Party the Summer Away – With Food! Upcoming August Food Festivals & Events

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Afternoon tea at Le Dolci!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the August Food Calendar and all its family members are up and running with all barrels blazing!  I might as well have event listings come out of my ears!  EVERY single Food Calendar page has been updated right down to making a separate page for the Wine, Beer, and Spirits (which should make some of you veeery happy- no more sifting just to get to the good stuff, right?).  Summer may be officially half over, but you’d never be able to tell by looking at the calendar – there are SO MANY fabulous food events and festivals going on this month and I have a handful that I am extra excited about!  I’ll be updating this post with my monthly breakdown, cliff-notes version of the Food Calendar in the next day, highlighting all the amazing things going on this month, so hover over the Food Calendar link on the menu bar to get a taste of what’s to come!

*Updated August 1st!*

Blueberries at Evergreen Brick Works!

August is here so let’s get this food show on the road!  I can’t believe how many different types of food and cultural festivals are planned for this month, especially the ones celebrating Jamacian, Trindadian and Tobago, and Caribbean history, heritage, and culture, commemorating the 50th anniversary of national independence.  Just to give everyone an idea of the diversity of events we can look forward to in August, here are the specifics in alphabetical order: International Festival (Caribbean, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, and more), Island Soul (Caribbean), Jambana (Jamaican), JerkFest, Planet IndigenUS (Indigenous), Taiwanfest, Taste of Somalia, Taste of the Danforth (Greek), Toronto Mela (South Asian), and the Toronto Turkish Festival

Some people might think of festivals as gimmicky, but I personally love them because 1) who doesn’t love a street party?!, 2) food is ALWAYS involved in a cultural festival, and 3) it gives everyone from every ethnic background the opportunity to learn just a little bit more about an ethnic culture that isn’t their own.  Sure, this experience and knowledge may be bare-bones and superficial at first glance (you’re not going to learn everything there is to know from one festival!), but it’s about celebrating and that’s what matters.  I’m especially excited about the Turkish Festival and I’m hoping I can make it out to the event that day.  All events are listed in the Food Calendar, so check the listings for all the details if these spark your interest.

Stuff your face into some blueberry pie & other blueberry eats!

Aside from the plethora of cultural food festivals, there are quite a few things I’m highly anticipating this month!  First, the Wild Blueberry Festival at Evergreen Brick Works happening August 11 from 8am-3pm!  A day to celebrate and eat all things blueberries?  I’m in!  The Saturday morning farmers’ market will be swarming with special blueberry sweet and savoury goods from market vendors, there will be a blueberry pie bake-off, tasting contest in the Local Food Court (ballots for$2!) where you can vote for best use of star ingredient, sweet dish, savoury dish, and best-looking pie, a wild blueberry garden talk, and lots more!

The Urban Agriculture Summit is also happening this month from August 15 – 18 at Ryerson University which is fabulous for all those who are interested in issues such as food security and accessibility, urban growing, rooftop gardening and greenhouses, and more.  This is a HUUUGE conference with panels, seminars, workshops, tours around the city, keynotes, and special evening receptions.  I can’t even imagine what a wonderful educational opportunity this will turn out to be.  After organizing and hosting an academic conference in grad school with some friends and colleagues myself and gaining insight into what conferences are all about (and boy, did I ever!), it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing how much people will take away from it, both academically and socially.

Now, let’s talk tea.  For those who love tea like me, there are two events that might be of interest to you because they sure are to me!  Le Dolci will be hosting their first ever Prêt-à-Portea – Afternoon Tea on August 26, complete with tea, scones, tea sandwiches, pastries, and beautifully, stylishly decorated haute couture sugar cookies!  On the other side of the pond (specifically, Markham!), the Varley Art Gallery on Main Street Unionville will be hosting a special tea tasting and seminar also on August 26 where participants will have the opportunity to taste different types of loose leaf tea and also engage in a seminar and talk about tea traditions, rituals, and more.

KRAFT Teddy Bears & Peanut Butter are coming to town – food truck style!

Finally, I am in absolute CONNIPTIONS over this next event I’m about to tell you all about: KRAFT Peanut Butter Food Truck Tour!  OH.MY.GOD.  The adorable KRAFT peanut butter teddy bears are touring across Canada in a snazzy green food truck (like the green of the Smooth Peanut Butter jar) and will be coming into town during the Scotiabank Buskerfest on August 25th!!  I am beyond excited!  In a nutshell, times are a changin’ and everyone is on the food truck bandwagon wanting and begging for more.  Shows like Eat St. on Food Network have only worked to make us crave more!  So, in accordance with current food trends, KRAFT will be humming into Toronto (one of  5 stops on their Canadian tour), offering peanut butter eats (peanut butter s’mores, peaut sauce noodles, peanut butter Belgain waffles, and more) AND two custom menu items and creations exclusive to each city sent in by PB fans!  Check out the official food truck tour site HERE for all the delicious details!

I’ll be adding more events to The Depanneur and Cooking Classes pages as I get them, and as usual, if there’s anything you would like me to add to the calendar, just give me leave me a note here.  With great events happening, both sweet and savoury, August will surely be one very delicious month!