Toronto's Top Food, Wine & Hospitality Events 2010

What's on the Table
What's on the Table
Photo: Jenna Nakani

1. Toronto Wine & Cheese Show
This three-day event, which draws 25,000 people, marks its 27th year this spring. The Metro grocery chain returned as the lead sponsor for the show, which took place at the International Centre from March 19 to 21.

2. Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival
This festival, which marked its fifth anniversary in 2009, has raised more than $6 million for the Toronto Western & General Hospital Foundation. The 2009 event included the biannual live wine auction, with rare lots from 90 winemakers. Details for the 2010 event were unavailable at press time.

3. Toronto Taste
Last June, 50 local chefs, Mark McEwan and Michael Smith among them, cooked for guests in the Village of Yorkville Park at this fund-raiser for Second Harvest. The event raised more than $425,000 and drew 1,250 attendees. The 20th anniversary Taste takes place at the Royal Ontario Museum on June 13.

4. The C.R.F.A. Show
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association Show (the new name for the amalgamated Canadian Food & Beverage and Hostex shows) includes 1,200 exhibits and a series of free business seminars offering advice to improve profitability. The 2010 show was held March 7 to 9 at the Direct Energy Centre with chefs Susur Lee, Lynn Crawford, and Donna Dooher participating.

5. The Gourmet Food & Wine Expo
This event attracts 36,000 people and provides the opportunity to sample more than 1,500 wines, beers, and spirits from around the world. Last year, Portugal was the country of focus. The next show takes place from November 18 to 21 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

6. Niagara Wine Festival
Canada’s largest wine festival includes more than 100 events such as winery tours and tastings, artisan shows, and seminars. The 59th festival takes place from September 17 to 26.

7. Taste of the Danforth
Sponsored by Pilaros, the three-day Greektown street festival showcases Hellenic food, culture, and music and marks its 17th year in 2010. The festival returns to the Danforth during the second week of August.

8. Cuvée Gala
Held in Niagara at the Fallsview Casino Resort, the gala kicks off Cuvée weekend and is known as the Oscars of the Ontario wine industry. This year’s event took place February 19, with proceeds going to the Niagara Community Foundation.

9. The Drinks Show
This consumer event, founded by the team behind cocktail catering company the Martini Club, has grown to include more than 100 brands since its inception in 2004. Last year, the tasting moved to Polson Pier. The 2010 event returns to that venue on July 9 and 10.

10. Eat to the Beat
More than 60 female chefs created sweet and savoury treats at the 2009 edition of this foodie fund-raiser, held at Roy Thomson Hall in support of Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada. The 2010 event returns to Roy Thomson Hall on October 5.

11. Picnic at the Brick Works
Last October, more than 1,100 people, including chefs, farmers, and vintners, gathered at Evergreen Brick Works for the third installation of this celebration of local food to benefit Evergreen and Slow Food Toronto. The event takes place October 3.

12. What’s on the Table
This fund-raiser brings together top chefs to raise money for the Stop Community Centre’s anti-hunger programs. The event, which features food stations from chefs like Donna Dooher and Jamie Kennedy, returns to Wychwood Barns for its sixth installation on November 3.

13. The Beer & Cocktail Show
This show returns to Downsview Park for its fifth outing from June 4 to 6. The three-day event, which includes cocktail demonstrations and a talent show, attracts about 10,000 attendees.

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