It must be summer. This month's Food News seems to salute beer and barbecues and the things that go along with both. Have an idea for Food News? Email email@example.com
Blues and Brews at the Barns
Two of Toronto's best-known blues performers, Danny Marks and Bill King, will appear in concert at Artscape Wychwood Barns Friday, June 8, for a one-night-only fundraiser.
Proceeds to go to the Wychwood Barns Community Association (WBCA), which brings the barns to life year-round through events and activities that make St. Clair West one of the city's most vibrant neighbourhoods.
The concert is the WBCA's major fundraiser of 2012. It features JAZZ.FM91 host and guitarist Danny Marks and Newstalk 1010 music director and musician Bill King with their bands, and members of the JAZZ.FM91 Youth Big Band for an exciting evening of blues, beer and food tastings.
As Artscape Wychwood Barns focuses on local, the WBCA sought out local food and beer for the fundraiser with Barque Smokehouse and Amsterdam Brewing Company supplying barbecue and beer samples, respectively.
"Blues and Brews is an opportunity for music lovers across Toronto to come to the barns for a night of great blues and jazz while meeting with friends and neighbours," said WBCA President Ruth Baumann in a release.
The event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $20 and are available at www.atthebarns.ca/blues
Cooking class for men
Men, get your aprons out - it's time to learn how to cook.
Peter Graben, at ManChef.ca, http://manchef.ca/hosts cooking class for men as well as team building and corporate team building exercises.
Participants can learn basic cooking to gourmet cooking skills.
Ethnic flavour and kosher cooking is also available.
Meal Exchange's National BBQ Day
Mark June 23 on your calendars - it's Meal Exchange's National BBQ Day.
And while everyone is encouraged to lit up the grill for burgers, pizza, fruit and dessert (who said the barbecue is just for meat), Meal Exchange, a national youth-driven registered charity that mobilizes youth to work with their communities in order to alleviate hunger, and Napoleon Gourmet Grills, will be asking people to celebrate locally grown food with a BBQ and a few friends.
"National BBQ Day connects people to each other and to their food system," said Dave Kranenburg, executive director of Meal Exchange, in a release. "National BBQ Day was born out of demand from our supporters for more ways to support Meal Exchange's work of achieving hunger alleviation and increasing access to affordable, nutritious food. With a few hundred participants in the first year, and a few thousand last year, everyone is united by the belief that buying local strengthens our local economies and creates jobs."
This year's National BBQ Day will be tasking barbecuers with cooking up a meal using locally sourced food.
Pushing your boundaries, cooking new dishes and seeking out different food sources are what this event is all about, the release said.
Taking part in National BBQ Day is simple:
1. Register your barbecue at NationalBBQDay.ca
2. Invite your friends and family and hit the market to stock up on locally sourced food.
3. Fire up that grill.
For a chance to win the Napoleon Prestige Series 500 Grill (P500), take some photos June 23 and send them to NationalBBQDay@mealexchange.com. Don't forget to share them on Facebook and Twitter as well, using #nationalBBQday.
You don't have to be the host for a chance to win either. National BBQ Day attendees can also register and enter for a chance to win - there's no excuse not to participate!
Toronto's Festival of Beer goes July 27 to 29 at Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place.
Festival hours are from 4:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, 1:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are now available online at www.beerfestival.ca
Patrons must be of legal drinking age (19 plus) to attend and children and pets are not permitted at the festival.
Eska Water has signed on as the official water sponsor for the festival. To ensure the festival remains a safe and fun experience, Eska Water will be providing bottled water free of charge to all patrons.
Toronto Street Food
Help get more great food on city streets.
That is the idea behind The Toronto Street Food Project (TSFP), a campaign to advocate for bringing delicious and diverse street food to the people of Toronto and supporting the independent entrepreneurs that want to cook it for them, according to the website.
According to the website, Toronto Street Food is a coalition of food truck and food cart advocates who want a more robust, animated street food scene in Toronto.
Visit http://streetfoodto.com to sign a petition and learn more.
The SESSION Craft Beer Festival offers beer lovers a chance to sample the about 100 different beers, food and enjoy music, comedy and entertainment all under one roof.
The SESSION Craft Beer Festival was started as a finale to Ontario Craft Beer Week to bring the hard-working craft breweries of Ontario and all the supporters together to celebrate craft beer, according to a release.
Now, for the first time, people can enjoy beer at the event, which features all-in price.
The event takes place June 23 at 99 Sudbury St. Tickets are $40. Visit http://sessiontoronto.ca
Ultimate Farmers Market Bag
Goodbye bruised fruit and hello to Mercado, the ultimate farmers market bag designed and developed by the Quirky online community.
The Mercado offers pockets to protect delicate fruits and vegetables, loops to hold bottles in place and compartments to keep everything organized.
Mercado has six small interior pockets designed for smaller, delicate fruit, two medium interior pockets, one large interior compartment with two elastic loops to hold bottles in place and two small exterior pockets for quick access items such as cash or keys.
Mercado is made of mesh and cotton canvas. The structured mesh pockets holds the shape of the bag whether worn or placed on the ground. The wide adjustable strap lets you choose the right length for carrying, so you're as comfortable as your produce. Mercado is available for sale in Quirky's online store for $24.99.
Quirky engages participants to collaborate in every aspect of product creation from sketch to store. Anyone can participate on Quirky.com either by submitting their own product idea for $10 or by voting, rating and influencing other people's product ideas. Thirty cents of every dollar generated from the direct sale of a Quirky product goes back to these influencers.
Experience the unexpected when Toronto's professional mixologists show off their skills and prepare the latest and trendiest cocktails at The Drinks Show, June 8 and 9 from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. at 99 Sudbury, 99 Sudbury St.
The Drinks Show, the world's only interactive cocktail event, puts more unique hand-crafted cocktails in the spotlight than any other Toronto event, with exciting new recipes that go well beyond the basic margarita or Cuba Libre.
The Drinks Show also offers house, dance and hip-hop music courtesy of the DJs from Z103.5.
"Cocktails are a classy drink swirled with romanticism, mystique and style," said Teresa Santarsia, the marketing brand manager for show organizer Fulcrum Media Inc. in a release. "But one of the best things about cocktails is no two are created alike. They are as unique as their creators, and of course they are delicious."
The ninth edition of The Drinks Show will be highlighted by an onsite taste test challenge to see if you know your whisky and a whisky cocktail competition. Think you have the ultimate whisky cocktail? Share your recipe at firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to win.
Other contests, challenges, prizes, swag, photo-ops and more will happen throughout the course of both nights of The Drinks Show.
Chips made better
Have your chips and eat them, too.
Special K Cracker Chips are a way to satisfy cravings for something savoury without the guilt.
At only 80 calories for 18 chips, this crunchy snack tastes great and helps you stay on track with three tasty flavours to choose from: Original, Cheddar and Sour Cream and Onion.
A crispy blend of potato and rice and lightly seasoned, this savoury snack is trans-fat free, low in saturated fat, with no artificial flavours or colours.
The Cracker Chips are available now in the cracker aisle for a suggested retail price of $2.99.
Editor's note: I received a box of each of the flavours of Cracker Chips. I must confess salty isn't my thing. I can have a bag of chips opened in my cupboard for months, but put a bag of cookies in front of me and I will polish them off in a couple of sittings.
Saying that, the Speacial K Cracker Chips are great. I would choose these over a bag of chips any day. I think the Cheddar flavour is my favourite, but the Sour Cream and Onion comes in a close second. The Original was my least favourite, but for people who like salt, this box may be for you. My coworkers suggested the chips would be delicious with hummus. Whatever flavour you choose, the new cracker chips offer a great crunch.
Ontario doctors are urging all MPPs to support a bill being tabled today to ensure that calorie counts and other nutritional information is displayed on chain restaurant menus.
The Healthy Decisions for Healthy Eating bill, introduced today by NDP MPP France Gelinas, supports what Ontario's doctors have been calling for, according to Dr. Doug Weir, president of the Ontario Medical Association in a release.
According to Weir, more than half of the adult population and one quarter of Ontario's children are overweight or obese. Obesity rates are rising and 75 per cent of obese kids become obese adults. The illnesses associated with obesity include Type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, sleep apnea and hypertension in children.
Obese children show a disease profile that matches that of overweight or obese adults, meaning they begin to have serious chronic diseases much earlier in life. Overall, the health impacts of obesity and being overweight are estimated to cost Ontario $2.2 to $2.5 billion per year.
Obesity is a growing epidemic in Ontario and we can't afford to wait any longer before taking steps to address it. The Ontario government has said repeatedly that they are working on this issue. Ontario's doctors are calling on the government to pass this proposed legislation, and show Ontarians they are serious about tackling obesity.
Visit http://bit.ly/IOaeMF for an article about the bill.
Taste of the Caribbean
Looking to bring the taste of the islands to your kitchen?
GraceKennedy, the Caribbean's largest food and beverage supplier, announced the launch of four cooking and grilling sauces and seasoning rubs under its Grace Caribbean Traditions brand.
Each provide its unique tropical flavor for Canadians with limited time for cooking.
"With four authentic and enticing island flavours, there is something for everyone," said Lucky Lankage, president of GraceKennedy (Ontario) Inc. in a release.
According to the release, there are no artificial colours or flavours.
The line-up includes:
- Pineapple Coconut sensation Cooking and Grilling Sauce
- Roasted Red Pepper Cooking and Grilling Sauce
- Caribbean Spice Seasoning Rub
- Roasted Garlic and Peppers Seasoning Rub
The Caribbean-inspired cooking and grilling sauces and seasoning rubs are available at ethnic and banner grocery stores across Canada.
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