My Highlights of Vegan Food & Drink Festival 2017

Hi everyone!!

As the warm summer days are coming to an end and it is now officially September. I can’t believe how fast our summer went by this year!! Can you?? I took advantage of the last week of August to relax and enjoy the summer days outside when possible with day trips to the beach and more. How did you enjoy your last week of summer??

While summer isn’t quite over yet despite the cooler weather already and feeling like Fall weather. Even though Fall is one of my fave seasons coming up & excited for. One of my fave activities in the summer is attending food festivals. This summer already been to a few food festivals and love sampling new foods to share with you, my readers. As I usually go quite a few food festivals, I will share with you my fave ones (food festivals) and you can always check out my Instagram account @SweetBFoodie24 to see my stories and photos for all the food festivals that I attend. Trying to post a bit more on my Instagram stories when I can. Hope you guys enjoy them!

I love attending food festivals and discovering new foods and learning from vendors!! If you have a suggestion of a food festival that I haven’t attend yet, please let me know. You can leave your comments below! Thanks, I always appreciate any comments and suggestions from you guys!

On Saturday, August 19, 2017I attended my 2nd Vegan festival of the summer and this is also my 2nd time attending the Vegan Food & Drink Festival with my sis who is also my foodie partner going to food festivals together. I love sharing my food festival experiences and especially with my sis is a great person who I also call my best friend that I’m so happy that we get to share these experiences together. It is becoming a tradition for us now going to this particular food festival sharing our love for vegan foods! As you know or if you didn’t know, I have lactose intolerance so I enjoy non-dairy products now. Almost a year in a few months where I discovered I am lactose, I am still learning and discovering new dairy-free products and vegan lifestyle. This is a great Vegan festival to discover new vegan foods or re-discover your fave vegan foods!!

If you haven’t been to the Vegan Food & Drink Festival before, here are some basic information about it:
  • This is the 3rd Annual Vegan Food & Drink Festival
  • Date: Saturday, August 19, 2017 (One Day Festival)
  • This event is also hosted in Chicago (June 10, 2017) and New York (October 1, 2017)
  • Time: 11am – 7pm
  • Location: Fort York Garrison Commons (same as last year)
  • What Does the Festival Offer: vegan comfort food, cold drinks, and live entertainment
  • Cost: $10 (Early Bird Price) & $20 (At the Door) -> I bought mines in advance during the Early Bird Pricing
  • Vendors: From local & visiting vendors including some USA vendors this year

I was excited to attend my 2nd time at this large Vegan Food & Drink Festival this summer with lots of different vendors to choose from. This year, we got lucky with the weather and it ended up being a warm great summer day for a food festival unlike last year where it rained majority of the day. It was a lot easier to enjoy delicious vegan foods without your umbrella lol!

If you haven’t been to this large Vegan Food & Drink Festival before, I suggest planning ahead and checking out the vendors online and research them before going and get an idea which ones you like to visit. For me, it was still tough to choose and narrow down certain vendors to try. I love the large selection of vendors though to choose from just makes it hard to decide lol! I ended up sampling majority of the vendors I wanted to and some I didn’t and hopefully next time I could. 😊

I felt that this year the layout of the festival was better in terms of flow where the vendors were located and making use of the large Fort York Garrison Commons. There was a bit more seating areas this year. I love the signages that they had around the festival grounds this year a bit more than last year and it created a great addition to the festival. Check out below their famous “Vegan” sign that I took with my sister. I been noticing that most events and festivals are doing the huge word signage ever since the Toronto sign at City Hall started it. I love them though!! 😀

Overall, a great summer day sampling and discovering lots of new vegan foods along with some shopping in between eating lol!!  

At the Vegan Food & Drink Festival, besides all the delicious vegan foods, there are also clothing and accessory vendors. One of the vendors, The Imperative is Toronto’s 1st 100% all-vegan shop and the creators of the Vegan Food & Drink Festival itself. It was great to see their merchandise at the festival as I haven’t been to the retail store myself. I ended up getting a cute tee and a button (photo below).

Their retail store offer vegan and cruelty-free products and there were quite a few items at the festival showcasing their products from the store. At their retail store, they offer from t-shirts to beauty products to housewares and more. I’m looking forward to checking out their retail shop one day to see myself what they have to offer!

For more information on The Imperative, you can visit their Facebook page @VeganImperative and Instagram @theveganimperative. Their retail store is located on 1332 Queen St. West, Toronto, Ontario.

One of my fave jewelry vendors was there back at the Vegan Food & Drink Festival, Jewels by SJB. If you haven’t checked out Jewels by SJB, you definitely should as I love her unique and beautiful handmade jewelry. Sue is from Toronto, ON and has a collection of hand forged, cruelty free jewels and creating beautiful detailed pieces. She uses genuine gemstones that includes .925 sterling silver and 14K gold fill metal. She is also a vegan who shares her message through her jewelry.

Of course, I couldn’t resist getting one of her beautiful unique pieces and ended up getting a beautiful necklace – her Gem Drop Necklace with the Purple Amethyst.

For more information on Jewels by SJB, you can visit her website at www.jewelsbysjb.com. You can also follow her on Facebook @jewelsbysjb and Instagram @jewelsbysjb.

Finally what my fave foods were at the festival, I know you guys have been waiting for this. Go check out my faves & delicious photos. 😊

My Fave Savoury foods from the Vegan Food & Drink Festival are:

1.Boon BurgerI was excited to see Boon Burger as one of the vendors at this festival as I discovered Boon Burger a few weeks ago and visited their Burlington location and loved it! Of course, I had to sample one of their delicious vegan burgers as there are no locations in Toronto. If you haven’t heard of Boon Burger, it is Canada’s First All Vegan Burger Café. Boon Burger offers “100% cruelty free food, that tasted delicious and that was ultimately a better choice for our health as well as the environment.” They are opening a new location in the Fall 2017 in Hamilton. Hoping one day for a Toronto location, but for now I can always venture over to Burlington for the best vegan burgers.

I had their Festival Burger made with black bean patty at the festival with their sweet Peach Chutney sauce. It was delicious!! As I’m not a full vegan, you can’t tell that the patty is made from black bean and I love that this is a healthier version of an actual meat burger. I love their vegan burgers!! After trying their burgers a few weeks ago, I’m still impressed with Boon Burger and their high quality food along with their friendly customer service at the booth. I highly recommend checking out Boon Burger if you have a chance in Burlington or Hamilton (opening Fall 2017). You can check their website for other locations (Barrie, Guelph).

For more information on Boon Burger, you can visit their website at www.boonburger.ca.

You can follow them on their social media networks on Facebook Burlington one @BoonBurgerBurlington, Twitter Manitoba location one @BoonBurger and Instagram Burlington one @BoonBurgerBurlington. Check their website for the location social media you are looking for they have different ones.

2.Champs Diner – My 2nd fave savoury dish from Champs Diner who is one of the US vendors that came to Toronto. Champs Diner is from Brooklyn, New York serving New York’s fave all-vegan diner with American’s comfort food for about 5 years now. I was excited to also try some of their foods as I heard good review about them.

I had their Tofu Benedict Waffle Fries only as I was getting full by the time I reached their booth and I’m hoping next time I get to try their vegan burger too. But I simply love their Tofu Benedict Waffle Fries with fried tofu, fried ham, cherry tomatoes and homemade Hollandaise sauce. I’m not a fan of Hollandaise sauce too much, but it was light and not overpowering the dish, which I loved about it.

When I visit New York next time, now I know where to go for delicious and comfort American all-vegan diner food. I can’t wait to visit their actual diner!! If you are one of my readers in the USA, then I highly recommend you go visit their diner and try their delicious and homemade vegan foods.

For more information on Champs Diner, you can visit their website www.champsdiner.com.

You can follow them on Instagram @ChampsDiner.

My Fave Desserts from the Vegan Food & Drink Festival are:

1.Chimp TreatsI love my ice cream, but now that I’m dairy free it’s a bit harder to find dairy free ice cream. I discovered Chimp Treats at the festival and they have their Nice Cream frozen dessert that are 100% made from fruits. I love their booth too – very colourful and cute designs! It is a creamy frozen dessert made entirely from bananas. They have their three flavours: classic Banana, Mango Banana and Strawberry Banana. It is fat free, low calorie and no sugar added.

I tried their Mango Banana sample at the festival and loved it!! It is soft and creamy with the right amount of sugar and I can taste the mango in there. I definitely loved it!! I highly recommend you try it too. I can’t wait to get my own pint of Nice Cream at a grocery store! Will be checking out where they sell them.

For more information on Chimp Treats, you can visit their website at www.chimptreats.com.

You can follow them on their social media networks through Facebook @ChimpTreats, Twitter @ChimpTreats and Instagram @ChimpTreats.

2.Glory Hole Doughnuts – One of my fave pastry dessert at the show is definitely Glory Hole Doughnuts. Their doughnuts are hand-made and fresh everyday with real and local ingredients! They make 3 different types of doughnuts – yeast, cake and vegan. They rotate their flavours seasonally.

I was lucky enough to sample their Vegan Hibiscus Berry Glazed doughnut – it had a hint of rose tea infused flavour in it and loved how moist, soft and the right amount of sugar in the doughnut. It wasn’t too sweet!!

If you are looking for delicious and fresh Vegan doughnuts, I definitely recommend you guys check out Glory Hole Doughnuts at their bakeshop in Parkdale area of Toronto downtown.

For more information on Glory Hole Doughnuts, you can visit their website at www.gloryholedoughnuts.com.

You can follow them on their Social Media on Facebook @GloryHoleDoughnuts, Twitter @GHoleDoughnuts and Instagram @GloryHoleDoughnuts.

Another refreshing and fresh frozen dessert that I didn’t mention is Happy Pops. They are all natural ice pops made from real fruit and low calorie. They are also vegan and dairy free ice pops. I also sampled one of their ice pops, I got the Mango flavour one not surprised since I love anything mango…😊 I loved it! You can taste the actual flavour of the fruit of mango and love how fresh it was with low calorie of sugar. I also recommend Happy Pops as well to try it yourself!

For more information on Happy Pops, you can visit their website at www.happypops.ca.

You can follow them on their Social Media by Facebook @HappyPopsTO, Twitter @HappyPopsTO and Instagram @HappyPopsTO.

It has been another successful and delicious vegan summer festival that I attended with my sister. With summer coming to an end, I had enjoyed this summer attending to several foodie festivals by sampling new foods, interacting with vendors, learning about new food products and the outdoor atmosphere.

It will be a busy next few months before end of the year and I’m excited for next month Food Bloggers of Canada food conference in Ottawa where this will be my 3rd year attending. I’m looking forward to sharing with you my readers my experience at the conference. Also working on something new for 2018 so stay tuned!!

Don’t forget to stay connected with me for the latest updates, next blog post, and my foodie adventures through Twitter @SweetBFoodie 24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 (if you have noticed, I been posting a bit more on my IG stories so go check that out esp when I’m at a food event..😉 )

For now, let’s get ready for Fall weather with delicious warm desserts and beautiful colourful leaves scenery while still enjoying the sunny warm Fall days. In this summery festival blog, remembering what hot summer days are like enjoying delicious vegan foods. Back on my hunt to discover new bakeries or restaurants and new travel ideas to share with you guys!

Until next time….

-Sweet B.

For more information on Vegan Food & Drink Festival, please see below:

Website: Vegan Food & Drink Festival Main Site -> click here

Social Media: You can follow Vegan Food & Drink Festival along with their other festival locations, next year festival & updates through

Facebook @VeganDrinkFest, Twitter @Vegan_Fest and Instagram @Vegan_Festival.

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My Highlights of Niagara Vegfest 2017

Hi everyone,

It’s officially the month of June and with the start of the official summer this week, the weather has gone from cold to very humid and hot fast here in Toronto!! Thou I am not enjoying the humidity too much, but loving the warmer and sunnier weather now to enjoy esp the outdoors. Maybe less humid lol!!

With sunny and hot days upon us, this means one thing that festival season is officially here and what a great way to cool down and enjoy delicious foods outdoors. I am excited and love attending food festivals especially during the summer days sampling and discovering new foods to share with you all my readers. I already have a few food festivals planned that I would like to attend from June – September so I’m looking forward to it. If you have any suggestions for a food festival you think I should try out, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I always love attending new food festivals that I haven’t been to. I’m looking out for new food festivals for the Fall too. Feel free to comment below or you can reach me by e-mail at blooi24@hotmail.com

RECAP:

quick recap since my last blog entry, since leaving my previous work, been busy with a few projects and prepping for the summer months for my blog of course. Enjoyed my mini getaway to London, Ontario where enjoyed lots and lots of delicious foods including some vegan desserts and looking forward to sharing with you all in another blog post next month. If you were following me on Twitter and Instagram, then you would have seen my foodie London getaway..:)  I’m still learning how to use Instagram stories so please bare with me lol…😉

My 1st food festival for this pre-summer season that I attended was 2 weeks ago during the first weekend of June was to Niagara Vegfest. It was my 1st time attending the Niagara Vegfest as I always love visiting Niagara Falls so I thought it would be great to also attend this food festival to see, discover and sample the Niagara Region culinary vegan foods. I had the most amazing and fun foodie day as someone of you may already seen from my Instagram and Twitter posts. I’m happy that the weather ended up being sunny and warm as it was supposed to rain and I got lucky and it only rained in the morning. I arrived in St.Catherines by bus that day with a beautiful sunny day and enjoyed every minute of Niagara Vegfest.

If you haven’t been to Niagara Vegfest before, here are some quick information about it:

  • Niagara Vegfest is a 2 day multi-venue event – Day 1 (June 3, 2017) is the Niagara Vegfest in the Vineyard and Day 2 (June 4, 2017) is the Vegan Festival Main Event
  • 6th Annual Niagara Vegfest
  • Location: Market Square, downtown St. Catherines (91 King Street)
  • Admission: Free / donation of $2 or canned foods
  • It includes 80+ vendors and exhibitors, guest speakers, kids zone and TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage
  • “A celebration the many benefits of a healthy, compassionate, plant-based lifestyle, and showcases exhibitors, vendors, and speakers from the Niagara region and beyond” -Niagara Vegfest

Overall, I had an amazing and very foodie day at Niagara Vegfest. I loved the atmosphere at the Market Square in St.Catherines as this festival was some vendors indoors and some outdoors, which to me is good because I liked the flow of the traffic it gives for attendees when they attended this event. It also gives options for weather if it rained or if it was sunny to have the indoors and outdoors available. I loved that they had the TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage outside where I was able to enjoy the beautiful jazz music whether I was inside or outside. It brought a different element to the festival by adding music and creating a fun atmosphere to the Niagara Vegfest. Though I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed with so many vendors to check out, but at the same time it was great to have a variety of vendors and exhibitors to offer to people. I spent half the day at the Niagara Vegfest as there were so many delicious and yummy foods to sample along with checked out a few non-food vendors.

My Top 4 Fave Foods at Niagara Vegfest are:

1) Pizza Rolls by Rise Above Restaurant

  • Best pizza sausage roll I ever had, yum, it was crispy the pastry part and the most tastiest sausage inside, loved it!! As someone who is now dairy free, it’s hard to find places with vegan pizzas so happy to have stopped and had the most yummiest is that a word lol…pizza rolls by Rise Above Restaurant.
  • Quick information about Rise Above Restaurantis the Niagara’s 1st 100% vegan restaurant and bakery. They are located downtown in St. Catherines. They specialize in comfort foods, healthy choices, and fresh baked desserts. Only wish they would open another location in Toronto, I look forward to stopping by the actual restaurant one day.

2) Peach Fritter doughnut by Beechwood Doughnuts

  • I was so full from all the delicious vegan foods that I had to still get a doughnut from Beechwood Doughnuts as I heard they had the best vegan doughnuts. So I bought one to bring home to eat and chose the Peach Fritter (peaches are one of my fave fruits) and so glad I did lol…Beechwood Doughnuts hands down the best vegan doughnut I ever had!! Wow, I don’t usually eat doughnuts too often, but I would if it is for the sweetest and soft doughnuts that Beechwood Doughnuts make. The Peach Fritter the best lol!! If you haven’t tried, Beechwood Doughnuts, you are definitely missing out!! I would definitely travel for these doughnuts!!
  • Quick information about Beechwood DoughnutsNiagara’s first and only 100% vegan doughnut shop. Located in the heart of Downtown St. Catharines. They opened in January 2015 and become popular and have a reputation for quality in the Niagara Region and beyond. They also won 3 awards in 2015 at the Toronto Vegetarian Association Veg Awards – best vegan bakery, best vegan doughnut and best vegan dessert.

3) Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake by Dolled Up Desserts

  • One of my fave regulars is definitely Dolled Up Desserts who I always enjoy visiting at any vegan food festivals and always love seeing what Katarina (Dolled Up Dessert owner) new delicious desserts she has for that day. She comes up with the most delicious vegan and creative desserts, I love it!! She also has the most beautiful display for her booth I love how creative she is! This time I tried her delicious & sweet Strawberry Lemonade mini cupcake. Loved it!!
  • Quick information about Dolled Up Desserts – Her main shop is based in Hamilton, Ontario. Dolled Up Desserts creates and share high quality desserts that are gluten free and vegan, and are made with 25-50% less sugar, ingredients that are organic, locally sourced.

4) Banana Split Cupcake by Fairly Frosted Bakery

  • I love cupcakes so it was hard to resist when I saw the delicious vegan cupcakes display at Fairly Frosted Bakery. One of my friends also recommended them so was excited to try them and they had an assortment of different baked goods to choose from. It was hard to choose besides the cupcakes. I ended up choosing their Banana Split Cupcake and it was delicious minus the chocolate topping as some of you might know I don’t eat chocolate I know it’s a shock lol!! The frosting wasn’t too sweet either so it was perfect.
  • Quick information about Fairly Frosted Bakery  – A bakery from Guelph, Ontario founded in 2011. Fairly Frosted Bakery serves vegan, gluten free and nut free baked goods.

One of my fave vegan ice cream is food truckSweet Teeth, which is not mentioned above, but they always been my fave regulars at any vegan festivals. So it goes without saying that I always visit their food truck of ice cream and waffles, yum and this time is no difference. I got their OG waffle, which consists of fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and of course the ice cream. If you haven’t tried Sweet Teeth food truck, I highly recommend it!! This year they also added shakes to their menu and love their new flavours added to the menu. They always come up with new flavours, which is great to see.

One of my fave vegan jeweler is Jewels by SJB, I discovered Sue’s beautiful jewelry last year at one of the vegan food festivals and instantly loved her unique and beautiful handmade jewelry. Sue is from Toronto, ON and has a collection of hand forged, cruelty free jewels and creating beautiful detailed pieces. She uses genuine gemstones that includes .925 sterling silver and 14K gold fill metal. She is also a vegan who shares her message through her jewelry.

I was excited to visit Jewels by SJB booth and see what new pieces she had this time. I always love seeing what new pieces that she brings to each festival as she makes the most beautiful unique pieces. I ended up purchasing a beautiful purple amethyst gemstone to go with my Vegan necklace as well bought a new rose/light pink bracelet with the letter “v” on it. The new bracelet matches my other bracelet (purple amethyst one) I bought from her last year to make a stacking bracelet. I am happy with my new jewelry!! It is always great to see Sue again, she is always so kind and amazing to me especially if I needed any customizing to her jewelry. I love how she can custom to each customer needs. I look forward to seeing what new pieces she has in the next festival!!

My collection of bracelets and pendant necklace from Jewels by SJB

What an amazing 1st visit to Niagara Vegfest filled with delicious vegan foods, desserts, shopping local & unique items, and enjoying amazing jazz music!! If you didn’t have a chance to check out Niagara Vegfest, I highly recommend to see what delicious vegan foods & to experience this festival yourself at Niagara Vegfest next year. Look out for details on their website (information below)! I look forward to joining them again next year after this fun foodie day!! I can’t wait to see what next year they have planned out!

If you managed to read most of this blog post as I know it was a bit long, thank you!! I appreciate you taking your time to read my foodie adventure!! Summer is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to my next foodie summer festival as some of you might already know (from my Twitter and Instagram posts) I have attended my 2nd one just this past weekend! With the busy summer months ahead, I look forward to not just food summer festivals, but also to my mini getaway in July. Don’t worry I still be posting shortly after I’m back. But this summer along the way, I am still searching for my next sweet vegan dessert place!! Stay tuned!!

As always, for the latest updates or to keep up with me on my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 or Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, let’s get ready for summer filled with hot weather for foodie summer festivals, cool desserts, travelling and beaches & more!!

-Sweet B.

For more information on Niagara Vegfest and any of the vendors I mentioned, please see below:

Niagara Vegfest – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @NiagaraVegFest, Twitter @NiagaraVegFest and Instagram @NiagaraVegFest.

Rise Above Restaurant – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @RiseAboveRestaurant, Twitter @RiseAboveFoods and Instagram @RiseAboveRestaurant.

Beechwood Doughnuts – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @BeechwoodDoughnuts, Twitter @BeechwoodInfo and Instagram @BeechwoodDoughnuts.

Dolled Up Desserts – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @DolledUpDessertsBaking, Twitter @DolledUpBaking and Instagram @DolledUpDessertsBaking.

Fairly Frosted Bakery – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @FairlyFrosted, Twitter @FairlyFrosted and Instagram @FairlyFrosted.

Sweet Teeth Food Truck – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetTeethVegan, Twitter @SweetTeethVegan and Instagram @SweetTeethVegan.

Jewels by SJB – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @JewelsbySJB and Instagram @JewelsbySJB.

 

 

 

Highlights of My 1st Vegan Food & Drink Festival

Hi everyone!

It’s been a very humid and scorching summer in Toronto this year! How is everyone handling this humidity? Loving it or not liking it?? 😉 LOL!! Well, I was not prepared for this high humidity, trying to find ways to keep cool and still enjoy the hot days while we can as Fall is around the corner and what I love about summer days in Toronto are of course as some of you know, love attending food festivals.

With my 1st summer foodie festival finished & done at the Taste of Toronto, been to a few smaller food festivals this summer after Taste of Toronto. Been going to food festivals that I haven’t been to before this summer experiencing them with my sis who also loves food as much as I do.

This past weekend, I went to my 1st Vegan Food & Drink Festival with my sister who enjoys vegan food and she suggested that I come with her to check it out myself as “vegan” also includes no dairy, which is part of my new diet now as I have mentioned before that I started recently having certain products with no dairy as I have a mild lactose intolerance. I am still new and learning about the concept of “vegan” food & lifestyle as I do still eat meat but just no dairy products or limited diary products.

I thought that it was a great idea for me to go to the Vegan Food & Drink Festival to explore and learn more about vegan foods & lifestyle.

If you haven’t been to the Vegan Food & Drink Festival before, here are some basic info about it:

  • This is the 2nd Annual Vegan Food & Drink Festival
  • Date: Saturday, August 13, 2016 (One Day Festival)
  • Time: 11am – 7pm
  • Location: Fort York Garrison Commons (double their capacity & space from last year)
  • What Does the Festival Offer: vegan comfort food, cold drinks, and live entertainment
  • Cost: $10 (Early Bird Price) & $15 (At the Door) & $20 (VIP Ticket)
  • Vendors: From local & visiting vendors
  • They also have Vegan Food & Drink Festival in Chicago as well

Despite the rainy, wet and humid weather, my sister and I still enjoyed the Vegan Food & Drink Festival exploring and discovering new vegan desserts & foods as it was interesting to see what vegan food is about and how it tastes. I really enjoyed the few samples of vegan foods that we were able to have with the rain downpour on and off. It is good to know my vegan options and that I can still enjoy vegan food despite being a meat eater still. I liked seeing there were many vendors offering different types of vegan food to explore.

In my opinion, I like how they had a larger space at Fort York Common Grounds and that they were able to have more vendors with the larger space along with seating and entertainment, but I thought it was a bit confusing where certain vendors were. They needed better signage due to the large space (no direction). But I did love their cute quote signs throughout the event. Check out a few of the signage photos I took there below. There were pros and cons at this event.

My Fave foods from the Vegan Food & Drink Festival are:

Fave DessertDefinitely has to be Dolled Up Desserts as they had the most delicious and amazing desserts selections hands down. I wish I had more lol!! Dolled Up Desserts is a vegan & gluten-free treats offering mini cupcakes, cake-pops minis, cookies (shortbread), magic bars & more at the festival. It was so hard to choose, I wanted them all lol! I ended up enjoying the perfect mini cupcake – Strawberry Shortcake and I love Earl Grey so it was naturally I tried the Earl Grey shortbread cookie, there was a strong flavour of Earl Grey throughout the cookie, which I loved! Next time would love to try the mini cake-pops, can’t wait to try more desserts by Dolled Up Desserts.

  • Fave Drink/Refreshment – Refreshing Fruit Tea with apple, rosehip, lemon pieces, & hibiscus petals by The Cold Pressery (located in Mississauga). As a tea drinker & lover, was very impressed with their Fruit Tea with the right amount of sweetness and light flavour with the fruits.The Cold Pressery - 2
  • Fave Sandwich – Portobello Sandwich by Parka Foods – Refined Comfort Food, love how a simple healthy comfort food such as a mushroom sandwich was made flavourful and filling, my sister and I had the Portobello mushroom sandwich with tomato, onion rings, arugula, guacamole with no chipotle aioli on my mines as I don’t eat spicy foods..:) Sorry I didn’t take a photo of my sandwich as it was pouring rain by the time we got to eat it!

(The Sample Sandwiches)

There were so many vegan & gluten-free desserts options, it was very hard to choose which one to go to! If you can believe it, shocker, but I couldn’t sample them all lots of sweetness happening all at once lol. Thou I was very excited to see that there is a large option for vegan/dairy-free desserts being not able to eat too much dairy products now. I also tried another dessert place called, Bunner’s: a vegan and gluten-free bake shop, which I tried their birthday cinnamon bun, loved the sweet taste of it, but thought with the humidity the cake itself was a bit thick for me to enjoy. I would love to try their other desserts next time.

Bunner Desserts - 2

Overall, I enjoyed tasting & sampling vegan foods and seeing what vegan types of food & desserts of course has to offer at the Vegan Food & Drink Festival 2016. It showed me a different side of vegan foods has to share & offer that I didn’t see before.

If you haven’t been to the Vegan Food & Drink Festival before, I definitely recommend that you come out next year to see what’s it all about it as it’s great to sample & enjoy the vegan food options along with great atmosphere outdoors esp. during the summer time.

I been enjoying my foodie festivals this summer so far – discovering new vegan desserts & new foods, can’t believe summer will be over soon! There are a few more food festivals to go to and my mini trip to Kingston this September that I will be of course sharing with everyone. So don’t forget to come back to my blog to check out what my next food festivals I will be attending if you haven’t already checked out my Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 & Instagram @sweetbfoodie24 for previews before my actual blog.

For now I leave you with these sweet summer vegan desserts to satisfy your sweet cravings or maybe give you some ideas for your next vegan dessert idea…:)

-Sweet B.

fruit_and_vegetables- 1Bfruit_and_vegetables- 1B

For more information on Vegan Food & Drink Festival & the other vendors mentioned above, please see below:

Vegan Food & Drink Festival – website: click here

You can follow them on Facebook @vegandrinkfest, Twitter @vegan_fest and Instagram @vegan_festival.

Dolled Up Desserts – website – click here

You can follow them on Facebook @dolledupdessertsbaking and Instagram @dolledupdessertsbaking.

The Cold Pressery – website – click here

Location:

4310 Sherwoodtowne Blvd #5

Mississauga, ON

You can follow them on Facebook @thecoldpressery, Twitter @TheColdPressery and Instagram @thecoldpressery.

Parka Food Co – website – click here

You can follow them on Facebook @ParkFoodco and Instagram @parkafoodco.

Bunner’s Bakeshop – website – click here

Locations:

Kensington Market: 244 Augusta Ave.

In the Junction: 3054 Dundas St. West

You can follow them on Facebook @BunnersBakeShop, Twitter @BunnersBakeShop and Instagram @bunner.

 

 

 

My Highlights from Taste of Toronto 2016

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to another of my tasty blog post, some of my posts this summer will be a bit delayed as it is a busy summer for me and with some changes with my other full time job, I been trying to balance work & blogging. I hope that my sweet readers will still continue to come back for more just be a bit patient, thank you all for understanding!

So let’s get to it with the summer weather is officially upon us with the heat & humidity, it finally feels like real summer! One of the things I love about summer is going to food festivals. One of my fave food festivals is Taste of Toronto, which always is my 1st food festival to kick off my summer months. I always enjoy going to my foodie events with none other than my mom, she loves attending these foodie festivals like me so I’m always happy for her to join me on this fun adventure. We have been going to Taste of Toronto every year together so this year was no different. This year the weather was perfect sunny & hot for this amazing tasty festival to go to for a weekend.

Me & my mom with our drinks from Palm Bay

This is my 3rd year going to Taste of Toronto and I had mixed reviews of attending because after checking out the menu online, I was uncertain about the tasty selection and foods this year.

If you are unfamiliar with Taste of Toronto, here is a quick review of it:

  • Dates: June 23 – 26, 2016
  • Location: Garrison Common At Fort York
  • Operates like a restaurant, offering afternoon and evening services. There are a total of six sessions running over the four day festival, with each session lasting between four and five hours
  • Its own currency system, known as “Crowns”. All restaurant dishes and any items that you wish to purchase from the artisan stalls can be bought with your Crown Card
  • Some activities to take part in from live cooking demonstrations, tastings, to hands-on cooking classes, producers market (one of my fave visit were to Ace Bakery booth & Pure Leaf booth), and much more

This year returning Chef Mark McEwan was back along with celebrity Chef, Chuck Hughes and new to Taste of Toronto are, Chef Rob Bragagnolo (Carver) and Jamie Kennedy (farm to table practices).

There were some really delicious dishes this year I tasted and I guess the only thing I was disappointed was the lack of desserts that were offered this year and for me being able to only have diary-free desserts, it was very limited this year though for me.

This year the menu options was slightly changed, they were still offering 4 dishes but the 4th dish was called “the dish”, which was either their signature dish or a speciality dish that the price was quite expensive to me depending on which vendor you went to, it varies in prices. As well this year the layout of the Taste of Toronto area was changed and different from other years. I am unsure if the layout change is good or not, I got a bit confused when I was walking around the area.

My Top 3 Fave Dishes This Year are:

  1. Roast Chicken Sandwich with Charred Lemon Aioli & Grilled Tomato Pesto by Carver (Chef Rob Bragagnolo), simply the best Roast Chicken sandwich I ever had!! It had the perfect flavour and herbs to make this an amazing sandwich! Carver did not disappoint at all! 
  2. Crispy Calamari Po-Boy with Ace Bakery charcoal bun and lemon caper aioli by The Mark McEwan Group, that one seemed to be everyone fave as the lineup for it was long, but totally worth the wait as despite not eating much seafood and not a fan fave of calamari, I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed it with the right amount of crispy and taste to it. Really enjoyed the charcoal bun too. I also had the honor of meeting Chef Mark McEwan that day too.                                                                                                                                                                                         Me & Chef Mark McEwan    
  3. Both Dishes by The Drake – True North Salmon Fried Rice with Salmon Roe, Drake XO Sauce & Pork and Shrimp Dumplings with Szuchuan Chili Jam, I couldn’t choose which one as every year The Drake delivers on their amazing food and this year was no difference, I simply love their light and fresh dishes with the salmon fried rice. Who doesn’t love dumplings, but they made their light and fresh with a bit of punch with the chili jam (I don’t eat much spicy food so it was sure to wake up your tastebuds).                              

My Fave Returning Dish:

  • Station Burger with milk bun, beet chutney and onion ring by my fave The Richmond Station of course! It was a must have when who else makes the best burgers then Richmond Station and they did no disappoint at all, it was freshly made and juicy. Simply delicious!

So that wraps up this year of my visit to Taste of Toronto 2016! I hope that you didn’t get too hungry with some of the delicious foods I enjoyed this year at Taste of Toronto, if you haven’t been to this food festival, I definitely suggest you come next year to enjoy these tasty foods to sample and enjoy. It definitely has something for everyone!

I look forward to next year Taste of Toronto 2017 to be better & for more delicious & new foods to sample and enjoy.

For now, I am off to search for my next foodie festival or new place to try to share with you all. So don’t forget to come back to read all about it, it might be something you want to try?

-Sweet B.

 

 

For more information on Taste of Toronto & the other vendors, please see below:

Taste of Toronto – Official Website -> check here

You can follow them on Facebook @TasteofToronto, Twitter @TasteofToronto, and Instagram @TasteofToronto.

Carver Slow Roasted – Website -> click here

Address: 101 Peter St., Toronto, ON

You can follow them on Twitter @Carverslow & Instagram @Carver.to as well as Chef Rob Bragagnolo (Owner of Carver Slow) on Twitter @RobBragagnolo

The Mark McEwan Group – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @TheMarkMcEwanGroup & Instagram @TheMarkMcEwanGroup

As well as you can follow Chef Mark McEwan on Twitter @Chef_MarkMcEwan & Instagram @ChefMarkMcEwan.

The Drake – Website – click here

You can follow them on Facebook @TheDrakeHotel, Twitter @TheDrakeHotel & Instagram @TheDrakeHotel.

Richmond Station – Website – click here

You can follow them on Facebook @RichmondStation, Twitter @Richmondstn & Instagram @RichmondStation.

Ace Bakery – Website – click here

You can follow them on Facebook @ACEBakery, Twitter @ACE_Bakery & Instagram @AceBakery.

 

My Highlights From the 1st Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the late review all! Here it is finally….What better way to start a warm Fall-like weekend than attending a spectacular foodie festival. It was the first time Toronto hosted the 2015 Food & Wine Festival franchise’s to debut in Canada. It is very exciting to me as a foodie that Toronto was able to host this festival for the first time as it shows that Toronto has a lot to offer in the restaurant and hospitality industry, and that other places around the world are starting to see that.

Of course, I had to attend this anticipated and amazing food festival and a great way to start a warm Fall-like temperature weekend then enjoying sampling delicious foods and drinks.

The Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015 was held for over 3 tasty days from Sept 18 – 20, 2015 at the Evergreen Brick Works which if you didn’t know about the location a bit of history here – the Evergreen Brick Works is Canada’s first large-scale community environmental centre that helps focus the global green cities movement. It also has it’s own farmer’s market showcasing farmers and food producers from Ontario’s Green Belt who understand the importance of healthy, local and fresh food for everyone.

Over the 3 mouth-watering days, Toronto Food & Wine Festival took over this large greenspace along with the brick restored buildings with a massive Grand Tasting Pavilion highlighting local restaurants, wineries and breweries along with a packed weekend of cooking classes led by celebrity chefs, tutored tastings, live demos at the Miele Celebrity Stage, book signings, a farmer’s market, and much more. As well Food & Wine Festival hosted harvest dinners after the Festival including Heritage BBQ by Cochon555 and Diner en Noir presented by the PC® Black Label Collection. If you missed this delicious foodie festival, check out some of my highlights below where I attended the Saturday session.

My overall experience was just amazing, I had such an incredible day at the first ever Toronto Food & Wine Festival, I attended the Saturday session despite starting out the day looking gloomy and rainy. Though surprisingly with Toronto weather, I got lucky and it ended up being a warm and even a bit sunny and it only rained for an hour. It was perfect timing too as I was then watching a live demo by Chuck Hughes inside at the Miele Celebrity Stage. The event was held within different parts of the Evergreen Brick Works with the massive Grand Tasting Pavilion in a huge open space warehouse look and the Miele Celebrity Stage held at the Holcim Gallery, which was in a huge open space as well.

There was so many different foods and wine of course to try, I love how Toronto Food & Wine Festival used the Evergreen Brick Works concept of fresh local food included in the show as well.  I felt a bit overwhelmed at first at the Grand Tasting Pavilion only because there were so many choices of food vendors to choose from. It was hard to decide what to try so I tried as much as I could lol!! I was excited to discovered a new bakery called, Ace Bakery where I enjoyed their delicious sample soft breads and as well they had a special dish that day called: Black Forest Bites, which despite not liking chocolate, it was a perfect bite (as it had a small piece of chocolate on top lol). I thought that the small baguette was a great idea for snacks or even for entertaining. The Grand Tasting Pavilion was a great place to discover new foods and sample foods that you usually don’t try.

My Top 3 Fave Dishes:

  1. My fave dessert definitely was the Rosewood Wildflower Honey & Riesling Savarine by Cluny Bistro & Boulangerie.  I love how they have this small tube where wildflower honey can be put into the cake. That was quite neat to add to a dessert!
  2. My fave savory dish was the Seared Scallop with risotto by PC® Black Label Collection. The scallop was cooked perfectly and I love the spices in the scallop! Simply delicious!Scallop Dish - 1
  3. My fave sandwich was Porchetta, which consisted of Rosemary & Lemon Slow Roasted Pork, Ontario Peach Mostarda with a freshly baked bread by Carver. I love adding peach sauce to the sandwich! 

My Fave Wine

I prefer sweet wines and always of course love sweet things so this comes no surprise why I love sweet or fruity wines. My fave wine goes to the Apple Cider Wine from my own province, Ontario Yours To Discover. Simply perfect amount of sweetness! What perfect fruit to go with Fall!

Apple Cider Wine - 1

OntarioWine-1AA collage of Ontario Yours To Discover booth with me and my mom with our wines! Beautiful display by Ontario booth capturing the Fall look.

I also attended two live demos at the Miele Celebrity Stage where I saw Curtis Stone, celebrity Aussie chef and Canadian chef – Chuck Hughes. I also met culinary expert & judge on Top Chef – Gail Simmons. I really enjoyed Curtis Stone’s live demo, he is very entertaining, funny, engaging and as well I learned quite a few tips from him as well. Curtis did a live demo of a fancy Fall cocktail and upscale salsa and chips. He also did an exciting competition of mixing cocktails with Canadians vs Americans with the audience. If you haven’t seen Curtis cook live before, I definitely recommend you seeing him! He definitely won’t disappoint you! Chuck Hughes did a live demo on a Peach dessert and how to cook fresh pasta. Check out a few photos below of my experience at the Miele Celebrity Stage and the book signing where I met Curtis in person.

My mom & me with Curtis Stone

Me with Curtis Stone

Chuck Hughes demo

It was truly a delicious, inspiring and fun experience at the first ever, Toronto Food & Wine Festival for me. I would have loved to have gone all 3 days after going to one of them to have more time to sample more tasty foods. If you didn’t go to this year’s Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015, then it’s an easy decision that next year, it’s a must go! I definitely will be attending next year’s 3 days foodie event! Already counting down the days until next year appetizing and yummy event!

Until next time, I will be searching for my next sweet adventure…

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Toronto Food & Wine Festival 2015 and the other vendors I have mentioned, check out the links below:

Toronto Food & Wine FestivalWebsite Link

You can also follow them on Facebook @TOFoodandWine, Twitter @TOFoodandWine, and Instagram @TOFoodandWine.

Evergreen Brick Works – Website Link

Ace BakeryWebsite Link

You can also follow them on Facebook @ACEBakery, Twitter @ACE_Bakery, and Instagram @ACEBakery.

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Cluny Bistro & BoulangerieWebsite Link

You can also follow them on Facebook @ClunyDistillery, Twitter @ClunyDistillery, and Instagram @ClunyDistillery.

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PC® Black Label CollectionWebsite Link

You can also follow them on Facebook @PresidentsChoice, Twitter @PresChoice, and Instagram @PresChoice.

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Ontario Travel (Official Website of Tourism in Ontario)Website Link

You can also follow them on Facebook @OntarioTravel, Twitter @OntarioTravel, and Instagram @OntarioTravel.

Celebrity Chefs:

Curtis Stone

Website Link

You can also follow him on Facebook @ChefCurtisStone, Twitter @CurtisStone, and Instagram @CurtisStone.

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Chuck Hughes

Website Link

You can also follow him on Facebook @ChefChuckHughes, Twitter @ChefChuckHughes, and Instagram @ChefChuckHughes.

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Gail Simmons

Website Link

You can also follow her on Facebook @GailSimmons, Twitter @GailSimmons, and Instagram @GailSimmonsEats.

My Highlights of Taste of Toronto 2015

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the delay on my review on Taste of Toronto, here it is finally, enjoy reading & hope you don’t feel too hungry afterwards. 🙂

It was a perfect first summer July weekend for the 2nd Annual Taste of Toronto back at Fort York Historic Site where over 70 producers of the best food, beverages and premium brands providing an amazing culinary food festival. What better way to start off summer for foodies then here at Taste of Toronto culinary festival where to discover the finest & hottest restaurants along with the rising & top chefs in Toronto.

With my first amazing experience at Taste of Toronto last year, I attended Taste of Toronto again this year for 2 days on the weekend of Saturday, July 4 and Sunday, July 5, 2015. Taste of Toronto lasts for four days from Thursday July 2 – Sunday, July 5, 2015 transforming the walls of Fort York into an outdoor foodie heaven for all foodies to enjoy a summer of eating, drinking, and entertainment as well as a producers market where you can sample and shop from boutique of food and drink market, Cadillac Taste Theatre with live demonstrations, Metro Master Classes, the Tasting Room, American Express Lounge, a Delta Air Lines VIP Lounge and a Music Stage.

Taste of Toronto - 4

Those who have not yet attended Taste of Toronto, the event operates with lunch and dinner sessions lasting over the four days that the festival ran with sessions running from 4-5 hours each giving the attendees time to choose the restaurant dishes that they would like to try, browse the artisans stalls (loved the Pure Leaf booth as this year it has gotten bigger this year, check out my photo below) and enjoy the many different activities such as Cadillac Taste Theatre for live demonstrations, The Tasting Room, Toronto Life Chef’s Table, and attractions that was being offered.

At Taste of Toronto, they decided to create their own dining currency called: Crowns where if you wish to purchase a dish from a restaurant or a drink from the bar that you would need to purchase Crowns. This means, $1 CAD = 1 Crown. When you purchase crowns either online or at the festival, it is in a form of a card called: Crown Card and you can swipe the card at any restaurant vendor you like to buy a dish or a drink from. Each dish was priced between six and 10 crowns.

This year some of last year fave restaurants returning such as: Richmond Station, Barque and Drake Hotel, just to name a few. As well, there are some new faces to the Festival such as R & D (Masterchef Canada winner – Eric Chong), Morimoto and Little Sister who joined the festival this year.

I truly enjoyed this year Taste of Toronto having 2 days at the festival gave me more time to explore and sample the different type of foods as well as giving me a great experience as I attended the Cadillac Taste Theatre as well learning from the amazing and talented chefs. This year I sampled more desserts of course and I have to admit that this year desserts was outstanding & simply delicious and loved the beautiful plating on each one of them. Almost too pretty to eat lol!

There is no surprise that my fave dishes came from of course, Richmond Station, as they always come up with such delicious and tasty dishes from my fave Top Chef Canada Winner – Carl Heinrich. I really love his concept of fresh farm to table food (local food) concept and it definitely shows in his dishes. This year I was lucky enough to meet Carl himself after his demonstration at the Cadillac Taste Theatre, check out the photos below, Carl is such an amazing and sweet guy in person! I’m definitely looking forward to finally going to his restaurant later on this year.

This year at Richmond Station booth, they were shucking live & fresh oysters, I thought that was a great idea to do!! My 2 fave dishes from Richmond Station are: Station Burger with Beet Chutney and OKA Cheese, which was freshly made and simply delicious hard to put into words, you would definitely have to try it yourself. Of course Richmond Station never disappoints me with their simple yet delicious dessert – Funnel Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream and Stewed Fruit. The sweet sauce on the ice cream definitely made the dessert and I believe it’s the beautiful fresh fruits that did it. I loved Richmond Station dessert so much that I came back to for seconds again on Sunday on my 2nd day there! Check out the collage I did for Richmond Station.

Richmond Station - 1A

Some of my other fave desserts that I enjoyed at Taste of Toronto are:

  •  Rhubarb Strawberry & Pistachio Upside-Down Cake with Mint Ice Cream & Preserved Strawberries from The Harbord Room, THR & Co restaurant. This was probably my 2nd fave after Richmond Station as if you love Upside-Down Cakes this dessert is sure not to disappoint you, it was light and fresh with the strawberries and with the mint ice cream, it was perfect combination! A great summer dessert!

  • Peaches & Cream poached peaches with Darjeeling cream, bourbon syrup brown butter almond crumble from Bosk Loved the poached peaches as it was soft and sweet, another good dessert for the summer time!

My other fave stand-out dishes that are not desserts that I also enjoyed at Taste of Toronto are:

  • Competition Chicken Thigh with Cuban corn from returning fave restaurantBarque, which 2nd year in a row that one of their dishes is my fave as Barque always make delicious dishes that makes you keep coming back for more. The bbq chicken was simply perfect with the right amount of sauce and flavour, loved it and the corn on the cob a great summer food to eat! The corn on the cob was very flavourful and sweet. I loved that they grilled it too!!

  • Lobster Roll – east coast lobster and avocado from The Drake, which I’m not a huge fan of lobster (love shrimps & crabs though) so coming from me, really enjoyed this lobster roll, which was light yet creamy in a good way. If you love lobster and seafood, the lobster roll definitely would been a satisfying choice as it’s perfect for this kind of summer weather.

Lastly, I was lucky enough to attend Celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford’s (Canadian borned) Live Q&A at the Sunday session all thanks to American Express Canada as I was one of the lucky winners from their contest. What a treat it was to hear Chef Lynn Crawford speak and learn from her experience as a chef! It was an honor to meet her afterwards as well and to also receive her cookbook – At Home with Lynn Crawford signed by her with my name on it too. It was a great way to start my Sunday before the Taste of Toronto as it was held before the festival. Check out my photos below when I met Lynn.

Lynn Crawford Cookbook

Also I had the pleasure of meeting Celebrity Chef – Massimo Capra & Galbani and Gabbiano Brand Ambassador and who restaurant that I love going to in Niagara Falls – The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra. I attended his demonstration at the Cadillac Taste Theatre where he made Spring Rolls w/ cheese, which was very interesting to see how that was done.

If you are looking to explore Toronto’s top restaurants and be inspired by world of first class chefs, Taste of Toronto Food Festival is where you will want to be. It is a place for foodies to gather together to sample, explore and enjoy these delicious dishes from some of Toronto’s top restaurants and top world class chefs.

As it is my 2nd time attending this amazing world foodie event, it is a perfect way to start the summer with being outside enjoying delicious foods with family, friends, and other foodies.

So if you missed this amazing foodie event, don’t miss it again and come next summer 2016!

Until next time, I will be searching for my next sweet adventure in this hot summer heat…

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Taste of Toronto or any of the restaurants I have mentioned, check out the links below:

Taste of Toronto Website- Taste of Toronto

Print

Richmond Station:

Address: 1 Richmond St W,  Toronto, ON

Website: richmondstation.ca

Please follow them on Facebook @RichmondStation, Twitter @Richmondstn & Instagram @RichmondStation

You can also follow Carl Heinrich on twitter @ChefHeinrich

The Harbord Room:

Address: 89 Harbord St., Toronto, ON

Website: www.theharbordroom.com

Please follow them on Facebook @theHarbordRoom, Twitter @theharbordroom & Instagram @theHarbordRoom

Bosk Restaurant (at the Shangri-La Hotel):

Address: 188 University Avenue, Toronto, ON (Lobby Level of the Hotel)

Website: www.shangri-la.com/toronto/shangrila/dining/restaurants/bosk/

Barque Smokehouse

Address: 299 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, ON

Website: barque.ca

Please follow them on Facebook @barquebbq, Twitter @barquebbq & Instagram @barquebbq

The Drake

Website: www.thedrakehotel.ca/dining/

Please follow them on Facebook @theDrakehotelToronto, Twitter @thedrakehotel

Celebrity Chefs:

Chef Lynn Crawford

Website: www.cheflynncrawford.com

You can follow Lynn on Facebook @Officiallycheflynncrawford, Twitter @Chef_Lynn & Instagram @Chef_Lynn

Massimo Capra

Website: www.massimocapra.com

You can follow Chef Capra on Facebook @ChefCapra, Twitter @ChefCapra

If you are in the Niagara Falls area, please check out his amazing restaurant (yes I been to it a few times now & definitely recommend it) called: The Rainbow Room by Massimo Capra -> click here for website