm.  2901 Bayview Ave. at the LCBO Bayview Village.  $60 +HST/person; to register and book tickets, please visit the participating location.  Take a whirlwind trip to Morocco as you taste, smell, and savour Moroccan flavours with Chef Percy Canales of Toronto’s popular Moroccan haunt, The Sultan’s Tent.  Menu includes couscous, mint tea, carrot and orange salad, harira soup (tomato and lentil), and lamb tagine with apricots.  http://www.lcbo.com/learn/cookingclasses_bayview.shtml

Perfect Parisian Macarons at Le Dolci, January 9.  7pm-9pm.  1006 Dundas Street West.  $80 +HST/person.  Join Le Dolci’s team and other sweet tooths in this introductory class to macaron making heaven.  Learn about macaron ingredients, how to properly mix macaron batter, piping techniques, and bake your very own delicate macaron shells along with mouthwatering fillings!  http://ledolci.com/class-schedule/

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An Introduction to Wine Appreciation at the LCBO Bayview Village, January 10, 17, 24, 31.  6pm-8pm.  2901 Bayview Ave. at the LCBO Bayview Village.  $100 +HST/person; to register and book tickets, please visit the participating location.  Are you interested in the wide and wondrous world of wine but know little about the worldly beverage?  This introduction to wine class at the LCBO will demystify all things wine as you explore four types (white, red, sparkling, and fortified),  learn about wine tasting and wine-making.  http://www.lcbo.com/learn/winescourses_bayview.shtml

The Making of a Pastry Chef at Nella Cucina, January 12.  12pm-3pm.  876 Bathurst St.  $125/person.  As part of Nella’s “The Making of a Chef” series, this pastry chef class will delight baking and dessert lovers to no end!  Learn the ins and outs of creating delicious and beautiful desserts and the art of pastry as its own culinary empire.  On the menu: mini croquembouche (crunchy cream puffs with spun sugar), crème brûlée, mille-feuille and Napoleons, chocolate soufflé, and more!  http://www.nellacucina.ca/component/jevents/icalrepeat.detail/2012/12/31/254/-/-.html

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Introduction to Cupcake Decorating at Le Dolci, January 12.  1pm-3pm.  1006 Dundas Street West.  $80 +HST/person.  Get the creative juices and sweet teeth going as you decorate a dozen delicious vanilla cupcakes to take home!  Use fondant, buttercream frosting, and special cutters and professional tools to create snowmen, snowflakes, bows, animals, and more!  http://www.ledolci.com/class-schedule/

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Winterlicious & Culinary Events, Malaysian Bazaar and More – The January 2013 Food Calendar!

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Food Festivals & Events

Brewer’s Backyard: Brew Year’s Day at Evergreen Brick Works, January 6.  12pm-4pm.  550 Bayview Ave.  FREE admission, cost of food and drink on-site.  $6 for beer, $4-$6 for food items.  Brewer’s Backyard is EBW’s space to learn and try all things beer and at this particular event, we’ll be ringing in the new year with plenty of ale!  Brewer’s Backyard was so wildly successful in 2012, EBW is happy to bring it back with a full lineup in 2013!  Enjoy beer from Great Lakes Brewing, Amsterdam Brewery, and the Indie Alehouse among a number of food vendors to round out the bunch!  http://ebw.evergreen.ca/cal/event/brewers-backyard-brewyearsday

Malaysian Bazaar 2013, January 11.  6pm-10pm.  45 Willcocks Street in the William Doo Auditorium.  FREE; cost of food tickets at the event ($10 for a book of tickets which can be redeemed for food and drink).  Celebrate Malaysian tradition and culture at Toronto’s Malaysian festival chock full of art, dance, music and a delicious food marketplace!  Try meat dishes, street food, drinks and more!  http://malaysianbazaar.org/

Parisian Pleasures – Winterlicious, January 25 – February 7.  6pm-8pm.  425 King Street West at the Calphalon Culinary Center.  $60 including HST/person.  As part of the Winterlicious culinary event line-up, Parisian Pleasures will entice the tastebuds with classic French Parisian bistro fare that will make you feel like you’re dining in Paris!  Enjoy a cooking demo and a menu of endive salad with grilled pear and Roquefort cheese (sheep’s milk blue cheese from southern France), steak with green peppercorn sauce, haricots vert provençal (French green beans), fingerling potatoes and crème brûlée!  http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/CEvents/6D69A114368A4BC685257AC4007F3492?OpenDocument

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Take the Highland Way – Winterlicious, January 25.  6:30pm-10pm.  215 King Street East at The Chefs’ House.  $120 including HST and gratuity/person.  Kick off Winterlicious with an evening of Scottish food and drink at this special culinary event!  This one-time special event will be part cooking demo, part dinner extravaganza – Scottish born director John Higgins will show guests how to make haggis (and will get to take home a recipe and sample), guests will enjoy a 5-course dinner complete with wine and whiskey, and end the night with special Scottish shortbread cookies to take home!  http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/CEvents/F70564F5BB10147085257AC4007E77BE?OpenDocument

Toronto Winterlicious 2013, January 25 – February 7.  Across the City of Toronto.  $15-$45 price-fixe price points.  The highly anticipated food event of the season!  Restaurants all across the city participate in this annual fine wining and dining occasion, offering 3-course price fixe menus for lunch and dinner.  All menus can be viewed online (perfect for the ones who are indecisive and/or just enjoy planning ahead!), most vegetarian and vegan options are specified, and reservations are recommended.  Participating restaurants will begin accepting reservations starting January 10.  http://www.toronto.ca/special_events/winterlicious/2013/

“An Egg and A Crust of Bread” – Brunch and A Tour of Josef Sudek Exhibition – Winterlicious, January 26.  10:30am-2pm.  317 Dundas Street West at Frank Restaurant inside the AGO.  $70 +HST and gratuity/person.  As part of the Winterlicious culinary event lineup, this special brunch and grand art gallery and exhibit tour celebrates Czech food and culture and photographer Josef Sudek’s career and work.  Peruse through the gallery of photographs with breakfast hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail and afterward, sit down to a Czech-inspired brunch: fried organic hen egg on garlic rye, mushroom herb omelette, pan-seared rainbow trout, or pilsner braised beef short ribs.  http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/CEvents/D01A73A50121FEEF85257AC4007F946A?OpenDocument

In The Kitchen: Historic Menu, History-Inspired Theatre – Winterlicious, January 26 – February 7.  6pm-9pm.  160 Queen Street West at the Campbell House Museum.  $65 + gratuity/person.  Turn back the hands of time at this Winterlicious culinary event!  Dine as you would in the 1800s in the Campbell House Museum’s open-hearth historic kitchen with period cocktails and a 3-course dinner menu, served family style created by food historian Liz Driver: soup, roast chicken, sides, wine, dessert and seed cake.  Then, sit back and enjoy a theatre show in commemoration of the War of 1812.  http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/CEvents/E2C2A71B89DEFA8985257AC4007FF998?OpenDocument

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Japanese Tea Ceremony – Winterlicious, January 27.  2pm-4pm.  499 King Street West at Spice Route Asian Bistro and Bar.  $50 +HST and gratuity.  Experience the art and tranquility of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at this Winterlicious culinary event devoted to tea.  Guests will enjoy a tea demonstration, a menu of food designed to pair well with the 3 featured teas, and more!  Guests will get to take home recipes and tea samples at the end of the event.   http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/CEvents/0819B492ECAC529985257AC400809821?OpenDocument

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