Gourmet Food and Wine Expo 2014

It's that time of the year again! Gourmet Food and Wine expo has just started! Have you bought your ticket yet? Here's what to expect at their 20th anniversary.

Here we are! The 20th anniversary of Gourmet Food and Wine Expo is here! Have you ever been to that event? Are you planning to go this year? Well, I just came from the media preview and here’s what to expect.

The 2014 Edition

First, and that’s not a surprise here, expect to wait in line before getting in. Yes, this event is VERY popular, so you better get there early to make the most out of it. If you’re coming on Saturday or Sunday, I suggest that you arrive about an hour before the actual opening of the event. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy your day and try the most samplings as you can.

Buy at least two sheets of tickets. If you’re paying to get in, also don’t forget that you’ll also have to pay for your sampling tickets, which is about $40 per person, that’s what the show recommends, and I agree with them.

Try to come at least twice, that way, you can try wines on your first visit and beer/spirits on your second visit. That makes sense? That’s what I’ll do and that’s what I suggest that you guys do. There are so many exposants at the show, you want to make sure to try everything, but not to mix too much.

My Highlights

Of course, there are so many brands at the show, but some are, in my opinion, more worth spending your money than others. But that’s totally up to everyone’s tastes, but here are my favourites:

Come and Get It!

Come and Get It! Food sample tastings
Come and Get It!
Food sample tastings Credit: Steph The Rock

Okay, these guys are very serious. The owner, Jon Polubiec, is so passionate, that you literally can’t resist to his ideas and the concept of that place. It’s just awesome, bottom line. Known for its delicious ‘choose your own adventure’ menu, it’s the perfect spot for people who like to customize their meals without compromising on flavour.

If you haven’t tried Come and Get it yet, here is what you need to know:

– First opened in 2012 as a pop-up shop on Spadina Ave, Toronto, that quickly grew in popularity
– They opened a permanent location in spring this year, located at 676 Queen Street West (downtown Toronto)
– Owned by Jon Polubiec (formerly of Mistura with Chef Massimo Capra, Moveable Feast, Prego and Windsor Arms)
– Head Chef is Adam Brown (formerly of Silver Spoon with Chef Rocco Agostino)

Even though I haven’t tried everything on the menu (not yet!), I can tell you that the mango jerk chicken, the Hawaiian pork belly and the Ol’el paso taco are deliciiiiious! They serve all of these during the Expo, so you should definitely come and check it out.

Follow them on social media:
Website: www.comeandgetit.ca

Brunehaut Organic Gluten Free Beers

I have to say that I’m trying (just trying!) to be more self conscious of what I eat and drink, so I really liked the concept of Brunehaut, organic and gluten free beers from Belgium. My favourite beer between the three that they offer at the expo is the Brunehaut Triple:

Look: A more coppery appearance that is well maintained, antique or light with a good persistent head.
Nose: The nose is relatively discreet and elegant with fermented touches and fine yeasts. Quite fresh.
In the mouth: The flavour is full of freshness despite the alcohol content. Then there is the strong side, it is full, fat and long. Nevertheless elegance remains at the end. Neither too sugary nor excessive caramel. A beer to drink with some hard cheeses, a young comté with a fruity balance.

Note that the beers are distributed by It’s an Eco Life Inc, specializes in importing quality food and beverage goods into the Canadian marketplace. They only make whole food selections that are Certified Organic, Gluten-Free/Reduced, Craft or Artisan. Their mission is to introduce a wide array of products that redefine the way people make healthy conscious choices. Once choosing “Its An Eco Life”- life is simple and great!

Follow them on social media:
Website: itsanecolife.com

The Extreme Bean

The Extreme Bean Credit: Steph The Rock
The Extreme Bean
Credit: Steph The Rock

I tried this “new pickle” for the first time in a caesar sample and I love it! And I love it event more because there are no artificial anything added and the new flavour is tasty enough to create countless hors d’oeuvres, dress up any burger and sweet enough to do what most The Extreme Bean lovers do, eat it right out of the jar!

The story: While bartending in their early 20’s, college roommates Matt Larochelle and Steve McVicker quickly realized how many Caesars they were serving over the ‘wood’ and wished for a better, tastier and more flavourful garnish than a celery stick. With many calls made to Matt’s mother – the original pickling expert – they began hand packing beans into jars and experimenting with spice combinations. In the search for a unique bean, the Kentucky Flat Bean proved to be the star legume, growing longer and tasting sweeter than your normal everyday green bean. In their tiny 600 square foot apartment over a small ring burner stove and hand me down pots, The Extreme Bean was born encompassing the brand’s four pillars: Tasty, Topical, Social and Fun.

Follow them on social media:

Website: mattandsteve.com

Gourmet Food and Wine Expo 2014

November 20-23, 2014 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre


You can still buy tickets here.


Thursday, November 20: 6pm-10pm VIP Preview Evening
Friday, November 21: 2pm-10pm
Saturday, November 22: 12pm-10pm
Sunday, November 23: 12pm-6pm



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