On Monday I attended Taste Canada’s Food Writing Awards Gala. Since I’ve never been to these awards before, my nerves ran high the entire subway ride. I got downtown faster than I anticipated so I took my time walking to the venue. Even though it was spitting and the other pedestrians were running passed me, I couldn’t help stopping for a moment to take in the sights. Toronto is beautiful even with mist, fog, and rain clouding my view. When I walked into the venue my nerves finally made way for excitement. Arcadian Court is a gorgeous space with high ceilings, crisp white walls, and breathtaking chandeliers. I grabbed myself a beer (Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA) and sat down to take everything in.
Taste Canada — The Food Writing Awards is a not-for-profit organization. Founded in 1998, it recognizes and celebrates superior writing and publishing throughout Canada’s culinary world, both English and French.
The Gala was hosted by celebrated Chef, Ricardo Larrivée. He was witty, sentimental, and an absolute treat to listen to. It’s clear that he believes in the power of making memories in the kitchen, something I’m sure all food writers can agree with. Although I enjoyed learning about new cookbooks, listening to the winners’ speeches, and watching the tribute to The Cookbook Store, the best part was the reception afterwards. It featured an open bar and several food stations to test out and enjoy. The food was prepared by culinary students from various schools who were partnered with a mentor chef.
With a glass of Samuel Adams in hand (this time OctoberFest), I tried out all of the stations I could. My taste buds relished in the house cured duck prosciutto, tagliatelle topped with willowgrove hill pork and fennel sausage ragu, maple and espelette smoked Ontario pork shoulder, and finally chocolate raspberry buttercream squares. Beer isn’t usually my go-to beverage, but I’ll definitely be reaching for one more often. Samuel Adams OctoberFest has a deep flavour that goes down smoothly. Whether salty, savoury, or sweet, it paired nicely with every dish I tried. The beer enhanced the flavour of the food rather than changing it or distracting from it. There’s even a hint of caramel in the beer that added a balance to my palate and kept me satisfied between stations.
I spent my Monday night surrounded by people who love food, books, and beer – what more does a girl need? Congratulations to all of the winners and thank you for sharing your food with me. Check out the list of winners below!
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Chan. Courtesy of Samuel Adams.
Disclosure: I was compensated for attending this event but only wrote about it due to the amazing time I had, the wonderful food I ate, and the tasty beer I drank. Also, I love anything books so this event was a MUST-attend for me!
Culinary Narratives/Narrations Culinaires
The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis
Les saveurs gastronomiques de la bière by David Lévesque Gendron et Martin Thibault
General Cookbooks/ Livres de Cuisine Générale
The Flavour Principle: Enticing Your Senses with Food and Drink by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol
Dans la cuisine de Danny St-Pierre by Danny St Pierre
Toronto Star Cookbook: More Than 150 Diverse and Delicious Recipes Celebrating Ontario by Jennifer Bain
Single-Subject Cookbooks/Livres de Cuisine Sujet Unique
Gastro Grilling: Fired-up Recipes to Grill Great Everyday Meals by Ted Reader
Les Règles d’or des épices, recettes et récits de Ethné et Philippe de Vienne, chasseurs d’épices by Ethné et Philippe De Vienne