Gourmet Food and Wine Expo kicked off last night with the Thursday’s VIP Preview Night! The expo runs until Sunday (November 20, 2017).
In case you’re unfamiliar with prices in the expo, minimum tickets (the currency) to purchase is 20 tickets, and 1 ticket is $1. So be prepared to spend a minimum of $20 to spend unless you share tickets with friends. Wine samples go from 1-3 tickets (average 2), and food samples going from 3 tickets and up. So it’s very easy to spend a lot.
Since I had dinner prior to attending, I was mostly there to check out the scene, as well as hopefully try some vendors offering free samples. Didn’t really want to spring another $20 on top of my pricey dinner already.
There were a lot of people when I went, similar to my visit last year. It pretty much has the same format as well, with the shows at the west-most part of the floor, some live music and seating area at the center and vendors scattered all over, and the popular Angry Orchard Wall, where people can put their signature. Can you spot mine?
Here’s what I checked out during the VIP Night Preview, and they’re mostly the free ones! Travelling Foodie Tip: You can keep the wine glass!
Fine Canadian Cheese Seminar
One thing I look forward to since my first time attending last year was the Fine Canadian Cheese Seminar which is a complimentary seminar sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. I always enjoy this seminer because I LOVE CHEESE! And in this seminar, you get to try samples of unique cheeses with a cheese expert explaining the cheese and its intricacies! You’ll definitely learn from this.
Got to try the following:
– Dofino Creamy Havarti from Arla Foods – with Honey because Havarti works well with sugar
– Evanturel from Thornloe Cheese – with sweet chili compote jelly to bring out the contrast
– Le Mamirolle from Fromagerie Rang 9 – with candied almond. The cheese is made from organic milk.
– 2 year Old Gouda from Mountainoak Cheese Ltd. – with balsamic reduction to highlight the caramel notes.
Near the Chef Stage, you’ll see Bubble Waffle, and walk a little past that you’ll see a Ristorante Pizza Food Truck with free samples of their new Ultra Thin Pizza. I tried their Oven Roasted Chicken and Peppers, and they were delicious! They also have vegetarian options for samples.
Right close to the IG Photo Booth setup and the Angry Orchard Wall, there’s a big setup by Campbell’s offering free samples of three kinds of gourmet soup. I sampled the Golden Butternut Squash only because the other two were tomato based, but you can sample all of them if you want.
So glad I got to try this place! They offer free bite-size samples of cheese and they were amazing!
The wine sampling here only cost 1 ticket, or 3 tickets if you want a bag of Mrs. Vickie’s Kettle Chips to pair the wine (different flavour depending on wine). Very hard to find 1 ticket wine samples – worth checking them out if you did get tickets. They have 4 wine selections to choose from.
Wine sampling ranging from 2-3 tickets depending on the 8-10 wine selections you can choose from. I tried the 3 ticket Baco Noir red wine and they gave generous pours (half the glass).
The Kinka Family has booths here too. If I did have tickets, I definitely would’ve used them at JaBistro. For 5 tickets, you get 2 pcs aburi oshi zushi: salmon and ebi. If you know Jabistro, you know it’s a steal for $2.5 aburi sushi.
ChocoMe offers free samples of their chocolates. I wanted to try some but it was very crowded so I didn’t bother.
Disclaimer: Although the media entry was complimentary provided by Gourmet Food and Wine Expo, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the companies.
Gourmet Food and Wine Expo
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Ontario
For photos/videos of Toronto, please visit my gallery: Travelling Foodie Does Toronto