Toben Food By Design x Design Exchange

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending the TOBEN x DX Save or Splurge Event and had an unforgettable experience! Put on by the team at Toben Food By Design, and held at Design Exchange, the historic space that was once the former Toronto Stock Exchange, the event brought together those who work in, or closely with, the event and food industry. Attendees were invited to Relax, Recharge and Rediscover and learn and exchange ideas, all while enjoying an afternoon of cocktails, industry discussion, and food. The result? An unforgettably wonderful experience, along with planning tips for every budget.

Blog by me, and edited by Read my blog and more pics here.

Before the sit-down lunch, guests were treated to a variety of concoctions courtesy of Sipbar, and delicious treats from the in-house team at Toben Food By Design.

Passed hors d’oeuvre of Pea and Truffle Risotto Cakes, along with east coast Lobster Rolls and four spice Seared Tuna were passed around.

The team at Toben Food By Design prepared a three-course meal for lunch that was heavily inspired by global cuisine. I was lucky enough to attend one of their previous pop-up dinners, where I learned that Chef Toben has traveled all over various parts of Asia and Europe, and has incorporated what he has learned abroad into his cooking. The catering company specializes in providing fresh, local artisan cuisine at any budget, whether one wants to save or splurge.

The first course was the Heirloom Tomato and Ontario Raspberry Salad, which set the tone for what was to come! These tomatoes originated from South America and were brought over to Europe in the late 1500s, talk about wow! Taste-wise, this dish reminded me of summer, and the avocado mousse and miso vinaigrette was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy.

The main course featured a culinary clash of west & east coast concepts with the Thai Surf ‘n Turf. The combination of succulent grilled seafood and steak has become a beloved dinner classic and can be found on many caterers’ wedding menu. Toben does it differently, as many key ingredients were substituted with Asian Thai flavors. Instead of a steak, they opted for the ballotine chicken, which is a French specialty that was cooked by braising. Chef Toben dressed it with coconut-water spinach rice and yellow curry emulsion. These are two commonly used ingredients in many Thai dishes. Additionally, it was beautifully decorated with Shiitake mushrooms and pickled eggplant.

Dessert was a Mini Dessert Duo consisting of Strawberry-Raspberry Verrine, Strawberry Mousse, and Vanilla Sable. The mousse was amazing, as it was creamy and rich. Additionally, the blackberry chantilly added the perfect touch to the savory-sweet nature of this dessert.

The event also featured live music from Brent Miller LIVE, bringing that added touch of fun to the event. Guests were also treated to on-site nail painting services from The Nail and Champagne Bar.

Some of the beautifully designed table sets from the Save or Splurge Event. 

Designed by  Rebecca Chan Weddings & Events 

Designed by Megan Wappel Design

Designed by Alana Klein of Swoon Events

Designed by Melissa Baum Events

Designed by Alana Klein of Swoon Events

My takeaway from this event is that you can create a beautiful wedding or event, regardless of whether you want to save or splurge. For event planners, it’s their responsibility to manage the client’s expectations while looking to see where one can save in order to splurge on certain big-ticket items. Overall, the collaboration between Toben Food By Design and Design Exchange was a great success – thanks for having us!

Disclaimer: Collaborated post with 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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