Foodie Heaven: A Peek Inside The Delicious Food Show

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When you think about celebrity chefs, you think about food — and when you think about food, you think about eating. But what if you could combine celebrity chefs, food and eating into one delicious experience under a single roof?

Group shot of celebrity chefs Rob Gentile, Mario Batali, Tyler Florence, and Chuck Hughes at the 2014 Delicious Food Show.
Left to right: Rob Gentile, Mario Batali, Tyler Florence, Chuck Hughes.

Enter the Delicious Food Show, a three-day food extravaganza taking place this weekend at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto featuring more than 200 culinary booths, 50 live cooking demonstrations and intimate workshops led by the most well-known food celebrities in the business. 

Left: doughnut topped with maple flakes and candied bacon. Right: Caramelized s'more bar on a stick.
Left: doughnut covered with maple flakes and candied bacon. Right: caramelized s'more bar on a stick.

Now in its third year, the festival is a food-lover's paradise as guests are encouraged to sample the latest offerings from some of the top restaurants and food trucks across the nation. From gourmet doughnuts topped with maple flakes and candied bacon to caramelized s’more bars on a stick (hungry yet?), it’s no wonder why this event draws huge crowds.

Chef Chuck Hughes goofs off in the kitchen with a ladle.
Chef Chuck Hughes shows his serious and silly sides in the kitchen.

This year welcomes a red hot line-up of kitchen all-stars, including chefs Mario Batali, Chuck Hughes, Tyler Florence, Mark McEwan, Roger Mooking, Dominique Ansel, Nadia G. and Lucinda Scala Quinn. If you enjoy a little competition mixed into your dish, check out Abbey’s Kitchen Stadium, where dietician and food blogger Abbey Sharp hosts a weekend-long food competition between eight top Toronto chefs, who’ll showcase their talent by offering two food items for just five dollars each. After sampling the food, guests can then vote for their favourite chef. The top four chefs will then compete on stage on the last day of the festival in an action-packed cooking competition.

Chef Mario Batali speaks to food bloggers and the media at the Delicious Food Show launch. Mario sits on a white stool while holding a microphone and wearing bright orange crocs on his feet.
While wearing a classic pair of orange Crocs, Chef Mario Batali speaks to the crowd at The Delicious Food Show.

“A lot of people ask me how to make more delicious food,” said celebrity chef Mario Batali to a room full of food writers at the launch, adding it's not the kitchen gadgets that make food tastier, but rather the stories behind the ingredients. “If you can find someone who you know by name that grows their broccoli raw or brings their veal to the table at a farmers market, suddenly food tastes not only tastier, but it has a richer residence in your heart and soul.”

Batali, whose empire includes 26 restaurants, nine cookbooks, numerous television shows and two Eataly marketplaces, was promoting his latest cookbook America – Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers, which Batali says is a “different way of looking at how cooks, fancy chefs and rockstar chefs relate to the daily experience of putting food on the table for the people you love.”

Batali also shared his tips on how to get children more involved in the kitchen. “Take them to a farmers market, or the butcher, or a fish market…then take them home and put the food together,” he said. “By the time they’ve worked through the process, there’s no way their curiosity won’t allow them to try it.” The chef also expressed his disapproval of kid’s menus in restaurants, urging that children should have the opportunity to order off regular menus and be “part of the larger experience.”

The entrance to the Delicious Food Show with the event staff waving to the camera.
Event staff wave outside the event's entrance. 

The Delicious Food Show runs from October 17 to 19 at the Direct Energy Centre (100 Princes Blvd) in Toronto. 

 

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