Taste of Toronto is returning for its second year on July 2, 2015. The four-day celebration (July 2-5) will be held at the Fort York National Historic Site at 250 Fort York Blvd, Toronto, ON. This year's event estimates to host an upward of 20,000 visitors, and promises to be an eventful food event. It is the place to be, especially if you're a hardcore foodie as there will be plenty of acclaimed chefs, top restaurants in Toronto, and over 70 exhibitors on site.

Metro will be returning as an official grocery partner for one of the biggest summer culinary events this year. They will be holding several interactive and hands-on cooking classes throughout the four-day called "Metro Master Class". Taste of Toronto’s Metro Master Class offers visitors a chance to take part in hands-on cooking sessions with some of Toronto's top chefs. These sessions will be 30 minutes long, and visitors will be using only the freshest ingredients provided by Metro to create a delightful dish to take home.

The classes are on the basis of first come, first served, so make sure to drop by early to reserve a spot to one of the sessions. A timetable of the sessions are available at http://tasteoftoronto.com/feature/metro-masterclass/.

Metro Master Class Pop-up at Humber Bay Park

I was invited to participate in a sneak preview of the Metro Master Class at Taste of Toronto, along with several other local food bloggers about 2 weeks ago. It was a very hands-on event, as we made guacamole along with Los Colibris' Executive Chef, Elia Herrera. This is the signature dish that Chef Herrera will be teaching visitors how to make at the Taste of Toronto. If you want to learn how to make guacamole, her session will take place on Sat, July 4, 2015 from 1:45 pm to 2:15 pm.

The cooking session (sneak preview) took place outside of Metro’s new urban concept store at Humber Bay Park (2208 Lake Shore Boulevard West, Etobicoke, ON), which is a great space. Please note that the guacamole was made with only the freshest ingredients found in all local Metro stores.

Chef Herrera provided us with step-by-step instructions on how to make our own guacamole, and we happily followed her guidance. Afterwards, all bloggers took home a tub of their finished product, and I must say that it tasted great with the tortilla chip given to us by Metro. Overall, the Metro Master Class was such an enjoyable experience, and I didn't know that guacamole was so easy to make until I took this class. If you want to improve your culinary knowledge and skills, then I highly recommend that you take any of the available Metro Master Classes at the Taste of Toronto. I had a great time, and I am looking forward to the upcoming food event. If you are planning on attending any of the classes, don't forget to share your experience on social media using the hastag, #MetroTasteSummer.

Below is the the guacamole recipe from Chef Herrera.

Los Colibris Guacamole


Avocados Ripe - 6 pieces
Jalapeño peppers - diced 20 grams
Onion peeled - diced 200 grams
Tomatoes - diced deseeded 320 grams
Lime juice - 200 ml
Coriander - chopped 16 grams
Salt - 3.25 tablespoons


1) In mixing bowl combine all the diced ingredients.
2) Mix in the avocado and combine until mixed. Don’t over mix the avocado.
3) Season to taste.
4) Suggested garnish: pomegranate seeds.
5) Serve with corn chips or taro chips.

** All photography taken below are by Katherine Holland courtesy of A & C. **

Thank you to both Metro Master Class and A & C for organizing a wonderful event.


Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/metro.ontario
Instagram: https://instagram.com/metroontario/
Website: http://www.metro.ca/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tasteoftoronto
Instagram: https://instagram.com/tasteoftoronto/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tasteoftoronto 
Website: tasteoftoronto.com 
The combination of both honey and water has been used for thousands of years as a traditional health beverage around the world. Not only is it a refreshing beverage, but it also provides many health benefits. HoneyWater® reached out to me a couple of months back in regards to the upcoming launch of their products. They are a local company based in Toronto that has plans to launch a new line of healthy beverages called “HoneyWater®”.  HoneyWater® plans to officially launch this August 2015, and will be in 3000 locations Canada-wide.

The company hopes to appeal to consumers who are looking for a naturally sweetened product, or at least a healthier alternative to sugary drinks. These days, many consumers are making more health-conscious decisions on the products that they purchase and consume.  As a consumer myself, I find myself much more aware of the products that I buy these days.

I met up with the founder of HoneyWater®, Christopher Kotz, about 2 weeks ago to learn more about the products. Chris stated that the combination of honey & water is normally the first choice for a natural sweetened drink for many people. Honey is one of the the oldest foods we know of, and the natural sugars that it does contain are easily digestible. According to Chris, the company wants to revolutionize naturally sweetened beverages around North America, and the world. He brought samples of the two products from HoneyWater's upcoming line, Honey & Lemon, and Honey & Mint for me to sample that day. Both products are made in Canada with 100% natural ingredients, and no refined sugar. Both drinks were refreshing, but I preferred the Honey & Mint more out of the two.

HoneyWater® aims to provide a refreshing beverage that has 100% natural ingredients, and no artificial flavors. The drink does not contain any refined sugars and is sweetened with Canada's highest quality honey. Speaking of honey, HoneyWater® was also founded on the principle of creating awareness for the decline of the honey bee colonies. According to the company’s official website, there has been an estimated loss of 30-50% of bees each year for the past decade. Several factors have contributed to the steady decline of the honey bee colonies yearly, and one of them is the growing usage of pesticides. For those who may not be aware, our agricultural crops are highly dependent on honey bees, and this growing problem will greatly affect us in the long-run.

The company’s goal is to raise awareness of the problem, and save the bees. Thus, they have developed a “buy a bottle, save a bee” program, where a portion of the sales of the beverages will go directly towards initiatives to help save the bees. HoneyWater® has also partnered up with several initiatives, beekeepers and honey farms such as Toronto Bee Rescue, Canadian Honey Council, Pollinator Partnership and Munro Honey to help combat the problem. Fundamentally, one of the ultimate goals is to provide the resources to initiatives that are working to preserve the honey bee colonies around the world.

For more information on HoneyWater® and their products, you can visit their official website at www.honeywater.com.

Social Media:

Website: http://www.honeywater.com/


by on Wednesday, June 17, 2015
The combination of both honey and water has been used for thousands of years as a traditional health beverage around the world. Not only...
#FNLROM has become a highly anticipated seasonal event since its introduction in 2012. For the month of June, the ROM transformed once again into a lively social venue every Friday night. Each event is uniquely themed, and the museum becomes a dancing floor offering both food and alcohol for purchase. You are also free to check out the museum exhibits, as it's included in the entrance fee. Note that FNL is a special ticketed event for adults 19+ only and you will be asked for valid ID (government-issued). Additionally, I highly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance online to avoid the lines. The weather was rather poor last Friday as the downpour started around 6 pm. However, as I drove by, there was already a long line forming outside the ROM. 
Tickets available for ALL #FNLROM dates:
June 12 - Toga Toga!
June 19 - FrancoSonic

Adults $15 | Students & Seniors $13 | ROM Members FREE. You can also use promo code FNLlove10 and receive 10% OFF.

* The fine print: ROM general admission tickets are not valid for FNL. FNL is a specially ticketed event for adults 19+ only and you will be asked for valid ID (government-issued, not yet expired, with photo and date of birth). For those who prefer a close relationship with their bag, please note that bags are subject to inspection and you may be requested to check them - the good news is, it's free.

#FNLROM has provided young adults, and professionals with a venue where they were able to enjoy music, dance, eat delicious food, and gain late-night access to the museum. The ROM has become more than just a traditional institution in Toronto. Rather, it has become a popular hot spot and a very enjoyable event to attend for many. I was kindly invited to FNLROM last Friday to sample the gourmet fare at the popular event, and I was glad that I went. I had a great time checking out the local eats, and enjoying the museum exhibits and music well into the night.

There were a handful of well-known food vendors (pop-ups and food trucks) on both the main floor, and second floor of the museum. To purchase any food or alcohol, you need to use the ROM's currency called "ROM Bucks". Basically, each food item and alcoholic drink cost 1 ROM Buck ($7). There were quite a few booths throughout the museum where you can buy the currency.

Please note that the currency are non-refundable, but they are valid the entire season.

Foodaholic! Tip: Buy the ROM Bucks on the second floor as the lines were much shorter compared to ones on the main floor.
Hot Bunzz (@HotBunzzTO) - Flavour adventures inspired by international cuisine and stuffed inside a bun.

Surf & Turf - slow braised bison rib in Korean kalbi braise with caramelized onion. Topped with Jerk Lobster in brown butter and lemon garlic aioli.

Me.n.u Food (@meNuFoodTruck) - Serving Asian Fusion Food Curbside on the Streets of Toronto.

Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ (@likosbbq) - We currently sell Hawaiian BBQ at different events around the GTA, and every weekend at the Pickering Markets Food Court. 

Le Dolci (@LeDolci) - Bake shop specializing in custom cakes, macarons & cupcakes, plus cooking classes & private parties.

Randy’s Roti (@RandysRoti) - Toronto’s first Caribbean Food Truck.

 Overall, the ROM Friday Night Live was a fun-filled Friday night for my friends and I. The lively atmosphere was certainly an enjoyable one, and we stayed until closing (11 pm). Not only was it a great place to get together with friends; it would also be perfect for date nights. The last #FNLROM will take place on June 26, 2015 at 7 pm. However, don't fret, as it will be back in the Fall for another season.

Lastly, the ROM encourages all attendees to use social media at these events by using the hashtag #FNLROM to document their night. Feel free to check out all uploaded photos taken at these events on IG at https://instagram.com/explore/tags/fnlrom/.

Address: 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON, M5S 2C6
Social Media:

Website: http://www.rom.on.ca/

Disclaimer: The entry and food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
 A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro announces its new Spring Lunch and Brunch Menus!
Toronto, Ontario – The A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro launches its new Spring Lunch and Brunch Menus that feature innovative new items, and reimagined favourites.

Some lighter fare includes Smoked Trout Salad in an Orange Dill Vinaigrette and the Market Salad that features watermelon and a roasted shallot vinaigrette.

For something more substantial, try the Pan-Seared Chicken Breast on whipped goat cheese sweet corn risotto and served with seasonal vegetable, or the Fish and Crisps, golden crispy strips of Atlantic Halibut, house-pickled vegetables, pommes crisps, and Gardiner tartar sauce. A reimagined favourite is the Vegetarian Curry served on Basmati Rice, and featuring cauliflower, carrot, red and green peppers, and eggplant in a coconut milk based curry.

If you’re up for sharing, try the Petit Pain Ciabatta, three sliders, one each of braised brisket in Belgian ale, roasted pork with caramelized onions, and roasted lamb with fig and walnut pesto, served with a green salad. Following that, have Mignardises for Two, featuring A La Carte Kitchen’s Executive Chef Simon Kattar’s chocolate truffles, miniature cookies, and fresh fruit.

Brunch items include Fruit Salad, and Smoked Salmon Benny, soft poached eggs on potato rosti with a hollandaise sauce and served with green salad.

A La Carte at the Gardiner Bistro is open for lunch Monday to Thursday, 11am-3pm, for lunch and dinner Fridays from 11am-8pm, and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm. We can accommodate large groups, and have various prix fixe menus to offer them. Please call 416-586-8086 for reservations.

à la Carte at the Gardiner | 111 Queen’s Park, Toronto, ON, M5S 2C7 | TEL: (416) 506-4945.
WEB: http://www.alacartebistro.com

Address: 111 Queens Park Toronto, ON, M5S 2C7 (Gardiner Museum, 3rd Floor)
  Twitter: https://twitter.com/alacartebistro 
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/alacartekitchen
Tandoori Flame is North America's largest Indian buffet with two locations in Ontario; Mississauga and Brampton. The Mississauga location caters to serving only halal-certified food, as all items are halal. Halal is meat (excluding pork) that has been prepared according to Islamic guidelines. However, their Brampton location doesn't cater specifically to halal food, as they offer a mixture of food items. Both venues are quite spacious with 10,000 to 14,000 sq.ft, and has the capacity to serve more than 500 guests. I was kindly invited to check out the Mississauga location of Tandoori Flame last weekend to celebrate the Halal Food Festival 2015, which I also attended. This location of Tandoori Flame was situated in the commercial area of the Heartland Town Center, so there were ample parking spots.  

 The decor was a little more rustic with white brick walls decorated with Indian artifacts and paintings all throughout the restaurant. As for the layout, the restaurant itself was vast, and spacious with over 15 different food stations. It wasn't hard to navigate around the buffet area, as everything was clearly labeled and laid out. Additionally, there were ample seating in the dining area. Speaking of the food stations earlier, they were very well-manned, as the buffet trays were frequently replenished.

The buffet is available seven days a week, and the adult prices are as followed: 

M-F (lunch) - $13.99
M-F (dinner) - $19.99
Sat-Sun (lunch) - $22.99
Fri-Sun (dinner) - $22.99

The buffet showcases an impressive assortment of Indian dishes, as well as having a large salad bar. Tandoori Flame boasts up to 150 delicious items such as gol gappas, papri chat, bhel puri, samosas, tikkis, falafal, Veg and non-Veg tandoori kabobs, tikkas, butter chicken, and more. Overall, I thought that Tandoori Flame did an excellent job of showcasing the wide variety of regional Indian cuisine on the buffet floor. It's a great place to sample Indian fare.

Most often when it comes to buffets, people often complain about the lack of authenticity of the food when compared to sit-down or family-owned restaurants. Personally, I think these are often unfair comparison as buffets are meant to showcase a variety of specialties for a set price. They don't just specialize in a few items. As a buffet, Tandoori Flame's main objective was to provide a diverse selection of regional Indian dishes to customers in the city. By offering the variety that they do, they have succeeded in bringing Indian flavors to Mississauga, and to those who may not be familiar with Indian food. Some flavors may not be as bold, but I did get a great taste of Indian flavors and spices in all the items that I did try. My favorite dishes were the naan, butter chicken, kesari chicken tikka, and the dosa. 

The service was also fantastic, as our server was courteous, attentive, and friendly. I also noticed that other servers attending to customers in the same dining area as us were quick to take ours, and other customers' dirty dishes away. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Tandoori Flame. Overall, the buffet at Tandoori Flame offers solid tasty choices, and is great value for money. 

Address: 5975 Mavis Road, Mississauga, ON, L5R 3T7 (Mavis & Britannia)
Social Media:

Website: http://tandooriflame.com/

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

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Tandoori Flame

by on Friday, June 05, 2015
Tandoori Flame is North America's largest Indian buffet with two locations in Ontario; Mississauga and Brampton. The Mississauga locat...