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.

Advertisements

My 2016 Year In Review

Hi everyone,

Welcome to a brand New Year of 2017 🎉, though I started my 2017, a bit rough with a horrible cold, but I am finally recovering from this cold and ready to take on a brand new Sweet & Healthy 2017 Year!! 😀🍎🍰 There’s a saying that “it is not how you start, but how you finish” so in my case how tackle the challenges for this year and how I will finish it strong & on a positive note!! I’m excited for this Year 2017 with many exciting things happening with travel and new food adventures (especially with my Las Vegas trip already booked in March 2017 to name one of the many fun things happening)!

Typically you would find most Year In Reviews blog posts at the end of the year, but I am continuing my tradition here being the 2nd time doing this that I like to reflect on the Year before to start off this New Year 2017.

Thank You’s

I like to start off by thanking each one of my “sweet readers” and as well as any new readers who have checked out and decided to follow along on my sweet adventures!! I always love to welcome and invite new readers to my blog. I really appreciate each and every one of you who comes to visit my blog truly mean it as a still beginner blogger I love seeing and getting to know my readers whether you are from Toronto or from overseas in UK or Europe. So on that note, I would love to hear from you with any comments or a suggestion for my blog. Please don’t hesitate to share them with me.

My Stats from 2015 to 2016

It will be 3 years next month that I have started this blog and I feel that I have grown from where I started yet I am still learning new and exciting things in the blogging world everyday. I believe that there is still more room to grow with my blog and I should say thanks to an amazing & friendly community called: Food Bloggers of Canada (click here for their website -> here) who I have mentioned in other posts how joining this community expanded my networks and provided me with learning resources and tools to help me in this blogging world. They will continue to be part of my blog in this growing experience providing me with guidance and networking.

With my blog still growing, in 2016 I can’t believe it was viewed in 53 countries, which doubled since 2015! Wow!! Most readers are from Canada & USA and then expanding to new readers in UK, Europe, Denmark and Asia countries to New Zealand, which is great to know that I have people on the other side of the world interested in reading about my love for food, travel and events.

According to the stats on WordPress, my Blog was viewed 906 times in 2016, which doubled the views from the year before in 2015! In 2016, my stats showed that I had 715 visitors to my blog, which also doubled since the year before in 2015! That’s pretty impressive as I’m still a beginner blogger and my blog is still growing so thank you again to all my readers for the continuing support and coming back to read my blog!

My Sweet & Healthy Year In Review For 2016

2016 was a year of change and discovering my food sensitivity (intolerance) to dairy products. It has been a slow adjustment to non-dairy products as now I’m part Vegan and learning & discovering that I can still enjoy what I love like sweet, desserts, etc in non-dairy products. It is still a learning experience becoming part Vegan and also helped me eating more healthier, but it doesn’t stop what I love most, which are my love for desserts. I’m able to still balance being healthy and still enjoy my sweets but vegan style now…:)

Besides my big adjustment in my diet, in 2016, I still attended several delicious food events in Toronto including my 1st Vegan Food & Drink Festival, Vegfood Fest, Taste of Toronto 2016, and more. Also, in 2016, I attended my 2nd Food Bloggers of Canada Conference held in my own city this time in Toronto for their 5th Anniversary. I enjoyed this year theme “Do the Work”. It showcased a lineup of bloggers/speakers who have done the work whether they have found success on their terms by doing what they love and by putting hours into it. I enjoyed learning, networking and of course the delicious foods.

At the VegFood Fest in September 2016, sampling Nanashake Nanapops, mango flavour!

In 2016, some of my travel adventures continued and started a new feature for the blog on Travel, in the Fall of 2016 went to Kingston, Ontario for my 1st time and discovered this charming and historic city where I discovered lots of delicious bakeries and restaurants for a foodie like me to enjoy. Want to check out this historic city & don’t miss out on this adventure, read my blog post here -> link.

As well, summer of 2016 went on a magical adventure with my family to Orlando, Florida where we went to Disney World as it is my niece 1st time going and enjoyed the delicious and variety of restaurants at Universal Studios & Disney Springs. I’m looking forward to 2017 to new & exciting travel destinations and rediscovering places I visited to share with you my readers.

In May 2016, at Magic Kingdom in front of the Disney Castle

What would you like to see more of on my Sweet B., the Exploring Foodie blog? Is there a specific dessert place or restaurant you would like for me to try? All suggestions are most welcome!

Check out below my Top Review Posts for 2016

My Most Views for Dessert Review Posts

1 – My Sweet Adventure on Macaron Day 2016

It is no surprise that the most views and likes are from my sweet Macaron Day adventure. Macarons are one of my fave desserts and to have a dedicated day for it, is even sweeter..:) I love my macarons!! Check out my review post on which macaron places that I visited that day to enjoy my sweet, little and elegant treats!

Read here -> link.

2 – My New Fave Healthy & 100% Yummy Dessert Place: Nanashake

One of my fave new frozen dessert place is Nanashake and I’m happy that my readers also liked it as much as I did being the 2nd most viewed dessert review post. Nanashake is a friendly, healthy plant-based and delicious frozen dessert place. If you haven’t heard of it before and is looking for a healthy and non-dairy frozen dessert, definitely check out Nanashake, it’s my go to dessert place, I love it!

Check out my review post on why I love Nanashake so much -> link.

My Most Views for an Event Review Posts

1 – Food Bloggers of Canada Conference 2016 in Toronto

My most views from the many events/conference I went to in 2016 was not surprised, but my Food Bloggers of Canada 2016 Conference I attended in Toronto. It was a great networking and learning experience along with feeling inspired after a fun one day conference with so many talented and inspiring bloggers. As well, you can’t forget about the most delicious & healthy food served at this conference.

I have already purchased my ticket for this year 2017 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference being held in Ottawa this year, how exciting to celebrate Canada’s 150 Birthday there. It will be my 1st time attending the full 3 day session, can’t wait!! It is already sold out this year wow so fast, happy to have got mines early!! This is how exciting this conference is so be sure to always check early!

For more information about FBC Conference in 2016, please read my blog review here -> click here.

2 – My 1st Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival

My 2nd most views of attending my food events is the Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival that I attended with my sister. With my new dietary having non-dairy products, it was my 1st vegan festival that I attended and I’m happy that my readers enjoyed reading about my 1st experience at a vegan festival. Despite the rainy day, it was a great experience sampling and learning what vegan products are there and particular for me desserts.

To read more about my 1st Vegan festival experience, check it out here -> click here

My Dessert Review Post That Was Missed

1 – Best Homemade Pies in Toronto: Wanda’s Pie In the Sky Bakery Cafe

I am highlighting my review post on one of the best pies in Toronto in my Review as I believe that Wanda’s Pie In the Sky, has one of the best pies in Toronto, if you haven’t been to her cozy and warm bakery shop located in the Kensington Market then you are missing out. Wanda’s Pie In the Sky has daily freshly baked desserts such as pies, tarts, cakes to take home or stay with plenty of space to sit with large windows or their patio on warmer days. Wanda’s pies are known for reminding you of home, a freshly cut pie from home. She also offers freshly homemade vegetarian lunches and brunches on the weekends.

Why not stop by this cozy and warm bakery perfect especially for the winter time to warm up with a warm delicious pie, read more why I love Wanda’s Pie In the Sky here -> click here.

Stay Connected

I am excited for this exciting 2017 Year to discover new, healthy and sweet food adventures, travel and events!! I look forward to sharing them with all of you. So why don’t you come and follow me on this sweet & healthy travelling foodie adventure!

To stay connected with me and updates for the next blog post, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Thank you again for reading, commenting, liking, sharing, and more importantly sharing my love for sweets & desserts!

Here’s to a sweet & healthy 2017 to all my sweet readers!!! 🎉🎊🍰🍭🍩🍹🍜🍎🍓🌽🍆🌴✈😀

Your sweet vegan foodie,

-Sweet B.

 

 

 

 

My Highlights of 2016 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference

Hi everyone,

Is it getting chilly here or warm here in Toronto for this Fall weather, lol, it seems like the weather can’t make up it’s mind lol….I think I have to say that it is officially feels like Fallish weather!!! It’s been a busy few weeks for me with my Full time Admin job being busy and then of course two events that happened in one week so I been trying to do catch up. I hope that everyone have been enjoying the warm Fall early this October before the cold weather has hit as it is now November.

Quick Update

With my busy work schedule, I have decided that I will be doing monthly blog posts so at least one blog post per month until things have settled down with me in regards to my Full time Admin job. I still love working on this blog and still passionate for it especially after attending the FBC conference has inspired me more. I been working on the last few months to have this has my main focus and I haven’t quite gotten there yet. Hope you all will be patient with me and enjoy my monthly sweet blog posts! My special project is still coming end of November is the date of the launch. Look out for it soon!!

You can always check my daily updates and my food adventures through Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Without further delay, here are my highlights of this year Food Bloggers of Canada 2016 held in Toronto, warning it might be a bit long and filled with yummy food photos that might leave you a bit hungry after reading this blog post…:)

My Highlights of Food Bloggers of Canada 2016

This year Food Bloggers of Canada celebrated their 5th Year Anniversary in Toronto, where my hometown city is. They held their 4th Annual Food Bloggers of Canada Conference FBC2016 from October 21-23, 2016 at the Delta Toronto located in the heart of downtown’s bustling Entertainment District.

Saturday, October 22, 2016 – Day Before My Sunday Session

With this year FBC2016 being held in my city in Toronto, I decided for convenience and for a city getaway to stay overnight at Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown for Saturday night. This year I was attending only the Sunday Session and with the early start for the session, I thought it was more convenient for me to stay closer to the conference hotel as I don’t live near downtown. I always love mini getaways and why not even in my own city as I still discover new places and restaurants in my own city of Toronto.

I arrived to Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown late afternoon on Saturday, October 22, 2016. I chose this particular hotel as ever since I stayed at this brand of Marriott hotels with their spacious rooms including a kitchenette with a fridge, I really enjoyed it as they are known for Extended stays and it feels like you are in a bachelor apartment for a few days as some hotels have small rooms. I guess I just enjoy the more spacious rooms. This hotel wasn’t too far away from the conference hotel – Delta Toronto about 10 minutes walk to it so it was a convenient.

Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown is located in the heart of the Entertainment District and steps to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Rogers Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium, Mirvish Theatre, CN Tower and the TIFF Bell Lightbox. All within 3 blocks distance to the hotel. Staying at the Residence Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown you can experience the fine dining, night life and theatres that are offered within. If you are taking the subway like I did, it wasn’t far walk from St.Andrew’s subway station to the hotel about less than 10 minutes walk.

My City View from my room

I had an amazing stay at the Resident Inn Marriott Toronto Downtown hotel and enjoyed what the hotel had to offer for me, though unfortunately didn’t have time to take a swim in their beautiful pool. Hopefully next time. I loved my corner suite with a king bed and sofa, which I loved the sofa as it was very comfy and the style I wanted in my own home one day. The service at this hotel was exceptional and friendly as I was greeted right away when I walked in to check-in the hotel and had no problems checking out. Amazing staff at this hotel with friendly & helpful front desk staff & doorman. I highly recommend this hotel if you are looking for a place to stay in Toronto!

After a busy work week, I spent my Saturday evening taking it easy starting off after I checked in the hotel – went shopping at the Eaton Centre and then a delicious dinner at Pickle Barrel trying their new addition to their menu – Local Harvest. Enjoyed their freshly made – Honey Apple Chicken topped with Ontario apples & cranberry chutney with local seasonal vegetables and fries. It was simply delicious!!! Definitely would come back to try their other new Local Harvest items on the menu. I spent the rest of the evening relaxing in the hotel since it was an early morning session for Sunday. For those who don’t know, I’m not a morning person lol…so it was a bit hard to get up lol…but for the delicious breakfast, it was all worth it…:)

Me relaxing at the hotel

Sunday, October 23, 2016 – Sunday General Sessions

On Sunday, October 23, 2016, it was Food Bloggers of Canada general sessions and on Saturday, October 24, 2016, this year was a bit different that they did workshops sessions, which I was unable to get tickets for that day too as it was sold out quickly. I’m hoping that I will be able to attend the full conference next year.

This year it will be my 2nd time attending this amazing & fun intimate conference for 150 food bloggers along with brands and speakers. If you haven’t been to this conference, then you are definitely missing out on a very foodie and networking event. Though this year, I felt like I wasn’t able to give my full attention to the conference for personal reasons and I felt like I couldn’t enjoy it as much! I tried to take in as much as I could and hoping I will be able to take away some information to focus on after the conference.

This year theme is: “Do the Work”. Food Bloggers of Canada put together this year their lineup of people who have done the work whether they have found success on their terms by doing what they love and by putting hours into it. Here are just some of the speakers that I heard that day including: Noelle Chorney, Claire Tansey, Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles, Dennis Prescott, and more.

Starting Sunday Session with a wonderful and a selection of delectable variety of breakfast foods hosted by Breville Canada. Despite not being a morning person, it was hard to resist all the yummy and delicious foods, which I decided to have a light breakfast and sample a few of everything! My fave breakfast item was the pork breakfast slider, just the perfect little bite!! I also really enjoyed the Spinach, Green Apple, and Banana smoothie – the non-diary version. I loved the idea that all the breakfast foods was made using Breville Canada kitchen equipment and I simply love the very modern toaster to make my toast..:)  Only recently for who don’t know, I have a mild lactose intolerance and I thought that it was great to see how Food Bloggers of Canada accommodate with the food allergies.

The amazing modern toaster by Breville Canada

1st session – Defining Your Own Success with speakersNoelle Chorney & Claire Tansey

Website – Noelle Chorneyhere, Follow her on Twitter @KitchenAmazon

Website – Claire Tanseyhere, Follow her on Twitter @tanseyclaire, Facebook @clairesrecipes, and Instagram @tanseyclaire.

  • It was very inspiring to hear both speakers talk about their success and how each worked on where they are now. A few key notes I took away from these speakers are – to be happy & successful (which I really took to heart as I want to be at that place to where I am happy and I feel I haven’t gotten there just yet with my Full Time job, so I guess a bit insight for my readers, I’m still trying to find my happy place), being able to say no & yes and the question is “What do you love about it?” Some great key notes to think about and make goals for next year in 2017.

For Coffee Break, we had some delicious Fall-like treats sponsored by Crosbys Molasses. We had Gingersnaps with cream in the middle and I enjoyed the vegan version of it! Love how they can accommodate us like me who eat dairy-free foods!

The amazing view of the CN Tower and Rogers Centre from the conference hallway

2nd session – Food Photography with Dennis Prescott

Website – Dennis Prescott –here, Follow him on Facebook @dennistheprescott, Instagram @dennistheprescott, and Twitter @dennisfprescott.

  • It was great hearing Dennis speak from a photographer point of view and learn how he got into food photography. Key Notes I took away from Dennis – how to tell your story through a photo, the human element in a photo and take photos other than foods.

Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles

3rd session – Stepping Outside Your Blog To Take It to the Next Level – Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles

Website – Dana Harrison & Joel MacCharles – here, Follow them on Twitter @WellPreserved, Facebook @wearewellpreserved and Instagram @WellPreserved.

  • It was interesting and insightful to hear from the authors of “Batch” and their approach and how they got to be successful. Key Notes I took away are they mentioned: “Find Your North Star”, basically that means why are you doing this?, which I thought it’s such a simple question yet not quite an easy answer and Know your audience. As well, I thought it was a good idea that they mentioned that these days everything is electronic and they mentioned about having something physical for you to visual like for example if you did 30 blog posts have 30 pieces of pages in a binder and you can physically see it. I agree that sometimes you need something physical to see how things are in prospective.

Finishing off FBC2016 with a delicious & healthy lunch courtesy of Half Your Plate. Enjoyed the variety of veggies, fruits & meats that are available for everyone. My fave item for lunch was the beef and pork skewers, it was very tasty and grilled perfectly, I always love skewer foods lol!! Of course, we can’t forget desserts and they saved the best for last as they used Breville Canada’s mixer to make the most delicious Virtural Ice cream!! I was quite excited to see how they made it as they made it to you right in front of you and I was even more excited when they were making my fave flavor – mango..:)  I enjoyed the dairy-free version of the mango ice cream with fresh raspberries and candies on top!! A great way to end the conference.

My delicious & healthy lunch filled half my plate with veggies & fruits

There were also one-on-one blogger/brand networking during the lunch. As most of the timeslots to speak with certain brands I was interested in was taken, I did end up speaking to Nature Path’s and enjoyed introducing myself and getting to know the brand a bit more. I’m looking to connect with other brands in the next conference and I guess one of my goals for 2017 is to connect and network with other brands.

Special thanks to Melissa and Ethan of course who put together this amazing conference every year for us food bloggers to get together, network, learn and grow in one united community!!! I can’t thank you guys enough, it has been another fantastic conference filled with these amazing speakers and sponsors!!! Every year it seems to grow and become a great conference making it annually something I always look forward to going to. It was great seeing a few familiar faces again and making new connections along the way again.

Some of the amazing sponsors at this year FBC2016 to name a few are: Breville Canada (love their tea maker, definitely need one), Half Your Plate, DeltaFaucet, Canadian Turkey, Lentils, Diary Farmers of Canada, Farm & Food Care Canada, Mushrooms Canada, Cookina, Ontario Apple Growers, Nature’s Path, Egg Farmers of Canada and more!! You can their links and connect with them from Food Bloggers of Canada website (will be listed below).

Of course, every year we get these amazing Swag bags, check out below some of the goodies I got this year! If there’s one way of tempting you to come this conference are these foodie filled swag bags!

Next year the FBC2017 conference, will be held in Ottawa in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday and it will be Food Bloggers of Canada 5th Anniversary!! How exciting can this be?? Right now, Food Bloggers of Canada have an early bird ticket sale if you are interested in going!! Can’t wait to get my ticket soon!

I’m hoping that I will be able to attend the full conference next year!! See you guys next year in Ottawa!!

If you manage to read most of what I wrote, thank you. Probably my longest blog post, I hope that you enjoyed reading it and checking out some of my delicious and fun photos!!

After this inspiring and delicious foodie filled conference, I am in search for my next sweet vegan dessert place….:)

Until next time…

-Sweet B.

fruit_and_vegetables- 1Bfruit_and_vegetables-2b

For more information on Food Bloggers of Canada community & conference & links to the sponsors,

Website – Food Bloggers of Canada -> click here

You can also follow FBC on Facebook @FoodBloggersofCanada, Twitter @foodbloggersCA and Instagram @foodbloggersca

 

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.

****************************************************************************************************

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.

*************

Cluny Bistro & BoulangerieWebsite Link

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

*************

PC® Black Label CollectionWebsite Link

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

*************

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.

*************

Chuck Hughes

Website Link

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

*************

Gail Simmons

Website Link

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