Luminato’s always-popular 1,000 Tastes of Toronto food festival returned to the Distillery over the weekend, heading back to its original location after stints along Queen’s Quay and John Street. Meant to be a celebration of the diversity of Toronto’s food scene, it featured 33 restaurants and shops whose offerings ranged from shrimp po’ boys to brick-oven pizza, all redeemable for $5 tickets. We stopped by on Sunday to check out the action.
Although the event was quite busy, lineups moved pretty quickly, preventing some of the headaches associated with some other Toronto food fests. President’s Choice, the corporate sponsor, served up everything from marinated lamb chops to ice cream sandwiches. They also set up a large wall of plates where people were encouraged to write down their favourite Toronto restaurants and meals. Jamie Kennedy put his sons Jackson and Micha to work cooking up his signature frites. The largest lineups were for Khao San Road, which was selling Thai sausages with papaya salad, and east end favourite Queen Margherita Pizza, which made its namesake basil and mozzarella thin-crust pie. Vertical provided a little culinary theatre, making malloreddus pasta (similar to gnocchi) on-site, plated with spicy sausage and asparagus.
Also on-site: the interactive art installation known as Toronto Carretilla Initiative, a makeshift kitchen composed of shopping carts and wooden boards held together by vice grips, which encouraged participants to get their hands dirty prepping and cooking some potato-based dishes. Along with the large communal tables, the TCI helped bring a nice community-centric vibe to the weekend’s big foodie gathering.