Address: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., Toronto, ON
When I attended: Nov. 19th, 2015 VIP Preview evening
I have attended the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo (#GFWE) since 2011 and enjoyed my time every year. This year was the first time going on the Thursday VIP evening, which allowed me to get a sneak peek of the expo. It was considerably less busy on a Thursday night compared to Friday and Saturday evenings, with few lines ups at vendors, which provided a great opportunity for me to interact directly with business owners and wine makers.
What drew me to the show in previous years was the celebrity chef demonstrations, where I had a chance to meet with Chef Chuck Hughes and Roger Mooking (read about my experience). Similar to my experience in 2013 (read about my GFWE experience), the highlights from the expo included free samples and the large number of beverage vendors. If you love to try out various types of wine, beer, spirits, sake and liquor, this expo will rock your world! One thing that I would like to see more of next year is more food vendors, as it felt like 80% of the exhibitors were alcoholic beverage vendors. I spent $20 (20 tickets) and it was enough to keep me full and hydrated.
Check out the full list of exhibitors on the GFWE’s website. Here were some of my favourite drinks and food dishes at the expo:
1. Casa Manila’s poutine fries with beef caldereta (beef stew). This was hands down my favourite food item at the show, and it was only 2 tickets ($2).
2. Casa Manila’s Filipino grilled pork and chicken skewers with a choice of sauces including BBQ, coconut ginger and peanut sauce. Liz (Mary’s Happy Belly blog contributor and my sister) enjoyed the flavourful pork skewers.
3. Wagyu sausage burrito from Edo. I was hungry and this was a tasty filling choice.
4. Flor De Cana Gran Reserva 7 Yo (rum) from Nicaragua – The guava rum cocktail was the first drink I had at the expo and a memorable one. I will be picking one of these bottles on my next visit to the LCBO.
5. Dutch Mule cocktail with Ketel One vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. I loved the spicy ginger beer.
6. Goriottin Malbec AOP Cahors from France – The red wine is well priced at $13.55 for a 2011 wine.
7. Kaiken Malbec Reserva from Argentina -This was a soft and smooth full-bodied red wine. The suggested food match includes mild barbecued meats, stews and pastas.
There was a LCBO on-site which was such a smart idea, so attendees could purchase the alcoholic beverages that they enjoyed at the show.
I am looking forward to the expo again next year!
*Disclosure: The pair of tickets to attend were provided by the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo. The opinions and views expressed in the post are my own.