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Toronto foodie event that's worth the price?

So many foodie events that take place, most of them fundraisers, some of them private, all of them pricey. The one I really enjoyed was the Brickworks Picnic. There is an abundance of food and goodwill. The food/wine workshops I've been to as okay -- nothing memorable and not sure worth the cost.
What has been your experience?

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  1. I've also really enjoyed the Picnic at the Brickworks. Another great event if you can make it out there is Savour Stratford. It's a weekend of programming with the culmination being an event similar to the Picnic at the Brickworks. I went last year and had a great time.

    WON
    http://whatsonmyplate.net

    1 Reply
    1. re: wontonfm

      I went to the Savour Stratford event last year and took their farm tour. I would really recommend it. It was, if I recall correctly, $25 per person for an entire-day event with a simple sandwich lunch. I would say it was a screaming bargain when you consider how much planning goes into it and on a per-hour basis that's hard to beat entertainment and edification.

    2. Has anybody been to Toronto Taste lately?

      http://www.torontotaste.ca/

      I went once, years ago (might have been 1997?) but it looks like the same setup just the venue and the participating restaurants change.

      3 Replies
      1. re: TexSquared

        Never been but the $250 price tag puts me off. I understand it's for a good cause, but it is still very steep.

        1. re: TexSquared

          I went the last couple of years to Toronto Taste and have to say that last year's was the one that finally seemed "worth it" to me. The location at the ROM was vastly improved, especially with most of University Avenue closed and food tables set up both inside and outside. Previous years in Yorkville park felt cramped but this was a huge change for the better and people really seemed to enjoy it. There were very few lines and all the chefs were talkative and in a good mood. There were lots of wine, beer and other beverage choices. My only quibble is that they apparently "ran out" of gift bags which for that ticket price just should not happen. Yes the price is steep but you do get a partial tax receipt.

          1. re: TexSquared

            I went to Toronto Taste last year as well and had a fantastic time. The food was good and the chefs were all very personable and seemed happy to talk. We also picked a few really good bottles of wine at the auction for amazing prices. Overall it was a very enjoyable night and my husband and I are really looking forward to it again this year..

          2. In the past I really enjoyed Feast of Fields, a long standing event similar to the much newer Brickworks Picnic, the pre-SARS versions were amazing, better than the picnic in fact but they had to cancel it in the SARS year and it's never fully recovered, I thought the 20th anniversary version in 2009 was pretty close though but then the 2010 version was pretty weak due to it being scheduled for the same weekend as the Canadian Chef's Congress so there were basically no name chefs participating.

            I'll give it another shot this year but if it's the same as 2010 this may be the last one for us.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bytepusher

              I stopped going to Feast of Fields around 2000. It had changed and not in a positive way. There were far fewer chefs attending, and not as much to eat. If you had been to the ones in the early 90's, you would notice it's decline.

            2. You might want to consider going to 1000 Tastes at Luminato:

              http://www.luminato.com/2011/1000tastes

              It is free to attend and although each item is $5, you can usually "see" what you are getting before you pay. No alcohol though. I would like to going to Taste Toronto at some point, seems like a good event.

              1. Picnic at the Brickworks and Eat to the Beat are my two favourites. Plenty of great food and wine at both.

                Eat to the Beat features all women chefs (Anna Olson and Lynn Crawford are the celebrity sponsors and they are always there), so there tends to be a strong lean towards desserts. Not to say that there aren't PLENTY of savoury items, but if you like desserts, then this is the one to go to. It's also kind of nice that people dress up for it, as it's held at Roy Thompson Hall.

                I would love to hit Toronto Taste, but the price is prohibitive. For the price of one ticket to Toronto Taste, I can go to both Brickworks AND Eat to the Beat.

                6 Replies
                1. re: TorontoJo

                  I like dessert but there is only so much a gal can eat at one sitting. Is it worth the $?

                  1. re: merlot143

                    I think it is (I also think Willow is a great organization). And there are plenty of savoury items, so my strategy is to go back and forth between savoury and sweet. :)

                    I've gone the last 3 years and have always enjoyed it. It's a very different vibe than the Brickworks, which I also enjoy.

                    1. re: TorontoJo

                      Do you mean, it's a swanky affair?

                      1. re: merlot143

                        More so than Brickworks yes. It is at Roy Thompson Hall. The venue in itself makes it feel swanky so to speak.

                  2. re: TorontoJo

                    The ticket to Toronto Taste includes a $125 donation which you get a tax receipt for.