Friends, as you may have seen on my social media, I have been sharing details (and a giveaway) to Second Harvest’s signature culinary fundraiser, Toronto Taste, coming up on Sunday, June 4th at the beauuutiful Corus Quay, lakeside. Second Harvest is Canada’s largest food rescue organization, collecting fresh, surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and delivering it to over 225 social service agencies in Toronto.  From children in after-school programs, to women in shelters escaping domestic abuse and seniors on fixed income, more than 130,000 people in Toronto receive food from Second Harvest each month.

27612858821_ceefba92b5_o Marking its 27th year, Toronto Taste is bringing together over 60 of the city’s top restaurants and beverage purveyors, all of whom are donating their time, energy, creativity and tasty dishes in support of Second Harvest’s food rescue programs.  With the support of incredible sponsors, chef ambassadors, guests, donors and volunteers, last year’s event raised over $850,000 allowing Second Harvest to provide 1.5 MILLION meals to people experiencing hunger in Toronto.

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Toronto Taste 27586810582_7b421182c3_k Guests have an opportunity to give back to the community in a delicious way, enjoy great entertainment, interact with some pretty cool culinary masters like Chef Michael Smith, Mark McEwan, Bob Blumer, bid on unique prizes, fine wines and one-of-a-kind experiences (like a food tour of New Orleans with Roger Mooking or a dinner experience for you and five of your friends prepared by Chef Michael Hunter from Antler Kitchen & Bar) and so much more! Toronto Taste1 For a list of restaurant and beverage participants, go here and here and be sure to follow Second Harvest on social media here, here and here for regular updates.

Friends, Toronto Taste is not just another amazing summer event (although it is totally an AMAZING summer event!), but rather a hugely important component of Second Harvest’s “no waste, no hunger” vision.

I hope to see you there on June 4th! xo

Photos via.

Did you know that in Canada over $31 billion worth of food goes to waste each year?  This of course, while thousands of men, women and children go hungry.  YES, you read that right…BILLION.  I was completely stunned when I learned this fact.  Over the last year and a half (since I joined Second Harvest , Canada’s largest food rescue organization – first as a volunteer and now in Corporate Partnerships), I have been learning more and more about the issue of food waste.

On March 1st, Brock Shepherd of Kensington Brewing Co. brought together local chefs, brewers, distillers, artists and innovators for Trashed & Wasted – a unique, one-night culinary and art event to shed light on the issue of food waste and to offer a new way to look at those things we often throw away without a second thought.

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Held at Artscape Wychwood Barns in Toronto, and with all proceeds in support of Second Harvest, it was truly an inspiring evening.  What a treat to meet and chat with so many awesome people who were genuinely interested in learning more about the impact of food waste on society and the environment, and who are looking for ways to get involved and make a difference.  Interesting fact: last year alone, Second Harvest was able to rescue 9.5 million lbs. of perfectly good, fresh food that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill!  Instead, this food was delivered to thousands of people in need across the city!  Pretty amazing, right?

Have look at some of the treats that were served at Trashed & Wasted.  SO many creative dishes made from ingredients that would normally be thrown away…and SO delicious!

CRISPY PROSCIUTTO ON BANNOCK CRACKERS WITH MUSHROOMS AND PARMESAN RIND ESPUMA

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Probably my favorite dish of the night…these little tasty parcels from Oliver & Bonacini, were made with cheese foam made from shaved parmesan rinds, fried hand-shaved prosciutto (the pieces that could not be sliced) and stems from various types of mushrooms.  The magic touch was truffle oil to give it an earthy flavour.  SO. GOOD!

BROWN BUTTER CAULIFLOWER ON BANNOCK CRACKERS WITH TOASTED HAZELNUT CRUMBS
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Cauliflower stalks, toasted crumbly bits of hazelnuts from the bottom of a bag, tiny leftover pieces of bannock and voila! (Also from O&B)

IMPROVED VESPER WITH MILKY WHEY VODKA, LILLET BLANC AND CHARRED ORANGE PITH BITTER

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A play on the “Vesper” from the James Bond books and movie Casino Royale, this perfect cocktail from Yongehurst Distillery Co. was created using vodka entirely made from otherwise wasted whey, in collaboration with Monforte Dairy and Escarpment Labs.

SPENT-GRAIN PICKLED KOHLRABI SEASONED WITH “OUR LAND AND CULTURE” 

actinolite_TL “The kohlrabi was pickled in a nuka bed—a Japanese method, and one of our preservation techniques at the restaurant—with spent grains from Burdock brewery,” says Actinolite Restaurant chef-owner Justin Cournoyer. “We smoked and dried beef hearts, then mixed the beef purge liquid that came from it with egg white to create beef miso—when you press that, you get tamari. Our currant farmer Gerrard was going to burn blackcurrant wood, but I saved it to get blackcurrant wood oil. I also collected the excess cherry juice from a bakery to get cherry vinegar, which I used to preserve various pickles: wild fennel seeds, pineapple weed, grand elder stems and parsley seeds.” (via Toronto Life).

SANAGAN’S MEAT LOCKER – SOAP

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This moisturizing soap is made from rendered lamb kidney fat, spent coffee grinds and essential oils.

 

HUGE shout-outs and high-fives to these creative culinary experts for their out-of-the-box thinking and for helping us rethink food waste!

If you would like to learn more about food waste and food rescue in Toronto be sure to visit Second Harvest and follow Trashed & Wasted here.

Thanks for stopping by, and as you enjoy your lunch today or prepare your dinner, take a moment to rethink those often wasted little bits and pieces of food that are still perfectly good and can perhaps be repurposed into a delicious snack or treat.  Let me know if you come up with any ideas!

Wishing you a lovely week! xo

Photo credits: Giordano Campini (Toronto Life)

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You guys, so here we are… March 2017!  How did that happen already?!  Feels like it was just yesterday that we were all dreaming of a white Christmas and planning our new year adventures, am I right?  Time flies.  Time moves. Things change.

Over the last couple of years, the theme of my life has been just that…change.  Movement (sometimes while standing still).  Constant (often painful) evolution.  For better or worse…and more often than not, challenging.  I have always loved calm, constant, routine…planning and knowing what’s next gives me a sense of comfort, which, if I can be honest, has sometimes been hindering to my personal growth.  I admit it.  And here I am.  I was given no choice but to keep moving and learning that the only thing that is constant in life is change.

I have seen many people come up with a their “word for 2017”, and I thought about this one – what could it be?!  I decided on “EMBRACE”.  Accepting what comes with gratitude and grace.  And little by little things will begin to make sense and take shape.  We can’t see it while going through it…believe me I know.  But it will make sense, I promise you.  Not all at once, but the pieces of the puzzle will begin to fall into place to create the picture of the life you are meant to live (not necessarily the shiny one you have been imagining, but the one that is messy, real, inclusive, different, fulfilling, and perfectly you).

Over the last few months, I took a little break. A little time to asses without the noise of constant communication.  Quiet exploration.  A moment to breathe and listen…and  today, I want to share with you a new direction.  A new journey.

It took me so long to decide, to accept, to find the courage to share.  But here I am.

A few months back, I decided to steer away from a little dream that started a few years ago.  I wanted to be a wedding planner.  I LOVED the idea of working with great clients to help them achieve their perfect day and what a pleasure it was to be able to do it.  On that journey, I had the opportunity to hear the sweetest love stories, to share in special moments, to witness the promise of forever and to meet some incredibly creative, sweet and amazing individuals.  The wedding industry holds a very special place in my heart, but the time has come for me to say good bye.

Little by little, I have been pushed by the universe to go in a different direction.  I fought it for a while, because I had worked hard, I had spent time, I had invested myself and quite honestly, changing directions in the middle of the ocean is not easy.  But eventually, I stopped long enough to listen to my heart.  It was time to let go, and with much love and gratitude, I said a sweet goodbye to the world of weddings.

To all my incredible clients, a million thanks from the very bottom of my heart for allowing me to share in one of your most personal and important journeys.  I loved meeting you, sharing with you, laughing (and sometimes crying) with you, hearing your love stories, catching your secret glances and admiring your commitment.  Thank you for letting me witness your love.

And to the ever-inspiring, vendor friends I got to work with along the way, thank you for sharing your talent, passion, professionalism and creativity.  I will continue to cheer you on and be your biggest fan from out here!

What’s going on now?  Professionally, my work is currently in the non-profit sector with an amazing organization I have admired for many years, working alongside an incredibly passionate, energetic and inspiring team.  I will definitely share more about the work that we do as I go along, but for now, if you have a few minutes, go here and here to learn more.

On a personal note, I still want to blog.  I still want to share.  I still want to be here in this little corner of the internet where you have been so kind to me.  The direction will change, but the love and the heart will be the same.  I will share what inspires me and what I hope will inspire you, even if in little ways.  So stay with me and check in when you can.  It would mean the world!

Deep gratitude always ~ a million thanks for being part of my journey.

With love,

Eva

Photo credit here.